Honda’s Goldwing is already an incredibly good touring bike, perhaps the best in the biz. It’s as big and heavy as it is comfortable for long distance rides. It hugs the road and hugs your booty in equal measure. It’s got Apple CarPlay (BikePlay?) and is available with a dual-clutch transmission. But you know what would make it even better? The additional all-electric range and improved fuel economy of a plug-in hybrid.
In a world where battery electric motorcycles exist in increasing numbers every day, and gas-powered bikes are better than ever, where are the hybrids? There have been hybrid automobiles for a couple of decades now, and the price to produce and develop this tech, not to mention the weight and size of motors, has all dropped precipitously. If we can buy it in something like an Accord, why not in the Goldwing?
The Goldwing is the perfect place to start, because it already weighs nearly 800 pounds in DCT guise, so the added weight of an electric motor and batteries wouldn’t be as unwelcome on something like this versus a sport bike. BEV technology hasn’t quite developed to the point where an electric touring bike is possible yet, but if you want a bike that has the best of both worlds, a few dozen miles of plug-in range for around town, plus long range fuel economy, PHEV is the answer.
I’d really love the ability to pop across town without needing to stop by the gas station, but then crank up the flat six engine for a nice comfortable cross-country ride on the same motorcycle. The Goldwing is already capable of 43-ish miles per gallon. With a 5.5 gallon fuel tank, that’s a theoretical range of 236 miles. With, say, 25 miles of pure EV range and an improved fuel economy up around 50, that could be punched way up to around 300 miles of range.
If you’re looking for a more environmentally responsible way to ride, but don’t want to shell out for a pure EV bike that isn’t capable of long-distance touring, this could be the best of both worlds. Especially if you only have room for one motorcycle in your garage, this could be your answer.
It’s a shame I went into writing about cars and bikes instead of product planning, because I’m obviously a genius at it and know way better than the manufacturers do.
Please, by all means, discuss.