THE SIXTH GENERATION GL1800 IN THE 2021 VERSION HAS RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING REFINEMENTS:
Updated Honda Gold Wing passenger ergonomics: the backrest angle has been changed, plus it's thicker and higher.The new backrest deserves high marks even compared to the last Honda GL1800, and especially the longer armrests. The downside, however, was the disappearance of the two rear glove compartments in the new GL.
The center trunk: its volume became by 11 liters more, reaching 61 liters, the total luggage volume is 121 liters. The case now holds two medium-sized full-face helmets and its low side makes loading easier, although you have to be careful not to lose anything or press the luggage slings with the lid.
New seat trim: feels like suede and has a very presentable appearance, especially with the contrasting trim.
Rear turn signals: Tinted red for a sleeker look.
Updated acoustics: improved 45-watt speakers with richer sound, optimized volume normalization, OEM satellite XM radio antenna, plus added Android Auto compatibility in addition to the existing Apple CarPlay integration.
HONDA GOLD WING BRAKES
Great brakes. Really great, almost like on a sportbike. On the 2008 Gold Wing they were quite sufficient...before. Now we know it could be better. And the same goes for ergonomics and fit in general: I never thought the Gold Wing was uncomfortable, but as it turns out, the previous version has a pretty tight fit against the new GL1800. The new one has much more natural and comfortable ergonomics.
HONDA GOLD WING AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION WITH DCT
It's a hell of a nice thing to have an automatic transmission with DCT. It's when you're young that you appreciate the bike's obedient and predictable behavior and its "appreciation" for timely gear changes. Having driven more, you will thank it for an opportunity not to change gear once in a while, especially in city traffic jams. In the touring mode DCT switches in due time, maybe a little bit slackly; in the racing mode the engine response is quicker, maybe even too much for me, and the box switches at higher revolutions - like a grown-up, not like on small-cubic-meter, therefore it goes well. At very low speeds the box behaves a little peculiar, but you quickly get used to it. The only thing it lacks is the ability to go slow in the gray clutch zone at gas stations, parking lots and such.
HONDA GOLD WING DESIGN
As far as design goes, the new version of the Honda Gold Wing looks considerably sleeker while being more solidly built and sporty next to the 2008 GL1800. But personally, I'm not particularly interested in how the bike looks from the outside, much more important is how it feels from the saddle.Gold Wing is constantly criticized for size and appearance, while not taking into account their performance. For some reason, they are considered an "old man's model" or "the last bike" for those who have already seen everything - but the supporters of this opinion usually do not have experience riding GL. In fact, these big tourers have always differed very good handling, both in terms of traction and speed, and in terms of steering. Yes, there was a reason to scold them regarding the fork - but it is simply not necessary to treat almost a half-ton motorcycle as a sports bike, even if it is capable to overtake some of them.
Thus, the engineers of Honda treat GL as a sacred cow in a good sense - Gold Wing is equipped basically with checked and reliable technologies, spicing them up with a little bit of advanced developments that it was not boring. As for the chassis and engine, each new generation has been made better and better, and what we have today drives just fine.
HONDA GOLD WING HANDLING
Back in the fourth generation, the GL1500 had quite good handling. I didn't ride much of the Gold in full body, but I absolutely adored the stripped down 1520cc Valkyrie. True, when I dove into my first corner in the early 2000s on the GL1800, my love for the Valkyrie turned into a pumpkin - seriously, the handling alone (not to mention the much more interesting motor) opened my eyes then. Here's an 1800 already really capable of competing with a sportbike not only in a straight line thanks to its extremely willing and compliant handling and steering precision. Kudos to Masanori Aoki, who was in charge of several CBR series models until he took charge of the GL1800 project. In 2000, when the new GL1800 first appeared, it seemed like a real miracle, and it remains a miracle even today, contrary to the opinion of sofa analysts turning their noses up at "hyperscooter.
In fact, this hyperscooter is capable to punish the majority of leather guys, who like to ride in uncomfortable poses, bypassing them as standing - simply because the person, who knows how to ride motorcycles and is interested in something, except showing off, will be glad to drive one of GL1800, old or new, and will know, how good these bikes are on road, straight or twisting. And how easy they are to saw off the running boards, for that matter.