The original GL1000 Gold Wing, powered by a 999cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, revolutionized motorcycle touring. The faux fuel tank contains electrical components and storage space. Spoked aluminum rims are standard. Note the black exhaust system, with chrome heat shields and tailpipes.
A new model marks the Gold Wing's second year. The GL1000 LTD joins the unchanged standard model, and features gold striping, special LTD sidecover badges, chromed radiator shroud and screen, quilt-pattern contoured seat, gold wheels and spokes, gold-stamped GL1000 owner's manual, and leather key case. The LTD's front fender is slightly flared.
Honda begins to incorporate small but important refinements based on customer requests, as the Gold Wing's continues to grow in popularity and redefine touring. Chrome heat shields on the header pipes are now standard, as is a higher, recontoured handlebar, redesigned neoprene grips, a new dual-contoured seat, and a fuel gauge.
A new instrument panel in the center pod with fuel, voltage and coolant temperature gauges helps distinguish the GL in its fourth year. Honda also fitted 1mm-smaller carbs and FVQ shocks with two-stage damping, redesigned and chromed the exhaust system, mounted the rear turn signals on the fender, and bolted up maintenance-free ComStar wheels.
The GL1000 reaches the peak of its development in 1979, and will be the last Gold Wing to be powered by a 999cc engine. Changes this year are few and minor: Rectangular turn signals replace the previous round ones, control levers go from silver to black, and a twin-bulb taillight with CBX-type ribbed lens replaces the single-bulb unit.