At long last, Honda have finally injected some excitement into the Gold Wing, an accomplished touring bike but one that’s become a bit too big, heavy and boring in recent years. For 2013, the Gold Wing has gone ‘bagger,’ which essentially means it’s been stripped down, gets a cut-down screen and a more minimal fairing, and a large dose of ‘cool.’
‘The new Gold Wing F6B is a lightweight and stylish touring bike. It features improved dynamic performance, while retaining great riding comfort,’ says Teishiro Goto, Honda's Large Project Leader for the F6B. The bike retains the regular Gold Wing’s 1.8-litre straight-six (116bhp, 167Nm) and aluminium twin-spar chassis, but at 385kg (kerb weight), it weighs 28 kilos less than the Gold Wing GL1800. The F6B also gets preload-adjustable 45mm anti-dive telescopic front forks, Pro-Link rear suspension, an all-new 4-speaker sound system, C-ABS, 18-inch alloy wheels, twin rear-mounted bags and a 25-litre fuel tank.
In keeping with its sportier character, the Gold Wing F6B doesn’t have sat-nav, airbag, electric reverse gear, cruise control and seat heater – things which are available as optional extras on the GL1800. Also, running boards for the rear passenger have now been replaced with regular footpegs. The bike’s 5-speed gearbox still, however, transmits the engine’s power to the rear wheel via shaft drive, which is smooth and maintenance free.
We like the Honda Gold Wing F6B. It’s one touring bike we think we can live with.