Book Review by Sev Pearman

Honda Gold Wingbook42
Whitehorse Press Motorcycle Collector Series
by Darwin Holmstrom
79 pages, $14.95
Whitehorse Press, Copyright 2000
800.531.1133

This month’s library selection is a perfect match for our cover story. In just 79 pages, Mr. Holmstrom provides detailed overview of the history of motorcycling’s signature model.

Unless you are still riding a first-generation Whizzer, you know that Honda’s Gold Wing rules our highway. We’ve all heard the cracks about “Lead Wings” and “Slumberbagos,” but the GL1000, 1100, 1200 & 1500 (and now 1800-6) can be found everywhere. Were you aware that the thirteen-year production run of the GL1500-6 is longer than that of the first three other models combined? If you are still reading this, than this book is for you.

Mr. Holstrom tells the chronological story of the development of the Wing, from its “Project 371” beginnings to its Touring King status today. The text is well supported with period magazine tests and quotes from early riders to Honda engineers.

Where the book really shines is in the photography. Holmstrom thankfully refrains from endless photos of over-festooned Wing rally specials. The edited photos include a generous selection of the four (when published, now five) Gold Wing models, with useful identifying features for neophytes. For balance, he also includes several period photos of Wing competitors. These are used to support his case of the Gold Wing as the touring-motorcycle Standard.

Best of all, there are several never-before-published photos released by Vreeke & Associates, a marketing arm for American Honda. Mr. Holmstrom must have a contact deep within Honda, as they are traditionally very hesitant in releasing such info for publication. For serious gear geeks, these photos are worth the purchase price alone. Other MMM readers will delight in recognizing local landmarks Sport Wheels and Dulano’s Pizza.

For those that are considering the purchase of a used Wing, the book includes a brief yet helpful appendix of each model’s strengths and weaknesses. We here at MMM appreciate real-world advice that enables people to ride. Mr. Holmstrom has done his homework, and this book is worth your time.

Verdict:

Casual Reader – Is the fuel tank half full or half empty?

Gear Head – Recommended for the thorough research and “secret” photos.

Wing Owners – You don’t yet own this?

M.M.M.

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