The Bagger trend has found great popularity over the last decade. It centres around fully-
dressed touring bikes stripped down to just a couple of bags out back, with cutdown screen and minimal fairing.
It's a style that has injected an undiluted custom attitude into the traditional touring arena, with a combination of cool credibility, genuine practicality and fresh, exciting style inspired by the needs of a younger generation of rider.
In 2013 Honda unleashed a new breed of Gold Wing to sit alongside the peerless original. The Gold Wing F6B was stripped, stylish and smooth; part custom, part cruiser. But the Gold Wing F6B was very much all Bagger: a touring bike distilled to its absolute essence, powered by one of Honda's engineering jewels – the incredibly soulful horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine.
In celebration of the Gold Wing's 40th year of production, the 2015 Gold Wing F6B has received two important upgrades in response to owner requests, plus commemorative emblems and key fob to mark this special motorcycling milestone.
The 1,832cc engine driving the Gold Wing F6B is an undoubted masterwork, but it's the style of the Gold Wing F6B that initially grabs attention. From its stubby screen it flows fluidly from front to rear, and for 2015 the new Matt Bullet Silver Metallic paint, set against blacked-out frame, forks, wheels and swingarm, gives Honda's biggest Bagger a subtle, cool presence. Exclusive seats provide long distance comfort and support for rider and pillion and the 4speaker sound system guarantees listening pleasure at speed from the RDS stereo system.
Feedback from owners has led to two specification upgrades for 2015. Reverse gear is now also original equipment on the Gold Wing F6B. Operated from the right handlebar and driven by the electric starter motor reverse helps back the bike out of an uphill parking space, especially when loaded or with a pillion. The second addition electronic cruise control makes long highway days pass even more easily.
The twin-spar aluminium frame provides strength and delivers a great handling motorcycle, as do 45mm anti-dive telescopic forks and Pro-Link rear suspension. A Dual Combined ABS braking system ensures rapid and secure stopping power on a variety of road surfaces and conditions.
Built to be at home in an urban environment as well as the open road, the 2015 Gold Wing F6B is 29kg lighter than the Gold Wing GL1800 yet packs similar chassis, power and stunning torque delivery. Add its stunning looks and undeniable road presence – plus 40th anniversary emblems found on the fairing front and inner – and it's a machine that serves up a very special riding experience.
CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) played a part in sculpting the Gold Wing F6B's upper fairing, while blacked-out (with a combination of matt black and dark metallic coatings) wheels, engine, forks, frame and lower cowls underpin the subtly striking Matt Bullet Silver Metallic paintwork (only available on the F6B), complementing its low-slung lines.
The cutdown screen has been designed to allow a feeling of freedom yet still give decent weather protection; larger circular meters, with LCD indicators underneath, provide relevant information in an easy-to-read format, with typical Gold Wing style and quality.
Lockable twin rear bags and easy-to-access cubbyhole in the centre console provide ample storage space. Fuel capacity is 25litres, including 4.4litre warning light reserve. The seat for rider and pillion delivers a great sense of space – almost like riding in a convertible car. The rear pillion has footpegs and black aluminium grab rails.
Music to ride by is provided by a four-speaker stereo system, placed in front of the rider that delivers vivid sound clarity and strong bass performance. It also supports iPod or USB Flash Drive connectivity, and tunes in MP3, WMA or AAC format can be accessed and played on the move.
The Gold Wing F6B is a nimble-feeling and agile machine; it's comfortable to use on a congested city street and fun on a twisty road, while performing with uncommon ease on the open highway. Constructed from lightweight multi-box aluminium sections its twin-spar frame is aided by the engine's low centre of gravity to create a great-handling chassis at all – and especially slow – speeds (the engine itself also acts as a stressed member). The 45mm telescopic forks feature anti-dive, while the Pro-Link monoshock is manually adjustable for spring preload.
Rake is set at 29.15°, trail 109mm. Overall dimensions are (L) 2605mm × (W) 945mm × (H) 1255mm with wheelbase of 1,690mm and kerb weight of 392kg.
Dual Combined ABS (CABS) works between the twin 296mm floating front discs and three-piston calipers, plus rear 316mm ventilated disc/three piston caliper and apportions braking forces evenly, assisted by ABS in wet or slippery conditions. A hollow-section 18 inch 5-spoke cast aluminium front wheel wears a 130/70R18 tyre, and the 16 inch hollow-section 5-spoke rear a 180/60 R16.
Few riders will forget their first encounter with this particular motor – its smooth power delivery and instant avalanche of torque are rapidly addictive. Precisely metered fuel and air mixture by PGM-FI fuel injection the Gold Wing F6B's 1,832cc, horizontally opposed SOHC 2valve six-cylinder engine has a bore and stroke of 74mm x 71mm, compression ratio of 9.8:1 and produces 167Nm torque @ 4,000rpm, with power output of 87kW @ 5,500rpm. The five-speed gearbox includes an overdrive top gear and delivers the engine's torque via shaft drive.
For 2015, the F6B's exhaust internals have been reworked to create a "dual personality" exhaust note similar to that of the Gold Wing F6C power cruiser a throaty growl at low- pm, building to a high-pitched crescendo at maximum rpm.
For improved environmental performance in addition to the air injection system reducing the oxidation reaction of unburned gases, HECS3 (Honda Evolution Catalysing System 3) employs a three-way catalytic process and ensures greatly reduced nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide output levels.