Essentially the most American bike to return out of Japan needs to be the Gold Wing. Primarily developed for the North American market, the bike began life in 1974 as a 265kg tourer. Expectedly, the Gold Wing obtained on an American weight-reduction plan as properly, and its weight grew by nearly 100kg in a span of simply twenty years. Fortunately, that has modified with the latest-generation Gold Wing – it’s now round 41kg lighter and extra compact than its predecessor.
I used to be not too long ago in Malaysia, attending the Honda Asian Journey 2018, to trip from Penang to Kuala Lumpur on quite a lot of Honda bikes. One of many bikes I had the chance to trip was the 2018 Gold Wing, which (regardless of being smaller than its predecessor) is large! I used to be driving the highest Gold Wing Tour mannequin that comes with a baggage high field that makes it look even greater. In truth, this behemoth of a tourer is simply 1.5 toes shorter in size than the Tata Nano. For 2018, Honda has redesigned the bike to make it extra aerodynamic. It is usually narrower and ditches a few of its bodywork to place the decrease part of its huge engine on show. The all-LED lighting, electronically adjustable windscreen and sharp design additionally make the bike much more modern.
The newest-gen mannequin additionally leaves behind the multiple-button interface for a less complicated set-up. The brand new 7.Zero-inch full-colour LCD options Apple CarPlay (Hey, shouldn’t or not it’s known as BikePlay?), and is managed through an easy button structure and two toggle switches. The left-hand facet switchgear additionally homes the button for a reverse mode. The switchgear on the correct facet, in the meantime, has a driving mode swap and cruise management settings.
Powering the Gold Wing is a colossal 1,833cc, six-cylinder, liquid-cooled horizontally-opposed engine. Nevertheless, Honda says a lot has been completed to make it extra compact, extra fuel-efficient and lighter – 6.2kg lighter to be exact. This up to date engine makes 126hp and 170Nm of torque. Different updates embody 4 valves per cylinder as an alternative of two, a brand new ride-by-wire throttle and 4 driving modes (Tour, Sport, Econ, and Rain). Rain and Economic system, each really feel very related and reduce energy and throttle response considerably. The throttle response in Sport, nonetheless, was extraordinarily delicate at low speeds and didn’t really feel proper on the massive tourer. Unsurprisingly, Tour mode best-suited the Gold Wing and that is the mode I ended up utilizing essentially the most for its creamy-but-instant energy supply.
The six-cylinder engine within the Gold Wing has all the time been identified for its silky-smooth character, which this mannequin retains. The motor makes a , nice sound that adjustments to a deep roar when you twist open the throttle. The bike I used to be driving occurred to be the 6-speed guide mannequin and never the 7-speed DCT variant, which is the one mannequin accessible in India. Regardless of being one gear quick on the guide mannequin, cruising speeds of 140kph have the engine sat at simply round three,000rpm in sixth.
Honda has additionally geared up the bike with a brand new body and a single-sided swingarm with a brand new pivot-area construction. On the entrance, the Gold Wing makes use of a brand new double-wishbone suspension, which Honda opted for to enhance weight distribution by transferring the mass ahead. Suspension on the rear is taken care of by a single ‘pro-link’ shock absorber.
The trip high quality on the Gold Wing feels extraordinarily plush and will probably be fascinating to see the way it performs on our roads. Whereas I didn’t get the prospect to deal with sharp corners on the Gold Wing, I did handle to tackle just a few lengthy sweeping corners at excessive speeds; Honda has completed a very good job with the dynamics of the 379kg cruiser. After a quick acclimation, I used to be neither significantly intimidated by the burden, nor did I discover it twice as heavy as every thing else I’m used to driving – which is absolutely commendable. That being stated, the nutty dimensions of the Gold Wing took time getting used to, particularly in visitors.
With a motorcycle this dimension, you want spectacular stopping energy. The brand new mannequin options radially mounted entrance callipers and bigger, 320mm rotors. These brakes additionally use electronically managed combined-ABS that works to distribute braking drive to the entrance and rear wheels and adjustments in response to the driving mode you might be in. As an illustration, Sport mode applies extra stress to the rear when the entrance brake is utilized. Whereas these brakes did a superb job at slowing down the behemoth, I want they supplied a bit extra drive on the entrance, not less than in Sport mode.
India solely will get one model of this bike, the Gold Wing Tour DCT, which prices Rs 27.79 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This mannequin contains a 7-speed, dual-clutch transmission, a high case, Honda Selectable Torque Management (HSTC), heated seats and digital adjustability for the monoshock. Together with being among the many most extravagant, the Gold Wing continues to be one of many largest bikes on the earth, regardless of the new-gen’s weight reduction. A motorbike of such traits isn’t actually constructed for many of our roads, however it is just after we trip it right here that we will we offer you a full evaluation.