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.