2018 Honda Gold Wing Fast Facts

Everything you need to know about the 2018 Gold Wing and nothing more.

Honda’s latest evolution of its flagship touring bike shows a huge range of improvements, making the 2018 Gold Wing lighter, more compact, and more technologically advanced. Through the integration of the all-new double-wishbone front suspension, seven-speed DCT transmission, Apple CarPlay, and many more features, Honda has brought the Gold Wing into the modern era and then some.

I was lucky enough to be one of four riders to throw a leg over the new 2018 Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour last week in Japan, but if you don't want to read my touring-sized review, here are the fast facts you need to know right now.


  • Improved aerodynamic efficiency by 11.8 percent, to complement improved power-to-weight ratio and extend fuel mileage
  • Compact side-mount radiator with higher performance allows for narrower front cowl
  • New air-guiding ducts flow optimal amounts of air into the seat space, allowing a true motorcycling experience
  • Electric windscreen, in varying heights depending on model, gives rider control over airflow through stepless adjustment for height and angle
  • LED headlight provides new "wing line"
  • LED turn signals with auto-canceling function are integrated into mirrors at the front and into the taillights at the rear
  • Two-piece seat is shaped in a way that allows the rider to easily move around in the saddle during spirited riding and for passenger to tour in comfort


  • All-new 1,833cc, liquid-cooled, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine offers low center of gravity, minimal vibration, and quiet running
  • New SCM440H material for the crankshaft is stronger, allowing the crankshaft to be made more compact
  • Unicam valve train offers weight savings and improved fuel efficiency, while also contributing to engine's more compact dimensions
  • Four-valve-per-cylinder head improves combustion efficiency
  • Aluminum cylinder sleeves for reduced weight
  • 29mm shorter engine (from front to rear of left cylinder head) enables engine and rider position to be moved forward in the chassis to put more weight on the front, promoting sporty handling
  • Single 50mm throttle body for reduced weight
  • Intake-manifold volume reduced by 10 percent for more direct flow of air to combustion chamber, for improved responsiveness
  • Enhanced exhaust sound achieved through reduction in pipe diameter on two of the six cylinders and removal of fiberglass in muffler
  • Fuel economy improved by 20 percent, enabling fuel tank to be made smaller for better vehicle packaging and reduced weight
  • Manual-transmission-equipped engine is 13.7 pounds lighter than previous-generation engine
  • DCT-equipped engine is 8.4 pounds lighter than previous-generation manual-transmission engine
  • DCT features "Walking Mode" for creeping forward and backward (0.75 mph in reverse direction, 1.1 mph in forward direction)
  • On DCT models, removal of reverse idle shaft needed in conventional transmission saves weight
  • Reduced shift shock and noise on DCT models through use of fork-shaft dampers, master-arm damper, and DCT clutch-center damper
  • Both new transmission options allow quieter running and lower engine speeds during high-speed cruising
  • Assist and slipper clutch on manual-transmission models have reduced lever effort by 20 percent and reduced shift shock on downshifts
  • Cam damper on manual-transmission model reduces shift noise and shift shock
  • Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) saves weight and improves quietness at start-up
2018 Honda Gold WingCourtesy of Honda


  • Throttle-by-wire system provides basis for advanced electronics package
  • Four riding modes—Tour, Sport, Econ, and Rain—help tailor the riding experience for specific riding conditions
  • On Tour models, Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system manages rear-wheel slip
  • Hill Start Assist makes it easier to start from a stop on an ascent
  • Optimized cruise-control function for relaxed cruising
  • Smart key with easy-grasp design
  • Vehicle Viewfinder system simplifies locating motorcycle, for instance in larger parking lots
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System provides real-time status of tire pressure, also indicating when tire pressure drops below a certain level
  • Apple CarPlay compatibility enables the rider to access Apple Music and Maps, make phone calls, and send dictated messages using Siri
  • Seven-inch full-color Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display offers clear viewing of audio and navigation systems, as well as settings for individual rider-aid systems


  • Robotically welded aluminum twin-spar frame
  • Revised plate thicknesses in frame spars achieve optimized rigidity and flex characteristics
  • Single-sided swingarm with new pivot-area structure
  • Frame and swingarm are 4.4 pounds lighter
  • Shorter seat rail moves rider and passenger forward, enabling better mass centralization
  • Twin 320mm front-brake rotors, single 316mm rear rotor, for excellent stopping power
  • Radially mounted six-piston dual front-brake calipers
  • Electronically controlled combined braking system with ABS uses single modulator for reduced weight
  • Tires specifically designed for Gold Wing, in sizes 200/55-R16 (rear) and 130/70-18 (front)
  • Double-wishbone front-suspension system reduces friction and enhances agility, reducing total shock transferred to the handlebar by 30 percent; inertial mass of components operated by handlebar is reduced by 40 percent
  • Bearings for all shaft bushings on front-suspension system reduce friction for both stroke and steering
  • Double-wishbone front-suspension system leads to more compact vehicle package, as new stroke trajectory allows more forward engine location
  • Pro-Link rear-suspension system ensures comfortable ride
  • Convenient electrically controlled suspension-damping adjustment uses stepping motor acting on a needle to control oil flow rate

Riding Honda’s new high-tech tourer with optional seven-speed DCT for a secret early test at the Twin Ring Motegi

The 2018 Gold Wing Is Lighter, More Compact, and Sportier Than Ever

Additional Standout Features

  • Weighs more than 80 pounds less than its predecessor while still offering comfortable touring capability
  • 30-liter storage capacity each for left and right saddlebags
  • 50-liter storage capacity for rear luggage case on Gold Wing Tour models (optional on Gold Wing models)
  • Dampers on saddlebag and rear luggage-case lids, for smooth operation
  • Air-bag model’s collision judgment system arranged closer to the center of gravity for better mass centralization