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  • Question for the group

    I am on the fence about buying a 2018 GoldWing or a nicely farkled 2012-2017 GoldWing. Here's the background.

    I've been riding over 25 years. I have considerable long distance riding experience (probably 100,000 miles or so). Iron Butt member (entry level only). Since 2005, I have been a FJR 13000 owner and that's the bike on which I have done most of my riding. I am now 61. Wife is 59. I have recently lost my riding partner (older brother) due to health reasons among other things. I don't really like taking long trips by myself (I once thought I did) and I see no suitable riding partners in my field of view (I am not a pack animal). In 2013, I had some hip issues and thought I had "outgrown" the FJR so I got a low mileage Level III 2008 Gold Wing. It was a fine bike. I added a few features to it in an attempt to "make it mine" but I could not bond with it. I had a super successful hip replacement in 2014, and in that year, I sold the 2008 Level III Wing, and got a 2014 FJR, which I now own (and love). It is a great solo mount for me. But the fact is, the FJR is not a comfortable mount for two up riding for folks my and my wife's age. We are in good health but are not without our own continuing joint problems. Clearly, nothing beats a GoldWing for long distance comfort. I am pretty good at managing a passenger on a GoldWing. My wife claims she wants to ride with me on pillion, but not if it is the FJR. Selling the FJR and getting a comfortable touring bike is essentially her idea, much to my surprise. She says I should get a bike that I like riding solo but which allows comfortable two up riding as well.

    So I am (sadly) selling my FJR with an eye toward a GoldWing. A couple of weeks ago, I test rode the new Wing and the Yamaha Star Venture TC. I have ruled out the Yamaha. My wife liked the new Wing, but she also liked the 2008 Wing I had.

    So, a Gold Wing it is.

    Cannot decide which direction I want to go, however: New Wing or pre-owned Wing (2012 - 2017).

    I have been reading a lot about the new Wing, its advantages and limitations, and am fairly familiar with the features of the Wing series pre-dating 2018.

    I sense the following about the new Wing compared to the old Wing: Less comfortable for passenger and rider; less storage space; pricier (of course); less fuel capacity; better suspension; smoother and more refined transmission; speed limited; lighter; more eager acceleration; more refined powerplant; better stock lighting; updated electronics and rider interface package; no Android Auto capability. I am sure I am leaving out some things.

    I am pretty much convinced that Honda does not care about its policy of offering onboard GPS that no one really cares for. That appears to be a wash on the 2018 and pre-2018 designs.

    As an economic proposition, I feel like I could find a 2012-2017 Gold Wing, if I am patient, with just about every farkle I would want, for less money than an bone stock 2018 Gold Wing, and give up only that which is uniquely offered by the new design (suspension, onboard BT capability and electronics package, DCT (which I do not want) and the general "it" factor of having the latest technology Honda offers).

    Part of me thinks the 2018 Wing is just gorgeous and cool and I should get one, shut up and never look back. Part of me thinks that is shallow and that the pre-2018 Wing would do just fine for two up riding and that it would likely have features and add-ons that would cost additional thousands of dollars to have on the 2018 bike.

    I have to be honest too, that I was genuinely, perhaps irrationally, annoyed by the array of CB radio buttons and switches on the 2008 Gold Wing.

    Opinions invited. One way or the other, I am getting back into a Gold Wing, it appears. I am confident you guys will help me make a decision.

    (Let me know if anyone wants or knows someone who wants a truly great 2014 FJR 1300 ).

  • #2
    Go for the one that fits you pocket book best - Bike 12-17- (would not go to a lower year than 12) that has all or most extras VRS - A NEW bike That you will need to add stuff to it -+ $$$$$ and as soon as you leave the dealer's lot - it's devalued as used = immediate $$ loss if you don't like the wing.
    Whoever said money can’t buy happiness, never paid for a divorce


    IBA # 40576

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • #3
      That’s my dilemma exactly. I’m pushing towards retirement and was planning towards a new 2019 - 2020 Goldwing for 2 up touring incl a trailer some trips. Now, I’m lost. I don’t want less storage, less fuel, poor GPS, all the negatives that have been posted, etc. Or, the added expense of switching out the windshield and upgrading the seat. Currently hoping our options expand over the two model years.

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rollin View Post
        That’s my dilemma exactly. I’m pushing towards retirement and was planning towards a new 2019 - 2020 Goldwing for 2 up touring incl a trailer some trips. Now, I’m lost. I don’t want less storage, less fuel, poor GPS, all the negatives that have been posted, etc. Or, the added expense of switching out the windshield and upgrading the seat. Currently hoping our options expand over the two model years.
        Based on Honda's Past Practice - you may die waiting
        Whoever said money can’t buy happiness, never paid for a divorce


        IBA # 40576

        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


        • #5
          ndivita, welcome to the forum. I would look at '14 to '17 and skip the 2018 for now. You can always upgrade in a year or two and let them get the bugs out.
          '04 Titanium ABS
          Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP 195-55-16
          Bridgestone BT-45 130/70-18
          Member - E. CLAMPUS VITUS
          Free Grazer IBA #22990
          NRA, Elks, and too many others
          Yuma, AZ

          Comment: (For off-topic replies)


          • #6
            Originally posted by Clamper View Post
            ndivita, welcome to the forum. I would look at '14 to '17 and skip the 2018 for now. You can always upgrade in a year or two and let them get the bugs out.
            I agree with Clamper. While I love my 08, I could see myself in a 14-17, but not an 18 for many reasons led off with by the price. Having said that, the 18 is a great next step in Gold Wing evolution. Question is do you want to relearn from scratch? There will be some differences between your old 08 and the 14-17, but not nearly as much as with the 18. Also, having just read yesterday the conversation about trying to keep synced with the CB and a passenger simultaneously, I wouldn't want to have to deal with being forced into one bluetooth setup over the others. I guess in the end I continue to lean toward the 14-17. What's your heart say?
            2008 Red GW1800 -- NRA Life Member - American Legion PUFL, American Legion Riders
            USMC 21 YRS/9 MO and when dead, a dead Marine.
            US Four Corner Ride https://clayusmcret.blogspot.com/
            2014 Mid-States Ride https://mid-states.blogspot.com/
            2015 NC to UT/NV Ride https://2015nvride.blogspot.com/

            50th State ridden on 19 Aug, 2016 DS #1584

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            • #7
              I'm in KC MO.

              Honestly my preferences change day to day.

              I'm trying to get my FJR sold first because I don't want to get ripped off by a dealer on a trade in when I know my FJR is top notch. I guess if I had to decide today I'm leaning toward a 2014 to 2017 Goldwing. I can use the price differential between it and a new one to add whatever I feel like, to include lighting, external GPS etc., now, if it doesn't already have it. Getting a brand new Goldwing 2018 version means waiting for various modifications, for budgetary reasons.

              There are things about the new Wing that I really like but I'm bothered by some of the stuff I'm reading and moreover, I just don't like giving up storage space and fuel capacity on a full touring bike (I'm aware that it is supposed to have similar range but I'm skeptical). Why in God's name should you have to buy and install a trunk rack for additional external luggage on a full touring bike just to make it equal to the carrying capacity of the previous design? Who came up with that idea?

              No touch screen on a built in motorcycle GPS? What's the point?

              And I'm pretty sure my wife and I would be more comfortable on the pre 2018 design.

              I'm sensing that I'm not the target demographic for the new Goldwing.

              Thank you Honda for charging an arm and a leg for the new Goldwing while making every desirable or even necessary add on an optional extra cost .

              If the new Yamaha touring bike did not feel like an underpowered paint shaker, that's where I would be. That bike checks all the boxes except for the power to weight ratio and the complete lack of any real roll on or top-end capability.

              Comment: (For off-topic replies)


              • #8
                Honda of Russellville has a new 2017 listed under their new inventory. I believe its on pg.10 of their new inventory for sale. $4000+ discounted.
                Location: Vancouver WA Former name: CAWING '04 GL1800
                When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
                Jimi Hendrix
                Vietnam Veteran, Patriot Guard Rider

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RoadRat View Post
                  Honda of Russellville has a new 2017 listed under their new inventory. I believe its on pg.10 of their new inventory for sale. $4000+ discounted.
                  I would check with them about your FJR as a trade and a deal on the 2017 or maybe something used from them. Great Dealer to work with.
                  '04 Titanium ABS
                  Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP 195-55-16
                  Bridgestone BT-45 130/70-18
                  Member - E. CLAMPUS VITUS
                  Free Grazer IBA #22990
                  NRA, Elks, and too many others
                  Yuma, AZ

                  Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                  • #10
                    Good catch on the 2017 Goldwing at the Russellville dealership. I can't tell for sure right off but it looks like it may not have ABS.

                    I can't decide if that's a must-have.

                    Is it true that any pre 2018 Goldwing that has ABS is also going to have the dreaded factory GPS?

                    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                    • RoadRat
                      RoadRat commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Doesn't show ABS. Spend a little time on the Internet and I'll bet you'll find a '16-17 GW that fits your needs.

                  • #11
                    Best of luck with whatever you choose. I never buy the first year anything. Let them iron some bugs out and make some aftermarket stuff. I saw the same trend when I was researching the Can Am Spyder. "Well the Tour will start at 28K but if you really want it to handle properly...Add these 5K worth of upgrades!"
                    STURGIS 1993,

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                    • #12
                      The dreaded factory GPS are about the best you can get. Living in Yuma AZ in the Winter time with all the OLD retirees who should be taking Uber, I have had to stomped on those brakes a few times. Never a lock-up, just a smooth stop and a chance to get out of the way. They don't hear the horns either.
                      '04 Titanium ABS
                      Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP 195-55-16
                      Bridgestone BT-45 130/70-18
                      Member - E. CLAMPUS VITUS
                      Free Grazer IBA #22990
                      NRA, Elks, and too many others
                      Yuma, AZ

                      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                      • #13
                        I wasn’t going to weigh in On this but.....
                        I’ve owned Goldwings since 1976. I have owned every model change but the 1100. Each year a new model was introduced my initial impression was it was uglier than the model it replaced however the 1200 looked pretty nice. Then something happens, they tend to grow on ya. All of a sudden they are not so ugly, sometimes a ride on a new model with improved handling can improve their looks. The 2018-18 is the first GoldWing that I personally feel is better looking than the model it replaced. Probably not a perfect bike however Honda did address many areas that needed change either to upgrade a dated design, satisfy customer requests, or maybe due to the competition.
                        If I were in the market for a new bike (money not a big issue) I’d be with Rocky this morning picking up my new 2018 GoldWing. If I was worried about the first year model that some have mentioned I’d go for the extended warranty and research my dealer who wasn’t going to be picky about a trailer hitch etc. when it came to any warranty work down the road.

                        Good Luck,

                        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                        • #14
                          The all new 2018 Goldwing might be a good combination of the previous wing, and the FJR. If that is the case, the new wing might be your better choice, in spite of being a little more money. Get what suits your riding.
                          Dave Wyatt
                          08 GL1800
                          76 CB750A

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                          • #15
                            After significant thought, reading and vacillation, I'm leaning pretty clearly in the direction of the new Wing. I could make the case for either of them but feel like I would probably be happier in the long run with the new design. I can live with the features of the onboard GPS in the new design. I wish it had more stock storage space but I'll end up getting a trunk rack. I'll probably end up with the manual instead of the DCT mainly because the principal reason I ride motorcycles is the feeling of tangible control in a world where that's hard to come by.

                            If the pre - 2018 design did not have a dated UI and communications package that needed to be immediately modified to go BT wireless, I could probably live with everything about the bike. I really really like the idea that the new design is in effect a Bluetooth hub on two wheels.

                            The new design might not be as comfortable as the old design but I'm also aware that I won't always be carrying a passenger. I just know that it will be more suitable for a passenger than my FJR by a long shot.

                            I don't need to go faster than 112 miles an hour. I've been there and done that on the FJR and on the Honda Blackbird that I used to use for touring. I'm getting too old for that stuff.

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                            • #16
                              I have a about 900 miles on my non DCT Tour, I would say the decision may come down to how many miles are you going to ride per day and will it be all highway miles. The previous Goldwing is probably the best straight road/ highway two up bike made, but it’s a handful at slower speeds and in town or in traffic. For me Honda hit the mark when they shaved off 90lbs, the bike has amazing handling , yes the suspension is too soft like they always do, but with that new front end it tracks a corner line with 100% confidence, it is so easy to ride in town and in the mountains and at slow speed and In the corners, the handling is very confidence inspiring, the old Goldwing is a land yacht and always feels that way, on my 2003 I have done tons of suspension work, it tracks ok, but is not as good as the new bike with its soft shock setup. the new bike is really a true commuter bike (as coined by Cruiseman). Around town it is flat out fun to ride. For this I am giving up 40liters of storage and it is noisier, but if you are coming off a FJR then there is no doubt the new wing is your best choice.

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