Sunday 8 December 2019

Honda’s Goldwing turns 40 and reveals new model

2012 Honda Gold Wing.
2012 Honda Gold Wing.

Dave Humphreys

Few motorcycle models have becomes household names, but the Goldwing is one and after four decades is as modern as ever

Since its inception in 1975, the Honda Goldwing has often been the benchmark for larger touring motorcycles. After starting with a flat-four-cylinder engine it grew to a larger 1,500cc six-cylinder unit in 1987 while the motorcycle also grew in size, adding even more comfort for its rider and pillion. Since then it has again grown in engine capacity as well as comfort and technology - Honda also used the Goldwing platform to showcase the first production-ready rider airbag system.


Now to help mark the Goldwing’s 40th anniversary new commemorative edition has been launched. It features a two-tone paint scheme consisting of ‘Candy Prominence Red’ and ‘Graphite Black’ which are separated by a silver band inlaid with 40th Anniversary emblems running through the side of the motorcycle from below the headlights to the bottom of the spacious panniers. Adding to the unique look are blacked out wheels, frame, suspension forks, rear swingarm and exhaust mufflers, while the front fairing, cockpit and top case lid feature 40th Anniversary emblems. Buyers will also be able order the Goldwing in more discreet hues including ‘Graphite Black’, ‘Pearl Glare White’ and a new ‘Digital Silver Metallic’. 


As you would expect it also comes laden with technology that includes an audio system capable of delivering a surround sound experience either through the Goldwing’s six-speakers or via optional headsets that can be fitted inside both rider and pillion’s helmets. It also features both iPod, iPhone and USB connectivity with full device control available through a handlebar mounted control pad.


Touring is where the large Honda really excels so all airbag models will come equipped as standard with a built-in satellite navigation system that is displayed on a large colour screen and also includes a host of other systems such as lane assist and junction view as well as a friendly voice ensuring you don’t miss a turn. Comfort is also improved with heated seats and handlebar grips while engine heat can be channelled through a ventilation system designed to keep the rider’s feet warm.


Making the ride even easier is an electronic cruise-control system and an adjustable windscreen that can be set to six different settings. And once you arrive at your destination, the electric reverse gear will help to ensure you can park into the right spot before unloading the 150-litres of luggage capacity. Oh, and of course the Goldwing also has remote central locking.


Powering the Honda is a 1,832cc 2-valve six-cylinder engine which is matched up to a five-speed gearbox which spins in the opposite direction to the engine’s crankshaft in order to cancel out any torque reaction and shaft drive negates the need for any awkward chain lubrication or adjustment. In total the flat-six engine delivers an impressive 118hp and 167Nm of torque and combined with a 25-litre fuel tank is well setup for touring. Pricing has not yet been confirmed for the Anniversary model, but it is expected to be carry a slight premium over the standard Goldwing which is currently from €31,000.



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