Founders of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association, Paul Hildebrand and Shirley Stevens-Garcia, announced that the organization will be closing July 31. The announcement was made during the GWRRA annual Wing Ding opening ceremonies. American Honda is saddened by the news and thanks the GWRRA for its dedication to one of Honda’s most iconic models. In the interim, it will offer prorated refunds on prepaid memberships.
Founded in 1977, the GWRRA grew through the heyday of motorcycle touring to the point that it eventually had approximately 80,000 members in 53 countries, and with over 800 active chapters managed by 4,000 volunteer leaders. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, the GWRRA has called itself “the world’s largest single-marque social organization for owners of Honda Gold Wing/Valkyrie motorcycles,” and it adopted the motto “Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge.”
A dedicated, family-like group that published its own magazine (Wing World, whose September issue will be the last), the GWRRA worked hard to improve the image of motorcycling. It prided itself in being a not-for-profit, nonreligious, and non-political organization, whose members have covered a broad spectrum of backgrounds, but who were unified by a love for owning and riding Honda’s legendary touring model, the Gold Wing.
“We would like to thank our members, vendors and advertisers for 45 years of unwavering support,” said Abel Gallardo, COO of GWRRA. “We truly could not have made it this far without all of you. To our rider-education program, we cannot begin to place a number on the lives touched by your efforts. To our leadership-training and motorist-awareness programs, thank you for educating our members, officers and public to keep our riders safe and enjoying the ride.”
“For nearly five decades, the GWRRA has set the powersports standard for a grassroots organization based on a single model, and Honda will be forever grateful for the enthusiasm the club’s members demonstrated and generated for the Gold Wing,” said Bill Savino, American Honda Senior Manager of Customer Engagement. “While the GWRRA’s closure is undeniably the end of an era, we want to make sure their members and all Gold Wing enthusiasts know that Honda remains committed to the Gold Wing model and these customers for years to come.”