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Honda Introduces 2012 Gold Wing

Although a rumored, radical redesign of the 2012 Gold Wing did not materialize, Honda did announce several significant changes to its 2012 model today.  Here is how Honda highlighted the changes to the 2012 Gold Wing:

Gold Wing: The Gold Standard For Two-Wheeled Journeys

Long acknowledged as the pinnacle of two-up motorcycling, the 2012 Gold Wing® continues its remarkable legacy. Its travel-oriented creds include the latest generation of sophisticated electronic amenities, starting with an updated and innovative GPS navigation system with user-friendly programmability for sharing favorite ride routes with friends and other riders, which can be accessed online via computer. The Gold Wing also now incorporates a built-in MP3/iPod® interface for a new SRS CS Auto™ technology surround-sound system for a premium listening experience. In addition to its renowned power-laden yet refined drivetrain and delightfully sporty handling, the 2012 Gold Wing also brings upgraded styling, increased luggage capacity, greater protection from wind and weather, revised suspension settings for enhanced ride compliance, and unparalleled comfort for both rider and passenger. In addition, packages for Navi, ABS and airbag do much to further the Gold Wing’s reputation as the most celebrated touring machine in motorcycle history. Price: $23,199 to $28,499 TBD. Availability: May 2011.

New for 2012 

  • Fresh styling cues produce a more integrated appearance along with a sporting edge, adding to the premium touring visage.
  • Redesigned fairing adds extra wind protection, especially to the lower body and leg areas.
  • Larger saddlebags add approximately 7 liters of additional storage space, upping total capacity to well over 150 liters including the trunk and fairing pockets.
  • Handy central storage pocket added to models without airbag.
  • Revised suspension settings front and rear yield added compliance for a better ride and more comfort.
  •  Urethane seat material and cover material give added comfort.
  • Re-shaped taillight adds a distinctive appearance and aids visibility.
  •  Wheels are now clear-coated for easier cleaning and a great, long-lasting look.
  • Updated instrumentation styling lends a high-performance touch.

Next-Generation Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System™:

  • New, fully integrated navigation system with new, brighter color screen.
  • Next-generation receiver gives quicker satellite connection.
  • 3-D terrain view, lane assist with junction view and more.
  • Complete United States and Canada mapping with points of interest installed.
  • Points-of-interest information includes Honda dealers, fuel stations, restaurants, lodging, attractions, transportation, government and emergency information and saved rider’s input with home function.
  • Voice prompting through headsets or speakers.
  • On-screen text guidance and pop-up menus.
  • Easy-to-use handlebar and fairing-mounted controls.
  • Navigation available on select Gold Wing models.

Next-Generation Premium Audio System:

  • New enhanced system offers direct MP3/i-Pod connectivity plus full device control through handlebar controls.
  • SRS CS Auto™ technology surround-sound system brings the latest in sound system technology to the Gold Wing.
  • 80-watt-per-channel power amplifier provides clear, crisp sound at all highway speeds.
  • Six-element speaker system includes two rear speakers, a pair of front speakers and two tweeters for a rich, full surround sound quality.
  • Tuner features auto bass control combined with auto volume control.
  • Standard on all Gold Wing models.

 

103 Comments

  1. mr_dirtrider says:

    As a Ducati owner, I recently rented a Goldwing to take a 600 mile day trip through Arizona with some friends. The Duc seat just doesn’t cut it for 600 miles.

    I must admit, I’m not sure what you would do to make this bike substantially better at what it is designed for. If you need to ride the Salt River Canyon any faster, you will be on a sport bike anyway.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: “I’m not sure what you would do to make this bike substantially better at what it is designed for.”

      A: 2 words… rocket launchers…! :)

  2. samr says:

    I will shortly be a BMW owner/rider, I am through with BORING Honda!

    • MGNorge says:

      You know, I find that comment interesting in that I have owned a number of bikes over the years and not found one boring, not one. I don’t even think that’s possible. Oh well. to each their own I guess.

      • Ericbeer says:

        I have had three Hondas and two of them were boring…..;-). The Super Blackbird was not boring, but threatened my license, so I went to a BMW RT to slow me down.

  3. kpaul says:

    Unfortunately, until the economy starts really humming again I think we will see alot of these minor tweaks in existing models from the Japanese big 4. The yen appreciation and the dollar’s fall are working against the big 4. Don’t know if Wings are still made in the U.S. or not. But any thing coming from Japan is going to cost more. I love the Honda Gold Wing because the machine is an engineering marvel and I could see myself owning an ABS one as a commuter if Seattle had kept the HOV lane restrictions to motorcycles and car pools. But now they allow you to pay an electronic toll for HOV lane access for us single occupant gas wasters so I will stick to my car for commutes. Cheaper than buying a Gold Wing and safer. Used to commute on my bike but too many close calls with folks in SUVs on cell phones who don’t look or signal made me a coward.

    • Gary says:

      The Goldwings haven’t been made in the USA since 2010. I think that was the last year for them here. None of the Big Four make or assemble touring bikes in the USA now. Too bad. Used to be Honda of course, and Kawasaki quite assembling the Voyagers in Lincoln, Nebraska back in 2003.

  4. GaryF says:

    I bought my first GL in 1977, before they came equipped with any fairing or luggage. I rode that thing all over the Gulf Coast and beyond … rode it everyday, everywhere. Only problem I ever had with it was a flat tire. It was the smoothest, most reliable, most comfortable bike you could buy (during a time of iron-barreled sportsters and Nortons that routinely short-circuited). Poke fun if you want to, Wings still do what they do better than anything else … run forever in supreme comfort.

    • MikeD says:

      I love those Classic Old Wings, they still looked like proper STANDARD motorcycles instead of 2 wheeled Odyssey MiniVans.
      I only hope someone SOMEDAY SOON at Honda HQ give the OK to built a “refined” EVO 6.

  5. H-D says:

    Harley Davidson is the way to go! they arent made of all those cheap plastic parts! HD truley puts alot of time and effort into there bikes. you put a honda, yamaha, or anyother bike beside a harley you can see quality and craftsmanship! If you ride a new HD touring bike or any HD for that matter you wont go back.

    • Mickey says:

      Willie G. …. Is that you brother?

      For the record I’ve owned 7 Harley Davidsons in my riding career. Kept thinking the next one had to be better than the last one. They never were. You’re right about one thing…I won’t be going back.

    • Steve says:

      If you ride a Rocket 3 Touring you wont go back. I have owned a Harley and it wasn’t much. A friend’s new Road Glide overheated badly on a trip over the Sierras The conflicting requirements of performance, emissions, and heat has HD in a bind.

  6. carl says:

    I was on the verge of buying a 2010 before I heard of a new 2012, now after seeing such small changes, I too will see what BMW road tests have to say before buying a wing. If I do it will be a slightly used one for a lot less money.

  7. BRIAN says:

    Well at least the other manufacturers are catching up to the Goldwing, and causing the folks at Honda to pay attention to their top dog tourer… Maybe now with the BMW 1600 pushing the envelope we will see more greatness from the Honda engineers… When your at the top, unchallenged, why would you work on your R&D… that costs alot of money…

    So thankyou BMW for kicking Honda in the ass….

  8. buddygixxerninja says:

    honda honda honda…you so disappoint me. i was going to wait for you to come out with an all-new goldwing, but again, you and your lazy, cheap company just keep producing this older-than-hell motorcycle with nothing for us new buyers to want, and stick a fat price on and tell us it’s like “new!” hahahahah…last laugh on you. you lost a potential customer because of this announcement. i will be pre-ordering my BMW 1600GTL as i finished typing this.

    GOOD LUCK HONDA!

  9. nick says:

    BNG, AND A PRICE HIKE. SO MUCH FOR ALL THE KNOW IT ALLS ON THE GOLDWING FORUMS. AUTO THIS, GL2000 THAT,LOL. WHAT DO YOU REALLY EXPECT FROM HONDA, 12 YEARS IN THE MAKING, DOESN’T SUPRISE ME ONE BIT.

  10. Vrooom says:

    Sounds like Bold New Graphics to me. They don’t handle like a sportbike, despite their owner’s claim, however just got a chance to ride one on a 70 mile jaunt, and I’d say they handle better than you’d think they would. Might be fairer to say they handle like a bike that weighs 150 lbs. less (not sure what’s in that class other than cruisers), with brakes capable of dealing with the weight. I’m not sure Honda needed to invest in major changes this year, they don’t really have a lot of competition, and it’s probably worth it for them to see how the new 6 cyl. BMW’s compare.

  11. Steve says:

    Hi: I could never figure out why anyone needed a touring bike bigger than an R1200RT until I went to Daytona Bike Week and found out. Dad is 350 and Mom is 300. I’ll take a Rocket 3. Steve

  12. joe says:

    it looks like all they did was paint it and push out the saddle bags a bit. what about adding a 6 gear to the transmission. i’ll buy a klr650 and a 2008 fjr and keep 20k.

  13. ROXX says:

    Nice Car!

  14. Michael H says:

    I wonder how that GW would look without the top case. Pretty attractive, I’d bet. It’s too bad that Honda didn’t design it for simple removal. A K1200LT with the top case removed and a rack installed looks very cool.

    And why don’t the tail lights on the top case not match the new tail lights on the motorcycle? That’s a very unattractive combination.

    • Gary says:

      I think this is a stop gap Honda, they are waiting to see how the new BMW works out, before making more changes. That is why I think the top trunk doesn’t really go with the new saddlebags. As far as a tourer without the top truck, ugly in my opinion. But if that’s what you like, there are always the HD’s, Vaqueros etc.

  15. DaytonaJames says:

    Back when I was working at a ‘K’ dealership, two guys rode in… one on a Nomad, the other on a very recent Wing. The Nomad guy walks in and goes straight to our parts counter to track something down. The other guy moseys in and starts wandering aimlessly. Being the friendly bloke that I like to think I am, I wander over and say “Hi… is there anything I can help you find?” With his eyes slowly roaming the shop walls, he says “No… just waiting for my bu… hey, maybe you can help me. I’ve got that Gold Wing out there.” He quickly starts walking towards the window in hopes that I’ll come over and observe the object of his obvious pride. “I’m wondering if you guys carry aftermarket windshields for my bike. At about 60 miles an hour, I get this…” wait for it (imagine a vigorous flurry of hands in front of his face.) “…breeze around my face.” Now I’ve been selling bikes off and on for many years and I like to think I’ve seen and heard most things when it comes to bikes and their owners but that day, I almost pony-expressed my Quiznos right into this guys face from the eruption of laughter I tried my damndest to suppress.
    Message to GW owners… Honda makes cars now too. :-)
    Just funnin’ you guys… I know we all ride for different reasons.

  16. Dave says:

    Gold Wings are amazing bikes that are loved by their owners and work great for what they are designed to do. That said they do not interest me one bit,

  17. Wayne B says:

    Whew! Now I am sure I made the right choice in picking up ’08 Goldwing Airbag demo for $17,500 rather than waiting on the 2012.

    I hope I can retrofit the Navi to my bike. Otherwise, I see nothing worth “trading up” for.

    I was 37 when I got my first GL1800, and I wondered then why I had waited so long. The GL1800 is a 900 lb sport-bike. I find that mine is most at home in the foot-hills and mountain passes, winding my way to nirvana.. They are pricey, but they last 300k+ miles.

    • Scooter says:

      A big NO to GPS – just glance at the map in the morning and ride. You eventually cross a highway, river or state line that will let you know where you are. I TRY to get lost and have some fun, but I always know just about where I am.

  18. Steve says:

    Honda did freshen the bike up but in my opinion it was not enough. In comparason, look what BMW did, say good bye to the LT and new from the ground up the GT and GTL. Folks from an outsider looking in, has Honda done any homework to find our why the BMW’s share of the market has grown far and above all the other Japanese OEM’s. Every e-magazine and print media well have a hay day when they do a comparason test between these two competitors. With the Middle East in crisis and gas prices starting to go up, the Honda can haul and tow but not with a great miles per gallon numbers to claim any efficientcy. BMW now has a power plant to compete, with a motorcyle that weighs 200lbs. less than the Wing. Both bikes are top of the line touring machines and when released the proof will be in the pudding. Happy Trails.

  19. Jeff1972 says:

    Sad Really,

    After pioneering so many markets, Honda is now fat and lazy, like Harley and the US auto makers of the 70’s. We are in a new century with instant tooling, 3D rendering and very quick time to market cycles, yet Honda chooses to milk the old tooling for all it’s worth, not even lowering the price for the now outdated bike. Like or hate BMW, at least they are working hard to bring innovation and improvements to the market. The completely new K1600GT will have much higher performance, better handling, better MPG, more sophisticated electronics and still be cheaper than the decade old Honda. No, it won’t be for everyone; the point is that they are moving forward in leaps and bounds while Honda stagnates. We are to blame, until folks demand better and stop buying 10 year old engineering, well….

    • ChrisRR says:

      I think it’s the exact OPPOSITE of Honda being fat and lazy. I think they and the other Japanese manufacturers are feeling a serious economic pinch.

      • kpaul says:

        I agree. The depreciation of the dollar vs. the yen doesn’t help either.

        • Mark says:

          Yeah, no mention of being made in Japan now. That’s the biggest change. Having said that, they don’t need much change. I’m a sport bike rider and probably will never own an outright tourer, but the Wing comes closer to sport bike handling then many so called sport tourers out there.

  20. Kjazz says:

    I think’s interesting to note that most people respond to Wing articles along the lines of “I’m about 10 years away from that” or something to that effect. I personally dont believe a Wing is inevitable for myself (i.e. on some time line of evetuality). I think for the right person a Wing makes perfect sense even if they are 25 or 35 or whatever age. You dont necessarily age into this stuff. I will never age into a Harley. This I know. In fact it’s more likely that I will age back into a sport bike than a Harley. The things that govern my choice are the type of riding I’m doing. Physically I’m fortunate to be able to ride most anything and enjoy it. And as I grow older (weaker or less stable), why would I “age into” an 800lb bike? More than likely it’ll be less bike that seems more appealing.

  21. Don 01 1800 says:

    Honda has made just enough changes to distinguish the 2012 from the previous years 1800’s. But as usual Honda has done its own thing and not listened to it’s 1800 owners, since the first Gold Wing in 75, till this latest one Honda has not added one owner wish list to it’s new model. So much for owner relations.

  22. Old town hick says:

    “•Fresh styling cues produce a more integrated appearance along with a sporting edge, adding to the premium touring visage.”

    Translation: Bold new graphics.

  23. takehikes says:

    900 plus pounds…..its a frigging car for christ’s sake. What the hell can you do with it? Its damn sure not a motorcycle I don’t think. Much like cars and trucks…the original Wing wasn’t bad but give it time and it will get bigger, heavier and loaded up with crap.

  24. Scooter says:

    I will NEVER have GPS on a motorcycle.

  25. rodestar99 says:

    Those of you who are complaining about the goldwing being too plush and not
    enough of an in the wind motorcycle are free to try one of hondas other products.
    They have somthing for everyone. Having ridden for 40 odd yrs I have owned/ridden
    most everything at one time or another. I am amazed at the performance and handling
    of this motorcycle given its size and weight and it is the epitome of touring engineering.
    I must admit I am disapointed that there is not more of a change in the new model but
    it is just the excuse I need to upgrade my 2005 with 92k on it.

  26. Jim says:

    Does anyone have a handle on recent GW sales figures, say over the last 10 years? 10-20 years ago, I’d regularly see large groups of Wingers out for a day ride and now that is a rare sight. My suspicion is that those Wing riders aged out and there has not been a new group of riders to take their place. The younger guys went to HD and metric cruisers.

  27. DancingWeasel says:

    I don’t want an EXTRA gear – I want zero gears. Gimme an auto box…

  28. MGNorge says:

    Why mess with a good thing? The Wing has proven itself beyond what almost any other bike has, especially for two-up touring comfort. Time will tell if enough sales shift to BMW, but something tells me the Wing will be just fine. Besides, how many of us are Wing customers? It’s easy to cast stones from behind the computer screen but if a Wing isn’t your idea of riding then what does it matter what this end of the business does?

  29. Nicholas Weaver says:

    23K for the BASE model? I bought a 2 year old S2000 for that!

    Is honda trying to price itself out of the motorcycle business completely?!?

  30. John McD says:

    A few years back Honda made a car called the Del Sol I believe. Why not do that again, you practically have that now. Shhheeeeshhhh.

  31. Wendy says:

    Having just turned 60, I think I am at least 10 years too young for a Wing. However, they are really nice. On test rides I have always liked them, despite being a “lighter is better” rider. The level of refinement and seeming quality just oozes out of these things. Not to everyone’s taste, but hey, velcro shoes and nylon windbreakers aren’t for everyone either.

  32. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    I just read the Honda.com website specs.
    The two numbers that got my attention were:

    Weight of 933 pounds.
    Approaching half a ton.
    Damn.

    Price of $23,000
    Holy sheet.
    I don’t know which figure seems more inflated. ;)

  33. Andy Chesley says:

    Love that Blue Wing. Just more than my retirement budget can handle. ;-) Guess I’ll have to stick to touring on my 1250S. But, could just dream that comfort on the long days.

  34. Slob says:

    In Paris, they use Goldwings as “Moto-Taxis”. It’s impressive how swiftly they carve through peak hour traffic with full bags and a passenger!

  35. LarryC says:

    “Fresh styling cues produce a more integrated appearance along with a sporting edge”

    Whew! Be still my heart!

    Only 28 long and I get all that and a restyled taillight too. Where do I sign up?

  36. ABQ says:

    Good thing they added redesigned fairing adds extra wind protection, especially to the lower body and leg areas. Because no motorcyclist want to feel the elements. Good thing they revised suspension settings front and rear yield added compliance for a better ride and more comfort. And, added urethane seat material and cover material to give added comfort. Because no motorcyclist would want to feel the road. And good thing they added that satillite GPS, because no motorcyclist would want to decide for themselve to take a road less traveled. And thank god for that Next-Generation Premium Audio System. So that motorcyclists may finally be distracted from the road noise from the cars traveling about them. The Goldwing has finally defeated every purpose that motorcycles once had! The only thing left to finish it off is to:
    GET A CAR!!!

    • Ruefus says:

      Obviously, you’ve never ridden one or paid any attention to it.

      As a sportbike rider, SuperMoto owner I’m about as far away from the ComfortCrowd as you get in terms of my stable. I used to think like you do.

      Ride a Gold Wing one time. Just once. Heck – go ride an old 1000 or 1200. It doesn’t matter in the slightest. Then tell us your above rant is even remotely accurate. Yes – riding a Gold Wing is a different experience. But ‘car-like’ is not one of them. The engine and chassis are brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

      The rest is mere icing.

    • Ruefus says:

      BTW – I dare you to follow this guy through the Dragon. Yellow Wolf used to have that Wing outfitted with a DVD recorder and multiple cameras. He’d run you through the Dragon and sell you the video.

      Didn’t matter what bike you were on, he was RIGHT there.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nrMQ3QwyPo

    • falcodoug says:

      Exactly.

  37. James Langley says:

    I ride a Goldwing. Very rarely do ride the interstate. Mostly 2 lane back roads. Been cross country and never hit a 4 lane hwy. It’s 5 years old with 97,000 miles. at least 1k miles was on dirt roads. I have shamed many sportbike riders on it as well. It carves curves very well for a large bike. It’s just a big sport bike with bags and electronics.

  38. MikeD says:

    Funny, even tho i don’t want/need/like IT…i have to say i was waiting for Honda to pull a fast one on the FRESH K1600s with a sport touring marvel of a bike. Guess not…YAWN…

    Typical Honda manners(new colors, a pinch here and sprinkle there)…LOL. Anyway, more power to those who got their boats rocked by such “improvements”.

    Maybe the Economy is IN the Toilet still too much for Honda to built a Complete new GW ?
    Maybe they are pretty confident of what they have ? Maybe too much…?

  39. Old town hick says:

    Looks like we’ll have to wait until at least 2015 for a truely updated Goldwing. Man, by the time it comes out I’ll almost be old enough to want one.

    As good as the current GW platform still is, the fact that Honda was not ready or willing to respond the new BMW K1600 competition in a big way….says a lot about the current and future motorcycle market. Did the bean counters at Honda declare that there are simply not enough big-rig touring customers to justify the design, tooling, and launch of a new Wing at this time?

  40. Willie E says:

    Sorry, that be You Tube vid.

  41. Willie E says:

    Check out “Deals gap gl1800 Yellow Wolf and get back to me on the interstate only thing.

  42. Bob says:

    I suppose it makes sense to someone. I often wonder how many potential motorcyclists have the time, money, and inclination to spend a few weeks at a time on the interstate highway system, evenings at the Holiday Inn, breakfast at I-Hop, dinner at Outback. Oh well, as long as TraX makes aluminum sidecases I can get a Versys for 25% the cost of a Lead Wing and explore Route 17 South from Washington, D.C. to Charleston, South Carolina, which is exactly what I’m doing on this coming summer’s tour. Not only will I not have a I-pod compatible stereo, I will only be turning on my cell phone once per day, usually late in the evening when I can only leave a message for the folks calling me. To each his/her own.

    • Mickey says:

      LOL obviously you have never been to Americade, Honda Hoot or any other number of GW oriented events (I haven’t either BTW since I don’t ride a Wing) but it seems as there are as many GW enthusiasts as there are Harley Enthusiasts and they don’t seem to mind endless days on the interstate to join up with like minded souls. Kind of like locusts only with matching vests full of ride pins.

  43. Michael H says:

    Mmmm….this is almost a Harley-esque updating of colors and doo-dads. The butt looks better, the GPS is better, but still, no electrically controlled windshield, and it needs one more gear in the transmission for highway cruising.

    Still in all, it is a very good bike for two-up touring, something very important to motorcyclists who want to ride long miles with a spouse onboard. The six cylinder engine is wonderful and bulletproof. Honda had its six on the market at least one decade before BMW’s new six.

    I owned a GL1800 before my current BMW. It was a very good bike, exceptionally good at fulfilling it’s design purpose.

  44. PN says:

    I just could never see these bikes. They’re made for the Interstates. Huh? Who would ever want to ride on them? Technologically, Honda can do anything but sometimes Big Red forgets that motorcycling is meant to be fun not drudge work.

    • Dean says:

      I haven’t ridden one of these newest Gold Wings, (I rode my fathers older Goldwing, and it rode like a smaller bike once you got it rolling!) but if you think you can’t have a lot of fun, you would be wrong. I have been to the Dragon in the Smoky mountains, and there is a guy who drives a Wing loaded with video equipment. For a fee, he will video anyone riding through the twisties of the Dragon, and there are very few riders that give him trouble keeping up. I’ve seen pictures of him scraping the frame with sparks flying off as he sweeps through the corners! Just because it is big and easy, doesn’t mean it ain’t fun!

  45. Tim says:

    I think this is just a stop gap face lift of the same old model until the REAL new GoldWing is ready.

  46. Mickey says:

    I know the Wing riders are dissapointed as they were expecting big changes for 2012…2000cc motor, sixth gear in the tranny, maybe a DCT trans option, ABS standard, electric windshield. I’m guessing Honda will keep riding the same horse until someone comes up with something better to take their market edge away. We’ll have to see how the BMW 6 cyl is recieved to see if Honda has it in them to make a bold move. Until the BMW 6 proves itself, the Goldwing is still the best touring bike on the planet.

  47. bill says:

    I rented a smaller houseboat at the lake last year….

  48. Old towm hick says:

    Not that it really needed it, but I find it interesting that there is no mention of any updates to the powertrain. Does this mean no dual-clutch automatic trans, a la the VFR 1200? Mmmmmm…..

  49. ziggy says:

    These bikes are about as much use to me, right now, as oil is to water. But I cannot help but admire this machine and the riders who take them to the limit. What makes the Goldwing and hard-core Goldwing riders awesome? Hard core, iron-butt high miling.

    There’s no radical redesign here but there’s no need–this is already the most extreme production motorcycle on the planet.

  50. Bob1190 says:

    I am really bummed! The new Gold Wing was supposed to be a “technical marvel”. Made in Japan, lighter chassis, 2000cc, dual clutch auto tranny, etc etc etc. BUT Honda wimped out – same engine, no new tranny, just some body changes, suspension tweaks, and electronic doo-dahs. BOO! I’m sticking with my bike.