1984 Honda Goldwing
This ’84 Honda Goldwing is a perfect example of how dramatically the style of any motorcycle can be changed. What started life as a heavy, full-fairing highway bike is now a stellar custom cruiser.
Honda’s Goldwing has been a staple in the bagger segment of large bikes for decades. Honda designs great machines, and the Goldwing is extremely functional. However, most people would probably agree that they are not the most beautiful bikes in the world.
This particular Goldwing was burgundy red and all stock when its owner, Dirk van Rees (my father), began modifying it. With under 30,000 miles on the clock, it was in good shape for a long distance cruiser.
To make a slim machine out of such a hefty bike, everything had to come apart. The Goldwing’s factory fuel tank lives under the seat rather than above the engine. In order to run a traditional fuel tank, the upper frame structure had to be re-designed to be narrower but still structurally sound.
Dirk cut out the rear frame section and ditched the twin shocks in favor of two CBR600 monoshocks. Using factory headers, he welded in new mufflers to downsize the pipes. The Goldwing now has a CBR600 inverted fork setup in place of its plush, old-school front end and instruments.
Now the bike runs on a Moto Gadget system with a digital readout. The display’s operating system can present a variety of information and even has an integrated alarm that sounds the horn if somebody tries to move the bike.
To make everything work, Dirk had to fabricate his own rear suspension, fabricate a new throttle assembly, and fabricate brackets and a cam to relocate the rear brake system. He also paint the components in his home paint booth.
For an extra layer of style, the traditional silver engine in a black frame color combo was flipped around. Finally, Dirk laid on a few graphics over the tank and tires to pay homage to the racing horse Ruffian.
This build is certainly more about style than practicality, but knowing that was the goal this bike has certainly succeeded. No home-brew motorcycle is perfect, but this just shows what you can accomplish with some creativity and a welder. To see how “Ruffian” rides, check out the video linked above.