The 2012 Gold Wing looks slightly different, but it's basically the same as it has been since 2001. I have owned seven Gold Wings since the first new GL1000 I bought in 1975. That was a four cylinder naked bike, but was an amazing advance in motorcycle engines.
The 2012 still has the same 1832 cc six cylinder engine that is the heart of this great Honda motorcycle. I paid about $2,400 for that first Gold Wing brand new and now the base model lists for nearly ten times that at $23,199.
I traded a 2009 ST1300 ABS with just under 10,000 miles on the odometer. I live in hot, humid Savannah, Georgia and the ST just throws too much heat onto your legs in warm weather.
But I miss the smoother shifting transmission and compact feel of the ST. It's much more fun to ride than the Gold Wing, but the Wing is more comfortable.
I enjoy having cruise control, stereo, the extra storage capacity, and the sound of that powerful six cylinder engine, but I miss the sportiness of the ST.
The new Gold Wing has two tone paint for a different look and different saddle bags with a center tail light instead of lights on the bags. Supposedly better wind protection from the fairing, and supposedly a more comfortable seat, but so far I can't tell the difference.
I'll have to wait until I have an opportunity to go on a longer ride to see if the seat is actually more comfy. The 2005 I had was the most comfortable seat of any bike I've owned.
I rode nearly 1,000 miles on two separate days one week apart on that bike. I was tired, but my rear wasn't sore.
Also the 2012 Wing has a better suspension according to Honda. It does seem like a softer ride, but I can't tell a difference in handling yet.
Overall, I like the new look just because it looks different than previous models. It's still basically the same bike with a few more standard features than before.
It isn't nearly as hot to ride as my ST was because of the fairing and because the engine sits lower. I'll have to get used to riding a barge again. It's not as much fun to ride as the ST, but a lot more comfortable for long trips.
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