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The Goldwing has long been the largest bike in the Honda range. The base model hasn't seen too many upadates in recent years, leaving it feeling lacking in comparison to recent super-tourers from BMW et al. For 2013, Honda have opted not to improve the GL18000 but instead to give it a makeover in a clear nod to the American market.
This isn't the first GoldWing makeover Honda have attempted. The Valkyrie (or F6C for those of you outside of North America) was Gold Wing GL1500 derived monster cruiser sold between 1997 and 2003. Sales weren't great however, and despite a revision based on the GL1800 in 2004 (called the Rune), the model was dropped that year.
The F6B is a return to this idea. This time, the styling is a little more "Bagger". In fact, that's what Honda say the B in F6B stands for. It's a segment of bikes that's seen some serious state-side growth in recent years and one that's proven popular with younger riders especially. The Bagger is characterized as a stripped down full dress tourer - typified by smaller fairings and a smaller screen.
The F6B also drops a lot of the other Gold Wing "luxuries" - Airbags, Sat-Nav, reverse gear are all gone, but the sound system remains.
All this manages to save 28kg in weight over the base Gold Wing GL1800, but at 385Kg (847lb) it's still a very heavy machine.
Like most gold wings, it comes with more cockpit instrumentation and switches than your average 787 jet. Technophiles need not apply
Overall, it looks a massive bike - even bigger in person than the photos suggest. It's the kind of thing that's perfect for tearing up mile upon mile of straight prairie road or a continental crossing (provided it's well paved).
It's 1832cc six-cylinder engine makes just 116hp, but with 167Nm of torque it can (probably) pull from a standing start in top gear and stay there all day making for touring effortless, and for some people, that's what it's all about. That and looking good while you're at it.