Honda Motorcycle Hooked Rider For Life
Owner and photographer: Joe Eddy
Year, Make, and Model: 1977 Honda GL1000 “Goldwing”
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA
I probably owe a great deal of my passion to my father. We have built fast machines our entire lives. It started when I was seven or eight my two brothers and I started building and racing soapbox derby cars with my father. Due to my father’s expert craftsmanship we had the absolute best cars. After that we each built a muscle car with my father. The car I built was my first car, a 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. We bought the basket-case ‘Vette when I was fifteen. We completely stripped it and restored it from the frame up. I drove it all through high school. Writing this I realize just how incredibly lucky I am to have such a great father. Unfortunately, our family fell on hard times and I had to sell the Corvette. My brothers had to sell the cars they restored as well. Being poor didn’t stop me from continuing to build projects though.
When I was twenty-four I bought my first motorcycle: a 1972 Honda CB750. This bike did two things for me. It completely sold me on the quality and absolute value of a Honda motorcycle; they are absolutely bulletproof, beautiful, and reliable. Secondly, it hooked me on riding motorcycles for life. I rebuilt my CB750, rode it for a season, and then had to sell it as I had nowhere to store it through the Michigan winter. I was now hooked and needed another. It took a few years but then came this 1977 Honda GL1000 that I found on Craigslist. I bought it when I was twenty eight. It didn’t run and was ugly as hell. After putting a small amount of money into her and spending lots of time in my father’s garage she was back up and running again.
A college kid was selling it, trying to raise money for the upcoming semester. The bike didn’t run, but turned over manually. That was good enough for me as I knew I could get it running. And it’s a true survivor. It has very low miles, under 26,000 in fact. However it certainly will continue to go up as I ride it EVERYWHERE! I was looking for a Goldwing because they’re unbelievably reliable. Also, I believe I’m the second official owner. The college kid I bought it from never registered it. The original owner, his old neighbor, just gave it to him. I’ve tried to contact the original owner but haven’t had any luck. But there were a few other reasons I bought it.
The GL1000 engine has been known to have no problem logging well over 300,000 miles. Amusingly, I get asked all the time what kind of engine it is because it’s so unique and no one seems to know what a Goldwing engine looks like under all that plastic. It was also cheap! I had an AWESOME project bike for five-hundred bucks. It didn’t cost a ton more to make it into what I wanted. Finally, the motorcycle is simply cool looking!
I have made some minor modifications to make it truly my own. It has a 1997 Honda Valkyrie seat that I custom fitted. A pre-war Harley taillight to help clean up the rear fender, vintage military-style leather saddle bags mounted with custom brackets, low-profile Euro bars with true gran turismo grips, and heat wrapped turndown Jardine pipes.
Riding in northern Michigan is my favorite, it’s beautiful countryside to tour. There are also long straightaways where you can really open her up! It’s under estimated everywhere but runs a quarter mile in about twelve or thirteen seconds. And the best part is that no one else has one quite like it. My refurbished, nearly forty-year-old Japanese bike turns more heads than a brand new Harley. And it gives me an excuse to visit my dad and spend time wrenching in the garage.
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