Not many manufacturers can say they’ve had a model in continuous production for 43 years, but Honda can make that claim with their legendary Gold Wing. Over those model years, Honda has set aside just six versions representing what it calls milestone models – the last of which was produced way back in 2001 with the introduction of the GL1800 Gold Wing. The Wing has been well overdue for an upgrade, and the rumor mill was in full-on salivation mode about the prospects of a ground-up remake for 2018.

One might imagine how excited we MOrons were at the opportunity to see the new 2018 Gold Wing in the flesh a full day before it would be unveiled to the rest of the world. With that modest head start, we could have a story – and video – ready in time to showcase the new model and its changes the moment our NDA with Honda expired.

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On Golden Wings

Yesterday, we jumped on a 2017 Gold Wing at Honda’s Torrance headquarters and took an afternoon blast up to Santa Barbara for a special meeting with Honda’s development team. To say we were impressed at the first glance of the new bike would be an understatement. The difference in size between the new and old Wings was astonishing. The team at Honda, while maintaining the Gold Wing’s touring roots, clearly has put higher performance front-and-center during the development process. Honda says part of the reason for this is that they want to attract more than just the typical older touring rider. They think the new Wing has the performance chops to entice younger enthusiasts, also. To cement that idea, two variants came out from under their covers at the early unveiling. The standard Gold Wing comes without a trunk, offering more streamlined “bagger” styling. The Gold Wing Tour comes with the more touring-oriented and passenger friendly trunk, it also received some model-specific extras. However, both bikes are based on the exact same platform.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour

The Gold Wing Tour is what people typically think of when they hear the name, a full-dress tourer complete with trunk.

2018 Honda Gold Wing

The standard Gold Wing is a little more stirpped down with no trunk. The look is more aggressive thanks to the blacked-out components.

The changes made to the new Gold Wing focused on three primary areas: Power delivery and efficiency, handling and weight reduction, and technology. Want a hint about how successful the changes were? The 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour is 90 pounds lighter than the 2017 model.

New Engine

The 1,833cc SOHC flat-six received a complete makeover for 2018, and when the dust settled, the result was a more powerful engine that is 29mm shorter front-to-back and 13.7 pounds lighter than before (in 6-speed manual configuration). To achieve this shortness, the cylinder bore was dropped 1mm to 73mm (for a perfectly square bore and stroke of 73mm x 73mm), and the distance between bore-centers was shrunk by 9mm to 81mm. Additionally, the cylinder offset from the left and right cylinder banks was reduced by 4mm. Finally, the crankshaft pulser, which is responsible for sensing piston location for the EFI and ignition, was relocated to the rear allowing the engine’s front cover to move 7mm closer to the end of the crank.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Engine

The new engine is 29mm shorter front-to-back which allows it to be moved further forward in the frame.

The air/fuel mixture is sucked into the newly aluminum-sleeved, pent-roof-type combustion chambers via new four-valve heads. The old engine only had two valves per cylinder. Controlling the tappets is a Unicam valve train that readers may remember from the CRF450R. By allowing the removal of the valve-lifter-support structure from the previous generation, the finger-follower rocker-arm system on the intake side and roller rocker-arm system on the exhaust side deliver both weight savings and add to the engine’s compactness.

2018 Honda Gold Wing

How serious was Honda about compact packaging and saving weight? The Gold Wing’s starter motor and alternator are contained within the same unit, saving 5.3 pounds.

The intake is lighter and designed swirl the incoming air to assist in better use of the air filter’s entire surface area, while the ducting shape and size have been tuned for improved throttle response and torque delivery at initial throttle openings. Additionally, only one 50mm throttle body is used now, instead of the previous two.

On the bottom side of the cylinder heads, the exhaust underwent major changes. While previous Wings had a distinctive style, the 2018 model is a different animal. When the Honda representatives started the engine in the display area, I was surprised by how deep and throaty the exhaust note was. There were still hints of the old sound, but the overall effect of the sound was that of muscularity and bit less of a six-cylinder growl.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Muffler and Bags

The mufflers are more of a part of the Gold Wing’s style in 2018 – and they sound great, too! The standard Gold Wing gets blacked out components while the Gold Wing Tour gets more chrome.

The resulting engine not only sounds different, but  Honda claims it puts out “about 5 more horsepower” than the old Wing. Since Honda doesn’t release horsepower figures, we’ll just have to take their word (and a gander at the graph provided in their press kit). However, that performance increase did not come at the cost of fuel economy. Honda says that the mileage was so improved that, when combined with the Wing’s lessened weight and better aerodynamics, it enabled a 1.1 gallon reduction in fuel capacity (to 5.5 gallons) while maintaining the same touring range of the previous generation. [If you ask MO, we’ll tell you that we’d have been more pleased by an 83 Lb. weight reduction and using that last 7 Lbs to retain that extra gallon of gas…. on a touring bike. -Ed.]

2018 Honda Gold Wing Dyno Chart

At just about every rpm, the 2018 Gold Wing engine matches or beats the horsepower and torque of the previous model. The improved fuel economy is also a testament to the cleverness of Honda’s engineers.

Transmission Options

Readers should not be surprised to learn that the 2018 Gold Wing is available with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), particularly since the outgoing model was a manual 5-speed. Honda remains firmly committed to dual-clutch technology and claims the implementation in the Wing is their best iteration, yet. In fact, one Honda rep, who is an avid road racer, said that he wouldn’t consider owning the Wing without the DCT – from a performance perspective. However, Honda realizes that not every rider is interested in this technology, so both 2018 Gold Wing models will also be available with a traditional 6-speed manual transmission + reverse mechanism.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Engine

The difference in size between the 2017 and 2018 engines is pretty obvious.

While both the manual transmission and the DCT version have the same final-drive ratio in top gear, the additional cog in the DCT allows the lower gears to be more tightly-spaced, resulting in less engine-speed drop when changing gears. So, the DCT should actually outperform the standard transmission when running up through the gears – which explains why a road racing test rider could say that he prefers the DCT over the standard transmission on the Wing – not to mention the zero lag time between shifts.

One feature of  DCT that Gold Wing riders (particularly those with shorter inseams) will probably be most excited about is the new Walking Mode. Available in both forward and reverse, the Walking Mode utilizes one clutch for forward motion and the other for reverse. On DCT equipped Gold Wings, reverse is now provided by the engine and transmission and not by the starter motor as with the previous model. Walking Mode automatically raises the idle speed slightly and then takes care of the tricky modulation of the clutch engagement. Through the use of the + and – buttons on the left handlebar, Walking Mode delivers a top forward speed of 1.1 mph and 0.75 mph in reverse.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Rear Brake

The single piston caliper (right) is the parking brake for the DCT models and is actuated by a lever on the lower left side of the fairing.

Aside from the functional differences between the DCT and the manual transmission, the third generation of Honda’s DCT gained three new rubber dampers to smooth the transmission of power between gears and make shifts even quieter.

The 6-speed manual transmission is exactly what one would expect. However, there are two different variations. The base model Gold Wing does not receive a reverse function, and owners will need to back out of parking spaces the old-fashioned way – with their feet. The Gold Wing Tour with the manual transmission has the same electric reverse implementation as used on the previous generation.

Ride Modes

Since the new engine is controlled by ride-by-wire (RbW), four different ride modes are now available: Tour Mode, Sport Mode, Econ Mode, and Rain Mode. The default Tour Mode provides engine response appropriate for the widest range of riding conditions, balancing power and comfort needs. Sport Mode features more powerful acceleration and snappier throttle response, while on DCT models the rpm are allowed to climb higher. Econ Mode delivers milder acceleration for more relaxed riding in urban/suburban settings with DCT shifting occurring at lower rpm for fuel economy. Rain Mode, not surprisingly, attenuates power in slippery conditions.

Ride by wire also enables other technologies for rider comfort and safety. Traction control in the form of Honda Selectable Torque Control mitigates wheel-spin by adjusting the throttle and fuel injection simultaneously. Another boon to riders is the newly implemented Hill Start Assist, which applies rear brake pressure to prevent the bike from rolling backwards after the rider releases the brakes. Although previously available, the Gold Wing’s cruise control has been updated and had some components eliminated that are now better served by the RbW system.

New Suspenders!

The big news on the Gold Wing’s suspension is the addition of a double-wishbone front end. The shift away from a traditional telescopic fork delivers several advantages. As with all non-telescopic front suspensions, front-end dive is greatly reduced while braking. The second big advantage of those new double-wishbones is better absorption of bumps, thanks to the elimination of the stiction associated with traditional forks. According to Honda, impact shocks delivered from the road to the grips are reduced by 30%. Additionally, Honda claims a 40% reduction in inertial mass in the front end components, which translates into lessened effort for steering inputs. Just sitting on the display bike gives the impression of having the leverage of a much wider handlebar when turning it from lock-to-lock. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait to see how this feels out on the road, but Honda says the first press rides probably won’t happen until early in 2018.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Front Suspension

The double-wishbone front suspension is quite different from last year’s telescopic fork – both visually and functionally.

One unexpected area where the double-wishbone suspension benefits the Gold Wing is in helping to improve the tightness of the vehicle package. With a traditional fork, the wheelbase actually shortens as the sliders compress, requiring  extra space be left between the engine and the front tire. With the new double-wishbone suspension, the wheel tracks straight up and down, meaning the engine can be moved closer to the back of the front tire. On the 2018 Wing, the engine’s new location also allows for the rider to be moved 36mm forward on the chassis. This re-positioning of engine and rider weights pays benefits by increasing forward weight bias for more responsive handling.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Front Suspension

By having the front wheel only moving straight up and down over bumps, the engine can be moved closer to the front tire for improved forward weight bias.

Out back, a Honda Pro-Link system combines with a Showa shock to control chassis movement. Honda claims that spherical joints at the top and bottom of the shock mitigate the torsion of the Pro-Arm for an improved ride.

But wait, there’s more! For 2018, the Gold Wing Tour model gains electrically adjustable preload with four settings: Rider, Rider + Luggage, Rider + Passenger, and Rider + Passenger + Luggage. (Owners of the standard Gold Wing will still have to remove a side panel and twist a remote hydraulic rear preload adjuster.) Additionally on the Tour models, the front and rear damping settings are linked to the ride modes and adjusted automatically to suit. As the ride modes are selected, stepper motors adjust the needles that control oil flow in the front and rear shock valves, allowing for a firmer or a more plush ride.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Brakes

Honda’s combined ABS slows the front end with a pair of six-piston radially-mounted calipers squeezing 320mm rotors.

Beefier Brakes

When it comes time to slow the beast, riders will have a pair of six-piston radially-mounted calipers squeezing 320mm front rotors at their disposal. How big is the change from last year? Three pistons in conventionally-mounted calipers had only 296mm discs to embrace. The combined (linked) ABS system has been updated to better balance the braking forces applied to the front and rear wheels. In the process, the two-motor system was converted to just a single, smaller, lighter ABS modulator integrated with the brake system’s ECU. Additionally, the ABS settings are linked with the ride modes to have the brake system’s characteristics in line with those of the engine and suspension settings.

2018 Honda Gold Wing frame

The visible portions of the frame may look the same as last year’s model, but it’s a completely new unit.

Chassis Changes – An All New Frame

Don’t be fooled by the similar look of the the 2018 Gold Wing’s new twin-spar frame. Changing the front suspension and moving the engine forward required a complete redesign. Through the use of different plate thicknesses in various areas of the frame, Honda’s engineers were able to tune different sections of the chassis for specific stiffness and flex characteristics to best suit the rest of the new hardware. All of this was in an effort to achieve a balance of stability and maneuverability. The end result is a more mass-centralized frame that weighs-in 4.4 pounds lighter than its predecessor.

The Gold Wing’s swingarm also received updates. The single-sided unit with internal shaft drive plays a significant role in the chassis’ overall rigidity balance and contributes to the Wing’s improved ride.

Wrapped in a Stunning Package

Up until now, we’ve only been considering the technology and function of the 2018 Gold Wing. The new design also plays an important role in the overall character of the motorcycle. In the case of the new Gold Wing, that personality is a little surprising for a 43 year old touring motorcycle.

The Gold Wing’s visage is narrower and more muscular than the previous generation’s. While keeping the same side-mount radiator system, the engineers were able to narrow the front fairing by about 7.9 inches! In the process, the 2018’s aerodynamic drag has dropped by an impressive 11.8%.

2017 and 2018 Honda Gold Wing

This side-by-side image makes the previous generation Gold Wing (left) look positively porky next to its more chiseled and buff younger sibling.

Honda’s reps stressed that, thanks to improved airflow management, the rider and passenger enjoy a completely new riding experience on the 2018 Gold Wing. Rather than trying to place the occupants inside a completely windless bubble, the designers worked to have the wind flow smoothly over them. Consequently, new air ducts flow more air into the cockpit.

A new, electrically-controlled windshield allows the rider to better control the airflow. Previously, the rider had to stop and manually lift/lower the windscreen to account for changing weather conditions. Now, the height can be adjusted on-the-fly as the rider moves from suburban streets to open highways. A cool feature of the windshield is that when the bike is powered off, the screen moves to its lowest position to facilitate easier mounting of a bike cover. As soon as the Wing is powered on, the windshield returns to its previous location.

Earlier we noted that the more forward riding position helped with the bike’s weight bias. Well, the closer rider location means that the windshield can be smaller than last year’s while still providing better protection. Finally, one difference between the two Gold Wing models is that standard versions receive a shorter, but still adjustable, windscreen.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Headlight

For 2018, all Gold Wing lighting is now from LEDs. Look to the mirror mounts and the lower edge of the windscreen to see the new airflow ducts.

While there is no argument that the Gold Wing’s frontal area was reduced, it’s easy to see in the side-by-side photo above. What is less obvious is that the luggage capacity was also reduced. The 2017 Wing was capable of carrying a total of 150 liters of cargo in its saddlebags and trunk. The 2018 Gold Wing Tour can only carry 73% as much stuff, 110 liters in total – 30 liters in each saddlebag and 50 liters in the trunk. When discussing this change with a Honda rep, we were told that the reason behind this choice was that larger bags looked out of proportion with the front of the bike. The rep acknowledged that, while Honda was sure to face some resistance to the smaller capacity, market research had shown that the average trip these riders took was just three days long, and the cargo for rides of this length should be able to fit in the allotted space. Although we’re not completely sold on the idea of smaller luggage capacity, we will note that the BMW K1600GTL only has 115 liters of storage, meaning the 2018 Gold Wing Tour only falls a little less than 5% behind its closest rival.

Convenience Technology

Touring bikes are created for gobbling up massive amounts of asphalt while keeping the rider and passenger comfortable and entertained. Also, with the Gold Wing being Honda’s flagship motorcycle, it has always been given the privilege of showcasing the best that the company has to offer. So, MO had high hopes as to what was in store for the next Wing. We’ve already covered niceties like the electronically adjustable windscreen and suspension plus the Hill Start Assist. But those are features that have been around on other brand’s bikes for a long time, thankfully there’s more.

The instrument cluster has grown to be even more of a “dash” that it was before. Front-and-center is the exceptional 7-inch TFT display screen which houses the menus for the rider aids and audio system. Most importantly, the TFT is home base for the navigation system – which is important for far-flung journeys. The Gold Wing’s GPS is standard equipment for all versions. The big surprise about the GPS is that it comes with 10 years of free updates from Honda, and that’s bound to make long-term owners happy!

Another key feature to the new TFT is Apple CarPlay integration which will give riders access to their favorite entertainment and navigation apps. Users with Bluetooth headsets will also have Siri integration and the ability to play audio directly through their helmet speakers instead of always through the Wing’s onboard speakers. Android users shouldn’t worry, though. Honda is working to integrate Android Auto into a future firmware upgrade.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Dash

If the 7-inch TFT display isn’t enough for you, the rest of the 2018 Gold Wing’s dash is jam-packed with information.

As is becoming more common in luxury model motorcycles, the Gold Wing features a keyless ignition. In fact, there is no slot for an ignition key on the bike – just a knob atop the center console. The saddlebags and trunk locks are also controlled by the key fob, and they open electronically with the push of a soft-touch button. If you don’t have your fob with you, the bags will not let you close them. They’ll just pop back open. Similarly, you can’t lock the fob inside one of the bags.

One cool feature of the key fob is its on/off switch which disables the wireless function. This nice touch will keep strangers from being able to open your bags or start the engine if your fob is in range. While this is an esoteric touch, it shows the level of thought that Honda has put into the Gold Wing’s makeover.

2018 Honda Gold Wing

It’s All Over but the Waiting

In this sneak peak that Honda gave MO on the Monday before the 2018 Gold Wing’s unveiling to the public, we’ve been impressed with just how much has changed on this storied motorcycle. These changes add up to a more powerful machine that is 90 pounds lighter than its predecessor. It also gets better fuel economy – to the tune of Honda claiming it’s able to travel the same distance on a tank that is now one gallon smaller. Riders get the choice of a traditional manual 6-speed or a 7-speed DCT. The addition of Ride by wire brings with it a number of nice changes from ride modes to electronically adjustable suspension settings that are linked to those mode. Honda says the new double-wishbone front suspension represents a huge change in both ride comfort and performance. Finally, the rider and passenger accommodations promise better airflow management in addition to new entertainment and communication options.

Then there’s the fact that Honda has built two Gold Wing models, one with a trunk and one without. For base Gold Wing buyers who decide later that they want the trunk, accessory add/remove trunk kits will be available from Honda. That way, riders who want the more advanced suspension of the Gold Wing Tour can have the trunkless “bagger” style back end of the base model, if they like. The standard Gold Wing’s MSRP begins at $23,500, and the Gold Wing Tour ranges from $26,700 to $31,500.

Now comes the bad news for riders who are as excited to throw a leg over the 2018 Honda Gold Wing as we are. The bikes won’t be in dealerships until February of 2018. While that’s not a terribly long time to wait, you won’t get to hear the beefy exhaust note from its shapely mufflers. The sound of the flat-six is, as it has always been, intoxicating.

2018 Honda Gold Wing

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  • Clay Nicolsen

    The Yamaha Star Venture TC was on my short list. No more.

    • Max Wellian

      I figured the Star was doomed from the first released photos of the new Wing.

      • littlebuddy12345

        The Star was doomed regardless of what Honda did. If The Star was on your short list, I’m not sure what would change that. The 2012 Goldwing blows the Star outta the water. That’s been around for at least 5 years.

    • David K

      Yah, the Yamaha visually looked nice but it really needed at least a 4-cylinder liquid cooled engine.

  • ObamaReally Suucks

    Ding Ding Ding,,,,,We have a WINNER

    • littlebuddy12345

      A winner? Are you serious? Clunk clunk is the sound I hear from this loser. Smaller fuel capacity. Smaller luggage capacity. Looks like a smaller windshield on a touring motorcycle??? I don’t get it! Looks like we’ll all be waiting even longer for a step forward now.

      • bb49

        You dont get it? Don’t just look at the pictures. This isn’t Playboy.

        • littlebuddy12345

          Your right. Don’t look at the pictures. Read what I wrote: “Smaller fuel capacity. Smaller luggage capacity. Looks like a smaller windshield on a touring motorcycle??? What picture are you looking at? Or what script are you writing from?

      • StripleStrom

        I can see why less fuel and luggage capacity might be a downer for some, but if it makes the bike lighter and less bulky, I think it’s a step in the right direction. If you need that much luggage capacity, shouldn’t you really be driving a car? How many pull trailers behind them anyway?

        • Rich

          Agreed, and a stop for fuel, a stretch, and cup of water/ snack every 150 miles means you stay sharp. Personally, I stay away from the divided highways, so 100 miles is 2 hours or more. If my passenger is aboard, 1:30 might be the limit.

          • littlebuddy12345

            We can stop for a stretch? We can pull over and stretch anytime we want! We can pull over every 20 minutes if we want. Why would you want to be forced to because you run out of gas?? Range is often an issue in groups. Sounds like rationalization to the extreme!! Are you serious, or are you being facetious? Sorry, it’s difficult to be sure. Shorter range and less luggage capacity on a touring bike, , , , , ,
            is advantages???

          • Gary Latessa

            You can’t have everything. Way less weight and the same fuel range as last years bike. with what they claim is the same or better wind protection, and you get an electric windshield!! I”ll leave a pair or two of jeans that I won’t wear anyway at home. 180-200 miles is a long stretch for most folks. We are not all iron butt guys. If you have never road a K bike, you won’t appreciate the front end. If the front end is anything like the Beemers it will be fine. I think this puts any dream of a ST1300 to rest. At this point they are to similar. Polaris are you watching?

          • StripleStrom

            Unless they decide to lighten up the ST1300 into the low 600 range, which would be excellent. It should give them room to sport up the ST series. I’ve owned an 1100, and with the weight that it carried I might as well have bought a ‘Wing. In my opinion, it was too compromised to be a good sport bike or touring bike. I think this new ‘Wing is getting much closer to the sweet spot.

          • littlebuddy12345

            If you consider the ST1300 “the sweet spot”, you are absolutely correct!

          • Bob

            Electric windshields to me is a feature that is never used. I adjust my shield and then never have to change it. Why would you anyhow?

            When you are touring you are putting on a lot of miles. As such you can’t be spending 20 minutes here and 30 minutes there stretching and eating food or whatever. Unless the rides are short you need a large gas tank so you don’t have to stop so many times. I’ve even had out-of-gas incidents with the standard GW gas tanks. Motorcycles are about “RIDING” and not stopping.

            As for the new wind flow let’s see how this works out. The current GW air flow is great in the winter and pouring down rain. However, it does get warm in the summer months I will admit. Air flow adjusters can help.

          • StripleStrom

            You kind of answered your own question about the windshield and why you would need to change positions. The ‘wing has a reputation of being car-like with it’s massive pocket of still air. Sometimes, like in the summer, you want a little airflow.

          • Bob

            Yes and no. Yes you at times do need some airflow. However, having it at the helmet level isn’t the answer as that can start to cause buffeting which is a pain. The air deflectors at the side of the cowling is a better approach as it directs air to your body but to me they are ugly.:):) So I never installed them. The best solution is to ride in the morning and later on in the evening.

        • littlebuddy12345

          If you need that much capacity? You mean the capacity the Goldwing had before?? Did you really hear a lot of complaints about the previous (2017 and older) about too much luggage capacity? What I heard was Honda advertising and bragging about luggage capacity. I’m waiting to see if Honda advertises less luggage capacity now. I’m guessing, NO. Why wouldn’t they advertise reduce luggage capacity? What I read, was reviews comparing luggage capacity. If you’re concerned with lightness, shouldn’t you really be looking at bikes which concern themselves with being light? ST1300, Kawasaki Concours or yamaha FJ?
          How many pull trailers, you ask? I don’t know. Not many, percentage wise.

          • StripleStrom

            Is anyone allowed to have an opinion that differs from yours, or are you going to beat us all into submission with the sheer volume of redundant comments you post?

          • littlebuddy12345

            Mmm, if you’re referring to me – I might ask you the exact same question?

          • StripleStrom

            Of course. You’re the only one answering every other post to correct everyone.

          • littlebuddy12345

            Someone has too. Would you prefer everyone blindly jump on the Honda rah rah wagon? I strongly suspect, that is why it took this long to get anything close to a major change. Because continued patting Honda on the back for a 17 year old samo samo design. If everyone was accepting Honda doing nothing, why change it? Keep doing what you’ve always done, and you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got!

          • Bob

            I’ve owned a couple of Gold Wings in the past 17 years and I don’t have to pat Honda on the back when I say it is a great touring motorcycle. It truly is. When I can ride 8 hours during the summer months arrive at a hotel, unload my stuff then jump back on the GW and ride some more that says a lot about the ride and comfort you get. On Interstate highways the GW is a dream and you don’t get pushed around with air currents from other vehicles. Just sit with your legs on the pegs and ride. When it rains you don’t get wet or have any issues navigating the bike.

            Yes there are some things I didn’t like about the design but overall these are really good touring bikes. And Honda always has made minor improvements on existing designs. This makes more sense then coming out with a new design every 3 or 4 years.

        • Bob

          When you are riding the bike weight doesn’t make any difference. Weight only matters when trying to make tight turns when going slow or holding the bike vertical when stopped. And only a 150 mile range? Give me a break. Are we talking about wimps or real bikers. When you are touring you want to ride and not be walking around a gas station all day. This to me is a real negative.

          And you need luggage capacity when taking long trips. After owning a 2006 Gold Wing it had sufficient storage capacity. Now I own the Gold Wing F6b and always are running out of space even when carrying stuff around town. Don’t know what Honda was thinking about with this new design. Maybe they are getting into the add-on bag marketplace.

          • StripleStrom

            The fuel capacity difference is meaningless if the range is the same. Why would it matter? If you can go x miles on a tank on both bikes, what does the actual amount matter? That’s an ‘if’ yet to be determined though. If it’s more fuel efficient, you’re going to use less fuel overall on a trip, which reduces cost. I’m all for that. The luggage capacity issue is a big deal if you are a heavy tourer, I’ll admit.

        • littlebuddy12345

          Less fuel may make the bike lighter, but the bike gets real heavy when you run outta gas and have to push it.

          • David K

            Same miles per tank per Honda.

      • Bob

        Some of the articles indicated that the new design was a result of what the “younger” generation of bikers want. For example they stated a typical touring ride to be 3 days or less. When you design to these kinds of requirements you can see why the tank is smaller and there is 30% less storage space. Even one of the above posts said “……not every one has iron butts like the old guys do………..” So you design to what the marketplace demants.

        A friend of mine put 1200 miles on a GW in a single day. A bunch of us old geezers did a ride to Daytona for lunch and back in a day (560 miles). The new crowd apparently doesn’t do this.

    • David K

      It sure looks that way. The Gold Wing was long overdue especially with the previous models dreadful styling!

      • Bob

        I don’t like the new styling trends with the sharp points and corners. What I’ve been told is that Honda was leaning towards the Harley designs which I think is a mistake. Give me smooth corners any day of the week.

  • Paragon Lost

    Woah, I can’t wait to test ride one! Standard Gold Wing, add touring windshield in pearl stallion brown and I’m set.

  • DAVID

    With all this tech…….. still way cheaper than a fully dressed HD!! way to go Honda!!!! stick it to them.
    Now lets see a full test on full dressed touring bikes in the same price range no 40k bikes showing up!!! Keep the price for 25-30k only Please!

    • Bob

      Actually I was surprised at the pricing. Given the increases we’ve seen from Honda over the past 10 years I expected this brand new design to go up substantially but it didn’t. Really surprised.

      • littlebuddy12345

        That was a bit of a surprise. I wonder how firm all this info is.

        • Bob

          I saw the pricing on powersports.honda.com so it is firm.

  • Donald MacLeay

    I have a GL1500A and this new model certainly addresses its shortcomings. The GL1500 has a light front end, an overdrive in name only, and the windshield won’t stay in the elevated setting without sliding down under way. Trying to finesse the torquey throttle while playing with the clutch, while balancing the weight, while muscling the handle bars, will not be missed.

  • Wavshrdr

    Wow! I am impressed. I’ll have to ride one before deciding to part with my K1600 though. The new Wing definitely has promise.

  • motorboy

    As I was reading about all the new stuff like a whole 5 HP more- I kept saying how much $$-if the new Yamaha is $25K this thing will be more-well Honda you did it the old one was about the price of your loaded Civic-now this bike at 31K is the price of your loaded Accord-so where is the A/C on the new GoldWing and how many cup holders does it have

    • Cami

      Maybe you should buy an Accord and remove two wheels and then you’d have the motorcycle of your dreams…..Are you really comparing a motorcycle to a car? R&D and production costs in price per unit cannot be compared.

    • DL Nielsen

      The new Gold Wing is priced similarly to BMW’s K bikes. Tech and R&D costs money. As more tech is added to motorcycles, the price climbs. We seem to like the new tech features offered so be prepared for the sticker shock. Besides, motorcycles don’t have the economy of scale like automobiles so the associated costs don’t have the large numbers that decrease some of the costs like there is with automobiles.

    • Don Silvernail

      I understand about crying “foul” when comparing the price of a bike to a car, but there’s no way for me to convince her we need a new Wing over the Accord she’s been looking at now!

      • Alaskan18724

        Accord actually looks pretty nice for a car. Would fit snugly in the garage with a Goldwing and a Ridgeline.

    • bb49

      Yeah, cupholders are optional.

  • john phyyt

    I keep my bike on a bike stand between two medium cars in a standard garage. Would it be possible to do the same with this bike .? I dont expect to be able to get it out without moving a car like i can now. But is it doable?

    • Douglas

      Hard to tell if it has a centerstand, which if not, would almost be a deal-breaker for me….will never have another scoot without one.

      • Blasters Fan

        Option

        • littlebuddy12345

          I can’t imagine they would remove the centerstand, but judging by what they have done, and the focus on weight (all of a sudden), it’s hard to say what else we’re going to find.

  • Gabriel Owens

    When I retire my fjr this beauty is next.

    • mugwump

      It’s got me thinking.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Just the slimmed down design and the Honda motor have my attention. Not to mention a suspension that will likely gobble up bumps. The electronic stuff is ok. Not big on that stuff. But cruise control is a must.

  • Excellent coverage, including the video, in just two days! Props for that.

    In the video the Honda guy says you can take the trunk off the touring model to down-grade it, or words to that effect. Is there a provision to add the trunk to the standard model if you decide after purchase that you’d like more storage?

    And about the display: what’s the resolution? is it glove-touchable? does it pinch squeeze to zoom?

    • Evans Brasfield

      yes, you can add a trunk to the standard model. I don’t think the screen is a touch screen. You control it via a cool knob/toggle thing on the console.

      • Got it. Thanks!

      • Buzz

        Apple Car Play is designed to work with a touch screen. I’ve used it in several different rental cars and it’s always touch.

        • Adam Block

          Car play works with or without a touch screen. In our RV it is touch screen; in our BMW 340 it works via the iDrive knob. Touch screen is definitely a better experience.

    • James

      Don’t know about the display but to the issue of the trunk, yes you can. They mention it in the video.

      • Thanks, James. I heard in the video that the trunk could be removed on the Touring model, but didn’t catch that one could be added to the bagger version.

  • BGM1911

    Had a ’02, and now a ’06. I will be buying this bike.

  • Cami

    Splitting hairs with BMW, Honda will always be my pick for a this style motorcycle.

  • StripleStrom

    I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a Goldwing. I’ve gone from ‘no way’ with the 1500, to ‘not bad’ with the previous generation to ‘dang, that’s nice’ with this bike. Maybe it’s because I’m now in my forties, but I would love to own one. I can’t see a single thing I don’t like about this new model.
    The only question I have is about the dual clutch transmission. How does it work at parking lot speeds? On a normal motorcycle I bump the clutch and coast at a really low speed. I can’t see how this would work with an auto. For this type of bike, I would really consider having it, even though I wouldn’t touch it on any other model.

    • James

      I have an ’15 NC700 dct. Slow speeds won’t be a problem for the dct. It basically rides like a scooter. The only drawback with dct is you have to remember to use the parking brake that comes with the dct version. The bike cannot be left in gear when parked, hence the parking brake. I not sure if this next gen version of the dct has addressed the issue or not. However its actually not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and I adjusted fairly quickly to the use of the parking brake myself.

      • Blasters Fan

        Actually it can be left in gear. It shifts to neutral automatically when you start it.
        Slow speeds require some retraining.

      • StripleStrom

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I will have to take a test ride on a DCT bike one of these days.

    • Max Wellian

      I bought a ’97 1500 back when it was new. It was a fine bike for hauling two people long distances, but rather large and cumbersome for the rest of the time. I’ve ridden a couple of the 1800s long distances and honestly, they felt like the same thing to me. I’m sure they were probably a little faster and a touch lighter, but nothing you’d notice if you weren’t looking hard to find it.

    • Bob

      It will be interesting as to what the new tranny does. Sometimes these new designs do things you don’t want them to do but you have no choice.

  • vtwinsrbest

    Any change to valve maintenance intervals? Any lean sensitive(EMU) software linked to the ABS? Still have a centerstand?

    • Gabriel Owens

      Very good questions that need answers.

    • Bob

      I’ve spoken to a couple of Honda Certified mechanics and they said that they never adjusted valves on ANY Honda motorcycles they worked on. So much for the maintenance schedules. For years they always checked the gaps and never had to do an adjustment so they don’t recommend doing this.

      • vtwinsrbest

        I believe the OEM schedule specifies inspection at 32K miles on the 1800/6 engine. The modifications described to the 2018 valve train make me wonder whether that’s changed, for better or for worse. I understand that real-world anecdotal experience suggests either people don’t pay attention to that schedule because they don’t want to spend the considerable expense for something that may or may not be an issue(Honda rep for reliability cited). And I’ve also yet to meet a mechanic(dealer or otherwise) in NY that pushes the teardown and expense of an inspection either. I don’t think they want to tackle this major, technically involved job. Not enough really qualified mechanics on staff and not enough profit in tying one up for a multi-hr job.

  • Rapier51

    What is it with Honda and those small gas tanks? That small tank made the big VFR in it’s various forms a market irrelevancy. Well that’s how I see it. This isn’t as bad but still…….

  • Buzz

    Really nice update. I like how much smaller it is.

    • StripleStrom

      I do too. I suspect that many of the old men complaining about it will see the light once they see how much easier it is to handle a lighter bike.

      • Bob

        There is more to handling then light weight. The older design was a great ride and riding on twisty roads was a dream. The F6b is even a better ride. The important thing that will be interesting is how does the new design fair during long distant rides with not so perfect weather or road conditions. The only negative that us “old men” have with the older design is when you are stopped and/or handling/turning in a parking lot or small road. Other than that when riding long distances you want whatever it takes for a smooth and comfortable ride in ALL conditions. That has yet to be tested on the new design.

        • littlebuddy12345

          I will be curious to see reviews on this bike. I may have to look into the F6b. I’m curious.

          • David K

            I find the F6B not so easy on the eyes with that front cowl.

          • Bob

            Do yourself a favor and check out/ride an F6b. Everyone that I know that has one loves the bike. So do I. It is the best motorcycle that I’ve owned in 50 years of riding. It is not only sporty but can be ridden on very long rides. It handles extremely well on twisties and is easier to handle in parking lots or at slow speeds. I ride mine everywhere and enjoy each ride.

        • StripleStrom

          I can see where we are coming from two totally different perspectives. I’ll admit straight up that I have never been a real long-distance touring rider like you. I have always been a sport rider. Approaching it from my point of view means that this redesign is only positive. Less weight is always beneficial to handling at all speeds. But, I am starting to understand why some of you are seeing it very negatively. It will be interesting to see if Honda has created a machine that can appeal to a younger and more performance oriented set while not alienating their core customers. That’s a tall order. But it might also be a genius business move on their part.

      • David K

        The weight thing should be minor and an advantage. With it being more aerodynamic it is less likely to push in the wind. And with the same mileage per tank even when smaller, that is impressive.

        • littlebuddy12345

          A moped with an aerodynamic windshield will fit that bill.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    oooh nice. Thank you for making it look less porky Honda. The previous gen gave a stigma of an old mans bike. Hopefully this will reach out to a whole new set of riders like the article says. Guess I’ll be adding one to my stable.

    • Alaskan18724

      I like it. I was wondering if that made me an Old.

    • David Lane

      As an “old man”, that “stigma” was probably caused by the fact that most of us old guys can easily buy a $30k touring bike. Unlike a lot of whipper-snappers who like to do wheelies on their sport bikes.

      • David K

        Yes, those young whipper-snappers will probably be biting their tongue in about 20-years. Though I probably fall into the age crowd that could appreciate a bike like this, I still prefer other bikes for my daily commute.

        • David Lane

          I have a Harley Fatboy that I use some for around town and shorter rides. The Goldwing GL1800 is the bike my wife and I use to explore the country on our 1,000 mile rides. Give me big, heavy and maximum comfort, for us old folks. Yet, I still do a pretty good clip on the Dragon every year.
          I had sporty bikes when I was younger. I think there will be many long-time Goldwing owners who will not go for this slimmed down version. Honda may be trying to attract a younger crowd, but really, aren’t there already a LOT of other sport bikes available?

          • David K

            On a KLR, I did two 650 mile a day rides near Austin, Texas.

          • Bob

            A friend of mine did the cross country tour on a CBR1000 sports bike. Now THAT is a biker.:):)

          • StripleStrom

            The only thing I can compare it to is the automotive market. It used to be that luxury was a 5000 lb. Cadillac with a 500 cubic inch motor that floated all over the road. Luxury is changing to be comfort along with performance, because who wants a driving experience like that? If you can have most of the luggage capacity of the old ‘Wing with more performance, you improve the experience all the way around. Only the stodgy old men set in their ways are going to complain about this kind of change, and the market opens up to a whole new generation. That’s a win for Honda. I think the whole thing is being overblown anyway. It isn’t really that big of a change.

          • littlebuddy12345

            Comparing this to the 5000 lb Cadillac that wallowed in turns is not even close. The GL1800 didn’t wallow in turns (relatively speaking). It didn’t have that big heavy feeling in corners, like someone who never rode one might assume. That was why the GL1800 was such a star. Big, quick, smooth, flat powerband, decent range, Great luggage capacity all rolled into one unbelievable ride. The old stodgy men are going to wonder why Honda didn’t just keep the ST1300 Sport touring bike for those who wanted a sport touring bike and keep the grand touring bike the Goldwing “was, instead of trying to force two different groups to compromise, and buy the same motorcycle. Sure, It’ll save Honda a few bucks if they just have to focus on one compromised bike instead of two specialty bikes, but I’m more concerned with what I’d like than Honda’s profit/loss sheets. I get the feeling the ST1300 is on it’s way out, if they can sell this disappointment and kill two birds with one stone.
            Thanks Honda.

          • Bob

            Hah! Apparently you never did some serious riding on a Gold Wing. Years ago I upgraded from smaller bikes to a GW and what a change. Better ride, better handling, takes corners like a dream, and enough storage for a long ride all of which is what a touring bike is supposed to be. Never had an issue with power or performance with my GL1800 or F6b. You can ride along side anything on the Interstates and won’t get blown off of the road like you do with other smaller motorcycles. Riding in pouring down rain or 28 degree weather is not a problem. When you put on 500 or 600 miles a day you will appreciate all of the features of the older models. No, us “stodgy old men” knows what it takes for serious riding. And by the way still love manual transmissions.

          • littlebuddy12345

            I recall getting hit with rain in Death Valley. I’m certain a carwash doesn’t drop that much water! I used to have an 87 Venture years ago. Bike had good power and I could move it through corners really good. That bike wallowed in turns (Almost every time I pushed it in corners), but I became accustom to it. Then years later, I tried a friends Goldwing, after looking at it as a pic. That’s all it took! I couldn’t believe how stable the bike was in corners and how far I could push it over, without scraping. Virtually, no wallowing. On Rails. Power to spare with two up. Nothing comparable!

          • Bob

            Dave. The fastest bike on the Dragon is a yellow Gold Wing. The owner eats up the young dudes on their crotch rockets every day of the week.:):)

          • David Lane

            Bob….yep, he’s known as Yellowtail and rides a yellow wing, just like mine. I’ve scrapped the pegs a few times in the Dragon’s switchbacks, but my 2010 GL1800 sticks to the pavement like glue with great handling, power and comfort. I didn’t do the Dragon this year, but hit the Rattler twice and had a blast.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            He is known as Yellow Wolf. His bike is outfitted with front and rear cameras and mics, and he makes money shooting other riders as they do a run on the Dragon (and other places).

            For a fee, he shall take one’s address and rife with one along a prescribed route. Yellow Wolf then edits and adds music and titles and posts the purchaser a DVD of the experience.

            https://youtu.be/VxHNnOHuikI

          • David Lane

            You’re right, he’s known as Yellow Wolf. Sorry, I was half asleep when I put “tail” in there. 🙂 He’s a heck of a Goldwing rider!

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Probably because of the bottle of Yellowtail you had last night. 😉

            He used to be a regional professional motocross racer in the south-east USA.

          • David Lane

            Haha! Caught me. 🙂

    • David K

      Yes, I was nearly shocked when I saw the previous generations styling after not seeing a Wing in a couple years.

    • Bob

      Hey watch it kid. I’m 76 years old and love the older Gold Wings and now the F6b. If you do some serious touring you will miss the storage capacity which was reduced by about 30%. That is a lot. Plan on adding some bags on the back seat tied down with some bungee cords. And we will see about the thinner styling. The wider front cowling had a lot of advantages especially riding in rainy or very cold weather. I’m suspicious about the new design in these conditions.

      Yeah, today’s bikers are not guys that I ride with. Whole new breed which Honda is trying to appeal to. But automatic transmissions??? Give me a break. Is that what the younger crowd thinks is a “motorcycle”?

      • littlebuddy12345

        I have a rack on mine. I have a bag for that rack. We use it all.
        I can’t imagine, losing almost an entire saddlebag, for no reason.

      • David K

        I think the DCT makes a lot of sense on this bike more so than others. In fact, I would like to see it offered more on others. I am pretty much a purist in other aspects but the shifting thing should be optional.

  • Toby Paone

    Will the new Gold Wing Standard replace the F6B? BTW, this looks like a real winner from Honda. Too bad these aren’t still made in Ohio.

    • Evans Brasfield

      Yes, the standard is replacing the F6B.

      • Bob

        Do you know this for a fact? That would be a mistake in my opinion. I have an F6b and it is an awesome motorcycle in just about every department except storage space. And it is one of the best looking motorcycles that I’ve ever seen. I always get compliments on my F6b.

  • Rich

    After being impressed by the review, and then reviewing the pic’s, I wonder if those mini tip-over wings allow for the addition of a hiway peg. For the last 3 years, the spring of 2018 has been the date for a planned upgrade to a Wing from my ’04 Road Star, (which I long ago, accessorized to a touring bike), but with two cranky knees, I need the ability to re-adjust and stretch them frequently… I hope I won’t need to “settle” for a 2017, or wait for accessories to catch up…..

  • John A. Stockman

    The difference is size and weight is just what the GL needed. Styling, very good, a minimalist look. Seems a bit less tupperware also, something I wrangled with on my ’88 GL. I became adept at getting the panels off and back on, even for oil changes. 172,000 miles on that ’88 GL and the only thing that went wrong was the stock alternator. Nice direction for the GL platform Honda! Love the great pics and graphics guys.

    • David K

      Love the idea of a Gold Wing but it is not my cup of tea. It is about time they updated it as the previous model was not easy on the eyes. Real nice bike!

    • littlebuddy12345

      Mmm, the ST1300 may be worth your consideration. Noticeably lighter than this one still!

      • Bob

        To me the ST is NOT a touring bike. Good for around town stuff but not for serious riding.

  • Ulysses Araujo

    It’s funny how Honda bikes’ horsepower curves are always impossibly straight and smooth, should be even better feeling in a six-cilinder.

    On an unrelated topic, the prick on me always wants to correct people: it’s not a manual, its a pedal transmission!!! 😛

    • Bob

      Are these Honda’s HP/Torque curves? Usually they never give you this information.

      • Ulysses Araujo

        Yeah, but there are no references on the real amount of power and torque they are producing, only relative to the previous engine (as usual even with other manufacturers). They are probably crank dyno curves after all, giving a number probably opens them to complaints if a bike owned by someone didn’t reach those numbers…

        • Bob

          Good point. And if you look at the two curves there really isn’t much difference so I don’t know why Honda even mentioned this. Very few bikers run at top, red line RPMs which is where the differences are so to me this is a moot point.

  • littlebuddy12345

    Smaller fuel tank? Less room for luggage? Why would anyone want this on a touring motorcycle? I would’ve thought Honda was trying to improve on an old design that has been around way too long. What a disappointment!! Nope! Not for me. Now it seems that I’ll have to wait even longer, being as we’re starting to step backwards now. What in hell is Honda thinking???

    • Craig Alberts

      No idea….as a dealer we were not actively involved in the “new wing” creation. Apparently there were discussions with active wing owners, but they didn’t have the same opinions as all the touring folks we are involved with.

      • littlebuddy12345

        I’ve been invited and attended a couple of these survey type meeting where you give opinions and speak to people about your thoughts. I wonder how things translated to this? That’s the way it goes, I guess!

        • David Lane

          Since Goldwings are made in Japan now, I wonder if there’s any correlation with their riding style over there that prompted these changes? Narrower design, less gas, less storage, and what looks like a less comfortable pillion seat. I don’t want a sport bike, I want a big comfortable touring bike like my 2010 GL1800.

          • littlebuddy12345

            Very much my feelings! This is approaching sport touring. Not my plan. When I purchased my 2009, that is what I wanted. big roomy, comfortable, powerful, and handling. While Honda may get some of the younger sport touring crowd, I wonder how they’re going to do with present GL1800 owners.
            Your other point reminds me of ancient times when I was in Japan in the late 70’s. Kawasaki had the 903 4 cyl. For some reason, the same exact bike was a 750 in Japan. I think the laws then may have placed some penalty for bikes over 750? So long ago, I can’t remember. Streets are definitely tighter there in Japan!

          • Bob

            The “present GL 1800 owners” are getting OLD.:):) They probably won’t be buying too many more touring motorcycles in the future………

  • littlebuddy12345

    Smaller fuel tank? Less room for luggage? Why would anyone want this on a touring motorcycle? I would’ve thought Honda was trying to improve on an old design that has been around way too long. What a disappointment!! Nope! Not for me. Now it seems that I’ll have to wait even longer, being as we’re starting to step backwards now. What in hell is Honda thinking???

  • littlebuddy12345

    I’m assuming this is meant to replace the ST1300? Or maybe it was built as a compromise of a Goldwing and ST1300? Get both parties with this one bike? Sorta like an enduro. Works for both street and dirt, but not exceptional at either? Whattha???

    • spiff

      I think they would like the bike to appeal to a wider demographic. If done correctly there is need for little compromise.

  • littlebuddy12345

    What the Hell is Honda thinking ????

  • Bob Stoeckle

    ‘Looks nice’ but I’ll reserve judgement. Too many stupid things in my ’12 that I will look for improvements in first. … Think steering bearings, time to change an air filter, ability to change a rear tire/wheel, mpg, TPMS reset needs (I can go on).

    • bb49

      Changing the rear involves laying the bike on it’s side, loosening the five lug nuts, sliding the wheel/tire out, slipping the new one on, tightening the lug nuts and putting the bike up on it’s stand.
      15 minutes max if you’re in a hurry.

      • littlebuddy12345

        Yes, the rear tire can be changed that way, but some of us feel there should be a better way to change a rear wheel than to lay a 900 lb bike on it’s side risking fluids leaking. You didn’t address that pain in the butt air filter change.

        • bb49

          It’s a Honda. It doesn’t leak fluids.

          • littlebuddy12345

            I should’ve said gas. I don’t know it’ll leak gas if lying on it’s side, but I’d just rather not lay it down like that. Even on the crash bars. Just me.

    • Bob

      I owned a 2006. I took the bike apart (literally) to get to the air filter and found that it was as new as the one I was going to replace it with. The location of the filter could be changed. As I posted above the valves never need adjusting. I got 24K miles on my last set of Dunlap tires. Never heard of bearing issues…………ever. MPG for such a heavy bike to me is acceptable. Bottom line for me is all I did to my Gold Wing was ride it.

  • Will helmets fit in the trunk?

    • littlebuddy12345

      Judging by the rest of the stupid changes, Honda may have made the truck smaller too, for better aerodynamics!

      • When we park I like to put our helmets in the trunk. I have an 86 GoldWing and a 2004 GoldWing and we are always amazed how much we can purchase at Costco and bring home on the bike. Do we now have to buy a trailer?

    • Bob

      Good question. I can’t fit my helmet in the F6b saddle. Looks like the new Gold Wing bags are of similar size.

      • I have an 1986 and a 2004 Goldwings and in both of these trunks we can fit 2 helmets. Safe & dry

        • We go shopping at Costco and we fit an incredible amount of stuff in the 3 compartments when it is stacked right.

          • littlebuddy12345

            I do the exact same thing. Once thing for sure. We won’t be able to bring the same amount of items, we can in older Goldwings. That’s for sure. I just know someone here will comment how that’s a good thing, because now we’ll lose weight. The 2018 Trumpeteers have been coming up with some crazy excuses and rationalizations.

        • Bob

          My 2006 GW was the same. I didn’t care as much about the helmet getting wet as it being stolen. The price of the upper end helmets these days can range from $400 to $900 so you don’t want it just sitting on your bike. Don’t know why Honda chose not to make the bags large enough for a helmet. Styling is one thing but basic motorcycle needs are another.

          And to add to this on my F6b my helmet strap can’t reach the helmet lock pin on the side of the bike so I have to use an additional wire to secure the helmet. Don’t know if I should blame Honda or Arai for this issue. The strap on the helmet is rather short but then again the lock pin is tucked back in so the Aria buckle won’t reach. How long has Honda and Arai been in the motorcycle business????????:):):)

    • Bob N Colette Steele

      I think I saw another write up on the 2018 Wing. He said he could fit two full face helmets in the trunk but nothing else.

      • in my 86 and 04 I can fit 2 helmets in and not much more. the 2018 looks much smaller. Wait and see, I guess.

  • Patrick Callahan

    Excited to see how the upgrade in electronics compares to the BMW 1600GTL

  • theoz49

    I had a ’75 Wing (first year)….my, my…they’ve come a long way !! I paid $2,350 for it…band new.

    • Gary

      Same here. Candy red with an emergency kickstarter in the “gas tank.” That was my only transportation for several years, and the only thing that ever went wrong with the bike was a flat tire. Great bike. Great times.

      • StripleStrom

        I’ve always wanted a 75.

      • theoz49

        i had the turquoise one. Me and a friend bought ours together as a package deal in 1976…they were leftover models from ’75 but brand new…hence the $$ deal. I crashed mine in ’89…(86,000 miles) and got pretty banged up.
        He restored his to stock condition…then got diagnosed with cancer and passed. He sold me the bike for $1. I had it for a while and wasn’t riding it enough to make it worthwhile,…(back injuries from the crash…and as B.B. King said “the thrill is gone”) so I sold it to another of our buddies for $1. He loves it and rides all the time…so it was a good thing to pass it on to someone who will enjoy it. Good karma from me. Although, looking at the new ones…maybe my back could handle one of them. They look awesome !

  • DO-NOT-MESS_with_USa

    I SURE HOPE bike wreckers DON’T scrap all the 1500’s. OH SO MANY 1800 owners went back to the 1500. Wonder *IF* the same will be said on this re-re-reincarnation?

    • littlebuddy12345

      There is no possible way I would consider this bke. I would consider the 2016/2017 (at a discount of course) before I would consider this bike. I can’t see any touring people being happy with these idiotic changes. Can’t stop shaking my head at the stupidity exhibited at Honda!

      • Gabriel Owens

        Well buddy, with these idiotic changes, honda just attracted a new buyer that has hated Goldwings.

        • littlebuddy12345

          Let’s see if you buy one.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Putting the fjr on cycle trader next week.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Let’s see if you continue to respond.

    • bb49

      That’s a STRANGE statement. I know LOTS of guys with 1800s and older Wings, and have NEVER run into one rider that downsized from a 1800 to an older Wing.
      Every guy that went from an OLDER WING to a 1800 never looked back.

  • littlebuddy12345

    So many of these comments sound like dealers and people who are trying to shine a positive light on mediocrity. Gee, I’m anxious to see any improvements on valve stems”. “Let’s hope for better brake pads”! “Anxious to see improvement on the electronics” (as if we would know the internals of the electronics. The changes are a huge disappointment. Idiotic to some of us.

    • bb49

      Okay, enough of the hate. We know you don’t like Honda so go back to your Burgman.

      • littlebuddy12345

        Okay, enough of your ignorance. I have a Honda. I have a Goldwing. Duhhhh! I’m looking at trying to purchase a new one. Just a little info so you can insert some sense in your comments.

      • StripleStrom

        I’m not a fan of Honda lately, but I am a fan of this redesign. I think they are starting to realize that the bloat takes away from the riding experience. They are onto something, and it will attract a new ‘wing rider that isn’t quite so set in their ways. They are in the hunt to take away market share from the K1600.

        • littlebuddy12345

          Are BMW K1600 sales so good, as to challenge Goldwing sales? Is the K1600 that good?

        • Bob

          Ever get a BMW repair bill? That alone is reason enough not to buy a BMW even though they are great motorcycles. Not as good as the Gold Wing but an excellent touring bike. A friend of mine dropped his BMW, broke the shift lever and paid over $150 to have it replaced. He said his other maintenance bills ran between $500 to $1000. Another friend had a battery replaced in his dressed out Harley and paid over $400. Sorry but I want a bike that I don’t have take out a loan to cover repair costs.

          • StripleStrom

            I totally agree with you. I would never buy a BMW. I think their reliability sucks. I think it’s wise that Honda is giving us an option that is reliable and sporty.

    • Bob

      Hopefully the new design will at least have Blue Tooth. Don’t know why the F6b doesn’t. Umbilical cords are the thing of the past.

      • littlebuddy12345

        Bluetooth would be a welcome change. Let’s see.

  • John B.

    Now that’s what I call an upgrade! Great article Evans.

    • Old MOron

      Ha ha, I’ve been looking for your post so I could say, “Hey John, have I got a bike for you!”

      • John B.

        Thank you OM! I would love to ride every motorcycle on the market. If only that were possible.

  • Craig Alberts

    Does it have a CB available?

    • Evans Brasfield

      Yes, it is an option.

  • KevinM044

    “They think the new Wing has the performance chops to entice younger enthusiasts.”

    Maybe…

    But how many “younger enthusiasts” hhappen to have 24-32 grand just floating around?!

    • littlebuddy12345

      If they do have that $24K – $32K hanging around, I doubt they’ll spend it on this.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Im 40, own a 2015 fjr, and this is my next bike. Maybe theyre on to something

      • Anthony Walden

        Honestly to me it looks like they took the previous model goldwing and mashed it together with an FJR! I am a big fan of the FJR and I really like the look of this bike over the previous model.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Exact same thoughts. An fjr more on the touring scale and less on the sport side. This greatly appeals to me.

        • Bob

          I’m guessing that the frame and engine are very similar to the older models. Honda is changing the styling including the bags and gas tank. The important stuff is the frame, engine, tranny, and suspension.

      • Bob

        The FJR is a really good motorcycle but is a different ride than a Gold Wing.

        • Gabriel Owens

          No way, really?

  • littlebuddy12345

    Let’s design a new ultimate touring motorcycle. We want range, so efficient engine and large gas tank. Another No brainer is, as much storage/luggage room as possible. Another no brainer, is comfort, so comfortable seat and windshield to deflect as much wind as possible.
    But what does Honda do to Improve on a bike having only trivial changes for 17 years? Makes the fuel tank smaller, makes the windshield smaller and makes storage for luggage smaller. Mmmm – I gotta say, , , really???? Thanks Honda. Somebody note the day and time. This may be Honda BIGGEST MISTAKE, since the Pacific Coast. Anyone think of a bigger mistake Honda has made?

    • WingConVette

      No

    • Bob

      Keep in mind that these changes are what the younger crowd wants. If that is where the sales are then Honda will design to these wants and needs.

  • Old MOron

    Great first look, Evans. How cool that you got to RIDE to Sta Barbara AND scoop the world. Good on MO.

  • BainDramage

    I like it, but I don’t know that I would buy one. Hmmm. Maybe.

    I’m a former BMW R1200RT owner and I rode my RT across the USA (coast-to-coast) twice. I would regularly take day trips of 400+ miles near home. That said, based on experience, I would look closely at the BMW 1600 and do a careful comparison of the BMW vs the new ‘Wing before deciding.

    If the new ‘Wing is built with Honda’s legendary reliability, then that might sway my decision, but I have ridden the BMW 1600 and it is pure heaven; rides like a tourer, and performs like a sport bike. A blissfully wonderful machine.

    • littlebuddy12345

      I haven’t ridden a 1600. I own a 2009 Goldwing 1800. I can tell you, it handles a lot better than a bike this size should handle. Suspension should be better, but it’s easily tolerable. Power is fantastic. Dependable as can be. Mine is getting old, but this new GL1800 will not be the bike I purchase. Not even close. If they were to offer some unbelievable deals on the 2017, I may consider that. But this 2018 is a total disappointment to me, aside from the 6th gear and possibly the front end. I tried/rented a HD Ultra. Suspension was nice, power was different, but acceptable/tolerable, but too many other small issues I just couldn’t accept. I’ll probably rent an Indian, but I may not be able to accept the heat coming up. Maybe I should look into the BMW? I just cubes, and not sure I’d be happy with that and dependability. This crappy “updated” 2018 just threw a big wrench into my plans.

      • Bob

        I agree. The older GW design was/is a dream to ride. Never had a power issue and I ride on the Interstates a lot where there are many situations you have to get out of using power. Yes the suspension is a bit stiff but you can do some modifications to help this. With the new design I’m concerned about protection in bad weather conditions. By the way I have a F6b and handling is much better than the standard GW. What does it lack? Storage space?

    • Ken Floyd Jr.

      I rode a 1982 Honda 450 Nighthawk across country twice, and it did fine. But I much more enjoyed the many other trips on my Goldwing. I think this bike will even be better.

      • BainDramage

        I agree. I think the 2018 ‘Wing would be better to ride across the country than a 1982 Honda 450 Nighthawk.

    • Bob

      The BMWs are also great touring bikes. My only problem with their motorcycles is the seat height which is too high for shorter people. You have to be able to put your feet on the ground when you stop.:):)

  • kenneth_moore

    If this bike doesn’t have enough trunk space or gas tank for you, Honda does make several nice “auto-mobiles”. These “auto-mobiles” can carry ice chests, more than one passenger, AND you can put car tires on them without looking like an idiot.

    Half of these bikes will wind up towing a trailer anyway.

    • littlebuddy12345

      Yes,,,,or I could just stay with the one I have or buy 2017!
      I doubt anywhere near half the people will tow trailers with this. No where near. And I just don’t see why someone would buy something necessitating a trailer, when the older one didn’t.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Just got back from a 9 day trip on a fjr with less space than this.

        • WingConVette

          By yourself or with a pillion? Anything other than T-shirts and toothpaste? Did you bring adequate tools, repair and emergency items, or are you just winging it and depending on AAA or the closest big city Walmart?

    • Tanner

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a GW on a trailer. Unlike that Wisconsin brand… People who buy ‘wings tend to ride them and not pose on them.

    • Bob

      A friend of mine put it appropriately: “If you ever see my Gold Wing (or any Gold Wing) on a trailer, call the cops because its being stolen.”

      • littlebuddy12345

        LMAO! Truer words were never spoken.
        We don’t trailer to Sturgis, we ride there! All the way there.

  • littlebuddy12345

    In my opinion. If Honda would have just went with the stroke the changed and stayed with the original bore, the displacement may have been about 1883 cc’s. Give it the 6th gear like they did. Give it the front end they did (I hope it’s good). Keep the new 4 valve heads and a couple of trivial changes to looks. Just that, would’ve been something people would’ve licked their chops over. More displacement would’ve sealed the deal. I’ve heard few if any Goldwing owners, complaining about weight. We’ve all been waiting for the 2000 cc and the 6th gear. Suspension improvements have been long overdue. Even improved springs in the forks. BUT I HAVE NEVER HEARD A GOLDWING OWNER COMPLAIN ABOUT HAVING TOO MUCH FUEL CAPACITY OR TOO MUCH LUGGAGE CAPACITY. OR WINDSHIELD BLOCKS TOO MUCH WIND. NEVER!!!

    • Bob

      Never thought I needed more power or an extra gear with my 2006 GW. At 70 mph I believe the rpms were at 3K. Lots of room above that if you needed it. Any increase in HP probably would affect the gas mileage so more gas station stops.

    • Bob N Colette Steele

      I think they lowered the bore but made up the difference with the extra valves and 10.5.1 compression. The older 1800s were 9.5.1. Having said that I don’t think 5 more horsepower is going to attract younger buyers. My son just bought a KT1600 BMW and that thing will run circles around my wing. If he doesn’t want me to I can’t keep up with him. I really think Honda should have at least squeezed way more power out of this engine. That might have brought in younger buyers. I know it would have made me happy:>)

  • Doug Peacock

    I am actually on an ST1300 these days. Would love to see a third generation ST. Also have my eye on a 1998 VFR. Gee, I still would be around 20 K shy of the cost of a new Wing! And for that money, a K1600 with 160hp looks way more interesting. Come to think of it, I could buy a pre-owned K1600 and the VFR and have money left for a yet another vehicle. The new Wing looks pretty nice, but the numbers don’t work for me with so many tasty used machines out there.

    • Bob

      You are talking two totally different bikes/rides when you compare the ST and the GW. Get a used GW or F6b. It’s well known that the GW engine will last a couple hundred thousand miles so you should be good for several years. And if you don’t like the ride you can still sell it for a good price.

      • Doug Peacock

        I have had two wings. I am doing less two-up and have more fun on the ST. I just think Hondas are great, but there are not so many new Honda models that I find attractive. Both STs were brilliant for their time and I would love to state-of-the art third generation. Why concede the whole market to BMW? Anyway, I just love the way my V4 can just rip most any road a new one. And the stock suspension is decent, where as that of the Wings (until ’18) is mediocre at best.

        • Bob

          Aside from my Honda F6b I have a Honda CBR1000rr sports/race bike. If you want a thrill of your life get a CBR1000rr. You feel 30 years younger after riding that bike.:):) It has amazing power and handling.

          • Doug Peacock

            I am sure I would enjoy the CBR1000. Or a clean older liter Honda or R1 or Gixxer would keep me smiling as well. We shall see!

  • Mad4TheCrest

    Look, massive is massive, but dropping 80lbs is not to be sniffed at. Kudos to Honda for sprucing up an old mainstay in the ways it needed to, while keeping much of what made the Wing a favorite among long-haul two-up non-cruiser tourers for all these years.

    • littlebuddy12345

      They could probably remove another 20 lbs if they just remove the saddlebags and trunk entirely.

      • WingConVette

        Great idea, and take off the passenger seat too. Now we’ll be able to gain another 1/2 mpg. Great trade off the way the engineers seem to value it.

    • WingConVette

      Yes, but dropping 80 pounds at what cost? Just to say we dropped 80 pounds? There’s plenty of cost.
      – An engine designed for fuel efficiency and not decent power = cost
      – The fuel efficiency not dedicated to greater range, but to at best the same but most likely lesser range= cost
      – Weight dropped at the expense of severely reduced cargo space and a worthwhile passenger seat = cost x 2
      – Possible more than several pounds reduced by what looks like elimanated efficient practical tipover bars= cost

      Are you really saying that these above listed victims of weight reduction will “keep much of what made the Wing a favorite among long-haul two-uppers”?
      Please explain the net benefits of this weight reduction and your logic.
      Thank you

      • Mad4TheCrest

        What, you’d prefer it got heavier?

        • WingConVette

          No, I wouldn’t, good question though. What I’m trying to say is too much was given up for the weight reduction, and isolating the weight reduction just for its own sake… what does that do for me?
          A lighter frame and generator/starter? Fair enough- net gain there with no negative tradeoff.
          Engine shaved eight pounds, increased efficiency, and shaved 29mm off at the expense of what should have been another 30 or so HP increase- no thanks.
          Approx 1/3 reduction in storage traded for weight and looks-no. Better mpg cancelled out by a smaller tank, no. OK, so I save $4.00/day on a tour in gas costs.

          • Mad4TheCrest

            I guess if you own a current Wing and routinely use every bit of the luggage capacity and fuel capacity then you might reasonably disagree with the trade-off. Honda is betting I think that most Wing fans will accept the trade-off and that people who’ve always considered the Wing too bulky will step up and buy this more svelte version.

          • WingConVette

            And best of luck to them, it is a business after all. I’m a diehard capitalist. Just so disappointing to me. We shall see.

          • littlebuddy12345

            I cannot recall one person who takes trips on a Goldwing (or any full dresser) complaining about too much luggage room after loading. Complaining he still has too much empty space left over. NEVER heard that.

        • littlebuddy12345

          Again, I don’t know where you get anyone wanting this heavier. I have yet to hear or read anyone saying; Gee, I wish it were heavier!

    • littlebuddy12345

      I don’t think the weight of the GL1800 was a surprise to anyone who purchased one. It may be mentioned, but only a mention when explaining how well it handled in spite of it’s weight. Sprucing it up with what people wanted changed while keeping much of what people wanted, now that’s an improvement. Trading lower weight for lower luggage capacity, is just that – a trade! Including a smaller fuel tank in that trade (after Honda advertised its fuel capacity) is nothing more than a sacrifice to lose weight. What people wanted was a 6th gear, expected a larger engine, AND BETTER SUSPENSION!! No one asked for a smaller fuel tank or a reduction in luggage capacity. Improving MPG “and keeping same fuel tank”, is an improvement. We don’t know if MPG will improve or how much MPG will be.

  • MotorbikeMike

    This bike was long overdue for an update, personally it looks like they nailed it. A lot of redesigning has made a better performing, lighter, more compact bike with all the same comfort.
    Styling wise, I think they nailed it. I’m loving that sharp little nose between the headlights, it seems to be becoming a trend in Honda’s newer models, very distinct.

    • Bob

      Looks and ride are two different things. I go for the better riding motorcycle any day of the week.

  • fzrider

    Reading about the advantages of the new front suspension makes me wonder if we are about to see something similar on non-touring bikes as well.

    • WingConVette

      Really good question!

  • Brian Clasby

    Do you think they’ll make a new Valkyrie?

  • Rocky Stonepebble

    A parking brake?

    • Evans Brasfield

      Yes, so you can park the DCT model on a hill.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        nm …

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        I’m sorry, Evans. I was trying to be a jerk. Ignore the post.

    • bb49

      Yup, every 200 miles or so park it and take a break. Coffee, beer, etc. Stretch yer legs.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Let’s face reality. Every Tim’s! lol

  • ADB

    Fantastic. I guess now we know why they never replaced the ST1300 – no need now, this will do it. Honda striking back. Well done.

  • WingConVette

    Regarding the engine. You covered a very long list of the efficiencies of the new engine. So from a rider’s, not an engineer’s viewpoint, this is how I perceive the benefits of what had to be the substantial investment of a ground up redesign:
    1. I sit roughly 1 1/3rd inches farther forward
    2. The increased fuel efficiency allows Honda to drop 7 pounds of gas and 8 pounds of engine weight with the MT.
    3. A gain of 5HP.

    So what really do I gain by having a bike 90 lbs. lighter? Easier to maneuver in a parking lot? No, unless I start to tip over. The new suspension will be responsible for that maybe, not weight. Once you are faster than 10mph, it’s meaningless. What have I gained?

    Real world estimated range? My ’03= 43mpg, 65mph, 2 up, fully loaded= 6.6 gallons = 284 miles. Claimed increase to 50mpg x 5.5 gallons= 275 miles. One watch has a far more complicated set of cogwheels than another, but they both tell time the same but look different. Which one is better?

    What have I given up due to the weight reduction? (Besides the “potential” loss of what could have been another 50 or so miles of range.) The complete loss of our ability to take off on what for us is a typical 1-3 week trip due to 110 liters of storage. Honda says average Winger travels for 3 days? I can’t argue their stats if I don’t have the data in front of me, but that’s completely contrary anecdotally to 75% of the Wingers we run into on the road. Or maybe are they guessing that the new/younger Wingers will only have time for long weekends? I don’t know. Add a luggage rack? We already do that so that’s a zero sum answer. And for the record we both hold “doctorates” in packing.

    I gain 5HP and lose our ability to travel. Now the suspension and electronics look fantastic. Truly exciting. And the reported handling equally so. But that’s not how this bike is being played up regarding weight and engine efficiency. Those improvements don’t fix the luggage problem, and they don’t hide my extreme dissapointment with what should have been a truly strong engine bringing this bike to the new level of performance I’ve been anticipating for many years. If my Kawi 1400 Concours can put out 160HP+, and do 42mpg, 2-up, fully loaded, at 65mph in Eco mode, why not Honda? (About 47mpg after a (legal?) reflash.) A 150lb weight differential doesn’t explain that.

    Other more minor issues: From the 10 sec sound bite, annoying loud pipes. Seem much louder than my Concours. Probable reduction in passenger comfort unless I spring another $1,000. And will those crashguards protect this bike from a parking lot tipover as completely as my ’03 does? Doesn’t look like it, but of course I don’t know.

    Been a Winger since 1983 and I just pulled my deposit at the dealer. OEM or aftermarket fixes to luggage maybe coming, but that doesn’t address the empty promises of this “extraordinary” new engine.

    • littlebuddy12345

      Apparently, I’m not the only one values long range, on a bike built for long rides. I can’t count the times, I’ve wondered if I had enough fuel to make it to a certain point. I also do not have a lot of faith in a manufacturers MPG figures, not to mention weight specifications. How many times have the wife and I gone for a trip on the bike and said to one another: “oh no! We have too much luggage capacity on the bike. We’re going to have to leave one saddle bag, empty”! In 40 years of riding, I do not recall ever saying it, or hearing it fro someone else. NEVER!
      Another problem that has NEVER arose. “Gee, I have too much fuel left and I want to pull over and stretch my legs, because I still have fuel I must burn”. I know the crash bars work on my 2009. Tested and passed. The parking lot drop happens to almost everyone. What a disappointment this bike is.

      • WingConVette

        Ditto littlebuddy12345. And a total of 110 liters doesn’t allow for an extra gallon tucked away somewhere. I too, have tested out my ’03’s crashguards. :-).

        Works fine, lasts along time. Not a scratch, super easy to pick right back up. (Sans extreme humiliation. LOL!) If these new “guards” don’t meet that standard, a funny embarrassing moment turns into a couple Gs in plastic (and whatever else) and repairs. That just might ruin your whole lunch stop. :-O

        And to mention your comment about mpg manufacturer claims- My 43mpg on my ’03, is proven real world testing over 76,000 miles. If Honda’s 7mpg increase turns out false, then I’m looking not at a 9 mile reduction in range, but something significantly even worse than that, reversing even more the supposed benefits of this new engine’s supposed capabilities regarding follow-on overall benefits to this bike.

  • littlebuddy12345

    I do not believe for one second, Honda thought reducing fuel capacity was a good idea. It won’t be long before we find out why Honda had to change the fuel tank, only to be followed by a bunch of BS about being done to save weight. Time will prove me wrong or right.

    • Bob

      I believe Honda is seriously trying to attract a different set of riders and I assume they did research to come up with these new requirements. Let’s face it the new breed of rider is nothing like the older breed so why not cater to who will be buying bikes in the future. Also the overall motorcycle sales has decreased a fair amount over the years so that is another consideration to meet the requirements and find new marketplaces.

      • littlebuddy12345

        They probably are trying to attract a different set of riders, Bob. I wonder how the math will work out in the end. They probably will attract new younger riders – and they are going to lose some older riders. There are more new younger riders around, but I think it’s the older riders who have the money. That’s an equation for someone else to write and solve. I’m curious. We’ll see.

  • MotorbikeMike

    I wonder when we get a Valkyrie with this new platform.

  • Stephen Stephens

    My money is on the new Yamaha.

  • billy1st

    Got the answer for you all, don’t like it, keep your old one! I got a 2006, sorry to say but it is gone! Yahoo to the 2018! If I need more storage, I’ll hook up my trailer to it! It looks sweet, everything will have things made to go with the new one! Trailer for the storage, and will be happy if there is less heat in stop and go traffic! Think I’ll wait until the 2019 model, that way the bugs should be worked out! All I can say is, WAY TO GO HONDA!!!!!

    • littlebuddy12345

      Sorry Billy, but there are more answers than yours. We can keep the one we have. We can purchase a 2017. Purchase a different bike entirely from another maker. Far more options than keep what we have, or go out and purchase a trailer to store in the garage along with the motorcycle and everything else. Waiting for a 2019 is a good idea. They may have to discount the 2017 if things don’t go well with it.

      • Rich

        Nope – Sorry, Little Buddy, that’s the only option – you’re stuck with your old bike. I hope you still like it.
        The Skipper…..

        • littlebuddy12345

          I do like it. Just getting a little older now. But I’m not sure why you don’t see buying other bikes as an option. I have other options. Unless this ends up selling at a discount when people find out about the shortcomings. Better be a big discount!! lol