Honda Gold Wing 1500 Specificationsby Michael G. Sanchez
The GL1500 Gold Wing was the fourth generation of Honda's class-defining touring motorcycle. Introduced for the 1988 model year, it was larger, more powerful, more comfortable and more feature-packed than its predecessor. Throughout its 13-year production run, the Japanese company's flat-six-powered tourer was the touring bike to beat. Its main competitors included the Kawasaki Voyager, Yamaha Venture and BMW KLT1200. Its successor -- the Gold Wing 1800 -- took its place in 2001.
A Long-Distance Traveling Companion
Big, smooth and comfortable, the GL 1500 was designed for cross-country treks. The motorcycle's lengthy wheelbase measured 66.5 inches and its seat height was 29.1 inches. Its dry weight was a hefty 820 pounds. The big Honda's fuel capacity was 6.08 gallons. In mixed driving it averaged around 40 mpg. The Gold Wing 1500 came standard with an integrated trunk and passenger back rest.
Copious Power, Smooth Delivery
The Gold Wing 1500 was powered by a 1,520 cc flat-six engine. The four-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-overhead-cam unit generated 100 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 110.6 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. It featured dual 36 mm Keihin constant velocity carburetors. Power was directed to the pavement via a five-speed transmission and shaft final drive. The GL also featured a reverse gear, which employed the starter motor to back the bike up. An electronic cruise control system also came standard. The bike had a reported top speed of approximately 112 mph. It was no slouch when it came to acceleration, either. The big Honda could blast from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 5.3 seconds.
Three Trim Levels to Choose From
The 2000 Gold Wing could be had in one of three variants: Aspencade, Interstate or SE. The Aspencade was the standard model. The Interstate was the lighter, somewhat sportier version. It featured a 0.8-inch-lower seat height and weighed 40 pounds less than the Aspencade. The SE was the top-of-the-line, luxury-focused Gold Wing. It added adjustable windshield vents, two-way adjustable passenger footrests, illuminated switchgear, a foot-warming system, a rear spoiler with integrated brake light, a premium four-speaker stereo system and even a CB radio.
Confident Stopping & Cornering
While it was certainly a capable performer, Honda's engineers prioritized the bike's smoothness and stability over lightning-quick responses. The Gold Wing 1500 rode on a 130/70-18 front tire and a 160/80-16 tire out back. It featured a dual-disc front brake and a single-disc rear brake. The rotors of both measured 11.22 inches. An air-adjustable suspension with on-board compressor helped keep the bike stable and well-sorted under varying loads and riding conditions. Honda's TRAC system -- which was an acronym for Torque Reactive Anti-dive Control -- reduced front-end dive during braking.
Big Features, Big Price
For 2000, the Gold Wing 1500 started at $25,690. It was available in blue, green or red.