1. You know how we are. If it was made lighter we would still have a tendency to over-load it.I just completed a 4000 mile trip on my recently acquired GL1800. It's definitely a better bike than my GL1500 but ...
I have some suggestions for the next gen goldwing:
1. make it lighter so it's not overloaded with 2 adult americans (who tend to be kinda fat) and a weeks worth of touring gear.
2. match a smaller engine (like an opposed 4) with a CVT. A CVT properly mated to the engine gives a very close approximation of "big block" torque without the weight and poor fuel economy. (yes I like to shift too but I'd gladly give up shifting if it saved weight.)
3. add an elec. adjustable windshield.
4. make it simpler. REDUCE the parts count. Reduced part counts typically yield a proportional savings in manufacturing cost.
5. incorporate the equivalent of "air wings" and "hand wings". I had these add-ons on my bike and they greatly increased our comfort level on a trip that included 39 degree mornings (michigan U.P.) and 90 degree afternoons (North Carolina). In particular the lower wings ability to blow some of the warm air from the radiators back to the rider was surprisingly effective.
6. either eliminate the seat so the rider can buy one that is actually comfortable all day or learn how to make one and include it with the bike. It's absurd that an aftermarket seat is necessary on a $20,000+ touring bike.
all that said the GL1800 is the best touring bike I've owned so far ...
2. The GL1800 engine design is as good as it gets and has plenty power with the current technology. The leg and foot room only need some more refining.
3. Too many gadgets now.
4. Can't reduce the parts count if we continue to want more toys.
5. Everyone may not want air-wings.
6. It would be extremely difficult to make a seat that everyone would like. A lot of folks may not want to spent the high $$$$ on an aftermarket seat.
Having said all of that, I am on my 8th Gold Wing and my 7th new one and have been fairly pleased with the improvement through the years that Honda has made. Of course I'm the sort of guy that likes thing simple.