I caught the tail end of a new show on HD Theater Monday night called, “Twist the Throttle.” It’s touted as being an eight part series about the greatest motorcycle brands in the world. This particular segment was about Honda. I wish I’d caught the whole show. I think it covered a lot of historical material about the company.
They showed the 1975 GL1000, or original Goldwing. I’m used to the Ultra Touring bike that is the Goldwing of today. An 1800 cc monster weighing in at almost 1,200 lbs with more electric convinces than found on the average family car. I’d have never recognized the sporty looking 999 cc little bike with the flat four engine, not a saddlebag in sight, and weighing in at a puny 602 lbs, as a Goldwing. Honda has certainly had an impact on the motorcycle world. It’s hard to understand how the company that produced the Goldwing has generally given up on power cruisers. Only the venerable Goldwing has survived the general halrlyfication of the rice burner brands. Gone are the Magna V-fours, the and the flat-six Valkyries. Nothing but V-twins everywhere you look.
What’s a V-four lover to do? Oddly enough, buy a Harley. OK, it doesn’t come with a stock V-four. But you can buy a V-four Harley type engine to go in it from a company called V-quad. These monsters produce 250 horsepower in a 215 cubic inch engine. That would be the equivalent of a 3500 cc engine in the metric world. Other than a Boss Hoss, is there another production bike out there with that much displacement?
With any luck, this will be a good seller, prompting Harley-Davidson to start offering stock bikes with the V-quad. Then, as Japan continues to copy Harley, we’ll eventually get a good Japanese V-four bike again.
– Guy Wheatley