2003 Honda Gold Wing

3 ratings (3 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

The BEST tour bike EVER made bar none!

Jul 21, 2003 (Updated Jan 18, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Reliability:
  • Comfort:
  • Handling And Control:
  • Quality and Craftsmanship:

Pros:The BEST tour bike EVER made

Cons:Heavy, minor quarks

The Bottom Line: This is the BEST motorcycle you can get for long distance riding. Nothing comes close.


How best to describe the Honda Goldwing? Incredible, flawless, perfect? Nothing in real life is ever perfect, but this bike comes as close to perfection as a motorcycle can come. I have been riding for over 20 years and have been an active semiprofessional racer for the last ten. I have owned three different full dress tour bikes, a 1988 Kawasaki Voyager, 1996 BMW K1200RT and a 1999 Goldwing GL1500. The last Goldwing had 77,000 miles on it when I sold it. Additionally I took a 2700-mile trip with my wife on a friends 2003 Harley Electra Glide while my tour bike was being repaired after being hit by a car. A word about the crash worthiness of the GL1800; A BMW 740i hit my Honda in a parking lot. The bike was knocked over on the right side. There were numerous scratches, missing right mirror, collapsed left luggage bag. All in all my first thought was that the bike would be totaled out. Total cost of repairs is $3600.00. Much less than I first thought. I just can’t wait until I can get it back. Since purchasing the big Honda in March 㤋 I have put 3100 miles on it.
So how is the Goldwing? Big. That about sums it up. It’s a big bike. Honda says it weighs around 740 lbs, but I think it should be more like 850lbs. Luggage is great. All the tops are lockable; the tops also have a gasket to keep out water. They shut smoothly and evenly; no deformation or pounding on them to click shut is necessary. They do not come with a lamp, but the dealer can install one for about $50.00. The seats are well padded; give good lower back support and are plush. I am pretty short (5'6") and I have some problems reaching the ground. It does not bother me though. The back support for the driver I have found a little bothersome after long hours, and the seat gets a little hard after seven or eight hours of riding. Nothing too substantial to detract from the overall comfort of the bike. The controls are simple and easy to read. Amazingly enough the gas gage is accurate! The center console on the tank has all the controls for stereo, CB, and intercom. I had a GPS unit installed, MiniDisc player, and cell phone adapter (these are all aftermarket adaptations that a Honda dealer can do). The inside of the fairing has several pockets for wallet, glasses, CD's, and junk. Two are lockable.
The transmission is flawless, smooth shifting and positive. Clutch pull is a little tight but nothing like the Harley Electra Glide. Brakes come in two types; Honda linked braking with or without ABS. I hate the LBS system that Honda has been trying to push off on the public for something like 15 years now. Basically what it does is by pulling on the front brake handle you actuate both the front and rear brakes. The same is true by pushing on the rear brake pedal. I don't like ABS on bikes so I didn't purchase that option. If it were practical to remove the Honda LBS I would. Aside from that gripe about Honda's LBS the brakes are fantastic.
The 1800cc engine is wonderful. My GL1500 felt slow and sluggish compared to this one. Lots of low-end torque, enough to enable heart-stopping wheelies on a $20,000 bike. You do have to clutch it up in first, which was somewhat disappointing, but it's the first Goldwing that I have ever owned that would do a wheelie. I don't recommend anyone ever try this. Cruising down the highway at 100 mph is a breeze. The engine noise is completely imperceptible. The ride is smooth as glass and the bike will do it as long as there is gas in the tank. Passing cars on two lane roads doesn't require a downshift, but I do it anyway to wind the big motor up. Cruise control is spot on, keeping your speed steady within two or three MPH. I ran it up to the top end and saw 133 on the GPS and 135 MPH indicated. Not too bad for an 800 lb bike. For cruising I feel most comfortable around 85-95 MPH. It gets around 40 MPG with an average speed of 90MPH. Pretty good in my book.
Stereo is adequate, mine came with a 6 disk CD. There are controls on the left handle bar for it's operation and I had remote controls for radio and CD/MD installed for my wife in the back. The back seat is as good as the front. My wife is able to see over my head from her perch and is quite comfortable. She has commented that the back does get some extra wind. The speakers are pretty weak so don't bother with them. Get good helmets and put earphones in them, you will be much happier with that arrangement.
How does it handle? Amazingly enough it handles like a sport bike. Yah, it weighs in at over 800lbs but man does that bike handle well. Hairpins, switchbacks, doesn’t matter this bike will take them in stride. You cannot fault the way this bike handles. Honda really did come up with the proper combination of weight bias, and steering geometry when they designed this bike. Every time I get on it and go for a ride I am thoroughly floored by how well this bike handles twisty roads. Of course when going in a straight line it does just as well…I have been considering taking it out on the racetrack for a spin to see what kind of times it will do. Should be pretty interesting.
What is wrong with it? Aside from the weight not very much. When the bike was knocked over it took 3 people to get it back up again. Some of the plastic flashing is pretty cheesy. I hate the Honda LBS with a passion but I am able to get around it. Humm, if it had an air conditioner I guess it would be a car? My wife has commented that she would like to see a little more storage for the passenger and a little better wind protection. Overall it is one of the best motorcycles ever built. There is a huge group of American Goldwing owners and it is quite obvious that it will continue to grow.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 21270
Condition: New
Model Year: 2003

Read all comments (5)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Honda Gold Wing Gl1200 Left Hand Mirror - Free Usa Shipping

Honda Gold Wing Gl1200 Left Hand Mirror - Free Usa Shipping

cycle-cellar Store Honda Gold Wing GL1200 LEFT Hand Mirror - Free USA Shipping 20-87052 Description Honda Gold Wing GL1200 Left Hand Mirror. Brand new...
eBay

$38.77

FREE Shipping
Starter Fits Honda Gold Wing Gl1200 1985 1986 1987 1200

Starter Fits Honda Gold Wing Gl1200 1985 1986 1987 1200

100% NEW AFTERMARKET STARTER 12 VOLT CCW USED ON: HONDA MOTORCYCLE GL1200A Gold Wing Aspencade 1181cc Engine 1985-1987 GL1200I Gold Wing Interstate 11...
eBay

$105.00

FREE Shipping
Honda Gold Wing Gl1100 Spark Plug Wires All Years All Models

Honda Gold Wing Gl1100 Spark Plug Wires All Years All Models

cycle-cellar Store Honda Gold Wing GL1100 Spark Plug Wires All Years All Models Description GL1100 Gold Wing Spark Plug Wires BRAND Parts Unlimited CO...
eBay

$11.88

FREE Shipping
2013 Honda Gold Wing Goldwing F6b Stock Factory Windshield

2013 Honda Gold Wing Goldwing F6b Stock Factory Windshield

2013 Honda Gold Wing Goldwing F6B Stock Factory Windshield Description:This listing is for a short windshield for the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing F6B. The ...
eBay

$99.00

FREE Shipping
Honda Gl1200l Gold Wing 1985-1985 Starter Rebuild Kit By Arrowhead

Honda Gl1200l Gold Wing 1985-1985 Starter Rebuild Kit By Arrowhead

ARROWHEAD Honda GL1200L Gold Wing LTD 1985-1985 Starter Rebuild Kit By Arrowhead1-800-983-2210 Product Description Payments Shipping International Shi...
eBay
Front Wheel Bearing Honda GL1500 J/K/L Gold Wing Ball Bearings

Front Wheel Bearing Honda GL1500 J/K/L Gold Wing Ball Bearings

Front Wheel Bearings (Pair) Honda GL1500 J/K/L Gold Wing Model 96-04 Set of 2 Ball Bearings Set of 2 ball bearings for use in the Fro...
VXB Bearings

$12.95

+$4.99 shipping
Alternator Honda Gold Wing Gl1500a Gl1500i Gl1500se

Alternator Honda Gold Wing Gl1500a Gl1500i Gl1500se

Search Our Store: Visit Our Store About Us Payment Information Shipping Information Checkout Contact Us FAQ New Alternator Honda Gold Wing...
eBay

$130.94

FREE Shipping
Honda Gold Wing 01-05 Gl1800 Service Manual,new,free Ship

Honda Gold Wing 01-05 Gl1800 Service Manual,new,free Ship

TM HONDA GOLD WING GL1800 SERVICE MANUAL 01-05 MODELS SERVICE AND ELECTRICAL TROUBLESHOOTING Honda Genuine Service Manuals lead the industry with clea...
eBay

$74.95

FREE Shipping
Honda Gl1200 Gold Wing Front Fork Seals 1984-1987

Honda Gl1200 Gold Wing Front Fork Seals 1984-1987

Orange Cycle Parts Ebay HONDA GL1200 Gold Wing FRONT FORK SEALS 1984-1987 $ 12.49 Description For secure oil levels and reduced stiction, replace thos...
eBay

$12.49

FREE Shipping
2001 To Present Honda Gold Wing Motorcycle Key

2001 To Present Honda Gold Wing Motorcycle Key

Get that extra key. This is a new,uncut,Gold Wing key blank for the following motorcycle: MOST HONDA Gold Wing: 2001 to present using codes 5001-8442 ...
eBay

$8.54

FREE Shipping