The Honda Gold Wing, since its introduction as a naked 1000cc machine in 1975, has always represented the ultimate in two-wheeled travel. And it’s a motorcycle that’s been very much on its own journey, growing in physical size and displacement over the decades, all the while creating an enduring and unrivalled reputation for luxury, quality and comfort.
For 2018, in response to the evolution of demographics and the motorcycle market, it made a radical departure from what would have been a traditional update trajectory. The GL1800 Gold Wing* and Gold Wing ‘Tour’ took a new direction and, brand new from the wheels-up, became sleeker, lighter and more agile – very much a rider’s motorcycle – while adding a host of new features to cement the Gold Wing’s reputation as a technological flagship, including the option of 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).
And, as a result, the Gold Wing Tour’s appeal became instantly broader, reaching out to a younger generation of motorcyclists that may have overlooked – or simply not been aware of – the previous incarnation. In 2020, standard-fit LED fog lights, larger pillion grab handles plus improvements to suspension and slow speed manoeuvrability further complemented the evocative, flat six-cylinder engine beating at the heart of Honda’s premium tourer.
For 2021, the Gold Wing Tour gains carrying capacity, improved pillion comfort and an audio upgrade, further cementing its standalone desirability.
The Gold Wing Tour’s engine and chassis were designed in unison for the 2018 rebirth, to move the riding position forward and create a much more compact motorcycle. The aluminium beam frame is constructed around a double wishbone front fork, which allows the engine to sit forward in the machine – as the front wheel moves up and down in a more vertical plane – while providing high quality suspension control and front-end stability thanks to its stiffness and reduced friction. Suspension damping adjusts electrically.
Optimised for size, the 24V flat six-cylinder engine lost none of its power, avalanche of torque or addictive power delivery. The addition of Throttle By Wire (TBW) control brought with it 4 rider modes: TOUR, SPORT, ECON and RAIN; the operation of the Dual Combined Brake System (D-CBS) alters depending on the mode selected. Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Idling Stop (on the DCT option) offer ease of use and improved fuel efficiency. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) maintains rear wheel traction.
The manual transmission is 6-speed, while DCT features 7-speeds, with clutch feel, shift speed and rpm range of up/downshifts tailored specifically to each riding mode. It also features a ‘creep’ forward and back function. The manual machine employs the same electric reverse system as featured on previous designs.
The Gold Wing Tour offers a total sense of freedom, with sheer riding enjoyment and performance matched by stylish design. An aerodynamically efficient fairing channels air around the rider, while the extended electric screen adjusts for preference; the seats, too provide all-day comfort and, for 2021 feature a new suede/synthetic leather cover. The angle of the pillion back rest is also more relaxed. Upgraded, speakers show off vivid sound quality. And features like Smart Key operation, Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and Bluetooth™ add modern-day convenience and connectivity.
The 2021 GL1800 Gold Wing Tour is available in the following colour options:
- Gunmetal Black Metallic
- Candy Ardent Red (available with DCT only)