The New 2018 Gold Wing: What We Got Right, What We Got Wrong

The New 2018 Gold Wing: What We Got Right, What We Got Wrong

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Last week we were so ecstatic about the prospect of a new Gold Wing, we took it upon ourselves to generously speculate on all the changes and updates. If you didn’t catch it, you can read it here: The New 2018 Goldwing: Breaking Down the Specs (We Think). Now that Honda has revealed both the Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour (read more on that here: 2018 Goldwing Tour Officially Announced), we’re going to play a little Monday Morning Quarterback and review what predictions we got right, what we got wrong and what we totally missed. So without further ado…

What We Got Right

Power Windshield – Ok, this one was kind of obvious with the leaked images. There’s no way Honda was going to hide this feature.

 

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Suspension – A brand new, unique double-wishbone front-suspension design and Pro-Link® rear-suspension. What we didn’t know at the time was that Honda used Showa shocks and, for the upper-end Tour models, there’s an electric preload adjustment. The rider can easily and conveniently choose the corresponding preload setting to match their load: Rider only, Rider & Luggage, Rider and Passenger or Rider, Passenger and Luggage.

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Heated Seat and Grips – The heated seats are only available on the Tour Trim.

Smart Key – As we anticipated, when your key (fob) is close to the Wing, you are able to simply jump on, press a button and ride. What we couldn’t tell from the image was that the key-fob also houses an “answer back” feature to help us forgetful folks find our lost Wing by flashing the hazards! That’s pretty sweet.

DCT Automatic + Manual Options – All the reviews we’ve scoured so far seem to speak highly of the new Gold Wing’s 7 speed DCT Automatic. Just as we hoped, Honda is still offering a six speed manual option as well.

Self-Cancelling Signals

Ride Modes – With the 2018 Gold Wing, as we rightly assessed, you will have several riding modes to tailor your riding experience depending on specific riding conditions. They are Tour (the default mode), Sport, Econ and Rain Mode.

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What We Got Wrong

Driver Assist – We really wanted this to be true. But sadly, none of the Honda Sensing technology is included in the new Wing. We made a handful of predictions relating to this, including a stick shaker, the vent looking thing on top of the dash (still unsure what that is) and a couple buttons on the left handlebar controls. No Adaptive Cruise Control (although there is standard CC), Lane Assist and the like. The button we assumed was either Driver Assist related or Reverse turned out to simply be a “Home” button and the one below it is the “Back” button, which we got right. As a side note, the leaked pics didn’t have the CB controls to the right.

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“Speak” Button – From what we’ve read so far, it looks like this button will simply answer and end calls (which we did get right), but will not accept voice commands. Let us know if you read differently.

Ride Height Adjustment/Auto Braking Button – Both of the switches at the bottom of the lefthand controls relate to the new Wing’s “Reverse” function. Additionally, we thought the icon on the dash of the man sitting was the bike’s indicator for ride height adjustment. In reality, it relates to Suspension Preload adjustment. The new Gold Wing Tour’s suspension features four electronically adjustable modes for varying loads. You can select (1) Rider, (2) Rider with loaded bags, (3) Rider and passenger, and (4) Rider and passenger with loaded bags.

Camera On Trunk – What we thought was some sort of backup camera turned out to be a rack/brake light. Not as tech but certainly just as crucial.

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What We Totally Missed

It goes without saying that we were limited by the handful of images that were leaked. So there was no way we could guess all the new updates to the redesigned Gold Wing. But we did our best. With that said, here are some things that we totally missed:

It’s lighter all around, shedding 80+ pounds compared to the previous model

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New Gold Wing Logo – It makes sense that Honda would revamp their iconic Gold Wing logo seeing as how the 2018 Wing is totally redesigned. In the leaked images, the new logo was definitely subtle, but it was there. Surprisingly, we haven’t heard any chatter as far as what the Gold Wing community thinks of it. We’re curious to know your thoughts.

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Apple CarPlay – To be fair, there was no indication from the leaked photos that Apple CarPlay was going to be integrated. We did think it would have the ability to pair via Bluetooth, but this is on a whole new level! This will be the first motorcycle with CarPlay. Go Honda! If you have an iPhone, this feature will allow you to access Apple Music and Maps, make phone calls, and send messages, all through the bike’s TFT display or with your voice via Siri. Keep in mind that CarPlay will require you to have a Bluetooth headset. Interestingly, the Android Auto has not been integrated.

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Walking Mode –  This allows for slow, creeping speed ideal for negotiating a tight parking space. With Walking Mode, one clutch enables forward movement and the other clutch enables rearward movement. In either direction, engine speed is controlled by the Gold Wing’s new throttle-by-wire system, and clutch engagement is ideally modulated. Walking Mode speeds are limited to 1.1 mph (1.8 km/h) in forward direction and .75 mph (1.2 km/h) in reverse direction, with the rider easily controlling the system through paddle shifters on the left handlebar switch.

Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) – This feature helps the rider manage rear wheel slip. It calculates the slip ratio of the rear wheel by measuring the vehicle-speed signal of the non-contact ABS wheel-speed sensors. When slip is detected, the system steps in through adjustments to the throttle valve and fuel injection, in combination. HSTC is available on all Gold Wing Tour models.

Hill Start Assist – This is another first for the Gold Wing. Simply put, it makes it easier to continue riding after stopping on an upgrade. When HSA is engaged and the rider releases the brake, the ABS modulator generates hydraulic pressure on the rear brake caliper and the motorcycle will not roll backward if the rider uses the throttle to move forward within three seconds. An HSA indicator will light up on the right side of the Gold Wing’s new 7-inch LED display throughout the process.

Home Link System – When your ride has come an end (or when it’s starting) this is a nice feature to have. It pairs with a garage-door opener so you can open and close it with the push of a button on your Wing. To be fair, the leaked image of the center console didn’t include an icon for this option, but the new ones do.

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Ergonomic Improvements – The handlebars have been moved forward and the footrests moved back. The narrower design in the rider area makes it easier to put your feet down at a stop.

So there you have it. Some things we nailed, others we whiffed on and there were a few things that completely escaped our notice. Either way, this new Wing is looking better and better and we can’t wait to get our hands on one!

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The New 2018 Goldwing: Breaking Down the Specs (We Think)

The New 2018 Goldwing: Breaking Down the Specs (We Think)

As we move closer and closer to the expected announcement of the newly redesigned Honda Goldwing (and feeling rather confident, at this point, that the rumors are true) WingStuff.com has taken it upon itself to delve in to the images that are available online and break down what we think will be on the new bike. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the leaked pictures that were released last month and generously speculate on what we all can expect to see on the new Wing. To be clear, this isn’t inside information. Or is it? Just kidding, it’s not. We are all so excited for the release (fingers crossed). I mean really excited. Next week, once the bike is actually announced, we will post a follow-up article to this one where we will examine what we got right, what we got wrong, and what we totally missed. So keep an eye out.

Front End

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Power Windshield – This front facing image clearly shows us that the new Wing will have a power windshield! More circumstantial evidence to support this later.

You can also see the back of the mechanism at the top of the dash that may or may not have to do with some kind of Driver Assist. Some think it’s just venting. In this image it’s flush with the dash, but in a later picture you will see it raised. We talk more about it below. If it is, in fact, some sort of sensing device similar to what is in Honda’s cars then there would probably be an additional sensor somewhere on the front , possibly in between the headlights?

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With the body of the bike removed and the guts revealed we start to get a better idea of the technology that Honda has put in to their redesign. It looks to have what is called a stick shaker, which further supports the idea that it has something similar to the Honda Sensing technology. In other words, the new bike would have the ability to see the lane ahead and keep you from drifting out of it. If not that, perhaps it’ll include some form of adaptive cruise control.

Its flat-six engine and twin-spar frame look the same, but the Hossack-style front suspension is new.

Display Control Panel

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It looks like the new Wing will have heated seat and grip options as evidenced by the buttons at the bottom left and right. The bottom center button will alternate between your headset and speakers. We expect the bike to have integrated bluetooth as well, but hopefully it will also still offer a corded headset option for those of us who like to plug in directly.

At the top of the console where the key usually goes there is an on/off and accessory nob. To us, this is the most interesting part of this section. We think this bike will be keyless. You will probably have a fob that it will sense and you will simply mount your Wing, turn it on and ride. It’ll be that easy.

Right Handlebar Controls

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We can see there will be your typical cruise control buttons and 4-way or hazard lights. Of course, there will also be the kill-switch. But the intriguing buttons, for us, are the ones in the middle. Although it’s difficult to clearly see the letters/symbols, by taking a closer look and comparing this with Honda’s Africa Twin, we anticipate the 2018 Wing to at least have the option of a DCT Automatic. You’ll be able to choose between manual and automatic and drive or sport mode. The manual mode, of course, will involve the use of paddle shifters as evidenced on the left handlebar controls below.

This raises a couple questions. Will there still be a traditional, true manual option? Current motorcycle trends (and one image below) suggest that they will offer both but I guess we’ll just have to wait a whole agonizing week to find out. Secondly, will it be a five speed or a six?

Left Handlebar Controls

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The left side has a lot more going on. In the center we see a cluster of buttons that will control your music, maps, CB and the like. You also have your left and right signals below, which will be self-cancelling. We think the topmost right button will be for the power windshield.

To the left there is the horn and a phone and/or “speak” button which will allow you to make and receive phone calls. We’re hoping it’ll be able to pair via bluetooth to our phones. The “speak” ability, which is common in many cars, allow the rider to speak commands rather than using a touch screen display. For example, if you want to listen to a particular radio station you would hit the “speak” button then say AM 710 and it would go to that station. Or you could say “Call WingStuff” and it would place the call. You get the idea. Of course, you would likely need an integrated headset to make it work while on the road, but it would make multitasking on the go more convenient and a lot safer.

You can also see a thumb-activated downshifter on the bottom left. Most likely, if the Africa Twin is any indication, the index activated upshifter will probably be on the front side.

Then there are a few “mystery” switches that we’re not too sure about. There’s the rocker switch, top left, whose symbol looks to be a straight line. We think it’s to raise and lower the contraption above the dash that we mentioned earlier (more on that below). To the right of the music/maps control cluster there looks to be some sort of rider assist button. It could be one of a few things: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) System or maybe a Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System. It’s hard to tell.

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Or it could just be the reverse button, which is probably more likely since it does kind of look like an “R”. Just below that there looks to be a return/back button. Then there is the rectangular looking switch. No idea what that is. At the bottom there is a button with a Goldwing symbol which will be either ride height adjustment or
maybe auto braking. Again, the icons are so small it’s hard to tell.

On To the Dash

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Here we see several LED displays which give the rider a wealth of information right in front of them. In the center is the main display which will house maps, radio/music, etc. Just to the right of that there’s another display that says “TOUR.” With a DCT the rider will be able to set different modes depending on what kind of riding they plan on doing (Touring, Sport, Eco. etc.) for greater control. To the right of that you can see an icon of what looks like a man sitting. This probably has to do with ride height adjustment. Another thing to note is that because the dash extends farther out, the speakers are placed a bit lower than the ones on the previous model.

For this section, the thing that grabs our attention most is the vent looking piece on top of the dash. What is that? Is it really just some vents? As we noted earlier when examining the left control, we think this is some sort of radar, camera or combination of the two to capture the lane ahead, much like how Honda Sensing works in their cars.

In the image below we see it in the raised position

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There will be a driver backrest available and the passenger backrest seems to be much higher.

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In this image, there looks to be a clutch lever, which lends to the belief that the new Wing will come in two different iterations: DCT or true manual. However, it might just be a parking brake like the DCT Africa Twin has.

On the top of the trunk there is a mysterious piece that could be some sort of camera. We’re not entirely sure about that.

The list goes on and on. There are so many updates and improvements it’s hard to keep track. And that’s only from what we’ve seen from these images. What are you most excited about? Are there things you think we missed? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

Wingin’ It: Picking Up Your Fallen Wing

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Disclaimer: WingStuff.com strongly recommends that you DO NOT try to lift your Goldwing to an upright position on your own, especially if you have a history of health issues (back, knee, etc.) or are currently experiencing health problems. Ask for help. The following article (including videos) is for entertainment only. It is not authorized technical data. 

In a recent post, It’s All About Safety: Why We Crash – How One Study Can Help Us Ride Safe, we discovered that a lot of motorcyclists tend to drop their bikes at some point. At least that’s what this study suggested. This also happens to be a big fear for some Goldwing riders, understandably so, since it’s so heavy. Some may feel a certain amount of embarrassment, but you are not the first nor the last to do it.

Another aspect to accidentally dropping your Wing is the damage it may cause. You love your Goldwing and want to keep it in pristine condition for as long as humanly possible. To be honest, when laid down there will most likely be some degree of damage but usually pretty negligible. We’re talking about dropping it at low or no speed here. More often than not, your Wing will make contact with the ground in two spots: the engine guard and crash bar.

The first thing to keep in mind when dropping your Wing is that it’s not that big of a deal as long as you and your co-rider are okay. As I stated above, lots of Wingers have done it, even more are afraid of doing it and plenty riders will do it in the future. There are even a handful of YouTube videos about it with millions of views so that should tell you something. We’ve included them in this blog. These clips do a bang-up job explaining how to lift your Wing to its upright position so take a look and let us know what you think!

As always, ride safe!
WingStuff.com

19 of the World’s Weirdest (Or Coolest) Motorcycles

19 of the World’s Weirdest (Or Coolest) Motorcycles

The world is full of creative engineers, forward thinking artists, and out-of-the box designers. At the same time, it seems that so many people are simply not satisfied with the status quo. Add those together and throw in the main ingredient, bikes, and you get some of the most unusual – and in some cases, fake – motorcycles out there, in no particular order. But admit it, you wouldn’t mind test-riding, if not owning, some of these, would you?

Can’t get enough of crazy cool unique bikes? Check out our first edition, 39 of the World’s Weirdest (or Coolest) Motorcycles. Thirsty for more? Here’s Volume 2 & Volume 3. Without further ado, here’s our fourth edition of the World’s Weirdest (or Coolest) Motorcycles:

#19: The My Little Pony

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#18: The Wallclimber

 

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#17: The Bi-Car Bike

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#16: The Sabertooth-Cycle

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#15: The Cycle Shop Cycle

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#14: The Guitar-Cycle

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#13: The “MowerCycle”

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#11: The Steed

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#10: The Egyptian

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#9: The Ford-Wing

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#8: The Ghost Rider

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#7: The Dark Knight

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#6: The SkeleCycle

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#5: The Showboat

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#4: The Smoker-On-Wheels

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#3: The Gatorator

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#2: The Prehistoric

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#1: The Goldwing Custom Trike

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Tell us what you think? Which was your favorite? Do you have any photos of motorcycles that might content with the Weirdest (Or Coolest) in the world? Let us know! We’d love to hear your feedback.

Can’t get enough of the World’s Weirdest (or Coolest) Motorcycles? Check out our first edition HERE!

Could the Next Honda Goldwing be a Hybrid?

Could the Next Honda Goldwing be a Hybrid?

According to RideApart, Honda recently filed a new patent for a motorcycle trike with a Hybrid engine. The design drawings submitted show the front wheels lo oking somewhat similar to the Can-Am Spyder but the overall look is even closer to the Piaggio MP3.

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This newest development causes us to ask…what’s next? If Honda is able to master a hybrid engine in a new three-wheel bike, how long will it be until they put one into our beloved Goldwing? Of course, it would still need to be powerful and efficient, but imagine being able to ride even longer between fill-ups. As the article from RideApart states, that could be a “true game changer.”

Over a year ago, in April of 2016, MotorcycleNews.com published an article which discussed the possibility, based on previous patents submitted by Honda, of a Goldwing Hybrid option for the next generation bike. According to the article, “The hybrid version removes the front two cylinders from the engine, leaving a 1200cc flat-four, and in their place puts a large generator unit, bolted straight to the crankshaft. This unit harvests electricity when the engine is on the overrun or the bike is slowing down, storing it in relatively small batteries and then reusing it when it’s needed for acceleration. The overall length of the engine and generator is virtually the same as the normal six-cylinder unit, allowing it to be fitted into the same chassis, and should provide similar performance while offering increases in economy and fuel range.” You can read the full article here.

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The benefits of a hybrid engine are numerous. In the long run, you’d save a decent amount of change on gas, contribute less CO2 emissions, and release less exhaust into our environment. In addition, the rider would likely experience instant torque and, given that the Goldwing is a top-of-the-line motorcycle, we probably wouldn’t see diminished performance. Likely, the cost to buy a new hybrid Wing would be greater than if it was a traditional engine, but state and federal tax credits will help offset that. Although not always the case, hybrid vehicles also tend to have higher resale values than their traditional counterparts. It would be a win/win/win!

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What do you think about a hybrid Wing? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

For the full details regarding the new patent and design, check out the RideApart article: Honda Hybrid Electric Three Wheel Vehicle On the Way?

Road Trip Preppers: Summer Riding Edition

Road Trip Preppers: Summer Riding Edition

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Summer is fully upon us and what better time to take your Goldwing on a nice, long road trip! We all know that there’s nothing else like life on the open road, especially on your Wing. The only questions to ask yourself now is, “Where to?” and “What to bring?”

Now, we’re sure many of you have already been on one or more trips so far and others who have already planned your summer trip and are eagerly awaiting the big day. If that’s you, feel free to sound off in the comments section below and help out other riders out there who may have the road trip itch but aren’t quite sure where they want to go. Let us know where you’ve traveled/plan on traveling this riding seasoned any other insights you want to offer.

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Obviously, when planning your trip it’s important to bring the right stuff. Although it sounds appealing in theory to simply hop on your bike and hit the road, we all know that a successful venture begins with a bit of proper planning. Below, we’ve added a sampling of great travel items that we suggest for your next adventure, just to get things started, but what else would you suggest? What are your essential “must haves” that you won’t leave home without? Let us know in the comments section below.

Beverage-Butler    HyperKewl-Vest    SafeRider-Travel-Kit

Polar-Bear-Cooler    HyperKewl-Neck-Tie    SafeRider-Emergency-Kit

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Short or far, it’s all about the ride, the experience, the memories and the destination. Ride safe and have a great summer!

Life is All About Balance: Why Centramatic Might Be the Right Fit For You

Life is All About Balance: Why Centramatic Might Be the Right Fit For You

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Traditionally, most of us probably grew up with the notion that, when balancing tires, we needed to have lead weights in them. It’s true that when they first leave the shop your new tires ought to be in perfect equilibrium, but as soon as they get some mileage they can quickly lose balance, even with the lead weights. Enter Centramatic Wheel Balancers, who has been a world leader in onboard wheel balancing for over 24 years. Centramatic is on a completely different level than traditional tire balancing solutions and here’s why.

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First, the balancing discs are permanently mounted to your wheels. You install them once for the life of your Goldwing. You read that right. Whenever you’re riding they are continuously and dynamically working to keep your tires balanced. Time for new tires? No problem. Simply keep the Centramatic discs on your wheels, replace the tires, and keep on riding mile after mile.

Second, mounting them is a breeze. The ideal time to install them is when getting new tires. Take the old tires off along with your wheels, mount the balancers behind the rotors (no pre-balancing required), put the new tires on and you’re ready to roll!

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Having this product on your motorcycle will allow your tires to develop wear evenly, reducing the occurrence and sensation of tire cupping and erratic wear. As a result, the life of your tires will be drastically extended by 25% to 50%! Customers consistently tell us they get about 20,000-30,000 miles out of their tires since installing CentramaticsWhen you invest in these you will also experience lower tire temperatures by 8% to 10%, improved braking, increased stability, reduced vibration and increased tire footprint & grip on turns. And the 5 year unlimited mileage warranty certainly doesn’t hurt!

You may be wondering at this point, “How do they work?” Good question! Each disc is equipped with on-board centrifugal balancers made with lead free durametal balancing media, which might sound complex but the process is quite simple, really. As the wheel turns, the balancers inside each disc ring naturally position themselves in the optimal spot to keep the entire assembly balanced. If there’s an imbalance on a particular area of the tire, for example, the balancers will shift to the opposite site of the imbalance, immediately restoring equilibrium.

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We all know that the Goldwing is already one of the best handling motorcycles in the world, but when adding Centramatic to it you quickly realize an improvement. Whether you ride frequently (daily commuter), occasionally, or love a nice long road trip you can’t help but appreciate this. The type of riding the Goldwing community enjoys – taking week long trips covering thousands of miles – lends itself to Centramatic Balancers because the ride is more fluid, the tires last longer, rider & co-rider fatigue is lessened, handling is better and the overall experience is more enjoyable.

If you ever thought your motorcycle couldn’t get any smoother, think again. Centramatic Wheel Balancers: The open road never felt so good!

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