Honda GL1000 Gold Wing

Honda GL1000 Gold Wing custom
The custom motorcycle scene is driven by fashion as much as any other. Over the past couple of decades we’ve seen the rise of the ubiquitous CB750 custom, followed by the SR400/500 and Kawasaki W650. But now I’m starting to wonder if the next trend will be repurposed old sleds like the Honda Gold Wing. They seem to be popping up everywhere, and some of them are quite intriguing. Here’s one built by Texas-based Ric Becker, who sells and restores tandem bicycles for a living. In his spare time, Ric likes to build faster machines—like this 1976 GL1000. It arrived at his door as a gift from a customer who didn’t want to see the bike go to waste: although it had only 23,000 miles on the clock, it’d spent several years outside, rusting away. Ric spent the next seven months working on the bike, doing all the restoration and modifications himself—apart from the new seat and tail unit, which are aftermarket items. The exhaust system uses GL1200 headers feeding into Harley-Davidson mufflers but the paint scheme and logos are Ric’s own designs. “I tried to capture a production 1950s-60s look,” he says. Ric’s bike is now the front-runner for the Bike of the Year competition at the Naked Gold Wings club forum: you can see the build in more detail on this thread. [Thanks to Richard Mattrass.]

Honda GL1000 Gold Wing custom
Honda GL1000 Gold Wing custom
Honda GL1000 Gold Wing custom

  • http://www.dirtypixel.com dirtypixel

    Glad to see that the custom Goldwings appear to be getting more attention, as there is a lot of great builds on the Naked Goldwings site! I hope this doesn’t catch on too much though, I was looking forward to snatching one up for the Dirtbag Challenge next year…

  • Tinman

    Wow, A Gold Wing Street Tracker, very cool. I bet it dont weigh much more than my Rubber Sporty Tracker. 1st a Wing Scrambler now a Tracker, I think this is a great use of older low cost bikes. The only thing Id change is the Chrome front fender, Black would blend in better for a trac look.

  • roger

    totally sick build, i dig it.

  • Tanner

    The only thing that ‘qualifies’ this bike as a Street Tracker would be the seat and tail piece – which look out of place IMO.

    Other than that it looks like an A+ for workmanship.

  • Brad

    I like it. Looks sharp. Love the HM Honda wing.
    The only thing I’m not sure of is the flat tracker type seat.
    It looks good though, I have to admit.

  • Greybeard

    Who cares what you call it?
    It’s beautiful and the detailing is top notch.
    Must be huge fun to ride!

  • SkipW

    Love it! I love the way builders imaginations have literally taken off. When I built my Harley street tracker 15 years ago, the only accepted options were a Triumph tracker or a Harley, anything else would have simply been laughed off the road, or derided by the purists. This is bike represents the biking world’s newfound ‘freedom of screech’! Anything is now possible.

  • anton 3000

    That’s got to be one of the nicest looking Goldwings I’ve ever seen!

  • joe momma

    …..really……i got this very handsome refridgerator……??

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    I like his aim at a 50-60’s production motorcycle, and it shows in the final trim. The only qualm I feel is that universal streetracker seat doesn’t belong on what otherwise is a great motorcycle. Need proof? Close one eye and place your thumb over the seat, then over the front of the bike- you wouldn’t expect the seat from the front perspective and vice-versa.

    I would suggest a long length seat like on a Bonneville, but that’s just my opinion as I’m sure the builder had his own ideas going into the project.

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    I like his aim at a 50-60’s production motorcycle, and it shows in the final trim. The only qualm I feel is that universal streettracker seat doesn’t belong on what otherwise is a great motorcycle. Need proof? Close one eye and place your thumb over the seat, then over the front of the bike- you wouldn’t expect the seat from the front perspective and vice-versa.

    I would suggest a long length seat like on a Bonneville, but that’s just my opinion as I’m sure the builder had his own ideas going into the project.

  • kik

    This bike always has been one of my dreams, now even more….amazing..

  • rocky0

    beautiful bike,good use of contrasting colors to make the bike look streamlined and not bulky.looks like a good, functional, long haul bike(even with the thin seat) excluding the old faint hearted,hemmorrhoid sufferrers.

  • bryguy9

    Damn! I do love me some old wing. What do the Harley pipes sound like? Clip anywhere? Please!

  • kik

    @ Emmet. The original factory seat is like a british twin’s, I think he was trying to make his stand out. @RockyO, I have an old friend that actualy rides on a harley with a hemoroid pillow, so why not?

  • Kerry

    I’d like this bike much more if the frame was a different color. Otherwise, it’s a great example.

  • RobL

    Beautiful bike. Interesting how the classic paint scheme gives it a very European look. If one were to take just a quick glance, it almost looks like Photoshop-stretched R60/2… longer boxer motor, longer tank, longer seat.

    My only nit would be that the rest of the bike is sporty enough to get a more aggressive handlebar treatment.

  • Lew

    I dislike modern Goldwings, but this I love……….

    Absolutely lovely workmanship here, beautiful and well proportioned and practical.

  • rocky0

    @kik,your old friend puts aside personal discomfort to continue riding,now thats dedication,and the love to ride.I salute the riders that ride these spartan style bikes in spite of the creature comforts a newer or more exspensive bike provides.even a pauper can enjoy the pleasure of riding.

  • el vencejo

    A great improvement on the original… and I like the shorty seat :)
    Don’t think he’s looking for a tracker look, just using available parts that fit the purpose.

  • Jim

    Interesting how when the GW was introduced it seemed positively huge in comparison to other bikes, but now those GWs seems small. Wonderful workmanship. Let’s see more.

  • RobL

    @ Jim: very good point, the older ‘Wings aren’t that big by modern standards. A lot of the older bikes are small by the standards of modern rider size. Hurray for nutrition and an average height greater than “jockey”!

  • http://www.gethooked.info Cedric

    Big and heavy bike, can it really be the future of custom motorcycles? I do not have the answer but i have to acknowledge that this Honda looks really nice. Great look.

  • ac

    pimpin…
    I love this, always liked the naked GLs from the ’70s someone beat me to it.
    Nice job.
    I like the seat.

  • http://www.ngwclub.com/gallery/v/wingmans/baci/ baci

    As a proud owner of a ’78 nekkidwing I’m here to report that the ride is not “tank” like at all. I stepped up to the wing from a ’75 cb360t and the GL1000 is a dream to handle. I actually have that same exhaust configuration and it sounds great. Rich without being annoying. With the pipes swept up and tucked in it gives her a pretty little tight rear end, just how I like ‘em. Cheers to bikeexif for having a broad perspective on an emerging scene. BTW so far 3 other fellows I ride with have GL1000’s and we’re working on a 5th. I too hope it doesn’t gain to much popularity as that’ll send parts through the roof.

  • Doyle

    Really nicely done…