1985 Honda GL1200 Aspencade
Once sorted out, still the best Gold Wing
I bought this bike from an amateur mechanic that might have been good with cars, but not bikes. Because I've been repairing and restoring Gold Wings for over 20 years, I realized it had good bones, just needed to be sorted out. The brakes were dragging, the carbs were just totally wrong, and the air suspension was DOA. But it looked like a million and just needed some patience.
After a few months in the shop, working on it between customers, I got it sorted out. It was a California model, smogged, and had been rejetted with the wrong mains and hadn't had the low jets upgraded. After repairing all the wrongs, it ran perfectly and is my day to day bike.
With these 1200s, you should always straight wire the stator to bypass the plug, which overheats, melts and fries the stator wiring. Remove any extra lights, light bars, driving lights etc. and electrics are no longer a worry.
The 1200s are an excellent example of applied American engineering. They return good mileage, lots of torque, and once set up, are a reliable steed year in and year out.
I prefer the 1200 over subsequent models because of their handling, power and weight. The 1500s are overweight and the 1800s are just too darn expensive for the casual rider.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th March, 2016