Honda developed the Gold Wing to be its flagship, a boundary-breaking example of what was possible from the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturer. From the GL1000 that debuted for 1975 to the GL1800 of today—spanning 40 years of production and five model generations—the Gold Wing has become a benchmark for quality, reliability, luxury and comfort.
When the GL1800 was introduced for 2001, it offered a level of performance previously unheard of among luxury tourers. Its 1,832cc flat-six engine churns out 105.7 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm and 100.9 horsepower at 5,700 rpm (Rider, May 2012), and its stout twin-spar aluminum frame and low center of gravity help the Gold Wing handle better than any 900-pound motorcycle has any right to.
The Gold Wing is available in four trim levels, from the base Audio Comfort model ($23,999) to the all-in Airbag model ($30,599). Our test bike is one rung down from the top, the Audio Comfort Navi XM ABS model ($28,129), which has Combined ABS, a Premium Surround Sound audio system, heated grips and seats, cruise control, satellite navigation with XM Radio/Weather/Traffic, remote luggage locks, electrically adjustable rear preload and a tire-pressure monitoring system. It has a 6.6-gallon fuel tank, a 5-speed transmission with electric reverse and shaft final drive. Between the saddlebags, trunk and smaller compartments, total luggage capacity is 150 liters. All 2015 Gold Wing models, including the F6B and Valkyrie, feature special 40th Anniversary badging.