â€œBuy a luxury vehicleâ€ â€“ most of the times, the conversation around this would immediately lead to a discussion on an expensive car offering abundant comfort with various other features to pamper you with mechanical sophistication. And to get something of that sort, you need money, probably lots of it if you wish to be treated with 5-star comfort by a vehicle.
However, if you have that sort of money, but youâ€™re much more into motorcycles than cars, you do have few options that would make even luxury car owners go green with envy. You could get yourself a Harley Davidson CVO or Indian Roadmaster, both excellent motorcycles and offer royal comfort, yet, against one particular rival, they both fall a bit short in probably almost every aspect other than looks.
Consider a Honda Gold Wing and things might appear more advanced by that much.
Gold Wing, Hondaâ€™s luxury tourer with a flat engine which is in production since 1974. The Gold Wing started its journey as GL 1000 with standard styling and a flat or boxer 4 engine displacing 999cc. It was Hondaâ€™s first liquid-cooled engine in a production motorcycle and for the next 13 years, it went on to become GL 1200 and finally in 1987, Honda came out with the GL 1500 which had a 6-cylinder flat-six engine and could produce 100 BHP and 150 NM of torque. This model was in production till 2000.
In 2001, the flat-six engine was upgraded to 1832cc which remains the most powerful engine in Gold Wing till date. It produces 118.3 PS of maximum power at 5,500 RPM and 167 NM of torque at 4,000 RPM. It has a Single Overhead Cam design and is liquid-cooled. As of today, the motorcycleâ€™s wet weight is 421 kg.
Facts and figures aside, Gold Wingâ€™s specialness lies in its ultra smooth engine which generates a seamless flow of power and the unique Jet turbine like soundtrack. The exhaust note from that boxer-six engine is unlike anything else, although, it is generally quite.
The Gold Wing is the only production motorcycle in the world to come with an electronic reverse gear! Thatâ€™s right, it is easier to reverse the Wing than other equally bulky motorcycles. Also, it comes with an optional airbag which would prevent the rider from banging into the windshield in case of a collision.
Honda is not known to make bad-handling motorcycles, and for this reason, it doesnâ€™t come as a surprise that the Gold Wing, quite literally, handles like a dream for its size. Of course, it comes as a surprise at first, but then as you start realizing that the motorcycle is held together by an aluminium frame and a single shocker at the back, it all starts to come together nicely. In its category, after the BMW K1600 GT, the Gold Wing is the next best handling motorcycle. And the performance from its boxer-six engine outperforms every V-twin luxury tourer in this class of motorcycles.
It indulges you in comfort like very few motorcycles can do. The seat is literally like a sofa, the pillion seat is even more so. The windshield is adjustable at six heights and then thereâ€™s heated handlebar grips and the seats. Thereâ€™s also a mechanism to keep the legs warm in winters. Thereâ€™s music system and an air-conditioner as well. Yes, you have these in other similar motorcycles, but what you do not get is the kind of overall package that the Gold Wing is. It is in its own way very unique.
In India, the big Honda retails over 31 Lakhs on-road Delhi, no means affordable to many people out there. And no matter how good a handler it is, the Wing is still quite a handful in our traffic. Yet, if you still want it and feel it is out of your budget, perhaps a search on OLX can help you in getting it within your budget.
That aside, we would love to travel the world on it. The world.