Riders of the open road are unique, and so are the big machines they use to undertake that journey.
The Gold Wing, Honda’s legendary touring motorcycle, has been a staple of the community for decades, and its 2018 edition has evolved to become the one to beat. Not only is it more compact than its predecessor, it is also lighter at around 360 kg, and more comfortable.
But let’s start at the heart of it: The Gold Wing debuts the spanking new 1,833-cc liquid-cooled, six-cylinder engine, with a crankshaft made of special SCM440H alloy and Unicam valves. Both these help make the drivetrain lighter, quieter and sleeker for a total width of around 36 inches—while the shorter engine allows the seat to be moved forward in chassis for better ergonomics.
To complement these modifications and to jack up the sporty stance, the bike features improved aerodynamic efficiency with its side-mount radiator and redesigned air-guiding ducts. If you look at the profile from a distance, the Gold Wing looks imposing but not overbearing, a problem that many tourers tend to suffer from.
Honda has channelled its GL models, particularly the 1975 GL1000 Gold Wing and the 1984 GL1200 Gold Wing Interstate, to supplement the new engine and chassis, and this is quite evident in some of the design cues. Both these bikes had set benchmarks in their day, and the 2018 seeks to build on that heritage. Of course, it features a full suite of technological and electronic enhancements to give it an edge—like the electric windscreen, which gives the rider more control over airflow; or the automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (a six-speed manual is also available); or the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA) modules; or the super-helpful Tire Pressure Monitoring System. These ensure the bike remains performance-minded but without compromising on sharp lines or the thrill of riding.
No tourer is complete without its soundtrack, and the 2018 Gold Wing has an enhanced exhaust sound effected through pipe and muffler modifications. So, no matter which riding mode you’re in—Tour, Sport, Econ or Rain—you will announce your arrival.