Despite it’s 66.5″ (1,690 mm) wheelbase the Gold Wing handles relatively well once at speed. Honda has given the Gold Wing family low and forward leaning engine placement to help handling and maneuverability. Unfortunately at parking lot speed the F6B shows her size. Walking her backwards is an exercise in patience, and navigating her on your tip toes through a gravel parking lot will make you wish you had drank more milk and done more stretches when you were younger.
While the fairing keeps cold breezes from the rider’s hands and chest, the hacked-down-to-nothin’ wind screen creates wind noise. A lot of wind noise. Sure, it’s great to look over a windscreen, rather than through one, but the effect definitely takes away from the patented Gold Wing couch-on-wheels experience.
Fuel economy was about 37 to 40 US-MPG (6.4 to 5.9 lt/100 km). A 25 litre tank should get you a cruising range of over 375 km before you’ll want to make sure you’re pulling over at the next sign for a gas station. When I’m travelling, I like to pull over every hour or two anyway just to stretch and have some water, so I never came near running low on gas on the F6B.
The F6B is Honda’s Bagger, promising “Gold Wing comfort and performance, with a clean hot rod style.” While it does live up to the hype, the thousands of dollars saved versus the cost of purchasing the traditional Gold Wing do bring with them the absence of the bigger Gold Wing’s amenities. The Bagger is up against the Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe, Harley-Davidson’s Street Glide and Road Glide, and Kawasaki’s Vaqueros. Many of these competitors can be had for significantly less. Some of these competitors arguably offer a lot of bang-for-your-buck in comparison, specifically the V-Star 1300 Deluxe which retails for $9,000 CAD less in Canada, and comes with GPS, 220 lbs less weight, and a 1.3″ lower seat height.
The F6B is stylish and when riding it at speed it becomes clear that this bike is an offshoot of Honda’s flagship motorcycle. It offers more in the way of technology and development than its competitors, but it weighs in heavy, and short to average riders will be conscientious of this whenever they put their feet down.
Wind noise does draw away from the traditional Gold Wing comfort, but the F6B makes an excellent bagger. If you don’t need all of the extras, the motor is so remarkably smooth and quiet, you’ll almost forget that a better Gold Wing exists.
MSRP in Canada is $23,499 CAD, and $20,499 USD in the United States.
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