Look ahead, far ahead. But not towards the road, the horizon or the postcards. Point your eyes higher … Even higher; towards the stars. Consider that the new Goldwing is able to approach a new dimension of travel, between the strata of time and astral expanses.
Engine, silhouette, loading, electronics, suspensions, claims, protection! Everything has changed on the Goldwing. Except the name and type of engine. The 6-cylinder flat is essential, therefore preserved. But it is the whole machine which will surprise its public as well as the neophytes. Because it is a first in the history of this machine: the GL is smaller and lighter than the one it replaces. Since 1975, it was always bigger and more majestic with each evolution. This time, Honda kept only the majesty and cut in the fat. With great efficiency. The Gold has melted, and not just a little. On the scale, it is spectacular: with 379 kilos all full facts, the lady is reduced by 26 kgs. His massive presence is now part of the memories, both technical and visual. Its much more dynamic, almost light design denotes tradition "Goldwingesque". From mega-GT, it became a super-GT, being inserted between the old GL 1800 and the late Pan-European. Tense, almost in a hurry, this great lady is no longer in the same style of grandeur. She was the queen of a kingdom; she became the princess of an empire.
Beautiful and almost sexy, we dare not imagine who dared to suggest to him to show his underwear. If the Gold has always stashed all its privacy under a large fairing, the news is meant to be scratchy. Yesterday, only the cylinder heads were exposed; now, the exhaust pipes are revealed. Proving everyone that 3 cylinders are agitated on each side.
The block is pampered by the manufacturer, not being able to let its prestige wither away. The only 6-cylinder flat in production, its pedigree benefits from a major update. And much better breathing. We double the number of valves to fit 4 per cylinder. The compression ratio is increased, the intake air flows improved, the bore value reduced to 73 mm (- 1 mm), the liners are now made of aluminum and all of the technical changes deserve a big chapter. The most important thing is that this engine is not only modernized but also gains in compactness and weight. 6.2 kilos of gained on the block. And more watts. 93 kW or 6 better units will lift the new 1800 Goldwing. To be more speaking, it is 126 horses available, 8 more than the previous generation. Obtained at the same speed of 5500 trs. The torque is also improving, to 17.3 mkg. A slight increase of 0.3 mkg, which perches 500 very higher or 4500 very.
Figures which are only indicative, because this engine of 1833 cm3 is magnified by its availability, its velvety, its flexibility. Without a shadow of a doubt, it takes the epic up to 180 km / h – Honda has set the maximum speed at this threshold. And that’s just one of the strengths of the GL. Between the engine and the pilot, there are many things.
This is electronics which will offer new provisions. With the addition of the Ride-by-wire, the metal bird composes the trip in 4 dimensions. The Driving Modes are finally available, and they will be able to multiply the experiences as modernism dictates on all new machines of a certain level. How will we ride today? In an hour ? At every moment? The benefit of digitizing character translates into an at-will change between Tour, Sport, Econ or Rain moods.
The "Tower" is the one that most closely matches the philosophy of the Goldwing. Direct engine response, suspensions in "Standard", just like the brake distribution.
In "Sport", the tone changes. Response to handle rotation can be up to 150%, giving more power to the distribution of power. The suspensions are firmer and the braking is more important on the rear.
A return to calm can go through the box "Econ". Suspensions and braking are in "Standard" while the throttle grip / engine response ratio drops to 60%. Enough to save fuel and drive cool.
And then there is always a moment when we cross the fleet. "Rain" switches all the sliders in the software with a handle / motor ratio oscillating between 35 and 50%, braking "Standard" and flexible damping.
Here, braking, how is it evolving? With 6 piston radial calipers at the front on large discs, and 3 pistons at the rear. The combined ABS system has been simplified, everything being managed by a modulator. More compact, more efficient, it also allows a gain of 1300 grs.
However, what catches you when you look at the front of this Goldwing are not its brake calipers, its LED lights, or its electric bubble which replaces the old huge windshield … No, it is. is this strange piece instead of the fork.
Because there is no longer a fork. At least in its most widespread definition, with tubes, sheaths and all the bazaar. Like BMW and its K 1600 (and 1200/1300 before them) – a legacy of the Fior system (French) – Honda has developed a double wishbone front suspension. The guiding and damping functions are thus completely separate. And the gain in efficiency speaks for itself. Operation gains 30% smoothness, and the bike gains 40% agility.
This front axle principle and the more compact engine required a profoundly modified frame, as well as a new single-sided swingarm. Here too, that changes a lot of things: 2 kilos of gained, the crew installed 36 mm further forward, a wheelbase lengthened by 3 mm (1695 mm), and an incredible gas plant under the suit. But fortunately, it will be very easy to adjust the suspensions of the Goldwing. Over time, the screwdrivers must have missed the servomotors. So happened the automatic tuning, finally grafted on the most senatorial Honda.
A desire, an adjustment. All you have to do is choose one of the 4 available programs and the onboard control unit will take care of the rest. Depending on the profile selected (pilot alone, pilot with luggage, pilot and passenger, pilot and passenger with luggage), the hydraulics and the preload are electrically adjusted. A real treat to refine the behavior of the machine but…
And that’s where we tick. This system has existed with the competition for several years. We can even go further, with semi-active systems. How is it that the flagship of the range is not in the ability to offer self-adapting behavior to the profile of the road? Does Honda doubt this system? Does he keep it for an evolution? An option ? This motorcycle knows how to embed the electronic engineering which the market is fond of.. Thus, in addition to the controlled damping, the machine offers the services of traction control “torque control” and automatic return indicators..
Everything is combined for the trip, in sofa mode which will now be of several verves. We get ready, we don’t give a damn about the weather, we put our finger on a map … sorry, reflex of yesteryear … we validate a destination on the GPS, and we load the gear. Moments later, something surprises. Hhhggnn … hhuummppfff … Flute, don’t understand. No way to fit the wool sweater from Auntie Josette or the ham for Yves’ son. However, it fit on the previous Goldwing.
And voila, this is the consequence of the weight loss treatment. Because indeed, we could fit more business in the previous GL. Cargo capacity has been reduced from 150 to 110 liters. But why ? Honda carried out its little investigation and concluded that most of the "Goldwingeurs" only went on a trip for 2 or 3 days with their machine. As a result, the carrying capacity has been reduced.
Damn it for the ham, unless you put it on the optional rack. But you can always fit 2 helmets in the top case, clothes, toiletry bags and the bottle of Génépi. As well as a smartphone in the box that we will connect to the USB port plus a few trinkets.
And to travel light, the top case is now removable. Enough to make him look like a bagger; unless you have already opted for one of the other versions of the Goldwing, including the eponymous one.
The tank also thinner, 4 liters. What?!? But autonomy will drop. And the main stages then?!? No problem. The 6-cylinder takes advantage of its upgrade to taste the frugality. With zeal. Consumption is announced to fall by 20%. This is what will please Nicolas Hulot. Even with 21.1 liters of gasoline on board, the Goldwing will be able to cut as many kilometers.
So many long escapes that will allow you to discover the strong technological evolution also present in terms of life on board. And facing the pilot, it’s no longer an airbus, it’s Star Trek. Honda is catching up in a very good way with a very well-crafted cockpit. The best place is for the beautiful 7-inch TFT screen, which is almost the size of an iPad mini. Too bad it is not tactile. But the control seems intuitive; hope that navigation will be the same. In any case, he wants to compete without batting an eyelid with the best infotainment in the sector. As an aperitif, it adapts to the outside light; but at your convenience you can adjust it on 8 different levels. Then, it’s up to you to navigate in the suspension or traction control management parameters, in the management of your phone (by USB or Bluetooth), in radio mode, to check the tire pressure, then to use the Integrated GPS. For the latter, a gyrocompass allows him not to find himself "blinded" in the tunnels.
For those who have an iPhone, the Goldwing plays compatibility. It embeds the AppleCarPlay, which will greatly facilitate the interaction between all the protagonists.
Let’s continue with the owner’s tour. Around the information block are two of the most appreciable lieutenants. Two large needle counters provide speed (left) and engine speed (right) at a glance. Under rpm, a digital window displays the gear engaged and the driving mode selected.
Less essential information is found on the outskirts of the yard, not without a hint of technology evident. Other digital screens are not stingy with information. On the starboard side, the engine temperature and the choice of suspensions validated; on the port side, road monitoring, including the fuel gauge, trips, and the speed to be maintained by the cruise control. Mandatory equipment on this type of vessel, as are heated grips and a quality sound system. Honda has also completely revised it, with lighter speakers and a control for the passenger; this one can control the volume, the music source and the fast forward at will.
same lightened both literally and figuratively, the 1800 Goldwing remains a beautiful beast. A flying carpet when the wheels start to turn but difficult to maneuver when stationary. Fortunately, the reverse gear is renewed, using the starter as driving force. The DCT version goes more, with a mode "Pedestrian" playing on low speed evolutions backwards as well as forward, and a Stop&Start coupled with start-up assistance to make the bike take off even more smoothly.
This time we’re ready to go. Like dab, we no longer know where we stuck the key. In the pocket, in the backpack, in the glove box? It doesn’t matter. The winged builder added the Smart Key keyless start system. Thanks to it, as long as you have the key with you, you can activate the motorcycle, unlock the suitcases and the top case. And if we lost the Gold in a car park, we take out the Smart key, press the call button for a few seconds and the flashes are activated.
Contact. 3 connecting rods go to meet their binoculars on the other side. Serene, magnificent, imperious, the Honda 1800 GoldWing has stocked up on technology to face the decade to come without fear or reproach. However, we regret some shortcomings that the competition has been able to grab, such as adaptive lighting in bends or suspensions that deserve to be semi-active. However, it has changed so much that few will stop at these details. It’s a new Gold, another vision of Gold that awaits discoverers as well as those who are convinced.
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GL 1800 GOLDWING 2016
Model marketed in
medium: 5.60 l
180 km / h
The technical aspect
2018 Honda GL 1800 GOLDWING Tour
- Tank: 21.1 liters
- Width: 925 mm
- Height: 1,430 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,695 mm
- Weight in running order: 379 kg
- Train before
- Secondary cardan drive
- Rear axle
(73 x 73 mm)
at 5,500 rpm
at 4,500 rpm