Bikers Workshop Series

Fitting a Utopia Backrest to a GL1800 Goldwing, including heated saddle models.

By Steve Saunders.



From 2006 onwards, the Honda GL1800 Goldwing comes with the option of a heated saddle and grips. Fitting a Utopia backrest to GL1800 models with heated saddle is essentially the same as on GL1800 models with the unheated saddle. Because many owners of heated saddle models continue to ask how to fit a Utopia to their GL1800 Goldwings, I decided to make this second tutorial on the subject. This article will cover all GL1800 models, heated saddle or not. The original article I made years ago is HERE, but you will probably find that the quality of the pictures and video in the article on this page much better.

Youtube video tutorial available bottom of the page, the video clip also available as a higher quality direct download from this site.

Click the thumbnails for a bigger image.


You will need only a few tools for fitting a Utopia backrest to your GL1800. A 6mm Allen key for removing the saddle grab rails, a drill with a 9/32" (7mm) drill bit, 8mm is also okay to use, a Stanley blade or craft knife for the initial cut in the saddle cover material, and a long serrated knife to cut through the foam on your Goldwing saddle.





When drilling the two holes, don't go through too far into the other side of the base.





This is the part most people dread, making the first cut.


Now for the second cut, with a long serrated knife. On heated model GL1800 Goldwings, face the business edge of the blade towards the left side so it isn't at risk of cutting the wires. If the gummy side of the blade rubs the wire sheath, it won't do any hard as the sheath is quite thick.




After you stick the Velcro to the frame as shown in the second picture below, make sure all wires are clear of the frame so the T-bracket on the saddle base can't crush them.



With the backrest bar secured, you can straighten out any wrinkles in the saddle cover material. Unstick the plastic pad if you need to, straighten out the wrinkles and put the pad back.


With the backrest fitted and tilted forward, you can see it is properly fitted and the saddle cover not stressed. I usually fit a thin locking washer under the nut as shown in the picture. It isn't really necessary as the nut is a locking type and will work fine without a washer. I just add the washer out of habit.





If the Youtube clip isn't working for you, you can download the video directly;

CLICK HERE to download the high resolution video clip, 2 minutes 40 seconds WMV video. 1280x720, 17MBs file size.