Honda Gold Wing: A touring bike that has been a symbol of luxury and comfort for decades
The Honda Gold Wing is an evergreen nameplate that continues to appeal to modern riders
Since its introduction in 1975, the Honda Gold Wing has always represented the ultimate in two-wheeled travel. The Gold Wing has remained a stalwart of the Honda range as the motorcycle has grown and been modernised over the years while at the same time fostering an enduring and unrivalled reputation for luxury, quality and comfort.
The most recent iteration unveiled in 2018 saw the Honda Gold Wing completely redesigned from the ground up resulting in a brand-new motorcycle that appeals to a broader audience and even the younger generation. The latest iteration is available as the GL1800 Gold Wing Tour fitted with a top box as well as a derivative fitted with the DCT transmission and an air bag.
The Honda Gold Wing utilises an evocative, flat six-cylinder engine that delivers an avalanche of torque and power. As Honda’s flagship premium tourer, it is loaded with features that allow two people to ride in style while still remaining light and agile.
Modern powerful engine
The 1 833cc engine retains the horizontally opposed flat six configuration but it now features four valves per cylinder and is 6.2kg lighter than its predecessor. Peak power of 93kW arrives at 5 500rpm and peak torque of 170Nm at 4 500rpm. Fuel consumption of 5,6 litres per 100km and a 21-litre fuel tank ensure a range of over 400 kilometres, which is perfect for long distance touring.
Optimised for its size, the new flat six-cylinder engine features throttle by wire and four rider modes. Honda Selectable Torque Control maintains rear wheel traction while the suspension damping and combined brake system alter depending on the mode selected. Hill Start Assist and Idling Stop add ease of use and improve fuel efficiency.
The latest Honda Gold Wing is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, with clutch feel, shift speed and rpm range of the up and downshifts tailored specifically to each riding mode.
Practically aerodynamic and technologically advanced
The face is daringly forward slanting combined with compact fairing proportions, it presents an energetic frontal signature. The key line of the body, stretching front to back, highlights the differing upper and lower bodywork functions while clearly showcasing the reduced overall size of the motorcycle. The fairing features sharp and solid flat surfaces and nuanced aerodynamic detailing that hints at the performance on offer. These performance improvements are matched by even greater levels of relaxation as the stylish, aerodynamically efficient fairing channels air around the rider and the electric screen adjusts for preference while the seats provide all-day comfort. The latest technology such as Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity ensure the utmost convenience. All lighting is LED.
Cruise control has evolved too, the speed that’s been set is shown on the speedometer and thanks to the throttle by wire the system is now much smoother in its operation. A seven-inch full-colour TFT LCD provides infotainment related information for the audio and navigation systems as well as managing the HSTC and suspension adjustment.
The high-output audio amplifier system has evolved too, lightweight speakers are sited to work with the new riding position and achieve a sound quality with vivid presence. A passenger audio control switch is available to ensure an even more pleasant riding experience, with switches located on the upper part of the right-hand side pannier.
Luggage has been slimmed down in line with user feedback and the top box will hold two full face helmets while the panniers offer 110 litres of storage capacity.
From a seating perspective the rider and pillion are separated as on the old model allowing the rider to enjoy the motorcycle and the pillion to sit back and enjoy the ride.
The engine and chassis have been designed together, to move the riding position forward and create a more compact motorcycle. The frame was also designed around the double wishbone front suspension which results in smoother damping. Front and rear damping is adjusted electrically relative to the riding mode selected.
The Dual Combined Brake System optimally distributes braking force to the front and rear wheels. Dual 320mm front discs are clamped by six-piston callipers and the rear 316mm disc by a three-piston calliper. The ABS now operates in conjunction with the riding mode of choice, automatically adjusting the braking characteristics to the riding situation for enhanced safety.
The Honda Gold Wing is an evergreen motorcycle, and the latest iteration still looks fresh and the technology remains relevant ensuring the longevity of this nameplate as it appeals to the latest generation of motorcyclists.