Rumours of its death have been greatly exaggerated
Despite the fact Honda stopped making Goldwings in its Ohio plant more than a year ago, it's still got enough of those 2009-built bikes in stock to satisfy the demand expected in the first part of 2011.
However, the firm has confirmed that production of the Wing will restart next year as, confusingly, a 2012 model.
The extended break in Goldwing production, which came about when the firm decided to stop making bikes in America last spring, had led to speculation that the Goldwing might never be reintroduced, but Honda now says that the next generation Goldwing will start to emerge from the production lines at its new Kumamoto factory in Japan during 2011. Surprisingly, though, the firm has also dismissed speculation that the Goldwing – which is now a decade old in its current form – will be replaced with an all-new model when the new factory is up and running.
Honda America says that all the original tooling for the Goldwing has been shipped to the new factory, so the Japan-built 2012 machine is likely to use the same basic platform as the current bike – retaining much the same flat six engine and aluminium chassis, although some bodywork modifications are expected.
The confusion over the firm's decision to brand the next bike as a “2012” model, despite production starting in 2011, means it's unclear when the firm will show the revised bike. It can't leave it until the shows in late 2011, as sales are expected to start next summer, but if it shows the bike at the Milan show in November this year, it will struggle to sell the stockpiled, 2009-built “2011” models.
Its not really a surprise that the Goldwing production will start as a 2012 year model because all the ptevious year models have started in September of the previous year eg 2008 models were available in Sept 2007 and so on.
The production at Ohio ended in 2009 but they didnt do a full production run for 2009/2010 models so there are'nt lots "stock piled" - try and buy a 2010 GL1800 airbag model if you can !
Lets hope that Honda take this opportunity to introduce some of the things we 'Wingers' really fancy such as - electric screen, decent GPS that will accept downloaded routes, Blue tooth intercom, CB or any good bike-to-bike communication system, etc etc We'll have to wait and see whats available when its relaunched next Aug/Sept.
Posted: 15/09/2010 at 22:46
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