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Souo flat-eight tourer one-ups Honda’s flagship Goldwing on every front.

The Souo flat-eight tourer has been launched in China. For decades Honda’s Goldwing has been synonymous with motorcycling excess, but the launch of Great Wall Motors’ Souo S2000 shoulders it aside by out-doing the Honda for excess on every front.

Launched in Beijing in ‘GL’ and ‘ST’ forms, the former rivals the Goldwing Tour, with a topbox and pillion armchair, while the latter is a slightly toned-down version with side cases only.

Since Souo wants to be a global player, competing with the very best in the market, it’s decided to start out with a model that targets Honda’s flagship Goldwing.

Souo flat-eight tourer

The Goldwing has six cylinders, so the Souo has eight. Honda’s range-topper measures 1833cc, so the Souo takes it to 2000cc. A Wing has a seven-speed DCT transmission, so the Souo has an eight-speed dual-clutch semi-auto of its own. Honda uses SOHC cylinder heads; Souo uses DOHC ones. The Souo S2000 is also longer, wider and taller than a Goldwing, and rides on a longer wheelbase.

The eight cylinders are arranged in a flat, boxer configuration, sitting above the transmission, and the whole lot slots into a cast aluminium chassis that features a Hossack-style double-wishbone front suspension system. 

While Souo hasn’t revealed detailed specifications, we can see that the Souo uses Brembo radial calipers.

Inspecting the controls on the handlebar and petrol tank reveals no shortage of tech. The actual control layout is nearly identical to the Goldwing’s, with a four-way pad on the left handlebar to navigate the huge TFT screen, as well as toggles for the electric screen and stereo volume, and a forefinger trigger and thumb button to snick up and down through the gearbox. The left controls also include a switch for the electric reverse gear and another to activate voice controls. A button on the right handlebar switches transmission modes, and another turns on the cruise control. There’s no clutch lever, of course, and no gear lever, as the Souo S2000 is DCT-only.

Souo flat-eight tourer 4

On the petrol tank there’s a rotary control for more functions, plus buttons for heated seats and handlebar, an electric parking brake and controls for the stereo and Bluetooth audio, as well as one for the auto headlights. There’s no sign of a front radar, but the mirrors contain warning lights as part of a blind-spot monitoring system.

The engine’s redline is a moderate 6000rpm and the speedo tops out at 240km/h. So, despite its two-litre capacity, the Souo seems to be tuned for torque rather than outright power. Souo has been quietly working on this new model for several years with production due to start later this year.


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