By Dennis Chung
Last week, Honda announced updates for the 2021 Gold Wing, with the highlights being more powerful speakers and a larger trunk and passenger backrest for the Gold Wing Tour. But there was one new feature the Gold Wing did not receive: adaptive cruise control.
Not for lack of trying, however. Honda has filed multiple patents for including the radar-based technology on the Gold Wing. Designed for soaking up miles in comfort, the ‘Wing is an obvious candidate to receive adaptive cruise control, and with the technology now starting to proliferate in motorcycles, it was somewhat of a surprise that the radar technology was not a part of the updates.
There may be a few reasons for that. Chiefly, Honda needs to work out an arrangement with a supplier for the radar sensors, and currently, Bosch is the main brand for motorcycle radar systems. The two companies already have a working relationship (Bosch supplies its radar technology for Honda’s cars), so coming to terms on a deal for Honda’s motorcycles shouldn’t be too difficult.
One possible hurdle may be Kawasaki, which announced in November 2019 that it would be the first Japanese manufacturer to make use of Bosch’s technology “starting in 2021.” The press release didn’t say it explicitly, but the implication is Kawasaki may have secured the rights to be the first among the Japanese brands to use Bosch’s radar systems. Kawasaki hasn’t announced a radar-equipped bike yet (the Ninja H2 SX would be a prime candidate), so it’s possible Honda may have to wait its turn.