Honda’s all-new Gold Wing is lighter, more powerful and more sophisticated, including an optional automatic 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, and the Gold Wing Tour (as the trunk-equipped version is now called) was the hands-down winner of our 2018 Motorcycle of the Year award. Given its smooth, strong engine and generous accommodations for two-up touring, the Gold Wing has long been a popular platform for trike conversions.
One of the first companies to develop a conversion for the new Gold Wing is Motor Trike, which designs and manufactures kits in Troup, Texas, and ships them to authorized dealers around the country for installation.
Last June at the Americade rally in Lake George, New York, company owner Jeff Vey let me take a quick spin on a prototype of the new Condor trike, with strict instructions to bring it back in one piece since the rear bodywork would be used as a plug for the production molds.
Even though it was a pre-production unit, the Condor’s bodywork matched the Gold Wing Tour’s sleek lines and incorporated the OE taillights in the wide fenders. In addition to the Tour’s top trunk, there’s a lower trunk that adds 9 cubic feet of storage space.
The Gold Wing Tour is available with riding modes, ABS, traction control and electronically adjustable suspension, and the Condor is compatible with all of these systems, as well as either the 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT, except for the rear suspension adjustment.
Like other Motor Trike conversions, the Condor has pushbutton air-adjustable rear suspension with 4 inches of travel, the same amount as the two-wheeler. Independent rear suspension allows each wheel to move up and down on its own, a low roll center height keeps both wheels in contact with the pavement and a low spring rate ensures a comfortable ride.
According to Ryan Reineck, head engineer at Motor Trike, the bulk of the Condor’s development time was devoted to making the conversion integrate seamlessly with the rest of the motorcycle.
Front suspension was a weak point on the previous Gold Wing, but the new double-wishbone front end is a better match for Motor Trike’s rear setup. Rubber bushings in the rear suspension and a reduced driveshaft angle minimize noise, vibration and harshness.
The Condor delivered a plush, well-controlled ride, but steering was very high-effort because the prototype wasn’t equipped with the optional rake kit. We’ve ridden other Motor Trike conversions with rake kits, and they lighten steering significantly.
Deliveries of Condor kits should begin in mid-September, with prices starting at $8,995.
For more information, visit motortrike.com.