Introduced in 1975, the Honda GL 1000 was a stunning technical achievement. The original was the worlds biggest, heaviest and second fastest bike available at the time (only the mighty Kawasaki Z1 was FASTER).
Novel features included a liquid-cooled flat four engine, belt-driven overhead cams, shaft drive, triple disk brakes, under-seat fuel tank, counter-rotating alternator, two oil pumps and detachable back-up kick-start lever.
Honda used the 1974 Cologne Motorcycle Show showcase its considerable engineering prowess and put other motorcycle manufacturers on their back foot just by it’s sheer technical ability. With the GL1000, for the first time, Honda engineers from both two wheeled and four wheeled design shops co-operated in the final signing off of the 1975 Goldwing, a true milestone in motorcycle design.
Incidentally, Honda engineers looked very closely at Alfa Romeo in Italy when laying out the Goldwing engine, the flat four Alfasud unit, launched in 1971 bears more than a passing resemblance!