This evening I’ll be picking up a new 2015 Honda Gold Wing from F6B from Honda Canada for a week-long test ride. Yep, we’re taking out the F6B, first launched in 2013, and not the Gold Wing ABS, as I had announced here, oops! So it’ll be a Honda F6B ride to Georgian Bay.
Honda Gold Wing vs. Honda Gold Wing F6B
There are some noticeable differences between the classic Gold Wing, and the F6B, which Honda-folk refer to as the Bagger. The F6B weighs in at 851 lbs wet, about 70 lbs lighter than its 919 lb Gold Wing ABS sibling. The center rear bag has been knocked off. Most chrome accents have been blacked out.
The F6B promises “Gold Wing comfort and performance, with a clean hot rod style.” Hondaphiles may try to sell you on the idea of F6B being Honda’s bad-ass less is more touring cruiser, à la Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Those same Hondaphiles are probably about to leave some angry comments saying it isn’t even fair to compare the two motorcycles. Ladies and gents, bring it.
Initial – probably wrong – F6B Preconceptions
At first glance the F6B strikes me as a slightly lighter, slightly less practical, slightly less comfortable Gold Wing. I’m not a perfect person, I’ve been known to make phenomenal mistakes, but this strikes me as a fair assessment. Can the F6B still get a two-up weekend touring job done?
The Gold Wing often gets dubbed as the couch-on-wheels of the motorcycle world. The moniker is a backhanded compliment from sportbike riders pointing fun at the Gold Wing’s bulk, as they uncramp themselves from the fetus-like position of their crotch-rockets. The F6B may or may not have the same level of comfort, as the seats have been changed and the wind screen height has been reduced.
We’re borrowing the Gold Wing for a ride along the Georgian Bay area. I’ll be riding out with a passenger in hopes of discovering new (hopefully quiet) beaches, working the F6B through its gears, and testing out a pair Vertix Raptor-i bluetooth communication headsets. We’ll have beach gear, camera gear, and camping gear. Unfortunately, the F6B is down one bag and one luggage rack compared to the Gold Wing.
Other small comforts are missing as well, from heated grips for the rider, to a passenger backrest and a passenger heated seat. The good news is that the F6B isn’t just 70 lbs lighter than the Gold Wing, it’s also $7,000 CAD more affordable in Canada, or $3,500 USD less expensive in the United States. You can add a lot of goodies to the F6B for the money you’ll save, if there’s something really missing. Moreover, the F6B is based on an established platform with an ultra quiet and smooth six cylinder engine.
Will the reduced windscreen height on the Gold Wing F6B result in an annoying buffeting at highway speeds, and is it enough to take away from the traditionally comfortable Gold Wing experience?
Will we have enough room for two people and their bare necessities for two days and a night on the road, including camping gear?
Will the lack of passenger comforts make the F6B a bust for those who do a lot of long-distance two-up riding?
Can the F6B still get a weekend two-up touring/camping job done?
What’s going on?
If you’re not quite sure what’s going on, click the pic to read about the ride: