Honda Announces 2018 Gold Wing
MARKHAM, ON: The next chapter in one of Honda's most storied narratives began today with the unveiling of the 2018 Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour models. The all-new Gold Wing was revealed today at the Santa Barbara, California MOXI Museum of Exploration and Innovation.
"It's a great feeling to finally see this all-new Gold Wing lineup," said James Marchand, Assistant Vice President Motorcycle at Honda Canada. "The all-new modern look, improved performance and ground breaking technologies have set the bar very high in the Touring category. We listened carefully to what customers wanted in an all-new Gold Wing and it shows, we went to great lengths to ensure this all-new Gold Wing lineup would appeal to both the current and future Gold Wing enthusiasts."
Honda's liquid-cooled, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine is a key element to the Gold Wing's rich character, and while the general layout lives on, much has been done to make the power-plant more compact, lighter and more fuel efficient. The engine is now 6.2kgs lighter when equipped with Honda's six-speed manual transmission, and 29mm shorter in the front section, and is placed further forward in the chassis for more ideal weight distribution, a key contributor to the 2018 Gold Wing's sporty handling and improved vehicle packaging.
Specific changes for 2018 include a smaller, 73mm cylinder bore, updated crankshaft, and a Unicam valve train layout that has been proven on other select Honda motorcycles. Combustion efficiency is improved via the use of four valves per cylinder, while friction is reduced through the application of a new molybdenum coating on the piston skirts. Thanks to a lighter overall package and the enhanced vehicle aerodynamics, engineers were able to reduce the fuel tank capacity by 4 litres while retaining close to the same mileage range as before. This change is one of many aimed at improving handling via refined vehicle packaging and weight reduction.
Additional changes include a new intake system for added responsiveness and torque, as well as an updated exhaust system that highlights the bike's livelier personality through a deeper exhaust note.
The Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour are both available with a new six-speed manual transmission. The Gold Wing Tour is also available with the next-generation seven-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which includes forward/reverse Walking Mode.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
For 2018, the Gold Wing chassis has undergone multiple revisions to increase low-speed maneuverability and maintain high-speed stability. A robotically welded twin-spar aluminum frame uses plates with reconfigured thicknesses and is matched to a single-sided swingarm with new pivot-area structure. Together, the frame and swingarm are a major contributing factor to the 2kg weight reduction, which when combined with the low center of gravity and better mass centralization, contributes significantly to the bike's improved nimbleness.
Suspension is comprised of a new double-wishbone front-suspension system and Showa shock absorbers front and rear. Designed to offer reduced friction and less inertial mass for the front-end components that are manipulated via the handlebars, the system also leads to more compact vehicle dimensions, as its different stroke trajectory enabled engineers to position the engine closer to the front wheel. For added comfort, the Gold Wing uses a Pro-Link rear-suspension configuration with progressive reaction. On most models, suspension damping and preload can be adjusted electronically.
Brakes have been upgraded via radially mounted front calipers and larger, 320mm rotors. Electronically controlled combined ABS works to distribute braking force to the front and rear wheels while saving weight through the use of a smaller, lighter circulation-type ABS modulator.
Fully modern, the 2018 Gold Wing features a throttle-by-wire system that has opened the door to four riding modes (Tour, Sport, Econ, and Rain), Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Hill Start Assist, and a finely tuned cruise-control system. Selecting the riding mode that's best suited for the riding conditions is easily accomplished through the Gold Wing's new controls, and then confirmed via a beautiful, 7-inch full-Colour Thin Film Transistor liquid-crystal display—one of the many features that bolster the model's premium feel.
In an industry first, the 2018 Gold Wing also comes equipped with Apple CarPlay, which connects the motorcycle to the user's iPhone to show maps, contacts, and music, all accessed through the motorcycle's display.
The sportier nature of the 2018 Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour is underlined by the bike's sharper, more performance-minded shape, which also achieves a significant boost in aerodynamic efficiency. Narrower at the front and with added emphasis on such mechanical parts as the exhaust and lower engine, the bike offers similar comfortable ergonomics as before, but with reimagined airflow for rider and passenger, both of whom sit 36mm further forward. Thanks to new air-guiding ducts and an electric windscreen that provides even greater control over airflow, the rider is now able to determine how much air flow he/she wants, making the overall riding experience a lot more pleasurable.
LED technology is used throughout, from the multiple-lens front lights forming the new "wing lines" of this latest advanced performance touring model to the LED turn signals which have a convenient auto-canceling feature. A user-friendly luggage system bolsters on-road convenience while also contributing to the vehicle's compact dimensions, sporty appearance, and lighter weight. Each saddlebag holds 30 liters, while the top case has a 50 liter capacity, and high-quality lid dampers are used throughout.
KEY UPDATES FOR 2018
•Lighter overall package results in improved handling and maneuverability
•More compact, lighter engine with four-valve head and Unicam valve train
•Available seven-speed DCT with Walking Mode forward/reverse
•Six-speed manual transmission
•Robotically welded aluminum twin-tube frame with revised plate thicknesses
•Radially mounted six-piston dual front braking calipers
•Double-wishbone front-suspension system
•Electrically controlled suspension
•Throttle-by-wire with multiple riding modes
•Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
•Hill Start Assist
•Updated design with 11.8 percent improved aerodynamic efficiency
•Electric windscreen adjustment
GOLD WING TOUR
The three 2018 Gold Wing Tour models—Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour DCT, and Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag—are the modern interpretation of the classic Gold Wing, the ultimate long-distance touring machine, but with highly improved performance capabilities. Each of these models features saddlebags and a top case, as well as a tall electronically adjustable windscreen, front and rear speakers, and electronically adjustable suspension.
◦Gold Wing Tour: Candy Ardent Red; Pearl Glare White
◦Gold Wing Tour DCT: Candy Ardent Red; Pearl Glare White
◦Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag: Candy Ardent Red/Darkness Black Metallic (2-Tone)
◦Gold Wing Tour: $30,799
◦Gold Wing Tour DCT: $31,999
◦Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag: $34,599
•Availability: January 2018