Which Honda Gold Wing Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Honda manufactures the Honda Gold Wing touring bikes. Shaft drive and a flat engine are standard on Gold Wings. The Honda Gold Wing is often regarded as a bulletproof motorbike.

However, not all years were pleasant. While the majority of Honda Gold Wing owners have an incredibly great experience, it’s prudent to know which models to avoid if you’re in the market for a Honda Gold Wing.

In this article here, I’ll explain which years of gold wing motors you should avoid and why, as well as which years are the safest to purchase.

Honda Goldwing Years to Avoid (List of Years)

As a traditional cross-country touring bike, the Honda Gold Wing has a slew of appealing attributes. These include its small size and ample storage space, as well as its powerful engine. 

However, few years of this renowned vintage motorcycle should be avoided since they are rife with problems, and owning them might bring you a great deal of discomfort

The following is a list of Gold Wing years that you should avoid-

  • 1978 Gold Wing
  • 1979 Gold Wing
  • 1984 Gold Wing
  • 1985 Gold Wing
  • 2001 Gold Wing
  • 2002 Gold Wing
  • 2003 Gold Wing
  • 2004 Gold Wing

All of these years have been marred by problems that may necessitate a costly repair. These years were marked by distinct problems that its owners had to deal with. Issues such as ignition problems, transmission problems, exhaust issues, and so on are typical.

Worst Years of Honda Goldwing:

  • 1984 Gold Wing
  • 1985 Gold Wing

No matter how well-known the Honda Gold Wing may be, the models did not always live up to expectations. This includes their 1984 and 1985 vehicles, which belong to the GL1200 series.

Many owners have voiced their displeasure with recent years’ worth of problems in particular.

Keep reading to learn more about their difficulties, which I’ll describe in the next paragraphs.

What Makes These Goldwing Years Worth Avoiding?

Based on my research, which included scrolling through several motorcycle forums, websites, and online platforms, I accumulated a plethora of information. To support my brief avoid list, here are the reasons why you should avoid them.

1978 and 1979 (GL1000) Honda Goldwing Problems:

The Honda underwent many modifications in 1978. It took years to get everything working correctly.

Changes include alterations to the seat, tank form, instrumentation, carburettors, exhaust system, camshafts, wheels, and the elimination of the kick-start.

Aside from its 265 kg dry weight, the GL1000 had a few flaws when it came to its size and shape.

1994 and 1995 (GL1200) Honda Goldwing Problems:

The GL1200 generation was responsible for the production of the model years 1984 and 1985.

Gold Wings from 1984 and 1985 do, in fact, suffer from ignition troubles. It is possible that your car may not start as a result of this.

It also has problems with the rear wheel, which may be the consequence of poor machining at the manufacturer.

A Honda recall was issued in 1984 because some people’s VINs could not fit into the brackets on their vehicles. Some property owners were required to make repairs on their own.

2001 to 2004 (GL1800) Honda Goldwing Problems:

This particular Goldwing has a slew of problems.

Cracking and welding of the GL1800 frame, among other issues problems with the power supply, transmission, and intercom systems are all to blame.

Ghost shifting in 5th gear was a common occurrence in the 1800s.It is a common complaint among motorcyclists that they are unable to ride without reaching for the clutch.

Due to the lack of a clutch lever, other passengers become disinterested in this vehicle.

Cracked frame is another issue of this variant, If you’re looking to buy or already possess a Gold Wing from the early 2000s, this is a critical concern to bear in mind.

To address concerns regarding cracked frames, American Honda issued a safety recall for 2002 and 2003 GL1800/A Gold Wing motorcycles in 2003.

There have been additional difficulties during these years. These are-

Sticky Handlebar Switches and other issues have been reported on various Gold Wing boards. On several Gold Wing models, push-on/push-off controls on the handlebars control features similar to cruise control. A problem with flashing warning lights and muffled sound was discovered.

Grease is applied inside to the shaft connecting the buttons to the inner switches. Over time, this grease accumulates dust and grime, impairing its lubricating ability and transforming it into more of an adhesive than a lubricant.

Blocked Secondary Master Cylinder issue is another one. This issue is afflicted a large number of Gold Wing models during the most of the 2000s.

If Gold Wing’s brake maintenance is less than routine, brake fluid sediments may hinder the secondary master cylinder’s check valve opening and cause difficulties.

In addition, Gold Wings are the most susceptible to corrosion.

Which Goldwing Years are Safe to Buy?

Here is the list of safest Goldwing model years that you can buy blindly:

  • 1980 Gold Wing
  • 1981 Gold Wing
  • 1982 Gold Wing
  • 1983 Gold Wing
  • 1986 Gold Wing
  • 1987 Gold Wing
  • 2006 Gold Wing
  • 2013 Gold Wing
  • 2018 Gold Wing

*Any of the more recent models from 2001 would be suitable for you to take a ride in.

There were no problems with the GL1100 (1980-1983) throughout that time period.

While driving a GL1200, there are two years in particular to steer clear of (1984 & 1995) as I mentioned earlier. But the 1986 and 1987 are best.

Between 1986 and 1987, the GL1200 was at its height.

In terms of performance, the GL1500 was at its peak between 1997 and 2001. (1988-2000). Try getting the 1997 or newer ones to stay away from issues.

For most riders, the GL1800 should be a decent fit. The fact that it was first debuted in 2001 makes it a great option for those who are concerned about the age of their motorbike. Apart from the years of this generation about which I told you, this is a fairly excellent deal.

2018 and 2013 versions have received positive reviews, so it may be the ideal choice for you as well.


Honda Gold Wing is a motorbike that is exceptionally dependable. Numerous owners have reported that their Wing has been trouble-free for years.

When it comes to reliability, Honda Gold Wings are unbeatable throughout generations. However, even the finest motorcycles have their down days. You may save yourself a lot of suffering if you know which years are bad and which years are great.

Make an informed decision before purchasing any gold wing model by reading this post. Nonetheless, I would advise you to do your own research in order to be more certain about the decision you choose.

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