2006 Honda Goldwing
It's All About The Bells & Whistles...
Next in line would come the all-new audio system, which is, quite simply, awesome. Try to imagine this: The previous GL1800s came with a two-speaker system (upgradeable to four speakers, at a price), with 30 Watts of output per channel. The 2006 GL features a six-speaker system as standard equipment (two tweeters in the corners of the oversized front speakers), with 80 Watts per channel. Crank it up all the way at a stop, and it will make your ears bleed. The bass reflex can be felt like someone thumping you on the chest. And yet, without any discernible distortion.
Ever wanted to get even with one of those guys sitting next to you at a light with their hip-hop music blasting out of the car windows? Odds are, your Wing can drown them out completely. I know, because I've done it, and it felt good. The stereo features a built-in intercom system, automatic (speed-related) volume control, ambience circuits for a surround-sound effect, a weather radio, a plug-in for your MP3 player or IPod, and an optional six-CD changer.
It can be played through the truly-excellent speaker system, or through optional helmet headsets. Oh, and it does a great job of making Greta sound good, too. Next comes the new "Cold Weather Comfort Package," available on select models.
This includes electrically-heated seats, front and rear (rear includes a heated backrest), with individual, five-position controls; heated handgrips with five -position rheostat; and the return of the much-missed "foot heaters" from the old GL1500 SE model, which opens ducts to send engine heat over the rider's boots. Believe it or not, this actually works quite well.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the seated heats. I don't know if Honda skimped on the heating elements or the power to them, or perhaps they simply installed too much padding over them.
Whatever the case, they are only marginally effective. Compared to BMW heated seats, or the several aftermarket models available, these seats are about 30% as effective. Better than not having heated seats at all, I guess, but only barely. Hopefully, as the bikes tested were pre-production units, Honda will get this corrected before shipping the new models out to the dealers.
In The End
Other than my slight disappointment with the heated seats, as noted above, I found the newest Wing to be a highly refined and well-dressed-out version of what was already a great motorcycle. If you want the ultimate in touring comfort, power, handling and amenities, the Wing is still the King!
Other than the changes and accessories noted above, the GL1800 remains the same as last year's model, with one new paint color added: Dark Red (looks like burgundy to me). Weights vary from 822 to 838 lbs. depending on which accessories are chosen, and pricing for the various model options are as follows:
|Model Name 2006||Model||Color||MSRP|
|Premium Audio||GL18PC6||Dark Red||$19,299.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package||GL18HP6||Black||$19,499.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package||GL18HP6||White||$19,499.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package||GL18HPC6||Dark Red||$19,799.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package||GL18HPM6||Gold||$19,799.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package||GL18HPM6||Titanium||$19,799.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System||GL18HPN6||Black||$21,499.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System||GL18HPN6||White||$21,499.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System||GL18HPNC6||Dark Red||$21,799.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System||GL18HPNM6||Gold||$21,799.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System||GL18HPNM6||Titanium||$21,799.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System / ABS||GL18HPNA6||Black||$22,499.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System / ABS||GL18HPNA6||White||$22,499.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System / ABS||GL18HPNAC6||Dark Red||$22,799.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System / ABS||GL18HPNAM6||Gold||$22,799.00|
|Premium Audio / Comfort Package / Navigation System / ABS||GL18HPNAM6||Titanium||$22,799.00|