Honda GL 1800 Gold Wing


Model Updates 2021

Photos: Honda

Honda's Gold Wing is the gold standard of the Touring class.
In 2018, the bike lost radical weight. Double wishbone front suspension, brand new, six-cylinder boxer engine and optional 7-speed DCT transmission were added as a new development. It starts 2021 with improved audio and speaker quality. The technical pioneer excels .B with 7-inch TFT display, gyrocompass navigation, Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, electric screen, smart key operation, 4 driving modes and Hill Start Assist. Another highlight: it shines in a new livery.

 Introduced by Honda in 1975 as a 1000cc naked bike and since then the two-wheel nonplusultra for the long-distance: The Gold Wing has always remained true to itself and
over the decades, it has always gained in size and displacement. In addition,
luxury, quality and comfort to the next level – and thus
always away from the competition.

In 2018, the GL1800 Gold Wing and the Gold Wing "Tour"* were fundamentally developed and redesigned to meet the changing needs of customers and the motorcycle market.
This made the models slimmer, lighter and more agile. Many new features consolidated their
Reputation as technology flagships. This also includes the optionally available 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).

The revamped Gold Wing has since attracted the attention of a wider and younger audience. Motorcyclists, who had n'eased the Gold Wing before, now realized what was in it. In 2020, Honda redesigned the chassis and improved handling at lower speeds. In addition, a powerful heart has been beating in the Premium Tourer ever since: an impressive six-cylinder boxer engine.

In 2021, the Gold Wing will feature audio upgrades and an attractive new livery.

Model overview

In 2018, the gold wing's engine and chassis were redesigned and matched. This allows for a seat position that has been shifted further forward and a much more compact motorcycle. The aluminium support frame is designed around a double wishbone front suspension. This allowed the engine to be placed further in front of the chassis. Thanks to its stiffness and reduced friction, the front suspension offers excellent damping regulation and front wheel stability.

The 24-valve six-cylinder engine excels with a new size, familiar power, high torque and immense performance. With Throttle By Wire (TBW)
4 driving modes: TOUR, SPORT, ECON and RAIN. The Dual Combined Brake System (D-CBS) interacts with the selected driving mode. Hill Start Assist (HSA) and the automatic start/stop (in conjunction with DCT) offer the highest level of ease of use and contribute to improved fuel efficiency.

The manual gearbox has 6 gears, while the DCT gearbox is equipped with 7 gears. Clutch feel, switching speed and speed range when switching up and down are specially adapted to the respective driving mode in the DCT transmission. It also includes a shunting aid for slow forward and reverse driving ("walking mode"). The manual transmission version is equipped with the same electronic reverse gear system of the previous models.

The Gold Wing combines a sense of freedom, pure driving pleasure and performance with stylish design. An aerodynamically efficient cladding directs the air around the driver, while the electric screen can be adjusted at will. The luxurious seats offer all-day comfort. The lightweight audio system and speakers shine with improved sound quality. Features such as Smart Key, Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and Bluetooth™ provide up-to-date convenience and enable connectivity to mobile devices.

The 2021 GL1800 Gold Wing is available in Pearl Deep Mud Grey with orange accents on the front fender, engine cover, headlight trim, fuel tank and rear area.


  1. Styling & Amenities
  • Modern design thanks to tight lines
  • Electric windshield, adjustable in height and angle
  • Convincing cruise control function via Throttle By Wire
  • Extensive storage space with space for luggage for weekend tours
  • 7 inch TFT screen for navigation and audio system
  • Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for convenient smartphone pairing
  • Complete LED lighting with self-resetting indicators
  • Smart key function for ignition and storage space locking systems
  • 2 USB Type-C jacks

The lines of the Gold Wing underline their brilliant and sporty character.
The modern silhouette combines comfort and dynamic potential of the motor and
Chassis. Well-known, typical Gold Wing qualities are high-quality workmanship,
best finish and high quality materials. The lines in the front area
emphasizes the front paneling, combined with compact proportions and dynamic design.

The bodywork emphasizes the different components of the motorcycle and at the same time shows
reduced vehicle dimensions. The cladding in the central
with flat surfaces, sharp contours and nuanced, aerodynamic details.

The aesthetics of the vehicle merge with the technical refinements, such as the six-cylinder engine, the double-crossbar front suspension and the exhaust system. State-of-the-art vehicle design is combined with impressive engineering skills in the fields of mechanics and electronics.

The Gold Wing development team focused on comfort, thermal management and
especially optimal airflow flow. The cladding elegantly steers the wind
around the driver and the passenger to create the effect of a pleasant breeze.

A small, electrically adjustable windscreen can be adjusted as desired via an operating element at the left end of the handlebars. It offers efficient wind protection and at the same time sufficient space and freedom of movement. The height and angle of the disc are infinitely adjustable. Available as optional accessory: larger shield, adjustable deflector
for arms and torso as well as permanently installed deflectors for legs and feet.

The driver and the passenger sit separately with sufficient freedom of movement.
This allows the driver to concentrate entirely on driving. The contour of the driver's seat
is comfortable and supportive. It enables good freedom of movement as well as
comfortable ground accessibility.

All lighting consists of LEDs. In the lower part of the LED headlight, five optical lenses on both sides concentrate the light of the light-emitting diodes.
This effect is reminiscent of the sparkle of a jewel even when it comes to dipped-beam. When using the high beam, this impression is further enhanced. The front indicators are integrated in the mirror housings and also work self-resetting. Sensors compare the speed difference between the front and rear wheels and calculate when the indicators can be switched off depending on the driving situation.

While driving, the speed set with the cruise control switch (at the right end of the handlebars) is displayed in the lower left area of the speedometer. Thanks to TBW, the transition to the selected speed is particularly smooth. This results in extremely calm driving behaviour, especially when it comes to uphill climbs. For models with manual transmission, the cruise control is deactivated by actuating the clutch or brake or by turning the throttle handle.

In the DCT variant (in AT mode), the cruise control remains activated in the background during braking manoeuvres and then switches back to cruise control mode after the pre-selected speed is reached again.

The luxurious instrumentation creates a unique cockpit:
The dials are decorated with various low-contrast colors with dark tones, the edges of which fall cone-shaped to create a sense of depth. Each display is framed with noble-looking metal rings,
the gentle LED illumination creates a pleasing and cool ambience.

The 7-inch full-color LC display provides all the information for the audio and navigation system, as well as the driving modes and chassis settings. The information is sorted and displayed in individual segments, so that the driver can always keep an eye on all relevant data.

The brightness of the display adjusts automatically (with the maximum screen brightness being 1000 cd). The driver also has the option to choose from 8 brightness levels. The tire pressure is displayed as a numeric number in the lower left area of the instruments.

The Gold Wing emblem is placed on the center console and smart key. This is three-dimensional and chrome-framed and shows a lion's head with the majestic wings of an eagle and open claws – ready to jump. The Smart Key activates all systems of the motorcycle and also includes an emergency key. The ignition and handlebar lock can be switched on and off when the Smart Key is within range.

Most Gold Wing owners travel short, 2-3-day tours, for which the total volume of the two suitcases of 60 l is usually sufficient. Exclusively designed inner pockets are available as an option. If the Smart Key is within reach, the cases can be easily opened at the touch of a button, and it is also possible to unlock them by remote control. The unlock button on the smart key gives the passenger instant access. The opening and closing is done gently by hydraulic dampers. If the call button on the remote control is pressed and held, the indicators light up.

The Gold Wing is compatible with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. This allows the driver to manage personalized information and content on his smartphone, such as .B phone numbers or music playlists. The machine also has Bluetooth™. In addition, two USB Type-C jacks are available.

The new, lightweight speakers offer excellent sound quality with a lively presence. For greater comfort, the passenger has switches for audio control. The switches are located in the upper part of the right case and allow you to adjust the volume and select the playback source as well as the fast forward.

The navigation system is displayed on the 7-inch full-color LC display and has a gyro compass. This means that the target guidance can also be continued in a tunnel, for example. During the journey, waypoints can be removed or it can be navigated home directly via the "Go Home" function. The maps are updated and also offer the possibility to enter up to 99 different waypoints for detailed travel planning.

The fuel tank has a capacity of 21 litres with a fuel consumption of 5.5 l/100 km.

  1. Chassis
  • Die-cast aluminium double carrier frame
  • Double wishbone suspension at the front and Pro-Link rear
  • ABS and Dual-Combined Braking System (D-CBS)

The Gold Wing's die-cast aluminum double beam frame is designed to accommodate the engine in the tightest of spaces. Its structural strength is optimized in every area. This ensures a calm and stable driving behaviour even at step speed on narrow roads in the city or on an open road.

Apart from the fact that the front wheel moves forward with full springing, the double wishbone front suspension offers further advantages. For example, the sliding friction (by springing in ground shafts and steering interventions), which is caused by a standard telescopic fork when the standpipes in the fork leg drive up and down, is significantly reduced. In addition, bearings are used in all areas for the steering and damping stroke, which further reduce friction.

The steering commands are transmitted via an articulated lever construction separated from the strut. The Gold Wing's moment of greed makes it manoeuvrable and easier to control. In addition, patented handlebar cross bars connect the handlebars to the front axle and the handlebar pivot point, giving the driver a completely natural driving experience.

Track and trail are set to 30.5°/109 mm, the wheelbase is 1,695 mm. The Gold Wing weighs 366 kg, the DCT version 367 kg.

The Dual Combined Brake System (D-CBS) distributes the braking forces optimally on the front and rear wheels. The use of a particularly light ABS module (integrated into the brake ECU) keeps the weight of the braking system low. It interacts in conjunction with the currently selected driving mode and automatically adjusts the braking characteristics to the respective driving situation. The front 320 mm double discs work with 6-piston brake calipers, the rear 316 mm disc with a 3-piston brake caliper.

The Gold Wing also features a pro-link swing arm attached to the left side of the frame. The right side serves as maintenance access. This allows for much greater design freedom and makes the machine easier to handle, as well as contributing to stability. Pro-Link enables progressive response and offers a lot of comfort. The system is fully equipped with ball joints to counteract torsion. The rear preload is manually adjustable.

  1. Engine
  • Six-cylinder SOHC boxer engine with 24 valves
  • Throttle By Wire (TBW) with 4 driver modes to adjust performance
  • Attenuation and braking force are adapted to the driving modes
  • DCT version with automatic start/stop and integrated starter generator (ISG)
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • 6-speed manual transmission with anti-hopping clutch and electronic reverse gear or 7-speed DCT gearbox

Performance that is addictive: The Gold Wing's 1,833cc engine has been completely redesigned. Now the handling potential of the chassis is fully exploited. All this results in a driving feeling that is the attraction of this icon. The gold wing's engine is still a six-cylinder boxer, but with four-valve cylinder heads (previously two-valve cylinder heads) and much more compact in its dimensions. In addition, the engine is 6.2 kilos lighter than the previous model.

The peak power of 126 hp (93 kW) is 5,500 rpm, the maximum torque of 170 Nm is reached at 4,500 rpm. The bore of 73 mm corresponds to a stroke of also 73 mm. The left and right cylinders are offset by 4 mm, the cylinder liners are made of aluminium. The compression ratio is set to 10.5:1.

The Unicam cylinder heads use a coaxial tilt lever shaft for inlet and outlet.
The inlet valves are operated via towing levers, the outlet valves via roller tipping levers.

The combustion chambers are designed as a "4-valve pentroof construction", the inlet openings are designed to promote the flow in the cylinders and thus improve efficiency. The piston shirts wear a molybdenum coating to reduce friction. The Throttle By Wire (TBW) engine management allows the use of 4 driving modes to customize the character and performance of the machine. The choice of driving mode simultaneously regulates the damping settings and the Dual Combined Brake System (D-CBS).
The driver can choose between the following driving modes:

TOUR is the basic setting for comfort and performance. The throttle handle commands are passed completely to the throttle valve. Suspension adjustment and damping as well as the braking force distribution between the front and rear wheels correspond to a universal standard setting.

SPORT results in more direct response compared to TOUR mode; the throttle handle commands are immediately passed on to the throttle valve.
The SPORT mode enables rapid acceleration, tighter suspension and damping tuning, and more direct response of the brake when actuating the foot brake lever.

ECON is the driving mode with a focus on economical consumption and relaxed cruising. The throttle grip commands are passed more slowly to the throttle valve. The setup of the chassis and damping as well as the braking force distribution between the front and rear wheels correspond to the standard setting.

RAIN offers good driveability on wet and slippery asphalt. The throttle handle commands are transferred to the throttle valve in a reduced way. The brake force distribution is standard, the setup of the chassis and damping is rather comfortable and designed for gentle response.

There are two air intake ducts, which are located at the front left and rear right. This arrangement produces the desired turbulence when sucking in the air. The result is a more effective use of the entire surface of the air filter and a reduction in air resistance. The shape of both channels is optimized to harmonize with the intake pulses of the motor in the lower speed range, which improves response and torque with less strongly opened throttle. A single throttle body accelerates airflow and improves response.

In order to add the finishing touches to the deep, bassy character of the engine, the exhaust pipes produce a powerful bolt – without excessive noise. The cross-sectional surfaces of the exhaust pipes for two of the six cylinders are reduced by 20% to improve the sound volume.

The Gold Wing's electric starter and alternator are combined into one unit (ISG – Integrated Starter Generator). The alternator can act as an electric starter at the same time if the current is introduced in reverse. The unit is 2.4 kg lighter than a standard system. The ISG's drive gears use oblique gears, which reduces mechanical noise.

One of the main features of the automatic start/stop (in the DCT version) is the extremely quiet start-up of the engine thanks to the use of the ISG and the associated gentle start-up process, which is achieved by the interaction of DCT and TBW. When stopping, e.g. at a traffic light, with automatic start/stop on, the engine switches off automatically after 3 seconds. To restart the engine, the driver only needs to actuate the throttle handle.

The system is controlled by the oil pressure. By means of the hydraulics, pressure is built up in the DCT system before the gas commands are implemented for starting up. In order to prevent abrupt departure procedures with the start/stop system, the throttle opens slightly delayed. This ensures that starting up after start/stop manoeuvres can be smooth. The automatic start/stop can be optionally activated or deactivated by the driver via a switch on the right side of the handlebars.

When starting on the mountain, a conventional motorcycle must simultaneously release the brakes, open the throttle valve and actuate the clutch, depending on the incline. To facilitate this process, the Gold Wing has a Hill Start Assist (HSA) for both the manual and DCT versions.

After stopping at an incline, the ABS modulator generates hydraulic pressure for the rear brake caliper by further quick actuation of the brake lever. When starting up, the hydraulic pressure maintains the braking effect for about 3 seconds, even when the brake lever is released. This makes it easier to get to the mountain. When HSA is in operation, this is indicated to the driver via a corresponding notice.

The 6-speed manual transmission is equipped with a special back absorber between the clutch and the gearbox, which decouples the two sluggish masses, reduces noise and improves switching quality, or increases the durability of the switching components. An anti-hopping coupling with start-up ramp function (fewer discs and reduced hydraulic friction in the release mechanism) replaces the traditional hydraulically supported coupling. It reduces the clutch load on the lever by 20% and provides smoother re-switching operations. The electronic reverse gear is a feature already known from the previous model.

  1. Dual-clutch transmission (DCT)
  • Third-generation 7-speed DCT
  • Gentle and quiet, with ultra-fast switching
  • Walking mode for forward and backward ranking
  • 4 driving modes affect the response of the DCT
  • Optimized maneuverability at low speed

Honda's DCT technology is now in its eleventh year of production. More than 140,000 DCT-equipped motorcycles have already been sold in Europe. The unique DCT system offers consistent, super-fast and seamless gear changes and quickly becomes a matter of course when driving. The gearbox operates with two couplings: one clutch controls gears 1, 3, 5 and 7 is responsible for starting up, the other controls gears 2, 4 and 6, with the main shafts of the two couplings guided into each other in a space-saving manner to enable a compact design.

The couplings are independently controlled by their own electro-hydraulic circuit. When a gear change occurs, the system selects the next gear via the unused coupling. The first coupling is then electronically uncoupled, while the second coupling is coupled in at the same time.

The result is a smooth, fast and seamless gear change. Since the dual couplings transfer the drive from one gear to the next with minimal drive interruption to the rear wheel, the shock and nick movements of the machine are minimized, making the change feel direct and even. Additional advantages include.B longevity (since the gears cannot be damaged by incorrect shifting), preventing choking, stress-free driving in the city and reduced driver fatigue. The ability to focus more on cornering and braking points contributes to the attractiveness of the DCT.

The DCT system offers two different driving settings: first, the automatic settings with pre-programmed switching patterns, which constantly checks the vehicle speed, the set gear and the engine speed to determine when a switching process should take place. And secondly, it offers the manual gear adjustment for gear changes with the help of the shifters on the left side

With the third generation, for the first time with 7 gears, the DCT of the Gold Wing is specially designed for long-distance trips. It also switches extremely softly and quickly.

The gearbox has also been optimized in terms of maneuverability at low speeds, whereby short transmissions, switching shocks are reduced. In the range of higher speeds, the transmission is chosen longer to keep the engine speed lower. In this way, the comfort in every speed range could be significantly improved.

During the development of the third generation of the DCT, special attention was paid to switching noises and shocks: silencers were installed on both sides of the switching fork guide and the main shaft, which greatly reduce noise when changing gears.

Between the coupling and the main shaft, a spring damper is installed to absorb the rotational forces that occur. This reduces noise in the range of the clutch and main shaft that occurs during switching.

The DCT of the Gold Wing is equipped with a step-tempo shunting duct. This "walking mode" moves the bike forward at 1.8 km/h step speed and backwards at 1.2 km/h. The shunting aid is operated via a plus-minus switch on the left side of the handlebars.

The main shaft has a double tube structure in which the outer main shaft is connected to the inner shaft by gears on the feed shaft and by a chain. This design allows the outer main shaft to act as a reverse gear shaft if necessary. The elimination of a separate shaft for reverse gear favours a compact design.

When activating walking mode, both couplings of the DCT are used.
Reverse driving takes place with the first clutch and the forward push inge with the second clutch. In this way, forward or reverse driving at step speed alone with the coupling is possible without the need for a gear change. In addition, the throttle-by-wire system regulates the speed by carefully controlling the coupling's intervention while maintaining a certain engine speed constantly.

The dual-clutch transmission is networked with the 4 driving modes of the Gold Wing. Engine characteristics, power development and chassis tuning are basically exactly the same as for the model with manual transmission, but certain parameters of the DCT transmission are taken into account separately:

TOUR uses the default setting for smooth coupling and switching in AT mode, with a low to high speed range during switching operations.

SPORT offers a more direct indenting of the coupling, whereby the switching processes take place in a medium to high speed range.

ECON offers a smooth indenting of the clutch and keeps the gears possible for a long time at low to medium speeds.

RAIN in AT mode causes early upshifting, soft clutch indentation and smooth shifting manoeuvres.

Technical data




Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke 24-valve 6-cylinder boxer engine (SOHC)


1,833 cc

Valves per cylinder


Hole & Hub

73 mm x 73 mm

Compression ratio


Max Performance

126 hp (93 kW) at 5,500 rpm

Max Torque

170 Nm at 4,500 rpm

Engine oil quantity

4.4 l (manual gearbox) / 5.6 l (DCT)

CO2 emissions

127 g/km



Mixture preparation

Electronic fuel injection PGM-FI

Throttle diameter

50 mm


Paper viscose filter insert

Tank contents

21.1 l


5.5 l / 100km




Integrated Starter Generator Unit



ACG / alternator




Coupling type

(manual gearbox) hydraulically operated, wet running, multi-disc coupling in oil bath, Assist Slipper Cam

(DCT) hydraulic, wet running, multi-discs in oil bath (double clutch)

Gearbox type

6 gear manual transmission including overdrive and with electric reverse gear

7 gear DCT gearbox including reverse gear

Primary translation

1.795 (79/44)

Gear steps

(DCT) 1.: 2.167 2.: 1.696 3.: 1.304 4.: 1.038 5.: 0.821 6.: 0.667 7.: 0.522

Reverse gear: 1,190

(manual gearbox) 1.: 2.200 2.: 1.417 3.: 1.036 4.: 0.821 5.: 0.667 6.: 0.522

Final translation

On the engine: 0.972

On the rear wheel 2,615

Final drive

Gimbal drive




Aluminum bridge frame



Dimensions (L x W x H)

L: 2,475 mm

B: 925 mm (DCT) / 905mm (MT)

H: 1.340 mm


1,695 mm

Steering head angle



109 mm

Turning circle

3.4 m


745 mm

Ground clearance

130 mm

Weight (fully fuelled)

Gold Wing: Manual transmission 366 kg / DCT 367 kg




Double wishbone


Pro Link




130/70R 18


200/55R 16

Rim size front

18 x MT3.5

Rim size rear

16 x MT6.0



ABS System Type

Electronically controlled combined ABS system


320 mm x 4.5 mm hydraulic double disc with 6-piston brake caliper, floating brake discs and sintered metal pads


Vented disc with 3-piston brake caliper and sintered metal linings