Harley Rider STRONGLY Considering a Gold Wing

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  • Harley Rider STRONGLY Considering a Gold Wing

    Good morning! I am new to the forums as I have recently been very interested in the 18+ Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour. I currently have a 17 Harley Road Glide Special with a Stage 2 kit on it that I really like, but there are so many advancements that the Wing seems to have that Harley is missing out on, such as electronic suspension control (only available on the Tour, I believe), electric windshield, different driving modes (Sport, econ, etc.), Apple Car Play, etc. I just don't know if I can give up my Harley to move to this bike. I am unable to test drive one at a dealership without filling out a credit app, which I just don't want to do at this point.

    Has anyone here moved from Harley to the new Wing and regretted it? Thought it was the right decision? Are there issues with the Wing that should steer me away? I've heard of the cluster fogging up and smaller luggage capacities, anything else?

    I know it's about personal preference, but I don't have any experience on a Wing so I can't compare.

    Thanks for any input!

  • #2
    I just moved from a 16 Ultra to the 18 Tour DCT. (Had a Road Glide before the Ultra) No regrets so far. Really like the DCT in heavy traffic. Seat needs help and I wish I still had the Harley GPS. Feels lighter and better balanced. Haven't ridden in the rain yet, but knees always got wet on Ultra anyway. E-lek-trick windshield seemed like a gimmick but has been most appreciated. Vibs are down some, but the Harley wasn't that much worse to me (except sitting at a stoplight!). Heat off the engine in stop-and-go traffic is significantly better. If you are an Apple-person, things will be good. Android users (me) are waiting for a new software load. Yep, it has quite a bit less luggage space. I'm learning to deal with it. Wife has no issues with it.....yet. It is a blast to ride. Handles very well for a touring bike. So, no serious regrets yet.

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    • #3
      I am coming from two different Harleys a 17 Road Glide traded back the shark nose was bull to me listened to the sales person who told me this was HDs equivalent to a Wing, Having some vision problems in turned out to be a disaster traded it back for a 17 Electra Glide Ultra i was a tad better kept it for 2 years put 6000 miles on it. Coming off a 2010 Wing i wasn't able to find that great ride until i got my 18 non tour DCT and i absolutely love this ride didn't like the trunk space way to small so i went with non tour model have it 3 months now and have over 5000 miles on it cant stay off it.


      Absolutely no regrets here never liked HDs, way to hot to ride they were ruining my riding experience and cost a small fortune HD traps you but i got out an never look back. Ya there are some small mistakes Honda has made but they can be taken care of easy just stay with this site its the best site out here upgrades are easy. If you need storage the tour model would be your best choice plus you will the good suspension upgrades not important to me ill get that done with Traxxion Dynamics they sell and make some great upgrades were Honda has drop the ball. You can buy some bigger trunks down the road i may do that to.The seat hasn't bothered me yet but there are some easy and good upgrades check out BikeSolutionsLLlc.com I would also join Cruisemans Garage you can save loads of money with his how to videos I've used him for years now. Honda Goldwing are the Best Ride on earth Ride Safe Ride A-lot

      2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

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      • #4
        Last fall I was riding around on my 2015 Indian Roadmaster (previous rides - 2 touring class Harleys) with my buddy on his 2012 HD Limited. He was toying with a move to a fixed fairing bike and had HD Road Glide and Honda GW on his short list. We drove by a Honda dealer with two 2018 demo bikes, one std and one DCT. They handed us the fobs - hassle free - and we took off for almost an hour, each taking turns on each version. WOW! We both loved the GWs. I liked the 6 speed and he the DCT. In the spring, after another demo ride with spouses, we both bought 2018 GWs.

        I just finished a solo 650 mile trip from MA to VA (MA, CT, NY, NJ, PA,MD, VA - west of any major interstates). Total on bike 3000+.

        The only thing I miss from my 2010 Ultra is the seat. I could ride all day on that seat. The Indian and the 2018 GW seats are not comfortable for more that 2 hours. After that I need to pull over for at least 5-10 minutes before proceeding. The Indian brought me into the world of heated grips and seats, electric windshield, push button fob for locking bags/bike, and the GW was another leap forward with those feature plus adjustable suspension, ride modes, built-nav, more.

        Bottom line - I feel like a kid again when I get on this bike (and I'm not). It's a great combination of touring and sport and handles like it's half its actual weight. The seating position is more upright but not as extreme as BMW/Duke, I fretted over hi-way pegs as I've had them last three bikes and bought the Goldstrike product (very nice implementation), but never used them on my 3-day trip. Spouse made me order the back seat elbow extensions and ram mount drink holder (attached to grab bar). I also added backrest (Show Chrome detachable). I love using the electronic preset for 1-2 passengers with/without luggage (beats getting down on my knees with an air pump. Tour mode is my comfort zone, Rain mode came in handy a couple of days. The biggest surprise is I can ride this bike in 80-100 degree weather and still enjoy myself! Water cooled with radiators venting sideways and tucked away catalytic converters. Both my Indian and Ultra were NOT FUN in hot weather.

        Harley and Indian have bigger fairings and luggage - less wind buffeting and more storage. I switched to F4 windscreen, mostly for spouse's benefit (head), but still a little more windy around shoulders. We are getting good at minimal luggage and did a weekend Maine trip with no real issues. It will be more of an issue in colder weather with full cold weather gear

        Finally - I really like the smooooth acceleration (compare dyna torque curves and GW's is max and flat during entire usable rpm range). And also enjoy the quiet ride (and so do my neighbors).

        I have 5 Honda dealers within 40 miles - I visited them all and talked to their service managers/mechanics. Not all will give demo rides, look around. It will be worth the effort.

        I am a heavy user of trip planning software and Garmin devices. With a lot of effort, I have learned to live with the Honda NAV. It's quirky and it's ability to upload gpx files and download tracks may not be compatible with all software. I have SW background and manipulate the gpx files, as needed, for uploading (from Furkot and downloading to Garmon Basecamp). Am hoping it will improve.

        PS - Full disclosure - I kept the Indian RM. Trying to decide if I can part with it, I really like it but my garage is not that big. We'll see. The Honda is definitely my favorite ride at the moment.

        Looking forward to the trip back to MA next week.

        Go for a test ride!!!!

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        • #5
          I have a 2015 RGS and a 2018 GL1833 DCT Tour. Love them both but the GL is definitely more nimble and has more advanced features. I use the electric windshield a lot, the riding modes not so much. I leave it mainly in tour mode. The saddlebags are definitely smaller on the GL so keep that in mind. You may need the Tour to get the luggage space you need. The GL GPS was originally far inferior to the RGS but several software updates have brought it pretty much on par. Both units are made by Karmon.
          Martin

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          • #6
            I very much appreciate y'alls responses. It sounds like everyone who has Harley experience loves the Wing and are glad they switched. I really want to find a dealer that will let me test ride, that's really the only thing that will help me decide at this point. I know everyone raves about the DCT, but I would probably go manual transmission as I prefer that for tight maneuvers. Man, I really like the Wings, I'll let y'all know if I can get a test ride. Thank you again!

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            • #7
              The DCTs work great for tight maneuvering don't let that stop you. Good luck finding demos with Honda there no way like HDs they let you ride everything.???
              2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

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              • #8
                I moved from a 2017 Street Glide CVO and have no regrets. The Honda 2018 Gold Wing Tour is the best bike I have owned and gives you the most bang for the buck. For $38K I was extremely disappointed with the HD. The best thing about it was the stereo.

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                • #9
                  Your right the CVO means a extra 10,000 for nothing just a CVO. Ride Safe Ride A-lot

                  2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

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                  • #10
                    Keep the Harley and get a Goldwing as well. They are quite different bikes. I have a 2015 Harley Ultra Limited and a 2013 Goldwing (Airbag) and wouldn't part with either. Except . . . I might eventually replace the 2013 Goldwing with a 2020, 2021 or 2022 Goldwing depending on if/when Honda takes care of a few things (Such as: The amount/lack of Storage, Abysmal GPS, Easily scratched Instrument Cluster face plate, Unbelievably expensive Headlights, etc. ).

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                    • #11
                      I wish I could afford both, but that’s not in the cards for me unfortunately. Trust me, I’ve thought about it, lol. One kid just started college and another will be in a couple of years. Gotta make sure they’re squared away first.

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                      • #12
                        2017 M8 Road King played it's trump card by sumping on me July 12th. July 13th it was gone with a 2018 Goldwing 6mt tour replacing it with no regrets concerning the bike. The community? Well that's a whole other story.....
                        Ride or Die!

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                        • #13
                          I started on Hondas in the mid 70s. Switched to Harley in the mid 90s and since then would never have considered anything else but Harley touring bikes, until I started looking last year for a new F6B as an addition, only to find it was discontinued and a new Gold Wing was out. It took me a year to research and decide (really, mostly to decide), but here I am with a '19 Tour DCT in the garage, coming from a '15 Ultra Limited, and so far I do not regret the change.

                          The Wing is light years ahead of Harley in all the techno stuff you mentioned. It looks fast even when standing still, unlike the farty old I mean classic look of the UL. It's fast, light, and nimble, but not so light that it feels like a toy. I do chuckle though when I read about 'how big this bike is'. Not compared to the Harley it's not - you'll see that just when you pick it up off the kick stand for the first time. The 60 lb lighter Wing does get bumped around a bit in the turbulence coming off an adjacent big truck.

                          The Harley paint is better, the plastic (luggage, fairing) is more sturdy, the radio is better, the GPS is better, the seat is better, they are easier to work on because they are not covered in plastic, and there's more storage (about 1 cubic foot more when you do the math, which is a lot). I think that's about where it ends and for me, it was all things I can work with. Performance-wise, the Wing has the Harley beat. It's smooth, quiet, fast, and pretty comfortable (I just added a Utopia back rest, which will help considerably). Far less heat than the Harley, even with 'Twin Cooling'. Far less fatiguing to ride. One thing I've noticed is when I'm in a long sweeping curve, it holds that line perfectly - as in, rock solid - with no wandering off of that line unlike the Harley, which requires constant work going through the curves. The wing will hold what I need for a long trip, even 2-up, with smart packing. The radio and GPS work good enough for me, and you can always listen to your own music or add a GPS (or paper atlas - I just point the bike in the general direction and go). And unless you had an optional tour pack on your RGS, you will already have more storage on a Tour model.

                          I was wanting to go back to a Road Glide Ultra for the fixed fairing but I was tired of heavy, loud, and slow. I was tired of the Harley Tax, and I was tired of the Harley sales bs, especially at my local dealer. And I was really concerned about the ongoing issues with the M8 motor, which is really a shame because I rode and liked both the 107 and 114 but I wasn't willing to roll the dice and take a chance on having a problem. That's not to say there weren't issues with the new Wing. Just do your research (plug for Cruiseman's Garage on YouTube), and get some test rides in (it may take you several test rides like it did for me). I read that some dealers won't do test rides, or want a credit app done first, but there are plenty of dealers that will gladly do test rides.

                          It's tough to consider such a huge change. Harley is a good machine (well, the Twin Cams anyway) and I still have mine but the reality is, it has to go - I just don't want to ride it - the Gold Wing is just that much more enjoyable.
                          2019 Tour DCT, Black Metallic

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                          • #14
                            I switched from Harley to a 2018 DCT when I traded my 2016 Road Glide in April. I made changes to Wing like Helibar risers, an F4 windshield, and highway boards. Oddly enough the seat is okay for me. My Wing with the better suspension, true water cooling, etc is far less tiring on long rides. I rarely carry a passenger, so the loss of luggage space wasn’t an issue. I’m a former motor officer, so loosing the clutch bothered me when I was considering the DCT, but now that I’ve adapted, it’s no problem at all. Did I mention sport mode. I have no regrets.

                            Here's my observation. If you ride 5000 miles or less a year then a Harley is probably okay. If you ride 15,000 miles plus a year it’s not going to hold up.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NOLA_Rider View Post
                              I very much appreciate y'alls responses. It sounds like everyone who has Harley experience loves the Wing and are glad they switched. I really want to find a dealer that will let me test ride, that's really the only thing that will help me decide at this point. I know everyone raves about the DCT, but I would probably go manual transmission as I prefer that for tight maneuvers. Man, I really like the Wings, I'll let y'all know if I can get a test ride. Thank you again!
                              Tell the dealer if he doesn't allow a test ride (without all the red tape) you'll buy from a different one. Don't forget, the DCT has a manual mode that you shift up and down when you want, all to your hearts content. I came over from BMW R1150 RT sport touring bike. The new Honda is very much like it. Sport touring that is. If you're looking for a big cruiser, you may want to consider the previous 2017 Honda. Good luck. Let us know what you decide.
                              2018 Gold Wing DCT Tour in Pearl Hawkseye Blue. Goldstrike LED Trunk Light Kit, Electrical Connection Fog Light Kit, Show Chrome GT Tour Multifunction LED Cowl Light Kit, Show Chrome Isolation Fuse Block, Show Chrome Seat Bungee Tie Down Brackets, Traxxion Dynamics Suspension Decoupling Kit, Traxxion Dynamics Dip Stick Extender, Traxxion Dynamics Steering Lock Pin, Traxxion Dynamics Kick Stand Pad, Slip Streamer Clear Wraparound Touring Windshield, Utopia Driver Backrest. Show Chrome Marker Lights.

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                              • #16
                                if you want a bike to cruise from bar to bar and one day hops, HD. if youre going to get out on the road and ride to see the country, Honda

                                The GW old GWers wish Honda would make.

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                                • #17
                                  I ride over 10,000 miles per year and I’m not interested in the bar scene. I just like to ride. I work from home so I don’t commute, and all my vacations are motorcycle-based (rally’s, multi-state rides, etc). I want a comfortable and reliable bike for hours in the saddle, and if said bike can “get up and go” as well, that’s a plus. My Harley has crap rear suspension with about 2” of travel. The ride is $h1t and I’d like something better, something different. The Goldwing seems to check the boxes that are important to me, that’s why I’m considering it. But the Harley “family” can be tough to get out of sometimes.

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                                  • Drgsin
                                    Drgsin commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    there. your choice is made...ive been riding with harley guys all my life. been through a few myself. yes, i do get ribbed from time to time but after a 2 hour ride, they dont say much. they look beaten. theyre starting to come around though. many have moved on to indians and some are making their way to GWs.

                                • #18
                                  Originally posted by NOLA_Rider View Post
                                  I ride over 10,000 miles per year and I’m not interested in the bar scene. I just like to ride. I work from home so I don’t commute, and all my vacations are motorcycle-based (rally’s, multi-state rides, etc). I want a comfortable and reliable bike for hours in the saddle, and if said bike can “get up and go” as well, that’s a plus. My Harley has crap rear suspension with about 2” of travel. The ride is $h1t and I’d like something better, something different. The Goldwing seems to check the boxes that are important to me, that’s why I’m considering it. But the Harley “family” can be tough to get out of sometimes.
                                  Sounds like you need a 2019 Honda Goldwing DCT... I can promise you, you will NEVER regret it.....

                                  mattbcnv
                                  2018 Pearl Stallion Brown DCT

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                                  • #19
                                    What I regret is giving HD another chance? Had a 2015 UL with the 103 that would ping when hot. Took a chance on the 114 M8 in a 2017 CVO Limited and it was always in the shop, terrible bike. Got a 2018 Tour two weeks ago with 1 mile on it and 4K less than when the 2018 models came out. Only paid 23,600 for it. I put 1300 miles in the Wing in two weeks and have no regrets.

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                                    • #20
                                      Just joined this forum. Very interesting topic(s). 8 days to go for my DCT arrival. Coming off of a 2005 Electra Glide Ultra. After a lengthy test ride no regrets on my decision. Additionally my other ride is a Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX. Keeping that one so I have a bike for the rough conditions.

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