Both the engine and the chassis of Honda’s premium tourer Gold Wing have been extensively revised for the 2018 model. Promised are less weight, improved comfort and many new features.
Depending on the version, the 2018 Gold Wing weighs up to 48 kilograms less than the previous model. The completely new frame made of aluminium is a big part of this enormous weight saving. But the backbone of the Gold Wing is not only lighter. It was also important for the developers to move the engine forward to improve handling.
The rear wheel is guided as before by the so-called pro arm, a one-armed light-metal swing arm. The spring bias of the monoshock can be adapted electrically. The double-wishbone front suspension is designed to be torsionally rigid, but above all it must offer a convincing handling thanks to the decoupling of steering and suspension. The behaviour of front and rear wheel damping is automatically adapted depending on the selected riding mode.
A total of four riding modes are offered by the extensively modified six-cylinder boxer engine. In addition to the chassis adjustment, the choice of the riding mode also influences the mode of operation of the HSTC traction control system and the compound braking system.
The rider revs up by Throttle by Wire, also a cruise control is available. With nearly identical output, the revised engine is six kilograms lighter than its predecessor. The top performance is 126 hp at 5500 rpm, the maximum torque 170 Newtonmetres at 4500 rpm.
As is the case for a premium tourer, Honda has been concerned about the comfort on board. While the fairings of former models have been designed to create a completely flow-free space around the rider, now a light breeze will provide a more authentic riding experience. The windshield can be electrically adjusted.
For a simplified use, features such as keyless access, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity will help.
The 2018 Gold Wing is to be offered as the basic model GL 1800 and as a “Tour” edition with top box. The “Tour” edition will also be available with DCT dual clutch transmission and airbag. The DCT offers seven speeds while the conventional transmission has six speeds. Both versions have a reverse gear.