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Old 10-23-2012, 06:59 AM   #1
mrbreeze OP
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Why don't they...

Why don't they build a modern version of this bike. Touring amenities, comfort, light weight (for a touring bike), low maintenance, decent handling, good brakes and suspension...



I saw one of these the other day. Perfectly restored. It looked so much better than it's overgrown, overweight descendants...

I think the world needs a good 1000cc touring bike from Japan...(I know this is an 1100)

What bike would you like to see Japan build?
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:54 AM   #2
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I think the real question is "what could they..." Honda is in a unique position of being able to take some chances. HD will never take a chance, BMW... maybe, but like HD watches their market like a Scantron. Honestly I think we have enough "totally equipped" bikes in the market.

The thing I love about my K1200R (no longer avail in the USA) is that it is a super capable touring bike. Yeah, it's got all the toys -- electric suspension etc. -- but it's the small things: like the "sport fairing", which looks like a gimmick, but is incredibly efficient at blocking head winds without putting you behind a windshield. In other words, small things can make a big impact on how a bike performs and on the riding experience -- and attention to these, it seems, is what's ignored by manufacturers.

Sure, Honda could make a leaner, meaner Goldwing with lots of attention to aerodynamics etc., so it would retain its touring ability but not look like just another big, fat hunk on two wheels. This is the 21st Century and nearly all touring bikes still look like post WWII bikes looked. And that's NOT because it's the best way to make a bike, but the best way to sell one. IMHO
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:02 AM   #3
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My father in law owns and 82' and absolutely loves it. The thing is in my mind, not only could they build it, it's 30years later they could build it so much better. The ergo's and wind protection on it are great, and with a regular handlebar it's easier and cheaper to change the ergo's to suit.

Also of note, when I started to read this and at first glance I expected to see a GL650 silverwing pictured, smaller lighter package that while I have not ridden I think would perform very well considering the era it's from.

We have bikes like the connie, fjr13 etc but as much as I like them they all lean toward the sporting end unless you mod them quite a bit for comfort. My honest opinion is that the R1200rt is the closest thing we currently have to either the GL650 or GL10/11. I suspect the NT700v should be in the conversation but the scooter styling doesn't do much for me.


So a japanese bike, modern aluminum chassis, stressed member engine that's smooth around 1000cc, 100hp, full comfort amenities, abs....who am I kidding it aint gonna happen

Just too many bikes that are too specialized if you will. Some fantastic bikes out there just need to make a few tweeks. Also that GL1100 is no light weight IMO. My trophy 1200 feels like a scooter by comparison.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:31 AM   #4
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I think to some degree this bike segment is covered or falls so close to another segment most people prefer one style or type to another and the middle is left out. For example those who like the Harley Baggers VS Road King VS Victory Vision. Personally I prefer the sport touring (I know you do too) like the FJR1300, ZX1400 concours and the BMW k1600gt all three with good suspension relatively low maintenance and lighter than the ultra touring goldwing. I don't know just my $0.02

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Old 10-23-2012, 08:33 AM   #5
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Any of the Cyberpunk stuff will do!


Radial Engine...



No spokes here!
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:35 AM   #6
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I'm a huge fan of vintage GLs. I would love it if Honda just reproduced the original 1000 with modern updates but retaining the classic styling. The GL1000 and GL1100 are excellent bikes. With a stiffer, lighter frame, FI, modern suspension and brakes w/ ABS, and a decent charging system, it would be my dream bike. Oh, and make sure there's a naked version! (yeah, yeah I know, the Valkyrie, whatever, it's a nice bike but it's almost as huge as the fully-faired Goldwings. And I have much more fun with my 4-cylinder Wings than the 6-cylinders. 8500 RPM redline on the 1000 vs 5000ish on the 1500? Much more fun to wring out the older engines than to chuff along with the newer ones.)

Bring back the standards!
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
Why don't they build a modern version of this bike. Touring amenities, comfort, light weight (for a touring bike), low maintenance, decent handling, good brakes and suspension...



?

There is a perfectly good motorcycle under that shit box of plastic.

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Old 10-23-2012, 08:42 AM   #8
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Everything I can think of has a modern equivalent, either from Japan or Europe.

It is somewhat amazing that BMW hasn't made a retro boxer, that Honda doesn't have a retro CB or GL line, but then, Triumph seems to have that market cornered, at least in the US. I dunno that they could sell enough for it to make any sense.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
There is a perfectly good motorcycle under that shit box of plastic.

I think that's the allure of the old GL's, under all that crap there is a good motorcycle. I'm not saying the new one isn't, it's just so much more and now more specific in it's goals.

GB is pretty well spot on in that there isn't any singular gap in the market to come out with an all new machine. We've got tons of choices now, but we are still going to dream about that "perfect for me" bike. I've had 3 bikes this summer....I'll keep looking lol.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
Why don't they build a modern version of this bike. Touring amenities, comfort, light weight (for a touring bike), low maintenance, decent handling, good brakes and suspension...

I saw one of these the other day. Perfectly restored. It looked so much better than it's overgrown, overweight descendants...

I think the world needs a good 1000cc touring bike from Japan...(I know this is an 1100)

What bike would you like to see Japan build?
The Honda NC700 is pretty much what you just described.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
Why don't they build a modern version of this bike. Touring amenities, comfort, light weight (for a touring bike), low maintenance, decent handling, good brakes and suspension...
VStrom 1000 with Madstad windshield? Brakes and suspension are already better than the laughable subsitutes they used in the 80s.

I own a GL1200 and it does just fine for my wife and I. Sure would like less wobbly handling and a riding position that is better suited to someone 6'+.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
Why don't they build a modern version of this bike. Touring amenities, comfort, light weight (for a touring bike), low maintenance, decent handling, good brakes and suspension...



I saw one of these the other day. Perfectly restored. It looked so much better than it's overgrown, overweight descendants...

I think the world needs a good 1000cc touring bike from Japan...(I know this is an 1100)

What bike would you like to see Japan build?
I agree 100%. I own a 1985 Goldwing 1200 LTD. Thats the one with fuel injection. I would definitely prefer carbs, but the FI mechanicals are actually easier to work on, and the electronics are still working (analog electronics, not digital like the junk today). This bike was given to me in non running condition by a friend of a friend who was moving right away, knew it wasn't worth much, and wanted it gone. After a couple hundred hours work, stripping it down to the frame and engine, and removing everything I felt it didn't need (all the emissions crap, some aftermarket accessories, the trip computer, stereo, rear armrests, speakers, what looked like an oven door handle on the trunk lid, on board air compressor and suspension self leveling system, cruise control, and dozens of small parts. The crankcase breather assembly had 27 separate parts, it now has one, a hose) literally a truck load of parts. I now have a very basic Goldwing. It still has the fairing, trunk and bags, which I use, but absolutely no gadgets.

I belong to a couple of Goldwing forums, and I quickly found out that this is not what most Goldwing owners want. They want gadgets, and the more the better. They want a 2 wheeled car. They even got upset that I had removed all the stuff from my bike (none of it was any good, and none of it worked anyway)

So I am pretty happy with my bike, but have always preferred the looks of the base model 1100 Interstate in wineberry with gold pinstriping. IMO, one of the best looking bikes ever made. I have found a lot of them on Craigslist in really nice condition, but there are no parts available. The hardest part of rebuilding my 1200 was lack of parts availability. I bought a lot of used parts off eBay, used car parts, plumbing parts, even had to fabricate some of my own parts.


I am pretty disenchanted with motorcycles in general right now. I loved the bikes that were being made back in the early '70s, when I first started riding on the street. Seems to be nothing but technojunk covered in plastic out there now. I can actually walk into a dealer, and not find anything I want. There are older Japanese bikes out there, but no parts to keep them going. I guess I will have to get an older Harley, even though that is not what I really want, just because there are plenty of parts for them. A carbureted EVO powered Electra Glide would be nice. It IS possible to make a Harley fairly quiet, though there is not much you can do about the vibration.

If Honda made a brand new GL1100 Interstate just like that one, with NO gadgets on it, I would buy it. But they would need a lot more customers to make a profit, and these days people want more, more, and more. And bigger and bigger. Harley already has a factory built trike, and I expect Honda to follow suit with a factory built Goldwing trike in the near future. Enough is enough. Motorcycles aren't even motorcycles anymore, at least by my definition.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
Everything I can think of has a modern equivalent, either from Japan or Europe.

It is somewhat amazing that BMW hasn't made a retro boxer, that Honda doesn't have a retro CB or GL line, but then, Triumph seems to have that market cornered, at least in the US. I dunno that they could sell enough for it to make any sense.

Maybe I am overlooking something, but I can't think of a true touring bike in the 1000cc neighborhood, from Japan. It seems to me the closest you can get is an underpowered, overweight cruiser, or over-powered, overweight sport tourer like a ST1300 or Concours.

Honda needs to replace the ST1300, why not do it with something that is not just another "sport tourer" with a bunch of gadgets on it? We don't need a better Concours or FJR. NC700 is good, but it was underpowered and too expensive. Also not designed in such a way as to allow much in the way of owner maintenance.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #14
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I agree 100%. I own a 1985 Goldwing 1200 LTD. Thats the one with fuel injection. I would definitely prefer carbs, but the FI mechanicals are actually easier to work on, and the electronics are still working (analog electronics, not digital like the junk today). This bike was given to me in non running condition by a friend of a friend who was moving right away, knew it wasn't worth much, and wanted it gone. After a couple hundred hours work, stripping it down to the frame and engine, and removing everything I felt it didn't need (all the emissions crap, some aftermarket accessories, the trip computer, stereo, rear armrests, speakers, what looked like an oven door handle on the trunk lid, on board air compressor and suspension self leveling system, cruise control, and dozens of small parts. The crankcase breather assembly had 27 separate parts, it now has one, a hose) literally a truck load of parts. I now have a very basic Goldwing. It still has the fairing, trunk and bags, which I use, but absolutely no gadgets.

I belong to a couple of Goldwing forums, and I quickly found out that this is not what most Goldwing owners want. They want gadgets, and the more the better. They want a 2 wheeled car. They even got upset that I had removed all the stuff from my bike (none of it was any good, and none of it worked anyway)

So I am pretty happy with my bike, but have always preferred the looks of the base model 1100 Interstate in wineberry with gold pinstriping. IMO, one of the best looking bikes ever made. I have found a lot of them on Craigslist in really nice condition, but there are no parts available. The hardest part of rebuilding my 1200 was lack of parts availability. I bought a lot of used parts off eBay, used car parts, plumbing parts, even had to fabricate some of my own parts.


I am pretty disenchanted with motorcycles in general right now. I loved the bikes that were being made back in the early '70s, when I first started riding on the street. Seems to be nothing but technojunk covered in plastic out there now. I can actually walk into a dealer, and not find anything I want. There are older Japanese bikes out there, but no parts to keep them going. I guess I will have to get an older Harley, even though that is not what I really want, just because there are plenty of parts for them. A carbureted EVO powered Electra Glide would be nice. It IS possible to make a Harley fairly quiet, though there is not much you can do about the vibration.

If Honda made a brand new GL1100 Interstate just like that one, with NO gadgets on it, I would buy it. But they would need a lot more customers to make a profit, and these days people want more, more, and more. And bigger and bigger. Harley already has a factory built trike, and I expect Honda to follow suit with a factory built Goldwing trike in the near future. Enough is enough. Motorcycles aren't even motorcycles anymore, at least by my definition.

Goldwing owners, at least a lot of them, are a different breed. I had a GL1500 for a couple of years and joined GWRRA, and I have to say I just didn't fit in.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:43 PM   #15
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Goldwing owners, at least a lot of them, are a different breed. I had a GL1500 for a couple of years and joined GWRRA, and I have to say I just didn't fit in.
There is a great forum for the 4-cylinder wings where people don't mind if you strip everything off, chop things up, or what have you. But yeah, the 6-cylinder wing owners tend to be a whole different type of rider. I'm in the process of rebuilding a GL1500 and I was looking around on the 6-cylinder forums for examples of bikes where the owner had actually removed chrome instead of tacking on an extra quarter ton of it. I found ONE bike.
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