The Honda Goldwing may not seem like an ideal donor bike for a custom build, but the big Honda boxers are increasingly finding their way into the hands of builders all over the world. The most popular custom Goldwings seem to be the early flat-fours, before the introduction of the flat-six in 1987 with the GL1500.
The bike you see here is a 1981 GL1100, which came with a 1085cc, 81-hp flat-four, capable of pushing the long-range heavyweight to a quarter-mile time of around 12.5 seconds at 107 mph — not bad for a 599 lb tourer! These bikes have aged well in terms of maintenance and can be bought for a song on the local classifieds. What better platform for a custom bike capable of touring?
Enter Giorgio De Angelis, founder of De Angelis Elaborazioni.it. His customs have been featured on the major internationa. blogs and exhibited in shows all over Europe, including MotorBike Expo in Verona, The Bike Shed London, Eternal City Custom Show, and Moto Days in Rome. However, when it came time to a bike for his personal use, Giorgio decided the Honda GL1100 Goldwing would fit the bill nicely:
“The motorbike was a big and very thoughtful travel motorcycle — my intent was to lighten it but at the same time make it very elegant.”
Giorgio defines the bike as a cafe racer, though it reminds us more of a muscle bike in gentlemanly attire — a heavyweight boxer clad in a bespoke suit. Below, we get the details on the build.
Custom GL1100 Goldwing: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Honda Gold Wing GL1100, 1981.
• Why was this bike built?
It’s my bike.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The motorbike was a big and very thoughtful travel motorcycle — my intent was to lighten it but at the same time make it very elegant.
• How would you classify this bike?
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?