Friday, March 18, 2011

Lipstick and Gluteoplasty

After a 10 year run, Honda has finally come out with a "new" Goldwing. Except when you delve deeper in the press release, you start to wonder what's so new about it. Obviously, there have been some aesthetic changes: the front fairing now has a "two-tone" paint scheme which apparently should channel the VFR1200 (yeah - right!) and the rear sidecases have been visually trimmed (although they have bigger volume).

What about the engine? Same old, same old...

The tranny? Nope...

But they must've finally added electric windshield adjustment? Not yet...

It almost gives the impression that Honda panicked a bit when BMW came out with their new (from the ground up) K1600GT and GTL. Even though the Beemer now seems to be in the lead for the title of ├╝ber-bagger, I'm not convinced that BMW will steal much business from Honda. Let's face it: most dyed-in-the-wool Goldwing fans will keep buying it as long as it offers a seating position reminiscent of a Lay-Z-Boy, more switches and knobs than an Airbus, and that big, flat-6 engine which puts many a four-wheeled people mover to shame.

Methinks BMW is starting to aim for a somewhat younger demographic - like the forty-something Gen-Xers who've grown up and are starting to see some light at the end of this long tunnel called recession. Those who still view the 'Wing as an "old man's bike" (regardless of the new Tupperware) and want something a little (teenie bit) more lithe. Sure, many fans of the now discontinued K1200LT (i.e. Light Truck) were disappointed that the new inline-sixers don't have electric centerstands or - gasp - a reverse gear, and I'll admit those were cool farkles... but have you guys seen that trick self-adjusting headlight?!? Besides, the K1200LT never really had a strong "personality" other than it's creature comforts... The sound alone from the new inline-6 at redline should be enough to convince any performance-hungry motorcyclist to fork out the 20-grand (or sell some non-vital organs to help finance their folly).

Anybody looking for a slightly used and abused kidney?

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