Motorcycle.com

Our man Evans came back breathless about the new 2018 Honda Gold Wing a couple days ago. With its new ride-by-wire engine, optional electronic suspension, and overhauled electronics and entertainment systems, the long-running, long-distance ’Wing has definitely entered the 21st century. These five specs, though, are the ones that jump off the page as the ones that we expect are going to transform what was a touring bike into a truly sporty touring bike.

1. 833 pounds

At 833 lbs full of gas, the 2018 Gold Wing Tour is claimed by Honda to be 90 pounds lighter than the 2017 model. That loss of weight will pay dividends in all areas of performance, and even more when you’re pushing it in and out of your garage – which won’t be necessary if you spring for the model with Walking Mode: It moves you along automatically at 1.1 mph forward or 0.75 mph in reverse.

2. Double-wishbone Front Suspension

The fact that the front wheel now travels vertically through its stroke instead of up and back allowed the engine and rider to be moved closer to the front contact patch, for better handling, improved bump absorption and and lighter steering.

3. 11.8% Less Aerodynamic Drag

The new fairing is narrower by almost 8 inches, and sculpted to allow superior airflow around the rider and passenger, who now sit closer to the electric-adjustable windshield. That reduction in drag, of course, results in better fuel economy. Honda claims the new ’Wing, with one gallon less fuel capacity, can travel as far on a tank as the previous bike .

4. 1833 cubic centimeters = 111.86 cubic inches

In its typical conservatism, Honda says its new flat Six makes 5 horsepower more than the old one, but the tuning changes lead us to think the impressive part will be its midrange torque and throttle response. At 73 x 73mm, the new engine is less oversquare, has a higher compression ratio (10.5:1 instead of 9.8:1), four valves-per-cylinder instead of two, and breathes through one 50mm throttle body instead of two. That sounds like a recipe for serious grunt which, along with the bike’s weight reduction, should give the new Gold Wing a decidedly different character.

5. 7-Speed DCT

Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission, and it’s the only OEM to offer a DCT, was pretty good when it first appeared, better the last time we sampled one – and they claim the new one in the Gold Wing is the best one ever. The new close-ratio 7-speed provides two more gears than the outgoing 5-speed manual, shifts instantly, doesn’t require you to have a left leg, and is yet one more reason why the performance of this Gold Wing sounds like it’s going to be a big step forward. The manual 6-speed is still available, too.