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The All New 2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B Review

October 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Motorcycle Reviews

Honda introduced the new F6B, designated internally as a GL1800B, for the 2013 model year. This new model was created to fill the niche between power cruisers and long-haul touring models, by removing the existing Gold Wing GL1800’s tail trunk, trimming the windshield and reshaping the seats and tail section. The changes from the original Gold Wing make the F6B more suitable for shorter trips on backroads and day rides than its bigger brethren, and change it from a touring model to a bagger. The F6B is offered in two trim levels, standard, and the Deluxe version which includes a pillion backrest, center stand, auto-canceling turn indicators and heated handgrips. The F6B shares its 1832cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine with the regular Gold Wing. Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) feeds fuel and air through a pair of 40mm throttle bodies and six high-pressure fuel injectors. It’s a jewel of a motor, silky smooth with loads of torque across a wide power band. Gold Wing’s clutch and shaft drive are also carried over as is. Although the five-speed transmission is unchanged, the electric reverse used on the heavier GL1800 was deleted on the Standard model. The twin-spar aluminum frame is sourced from the GL1800. A stout 45mm fork provides 4.8 inches of travel. Rake is 29.15 degrees and trail is 4.3 inches. At the rear a single sided Pro-Arm swingarm with a single Pro-Link shock has valving tuned for the F6B. The shock has a dial-type remote preload adjuster which offers easy access for quick adjustments, and provides 4.1 inches of travel. Dual 296mm front rotors and three-piston calipers, plus a single rear 316mm disc provide the braking. Honda’s Combined Braking System links the front and rear brakes, but ABS is not offered. Tire sizes are 130/70R-18 front and 180/60R-16 rear. Waterproof locking saddlebags have a combined 150 liters of capacity. The saddlebags have enough space for overnight and most weekend trips, but they don’t have room for a full-face helmet. A large, centrally located glovebox is handy for storage of smaller items. Riding Impressions Thanks to the PGM-FI the F6B produces excellent throttle response and performance. The engine fires up immediately, whether it’s warm or cold. Drivability is excellent, throttle response is crisp and acceleration strong. There’s lots of passing power, and the engine is arguably the smoothest one on the market. The flat six-cylinder engine layout also has a low center of gravity which gives the heavy machine a lighter feel and makes handling easier. Steering is neutral and easier than you’d expect from such a large heavy motorcycle. The F6B tracks well, holds a line nicely, and has great high-speed stability. Plush suspension gives a satisfying blend of ride control along with comfort which is difficult to find in cruisers. Leaving off the tail trunk imbues the F6B with greater nimbleness and maneuverability than the taller, heavier GL1800. F6B’s low windscreen reduces wind pressure on the rider’s torso, but leaves the rider’s head exposed to buffeting at highway speeds. The seat is flatter than a Gold Wing’s and allows both rider and passenger a less-confined feeling. It’s also one of the most comfortable original-equipment saddles. Seat height is 28.5 inches, which should accommodate shorter riders. A quality audio system is standard on F6Bs, and it includes MP3/iPod connectivity along with AM and FM radio. Weatherproof speakers are set in a cowling in the dash, but there are no rear speakers. At highway speeds you can hear the music, but without rear speakers there’s no surround-sound effect. Instrumentation includes a tach and speedometer, odometer with twin tripmeters, a clock, air-temperature readout, saddlebag open warnings, and audio controls. However, there’s no GPS or cruise control. Comparison to Competitors Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide Custom, the Victory Cross Country, Star Stratoliner, and Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero 1700 are similar in price and external dimensions, but are powered by V-twins. However, due to the flat-six engine, there are no very close competitors to the F6B, which easily has the smoothest, most powerful engine in this group. Impressions in Terms of Rider Level The F6B has conventional controls and operation is straightforward, making it easy to transition from another motorcycle model. However, with a rider and passenger and luggage, the fully loaded F6B can weigh well over a half ton, so beginning riders need to gain experience before trying this big machine. Most intermediate riders should be able to handle an F6B, as long as they are physically strong enough to maneuver the hefty motorcycle and can reach the ground sufficiently. Expert riders should have no problem handling these big, heavy motorcycles. Summary of review and pricing The F6B is available in Black or Red; Standard models have a base price of $19,999, and Deluxe models start at $20,999. Deluxe models add a center stand, passenger backrest, self-cancelling turn signals, and heated grips. Both versions display top-notch fit and finish and are made of premium components. A short windscreen, trim saddle and lack of a rear trunk give the F6B a sleek look. And regardless of which version you choose, you’re getting a well-sorted drivetrain and chassis, with Honda’s legendary reliability and resale value. Specifications Base Price Standard $19,999/Deluxe $20,999 Model Year 2013 Manufacturer Honda Model GL1800B Categories Cruiser/Touring Fuel Capacity 6.6 gal Engine SOHC horizontally opposed 6 Transmission Manual, 5-speed

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Author: Tom Robertson (12 Articles)

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Comments

2 Responses to “The All New 2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B Review”
  1. in 2000 i sold gl1500 and bought valkyrie. still have it. my knees rub faring on gl when will you people learn every one is not 5 foot 5 no knee rub and foreward foot controls i would buy f6 today.

  2. avatar jerald alexander says:

    it is in my opinion that a touring bike of this size and power should definitely be equipted with cruise control , HANDS DOWN

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