It’s a great idea. Start with a bike that is well proven as a tourer, then strip off weight, complication and expense. To create the F6B, Honda began with its Gold Wing dresser then, to lighten the load and expense, tossed the trunk, the anti-lock brakes, cruise control, heated grips, centerstand and, with all the weight saved, the electric reverse gear was no longer needed, either. As a result, our basic F6B weighs 62 pounds less than the standard Gold Wing. Run your baby blues over the F6B’s blacked-out wheels, engine and frame, and those low, clean lines. If the Pearl Yellow doesn’t grab you, it’s also available in Black.
The liquid-cooled, 1,832cc horizontally opposed 6-cylinder motor utilizes single overhead cams with two valves per cylinder, fed by the Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system carried over from the Gold Wing with its two 40mm throttle bodies and six high-pressure fuel injectors. Power rolls through a 5-speed gearbox to the shaft final drive and single-sided swingarm. On Jett Tuning’s dyno, the F6B made copious amounts of ultra-smooth power, peaking at 105 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 111 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. What sets the F6B apart is its high, broad plateau of torque, which exceeds 100 lb-ft from 2,200 rpm to 5,500 rpm (redline is 6,400).
It’s all held by a twin-spar aluminum frame attached to a 45mm fork with 4.8 inches of travel, a cartridge damper and anti-dive system. The rear suspension includes a single Pro-Link shock with revised valving specifically tuned to the F6B. It has a dial-type remote preload adjuster, but no damping adjusters.
Honda’s Combined Braking System links the front and rear brakes, a system that includes dual floating 296mm rotors and 3-piston calipers up front, while the rear offers a 316mm disc also with a 3-piston caliper. Anti-lock brakes are not available on the F6B, but they are on the dresser Gold Wing. If our test F6B is too sparse for your needs, the F6B Deluxe version adds self-cancelling turn signals, a passenger backrest, heated grips, centerstand and more. It’s available in the same colors and sells for $20,999. If you need its full luxury and convenience, the basic Gold Wing sells for $23,990.
The standard audio system offers not only AM/FM, but also direct MP3/iPod connectivity. The connector is located in the saddlebags, where these devices can be discreetly stored and utilized through the bike’s audio controls.
While the sound from the speakers is soon blown away in the wind at speeds above 40 mph, plug-in headphones are available. The locking saddlebags provide ample storage, and a large, centrally located glovebox is both handy and will hold a pair of winter gloves. There’s also a smaller non-locking storage area.
Base Price: $19,999
Warranty: 3 yrs., unltd. miles, transferable
Type: Liquid-cooled, longitudinal, horizontally opposed flat six
Bore x Stroke: 74.0 x 71.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.8:1
Valve Train: SOHC, 2 valves per cyl.
Valve Adj. Interval: 32,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: PGM-FI w/ automatic choke
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.9-qt. cap.
Transmission: 5-speed, hydraulically actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Shaft, 2.75:1
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital
Charging Output: 1,200 watts @ 5,000 rpm
Battery: Sealed, 12V 20AH
Frame: Aluminum dual-spar perimeter w/ engine as stressed member & Pro-Arm single-sided aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 66.5 in.
Rake/Trail: 29.2 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 28.5 in.
Suspension, Front: 45mm stanchions w/ anti-dive, 4.8-in. travel
Rear: Single shock w/ Pro-Link, remotely adj. for spring preload, 4.1-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual discs w/ CBS 3-piston calipers
Rear: Single disc w/ CBS 3-piston caliper
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 18 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.00 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/70-HR18
Wet Weight: 836 lbs.
Load Capacity: 423 lbs.
GVWR: 1,259 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gallons,
warning light on last 1.0 gal.
MPG: 86 PON min. (low/avg/high) 37.9/39.7/40.7
Estimated Range: 262 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,700
(This article was a sidebar that ran along with the comparison Ripped vs. Stripped in the May 2014 issue of Rider magazine. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.)