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2013 Honda F6B Review: Riding Honda's Stripped Down Gold Wing Bagger


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Introduction: Deconstructing the 2013 Honda F6B
2013 Honda F6B Review

The Gold Wing-based, 2013 Honda F6B.

Photo © Basem Wasef
The Gold Wing has—for lack of a better term—been gold for the Honda Motor Corporation. Over a half million Gold Wings have been sold during the course of its 38 year lifespan so far, and though it’s no new kid on the scene, the current six-cylinder GL is still comfortable and touring savvy enough since it was introduced in 2001 to hold its own against BMW’s innovative K1600.

To squeeze some life out of Honda’s venerable but aging platform, the Japanese manufacturer has spun off a sportier, less touring-focused variant they’ve dubbed the F6B. Whether you call it a bagger or a chopped tourer, Honda hopes you’ll think of the F6B as “The Essence of Cool,” a phrase they’ve used in their marketing materials.

Marketing aside, the F6B is essentially a Gold Wing that’s been dropped, chopped, and de-contented. By ditching the top case and various hardware bits, 62 pounds of weight have been saved-- though the GL’s still no lightweight at a whopping 842 pounds (or 849 pounds for the Deluxe model, which adds a passenger backrest, centerstand, self-canceling turn signals, and heated grips.)

To make the transformation to F6B form, the Gold Wing’s electronic suspension was ditched for a ramp-style hydraulic spring setup, a la the ST1300. Ride height was lowered, and travel was minimally affected; it now measures 4.8 inches up front and 4.1 inches at the rear. Seat height drops half an inch to 28.5 inches, and the GL’s notoriously comfy saddle was traded for a thinner, “Gunfighter” style perch, which is essentially an angular interpretation of the typically curvy saddle. Niceties like cruise control have also been removed in favor of simplicity and a friendlier MSRP.

Other subtle styling tweaks include more visual exposure for the 1,832cc flat-six engine, a shorty windshield which complements the low-slung stance, new exhaust tips, and side mirrors which have been flipped upside down for a sleeker look.

The 2013 Honda F6B is available as a base model at a price of $19,999, or a deluxe model priced at $20,999—reflecting a $4,000 discount on the cheapest Gold Wing.

How does the F6B ride? Click “Next” to find out.

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