Honda America have launched a stripped-down GoldWing variant, or rather two of them, called the GL1800 F6B and the F6B Deluxe, into the North American market.
Priced in the USA from $4,000 cheaper than the least expensive American GL1800 GoldWing variant, so $10,000 cheaper than the Airbag Model. You get 28kg less bike for your money. Only a few extra parts and low-cost colour changes to others were necessary to create these “new” bikes.
The F6B is therefore by no means the equivalent of the F6C/Valkyrie variant of the GL1500, which appeared during its model lifetime. That was a proper, cruiser-style bike with a different frame. The F6B is even called a “GoldWing F6B” so even GWOCGB members couldn’t make an argument about whether they are really GoldWings!
These bikes look like a GL1800 which has lost its windscreen, trunk and passenger seat back because that is essentially what has happened. And if you buy the cheaper one of the two models (in the USA) you don’t even get self-cancelling indicators or a centre stand either. No satnav, no ABS and no airbag either of course – and rather basic-looking passenger footpegs.
What you do get is the GL1800 frame, suspension and engine without the frills, so if you are solo rider that might do nicely for significantly less money. The silly little windscreen might not suit you in a European climate and it makes you wonder why the Deluxe Model F6B comes with heated grips, but you’ll probably be able to fit a proper GL1800 windscreen without difficulty. No rear speakers but there is an FM radio and a connection for your MP3 player.
There are only two colours on offer, red and black in either model. And the black one is very black indeed, because the engine’s valve covers are black, as are a few other bits of plastic. If you want sinister, the black F6B might be your cup of tea.
HondaUK have now confirmed to me that this model will not be sold in UK, even though it is available in Germany.
Will we see an F6b in UK? Almost certainly because personal imports of F6Bs will be perfectly legal from the US as well as Germany and there are people who will help you bring them in. There will be Wingers somewhere in UK as well as Europe rushing to buy one and get it over here in time for the first Treffen of the 2013 season!
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This article will be updated as further information emerges. Please also read the Comments for updates.
Latest information is that the F6B will be sold widely across Europe but not in Scandinavia or UK. Why not in UK? HondaUK probably didn’t want it because they only sell a small number of GoldWings and didn’t want the complication of an extra model, simple as that. They might be open to changing their mind if enough interest is shown by UK riders.
There is a single EU Model and it’s viewable on the Honda Germany website and in some video coverage of the Milan Bike Show (in French). It will be available in red or black in Europe with ABS as standard but no passenger seat back, which will probably be an optional accessory. No heated grips either. No information yet about whether a centre stand or self-cancelling indicators are fitted. It’s a specially built EU model (because it’s got ABS and the US Models don’t) and so it will probably have a standard EU Model GoldWing radio fit (except rear speakers) and therefore no option to fit the Hondaline CB radio.
No price for Europe yet but probably the usual pound for dollars, so about £20,000 and £4,000 less than the “proper” GoldWing.