Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Honda Gold Wing F6B put to the test

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Shortened at the front as if with a scythe, at the back as if compressed with a hammer: excavators look strangely pretentious and have been trendy in the USA for years.

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… and hidden behind the side panels on the Honda.

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Suspension: On both machines, the spring base for the rear suspension can be adjusted hydraulically.

This is done using a handwheel, which is behind the case on the Harley …

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… Both manufacturers rely on fully integrated brakes with ABS when it comes to deceleration.

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Wheels: Since this year, the Street Glide has moved closer to the real bagger style with its new 19-inch front wheel with low-profile tires (Honda: 18 inches) …

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… On the Honda, the switches are further apart.

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Fittings: The control unit of the Harley comparatively delicate looks. Here all buttons can be reached with the left thumb without the hand leaving the grip …

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… The sound is better on the Harley, however. Both manufacturers mix analog and digital displays. The Harley offers more information.

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Cockpit: In a direct comparison, the menu navigation of the audio system on the Honda is intuitive …

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Suitcase: While the Americans rely on toploaders, …

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… the Japanese pack their luggage sideways in their suitcases. The Honda even fits small full-face helmets. Keyword luggage volume: 65 liters for the Harley and 80 liters for the Honda.

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MOTORCYCLE measurements: With their "real performance", both models are close to the nominal values.

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Bagger style. And who invented it? Exactly, the Americans.

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Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Honda Gold Wing F6B put to the test

Question of meaning out of place

Shortened at the front as if with a scythe, at the back as if compressed with a hammer: excavators such as Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Honda Gold Wing F6B look strangely showy and have been trendy in the USA for years. But what can you do with it??

NOTa, we are not asking the question of meaning here. That would be inappropriate. After all, nobody asks why people rely on extra-wide handlebars on their super sports bikes and then can’t hide behind the fairing. Why chopper drivers cut the suspension travel of their machines and then wonder about back problems. Or why enduro pilots mount coarse tires on their bikes even though they never go off-road with their motorcycles. Optical reasons. Nothing else. And excavators are simply touring motorcycles with shortened windscreens and suitcases that are seamlessly integrated into the design. According to the motto: I want to come across as cool, enjoy almost full wind, but still transport a change of clothes and slippers. Harley calls this the "Street Custom Machine".

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Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Honda Gold Wing F6B put to the test
Question of meaning out of place

Gold Wing F6B opposite the Gold Wing on the towering windscreen, the sweeping topcase and equipment features such as airbag, sat nav, seat heating or self-resetting turn signals. Refraining from the latter in terms of weight loss should be worth a report of its own. No matter. On its homepage, the manufacturer advertises the effect of this slimming diet with the words "stronger acceleration and more agile handling".

Slimmed down version of an Electra Glide

Harley has given its classic Street Glide a major overhaul for this year. The design has become smoother and more pleasing, the chassis allegedly more stable and the engine more powerful: the nominal power increased from the 84 hp 2012 model to 87 hp. Also new: the Harley-Davidson Street Glide rolls for the first time in its history on a 19-inch front wheel and is therefore tentatively approaching heavily modified custom excavators. Like the F6B, the Street Glide could be described as a stripped-down version of an Electra Glide. Because here too, Harley does without luxury features, high windshield and top case. The reward for slimming: Compared to the E-Glide, the Street Glide is 40 kilograms lighter, but still weighs 372 kilograms.


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The driver sits more relaxed on the Harley than on the Honda.

According to the motto "If you want to be beautiful, you have to suffer", the cool disguise shave naturally has an impact. Both models can be cruised in a relaxed manner up to a speed of 120 km / h. In addition, extreme turbulence causes a riot under the helmet. The trimmed windshields swirl the air, and these swirls hit the driver’s head exactly. Incidentally, he sits more relaxed on the Harley-Davidson Street Glide than on the Honda Gold Wing F6B. Especially if he has long legs. On the Honda, the footrests are positioned quite high up and in front. In combination with the wishing rod-like handlebars, you sit completely upright and inactive. With the Harley it’s a touch better, even a bit more active. The seat upholstery of both models is perfectly fine for the pilot on long journeys. Which also applies to the passenger on the Honda. The F6B pillion seat attracts with a large, comfortable knee angle and a wide seat. On the Harley bench, the pillion rider always slides backwards – here the Americans have subordinated the function to the design: the bench falls backwards and is not particularly wide.

Pushing and balancing is not child’s play

Anyone who has just passed their open driver’s license should look around for other bikes than these two. Pushing or balancing just under eight hundred pounds is anything but child’s play. When standing, the Honda Gold Wing F6B can be maneuvered a little more casually around the corner. Thanks to its boxer engine, the center of gravity is very low. In addition, the cladding is fixed to the frame, so when the handlebars are turned, no disruptive weight has to be moved. The latter is noticeable in a direct comparison with the Harley-Davidson Street Glide. It is more difficult to steer when maneuvering or walking at walking pace. Finally, in the sweeping Batwing cladding, there is also the stereo system plus cockpit fittings. In general: expansive is a good keyword. Quickly cheat your way through the downtown traffic jam? Forget it! Firstly, the two are quite wide, and secondly, their almost automotive silhouettes do not exactly arouse pity on other road users. You let the little Smart through earlier.

Despite its enormous dimensions, the Honda Gold Wing F6B looks better balanced and can be moved comparatively more casually in dense city traffic than the Street Glide. But the Honda also behaves more confidently when swinging smoothly on the country road. Here comfort comes first. The F6B not only has longer suspension travel than the Street Glide, the suspension elements are also better coordinated. They work just as tightly as they are comfortable and offer reserves in almost every driving situation. In contrast, the suspension of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide looks slacker and reacts trampling to small bumps. The Honda suspension comfort is also convincing in pillion operation with its good response behavior and rich damping. If you take long, undulating curves a little faster, the Harley is restless, winds a little, sways slightly and is nowhere near as full, stable and stoic as the Honda. But in the end it’s about gliding, not about driving fast. And both models can do that.

The six-cylinder Honda boxer is a model of smooth running

Sorry, but it has to be written here: Every motorcyclist should have experienced the Honda turbine once in a lifetime. This six-cylinder boxer is a model of running culture and a real muscleman. From 2000 rpm it shovels a mighty 130 Nm on the rear wheel. How, you can’t do anything with that? Okay, how about this: The switching point feels like 1800 rpm. That is briefly about idle. Already there the mighty thump of the six-cylinder seduces, and you automatically click into the next higher gear. This often leads to being on the last aisle in the city center with the Honda Gold Wing F6B – and feeling comfortable doing it. The silky smooth running boxer vibrates annoyingly at no speed and works almost like an electric motor. This mighty boxer pushes always and everywhere – with a nonchalance that is unique. He only makes three tiny faux pas: Of the 118 HP promised, only 109 HP were found on the MOTORRAD test bench, and in addition to the 167 Nm advertised, 13 Nm were also missing.

In addition, the clutch disengages abruptly and is more difficult to dose than that of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide. And the load changes of the card-driven Honda Gold Wing F6B are harsher than those of the belt-driven Harley. The last two quirks are things that are only noticeable when switching from one motorcycle to the other. As an owner you will get used to it quickly.

Casual overtaking only with the right gear

Against this mighty 1832 cubic centimeter boxer of the Honda Gold Wing F6B, the also not exactly puny 1690 cubic Harley twin looks old. Be it torque, acceleration or top speed – the Honda always rigorously drives the Harley-Davidson Street Glide away. Even so, the Milwaukee engineers did a great job. Because the fat, air-cooled V2 is not a muscular man with its measured 89 hp, but it is surprisingly smooth-running and behaves extremely cultivated. For those for whom the six-cylinder concept is not an option, the Harley is a real alternative. However, casual overtaking is only possible if you are in the right gear. Means: If you chug behind a truck at 80 km / h and 2200 rpm in the sixth, you should definitely downshift two gears, because it is, like the F6B, geared to 230 km / h. And that’s way too long, it only comes to 175 km / h (Honda: 197 km / h). In the fourth, the Harley-Vau has the right overtaking power at 80 km / h and 2800 rpm. Shifting down is not a mistake even with displacement giants. Basically, however, a sin.


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The feeling of being King of the Road definitely comes along on both bikes.

Ultimately, the question remains which bike can be moved more majestically. The feeling of being King of the Road definitely comes along on both bikes. The turbine-like, almost electric drive-like engine thrust of the F6B, in direct comparison to the humble Ami-V2, even briefly suggests driving in a computer game. And not in reality. Maybe this is also due to the lack of sound from the Honda Gold Wing F6B, because the restrained hissing from the two silencers can only delight the extremely clairaudient.

You have to imagine the motorcycles something like this: the muscle-packed F6B as a guy who hides his big biceps under a wide-cut sweater and always wants to remain inconspicuous, while the opponent, who has a little less muscles, wears a muscle shirt and walks with his legs apart. Because the Harley-Davidson Street Glide is more wide-legged: more powerful voice, more chrome, better sound system and, ultimately, with a motor that always tells you whether it is exerting itself, rotating or shaking. It doesn’t matter if the Harley burns a touch more gasoline despite its lower performance. Anyone who buys one of these bikes doesn’t just want to cover distances, but also want to flaunt it and themselves. Which is even easier with the Honda Gold Wing F6B than with the Harley, because it is not only big, but so atypical Honda and therefore always attracts attention. While that’s what you’d expect from a Harley.

MOTORRAD conclusion


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Honda Gold Wing F6B.

Honda Gold Wing F6B

Cool, imposing, confident. The six-cylinder boxer shakes its torque extremely casually from its sleeve. Cruising has seldom been more relaxed, dignified and comfortable. Two hearts beat in the Honda: great performance, strong performance. The F6B sets the bar very high when it comes to Street Cruisin ‘.


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Harley street glide.

Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Valuable, charming, timeless. The revised Street Glide lures with chrome and a more casual seating position. However, the Honda always has to subordinate itself in terms of dynamics, comfort and engine performance. The new engine is a bit disappointing because it is not significantly superior to the previous version.

Technical specifications

engine

Harley-Davidson Street Glide                                                

Design: two-cylinder four-stroke 45 degree V engine

Injection: Ø 46 mm

Clutch: multi-plate oil bath clutch

Bore x stroke: 98.4 x 111.1 mm

Displacement: 1690 cm3                                               

Compression 9.7: 1                                                   

Output: 64.0 kW (87 hp) at 5010 rpm                        

Torque: 138 Nm at 3500 rpm            

Honda Gold Wing F6B

Design: six-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine

Injection: Ø 40 mm

Clutch: multi-plate oil bath clutch

Bore x stroke: 74.0 x 71.0 mm

Displacement: 1832 cm3

Compression: 9.8: 1                                             

Output: 87.0 kW (118 hp) at 5500 rpm

Torque: 167 Nm at 4000 rpm

landing gear

Harley-Davidson Street Glide   

Frame: double loop frame made of steel 

Fork: telescopic fork, Ø 49 mm

Brakes front / rear: Ø 300/300 mm

Assistance systems: fully integral braking system with ABS

Wheels: 3.50 x 19; 5.00 x 16

Tires: 130/60 B 19; 180/65 B 16

Tires: Dunlop, front D 408, rear D 407 

Honda Gold Wing F6B

Frame: bridge frame made of aluminum

Fork: telescopic fork, Ø 45 mm

Brakes front / rear: Ø 296/316 mm

Assistance systems: fully integral braking system with ABS

Wheels: 3.50 x 18; 5.00 x 16

Tires: 130/70 HR 18; 180/60 HR 16

Tires: Bridgestone, front G709, rear G704

measurements and weight

Harley-Davidson Street Glide   

Wheelbase: 1625 mm

Steering head angle: 64.0 degrees

Trail: 170 mm

Suspension travel front / rear: 117/54 mm

Seat height: 700 mm

Weight with a full tank: 372 kg

Payload: 245 kg

Tank capacity: 22.7 liters

Service intervals: 8000 km

Price: 23,995 euros

Price test motorcycle: 24 235 euros (including color paint in silver)

Additional costs: 490 euros

Honda Gold Wing F6B

Wheelbase: 1690 mm

Steering head angle: 61.0 degrees

Trail: 109 mm

Suspension travel front / rear: 140/105 mm

Seat height: 720 mm

Weight with a full tank: 391 kg

Payload: 211 kg

Tank capacity: 25.0 liters

Service intervals: 6000 km

Price: 24,590 euros

Price test motorcycle: 24,590 euros

Additional costs: 355 euros

MOTORCYCLE measurements


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engine.

With their “real performance”, both models are close to the nominal values. The Harley-Davidson Street Glide trumps this a bit and the Honda Gold Wing F6B loses nine hp and 13 Nm compared to the manufacturer’s specification. It does not matter anyway. The six-cylinder produces an almost exemplary performance curve, which is also noticeable when driving – thrust is always and everywhere available.

MOTORCYCLE readings

Harley-Davidson Street Glide   

Maximum speed (manufacturer information): 175 km / h

acceleration

0-100 km / h: 5.6 sec

0-140 km / h: 10.4 sec

Draft

60-100 km / h: 6.7 sec

100-140 km / h: 8.0 sec

Consumption country road: 6.0 liters / super

Range of the highway: 378 km

Honda Gold Wing F6B

Maximum speed (manufacturer information): 197 km / h

acceleration

0-100 km / h: 4.1 sec

0-140 km / h: 7.7 sec

Draft

60-100 km / h: 4.8 sec

100-140 km / h: 5.1 sec

140-180 km / h: 7.0 sec

Consumption country road: 5.5 liters / normal

Range of the highway: 455 km

Bagger style


Henniges

The stylish modern excavator is high at the front and flat at the back.

And who invented it? Exactly, the Americans. Once again. At some point the custom bike riders got tired of not being able to take anything with them. But where do you put your luggage? How can you transport your comb, brush and sleeping bag in proper style? Ideally in large suitcases, waterproof and designed in such a way that they do not disrupt the flow of lines on the motorcycle, but at best even support it. So the term bagger comes from bag.

The original idea has been refined and extreme over the last twenty years. The stylish modern excavator is high at the front and flat at the back. It is not uncommon for the motorcycle to be lowered at the rear with shorter spring struts or an Air-Ride chassis and raised at the front by installing a larger wheel. 23-inch front rims are now state of the art in the USA. 26-inch rims are also used from time to time. In order to underline the touring character of these custom bikes, fairings with half-height windows are used. The bagger style has been the trend in the US for a few years and is now slowly reaching Europe as well.

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