Honda presents updated 2012 GoldWing

February 21 2011

As the GoldWing name continues to roll one kilometer at a time toward its fourth decade of service, Honda has once again introduced an updated version of its venerable luxury-touring machine.


After decades of refinement that included the addition of an automotive style air-bag to protect riders during a frontal collision, it seemed like there wasn’t anything left to be done with the GoldWing. Then Honda Canada told us that we would be riding a new GoldWing this year. We looked at each other and openly wondered what possibly could have been added to the motorcycle that already had every conceivable amenity, including the kitchen sink.


Honda answered our question today by officially announcing the 2012 GoldWing. Most obvious when looking at the updated bike are the changes to its profile with body work that looks to have been influenced by the VFR revolution. Honda claims that the revised styling has a more practical element. The new body panels were designed to provide better protection from wind and the elements for the rider and passenger, especially around the lower leg area. And just in case you thought the bike’s Lazy-Boy comfort wasn’t enough, improvements were also made to both seating positions using a new waterproof material.


At the back of the bike the redesigned panniers add an additional seven litres of stowage capacity. Honda says there’s also more room for stuff in the cockpit providing you don’t have the airbag equipped model. We say that the new centrally located 2.8 litre cubby is actually just a place to put things where the airbag would normally have been packed.


Already resembling the cockpit of a commercial airliner, the new GoldWing has received electronic updates to its GPS system that adds functionality and a brighter LCD screen. Riders can now pre-plan trips on their home computers and upload the data into their GoldWing’s GPS. Alternatively, they can also share the riding routes recorded by their GPS during a trip with others. The improved sound system now incorporates an interface for MP3 and iPod devices. Users of portable players can now remotely control the music being played over the Wing’s surround-sound system. Although we’ve been enjoying surround-sound wind noise for decades, the idea of adding music to that soundtrack sounds promising.


Mechanical changes to the touring rig appear to be limited to a revision of the suspension settings – something Honda claims has improved ride comfort.


The 2012 Honda GoldWing will make its public debut at the Montreal Motorcycle Show this weekend (February 25 to 27, 2012). Although pricing has yet to be announced, Honda tells us that the new GoldWing, finished in your choice of Candy Red or Black, will be available this spring. We’ll be testing the improved model in March and have already started transferring the Creedence from 8-track to iPod in anticipation of the ride. Watch for a full review of the 2012 Honda GoldWing in an upcoming issue of Motorcycle Mojo Magazine.


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