Legendary “Gold” has been released for 43 years and has acquired a huge army of fans during this time. Now they have a change of purpose: the newest Honda GL 1800 Gold Wing is presented at the same time in American Santa Barbara and at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Even outwardly the motorcycle became easier and faster. What, however, is confirmed by a technical description: the new model is lighter than the previous one by more than 40 kg. After all, the car has updated the frame, engine and gearboxes, and the front suspension has changed the conceptual scheme. Because of this, the layout changed: the driver’s seat is now moved a few centimeters ahead.
The six-cylinder prototype is completely new: it has reduced the inter-cylinder distance by 9 mm (up to 81 mm) and the diameter of the cylinder has decreased by 1 mm (73 mm). Thanks to this, the engine became compacter by 29 mm and lighter by 6 kg. At the same time the power has grown by about 5 hp. (about 125 hp), and fuel consumption was reduced by about 15%. That allowed for the same size to reduce the volume of the tank: Honda assure that the radius of action did not change at the same time.
Instead of the former five-stage “mechanics” now two boxes: a six-step mechanical and seven-step “robot” with two clutches. And motorcycles with a “robot” have a transmission transmission of the reverse and a special “walking” mode: it allows you to move forward at a speed of about 1.8 km / h, and back – a bit faster than 1 km / h.
In the front suspension, a telescopic fork has given way to a two-lever circuit: it reduces clamping during braking, but the main thing – increases the smoothness of the stroke and facilitates control. In the rear suspension there is also a novelty – the preload of the load on the top versions can now be controlled by an electric drive. Adjustment with an electric motor also has a windshield, which is reduced in size due to the changed landing of the driver. And the drive has memory: when the engine is muted, the glass drops down into the lower position, and at startup returns to the previous position.
The new “Gold” can choose four modes of movement: tourist, sporty, economical or rain. They differ in the sensitivity of the gas handle, the logic of switching the “robot” and setting the suspension. And the front brakes now have wheels with 296 to 320 mm and six-piston radial mechanisms.
The dashboard adorned the seven-inch touchscreen of the multimedia system: Honda claims that Gold Wing will be the first motorcycle on the market for which Apple CarPlay is available (Android Auto will appear a little later). A navigator with free updating of maps for ten years is already “in the base”. Finally, the Gold Wing got acquainted with the engine start button and a “smart” central lock that does not allow you to forget the key in the trunk.
By the way, just the trunk is capable of bringing disappointing fans to the model. The fact is that the base motorcycle will now be sold at all without a luggage carrier behind the passenger’s seat, and with the more expensive version of the Gold Wing Tour the total volume of coffees is reduced from 150 to 110 liters. That is, less than the main competitor, the BMW K1600GTL (115 l for the luggage). Honda explain this step with their own research: say, the owners of tourist bikes make trips on average no longer than three days, and for such a voyage of 110 liters is enough. However, it is also called a more real reason: huge coffers would violate the harmony in the shape of the motorized motorcycle.
The new Honda GL 1800 Gold Wing will come out on the main market for the US market in February 2018. Prices are already indicated. The basic model with “mechanics” in the United States is estimated at 23.5 thousand dollars, “robot” increases the price for 1200 dollars, and the version of Gold Wing Tour costs from 26.7 to 31.5 thousand dollars.