• 2004 Honda Silverwing

    Honda Silver Wing

    Not being very technical, I must admit I “borrowed” some of this info from Motorcycle Dailey’s review; but added my own experience and comments, too.

    The Silver Wing is a big scooter. It has a dry weight of 476 pounds (over 500 with fluids), a 14” front tire and a 13” rear tire, and a huge, very comfortable dual seat. The 582 cc parallel twin-powered Silver Wing can do many things as well as a motorcycle, and some things better (such as carry your stuff in the huge trunk). This baby is big and can hang in there with the big-boys surprisingly well. But, it is an automatic and not a sport bike.

    Let's talk about the technical stuff. The Silver Wing engine is a double-overhead cam, parallel twin displacing 582 cc, and producing 48 horsepower at 7500 rpm, with 37 pound/feet of torque at 6,000 rpm. This gives you quick and strong acceleration and great freeway cruising. That power gets to the Silver Wing's rear wheel via Honda's "V-Matic" automatic belt-drive system. According to Honda, this system consists of three stages, including one for around-town cruising, one for moderate acceleration, and one that provides maximum power for full acceleration and top speed. When you ride the Silver Wing, you don't notice any of this stage stuff -- you just twist the throttle and it goes.

    The engine has fuel injection, an auto-enriching system so there’s no choke, two primary balancing shafts (canceling vibration in both the vertical and longitudinal axes), and even lightweight slipper pistons for quick throttle response and reduced friction (just like those pistons found in your latest-and-greatest sport bike).

    The Silver Wing handles very well. Although it has good stability (except, when pushed like a modern sport bike), those smaller wheels and tires make it feel quick and nimble. The powerful motor and surprising acceleration lets you carve through traffic on the street as well as most motorcycles -- better than many. The upright seating position contributes to this, giving you a comfortable and confident, view of those nasty cages you have to avoid (and pass). Leaving cages at stop lights is one of my simple little joys. They eventually catch up and pass me (I'm not that much of a speed demon).

    The Silver Wing has excellent linked, disc brakes. Having no clutch, and huge floorboards, the Silver Wing has both brakes operated with hand-controlled levers. Applying the rear brake with your left hand is a much more precise and tactile process than it is when you use your right foot (on a motorcycle). While your feet relax in one of several possible positions on the huge floorboards, your hands do all of the work (controlling rear brake on the left, front brake on the right and throttle with the traditional twist grip).

    The Silver Wing's great performance is found on freeways. The Silver Wing does it exceedingly well for a couple of reasons.

    First of all, the Silver Wing is very fast, and accelerates very well at freeway speeds (where the tachometer finds itself in the meat of the Silver Wing's power band). It will reach an indicated 120 miles per hour, and will blow by automobiles about as well as most motorcycles. I’ve had mine up to 95 mph with no problem. Personally, I doubt I’ll ever go 120. My comfort zone is 70-75 for touring. Passing, however, is no problem at high speeds.

    The other reason the Silver Wing excels on the freeway is its handling. Those quick, almost darty, moves on city streets calm themselves considerably at freeway speeds where the Silver Wing displays remarkable high-speed stability. As stated earlier, you can create some instability on the Silver Wing by over-riding it, but you have to try pretty hard. Speaking of suspension, the Silver Wing has close to five inches of travel both front and rear, similar to modern street motorcycle suspension travel. The rear suspension has five-position preload. Overall, the Silver Wing's suspension works well, and keeps the bike planted (contributing to the handling abilities discussed earlier), but higher speeds on rough pavement can make the rear suspension feel a bit harsh.

    The Silver Wing offers practicality, as well. It has a huge, 55-liter trunk underneath the seat that can hold two large helmets, and/or a bunch of other stuff. I’ve gotten two large leather jackets with winter liners, a rain suit, my full-face helmet, water bottle, baseball cap, gloves and a few other odds and ends in mine. There are also two glove boxes (one is lockable and quite large, the other is fairly shallow and held closed by a magnet).

    The stock seating is comfortable for both rider (the rider backrest is adjustable) and passenger, and wind protection for the rider is outstanding (you can keep your legs and feet entirely out of the wind and weather). A 12-volt outlet is included for your electrical accessories.

    Instrumentation is more thorough, and more legible, than most motorcycles. With analog speedometer and tach, you also get digital displays for odometer, twin trip meters, fuel, clock, and coolant temperature. Several indicator/warning lights (8 of them) are also included. I really like having a fuel guage, and the clock is handy, too.

    I get about 110-130 miles from the 4.2 gallon gas tank, depending upon riding conditions, before I need to refuel. The last bar on the gas guage blinks when you reach reserve.

    If you need it, the 60-plus liter of standard storage can be augmented with a top box attached to the luggage rack. There are also some soft saddle and tail bags that fit on sport bikes and work on the S’Wing as well.

    I really enjoy my S’Wing. It’s fun, practical, and very capable as a commuter and as a long-distance tourer. I really like its sport bike look, but don’t have to do any shifting. It’s fast, maneuverable, comfortable, and just plain fun. (Did I say that already?)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2004 Honda Silverwing started by MaxiScoot View original post
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