New Honda Gold Wing launched at Ohio plant
11 October 2000
MARYSVILLE, Ohio - The all-new 2001 Gold Wing was launched Tuesday, October 10 during a line-off ceremony at Honda's Marysville Motorcycle Plant. Hundreds of associates at Honda of America Mfg. cheered as the first mass production version of the new GL 1800 Gold Wing was ridden out of the motorcycle plant. It was accompanied on the stage by Gold Wing models assembled at the plant since the 1980 GL Interstate. "The Gold Wing is a home grown bike, with its roots right here in Marysville," said Dane Espenschied, plant manager of the Marysville Motorcycle Plant. "It earned its place as the first truly dependable, long-distance touring bike." The new, more powerful Gold Wing is going after an even larger target market one that includes riders interested in a more athletic touring bike. A powerful 1832 cubic centimeter six-cylinder fuel-injected engine produces 118 horsepower. The new lighter weight Gold Wing also boasts sport-like handling, thanks to an aluminum dual-spar frame. "Our customers told us what they wanted in a luxury motorcycle, more performance. And we're providing it!," said Ray Blank, American Honda's motorcycle division vice president. "The new Gold Wing will set the standard for big bikes, combining legendary Gold Wing luxury with the soul of a sport-bike." Blank added that the timing for the new Gold Wing couldn't be better. Motorcycle sales industry-wide increased by 29 percent in the first half of the year, following several years of very strong growth. "We are in a golden era of motorcycling and the new Gold Wing is going to capture a large share of the robust touring market," Blank said. High-tech features on the GL 1800 include electronic cruise control, adjustable hydraulic rear suspension, and optional 6-CD disc changer. The new Gold Wing will be available at Honda motorcycle dealers in November. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), another product at the Marysville Motorcycle Plant, also have seen burgeoning popularity. Associates learned at the Gold Wing event that the plant will produce its 1 millionth ATV on Thursday, October 12, a milestone that took the associates only 11 years to achieve. ATV production started at the plant at a time when ATVs were becoming indispensable multi-use vehicles. Honda defined the ATV market and has remained the ATV sales leader in the U.S. Much of Honda$B!G(Bs ATV production has moved to Honda of South Carolina Mfg. to increase capacity and allow the Ohio plant to concentrate on large motorcycles. Honda's first plant in the United States, the Marysville Motorcycle Plant began production in 1979 with 64 associates. Today, the 700 associates at Honda's "big bike" plant manufacture exclusive models such as the Valkyrie and Shadow models, in addition to the Gold Wing. The 13,000 associates at Honda of America Mfg. also produce the Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe, Acura TL Sedan and Acura CL Coupe at the Marysville Auto Plant, and Civic Sedan and Coupe models at the nearby East Liberty Auto Plant. Honda$B!G(Bs engine plant in Anna, Ohio produces more than 1 million engines per year. Products at all the plants are manufactured from domestic and globally sourced parts.