Custom – 2013 Honda Goldwing F6B test: a golden Bagger – The Gold ready for the ” Bagger ”!

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2013 Honda Goldwing F6B review: a golden Bagger

Custom - 2013 Honda Goldwing F6B test: a golden Bagger - The Gold ready for the '' Bagger ''!

To those who think that Honda focuses on the design of pragmatic and consensual motorcycles, at the risk of neglecting the pleasure of the senses (ations), the Japanese giant offers the Goldwing GL1800 F6B: the Bagger of all superlatives !

Test.

The Gold ready for the ” Bagger ” !

Since its launch in 1975 (read our), the Honda Goldwing has sold 660,000 copies worldwide, including 24,000 in France, third country behind the United States and Canada.

A real success for the "Golden Wing" which definitely settled in the pantheon of exceptional motorcycles in 1988, when two cylinders were added to its original 4-cylinder installed flat. Beyond its commercial success, the Goldwing counts for a lot in the fame of the winged coat of arms: this two-wheeled limousine is the most spectacular embodiment of luxury and excellence "made in Honda" (read in particular our and our).

This is why the world’s leading manufacturer of motorized two-wheelers has once again decided to surf on its aura by starting from its platform to create the F6B, an impressive "Bagger" whose arrival sends a strong signal: no offense to its critics who struggle to be enthusiastic about the cold functionality of or the lack of "spice" of the news, Honda does not forget the importance of sensational and passionate dimensions in motorcycles.

Because if a two-wheeler is a means of transport, it is also and above all a fabulous vector of emotions: for many bikers, this element constitutes the very basis of their passion. A motorcycle should make you dream and make you want to escape without a specific goal, congratulating yourself every morning for having cleared the savings account to buy it! Even if its positioning or its exclusivity does not fit into the pre-established patterns by the marketing gods or the right-thinking opinion…

Honda F6B: third opus

Despite its audacity, the approach followed with the F6B is however not completely new for Honda: the Goldwing has served as a basis for more "stripped down" versions on two occasions. Between 1997 to 2003 with the GL1500 F6C ("Valkyrie" in the USA), then with the incredible GL1800 "Rune" which was never imported in France. A salivating prototype, the Evo6, was also presented at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, but this "roadster-ized" version has, unfortunately, never had a commercial follow-up (read).

This philosophy, the Tokyo Reds deliver their own interpretation with the new F6B: this "naked" Goldwing GL1800 wants to be a (big!) Concentrate of pleasures voluntarily pouring into the non-standard (read our). Look no further, this new F6B has no equal in number of cylinders in the "Bagger" segment. Only the iconoclastic Triumph Rocket III Touring has a larger displacement: 2294cc for the British "3-legged" against 1832cc for the Japanese "six-flat" (read our box "The F6B competitors" on the next page).

Technically, this bike mixing the codes of custom and grand touring uses exactly the same chassis and engine bases as the current GL1800 Goldwing. The double aluminum beam frame, the suspensions and the brakes are renewed identically, while the six-cylinder simply receives a specific injection map..

To lighten the bike and make it more dynamic, Honda has removed the reverse gear (-5 kg) and the cruise control, while several comfort equipment is missing: exit the automatic flashing of the indicators, the heated saddles or even electric adjustment of headlight height and rear spring preload.

The elegantly redesigned rear shell retains its practical 51-liter lockable suitcases, but loses its enormous top case. A beneficial amputation in terms of looks, but which comes at two levels: the comfort of the passenger – whose back and arms are no longer supported as in a chair – and the sound quality of the audio installation (radio, MP3, USB, etc.), which suffers from the loss of the two speakers integrated in the top case.

Finally, the adjustable windshield is also sacrificed in order to meet the stylistic codes in force in the "Bagger" category. This modification considerably lightens the front, both visually and physically. In total, the engineers managed to nibble 28 kg: the F6B is given for 385 kg all full made against 413 kg for the "standard" Goldwing (the model without the airbag and integrated GPS).

In view of the total mass, this loss of less than 30 kg may seem anecdotal, and moving the F6B to a standstill requires as much effort as a normal Goldwing: "small arms" refrain … But this reduction has the advantage of being mainly focused on the upper parts of the bike (20 kg according to Honda), a promising feature in terms of agility and ease of driving…

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