Honda ups the ante again with the ultimate touring bike, the fourth-generation Gold Wing GL1500 six-cylinder. The 1520cc six sets fresh standards of smoothness, silence and power for the class, while an all-new chassis redefines the limits of handling and comfort, and a unique-to-motorcycling reverse gear and single-key operation of the saddlebag and trunk lids offer unparalleled convenience.
Few changes are needed for such a landmark model, even in its second year of production. The six remains as a single model with no variants, and, as in '88, options include a CB radio, saddlebag light kit, cornering light kit, color-matched saddlebag and trunk spoilers, color-matched lower leg air vents, a rear speaker kit, a trunk light/mirror, a passenger audio control, and exit vent trim.
An SE model joins the standard GL1500, and both benefit from a host of updates for 1990, including carb and cam revisions for better rideability, noise reductions, even tighter bodywork fit and finish, and smoother fork action. The SE sports special two-tone paint, a three-position center windscreen vent, a special rear trunk spoiler with running/brake light, adjustable passenger footrests, and a upgraded, full-logic sound system.
Once again, the Gold Wing counts three members in its extended family, with the SE joined by Aspencade and Interstate models. The SE remains largely unchanged for '91 save for new two-tone gold paint, and the Aspencade takes on the role of the previous standard-model GL1500. The new model, the Interstate, features a redesigned seat for an 0.8-inch-lower saddle height, and 40 pounds less weight for a sportier, more maneuverable feel.
Big news for the Gold Wing line in 1992 centers on the Interstate, with a revised and upgraded sound system. The Panasonic unit features a 25-watt-per-channel amplifier, standard GL speakers, large and easy-to-use knobs, an intercom, a CB radio interface, a handlebar-mounted control unit, and a special input jack connector allowing the use of a portable cassette or CD player.
Each Gold Wing model now comes in three colors, with the SE benefiting from such updates as rear-mounted speakers and 40-channel CB radio that were previously optional. On the SE and the Aspencade, the cruise control now reads crankshaft speed more directly for more precise road-speed control. All 1520cc six-cylinder engines now use needle bearings in their rocker arm pivots.
Nearly two decades after its introduction, the Gold Wing continues to define the touring class through the process of continuous refinement. Honda again offers three models for '94, the SE in four color choices, and the Aspencade and Interstate in three choices each. The Interstate carries on in its role as the lightest member of the Wing family, the Aspencade remains the full-featured model, and the SE anchors the very top of the Wing family tree.
Honda celebrates two decades of touring excellence with the 20th Anniversary Gold Wings. The Interstate, Aspencade and SE are all distinguished by commemorative gold trim, a distinctive new headlight signature, and other styling treatments. Beneath the surface, the Gold Wings also boast a lower seat height and sporty new suspension that offers even greater agility while maintaining the Wing's legendary ride compliance.
Two decades after its introduction, the Gold Wing still stands in a class of its own as the ultimate luxury touring machine. Honda makes no major model changes to the Gold Wing line until the venerable GL1500 is replaced with the radical aluminum-frame Gold Wing 1800.