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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Gang,
As you might have seen in other posts, I've been shopping for a bike to tour on. This forum has been unbelieveably helpful - thank you.

Even though I've decided on the Goldwing, one thing still eats at me (which is dumb, I know) - that the BMW K1600b has so much more horsepower. Honda seems to want to purposefully restrain their motor to use 87 octane fuel and caps the speed at 112mph.

Considering ONLY the marketing angle of this as Wing is plenty capable....why not just allow the bike to rev a bit more and eliminate the one advantage BMW seems to have (at least glaring advantage....I know the bags are slightly bigger, etc.)

The porsche 911 will Rev to 9k RPM the Goldwing is about 5.5k (give or take).

Horsepower is Torque * RPM/5252 - a wing stock is 130lbs * 5.5k = 136 (again...give or take)

The math doesn't make sense - horsepower should be 136 but, I think Honda and others are publishing 125hp. It makes me think they are deliberately downplaying the figure (or interfering in some way)

Back to the main point - the BMW k bikes claim 160hp, which on paper is materially higher than the GW.

If Honda allowed the engine to rev to 6.5k (just 1k more) - they would develop 160 hp (assuming the 130lb torque number)

1. Any thoughts on why they don't?
2. Would you be willing to pay for premium fuel for more power?

(I'm wondering about #2.....if most vote "no" - then the answer to #1 becomes self evident.)

Thanks for letting me waste your time as I'm enjoying my coffee!
 

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On #2 NO!
I've known individuals who've owned a BMW and they told me it was too expensive to own and hence I heard for the first time that BMW means Bring More Wallet. Honda also has a larger dealer network.
It looks like an F6B knock off, I'd rather have the Goldwing.
 

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maybe Honda just isn't interested in playing the HP game with the K1600 or any other bike
i already pay for premium fuel i ride a Honda ST 1300 and a BMW R1200 GSA and would have no problem riding a bike that used regular grade gas but i don't want the weight of a Wing
 

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What I would ask is how many k1600 are still on the road at 100,000 miles and how much did it cost getting there.
Now how many Goldwings are on the road at 100,000 miles and what did it cost getting there.
I like the fact that I don't have to worry about the grade of gas i need. I have ridden all over the US and Canada and am glad the grade of gas has never been an issue.
 

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2021 GL1800B
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TXLutzy, welcome to the fold. The Goldwing already has a lot more power than I need. I don't need more. I appreciate the reliability, massive amount of torque and yes, the ability to run on regular unleaded fuel.
 

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2018 DCT pearl Hawkeye blue
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Why would you need more power, torque, or speed than what a gold wing already has? Unless of course, you’re trying to commit suicide? LOL. I agree with low bar 100%.
 

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2003 Goldwing in Red (the fastest color)
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The wing was never meant to be the king of horsepower, they deliberately underdressed the engine to get the reliability that it is famous for. Yes they could with a couple tweaks near double the sixes power but longevity and reliability would suffer. The wing as designed meets the requirements of it's target market and running on regular is just the cherry on top.
 

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1996 Honda GoldWing Interstate, Candy Spectra Red, and of course, with drive shaft.
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It’s not about the speed, it’s about the style.

And by the way…horsepower is not torque. If you look at engine output specs, there’s a torque peak at an RPM much lower than the maximum horsepower, so your assumption that that number would hold at the higher rev is incorrect, or at least unfounded.
 

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Honda = Bike for the masses.

BMW = Yuppies.

I said it, if it offends anybody, oh well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It’s not about the speed, it’s about the style.

And by the way…horsepower is not torque. If you look at engine output specs, there’s a torque peak at an RPM much lower than the maximum horsepower, so your assumption that that number would hold at the higher rev is incorrect, or at least unfounded.
Concur. Horsepower is a by product of Torque using the formula above. The Wing hits peak torque very early....which we all love - but, crucially - holds that peak torque on nearly flat curve all the way to redline. At peak horsepower, which comes nearly at redline, the wing is still producing nearly peak torque.

So - while I haven't tested - my hypothesis was they could get another 1k RPM, while holding peak torque and improve the horsepower. Other than the larger side bags the 160 hp is (based on my research) the ONLY thing the BMW can hold over the goldwing. The GW is better at everything (my personal non scientific study also confirms this as well as many, many GW to K you tube comparisons).

Anyway - I was just curious why they (honda) - didn't do this.

I think the answer is here in the comments. The primary buying audience already feels like they have enough power. (which is odd, because literally every single auto manufacturers feels the need to increase power with each new model.....I ASSUME (dangerous, I know) - that it must be from their marketing)

Anyway, I appreciate the thoughts, best wishes in the New Year - I hope you all have a safe, happy and successfull 2022.

AND, thank you so much for the warm welcome and SIGNIFICANT help with my research!
 

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1996 Honda GoldWing Interstate, Candy Spectra Red, and of course, with drive shaft.
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I think the answer is here in the comments. The primary buying audience already feels like they have enough power. (which is odd, because literally every single auto manufacturers feels the need to increase power with each new model.....I ASSUME (dangerous, I know) - that it must be from their marketing)
Oh, it's very much about marketing...it comes from the same mentality that drives CPU clock speed numbers, or pixel count (which in the latter case ignores the size of the sensor's pixels, which therefore make it less sensitive) and so on.

I know I've red-lined my 1500's engine, more out of negligence than anything, accelerating on an on-ramp in first gear...my, what a thrill! So I can't really dismiss the drive for speed/horsepower (and to that end I'll apologize if I was being too dismissive) but as I said, the Gold Wing is all about comfort and style (to say nothing about reliablity, as Barry noted) and much less about who's going to win the standing quarter-mile.
 

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i bought the GW due to availability of parts and service and I liked it. The BMW’s cost more originally and has a stupid maintenance thing that can only be cleared by a $600 computer chip module you have to buy, or take it to the dealer every year. Having said all of that, the BMW GTL is incredible. Those Germans know how to build a engine and it handles like it’s on rails. All three bags come off. The bags are more usable and are designed to pack more plus you can pack them inside the house and walk out to the bike and latch them on. way cool. I believe the BMW still has engine cylinder steel sleeves. The GW 2018+ did away with that to save weight. The real reason why they limit the HP and rev’s is the whole engine block is aluminum. More horsepower more heat. Sure the 2018+ have a cylinder coating but I would rather Honda didn’t save weight there. BMW‘s are known to go way over 100K if you got the $ for the maintenance. Never thought of their owners as yuppies more like nerds.
Now the BMW Grand America doesn’t have the removable bags and the suspension is lowered. Looks better then the GTL but at a cost of handling and functionality. IMHO

Even Honda knows the BMW suspension is good that’s why Honda copied it 6 years after BMW released it in 2012
 

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I test rode the BMW once........................ "Way too fast for me" and does not have the comfy ride, that the GW has... That 1600cc Beem'rrrr would only get me a ticket for speeding... and it would be hard to ride it like YOU DIDN'T STEEL IT.. I like the relaxing way I can ride my GW at take off's w/o driving fast..........At 71 yrs old, I guess that I've learned that "speed" isn't cool any more....

Ronnie
12/30/21
 

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2001 GL1800, 2005 K1200LT, 2001 Ultra Classic (wife - 2001 800 Vulcan)
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Just my two cents for what it's worth...

I have three bikes (2001 Wing, 2005 K1200LT, and 2001 Ultra Classic), all similar, but absolutely different animals. Hard to compare them as they are distinctly different IMHO. They can technically all do the same thing, but I feel in different ways. The Ultra is a Cadilac, the Wing is a great "solid on the road" bulletproof commuter bike, and the K1200 is a nimble "high tech" machine. I enjoy all three for different reasons. I haven't tried the 1600 and don't know its power, but out of the three I have, the Wing is the most powerful (I'm not sure I need any more power for anything else). And as was said above by others, the BMW vastly outweighs the other two in maintenance costs (and I would assume this would carry over to the 1600 as well) - just hard to quit her... The Ultra is my "jump on, go for a cruise", "nostalgia" bike.

Woody
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Maybe my problem is context. After another round of test rides this holiday break (it's nice to be in Texas) - I determined the manual is definitely the version for me. However, I found neither to be particularly engaging rides. Both were smooth and comfortable, but not very exciting.

Perhaps it's because my daily ride is a tuned 2020 Triumph Speed Twin, which is now pretty close to 100hp and 100ft/lbs....all in a package that is about 420lbs.

By comparison, the goldwing is nearly 2x the weight with only 25% more power/Torque. Now, I fully concede these two bikes have different purposes....but, the GW six is so understressed it seems to be lacking character. It feels like the motorcycle equivalent of a Honda Accord. Comfortable, reliable but, no one is excited to drive them.

I'm a bit frustrated because I would like the Wing to be a bit more Mercedes AMG S-class. Comfortable, but also really hustles and is "sort of exciting" to drive.

I guess I've learned a bit about me in this whole process. It's odd to be in a position to afford the top of line motorcycle - but not motivated to buy.
 

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It’s a lot of coin to drop if you are not in love with your purchase. I hope you find the “one”. For me I already did.
 

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I think these posts about Wing performance really miss the point!

A flat six cannot achieve the power to weight ratio that some of other engine configurations are capable of, but it is perfectly balanced as well as having other advantages which make the Wing what it is.

Compared to a real performance bike such as Honda's own Fireblade, the Wing is hopelessly slow and nothing you could do to it could ever possibly make it competitive, but you sure could ruin the bike's excellent qualities and make it unreliable.

Personally, I prefer to enjoy a leisurely ride and staying out of the hospital, thank you!

One last point, many years ago an engineer friend of mine explained why the bike he prepared was winning races. He joked that the competition was making their bikes slower by hopping them up! Seat-of-the-pants testing clearly demonstrated that the competition's bikes were way faster, but they had a peaky torque curve so no rider could keep the transmission in the correct gear, thus his average speed would always be slower than the lower horsepower bike with the flat torque curve. This is one of those things that most people never figure out, but Honda has used to win so many races!
 
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