“GL1100 Interstate model, the first ever mass produced Japanese motorcycle to roll off the production line fully fitted as a proper touring motorcycle..”
Previously we discussed what is a motorcycle. We then broke them into 7 basic categories which included Touring, Cruiser, Sport, Standard, Dual Sport, Off-Road and Scooters. Today we will focus on the Touring class of motorcycles and the 2012 Honda Goldwing in particular since for decades the Goldwing set the standard for all other touring motorcycles to follow.
In 1980 Honda released their GL1100 Interstate model, the first ever mass produced Japanese motorcycle to roll off the production line fully fitted as a proper touring motorcycle. Even back then the Goldwing was fitted with accessories both standard and after-market that no other brand could compete with. In the decades that followed their commitment to innovation has made it renowned as the ultimate touring motorcycle, a title that the Goldwing has held more or less unchallenged ever since. Every major motorcycle manufacturer has full dress touring bikes to choose from not to mention Harley-Davidson and their near limitless number of available ‘baggers’ but the Gold Wing has been setting the standard since day one.
“Like all motorcycles touring bikes do more than fill a highly specialized niche.”
Touring motorcycles often mean different things to different people. Since their inception people have used them for a variety of purposes. While many riders enjoy taking long distance cross country trips on their touring bikes others never leave the city, preferring to use the the immense storage capacity of the touring motorcycles to make trips to the store or just to carry all of their riding gear.
The large amounts of storage really sets the touring class of motorcycles apart from the rest. Combined with the full front fairings and windshields, hard bags and large displacement motors they truly are the Cadillac of the 2 wheel world. Smooth and powerful, todays selection of touring bikes are so well balanced they can be deceptively nimble and easy to ride despite their size and weight. In addition to the highly advanced level of engineering modern touring bikes have almost all of the comforts of home. Integrated stereo systems, GPS navigation, cruise control, accent lighting and even heated grips and seats. Many riders even incorporate helmet to helmet communication systems so the riders and passengers can talk to each other as they cruise down the highway.
Like all motorcycles touring bikes do more than fill a highly specialized niche. With versatility and power supplemented by endless options and accessories they really have a lot more functionality than just long distance traveling. With all the choices these days you can trust the Honda Gold Wing to lead the pack in innovation, design, and function.
In the coming weeks I will discuss the other categories of motorcycles, giving a brief history, more detailed description and popular examples of each.
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