Is the Honda Gold Wing a Good Beginner Motorcycle?

“The Gold Wing is like a Honda Civic on two wheels,” my friend told me. He was referring to the gargantuan size of Honda’s flagship touring motorcycle, which is popular among avid riders that like to cruise down highway stretches as opposed to cutting up canyon roads. But my friend’s analogy made me wonder: Is the Honda Gold Wing a good bike for beginning riders?

The Honda Goldwing has everything you need in a motorcycle

A Honda Gold Wing DCT sitting on the side of the road
Honda Gold Wing DCT | Honda

If you are a beginner rider and are curious as to what tourer bikes have to offer, then you’ll find a lot to like in the 2021 Honda Gold Wing. For this model year, the Gold Wing offers riders a larger trunk capacity, more seat comfort, and an upgraded audio system. What’s even better for newer riders is that it’s easy to find a Gold Wing model that best fits them as there are five different trim levels to choose from: Gold Wing, Gold Wing Automatic DCT, Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour Automatic DCT, and Gold Wing Tour Airbag Automatic DCT.

No matter which trim level the rider chooses, every Gold Wing model comes standard with a 1,833cc flat-six engine that’s mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic DCT transmission, anti-lock brakes, and four different ride modes. The only notable variations between each trim level are the addition of a 61-liter storage compartment, a DCT transmission, and an airbag. Other new improvements for the 2021 model include upgraded 45-watt speakers, a standard XM radio antenna, and Android Auto/Apple Carplay connectivity, reports Cycle World.

Considering everything that the Gold Wing comes with, it’s easy to see that the touring bike offers a lot of what most new riders would want to comfortably cruise down the road. The automatic transmission makes it easy to learn on, there’s enough storage space for two full-face helmets, and its large size makes it easy to turn and maneuver.

The Gold Wing is great for cruising, but it’s really heavy

Two riders on a Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT Action riding down the road
Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT Action | Honda

Although a Honda Gold Wing has a lot to offer in terms of power and features, new riders should keep in mind that it’s a heavy bike. Tipping the scales at nearly 850 pounds, the Gold Wing is almost twice as heavy as most sport bikes. That means if you happen to tip it over, then you could have a tough time getting it back upright.

Additionally, the folks at Wing Stuff pointed out that the Gold Wing’s large size and power can actually make it tougher for new riders to learn on. Instead, they recommend that beginners start on a smaller bike with less power since it will be more manageable and easier for newbies to get familiar with the new experience of riding a motorcycle.

Another tip that they recommend is for a new rider to take a course that includes Honda Gold Wing bikes. That way, they can get used to the bike in a safer setting as opposed to going all-out on the street and possibly getting into trouble.

The Honda Gold Wing isn’t meant for everyone

Honda Gold Wing Tour Cockpit
Honda Gold Wing Tour Cockpit | Honda

While some avid motorcyclists and Internet stories will say that the Honda Gold Wing is not a good starter bike — or that it should be reserved for retirees and boomers – we say that if you want one, then get one. Just remember that if you’re a smaller or lighter rider, then a large bike like the Gold Wing might not be the best bike to start with. But if you’re dead set on buying a touring bike and think that you can manage its size, then it’s hard to beat the reliability of a Gold Wing.

However, do keep in mind that the 2021 Honda Gold Wing starts at $23,900, which is a lot to spend on a motorcycle. But if that price tag is a little too high for you, then you can always buy a 2022 Honda Civic instead. At least it comes with a bigger trunk and more airbags.

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