The Honda Goldwing may not seem the ideal candidate for a cafe racer build. After all, the big shaft-drive machine has become the king of long-distance tourers — a machine intended for eating up long stretches of straight highway, not scraping pegs through the twisties or short-distance sprints through town to your coffee shop.
However, the early models — especially the four-cylinder GL1000 and GL1100 — are becoming more popular for cafe conversions, as builders reveal the burly beauty of these highway cruisers when they strip them down and lean them out. Plus, you might be surprised at the performance of the big Goldwing. Believe it or not, the original 1974 Honda GL1000 — powered by an 80-hp flat-four — was second only to the mighty Kawasaki Z1 in the quarter mile that year!
Below are some of the Goldwing cafe racers we’ve featured!
Supercharged Honda GL1000 Goldwing - Railman Mark Nevitt builds a supercharged Goldwing! Introduced in 1974, the Honda GL1000 Goldwing was the first Japanese production motorcycle to boast a liquid-cooled four-stroke engine — a 999cc flat-four that gave the 600-lb touring […] Cult of Personality: Honda GL1000 Custom - Not your granddaddy’s Goldwing! The original Honda GL1000 Goldwing debuted in 1974 with a 999cc liquid-cooled flat-four and a number of interesting design features, including a contra-rotating generator to counteract the engine’s torque, a below-seat […] Valkyrie Power: GL1000 Goldwing Cafe Racer - “Breathless” — a Valkyrie-Powered ’77 Goldwing from Dragon’s Motorcycles Photos courtesy of Diego Bermúdez of Revival of the Machine and builder Pablo Sebastián. The Honda GL1000 Goldwing may not seem like the best candidate for […] Honda GL1100 Goldwing by De Angelis Elaborazioni - 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 […] Honda GL1000 Goldwing Cafe Racer by 85 Speedshop - “Man-Size” Goldwing Cafe Racer from Denmark! Rune Kellberg is a 33 year-old single father who spends his spare time in his workshop, 85 Speed Shop, with his 6 year-old son — lucky kid! They love […] Custom Goldwing Cafe Racers by Hotwing Glass - Double Order of Hot Wings, Please… Not many people turn Gold Wings into café racers, but Dave Burgess of Hotwing Glass does, and we’re happy to be able to feature two of his unique creations. […] 1978 Honda GL1000 Goldwing Street Tracker - You know how there are those bikes that you get only a fleeting glance of as they blast down the road, and by the time you haul around the steering wheel or handlebars to chase […]