Although the retro-cool CB1100 and the trio of affordable new CB500s received the lion’s share of attention at Honda’s 2013 media preview, the last bike to be unveiled might just be the most fun. It’s the F6B, a low-slung, fully hot-rodded Gold Wing that makes a bold styling statement with its shorty windscreen, sleek fairing, gunfighter-style seat and blacked-out wheels, engine and frame, not to mention that pair of saddlebags hung way out behind the rider.
So, is this new F6B a bagger? A Honda official wouldn’t say it is, but he certainly didn’t reject the notion. What we know for certain is this: The F6B is based on the Gold Wing’s excellent twin-spar aluminum frame, and it’s powered by the familiar 1832cc flat-Six, a sohc two-valve-per-cylinder engine that’s fed by electronic fuel injection with twin 40mm throttle bodies. As in the standard Gold Wing, the horizontally opposed engine helps keep the center of gravity low, which should make the F6B feel smaller than it actually is, especially in corners. And while no motorcycle that weighs 842 pounds should ever be considered light, the F6B tips the scales some 62 lb. less than a standard Gold Wing.
Honda says the F6B is designed to bring younger buyers into the Gold Wing family, largely with its sleek, statement-making style. Nevertheless, the bike is still designed to work well on weekend trips, aided by a glovebox, a premium audio system (with iPod/MP3 capability), a saddlebag open indicator and a multi-information screen that features a clock, trip meter, air temperature gauge and audio controls. Two models will be available when the F6B arrives in the spring—the $19,999 standard bike and the $20,999 Deluxe, which is fitted with a passenger backrest, heated grips, a centerstand and self-canceling turn signals. Accessories—including LED foglights, a taller windscreen and numerous chrome extras—are available as expected through Honda.
The first decision you’ll have to make, though, is simple: Black or Red, as they are the only two colors available. Make ours black, as the new 2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B looks best that way, its curves and tapered tail almost having a sultry French look, as seen on classic Delahaye and Delage automobiles.