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.
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?”
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.
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.
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 But the previous telescopic fork has been replaced by a Hossack-style front suspension system with a rigid fork and a single shock, similar to BMW’s Duolever setup.
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.
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.
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….