IMAGES of Honda’s new Gold Wing and F6C for 2018 have been leaked a month before the bikes are due to be officially revealed.
We’re expecting Honda to announce the Wing on October 24, just before the Tokyo Motor Show, but leaked images – apparently from a press kit or brochure – have already given the game away.
What we can see is a new Wing (pictured above) that retains the classic flat-six engine layout but bolts it into a new chassis that adopts a BMW K1600GTL-style girder front suspension system instead of telescopic forks. That comes as little surprise, as Honda has been patenting weird front suspension ideas for the Goldwing for a couple of years now.
The engine also appears to be heavily revised, although it’s said to still be an 1800 like the current one. It’s optionally bolted to a DCT dual-clutch transmission, which previous patent applications have suggested will use seven forward gears plus a reverse. Some of the leaked pictures show no clutch lever or gear lever, while others show bikes equipped with both, so the semi-auto – or perhaps it will be a full auto – will be an option rather than standard equipment.
We also see that the bike has a very modern dash with a large central colour display and a tank-mounted control unit that looks rather like the iDrive system used in BMW cars. That suggests it’s not a touchscreen, but will use a jog wheel to navigate the menus instead. If you’re wearing gloves and trying to keep your attention on the road, that’s probably a good thing. The dash also has additional digital displays including one for riding modes. That may also be a hint that the Wing has electronically-adjustable, semi-active suspension. If it wants to regain its spot as the most high-tech bike on the planet, it will need gadgets like that.
Both a full-on Gold Wing and a bobber-style F6B are revealed in the leak, the latter lacking the top box and tall screen of the former. The screens on both bikes are electrically-adjustable, addressing a notable shortcoming on the existing Wing.