The Honda Goldwing has been around since 1974. Which means it’s now been produced for 43 years, stopping for a one year break in 2011. And with sales of more than 640,000 motorcycles, it’s pretty popular. Even if it’s not your ideal bike, there are times you’ve probably wished for a big, luxurious cruising machine. Or fancied impressing everyone by turning up the onboard stereo to full, hitting all the lights, and riding around like an alien spaceship. And now you have another option, with Watsonian Sidecars for the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing 2nd Generation.
Just to be clear, this is the second generation of the GL1800 model, which was produced in Japan from 2012. The first generation of the GL1800 was launched in 2001, and was the last Gold Wing built in the U.S. The second gen GL1800 ran all the way up to the new redesigned 2018 GL1800 with a much sportier appearance. It’s got more of the look of an overstuffed VFR to it.
So the 2001 Honda Gold Wing GL1800 was the 5th generation overall for the series. And the 2012-2018 GL1800 was the second generation of the fifth. Which makes it the second great grand cousin twice-removed. Or something.
Either way, the 2012 Gold Wing had minor updates to the bodywork to give more space despite looking more streamlined. And some changes to the diamond multi box-section aluminium alloy frame. But the combination of the beam frame and enclosed bodywork mean that there are no mounting points for attachment arms. Which means to fit a sidecar, Watsonian had to develop a specific sub-frame for the Gold Wing.
The result is a Watsonian GL1800 sub-frame kit which mounts on existing points of the bike. And it allows the attachment arms to then be able to fit the attachment arms in the right place for the load paths and triangulation to keep things stable and secure. Normally four arms would be enough, but there’s an additional fifth lower connector for the GL1800 MK2 kit to cope with the extra weight of the Gold Wing and the low centre of gravity.
Want to fit an extra passenger or add some luggage space to your Gold Wing? The Watsonian Honda Gold Wing GL1800 (2012-2017) fitting kit will cost you £2,500 including VAT. And then you’ll need a sidecar, and can choose from the Watsonian Grand Prix, wide-body GP700 or Monza models. The Watsonian GP700 DL pictured above will cost from £6295. And Watsonian offer factory-fitting services, so you’re not sat at home trying to figure out how to connect the best part of £10,000 of subframe and sidecar.
And the smooth six-cylinder power plant, smooth suspension and unusual reverse gear makes the Gold Wing a particularly useful sidecar outfit choice. You get 118hp and 123 lbf-ft of torque. Plus the all-important six-speaker audio system with MP3 and iPod connectivity to let your sidecar passenger pick the tunes.