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Honda Gold Wing F6B Review - Front

Honda Gold Wing F6B Review

Once upon a time, anything with a set of saddlebags thrown over it was called a Bagger. It could’ve been an inline four with a batwing Vetter fairing, all the way down to a lowly single. It didn’t much matter. Nowadays Baggers are in a class all on their own. They combine the low, lean, bad-to-the-bone styling of a cruiser, with a fork-mounted fairing, and some hard saddlebags – without the top box. Honda’s Gold Wing F6B and it’s matte silver finish encompass all the elements of the modern day Bagger, in the heavyweight division.

The Gold Wing is the pioneer, innovator, and leader, in touring motorcycles. The Honda GL line up has been consistently raising the bar in motorcycle touring dating back to the original; the 1974 Honda Gold Wing GL1000. While Honda was running its “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” campaign promoting bikes such as the Honda Cub, Benley, Dream, and the CB350, they were simultaneously unleashing this certified-beast on the world: 1,000 cubic centimeters, twin disk brakes up front, single disk brake in the rear, four cylinders, liquid cooling, electric starter with backup kickstart, and shaft-driven final drive. Much has changed, but the Gold Wing is still every bit as dominant in its class, and Honda’s latest installment, the F6B takes the Gold Wing in a new direction.

Honda Gold Wing F6B Review - Front

Honda’s entry ticket into the Bagger wars was the F6B. It’s not so much an all-new model as it is a variation of the popular Gold Wing, less a few goodies, with a couple tweaks. The F6B weighs in at 851 lbs (386 kg) wet, about 70 lbs (31 kg) lighter than its 919 lb (417 kg) Gold Wing ABS sibling. The center rear bag has been knocked off. Most chrome accents have been blacked out. 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 you feel there’s something missing.

Hondaphiles will try to sell you on this being Big Red’s très bad ass, less-is-more touring cruiser, à la Harley-Davidson Road Glide. While the Gold Wing often gets dubbed as the couch-on-wheels of the motorcycle world, at first glance the F6B struck me as a slightly lighter, slightly less practical, slightly less comfortable Gold Wing. I began to question whether all of the changes will take away from the legendary Gold Wing experience.

Honda Gold Wing F6B Review - Dashboard

Honda did do a good job with what’s left of the Gold Wing platform. The F6B comes standard with ABS, AM/FM radio with Auxilary in (no Bluetooth or controls for MP3 playback), intuitive cruise control, a 25 litre capacity fuel tank, excellent H7 lighting, integrated turn signals, electronic fuel-injection, ABS, combined braking, anti-dive system to ensure stability while braking even at highway speeds, and more buttons and turn-knobs than I can count without taking my socks off.

In other words, while you might be missing some of the bells and whistles, the F6B is still getting the full benefit of Honda’s renowned research and development in the Gold Wing. Unlike heated grips, that’s something you can’t buy.

The display screen is visible, even in sunlight. It isn’t touch screen, and is surrounded by buttons, though you’ll end up using the buttons by your grips more often than not. The system is extremely intuitive in some instances (setting or changing the time), and a little more tricky to grasp in others (cycling through commands, controls, and options). Everything is neatly arranged, and while the gamut of radio controls are beneath the rider’s left hand and away from the grips, you’ll find most of what you need, including an excellent cruise control system, right at the grips.

About Adrian

Adrian is the YouMotorcycle Editor. He never planned on becoming a blogger, but liked the idea of sharing his passion and encouraging others to get out and ride. He believes that anyone thinking about buying a motorcycle should hurry up and buy one, and that everyone who already owns a motorcycles should ride more. He likes V-Twins, scooters, and breaking social norms. He occasionally wears a suit and high-top sneakers when he rides to work. Sometimes he takes out his tools and everything goes from bad to worse. Sometimes everything just falls into his lap. Whatever the case he stays grateful and always tries to learn. If you feel motorcycling is a lifestyle, follow him via social media.


  1. Adrian @YouMotorcycle gives us a thorough review of the @HondaPowerCA Gold Wing #F6B http://t.co/plQ7oTDGXa

  2. Only two comments…….well, three.

    First, great review! (That’s the one I almost forgot! Good job, Adrian!)

    Second, that shot of the saddle bag with it’s lid open just screams of the potential for “spillage” every time it’s opened. (I can almost hear my 40 pounder of Johnny Walker smashing on the concrete in the Days Inn parking lot! Ouch!!)

    Lastly, the final photo of the bike, with the farmer’s fields in the distance…..doesn’t it look like the centre of gravity of this bike must be about 2 feet UNDERGROUND?!?! That is one low-slung, hot-rod mother-looking cruiser. But, strangely, it also looks like the passenger seat is altogether missing!

    Given Jay Leno’s vehicle acquisition budget…….this baby would definitely be on my list!

    • Thanks Michael. The saddle bag lids open slowly and we had nothing fall out violently, but a little attentiveness is necessary. On the plus side, everything is accessible, even what’s on the bottom, which isn’t the case with top opening saddlebags. Need to take the good with the bad.

      As mentioned, Honda does a lot to keep the center of gravity down low, but I still found the bike uncomfortable in parking lot speeds. On the highway though, man, pure smoothness.

    • Your bottle would only fall into the open lid of the saddlebag.

  3. Awesome review. I’m a Hondaphile so will overlook the few short comings of this Rocketship. Took one out for a test ride — felt like I was riding an arrow just shot out of a bow !

  4. Love my F6B! I have fallen for the HD marketing too long! No more numbing vibration or defening noise.
    F6B is way ahead of any “bagger”! No looking back for me…. because there is nothing in my MIRRORS!
    Thanks HONDA!

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