Initial Impression of 2018 Goldwing

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  • Cruiseman
    started a blog post Initial Impression of 2018 Goldwing

    Initial Impression of 2018 Goldwing

    I drove 3 hours yesterday just to test ride the new 2018 Gold Wing Tour DCT. When I arrived at Shawnee Honda in Shawnee, OK they were still servicing a blue 2018 DCT model for me to ride. After lunch, the bike was ready, and so was I. While I was waiting on the bike to be serviced, I had an opportunity to inspect a red Tour DCT model on the showroom floor.

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    My initial impression of the "looks" of the bike were overall favorable. My only big disappointment was in the quality of the paint. I cannot see any improvement over the 2012-2017 models. In fact, on one of the Tour models there was a pretty obvious flaw in the paint on the trunk lid.

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    It was hard to take a photo of under the showroom light, but it was substantial enough that you could feel it when you run your finger over it. It appeared to be some sort of contamination and it looks like they just clear coated over it and sent it out the door. If that were my bike, I would not accept delivery with a paint flaw like that. No excuse for a $28,000 motorcycle! My only other "negative" observation was that the center cubby door seemed flimsy and cheap.

    Apparently, Honda is trying to mitigate the problem with paint wearing on the saddlebags by applying a few strips of clear protection tape at the contact points. I guess they are reading the reviews.

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    If you look close on the leading edge of the saddlebag, you can see the clear protective film that Honda has applied.

    The trunk is definitely smaller. Honda's claim of holding 2 helmet is a fantasy. I can barely get 1 large and 1 small into my 2012 trunk. No way they are going to fit in this trunk. But, the saddlebags are not as cramped as I was expecting. They are smaller, but usable. I think it will take some re-thinking on how to pack the bike.

    Soon, I was ready to take the blue DCT out for a test ride.

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    The bike is definitely smaller than my 2012, but not "too" small. It is still a formidable touring bike. As I pulled out of the parking lot my instincts had me grabbing for the clutch lever that was not to be found. I did that a few times on this ride. I tested the DCT in each of the four modes. Tour is the default mode and it is a good all-around mode that will suit every day riding. Changing from Tour to Sport mode at 40mph will instantly downshift the bike into 4th gear from 7th. Shift points in Sport mode are much higher and throttle response is noticeably more aggressive. Overall, the DCT is VERY cool, VERY smooth and VERY responsive. I loved it.

    The 2018 is also quite a bit louder than previous models. On the highway at 70mph you can definitely hear a throaty roar coming from the exhaust. Probably not enough to be annoying, but definitely louder. The new suspension alone is worth trading up. The new front suspension soaks up bumps that would loosen your dental work on the previous Wing. I did not have an opportunity to test the handling on curves, but I am looking forward to that experience.

    The electric windscreen is another huge plus. I was impressed with how well the bike kept wind off of me. I did get a little more turbulence around the shoulders, but I am pretty sure wider aftermarket windscreens will address this.

    The mirrors are smaller, but rock solid at every speed. And, they are plenty large enough to give a good view of what's going on behind you.

    The bike feels only slightly more powerful than the 2012, probably due to the lower weight. I am 6' 2" tall with a 33" inseam and I was quite comfortable. I was afraid that I would feel cramped, but I think the legroom is about the same as my 2012. However, a rider backrest is a must as there is virtually no lower back support from the new seat. I found the seat to be comfortable, but a longer ride will tell the real story.

    Heated grips warmed up instantly and felt warmer than on my 2012. I think they have been improved.

    These are just a few of my initial impressions. I will add more later. Thank you to Jason at Shawnee Honda for arranging my test ride!



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    • Cruiseman
      #5
      Cruiseman commented
      Editing a comment
      I did not look. Sorry.

    • Guest's Avatar
      #6
      Guest commented
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      How hard will it be to change the air filter?

    • Cruiseman
      #7
      Cruiseman commented
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      Probably about the same as on a 2012-2017

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