Who needs a motorcycle so big and heavy, it comes fitted with an electronically actuated reverse gear?! Some do, apparently, so the Gold Wing has a reverse gear...
Honda, which launched the very first Gold Wing touring bike back in 1975, has just announced the 2012 version. The bike keeps its 1.8-litre six-cylinder fuel-injected engine and box-section aluminium chassis, and new bits include a revised fairing, improved six-speaker audio system, a more efficient and accurate satellite navigation system and latest-generation anti-lock brakes (ABS). There’s even an optional airbag system on the bike, which boosts rider safety by another notch.
Project leader for the new Gold Wing, Yutaka Nakanishi has focused on a mild revamp of the styling, improved weather protection, super-plush ride quality and bits like the slow-speed electric reverse system (engaged via a handlebar mounted pushbutton…), electronic cruise-control and a motor-actuated throttle mechanism, all of which make it easier for the rider to handle the big, heavy Honda.
The 2012 Honda Gold Wing isn’t, of course, for us, but for long-distance riders who need the biggest, heaviest, plushest, most comfortable and most reliable motorcycle on the planet – and one that is fitted with almost every gadget and gizmo imaginable – we suppose the Gold Wing would still be hard to beat.