It’s getting colder now in the mid-Atlantic of the United States. For most motorcyclist it’s a time to prepare your bike for storage. For me, it’s the annual time when I contemplate selling my bike and hanging up my riding days. This year is a little different. I am thinking of making a big purchase and I have no real need for another motorcycle. There is something about the new Goldwing I want. Except for the cost.
The new Goldwing is a redesign. According to the specs I know my wife would enjoy riding with me.
• Gold Wing – Matte Majestic Silver Metallic; Pearl Stallion Brown – $26,999
• Gold Wing Tour – Candy Ardent Red; Pearl Glare White – $30,799
• Gold Wing Tour DCT – Candy Ardent Red; Pearl Glare White – $31,999
There are two main model configurations – Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour, both slated to arrive according to my friend at Crofton Powersports by January 2018.
The Gold Wing, a sporty bagger replacing the F6B, comes with saddlebags but without top case or the accompanying rear audio speakers. The electric windscreen is shorter and preload adjustment is manual. HSTC, electric damping-adjust, center stand, and heated grips are not included.
The Gold Wing Tour, a modern interpretation of the classic Gold Wing, comes complete with saddlebags and a top case, as well as a tall electronically adjustable windscreen, front and rear speakers and electronically adjustable suspension.
Here’s the specs:
Contributing to that result, a new liquid-cooled, horizontally-opposed 1,833 cc six cylinder has been moved forward and it features a 6.2 kg weight reduction, more compact dimensions, a one mm narrower bore, two mm longer stroke, four valves per cylinder and efficiencies that should translate into a 20 per cent improvement in fuel economy.
The trimmed weight, fuel efficiency and improved aerodynamics, also allow for a smaller fuel tank with the same range potential.
A new six-speed manual tranny features closer ratio low gears and a taller top end for a lower spin rate at highway speeds and, again, better fuel economy.
A refined third-generation seven-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) is available with Walking Mode in both forward (1.8 km/h) and reverse (1.2 km/h) directions.
The throttle-by-wire system adds four riding modes – Tour, Sport, Econ and Rain – as well as Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Hill Start Assist and a revised cruise control system with smoother transitions.
Those mode choices also affect the settings of a new suspension that combines a double-wishbone setup in front with a Pro-link rear suspension configuration.
There are also electronic preload adjustment settings for varying passenger and luggage conditions. And new radially mounted front calipers and bigger 320 mm rotors tie into a streamlined ABS braking system.
This sum total is wrapped up in a design that is sharper, sleeker and more aerodynamic. The bike is narrower up front (cowl width reduced by 200 mm) with more emphasis on exposed engine and exhaust components. Although the cockpit ergonomics should prove familiar, the rider and passenger sit 36 mm further forward, closer to a smaller, now electrically powered windscreen.
The handlebars have been moved forward, the footrests have shifted slightly to the rear and the seat is a tad taller (+2 mm). It’s going to take a test ride to see just how that feels; along with revised air ducting has changes the airflow ambiance for the riders.
There are LED lights all round, a Smart Key that stays in your pocket and a gauge cluster with a 7-inch full-color TFT display screen bracketed by an analogue speedo and tach combo.
And, in a motorcycle first, the Gold Wing adds Apple CarPlay with Apple Music and Maps, even allowing texting and phone calls.
• ∙ Updated design with 11.8 percent improved aerodynamic efficiency
• ∙ 40 kg less overall weight improving maneuverability
• ∙ More compact, lighter engine with four-valve head, Unicam valve train
• ∙ Six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT with Walking Mode forward/reverse
• ∙ Robotically-welded reinforced aluminum twin-tube frame
• ∙ Radially mounted six-piston dual front braking calipers
• ∙ Double-wishbone front-suspension & Pro-link rear
• ∙ Electrically-controlled suspension
• ∙ Throttle-by-wire with multiple riding modes
• ∙ Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
• ∙ Hill Start Assist
• ∙ Smart Key
• ∙ Apple CarPlay via TFT display screen
• ∙ LED lighting
• ∙ Electric windscreen adjustment