We witnessed the official launch of the new 2018 Honda Gold Wing yesterday for a price of Rs 26.85 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The Gold Wing’s Tour variant, on the other hand, will cost Rs 28.49 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). While deliveries will start from early 2018 onwards, we take a better look at the top features of the premium tourer to see if it is worth its weight in gold.
The motorcycle houses a horizontally-opposed liquid-cooled 6-cylinder 1833cc engine which gets aluminium cylinder sleeves with a shorter and stiffer crank. Overall, the engine is more compact and the starter and alternator are integrated into one unit which as per Honda’s claims allows better handling and more comfort to both the rider and the pillion.
The motor is capable of producing 126PS of power at 5,500rpm and 170Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. The older bike could churn out 119PS of power and 167Nm of torque opposed to this.
The new engine also comes with an all-new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), a usual feature on sports cars, but an unusual one on motorcycles. Tried and tested on the Honda Africa Twin, the Gold Wing is the first one to get this technology. One can use two buttons to go up and down the gearbox easily or use the fully automatic mode too which scooters use today. Besides this, the transmission setup is not just packed with a reverse gear but also a ‘Walking’ mode to make the bike run at very low speeds which will make parking the big bike easy.
The Gold Wing is all about easy, comfort touring. All of which would be incomplete without the electronic wizardry it boasts of. The new bike, for the first time, comes with ride-by-wire and four riding modes, namely: Tour, Sport, Econ and Rain. There’s also keyless ignition, an electronically-controlled windscreen, music system, heated grips, and even an air-bag as an option. Let’s not forget hill start assist, ABS and the much needed cruise control. However, is a function like cruise control a boon on unpredictable roads such as ours where a cow could jump in front of you at any unexpected moment?
The Tour variant of the Gold Wing additionally gets heated seats (not really a boon on Indian roads, unless you’re somewhere up North), a trunk that has keyless function, Honda’s version of traction control called the Honda Selectable Torque Control and electronic rear suspension which allows you to adjust it with a button instead of having to remove the fairing of the bike manually to do so. So, is a premium of over Rs 1.5 lakh worth it?
The new bike, as per Honda, is the narrowest Gold Wing to come out in its almost 4 decade long history. The frame is made from aluminium diecast. Suspension duties on the front employ a double wishbone unit, made of a strong, twin-leg structure, a pair of A-arms with a single shock and spring. This helps align the wheel’s movement vertically when it goes over bumps and also makes for the engine to be placed further in the frame. This should result in better mass centralisation while improving handling.
Meanwhile, at the back, suspension is handled by a monoshock damper. For braking, it uses a 320mm disc with 6-piston calipers at the front and a 316mm disc with 3-piston calipers at the rear. There’s also electronically controlled, combined ABS system on the bike.
The front wheel is 18-inches big while the rear is smaller at 16 inches. The Gold Wing’s Tour version tips the scale at 379kg of kerb weight which is 40kg lighter than the outgoing model while the standard one weighs 364kg.The seat height stands at 745mm and the ground clearance on offer is 130mm which is just as much as any other regular tourer out there.
Honda also claims that the exhaust has been re-tuned to make a more ear-pleasing melody.
The lighting is an all-LED affair including the wide headlamp which saves power and provides better lighting on a dark night. The bike gets a huge 7-inch TFT flatscreen full-colour display that acts as a console alongside the two lit up analogue units and a small digital screen. Besides the fuel meter and speedometer, it also shows the outside air temperature, allows you to handle cruise control and also monitor the heater level. A USB flash drive plug in and a Bluetooth headset are other ways to enjoy the ride while on the road and did we mention that it is the first motorcycle to get Apple Carplay?
Both the standard and the Tour will be available only in one shade: Candy Ardent Red.
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