2018 Honda Gold Wing
26th October 2017
1,832cc | Traction control | ABS | 4 modes
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Younger riders; that's largely the demographic targeted by Honda with its new and "completely redesigned" Gold Wing for 2018. And that makes sense because we're all getting older, which means that the bikes feel correspondingly heavier, and that's bound to negatively impact sales. So in order to revitalise this long-serving luxury mile-muncher, around 56kg has been hacked from the new base model bringing the all-up weight down to around 365kg (803lbs). Meanwhile, the Tour model wallops the scales at between 370kg (814lbs) and 383kg (842lbs) depending on whether you opt for the standard Tour, or the Tour with the DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) option. Take note, however, that slightly differing weights will apply due to local market equipment requirement/choice.
That DCT transmission, incidentally, handles seven speeds as compared to six for the manual, and although DCT is by no means essential, it makes for an even lazier jaunt, especially in busy traffic where you're stuck in a stuttering queue.
The engine is still a flat six boasting 1,832cc, but Honda has finally shifted up from two valves per cylinder to four. The power output, we're advised, has been hiked from 118bhp to 126bhp. Not huge, but welcome. The engine dimensions, incidentally, have changed slightly. The 2017 Wing was 74mm bore x 71mm stroke. That's now 73mm x 73mm.
To control all that muscle, a new ride-by-wire throttle has been introduced c/w four riding modes, specifically: Tour, Sport, Econ and Rain. And these modes do more than tweak the throttle. They also address the changing suspension and braking needs thereby ensuring that at critical moments you've got all that mass on the shortest leash possible.
The bikes will also arrive with Honda's Hill Start Assist, the purpose of which you can figure out for yourself if you're not already acquainted with the system. And on a bike like this, you need it. Honda has rounded off this package with its Selectable Torque Control traction gizmo.
A new aluminium beam frame has been designed. The front suspension is a highly sophisticated double wishbone arrangement with a Showa shock absorber offering 4.3-inches of travel. It's a similar concept to BMW's Paralever fork and is complemented by a single-sided 'Pro-Arm' swing-arm at the rear, also with a Showa shocker absorber, but with 4.1-inches of travel. And naturally, there's plenty of damping and pre-load on offer together with the necessary push-button fingertip control.
Wheels are a cast aluminium alloy; 18-inch at the front, and 16-inch at the rear. Final drive, as if you need reminding, is by shaft. The brakes are two radially-mounted 6-piston Nissin calipers with 320mm rotors up front, with a single 3-piston Nissin caliper with a 316mm rotor at the rear. ABS is, naturally, standard.
The windscreen is electrically adjustable. A TFT (Thin Film Transistor) instrument panel keeps you informed of what's going on with regard to the nuts and bolts of the bike. The latest cruise control is de rigeur. And a Bluetooth hook-up is there if you want/need it.
Colours are silver for the base Wing (not that there's ever anything base about one of these motorcycles, you understand). The Tour will be offered in red. And if you see a red and black Tour, you'll know it's fitted with DCT. But note that there's conflicting information about these colours, so ask your dealer for local clarification.
The bike has just been revealed at the 2017 Tokyo Show, and it's expected to roll on to the UK early in 2018.
No prices yet. But if it helps, the current 2017 GL1800 Gold Wing is asking around £25,000.
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