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Honda’s liquid-cooled Gold Wing is the first motorcycle with CarPlay

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CarPlay on two wheels

Photo: Honda

Apple’s CarPlay has slowly but surely clawed its way into the once locked-down infotainment systems of nearly 50 manufacturers, but this week it’s breaking totally new ground. That’s because Honda has unveiled the new 2018 version of the Gold Wing touring motorcycle: the first two-wheeler to feature CarPlay.

This being a motorcycle, there are some key differences in how CarPlay works. The rider can see it on a 7-inch LCD screen that’s on the small dash between the handlebars. Riders of the $23,500 (and up) Gold Wing will have to plug their iPhones in via USB in the trunk of the bike or in the storage compartment up front, according to Road Show, and then are required to pair a Bluetooth headset (either a standalone or one built into their helmet).

Photo: Honda

And unlike how it works in a car, riders won’t be able to interact with CarPlay using that LCD screen, since it’s not touch sensitive. Instead, they’ll have to use the directional pad on the left handlebar or a knob on the tank to jump around between maps, messages, and music.

Honda’s Gold Wing has been around since the 1970s, but the 2018 feels like it’s all about the future. It’s got a liquid-cooled flat six engine, an optional seven-speed automatic dual clutch transmission, and adaptive suspension. The Gold Wing even has keyless entry, which unlocks the bike’s compartments when you get close to it, and there’s an option for LED lights that will activate the same way, too. It doesn’t have everything, though; after all, Android Auto is missing. The blame for that goes to Google, at least according to Honda via Road Show.