Categories: Galleries, Dailies

OMG, it’s the 2012 Honda Goldwing! The big news this year is that there’s some new two-tone colors that make the big honkin’ tourer look more svelte and less groß. That’s achieved by accentuating the frame’s line though the bike with that color split. The other  big story is that this is now made in Japan, not Marysville, Ohio. That equates to a $300 price premium, which isn’t bad considering how strong the Yen’s been against the Dollar over the last couple of years.

Update: now with video.

Update 2: now with analysis.

The Goldwing occupies a unique position within motorcycling, it’s buyers are even more conservative than other motorcyclists, so regular, radical model updates aren’t the best way to serve them. This mild refresh serves to keep the Goldie competitive in a market that now includes the six-cylinder BMW K1600GT/L, a move that coincided with the factory move.

There actually are styling updates beyond the two-tone, they’re just hard to spot. Check out the rear-view, which shows more-swept, almost Victory Vision-esque panniers and new taillights. The headlights also get blacked out.

Our only complaint about the Goldwing when we took it on a camping trip two-up (I had a broken arm) was actually the surprising lack of capacity in the integrated luggage. This new model slightly increases the size of the boxes, but more importantly we’re told they become more square inside. Previously, the contoured interior shape awkwardly infringed on interior space and made packing larger bags very difficult. Non-airbag models now use that space in front of the rider for a little storage compartment too.

Probably the neatest new feature is something Honda’s calling “Trip Planner” which allows you to plan routes on your computer, then transfer them to your onboard sat/nav using an SD card. That’s the kind of common sense, useful tech feature that owners will love and that will actually play into the online communities surrounding the Goldwing. Want to tell your Internet friends about a trip you took? It just got very easy.

Other refinements include improved aerodynamics for better weather protection and surround sound audio. The new Goldwing isn’t bringing the BMW K1600’s level of performance, light weight and crazy tech features, it’s just enhancing a bike touring riders already know and love. In such a conservative segment, that approach might be a winner.


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