1984-1987 Honda GL1200 Aspencade

Honda GL1200 Aspencade Gold Wing compared to its Kawasaki ZG1300 Voyager and Suzuki GV1400 rivals.


  • Years produced 1984-1987
  • Claimed power  86hp @ 7,000rpm
  • Top speed 118mph
  • Engine 1,182cc (75.5mm x 66mm) liquid-cooled SOHC flat four
  • Weight 769lb (with half-tank fuel)
  • Price then/now $7,898 (1984)/ $2,500-$7,000

Honda’s Gold Wing was flying high in the 1980s. The second-generation GL1100 model became the first factory full-fairing Japanese tourer in Interstate and luxurious Aspencade versions. Sales were booming; and the made-in-Marysville, Ohio, Wing avoided Reagan-era import tariffs.

It is doubtful designer Shoichiro Irimajiri anticipated his 1974 shaft drive flat-four would evolve into the luxury liner it later became. The first production GL1000 Gold Wing was a sporty naked bike, but with many automotive features, like belt-drive overhead cams and liquid cooling — the first Japanese 4-stroke to use either.

It soon became clear that the GL was less successful as a sport bike, but was capable of comfortably eating up vast distances on fast roads. Before long, owners were fitting large fairings for weather protection — often the Windjammer from aerodynamics guru Craig Vetter. Honda got with the program in 1980, offering a factory installed fairing on its GL1100 Interstate. The package included a built-in stereo sound system, saddlebags and top box.

The even more luxurious Aspencade was launched in 1982 with a larger seat and more storage. Meanwhile, the other three Japanese makers were gearing up to siphon off some of Honda’s sales. First was the Kawasaki Voyager XIII, built around the monstrous KZ1300 inline six.

Then came Yamaha’s sophisticated Venture Royale V-four. And Suzuki’s GV1400 Cavalcade followed in 1985. Fortunately, the growing touring market meant there were enough sales to go round. As the pioneer and brand leader, the Gold Wing was the bike to beat — but engine-wise, the GL1100 was also the small bike in the bunch.

8/16/2020 10:23:08 PM

Perhaps now is the time for Honda to offer a retro-mod version of the GL1200. While I feel that Honda's latest Gold Wing is a tour-de-force, I can't help feel that a 1984 thru '87 retro style version would be a big hit with "wing nuts".This is exactly how H-D engineers and markets its line-up. Harely keeps upgrading and re-engineering it's line-up to make your Grandfather's ride to now include ABS, Cruise Control. and Liquid Cooling all while maintaining the same look and feel that your Granddad enjoyed! I feel if Honda would tap into it's own heritage with 21st Century versions of the Interstate and Aspencade. ~ General T

8/14/2020 10:46:23 PM

3 Japanese listed (4 shown) and this B Harley territory (touring). Not one shown?

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