The Gold Wing
has been around for 40 years now, offering unique two-wheel thrills. Bump into one of its many happy owners, and he or she will be happy to regale you with tales of unforgettable road trips.
|The new 2012 Gold Wing raises the handling bar. (Photo: Kevin Wing)
Close up, it’s obvious that the beefy Honda was designed to gobble up mile after mile in ergonomic comfort, but you’d be surprised at how fun it is to ride as well.
And while its predecessor had set some of the highest standards in terms of comfort and power, the new 2012 Gold Wing raises the handling bar. Thanks to a stiffer suspension and improved geometry, the new Gold Wing, one of the biggest bikes currently available, proves remarkably precise and manoeuvrable.
From the get-go, the 412-kg colossus seems to float over the road and proves easy to handle, even for a 68-kg featherweight like yours truly.
The many improvements include an updated navigation system, a more potent stereo system and, especially, form-fitting aerodynamic bodywork that offers superior protection for your legs and feet. The engineers also managed to efficiently reduce turbulence behind the windshield, both on the highway and quieter secondary roads.
What’s more, rider and passenger are treated to exemplary ergonomics: wide, well-padded, two-tiered saddle, low, forward footrests and handlebars set back towards the rider. The trunk features a backrest worthy of a sofa, to the passenger’s delight.
Comprehensive list of equipment
The Gold Wing also boasts a ton of accessories: heated grips, trip computer, cruise control, rider air vents, manual height-adjustable windshield and my personal favourite, electric reverse. The car-like dash includes a big tachometer, two odometers, a fuel gauge, engine and outside temperature gauges and multiple indicator lights.
|The rider and the passenger are treated to exemplary ergonomics: wide, well-padded, two-tiered saddle, low, forward footrests and handlebars set back towards the rider. (Photo: Kevin Wing)