The Honda Gold Wing, since its introduction as a naked 1000cc machine in 1975 has always been at the forefront of two-wheeled travel. It is a motorcycle that has been very much on its own journey, growing in physical size and displacement over the decades, all the while creating an enduring reputation for luxury, quality and comfort. It has amassed a huge fan base here in the GCC and numbers grow each year, with the riders wanting to be part of the Gold Wing heritage.
For 2018, the GL1800 Gold Wing takes a new direction and is brand new from the wheels-up. It still has a torquey flat-six engine, and it still remains Honda's flagship premium tourer, loaded with features that allow two people to ride in style. Yet it's smaller, much lighter and much more agile."
Sharing a common engine and chassis platform, the new 'Wing will be available as the base model GL1800 Gold Wing, and as a 'Tour' edition with top box, which will also offer a version equipped with DCT and air bag. Depending on the variant, up to 48kg has been saved compared to the previous model."
The previous Gold Wing featured an expansive design and attitude. The new Gold Wing is a completely different proposition and replaces the relaxed lines of the outgoing model with a more honed, athletic ethos. All lighting is LED. The rear top box of the 'Tour' versions will hold two full-face helmets; combined with the panniers, 110L storage capacity is available. Opening is via a button or smart key. Available as options are a luggage rack for the top box and specially designed inner bags."
Coming to the instrumentation, the 7" colour TFT LCD screen provides infotainment-related information (for the audio systems) as well as managing the HSTC (Honda Selectable Torque Control) and suspension adjustment. Information is displayed in differentiated segments in a very functional order, so the rider can get all the relevant data with the minimum of eye movement. The Gold Wing is now compatible with Apple CarPlay, so the rider can utilise the personalised information and content inside their iPhone, such as telephone numbers and music playlists. Bluetooth connectivity has been adopted and a USB cable can also be plugged in."
The 1833cc horizontally-opposed flat six engine now has four valves per cylinder rather than two, and is 6.2kg lighter. Peak power of 125hp arrives at 5,500rpm, with peak torque of 170Nm delivered at 4,500rpm. Throttle By Wire has been added, with 4 rider modes - Tour, Sport, Econ and Rain. HSTC maintains rear wheel traction while the suspension damping and Combined Brake System alter depending on mode selected. Hill Start Assist and Idling Stop add ease of use and improve fuel efficiency."
The manual transmission is now 6-speed, while the new Dual Clutch Transmission features 7-speeds, with clutch feel, shift speed and rpm range of up/downshifts tailored specifically to each riding mode. It also features a creep forward and back function. The manual machine employs the same reverse system as the previous design."