Honda's Goldwing GL1800 Grand Touring is the last word in motorcycle luxury and the undisputed champion of the upper motorcycle touring world. The Honda Goldwing GL1800 globally introduced as an all-new replacement of the GL1500 in 2001, the might Goldwing GL1800 has received only minor teaks in it 16-year history, and now packs features like protective airbags, heated seats, integrated satellite navigation and entertainment system, ABS, cruise control and much more, all as standard.
Despite tipping the scaled at a whopping 421 kilograms Honda's engineers made it relatively easy to operate as soon as you step aboard a Goldwing GL1800. Whether it's selecting reverse gear to back out of a parking space, swooping through bends of an mountain pass, or out-dragging a teenager in a sportscar away from the traffic lights, the mighty Honda Goldwing GL1800 will never cease to surprise and entertain you.
The Honda Goldwing GL1800 Grand Touring comes in Thailand with a logbook that needs to be filled with unique stickers and stamps so you have proof that service is correctly done. This is helpful as getting access to the air filter or other similar consumables mean you have the remove almost all front body cover, so it's not uncommon for air filters to exceed their 20,000 kilometer lifespan. The Honda Goldwing GL1800 Grand Touring comes with a 25-level electronic rear preload adjustment suspension operated via a few simple buttons. With the ignition on and the engine off set the level to zero and press the adjustment button to increase the preload to its maximum – you should hear the engine whir by the right hand pannier. If the sound from the engine changes as you increase the preload the hose needs replacing. Most Honda Bigwing Service Centers recommend replacing the entire system (50,000 THB), or replace the rubber hose with a braided one (4400 THB).
Honda is trying hard to find an alternative suspension for the front section of the Honda Goldwing. The anti-dive valve on the Goldwing GL1800 located on the left fork leg is prone to seizing or binding. Take the motorcycle off its centerstand, hold the front brake and then bounce the front end as hard as you can until the front end locks up. Once you let off the brake the suspension should be free to compress once again, if it doesn't the valve is sticking and needs service…
If you going to buy a Honda Goldwing GL1800 second hand, you should know there's an auxiliary power supply beneath the front left fairing pocket. Pull out the plastic lining and check the condition of the wiring. If previous owners have tried to self-fit-electric gadgets it could be a mes of tangled wiring and bulled connectors overloading the battery.
Instantly dismiss any Honda GL1800 that show signs of amateur electrical installations. Bodged and not to specification electric modifications are the only real weakness of a Honda Goldwing GL1800.
In Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia where the Honda GL1800 is sold you can find a good amount of modifying and accessories which are part of the local and regional Honda Goldwing culture. Trouble is parts can be of poor quality and the fitting not up to standard. So be really careful with this, especially when it comes to safety and electronic modifying parts.
A lot of people have maybe the idea that we have something against the Honda Goldwing GL1800 Grand Touring, the truth could not be more different. We actually love the Honda Goldwing, while we probably will never own one ourselves. Same I not bought a sportscar in Thailand, I probably could have bought one without much fuss, but servicing one over the years of ownership is another story. The Japanese 4-wheeler I have now in top shape and nobody touch it other than the original manufacturer.
With the Honda Goldwing GL1800 Grand Touring it's often the case that people who want to sell the motorcycle have skipped a few serious Honda service appointment due to cost. Owners who want to sell the bike will tell about service parts replacements but the service logbook doesn't have the original Honda stickers.