The Honda Gold Wing has long had a reputation as the Cadillac of motorcycles, but the 2018 version makes that even more true. The decades-old touring bike is clearly taking a page from Honda's automotive division, adding features that are more commonly found on cars.
Dozens of auto makers offer this in vehicles with four wheels, but the Gold Wing is the first to incorporate it on a motorcycle. Plugging an iPhone into the bike with a USB cable (both of which store in a cubby on top of the gas tank) syncs the phone's controls with the motorcycle, allowing riders to make and receive phone calls, send and dictate text messages, get directions and listen to music -- while riding -- using voice commands spoken into a Bluetooth-enabled helmet.
The Gold Wing is the only motorcycle on the market with a built-in airbag. Available on some touring versions of the 2018, the airbag will automatically inflate in front of the rider if the crash sensors on the bike detect changes in acceleration resulting from a forward collision.
Automatic transmission, including reverse
The dual-clutch seven-speed transmission is available on some models of the 2018, letting riders roll across the pavement without having to shift unless they want to. A walking/reverse feature can move the bike under power at walking speed, both forward and backward, with the rider seated in the saddle -- a godsend on a bike that tips the scales at a minimum of 787 pounds.
An engine even larger than some Honda Civics
Motorcyclists measure their engines in cubic centimeters, and the 2018 Gold Wing's a big one -- 1,832 cc. In car speak, that makes it a 1.8-liter. And it's a six cylinder, which makes it bigger than the one used to power one of Honda's most popular cars -- the Civic EX-T.
So if you're ready, do like Sue, and hit the road!