2018 Honda Gold Wing
The idea behind this great redesign was to make the Gold Wing a little sporty, lighter and more luxurious at the same time to attract a new, younger clientele. It is interesting that the Japanese worked closely with representatives of the Honda America Corporation during the design of the new Gold Wing plan. Bil Savino, a project leader from the American side, said the motorcycle had been so much changed and improved, that Honda people seriously considered giving it a new name.
This may seem a little surprising, because at first glance, this motorcycle with 6-cylinder engine of 1833ccm, certainly looks like a Gold Wing. It’s true, it has a brand new front suspension, modern LED lighting, sharp lines and no key place, but it’s definitely seen and recognized as Gold Wing.
Most projects for new motorcycles in Honda last for two and a half years, but the new Gold Wing project started more than 4 years ago. Honda explains this extension of the time by the fact that the new model with its predecessor does not share anything in terms of designs except for screws. And the design is certainly very integral, with the goal of creating a lighter, narrower and sporty Gold Wing.
To begin with, we will take for example a completely new twin-A-arm front suspension. It’s a version of the design of Noman Hossack from the 1980s, similar to the concept, but completely different in detail compared to what was used on BMW Duolever. In Honda’s way, parallel double-handed hands are attached on a frame at a height like otherwise bridges are placed on regular motorcycles. These “arms” support a tube that essentially looks like a steering head on conventional frames. Two very common ball bearings support forged towers worn by the front wheel. The handlebar is connected by a lever to its special bearing in the frame and has a separate, ball-jointed “hand” that transfers control to the upper part of the fork. Mitigation is done using one shock absorber, the same as for the rear suspension. Honda uses this system to discard all ball joints, except for the transfer of the commands. Two “arms” are attached with a combination of needle and ball bearings. You’re probably wondering what this is? There are two different responses: a cynical answer would be to have it because BMW has a similar solution to its K1600 model, but the one is very straightforward because this solution has the real advantages.
First of all, it is almost completely frictional, so the absorbing of road holes is much easier and better. Secondly, it is fully adjustable, even at the design level, so that it allows a soft spring, without the risk of full compression when braking, which is not possible with telescopic forks. Third, Honda has set this suspension to be neutral,so it’s not preferring deeper braking compaction but do not trying to avoid it. Because of this, the point when absorbing road holes wheel travels straight up and down, not backwards as with telescopic forks, which contributes to the fact that the aggregate can be moved further at the front.
Fourth, as only the wheel and the fork move, while not the whole system, like a telescopic forks, less inertia is transferred to the steering wheel. Honda engineers calculated these things and concluded that 40% less force is transmitted to the handlebar when crossing the road holes, and 30% less inertia when turning. Anyone who has ever felt the inertia transfer to the steering wheel when turning, know that 30% is a huge difference and allows for easier and more precise turning, especially at low speeds when the motorcycle wants to roll over to the side you turn.
As for the rest of the redesign is concerned, the desire to lose pounds over the previous model is the most affected, but many decisions are linked and lead to each other. The aggregate remained in the same configuration, but with a smaller piston diameter and a longer stroke, so that the total duty aggregate was reduced in relation to its predecessor. As the aggregate was moved forward in advance due to suspension and reduction of the overall length of the aggregate, the sidewalks for the driver and the driver’s seat were moved forward for almost 4cm. These changes are most commonly seen on sports motorcycles for better handling, but in this case this change has led to that the shielding can be reduced slightly, as the shields are more effective in wind protection if the driver sits closer to them. Reduced shields and a new line technique have resulted in a 11% reduction in air resistance. The fuel tank was reduced to 21 liter of storage capacity, but autonomy remained the same, thanks to the reduction of air resistance.
When developing the aggregate, it was the least thought of fighting with the other turing motorcycles by the number of horsepower, the more emphasis was on improving efficiency, driving and driving sense. The red line is kept at the very beginning of the 6000 rpm, and on each cylinder there are 4 valves that are controlled by one camshaft per cylinder, all in order to improve engine compactness. Smaller valves with faster opening and closing and smaller suction channels promise more color responses to low engine-revs, as well as increased torque and better efficiency.
An additional 2.5 kilogram is cut in that the starter and generator are now one component, not two separately as in the previous model, and the cylinder linings are now of aluminum, also due to weight savings. The integrated starter and generator allow the use of the start / stop system, which will also offer the new Gold Wing to its users in certain markets, with high fuel prices. At the end total weight loss is 9Kg. The transmission too has been revised, both versions. The manual six-speed gearbox is standard and moves the limit of the transmission ratio to the fact that at a 120 km / h aggregate it operates at only 2,500 rpm. The seven-speed DCT – Dual-Clutch Transmission is fully automatic and comes as an accessory and provides the same efficiency as the manual version.
In addition to all mechanical improvements, all versions of the Gold Wing have received an impressive range of electrical accessories and accessories. Of course, the more expensive the version is, the more there is, but it is very impressive that it is available on all models as the basic equipment: cruise control, Ride-by-Wire system, 7 “TFT color display with built-in navigation system and 10 years of free maps and software upgrades. Also, they are all equipped with an Apple CarPlay option that allows your iPhone to download the screen and display its own map system, your music collection or calls. Unfortunately, users of the Android phone will only have to satisfy the Bluetooth connection for audio transmission. With all models you can choose between 4 driving modes: Tour, Sport, Eco and Rain. Depending on the mode you choose, the system changes the injection map to adjust the response to the throttle and deliver the power to the rear wheel to the conditions on the road. Whatever the new Gold Wing is, if you have the key to it in your pocket, you can start it because all models come for the key-less system. The key also has the option to switch off, so even if you are still somewhere near the motorcycle, no one else can start it.
The new Gold Wing will be available in three versions, two basic, Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour, both available with the gear of your choice. The third and most expensive version comes with the option of airbags and DCT gearboxes, without the possibility of selecting a manual transmission. The tour version comes with three original suitcases, top and two side, adjustable windscreens and seat heating plus equipment that is common to the base model: heated handlebar, slip control, electro-adjustable suspension that reacts to the addition and subtraction of the throttle and becomes harder when you switch in “Sport” mode.
The total volume of the luggage space has been reduced from 140 liters to a new 110 liters, 30 on each side plus 50 in the back case. But it is enough to sit on this exhausting new motorcycle and feel all 40 kilograms less than the old model and you will find it worth it. It’s still Gold Wing, but it’s something new and exciting.