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A ’78 Honda Goldwing? Yeah, It Really Is.

I don’t think I’ve ever said: ‘Hey, that’s a cool Honda Goldwing!’ – and I always thought I never would until I saw this machine here from Scott Halbleib of H Garage. For me, and many riders I know, the Honda Goldwing is as awful as it can get – granted, it’s a veritable behemoth of power, as comfortable as you like and as road touring goes, it’s what you need. However, it’s big, unsightly and borderline ridiculous. It divides opinion like no other machine, so I’m particularly happy to see something that’s changed mine. This machine, known as ‘No.5’, came around due to the lucky emergence of an affordable barn find and a lifelong ambition to strip one of the beasts down. Here it is.

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The new purchase quickly engulfed Scott’s garage and working around the Goldwing became impossible; first things first, it needed to be stripped down. The original idea was to turn the Goldwing into a bagger or something along those lines but as the parts were unbolted and removed a new idea began to take shape: a stripped down, naked Goldwing, with more than a hint of inspiration from a hot rod. As usual, the frame and engine were the first to receive a dose of TLC, with both being painted and reassembled. Next, the breather needed looking at; the air box was re-worked to accommodate a large sized, Holley filter.

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Scott tried to retain as much of the Honda stock parts as was feasible but only the original fenders were viable; almost everything else was bought in or fabricated in house – in fact, even the rear fender got the chop and was reworked to give a more streamlined impression. The drag bars, controls and cables were also bought in and a few bits of Motogadget technology and Speedhut were added into the mix. The pegs came from Knight Designs, for a KTM Adventure but were modified to fit the Goldwing. The seat pan is another unusual thing, made in house to wrap around the gas tank. Other fabrication included the face plate, and of course, the exhaust system.

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The exhaust system is pretty wild; each boasts a set of twin rectangular tips which give the machine a post-apocalyptic and aggressive look and a sound to match, no doubt.

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All of the electrical components and wiring were painstakingly replaced and updated, incorporating the all essential relays and switches for the modern LED lights and signals. Apart from the electrics and exhaust, the next big challenge was the tuning – with the large filter and new exhaust system in place, Scott outsourced the fine tuning to RetroWrench, who tuned it all to perfection.

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Overall, it’s a crazy piece. It’s great to see a custom that breaks the norm, with a designer and builder who aren’t afraid of bucking the trends. It might come across as a little too ‘post apocalyptic’ for the average rider but that shouldn’t stop any of us wanting to have a rip on it. Even people like me, the Honda Goldwing Haters Club, can’t help but admire this particular build. The seat might need a bit of extra work for my bony ass but then again, it wasn’t designed for me, was it? Full marks for trying something that’s not another café racer, bobber or scrambler fashion accessory.

If you’re looking for more edgy looking machines, check out this crazy lookin’ bagger!

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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