The Honda Goldwing has always stood alone. Launched as the GL1000 in 1975, its horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine was not only physically different, it felt very different: jet turbine-like, with a silky torque output perfect for long days in the saddle.
A six-cylinder, 1500cc overhaul in 1987 saw the Goldwing once again state its intent and purpose as the true King of Motorcycles. The GL1800, debuted in 2000, further cemented the Wing’s unique status.
And nothing has changed to this day. But a trend appearing over the course of the last decade, mainly in the USA, has seen fully-dressed touring bikes stripped down; a couple of bags on the back, a cut-down screen and more minimal fairing has injected a custom attitude to what has traditionally been a ‘mature’ market. This style of bike has become known as a “Bagger”. With a combination of cool credibility, useful practicality and exciting style they’ve been inspired by, and in turn have attracted, a much younger rider.
Honda, responding to customers’ needs and desires, has built a new breed of Goldwing to sit alongside the original. Stripped, stylish and smooth, part custom, part cruiser the Goldwing F6B is all Bagger: a touring bike distilled to its very essence.
Mr. Teishiro Goto, Large Project Leader Goldwing F6B:
“The new Goldwing F6B we are launching is a lightweight and stylish touring bike. It features optimised equipment and specifications to further improve dynamic performance, while retaining great riding comfort so that current owners of the Goldwing as well as younger riders can casually enjoy the new model’s agility. It is a noticeably user-friendly motorcycle on city streets, as well as for touring, and it is my hope that the introduction of this new Goldwing F6B will lead more people of new generations to enjoy the world of the King of Motorcycles first hand.”
2. Model Overview
The 1,832cc six-cylinder engine driving the Goldwing F6B is one of motorcycling’s masterworks. But it’s the style of the new bike that initially grabs attention; minus the rear top box and with its stubby screen the long, low Goldwing F6B flows fluidly from front to rear. Unique seats provide support for rider and pillion and the 4-speaker sound system guarantees listening pleasure, even at speed.
The twin-spar aluminium frame provides strength and delivers a great handling motorcycle, as do 45mm anti-dive telescopic forks and Pro-Link rear suspension. The machine’s Dual Combined ABS braking system ensures rapid and secure stopping power on a variety of road surfaces and conditions.
Built to be at home in an urban environment as well as on the open road, the Goldwing F6B is lighter – 28kgs less than the Goldwing GL1800 – yet with the same chassis, power and incredible torque output. It also features a greatly reduced sticker price, making it an attractive proposition to a wider range of riders looking for a stylish, useful and unique motorcycle.
3. Key Features
The aim for the Goldwing F6B’s development team was to produce a nimble-feeling and agile bike. It had to be comfortable to use on a congested city street and fun on a twisty road; and of course had to perform on the open highway.
Constructed from lightweight multi-box aluminium sections the twin-spar frame is aided by the engine’s low centre of gravity to create a great-handling chassis at all – and especially slow – speeds (the engine itself also acts as a stressed member). The 45mm telescopic forks feature anti-dive, while the Pro-Link monoshock can be manually adjusted for spring preload. Rake is set at 29.15°, trail 109mm. Overall dimensions are (L) 2605mm × (W) 945mm × (H) 1255mm with wheelbase of 1,690mm and kerb weight of 385kg.
The Dual Combined ABS works between the twin 296mm floating front discs and three-piston calipers, plus rear 316mm ventilated disc/three piston caliper and apportions braking forces evenly, assisted by ABS in wet or slippery conditions. A hollow-section 18-inch 5-spoke cast aluminium front wheel wears a 130/70-R18 tyre, and the 18-inch hollow-section 5-spoke rear a 180/60 R16.
CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) helped sculpt the Goldwing F6B’s upper fairing, while blacked-out (with a combination of matt black and dark metallic coatings) wheels, engine, forks, frame and lower cowls underpin the striking paintwork and complement its low-slung lines. A further finishing touch was added to burnish the bike’s appearance by placing a chromium-plated emblem, made exclusively for the Goldwing F6B, on the side cover.
The short screen has been carefully designed to allow a feeling of freedom yet still give decent weather protection; larger circular meters, with LCD indicators underneath, provide relevant information in an easy-to-read format, with typical Goldwing style and quality. Storage space is provided by the lockable twin rear bags and a cubbyhole in the centre console. Fuel capacity is 25-litres, including 4.4-litre warning light reserve.
In creation of the Goldwing F6B Honda has taken the Goldwing GL1800 back to basics. Gone are the options of sat-nav and airbag, as well as the electric reverse gear, cruise control, illuminated switchgear, turn signal auto-cancel and seat heaters. The seat for rider and pillion is brand new, and delivers a much greater sense of space – almost like riding in a convertible car. The rear pillion now has footpegs (instead of running boards) and black aluminium grab rails.
No Goldwing of any persuasion would be complete without music to ride by, and the Goldwing F6B is no exception. It features a four-speaker stereo system, placed in front of the rider that delivers vivid sound clarity and strong bass performance. It also supports iPod or USB Flash Drive connectivity, and tunes in MP3, WMA or AAC format can be accessed and played on the move.
The Goldwing F6B will be available in two colour options:
Precisely metered fuel and air mixture by PGM-FI fuel injection the Goldwing F6B’s 1,832cc, horizontally opposed SOHC 2-valve six-cylinder engine has a bore and stroke of 74mm x 71mm, compression ratio of 9.8:1 and produces 167Nm torque @ 4,000rpm, with power output of 87kW @ 5,500rpm. Few riders will forget their first encounter with this particular motor – its smooth power delivery and instant avalanche of torque are rapidly addictive.
For improved environmental performance in addition to the air injection system reducing the oxidation reaction of unburned gases, HECS3 (Honda Evolution Catalysing System 3) employs a three-way catalytic process and ensures greatly reduced nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide output levels.
The five-speed gearbox includes an overdrive top gear and delivers the engine’s torque via shaft drive; in the quest to strip out the Goldwing F6B, and, contributing to the overall 28kg weight reduction, the electric reverse has been removed.
Engine Type 1832cc SOHC liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder
Bore x Stroke 74 x 71 mm
Compression Ratio 9.8: 1
Carburation PGM-FI electronic fuel injection with automatic choke
Ignition Computer-controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance
Final Drive Enclosed shaft
Dimensions (L´W´H) 2,605 x 945 x 1,455mm
Seat Height 725mm
Ground Clearance 125mm
Fuel Capacity 25litres (including 4.4-litre reserve)
Kerb Weight 385 kg
Front 130/70R – 18 inch
Rear 180/60R – 16 inch
Front 45mm telescopic fork with anti-dive
Rear Pro-Link Pro-Arm with electronically-controlled spring preload adjustment
Front 296 x 4.5mm dual hydraulic disc with Combined 3-piston callipers, ABS, floating rotors and sintered metal pads
Rear 316 x 11mm ventilated disc with 3-piston calliper, CBS, ABS and sintered metal pads
WARRANTY 24 months