Honda GL1800 Gold Wing
Bike UK|January 2018

After four decades at the top of the tourer pile, the legendary Honda Gold Wing gets a thorough reworking for 2018. And Bike have already ridden it...

Arthur Coldwells

HONDA MEAN BUSINESS with their new GL1800. After producing more than 100 prototypes and several years of development, the new Gold Wing is slimmer, sleeker, more efficient and 48kg lighter. It’s a dramatic upgrade. Our sneak preview ride is after the recent MotoGP round at Motegi. Not the ideal test arena for a tourer, however it’s a smooth, open, controlled environment, and a not-to-be-missed opportunity when the bike’s still to be revealed (hence the wallpaper disguise). First I get some time on the previous couch on-wheels, and frankly it feels pretty good. However, I then opt to try the new basic Gold Wing version, the one with a manual six-speed gearbox and no rear top-box. What a difference...

The new gearbox is an absolute revelation. It’s not a sportbike level shifter, but it is an enormous improvement. Gone is the longish throw at the lever, and gone is that hefty clunk as the next ratio comes in. Clutchless shifts are now easy and smooth, with a new slipper clutch eliminating that back-torque, keeping everything nice and stable when braking hard down into corners. 

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