2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B GL1800B/GL1800BD | First Look

The F6B: Honda’s Bagger Breakout

If Honda was looking to make an impact statement for 2013, score one for Big Red. In a bold attempt to tap into the bagger lifestyle crowd (hey, better late than never), the firm has decided to mess with one of its most sacred cows by releasing a blacked-out, slimmed-down version of the iconic Gold Wing.

Dubbed the F6B (Honda's late, great Valkyrie claims the first F6 designation), this post-modern bagger carries the basic chassis and six-cylinder engine of the standard 'Wing, but chops the top case and gains some mad styling in an effort to nab younger eyeballs. Honda claims the slenderized F6B weighs in at 842 lbs. (dry), so figure about 60 lbs. less than a standard 'Wing. Still pretty hefty.

Those large-capacity lockable bags get sleek lines and integrated mounting points, and, now sans the standard Gold Wing's top case, the F6B has room to squeeze in a unique tail section with grab handles, which also enhances the styling of the new gunfighter seat. Other contemporary cues come in the form of a shorty windscreen (goodbye, standard-issue barn door unit), a restyled lower cowl, and the now ubiquitous blacked-out treatment to engine, frame and wheels.

At its core, the F6B hews to 'Wing status quo, packing the PGM-FI enhanced inline six into a twin-spar aluminum frame connected to a five-speed transmission and shaft final drive. The 45mm cartridge fork remains, along with a single-sided swing arm and single rear shock with spring preload adjustment. Braking duties are handled by the now customary triple discs with three-piston calipers.

You can get the F6B in two flavors-a standard version or a deluxe model (with backrest, centerstand and heated grips). Is nothing sacred?

2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B GL1800B/GL1800BD
MSRP: $19,999 / $20,999 (Deluxe)
Colors: Black, red
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder
Displacement; Bore x Stroke: 1832cc; 74mm x 71mm
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two valves per cylinder
Transmission/ Final Drive: Five-speed /Shaft
Wheelbase: 66.5 in.
Rake / Trail: 29.15° / 4.3 in.
Seat Height: 29.1 in.
Fuel Capacity: 6.7 gal.
Curb Weight: 842 lbs.