Motorcycles

2018 Honda Goldwing: Sleeker, sharper, tech-laden

2018 Honda Goldwing: Sleeker, ...
Honda unveiled the 2018 GL 1800 Goldwing on the opening day of the 45th Tokyo Motor Show
Honda unveiled the 2018 GL 1800 Goldwing on the opening day of the 45th Tokyo Motor Show
View 26 Images
Honda unveiled the 2018 GL 1800 Goldwing on the opening day of the 45th Tokyo Motor Show
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Honda unveiled the 2018 GL 1800 Goldwing on the opening day of the 45th Tokyo Motor Show
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing returns lighter, smaller and more powerful than ever
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing returns lighter, smaller and more powerful than ever
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
The base model of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing sports a short, electrically adjustable screen
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The base model of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing sports a short, electrically adjustable screen
The base model of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing has the side panniers as standard equipment
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The base model of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing has the side panniers as standard equipment
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing's panniers are a little smaller than before, offering a combined capacity of 110 l
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing's panniers are a little smaller than before, offering a combined capacity of 110 l
The top case of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing Tour can hold two full-face helmets
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The top case of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing Tour can hold two full-face helmets
Six-piston radial calipers on 320-mm disc brakes for the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
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Six-piston radial calipers on 320-mm disc brakes for the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
The central console of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
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The central console of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
A spacious storage compartment under the handlebars of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
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A spacious storage compartment under the handlebars of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing is smaller and more aerodynamically efficient
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing is smaller and more aerodynamically efficient
The new Honda GL 1800 Goldwing will be available from February 2018
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The new Honda GL 1800 Goldwing will be available from February 2018
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in Matte Majestic Silver color
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in Matte Majestic Silver color
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing has reached its sixth generation
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing has reached its sixth generation
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing is slimmer than its predecessor
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing is slimmer than its predecessor
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing rolls on a new twin spar aluminum frame
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing rolls on a new twin spar aluminum frame
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing under the costumes
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing under the costumes
The standard seat of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
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The standard seat of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
The screen of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing is electrically adjustable in both versions, short and tall
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The screen of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing is electrically adjustable in both versions, short and tall
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing features a seven-inch TFT screen with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay connectivity
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing features a seven-inch TFT screen with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay connectivity
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing Tour is equipped with a high screen and top case
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The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing Tour is equipped with a high screen and top case
The left-hand controls of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
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The left-hand controls of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing
The biggest new of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing refer to this Hossack-styled front suspension
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The biggest new of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing refer to this Hossack-styled front suspension
View gallery - 26 images

After five generations and 43 years constantly in production, Honda has rolled out the sixth evolution of its flagship tourer, the GL 1800 Goldwing. Based on a redesigned six-cylinder boxer, the new model sheds a lot of weight, shrinks in dimensions and introduces a new double-wishbone front suspension.

The Goldwing has always been a special model in Honda's line-up, ever since the first generation was introduced in 1975. Starting out as a naked roadster with a 1,000-cc four-cylinder boxer, it gradually grew to a six-cylinder, 1,800-cc grand tourer. Always equipped for luxury and comfort, it wasn't shy to technological evolution either, becoming the first motorbike outfitted with Honda's prototype airbag system.

The 2018 model was unveiled at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show, introducing a motorcycle that is unmistakably a Goldwing, yet sports enough changes to constitute the sixth Goldwing generation.

Honda changed almost everything, starting out with the engine. It is still a 1,800 cc flat six, but it is smaller in size, lighter, and is positioned farther towards the front. Its cylinder dimensions shifted to the absolutely square 73 x 73 mm, in place of the previous 74 x 71 mm configuration. Just like the latest VFR's V-four engine, the heads feature a single camshaft in Unicam set-up, hosting four valves per cylinder, as opposed to the two of the previous model. The Unicam head was first introduced in the CRF 450 single-cylinder engine, using the singular camshaft to operate the exhaust valves via roller rocker arms, while the inlet valves are handled with finger-follower rocker arms.

The base model of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing has the side panniers as standard equipment
The base model of the 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing has the side panniers as standard equipment

Despite it being tuned to conform to much stricter emission norms, the 2018 GL 1800 produces more peak power, reaching 93 kW (125 hp) at 5,500 rpm and a hefty 170 Nm (125.4 lb-ft) at as low as 4,500 rpm.

The motor is now handled by electronic throttle-by-wire and is equipped with an idle stop function that shuts down the engine after three seconds in idle, thanks to Honda's Integrated Starter Generator, which fuses the generator and starter motor into one component. The electronic arsenal of the engine also includes four riding modes (tour, sport, economy and rain), selectable traction control, hill start assist (HSA) and cruise control.

The Goldwing can be outfitted with either the standard six-speed manual gearbox, or Honda's dual clutch automatic transmission (DCT). Offering seven speeds, the third generation DCT comes equipped with a Walking Mode, allowing for the bike to move both forward or in reverse at very low speeds – 1.8 km/h (1.1 mph) and 1.2 km/h (0.7 mph) respectively. It will certainly come in handy when parking or unparking on a steep incline.

The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing returns lighter, smaller and more powerful than ever
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing returns lighter, smaller and more powerful than ever

The 2018 model sports a new aluminum twin-spar frame and new suspension, headlined by the double-wishbone front system. Honda did away with telescopic forks, and replaced them with a Hossack-type rig that fits a Showa shock absorber between two wishbone arms. At the rear we find a new Pro Arm single-sided swingarm incorporating the shaft drive, and a single Showa unit.

The damping characteristics of both front and rear shocks are controlled electronically with stepper motors contained within the units. The rear shock's preload adjustment is also electronically adjustable, as the rider can select from an intuitive load-based set of four options from soft to hard – just like BMW does it with its ESA system.

The brakes include two radially mounted six-piston calipers at the front and a three-piston at the rear, equipped with Honda's Dual Combined Brake System and ABS. Part of this system is the HSA, where the ABS modulator actuates the rear brake caliper for up to three seconds regardless of rider input, in order to facilitate starting on an uphill slope.

The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action
The 2018 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in action

Honda designed the new Goldwing to be smaller and lighter, and this process resulted in shedding some 48 kg (106 lb), for a total kerb weight of 365 kg (805 lb). The motorcycle is visually smaller as well, and Honda suggests that it is so much more aerodynamically efficient that it uses a smaller fuel tank with no actual consequence in the bike's range.

The new fuel tank is 4 liters (1 gal) smaller for a total capacity of 21 l (5.6 gal), and the average fuel consumption is announced at 5.6 l per 100 km (42 mpg), so in theory the Goldwing can still manage 375 km (233 mi) on a tankful.

Honda's tourer will hit showrooms in February 2018, luxuriously equipped with smart key system, a 7-inch TFT screen with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay connectivity, electrically adjustable screen and sound system. It will be available in two versions, the standard Goldwing and the Tour with higher screen and rear top case.

Retail prices in the US start from $23,500 for the base model and $26,700 for the Tour. Both can be ordered with DCT transmission, and the Tour variant can also be outfitted with the optional airbag system.

Get a taste of Honda's new uber-tourer in the following video.

Source: Honda

The Entirely-New 2018 Honda Gold Wing | Beyond the Gold Wing

View gallery - 26 images
2 comments
Bob B
As a long time Gold Wing owner ('79, '89, '07), I'm quite excited about all the updates to this new model, but there is one thing that may end up being a significant negative. In order to streamline the whole rig, they ended up shrinking the size of the luggage compartments. I'm curious to see if you can even stow your helmet inside the trunk anymore. Personally, I wish they would have made the luggage compartments bigger, not smaller. All of the other improvements sound great to me, however, and I'm going to be checking this one out next summer.
guzmanchinky
This has always been an amazing machine. I wonder if it has that same ABS as is on the KTM, which allows full braking while leaned over in a corner?