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Club History / GL1000 History


Club History

Nancy Smay

President & Founder 1987-1995

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In Memory of Nancy Smay
CWC Mem. #1 Longwood, Florida

Hit The Road Jack, Ride Safe-Stay Aware, and Ride Like The Wind are common sayings recognized by many. However the expression of "May All Your Roads Be Fun" is known to each Classic Wing Club member. It all started back in 1987, with Nancy Smay and her love for riding 1000 Goldwing's, which inspired her to draw together riders having a similar regard for older motorcycles. Nancy initiated CWC in 1987, an information club providing people that have a common bond of enjoying their 75-79 Honda GL1000. They would correspond via newsletter, meet at different events and dinners, bringing the group to a national level. With the riding season upon us, let us all Ride With Pride and May All Your Roads Be Fun. On July 5, 1995 Nancy Smay rode to a better place.

 


 

Carl Hinsey

President, 1996 - 2003

  In Memory of Carl

Today we ride missing one. His machine cold and still. We recall his glowing face, as we raise our glass. Even though his rides are done he will always be with our every turn. We are all better by having known him, and he will live on in our memories and machines. So Carl, heres to you, may your ride be free.

                                 --by Martin Pinkston, CWC #536

 


 

Bob Roe

President, 2003 - 2013

 I was asked to take charge of the Club in 2003 while Carl Hinsey was still President. At that time I was newly retired and attending all of the CWC functions.  My wife, Lorraine, was also retired and Carl knew that it took two people to run the Club and considering our backgrounds, he thought we would have the time to devote to a successful run as President and Editor. I have fourteen total motorcycles which includes 7 GL1000's. Of course I'm prejudiced, but I think they are absolutely the best sport touring bikes ever made and I will do my absolute best to keep the legacy alive! 

It is now 2013 and time to retire from the presidency of CWC.  We thank all the members for their support and friendship.  It was a productive and fun ten years.  We had a great time taking care of the Club and plan to keep as active as possible because we still have a soft spot in our hearts for the Club and the Classic Wings!! 

Bob & Lorraine

 


 

Don Davis

President, 2014 - Present



 


GL1000 History

Specifications -

1975 GL1000
1976 GL 1000 & GL1000 LTD
1977 GL1000
1978 GL1000
1979 GL1000

Flies on the walls of Honda's R&D meetings would probably have heard discussions about the wisdom of developing a specific motorcycle from scratch to go after what was then a niche market. Long distance riding still regarded as a risky, eyebrow-raising venture, undertaken by men possessed of extraordinary spirit and a who may have been a bit foolhardy. And that was due in part to the bikes available then.

Honda, by characteristically engineering its way into new untested and surprisingly large untapped markets, had proven that markets which conventional wisdom regarded as but dirt to be trampled underfoot had the potential to be pure gold. Conventional wisdom was about to be challenged with some very unconventional engineering.

As the bounds of workable displacement were being pushed farther back (CB 450, CB 750, Kawasaki Z-1) every few years, Honda began an engineering project to explore the outer limits of motorcycle design. It was again time to build a corporate flagship and revise the limits of what was possible. But just how big, how powerful, how wild could a two-wheeled vehicle be and still be a motorcycle? In the closing weeks of 1972, Honda put together an engineering team led by Shoichiro Irimajiri, to attempt to ask and answer that question. His background in five and six-cylinder Grand Prix racing engines, and later automotive work gave him an ideal experience from which to draw, since the M1 project would involve elements of both.

The fruit of their labor was casually called the King of Motorcycles or King of Kings, code named the M1. It was conceived and executed by engineers, not stylists, marketing types, accountants or even the public.

For the sake of smoothness, engineers chose six cylinders, laid out in a horizontally opposed configuration, similar in concept to a Corvair engine. Displacement was 1470cc, 2cc shy of doubling the CB750's 736cc displacement--larger than some cars. Final drive was shaft and liquid cooling was used instead of the conventional air cooling. Single overhead cams were driven by belts and the alternator rotated opposite crankshaft direction to reduce lateral torque. Sound like a Gold Wing? It wasn't.

Though the M1 laid the groundwork for developing the Gold Wing, the M1 was an engineering exercise, not a prototype of any kind. Today, with more then 20 years of Gold Wings burned deep into our consciousness, the M1 looks familiar, like a stripped down GL 1500, but in the context of its time, it was as different as a fish with feathers.

"The M1 was built to find out what was possible," says Honda.

Its large displacement made several things very possible. One was sizzling performance. Some within Honda wanted to tune the engine for maximum power, up to this point the single most important factor in the public's eyes. In fact, that's what the initial Ml project goals called for: very high performance, 61 hp at 7500 RPM, maximum torque at 5500 RPM, weight of 463 pounds and compact size.

Others saw it as more of grand touring engine, with a nice, fat power band, tons of roll-on torque and silky smooth power delivery.

Even Mr. Honda himself had reservations about the MI. He believed that buyers had a psychological threshold of 750cc, and that anything larger would be ill-received. Mr. Honda also favored the simplicity of air cooling. Many of the styling mockups and artist's renderings portray 750s: GL 750 Four, Gold Wing GX 750, X-I 750.

As development progressed, the ebb and , flow of engineering and corporate politics pulled the M1 in the direction of grand touring on a grand scale, yet another uncharted direction for motorcycling in general and Honda in particular.

GL 1000: The Dynasty Begins

Drawing from the engineering done on the MI, a new concept began to take shape. Many ideas engineered into this new touring machine were unprecedented in modem motorcycling: engine configuration, liquid cooling, dual disc brakes, hidden fuel tank and midrange power delivery with emphasis on torque. Other ideas were experimented with, but rejected:

Fuel injection was dropped over concerns of side-of-the-road repair difficulties . Automatic transmission was scrapped due to excessive size and weight Electro-hydraulic center stand was too heavy Anti-lock braking wasn't practical on existing technology.

It took Honda more than a year to settle the internal six- vs. four-cylinder debate. Once the decision was made, though, the six benefited from Honda's engineering might to become the smoothest touring engine.

After two years of give and take, trial and error and countless hours of breakthrough engineering the first GL l000s landed in dealer showrooms. Landed just might be the right word.

The 1975 Gold Wing was the most un-motorcycle looking motorcycle in modern history. Upon first examination at the now-defunct Midwest Honda in Lenexa, Kansas, this writer was flabbergasted. It looked as if the bike was one of those sideshow freaks- mommy was a car, daddy was a motorcycle and junior is... well, rather odd looking.

But buyers of that first generation Gold Wing who saw past the unorthodox appearance, discovered a function that was unlike anything before. The heavy frame would gladly accommodate aftermarket accessories like bags and fairing's. The drive shaft eliminated the ritual of perpetual oiling's and the associated mess. The whopping displacement whisked the weight of a pair of riders and all their luggage along endless miles of asphalt with ease and reliability that belayed much of the fear of striking out for a long-haul motorcycle adventure.

"Honda's ultimate touring master-piece, as the 750 Four that preceded it, will take off on a trip all its own, pioneering a sophisticated concept yet untouched, but soon to be pursued by those destined to follow the leader," wrote Motorcyclist in a quote picked up for the Gold Wing brochure.

motorcycle News, a British publication, also praised the new Gold Standard, calling it, "A superb example of Japanese engineering the biggest and heaviest Honda ever made is a complete breakaway from Honda's previous designs."

The $2,900 GL 1000 had indeed set a new touring standard, though its true potential wouldn't be fully realized right away. Honda had hoped to recreate the wildfire success of the CB 75O Four, but the GL 1000's first year sales of 5,000 units were a big disappointment. But as the formative machine began to be embraced by a new breed of rider, it did much to create, sales and profits would come.

Gold Wing On A Roll

1978. As word got back to Honda about customer likes and dislikes, changes were made. A cluster of gauges appeared on the "fuel tank," the classic spoke wheels were replaced by five-spoke aluminum ComStar wheels and the engine's state of tune mellowed a bit, giving up some top-end punch for improved roll-on power. A fully chromed exhaust system appeared for the first time, helping elevate price to $3,198

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1975 GL 1000
GL1000 Gold Wing, powered by a 999 liquid-cooled, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, revolutionized motorcycle touring. The faux fuel tank contains electrical components and storage space. Spoked aluminum rims are standard. Black exhaust system, with chrome heat shield and tailpipes.

Engine type: OHC opposed-four, liquid/cooled
Displacement: 999cc
Carburetion: (4) 32mm CV
Starting system: Electric plus Kick
Transmission: Five-speed
Final drive: Shaft
Chassis: Steel, dual shock
Front brake: Dual disc, single piston caliper
Rear brake: Single disc, dual piston caliper
Wheelbase: 60.6 in.
Seat height: 31.9 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Dry weight: 584.0 lb.
Color: Candy Red, Candy Blue

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1976 GL 1000 & GL 1000 LTD
A new model marks the Gold Wing's second year. The GL1000 LTD joins the unchanged standard model,
and features gold striping, special LTD side cover badges, chromed radiator shroud and screen, quilt pattern contoured seat, gold wheels and spokes, gold-stamped GL1000 owner's manual, and leather key case. The LTD's front fender is slightly flared.

Engine type: OHC opposed-four, liquid/cooled
Displacement: 999cc
Carburetion: (4) 32mm CV
Starting system: Electric plus Kick
Transmission: Five-speed
Final drive: Shaft
Chassis: Steel, dual shock
Front brake: Dual disc, single piston caliper
Rear brake: Single disc, dual piston caliper
Wheelbase: 60.8 in.
Seat height: 31.9 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Dry weight: 583.0 lb.
Color: Candy Red, Candy Brown, Solid Yellow

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1977 GL 1000
Honda begins to incorporate small but important refinements based on customer requests, as the Gold Wing continues to grow in popularity and redefine touring. Chrome heat shields on the header pipes are now standard, as is a higher, recountered handlebar, redesigned neoprene grips, and a new dual contoured seat.

Engine type: OHC opposed-four, liquid/cooled
Displacement: 999cc
Carburetion: (4) 32mm CV
Starting system: Electric plus Kick
Transmission: Five-speed
Final drive: Shaft
Chassis: Steel, dual shock
Front brake: Dual disc, single piston caliper
Rear brake: Single disc, dual piston caliper
Wheelbase: 60.8 in.
Seat height: 31.9 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Dry weight: 595.0 lb.
Color: Black, Red

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1978 GL 1000
A new instrument panel in the center pod with fuel, voltage and coolant temperature gauges helps distinguish the GL in it's fourth year. Honda also fitted 1 mm-smaller carbs and FVQ (TM) shocks with two stage damping, redesigned and chromed the exhaust system, mounted the rear turn signal on the fender, deleted the kick-starter and bolted up maintenance-free ComStar wheels.

Engine type: OHC opposed-four, liquid/cooled
Displacement: 999cc
Carburetion: (4) 31mm CV
Starting system: Electric
Transmission: Five-speed
Final drive: Shaft
Chassis: Steel, dual shock
Front brake: Dual disc, single piston caliper
Rear brake: Single disc, dual piston caliper
Wheelbase: 60.8 in.
Seat height: 31.9 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Dry weight: 601.0 lb.
Color: Blue, Maroon, Black

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1979 GL 1000
The GL 1000 reaches the peak of it's development in 1979, and will be the last Gold Wing to be powered by a 999cc engine. Changes this year are few and minor: Rectangular turn signals replace the previous round ones, control levers go from silver to black, and twin-bulb taillight with CBX-type ribbed lens replaces the single-bulb unit

Engine type: OHC opposed-four, liquid/cooled
Displacement: 999cc
Carburetion: (4) 31mm CV
Starting system: Electric
Transmission: Five-speed
Final drive: Shaft
Chassis: Steel, dual shock
Front brake: Dual disc, single piston caliper
Rear brake: Single disc, dual piston caliper
Wheelbase: 60.8 in.
Seat height: 31.9 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Dry weight: 604.0 lb.
Color: Candy Burgundy, Candy Blue, Black

 

 

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