What You Need To Know About The 2018 Honda Gold Wing
The 2018 Honda Gold Wing is finally here, and we’ve assembled the essential facts you need to know about Honda’s new flagship touring motorcycle.
If you want a fully in-depth look, including a ride review, check out Ultimate Motorcycling President Arthur Coldwells’ in-depth review. Readers looking for a quick ride review can visit our 2018 Honda Gold Wing First Ride test.
In the meantime, here are the 17 fast facts about the 2018 Honda Gold Wing:
1. There are two main flavors of the 2018 Honda Gold Wing. The Gold Wing Tour is the flagship model, with a trunk that integrates a passenger backrest and armrests. The standard Gold Wing is a replacement for the F6B bagger; it jettisons the trunk (though one can be purchased separately and installed, if later desired), has a shorter windshield, and no electronic suspension adjustments, along with a few other missing features.
2. The motor is still a flat-six and now displaces 1833cc. Efficiency is the name of the game. The new Gold Wing motor now has four valves per cylinder instead of two, and a Unicam top end—the camshaft acts directly on the intake valves, and via rocker arms on the exhaust valves. Additionally, the bore has been reduced by one millimeter and the stroke lengthened by two millimeters. This makes it a perfectly square motor, with both the bore and stroke measuring 73mm. The crankshaft and intake system are also redesigned, and a reduction in the space between cylinders results in a more compact engine unit by over an inch. Overall weight of the motor is down more than eight pounds.
3. DCT comes to the Gold Wing, but as an option. Along with the motor redesign, the 2018 Honda Gold Wing gets a new transmission. The DCT transmission is a seven-speed unit, while the standard manual transmission is bumped up to a hugely improved six-speed design.
4. The motor has four modes that interact with other functions on the Gold Wing. Yes, full electronics have come to the Honda Gold Wing family, including traction control and, on the Gold Wing Tour only, electronically adjusted suspension. As before, ABS and linked braking are standard.
5. Tour mode is the default mode. Every time you turn on the bike, you’ll find yourself in Tour mode. It has standard throttle response, moderate DCT shift points, high traction control, and smooth suspension settings (only the Tour version gets electronic suspension adjustments).
6. Sport mode is for making time. You get a more aggressive throttle response, less traction control, late DCT shifting, and firmer suspension settings.
7. Econ mode saves you money. The throttle response is reduced, and the DCT upshifts as early as possible to keep engine speeds low. The suspension is softened up, and traction control is on high.
8. Rain mode is for low-traction situations. For roads with less than optimal traction, for whatever reason, the settings are even softer versions of Econ. The motor will rev more slowly, traction control is at its most intrusive, and the DCT shifts even earlier.
9. The front suspension is now a double-wishbone design. With the shorter motor, Honda moved it forward in the chassis to get more weight on the front end for better feel and more stability. The double-wishbone design allows the front wheel to be closer to the motor, as it arcs upward when going through its travel, rather than diagonally rearward. Honda clams a 30 percent reduction of shock to the rider from the road, as well as a 40 percent reduction in front end inertial mass, for easier handlebar movement. Bearings are used to keep the suspension action supple, and a Showa shock is employed.
10. Electronic suspension settings can be made from the dash on the Tour model. You can adjust the spring-preload for Rider, Rider + Luggage, Rider + Passenger, and Rider + Passenger + Luggage. On the standard Gold Wing, the Showa rear shock’s spring-preload is manually adjusted.
11. With the new motor and suspension, there is also a new frame and much less weight. The design is similar to before, but with a reworking of the flexing and rigid portions of the frame to match the other changes. The new frame is just over four pounds lighter, and the entire Gold Wing platform drops about 90 pounds.
12. There is a new fairing on the 2018 Honda Gold Wing, and it is more aerodynamic. Honda claims an 11.8 percent reduction in drag. The windshield is now electronically adjustable—finally—and it does so seamlessly. When you turn the motorcycle off, it drops down to the lowest position, but returns to where you want it when you restart the bike. The rider is also closer to the windshield, which allowed Honda to reduce its size, yet offer more protection.
13. The new Gold Wing is very parking lot friendly, if you get DCT. The DCT has a Walking Mode that limits the speed to 1.1 mph and softens the clutch engagement. It also allows you to back up at up to 0.75 mph. Rather than using the throttle, this is accomplished via the DCT manual shift switches.
14. Total cargo capacity (Tour model) of 110 liters is down from 150 liters, but the 2018 Honda Gold Wing still has generous room. The saddlebags hold 30 liters each, while the Tour trunk swallows up 50 liters, including two full-face helmets.
15. Fuel capacity is reduced to 5.5 gallons. However, Honda claims that improved gas mileage—42 mpg—results in an unchanged total range.
16. Apple CarPlay, Hill Start Assist, Smart Key, and LED lighting are all standard features. Additionally, there is a full-color seven-inch TFT display.
17. There are two versions of the standard Gold Wing. You can get the bagger with the six-speed manual transmission, or the seven-speed DCT. Your choice of colors is Candy Ardent Red, Matte Majestic Silver, or Pearl Stallion Brown.
18. You can choose from three versions of the Gold Wing Tour. There’s the standard DCT, and an upgrade gets you an airbag. The six-speed manual version does not allow for an airbag. The Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag is only available in Candy Ardent Red/Black. The other two Tour models come in your choice of Candy Ardent Red, Pearl White, or Pearl Hawkseye Blue.
As mentioned at the start of the article, there is a lot more to know about the 2018 Honda Gold Wing. If this Fast Facts story hasn’t satisfied your curiosity, check out our 2018 Gold Wing in-depth review.
Click to page 2 for specs and an extensive photo gallery