Honda's liquid-cooled, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine is a key element to the Gold
Wing's rich character, and while the general layout lives on, much has been done to make the
power-plant more compact, lighter and more fuel efficient. The engine is now 6.2kgs lighter when
equipped with Honda's six-speed manual transmission, and 29mm shorter in the front section,
and is placed further forward in the chassis for more ideal weight distribution, a key contributor to
the 2018 Gold Wing's sporty handling and improved vehicle packaging.
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Specific changes for 2018 include a smaller, 73mm cylinder bore, updated crankshaft, and a
Unicam® valve train layout that has been proven on other select Honda motorcycles.
Combustion efficiency is improved via the use of four valves per cylinder, while friction is reduced
through the application of a new molybdenum coating on the piston skirts. Thanks to a lighter
overall package and the enhanced vehicle aerodynamics, engineers were able to reduce the fuel
tank capacity by 4 litres while retaining close to the same mileage range as before. This change
is one of many aimed at improving handling via refined vehicle packaging and weight reduction.
Additional changes include a new intake system for added responsiveness and torque, as well as
an updated exhaust system that highlights the bike's livelier personality through a deeper exhaust
The Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour are both available
with a new six-speed manual transmission. The Gold
Wing Tour is also available with the next-generation
seven-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT),
which includes forward/reverse Walking Mode.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
For 2018, the Gold Wing chassis has undergone multiple
revisions to increase low-speed maneuverability and
maintain high-speed stability. A robotically welded twinspar
aluminum frame uses plates with reconfigured
thicknesses and is matched to a single-sided swingarm with new pivot-area structure. Together,
the frame and swingarm are a major contributing factor to the 2kg weight reduction, which when
combined with the low center of gravity and better mass centralization, contributes significantly to
the bike's improved nimbleness.
Suspension is comprised of a new double-wishbone front-suspension system and Showa shock
absorbers front and rear. Designed to offer reduced friction and less inertial mass for the frontend
components that are manipulated via the handlebars, the system also leads to more compact
vehicle dimensions, as its different stroke trajectory enabled engineers to position the engine
closer to the front wheel. For added comfort, the Gold Wing uses a Pro-Link® rear-suspension
configuration with progressive reaction. On most models, suspension damping and preload can
be adjusted electronically.
Brakes have been upgraded via radially mounted front calipers and larger, 320mm rotors.
Electronically controlled combined ABS works to distribute braking force to the front and rear
wheels while saving weight through the use of a smaller, lighter circulation-type ABS modulator.
Fully modern, the 2018 Gold Wing features a throttle-by-wire system that has opened the door to
four riding modes (Tour, Sport, Econ, and Rain), Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Hill
Start Assist, and a finely tuned cruise-control system. Selecting the riding mode that's best suited
for the riding conditions is easily accomplished through the Gold Wing's new controls, and then
confirmed via a beautiful, 7-inch full-Colour Thin Film Transistor liquid-crystal display—one of the
many features that bolster the model's premium feel.
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In an industry first, the 2018 Gold Wing also comes equipped with Apple CarPlay™, which
connects the motorcycle to the user's iPhone to show maps, contacts, and music, all accessed
through the motorcycle's display.
The sportier nature of the 2018 Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour is underlined by the bike's sharper,
more performance-minded shape, which
also achieves a significant boost in
aerodynamic efficiency. Narrower at the
front and with added emphasis on such
mechanical parts as the exhaust and lower
engine, the bike offers similar comfortable
ergonomics as before, but with reimagined
airflow for rider and passenger, both of
whom sit 36mm further forward. Thanks to
new air-guiding ducts and an electric
windscreen that provides even greater
control over airflow, the rider is now able to
determine how much air flow he/she wants,
making the overall riding experience a lot
LED technology is used throughout, from the multiple-lens front lights forming the new “wing lines”
of this latest advanced performance touring model to the LED turn signals which have a
convenient auto-canceling feature. A user-friendly luggage system bolsters on-road convenience
while also contributing to the vehicle's compact dimensions, sporty appearance, and lighter
weight. Each saddlebag holds 30 litres, while the top case has a 50 litre capacity, and high-quality
lid dampers are used throughout.