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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









What We Love About the New 2018 Honda Gold Wing Touring Motorcycle

Smaller, lighter, and packed with features women appreciate

By Tricia Szulewski, Associate Editor
3/27/2018

New Technology

All the new Gold Wings are powered by a completely redesigned 1,833cc horizontally opposed flat six cylinder engine that’s lighter, stronger, and sits further back in the frame. The motorcycle is also 20 percent more fuel efficient than the previous model, allowing engineers to reduce the size of the fuel tank from 6.6 to 5.5 gallons without affecting fuel consumption range.

An all-new lighter weight chassis features a double-wishbone front suspension. This means it’s easier to steer the new Gold Wing, and road bumps are not transmitted through the bike to the rider as much as the previous Wing. This “shock” factor has been reduced by 30 percent. What does this mean? I like to say that you can balance a cup of coffee on the handlebar while you’re riding—that’s how smooth it is!

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what we love about the new 2018 honda gold wing touring motorcycle chassis
This photo compares the 2018 Gold Wing chassis (right) with the previous version (left). The new chassis is lighter, stronger, has fewer welds, and the double wishbone suspension has no fork seals to change—something many Gold Wing riders had complained about.

what we love about the new 2018 honda gold wing touring motorcycle seat height
The smaller fuel tank, more compact engine, and new chassis all work together to give the new Wing a much-improved mass centralized center of gravity. This means easier handling, from making slow maneuvers to all-around agility. The seat height for all the new Gold Wing models is 29.3 inches, fine for flat-footing my 5-foot-7-inches. Smaller riders can scoot up to the slimmer part of the saddle to place their feet on the ground more easily.

what we love about the new 2018 honda gold wing touring motorcycle two up
Back seat riders will still find plenty of room and comfort on the rear saddle. The passengers on our press ride, however, were sorry to see two things go: the large passenger grab rails and the storage compartments in the top trunk.

New electronic technology brings the 2018 Wing into the modern era with throttle-by-wire and four riding modes (Tour, Sport, Econ, Rain) that alter the engine response for specific riding conditions. On Gold Wing Tour models each mode has distinct settings that change the throttle input, torque-control settings, DCT shift maps, and suspension damping.

Tour mode is the default and offers a comfortable ride with standard throttle response. The first half of my test ride included wet roads, so changing into Rain mode offered a less touchy throttle response and softer upshifts and suspension settings designed to provide the best traction for slick conditions.

Hill Start Assist is a fantastic feature new to the Gold Wing this year. I also have it on my manual-shift Jeep Wrangler and really appreciate its benefits. On the Gold Wing, when the rider releases the brakes on a slope the ABS modulator generates hydraulic pressure on the rear brake caliper. This prevents the bike from rolling backward if the rider uses the throttle within three seconds.

Another fantastic new feature is what Honda calls Walking Mode. We’ve prepared a short video demonstrating how it works to easily move the motorcycle around at a slow rate of speed. This comes in really handy in hilly or gravel parking lots or in the garage.




what we love about the new 2018 honda gold wing touring motorcycle brakes
Another electronic upgrade, the 2018 Gold Wings have a combined braking system with ABS. Larger 320mm rotors in front work with Nissin 6-piston radially mounted calipers. Rear brakes get a 3-piston caliper on a 316mm rotor.

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