Redesigning a flagship mannequin isn’t any small activity, and the brunt of the accountability for the up to date Gold Wing fashions fell on the shoulders of Massive Mission Chief Yutaka Nakanishi and Sub Massive Mission Chief Kazuho Nakai. These males have a mixed 57 years of expertise at Honda and their résumés embody the VFR800, ST1300, and Valkyrie, amongst many others. We linked with them for a couple of questions earlier than heading out on a take a look at journey of the brand new Gold Wing Tour so we may get some further background on the bike earlier than driving it.
Q: Numerous effort was put into shifting weight ahead on this new Wing. The engine, rider, and passenger all sit nearer to the entrance wheel, and repositioning these parts took some doing. Why was a extra ahead weight stability so necessary?
A: The purpose was to enhance the bike’s dealing with, to make it extra sporty. Lowering the bike’s general dimensions and weight make it deal with higher, and so does transferring weight ahead towards the entrance wheel. The Gold Wing is a protracted bike, however we’re in a position to make it steer higher by repositioning mass. Additionally, transferring the rider and passenger ahead helps with aerodynamics and luxury. —Yutaka Nakanishi
Q: Honda says this newest technology of GL1800 engine is 20 p.c extra environment friendly. What does it take to squeeze extra miles per gallon out of an 1,833cc powerplant?
A: Ah, there have been many modifications! The motor now has 4 valves per cylinder as an alternative of simply two, and that helps with airflow and energy. The compression ratio can be increased [up from 9.8:1 to 10.5:1] and we’ve modified the combustion-chamber form. There’s additionally numerous expertise to scale back friction, together with new coatings on the piston skirts. This stuff scale back drag and enhance effectivity. —Kazuho Nakai
Q: What side of this new bike are you most pleased with?
A: [Laughter] The discount in weight, and the rise in efficiency. However actually, every little thing. —Yutaka Nakanishi
A: I must say the 4 journey modes. With EFI tuning we have been in a position to put 4 bikes into one bike, into the traits of the throttle. Its very laborious to do, so I’m proud of the outcomes. —Kazuho Nakai
Q: What side of this new bike was probably the most difficult to design and excellent?
A: The entrance suspension. The corporate didn’t order the [double-wishbone] system, we selected it based mostly on what it provided, permitting us to maneuver the engine ahead and get higher suspension compliance. We knew nothing concerning the design, so we needed to study. We developed and examined 4 of 5 variations earlier than we arrived at this design. —Yutaka Nakanishi
Q: In the event you needed to examine the brand new Gold Wing Tour to a automobile in Honda’s vehicle lineup, which wouldn’t it be?
A: It must be a top-model Acura, as a result of that is our flagship mannequin and it has a premium really feel. —Yutaka Nakanishi
Q: Talking of vehicles, what’s your tackle so-called “Darkish Siders,” individuals who put a automobile tire on the again of a Gold Wing as a result of they are saying it’s cheaper and lasts longer?
A: I’m unsure that’s a good suggestion. We’ve by no means examined for that, and I wouldn’t need to! A automobile tire isn’t made to lean, so there can be issues with dealing with and stability. —Kazuho Nakai