New Bikes

Blimey! It's the 2012 Goldwing!

But don't get too excited, not all that much has changed

WHEN we heard last week that Honda America was going to make a Goldwing-related announcement today, we really expected it would just be showing the same, unchanged, 2011-spec bike that's already been revealed in Europe.

But no! It's actually the 2012 Goldwing. Not that it's changed all that much.

Despite rumours for years that the next-generation Goldwing would be a technological marvel, it turns out that the 2012 machine is a lightly facelifted version of the bike you can already buy. Same engine, same chassis and much the same styling. And yet as the first Goldwing to come from the new Kumamoto factory in Japan, it's set to remain in production like this for quite some time to come.

According to Honda, the 2012 bike has:

Redesigned fairing adds extra wind protection, especially to the lower body and leg areas.

Larger saddlebags add approximately 7 liters of additional storage space, upping total capacity to well over 150 liters including the trunk and fairing pockets.

Handy central storage pocket added to models without airbag.

Revised suspension settings front and rear yield added compliance for a better ride and more comfort.

Urethane seat material and cover material give added comfort.

Re-shaped taillight adds a distinctive appearance and aids visibility.

Wheels are now clear-coated for easier cleaning and a great, long-lasting look.

Updated instrumentation styling lends a high-performance touch.

There's also a new navigation system, and as before there's an option of an airbag for the top-spec version.

But underneath the 1832cc flat six is unchanged, as is the chassis, and while the styling is revised, you'd have to be a Goldwing fanatic to instantly pick out the changes. Bearing in mind how long the last generation Wing was with us (since 2001), this version could conceivably remain in production until the 2020s...

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