Behold, the New Honda Gold Wing! (We Think)

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Is this the next generation of the Honda Gold Wing?

A Dutch website called Oliepeil has spilled the beans:

Weinig text, maar veel beeld! Check hier de nieuwe 2018 Honda Goldwing, standaard wel voorzien van een elektrische ruit maar niet van een aanhangwagentje en teddybeer op de koffer.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
The new Honda Gold Wing has a narrower profile, LED headlights and what appears to be an electrically adjustable windscreen.

Our Dutch is a little rusty, but we’d venture a guess Oliepeil has revealed the highly anticipated, long overdue update to the Honda Gold Wing. The GL1800 was introduced way back in 2001, and save for a minor update for 2012, is largely the same bike. So, with each passing year, Wing Nuts have wondered, “Where’s the new GL?”

Read our 2015 Honda Gold Wing vs Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Limited vs
Indian Roadmaster comparison review

2018 Honda Gold Wing
The new Honda Gold Wing’s flat-six engine and twin-spar frame look the same, but the Hossack-style front suspension is new.

Given that Honda has not made an official announcement, the photos and illustrations  accompanying the announcement by Oliepeil (which means “Oil level” in Dutch) were clearly leaked. As far as we know, Julian Assange hasn’t taken credit for the revelation.

We’ve contacted American Honda, and it will neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the images, nor whether a new Gold Wing is coming. The photos look legitimate, so assuming that they are, then Honda is clearly taking the Gold Wing in a sportier direction.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
This bird’s eye view of the new Honda Gold Wing shows how narrow it is between the rider’s knees. The missing clutch lever suggests an automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) will be an option.

Signature Gold Wing features, such as the flat-six engine, a full fairing, integrated luggage and plush rider and passenger accommodations, remain. But up front the bike has a narrower profile, with cat’s-eye headlights and LED “eyebrows” that remind us of the Yamaha FJR1300ES.

The photo of the dark blue bike at the top of this page shows a clutch lever, indicating that it has a manual transmission, but the photo of the red bike viewed from above lacks a clutch lever, suggesting that Honda’s automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) will be an option.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
The Gold Wing’s new cockpit is clean and modern, with keyless ignition and a center console to control audio and other functions.

Looking at the bike stripped of bodywork, the flat-six engine, dual side-mount radiators and twin-spar aluminum frame appear very similar to what’s on the current GL1800. But the previous telescopic fork has been replaced by a Hossack-style front suspension system with a rigid fork and a single shock, similar to BMW’s Duolever setup.

2018 Honda Gold Wing bagger
A version of the new Gold Wing without a trunk may be the replacement for the discontinued F6B bagger.

The large windscreen appears to be mounted, not at the bottom edge like on the current GL1800, but on two tracks, suggesting it will be—finally—electrically adjustable. The cockpit has been thoroughly modernized, with a large, central digital display flanked by analog speedometer and tachometer gauges and LCD info screens, what appears to be keyless ignition, a central console with a knob and buttons to control the audio system, and all-new switchgear on the right and left handlebars.

2018 Honda Gold Wing bagger
This lower angle clearly shows the more aggressive bodywork of the new Gold Wing.

In addition to the full dresser version, there are two photos of a Gold Wing without a trunk, presumably a replacement for the F6B bagger that was dropped from Honda’s lineup for 2017. The two-model approach is similar to Yamaha’s introduction of the full dresser Star Venture last June, followed by the Star Eluder bagger a few months later.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
The current GL1800 was way ahead of its time. Will the new Gold Wing set new standards for performance and technology?

Honda has alerted us that it plans to make a new-bike announcement at a press launch in California on October 24 simultaneously with the press day at the Tokyo Motor Show. We don’t know what will be announced, but there’s a good chance you just read about it….

 

27 COMMENTS

  1. Big Red is moving in the right direction: Towards the Europeans and away from the big cruiser aesthetic (hello Yamaha!). That market is covered by the HD/Indians of the world. Anxious to see the performance/tech/storage room info. Honda quality-European performance sounds very promising.

  2. The ad at the top of the page for a Jeep starting at $22,410 is probably less expensive than the new wing, and the Jeep probably also has a/c and a heater as std. features…LMAO

  3. Having ridden the DCT Africa Twin, I concluded it was fantastic, but not for me – however, it might be golden on a Goldwing.

    But here’s one of the challenges for Honda: The DCT requires at least a day or two of trial, a thirty minute follow-me-demo-parade won’t cut it. Not only does it take a few hundred kilometers to get use to how it functions, it takes a lot longer than that to appreciate the DCT’s incredible functionality. Add another day or two on top of that to figure out if it’s your cup of tea. Without access to a longer testing period all you’re likely to be left with are more questions than answers.

  4. I can’t wait to hear specs on the power plant. Have a 2000 Valkyrie and a 2013 F6B now . If this new Gold Wing serious picks it up power wise, I’ll be getting one. Not that my F6B is really lacking, but with BMW as competition, I’d like to see more .

  5. I sold my 2013 Goldwing to go with a Cam Am Spyder RT just for better handling and maneuverability as I get older.. My main complaint with my GL 1800 ABS was the cruise control, it wouldn’t pick up speed after setting for several seconds, along with the windshield being manual and almost impossible to adjust when sitting still… A new GL with Tilting Motor Works conversion might be the ticket, for $40,000..+

    • Grandpappy,
      There is a fix for that lagging cruise. It has to do with adjusting the cable. Once done correctly, you will have no lag. Check the goldwing forums for more details.

  6. I’m interested, need more information on upgrade motor performance. After all, competing with 160 hp BMW. Now Honda redo the VFR like you should have. 990, 140 hp,variable cam timing, single sided beauty of a swingarm, long range tank, lighter weight, easy to remove fairings, great looks.

  7. I’ve put a ton of miles on the GL1800 and if asked what I would do to improve it. I would have had a difficult time coming up with an answer……. I’m very curious as to what they came up with. (except for maybe a lower seat height to accomodate my 29″ inseams. lol)

  8. Greg D. and company:

    I agree; the photos are the real deal.
    In 2015 I traded my VTX 1800 for the new Valkerie 1832 to get that engine without all the ‘extras’ in the gold wing. Now Honda has completed the circle with a slimmed down Wing.
    It should sell well. Thanks Rider!

  9. If BMW can have 160hp out of a 1600 ccs engine, why is then Honda implementing the same 105hp out of the archaic 1800 cc engine? Come’on man!

  10. I ride a 2008 GL1800 and love it…but if these pics are true I’ll be anxious to upgrade! I notice it only has one antenna, apparently for AM/FM. I wonder if it’ll have CB and/or XM? Thanks, Rider, for posting these. I think this bike looks smarter and cleaner than the new Yamaha which has those big side airscoops…beauty is in the eye of the beholder I know; but the dealbreakers on that bike for me are the air-cooled V-Twin and the belt drive. No thanks.

  11. I would be interested if there was a way to remove the passenger backrest/trunk and driver backrest when riding solo and then easily putting them back on when two up. I like the sportier look without them, but would want them on there when traveling or riding with the wife.

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