A Rolls Royce on Two Wheels – Honda Goldwing

Honda Goldwing 2013

Evolution. According to the Oxford Dictionary, this word simply means the change in the inherited characteristics of something over a period of time, or over successive generations. They say the evolutionary process gives rise to diversity at every level, no matter what. So, when it comes to the bad burly world of motorcycles, this word holds its own salt.Boasting no less than four decades of evolution, Honda’s Gold Wing is as near to perfection as a touring motorcycle can ever get. It is one of those motorcycles which is fully dressed and completely ready to take on the world, take on a ride of any distance, doesn’t matter what the rider can throw at it. Simply put, the Honda Goldwing is truly luxury redefined. The current generation of Honda’s flagship touring motorcycle has been around for a long time and it represents, among many other things, the pinnacle of high-end, high-tech, long-distance touring. When you first look at the latest model, you’d be forgiven to think it is like a mother-ship. Honda has infact knocked some weight off its flagship tourer and pared down the bodywork as well, to make it look meaner. What has resulted infact is something of a tourer? Or perhaps a cruiser? May be a muscle bike or a sports tourer? Or may be a mix of everything! The Honda Goldwing isn’t just a big, heavy motorcycle which has a couch in place of a standard motorcycling seat, it’s a heavy motorcycle with a couch for a seat which goes, stops, handles almost entirely like a bike which is less than HALF of the weight! And it is all because of a impossibly smooth and horizontally-opposed, liquid-cooled 1832cc six cylinder motor that develops an enormous 125lb/ft of torque and a good 116bhp of power. Rear suspension is also the pro-link arrangement as used on Honda’s sportsbikes. The whole thing can lean up to 42 degrees before the feelers on the pegs touch down. To make the new ‘Wing, Honda literally just took off the top box, chopped the windscreen and cleaned up the bodywork around the engine to better show it off. A gunfighter-style seat that’s a little lower and a little more spacious was added as well. All this is too good to hear, but how does the behemoth actually ride. Well, let’s find out!

The front headlights

Honda Goldwing 2013

Console of Honda Goldwing

Speedometer of Honda Goldwing

Honda

The Ride

The Honda Goldwing looks daunting and pretty intimadating for a motorcycle, but as soon as you swing a leg over the beautiful motorcycle, it completely feels like a different motrcycle. At just 28.5 inches, the seat is 0.6 inches lower than the earlier version which means it also offers some extra space to fit your behind on. This comfort continues right to the launch of the bike. Now that the CoG of the Goldwing is much lower, you feel that this one is more flickable as a result of shaving some weight off. However, while straight lines are not really a problem at all, it is the corners which needs all your attention. You need to be really fastidious setting a line through the various corners that you’d invariably encounter on your inter-continental rides, as the Goldwing’s massive momentum won’t really want you to alter the course once it’s leaned over, but if you do need to change your course, the bike strangely and surprisingly rewards you with the kind of smooth, easy, flowing pace that can eat up the miles while you don’t even realize. And then there are the features, which is absolutely impossibly to delve into in a ride-review article. Heck, the features demand their own short sweet article; I mean, it’s exhaustive!

Honda Goldwing RIde

Honda Goldwing moves

A built-in sound system, intercom, CB, extra cushy seats, Sat-Nav, Airbag(!), and what no. For example, to update the sound system, Honda took the simple step of incorporating a USB port in the trunk so you can connect an iPod cable of any kind, including an iPhone, an MP3 player or even just a USB flash drive. New software and controls for the centralized dash display let you control this auxiliary input device remotely, and the menus for the sound system and NAVI GPS are brighter and more colorful. There’s still an 1⁄8-inch stereo auxiliary jack in the left fairing pocket, too. As before, the sound options are AM/FM; CD with an optional changer in the recessed trunk compartment; XM Radio with NavTraffic and NavWeather (for a monthly fee); and intercom. New “Surround Sound” circuitry enhancement replaces the old “Ambiance” function. The sound from the four-speaker, 80-watt-per-channel system is crisp, has good tone and goes as loud as desired. With new styling, instruments, more luggage capacity, comfort, improved handling and updated electronics, the changes to the latest Honda GoldWing are both strong and subtle. Four colors and equipment packages (Comfort, Navi, ABS and Airbag) are available at your offering. However, Honda Motorcycles (India) do not offer the GoldWing in their portfolio of motorcycles as of now. So, if you need one, you’d need to shell out a small fortune to import one yourself/ through a reliable source. But, once you are onboard a Honda Goldwing, you’d realize one thing very quickly – there is absolutely no denying the fact that the GoldWing is infact a benchmark of touring motorcycles that this world has to offer. ‘Nuff said.

Honda Goldwing on the move

Honda Goldwing comes with an airbag.

Honda Goldwing ABS

Honda Wings

2013 Honda Goldwing

Honda Goldwing

Honda Goldwing Details

Note: A special thanks to the owner of this beautiful Honda Goldwing, Mr.Jaspreet Singh for letting us sample the wonderful machine. You are a super-star, paaji! 🙂 Also, thanks to Jasmeet Singh for assisting me in this photo-shoot.

2013 Honda Goldwing

The wonderful Mr.Jaspreet Singh poses with his proud beauty.

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