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  • January 17, 2018
  • Justin W. Coffey
  • Kevin Wing and Brian J. Nelson
  • 169 Comments

2018 Honda Gold Wing: MD First Ride

How do you redefine a category you invented? That was the question Honda Powersports had to answer when redesigning their flagship touring motorcycle (last redesigned for the 2001 model year), the Gold Wing. A bike that did everything they had designed it to do, only now they had set their sights on refining and modernizing the machine. To find out whether they succeeded in bringing the beloved Wing into the 21st century, Honda flew me to Austin, TX for a few days of riding the new 2018 GL1800B Gold Wing in Hill Country.

First things first, I’ve never ridden a Gold Wing. Honestly, I’ve never ridden anything quite this big before. Now, that’s not to say I’m unfamiliar with large motorcycles of the touring variety, only that I’ve never been behind the bars of a Japanese OEM’s flagship highway hauler. And if I’m being completely honest, I was a little intimidated. The first time on something of this size, surrounded by an onslaught of motorcycle journalists far more familiar with this sort of thing. Then add the twists and turns of Texas Hill Country with my better half on the back, and my anxiety was topping the charts the morning of our test ride.

Gold Wing Tour models feature a standard top case with integrated passenger backrest.

The Gold Wing is Honda’s crown jewel. It represents the top end of their technology arc, with a seven-inch TFT LCD display, GPS navigation, Apple Car Play integration, heated grips and seats, Bluetooth connectivity, Sirius XM satellite radio, and an assortment of other tech additions that make the Gold Wing a top-shelf travel machine.

Changes between the outgoing 2017 model and this, the 2018 iteration, are significant. Styling is the first and most obvious example, as Honda reinvented the aesthetic from tip to tail. Cutting nearly 90-lbs off of its curb weight – ten of those pounds come courtesy of a new CAN Bus style electrical system – and slimming its overall profile, they made the new GL1800B a much more approachable and nimble motorcycle, all things considered. Honda themselves see this cosmetic change as a way, they hope, to attract a younger demographic to the model. The ‘couch on wheels’ adage is not something they want to stick around for much longer. “We really want to focus on a younger customer,” said Lee Edmunds, Honda’s  Motorcycle Division National Advertising Manager, and similar statements became a common theme at their technical presentation prior to our ride.

They are also not shy about understanding and catering to their primary customer: “First and foremost, [the Gold Wing] is a two-up tourer,” Lee commented. And this line of thinking was made all the more evident throughout the presentation, as they noted the comfort features on the pillion seat. We tested one of the “Tour” models that comes standard with the top case and integrated passenger backrest (a “throne” so to speak).

I mentioned heated seats, yea? Add to that a four-speaker stereo system with ‘passenger controls’ so that your significant other can keep The Boss belting full blast. Additional accessories aimed squarely at the passenger include a ‘Push-to-Talk’ switch, arm rests for the rear seat, and added air deflectors that will keep your friend or loved one largely free from the discomforts associated with unwelcome wind blast.

Since the first iteration of Honda’s GL model – the GL1000 in 1974 – the badge has been sold a staggering 798,000 times, with more than 250,000 motorcycles still in operation, according to Honda. This is certainly testament to Honda’s engineering prowess, as well as customer loyalty to the marque. Another thing to take note of is the Denzel Effect the Gold Wing has. Much like the infamous actor, when you say Gold Wing, people do not need further definition or added clarification. Again, testament to its prominent role in our industry, but also the lasting effects of a legacy built around a premium product.


On the technical side, the 2018 Gold Wing sees significant change from its predecessor, most notably the new double-wishbone style front end, and the lack of knobs, dials and buttons (that made the dash and accompanying side panels on the ’17 Wing cluttered and confusing by comparison). The liquid-cooled, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine remains, however the motor has been made more compact and lighter through the use of an updated crankshaft and Unicam valve train.

For 2018, the Gold Wing comes equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission or Honda’s latest generation 7-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). A new electronics suite was introduced, and includes multiple riding modes (Sport, Touring, Econ and Rain), as well as Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), cruise control, and Hill Start Assist (HSA). As I mentioned earlier, Honda’s engineering team managed to shave 90-lbs off of the bike. A small part of that is thanks to an Integrated Starter Generator system (ISG), which integrates the generator and starter-motor functions into one component, allowing for removal of the starter motor and starter-system wiring, which saved them 5.3-lbs.

According to Honda, due to the improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, engine efficiency and the reduction in weight, they were able to reduce the fuel capacity by 1.1 gallons, to 5.5 total gallons, while still maintaining the same overall range. The Gold Wing’s new engine utilizes four valves per cylinder in pent-roof-type combustion chambers for improved combustion efficiency, but still weighs 13.7 lbs. less than the outgoing powerplant (when equipped with Honda’s six-speed manual transmission).

Additional updates include an all-new electric windscreen, which provides the rider and passenger with a greater degree of control over airflow, and is adjusted via a switch on the left handlebar. And thanks to a shorter engine size and the double-wishbone, front-suspension system, which allowed engineers to bring the riding position forward, Honda was able to reduce the overall size of the windscreen itself, adding to the aesthetic enhancements of the new model.

For our test ride, Honda had planned a multi-day ride through Texas Hill Country, beginning just outside of Austin, heading west to Fredericksburg, and then doubling back the next day, a route some 400 miles in total. Unfortunately, a storm front rolled in across much of the south, enveloping the area, including Austin, in sub-freezing temperatures and rain. With ice looming in our future, our route was modified, and an elongated day ride was put in place of an overnight trip into Hill Country. The route, however, was more than adequate to showcase the Gold Wing’s capabilities both as a long-distance touring motorcycle, and an around-the-town machine.

With Kyra on the back and an assortment of warm layers filling our panniers and top case, we set off. The early part of the ride included some slow maneuvering through narrow country roads, which allowed me to get a better idea of how the new double-wishbone front suspension would react to my inputs. In short, I felt the new setup provided somewhat delayed feedback and an overall lack of direct response to my steering inputs. This is likely due, in part, to the increased trail, which caused the front end to feel a great distance forward of the handlebars. My initial reaction was to stay steady on the rear brake and make minor adjustments at slow speeds so as to not upset the ship. Suffice it to say, this took a little getting used to. But once we were traveling at speeds greater than 15 mph, the Gold Wing showed itself to be rather nimble, with enough ground clearance to not scrape the floorboards through off-camber sweeping corners.

Being my first time behind the bar of a Gold Wing, naturally I wanted to see how quickly it would accelerate to highway speeds, how well it stopped and how it handled laden with luggage and a passenger. Our day ride through Hill Country offered all the opportunity I needed to test these things out.

After a lunch stop in the small Texas town of Bastrop, we hopped on the highway, and I began to experiment with the new Gold Wing’s adjustable windscreen, cruise control and stereo system. Kyra complained that the stereo was not loud enough for her tastes, but was otherwise full of compliments regarding the Wing’s comfort. I, on the other hand, nearly forgot she was back there. With the suspension pre-load adjusted for a passenger and luggage, bumps and road abrasions that might normally upset a chassis disappeared beneath our wheels and into the distance unnoticed. Kyra was so comfortable in fact, that later in the day I caught her sleeping soundly in my mirror.

Through the twisties, the Gold Wing’s chassis felt solid and responsive, and the 1833cc six-cylinder engine provided plenty of low-end torque to pull us uphill, through a banked off-camber corner with ease. The DCT model, however left me grasping for a clutch lever at times, hoping to ease my acceleration through slippage. Like the new front suspension, this, too, took a little getting used to.

Overall, the new 2018 Gold Wing is a marked improvement over the outgoing model in many ways. From an aesthetic perspective, it looks slim and sporty, especially when the topcase is removed. The adjustable windscreen and TFT display provide the rider with both comfort and convenience, offering large, easy to read GPS navigation and a stereo system that, Kyra’s feelings aside, was more than adequate. Heated grips and seats made the cold weather manageable, and the easy-to-use cruise control system helped highway miles tick off on the odometer.

I will say that the new front suspension was not confidence inspiring for a new Gold Wing rider. At speed it felt stable and absorbed anything Texas roads could throw at it, but when maneuvering through a parking lot, loaded with a passenger and luggage, my inputs felt abbreviated and delayed, causing me to over-correct at times. Lastly, the available reverse gear was a welcome addition, and something I quickly became accustom to using.

The 2018 Gold Wing will be available in five different models – Gold Wing, Gold Wing DCT, Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour DCT, and Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag – with the base model beginning at $23,500 MSRP and the top-of-the-line Tour model at $31,500 MSRP.  Take a look at Honda’s web site for additional details and specifications.


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169 Comments

  1. JP says:

    My ONLY problem with the GW’s is the ergos. For me, it’s fire in my lower back and a knife between my shoulder blades after about one minute. I’m just not built like their “average rider” I guess. Honda ergos have had that effect on me since I was a kid, and I’m 70 now.

    I bought the first ’75 Wing that was sold in my home town, but sold it soon after – and made 5 bucks on the deal to boot! Paid $2495 and sold it to a friend for $2500 about 6 months later with 1500 miles on it. He STILL owns it and last I heard it had turned over 250,000 miles and was still running like new.

    If it weren’t for this deal-breaking ergo-problem, I’d buy one in a heartbeat and would have owned nothing but Goldwings since ’75. As it is, Harleys are the only bikes that I can ride comfortably and own.

    Oh well…

  2. Adam Waheed says:

    Nice article – thanks for sharing it.

  3. Bill Lustrick says:

    Honda could have left the luggage capacity the same, restyled it for this bike and it would have worked just as well. I read one article that said this bikes storage is almost the equivalent of removing one of the side bags from the previous model. For a interstate cross country touring bike, That’s just stupid.

  4. red says:

    Have an old 1200 Interstate out in garage, love that thing. Never went to 1500 due to weight. Tempted by 1800 but never pulled trigger, mostly due to $$.

    I love the new direction and I’m more tempted than ever! A lot of the die hard wingers seem upset over the loss of luggage or fuel capacity (even though range stays same) but the loss of almost 100 lbs more than makes up for it. If travelling so far that the on board luggage won’t do it, get a trailer. The increased sportiness is very welcome. Can’t wait to see K16 comparo’s (not that I would buy another bmw, but still want to read about it)

    Now to scratch up 25k. what’s a kidney go for these days?

  5. Jimmihaffa says:

    I’m really hoping Honda births a Silverwing lovechild with a narrow V4 engine and many of the parental accouterments.

  6. Bill says:

    Can you leave a DCT equipped bike in gear when you park it? If not, do they have a parking brake?

    • joe b says:

      It has a parking brake, like an ATV. When you shut it off, it automatically returns to Nuetral.

      • sliphorn says:

        If the DCT used on this new GW is like my NC700, it does not return to neutral when you shut it down. If you do not put it in neutral and apply the parking brake, upon the next start up you will hear the transmission put itself into neutral when the ignition is turned on. Honda recommends putting it in neutral and applying the parking brake before shutting down. If you don’t it does not harm it, but the bike will still roll so the brake should always be applied. I love my DCT.

        • joe b says:

          My VFR1200, is always in nuetral when I start it up. Whether it returns to nuetral as you turn the key on, or as I do, manually return it to nuetral to blip the throttle when I park it, I dont think I have ever left it “in gear”. Certainly, if turned off “in gear”, nothing is engaged and the bike will roll, if left on a hill. Either way, its in nuetral, even if its in gear, so to say. Much like a automatic car if stopped on a hill, if the engine isnt running, it will roll. I too like my DCT. Previous comments how so many thought they would hate it, when they never used one, and dont have a clue. I agree, it wont be for everybody, animosity against electric starters seemed to have the same following, until it became more and more common, now few would want a bike without it.

          • sliphorn says:

            I hear ya! For me, after 40 years of shifting, DCT is the way to go. I can’t see myself going back to a standard transmission. Though I probably would if I absolutely had to have the bike.

          • mickey says:

            I test rode a CTX 700 with dct a couple years ago and didn’t care for how the trans felt, it wasn’t smooth upshifting or down shifting, but particularly down shifting and I’m not opposed to shiftless, I loved the cvt on my Majesty scooter. I just didn’t think the Honda trans was done well. I expected “car like” and it wasn’t. Won’t stop me from test riding the new Wing in both std and dct though. Maybe the 7 speed dct is better. Certainly would not be opposed to my last bike being an auto of some sort.

          • joe b says:

            MIckey, my VFR1200 is slick. Leaned over in a turn, at speed using the front brake to bring the front wheel in, it downshifts seemlessly without any action on the tilt or lean or progress of the machine, just a note change as the RPM changes, awesome. At really low speeds, coming to a stop, under certain conditions you can feel it downshift, but it would be ten times worse if using a manual trans (in these instances, with a manual trans, I would shift to neutral or not let the clutch out). This page has a ton of people who wont want the DCT, when they never rode one.

          • Hot Dog says:

            26 bikes later I’ve gotten a VFR12X DCT and I love it. I still grab for a missing clutch lever every now and then, also coasting to a stop, I’ll look for a neutral with my left foot (no lever). In a point and shoot situation, it seems so effortless to engage warp drive. I laugh at purists who know they don’t like it even though they haven’t rode a bike with DCT.

      • sliphorn says:

        Mickey, my DCT is plenty smooth though it is not seamless like a CVT. My Piaggio BV350 (great scooter btw), is a CVT and is seamless. The DCT shifts just like a standard shift m/c except it does it for you, unless you choose to use the paddle shifters. Which btw, you can use them exclusively in manual mode, or over ride the automatic mode at any time when it is in auto mode, and then the auto mode will resume at the appropriate time.

        It takes more than a test ride or two to fully appreciate a DCT transmission. I put 13,000 miles on mine in just 5 months and it is brilliant! You can sludge along at 2mph and it doesn’t buck or mis-behave in any way. Plus, it lets you concentrate on your next turn….Point and shoot, baby! Not to mention a DCT equipped bike is quicker than its manual transmission counterpart. Talk about quick shift!!

        • mickey says:

          yea, I just don’t have enough time on one, but I will get more, I promise!

          I’ve heard the DCT in the Africa Twin is really a good one.

          Someday I hope to get a chance to ride a VFR 1200, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the motors. I wish Honda would have brought out a more dedicated sport tourer with that motor.

  7. fred says:

    I have an 82 GL1100 (last of the naked Wings), and have ridden the last-gen 1800. GoldWings are great bikes, and are much better when you’re riding them than you’d think. I have neither the desire nor the budget for the new model, but it’s good to see Honda finally do some updates.

    Most people who ride Wings like them, and that is (IMHO) a great testament to the bike.

    • David M says:

      Actually, the last naked wing was in 1984. ( I had a 1984 Interstate – the one with the lousy stators.)

      • McClain says:

        Can confirm- I have one of those final naked GL1200s! No stator issues on this bird though, probably since it doesn’t have all the extra accessories like the Interstates and Aspencades

  8. Fred says:

    I wonder will there be new F6C Valkyrie edition ?
    Dropping the F6B Bagger name and with the base GW as just ‘Goldwing’ makes me think it is a while away if ever. What’s the gossip for this bike’s future now Guy’s?

  9. downgoesfraser says:

    I have been working on Gold Wings since the first one came out and think this one may be the best. My least favorite were the 1500’s. Have no clue what Yamaha was thinking developing a whole new motor for their new entry in this market. Dealership I work for sells all the Japanese brands and I get to ride every model. The Kawasaki Vaquero is similar to the new Yamaha and is not even close to the Wing. Sales of the Wings have been off for the last few years, but we are seeing a lot of interest in the new one. Nobody is asking about the Yamaha.

    • carl says:

      I agree, damnit we don’t need another air cooled V-twin, yamaha should have stuck to their platform and used V4 from the new V-max.

    • Regan says:

      The Kawasaki and Yamaha are touring cruisers and in a different category . Only the BMW1600GT is a direct comparison . The Honda may have a small edge in looks. However I think after a head to head shutout the BMW will have a better ride quality and definetly superior performance .

      • Rhinestone Kawboy says:

        Different category? Don’t think so. The Kawasaki and Yamaha are both Touring bikes plain and simple, just like the Harley, and that is the trouble. Kawasaki and Yamaha both took the V-Twin as what everyone must want since Harley seems so successful with theirs. The one thing that Harley is successful with, is selling the image, not necessarily a better tourer. Thankfully, Honda has stayed true with their idea of a tourer and didn’t go the V-Twin route. If they did, I’m pretty sure they would just be another also ran to mimic Harley’s undoubtedly superior marketing. I think the new Goldwing will do well- better than well.

        • Regan says:

          I absolutely think they are in different categories. Riders that don’t like cruisers and want a touring motorcycle will not purchase from that sub category. And to say that Honda stayed true to their idea of a tourer just look at the new model. It’s felt the heat from BMW with its smaller lighter, more performance oriented tourer. Honda’s changes on its latest model is lighter, more compact with improved performance. I agree it will probably do well as sales are concerned. But BMW has gotten Honda’s attention.

  10. Norm G. says:

    something interesting to notice in the naked “chopper” photo is it basically has 2 sets of handlebars. connected by push-pull heim joints, there’s a full size set for you the rider, and then tucked down in the nether regions of the fairing there’s a smaller set for “MINI-ME”. lol, freaky.

    OMG, maybe the next iteration come 2030 will have full automotive style electric steering (ie. steer by wire).

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I felt the new setup provided somewhat delayed feedback and an overall lack of direct response to my steering inputs. This is likely due, in part, to the increased trail”

      see entry also for those linkages i noted above. your force inputs literally have to travel a physically LONGER path (before it moves the wheel) relative to a traditional telescopic setup. combine that with the additional “free play” (albeit minimal) that must be present in order for those ball/socket joints to work and the “super computer” that your brain represents is in fact sensitive enough to detect the delay. it registers it as SLOP.

      something else you obviously noticed is by days end your “on-board super computer” also fed in the necessary “adaptation values” to (progressively) slow down the over correction. after awhile it all seemed pretty normal right…? yup, until you climb back aboard conventional kit and then you’ll be back in AUTO-LEARN mode. Justin “you are a machine” (Terminator voice) do me a favor and point and laugh like Nelson Muntz at the next “wanna-be autonomous vehicle” you see being tested around the Bay area okay.

      • Dino says:

        I was thinking the same thing, when he wrote about the steering feedback. those little joints that must have a little play, just in the nature of mechanical joints…

        The bigger question is, how well do these joints age? How much more play will there be as Goldwings are likely to rack up serious mileage over the years? I’m sure they did “age testing” on some simulated bench to see how the whole system performs in the long term. Personally, I would be all over this new Wing if it had the traditional front end.

        (open the door to high mileage BMW owners with non-conventional front suspensions)

        • Jack says:

          So ball joints are an issue on cars/trucks/snowmobiles etc?

        • Norm G. says:

          Q: The bigger question is, how well do these joints age?

          A: as the well as any shifter linkage down by our left boot.

          they’ll be fine, they just won’t stand up to crash or accident, but that could be a good thing.

        • joe b says:

          One year Suzuki had handlebar mounts, that had a small amount of play, to eliminate vibration to the grips. Every person, who sat on it and moved the bars, mentioned to me I left the bars loose and they needed to be tightened. When I mentioned that was stock, they said it would be impossible to ride the bike like that. THAT, was wrong. In reality, one never noticed the small amount of play when riding the bike. Here, the ball joints wont wear out, making play. It is just something someone thinks, MIGHT be a problem, it wont. Does you car wobble off the road? if the reasoning was true, it would.

          • mickey says:

            Suzuki’s Cavalcade had rubber mounts everywhere as I remember it. Even the footpegs were rubber mounted and would move when adjusting riding position and stuff. Felt weird, but provided a really smooth ride.

    • downgoesfraser says:

      Norm, you should look under your car and see all the steering joints. It’s a Honda, doubt there is any play in that set up. The tester wrote that he has never ridden a Gold Wing. The old 1800 is ponderous at walking speed, but rides fine at speed.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Norm, you should look under your car and see all the steering joints.”

        yeah, but we’re discussing motorbikes, he’s not using the “muscle memory” of driving cars.

        at that moment when he climbed on the Wing, his brain is recalling the CODE for all the sensations (inner ear balance) learned from whatever telescopic kit he’s owned or ridden. it would be the exact same for any one of us.

        perhaps someone who owns one of the modern BMW K bikes might not think anything of the Wing’s “slop”…? and read my words carefully, i didn’t say it IS slop, i said it “registers to the brain” as slop. that’s just my word, he used the word “delay”.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The old 1800 is ponderous at walking speed, but rides fine at speed.”

        yeah i should hope so, remember there’s a whole different set of PHYSICS in play to steering a motorbike at speed than in a parking lot. as we see quite clearly in the on-road pics and the snap in front the building, he’s intuitively “leaning” the bike to steer (camber thrust). as every good “alien” in the MotoGP paddock knows, there’s very little in the way of handlebar deflection/steering radius being used in these moments.

  11. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Why would anyone want to ride a sweaty-hot, archaic (what Yamaha brands as ‘character’) Star venture over this bike for similar $ ? Nailed it, Honda…your market share is secure

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: Why would anyone want to ride a sweaty-hot, archaic(?)

      A: viagra…

      hey don’t laugh IT WORKS.

    • Scottie says:

      I like Yamaha and have had a great experience with my Stratoliner. However, I think there is a very limited market for Japanese V-twin cruisers. I saw that at the show here in NY. A lot of interest in the Goldwing, very little in the Venture. Of course, Indian stole the show.

  12. Provologna says:

    I wish Gabe Ets-Hokin still checked in here. On the Marin Sunday Morning Ride about 15 years ago, a guy rode a then-late model candy red GW with female pillion rider. Our group crossed paths with his group on Petaluma Hill Road between Pt. Reyes and Sir Francis Drake. This guy was ripping on his Wing, pulling wheelies, and beat some guys in our group on bikes with higher performance potential.

    The bad news that day was one guy in his group on (IIRC) an F2, over cooked a turn, north bound on CA 1, a few miles N. of Pt. Reyes. When I was less familiar with the road, I over cooked this decreasing radius off camber turn with a bump on the apex. Unfortunately for him, he met an old small pickup truck head on in the opposite lane, and that was that.

    Gabe and I pulled him from the fire. Flames and black smoke shot 30′ in the air when I arrived. His girlfriend was the woman riding pillion on the GW.

    Man, that was a mess. The truck driver was physically OK, but in shock. I’m sure he still remembers it like yesterday.

    Please return to your normal programming……………

    • Crazyjoe says:

      This story would have been cooler and if the pick up driver died. To bad.

      • Bud says:

        The pickup driver was in his own lane. You want to rethink that post?

      • Dave says:

        WTF?!?!

        There’s no “cool” potential in a fatal accident.

        Disgusting..

        • Crazyjoe says:

          Sarcasm is lost on some people. There’s nothing cool about endangering other people’s lives as in using a the public roads to race. There’s nothing cool about pushing a Gold Wing like a sport bike. I took the tone of P’s post as a celebration of driving like a fool. Hence my post.

          • Dave says:

            You’re right. I missed that, but sarcasm in short text is pretty hard to pick up for most people, yeah?

          • Bud says:

            The problem isn’t “some people”, it’s your idea of sarcasm. That was an awful thing to say.

          • Crazyjoe says:

            Some people believe his story.

          • Provologna says:

            No such intent existed to celebrate anyone’s reckless riding.

            This is an official bet of $1k toward the winner’s favorite 501C3 certified charity. Evidence is the CHP report, written by my old friend Officer Bonnano (sp?), and I presume I can locate Gabe for a signed report. I admit I’m overly paranoid, but I got tested for blood contamination disease (very little exposure).

          • Provologna says:

            Consider this an official challenge to bet $1k, paid to the winner’s favorite certified 501C3 charity, the event happened exactly as described.

            Maybe I’m wrong to expect a self-described “crazy” person to know this, but it’s not too difficult to get the CHP fatal accident report authored by an acquaintance, 300 lb CHP Officer Bonnano (sp?), who trolled Marin for years, and is easily recognized. Contact the Corte Madera CHP Office (maybe he retired). IIRC Sgt. Planka used to run that Office.

            The helicopter picking up the body was somewhat memorable, as was CA 1 being closed both directions for several hours on a Sunday afternoon.

            I presume it’s not impossible to contact Gabe.

            I would not be surprised if the scene still has burn scars on the S bound lane, with a huge rock out cropping above the cliff at the apex. The black and red F2 partially melted.

            Do I need more details, “crazy?,” or are you ready to ask your mom for the $1k?

          • mickey says:

            I’m just trying to figure out what this story has to do with a 2018 Goldwing test, or any Goldwing to be honest.

      • CrazyJoe says:

        P your story has nothing to do with anything. The bet is on. Your mother told me she covering my end. She don’t like you much by the way. Says your like your dad always making up things.

  13. Neuman says:

    Should only have someone who is an experienced GW rider make the test ride and report back. You simply have no point of reference for most of us. Such a biiiiig bike, verrrrrry intimidated to me! LOL

  14. Regan says:

    Come on, Honda’s remake of the 2018 Goldwing is a panic reaction to the 6cyl BMW beating it badly in comparison tests. The previous model Goldwing didn’t have the ride quality, performance and was much to heavy to take on the BMW. Lets see if a good head to head review of the 2018 models will take the touring title away from the BMW1600GT.

  15. Sam says:

    Thank you Honda for another advanced and fantastic bike!

    I’ve had a new 1997 GW, a new 2001 Valkyrie Interstate and recently a new 2012 Goldwing and now a 2014 CTX1300D sort of a mini Goldwing and they were/ are all the epitome of comfort, power and touring ability. The 2000 BMW K1200LTC came close:)

    Honda will sell every one they can build, especially the DCT Auto version.:)

    Set the cruise control, plug in a flash drive with your favorite music, powered through the 550 watt surround sound system, adjust the heated grips and seat to your liking and the aforementioned 500 mile days are childs play.

    • ilikefood says:

      I agree that the new Goldwing will most likely sell well, but I’m surprised about the DCT comment. An automatic transmission on a motorcycle seems totally pointless, so I expect that they’d sell like 20 DCT ones, to people with hand mobility issues or something. Personally I’d never ever buy a bike with DCT. What’s the appeal of DCT from your perspective? Who buys them and why?

      • Provologna says:

        To your primary complaint, riders can manually shift DCT up and down all day, just minus the clutch. The only known down side, as Justin mentioned, is no ability to slip the non-existent clutch.

        Beyond that, DCT shifts quicker than any human being, thus providing quicker acceleration (in the era when Michael Schumacher owned Formula 1, the DCT shifted about 1/3rd quicker than MS shifted a normal slush box). If for any reason you don’t want to shift, it provides that option.

        My opinion is the inverse of yours. I’d always prefer the DCT.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I agree with Sam. I suspect they will sell quite a few DCTs, perhaps even more than manuals. You ask, “What’s the point?” I’d ask what is the point of having to clutch and shift on this particularly kind of motorcycle.

        • Dave says:

          I also agree with Sam. Once an auto transmission outperforms a manual, manual shifting instantly goes from being an element of control and performance to a nuisance and a distraction from the actual riding.

          Though I haven’t ridden an DCT bike, I imagine you can “slip” the clutch with throttle application. There’s no clutch lever, but there are two clutches (Dual Clutch Transmission).

  16. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Ok, now bring back the (non scooter) Silver Wing as a 3cyl weighing < 500 lbs and I'm sold. Are you listening, Honda?

  17. mechanicus says:

    What’s old is new again. That’s Indian’s late-1940’s girder fork design.

    • Bob S. says:

      At first glance it would appear so, but look again. Unlike the Indian, there is no steering head on the frame. The rear of the links attach to the frame, the front of the links attach to the steering neck which in turn, moves up and down with the suspension travel. Very different from the Indian.

    • Half Baked says:

      A lot like the girder fork BMW uses.

  18. Provologna says:

    That white one is gorgeous. I’d like to ride an F6b version of this new Lead Wing, with standard telescoping fork. Honda’s engineering prowess is uncanny.

    • slipjoint says:

      I was thinking the same about the blue. I am retiring in the next year or two…………hmmm

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “That white one is gorgeous.”

      funny that looks an RTP unit. we don’t hear much about them like we do with BMW’s, Harleys, and Ponch and Jon’s Zeds but Alabama State Police run Goldies. i was chatting up an officer back during one of the early visits of AMA at Barber. can’t find a picture, but it looks like parts of Texas uses them also. maybe you guys who’ve been to COTUS GP have seen them…

      https://tinyurl.com/ycys8tm3

  19. My2cents says:

    I have owned a GoldWing in the past and thought it was the perfect motorcycle for long distance. Luggage room to spare, weather protection, rock solid handling, long term ownership friendly, just load it up and go. The models that followed gained weight with each update until a fully fueled 1800 topped up at over 900 lbs, mind you still able show up on a twisty road and completely insane mid range. I had wished Honda would drop weight for no other issue could improve the package, they did and now a whole new model that will exceed the previous unit in one giant leap.

    If you want to go the distance on any surfaced road this is the one and so good that it is second place does not even exist.

  20. Emoto says:

    Are the side bags really only about 30L each? I have had 30L bags, so I know what you can stuff into a space that size. They would be a joke on a long trip.

    • Hot Dog says:

      Turn your underwear inside out, you can get an extra day or two out of them. Just helping you pack less…

      Yep, they’re big but there’s not a better all weather platform on pavement, than one of these beasts. I had a 2004 Wing, put 116,000 miles on it and loved it. I now have a VFR12X DCT and it’s fantastic. I think they new Wing with DCT will be a sell out.

  21. Dave Sumner says:

    I rented a 2008 goldwing several years ago in Las Vegas for a week-long group ride with my wife and some friends. The rest of the crew were on BMW’s … RT, GS and one 4 cylinder sport bike I forgot the designation of (K … something). I was a bit concerned about keeping up in the curves or dropping it turning into parking lots. I had never ridden a Gold Wing but it was my wife’s first overnight ride and I promised her something comfortable.

    It turned out not to be a problem, the group kept relatively close to the speed limit most of the time and there were not that many curves. I found the Wing an uncannily easy bike to ride despite it’s size, even slowly. I had warned my wife I may need to ride around a bit before I was comfortable with her climbing on the back, but I zipped down the parking lot at the Eagle Rider location and back and said “I’m good”. It even did great in valley of the gods on the dirt for several miles. When we got home my wife wanted one for Christmas, she like riding on the back that much. Most of her riding had been on my DL650, traded away several years ago. We were lucky to do a week-long ride in Spain/France with the same group of friends on a BMW RT in 2016. I know some people rave about them and they can ridden much better than I rode it but it felt like moose and neither of us liked it at all, wished we were back on the wing.

    The Wing is a much bigger bike than I/we need and I am reluctant to spend that much, particularly just having downsized my Burgman 400 to a Yamaha SMAX that can be carried on our motorhome (damn that 350 lb tongue weight limit!!). That is our usual mode of transport for our road trips these days, and for our upcoming retirement, but I’m 53 and not done with bikes and I’d certainly be interested in riding one on a long trip again. It would be interesting to see if I like it as much here on the east coast where our roads are twister than what I rode out in the desert.

  22. Cagefree says:

    Great update to a motorcycle legend. If its not for you then look elsewhere but for its intended purpose and track record of reliability its the King.

  23. Dennis Hill says:

    Finally a proper bike for DCT. This is the first Wing I have ever considered, but maybe 76 IS old after all. Who knew?

    • Dino says:

      you’re only as old as you want to feel!

      ride what you want, whether it is a Wing, a GSX-R, a Scooter, or a Trike of some sort.. Just keep ridin’, and you’ll stay young!!!!

      I have been thinking of the Wing, mainly for my wife’s sake. Nice that it has lost 90 pounds of weight. I’m only (only?) 50, and just not ready to give up the smaller, faster, lighter bike now.. Solo trips are fine on a smaller bike, so until she says she doesn’t mind camping in the rain……

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “a Trike of some sort”

        Yamaha Niken, for no other reason than to show up at the local riding spot and be “that guy”.

  24. Motowarrior says:

    One point I should add is that my riding has not be just been in the US, although I have ridden coast to coast 6 times. Never in all my US miles have I had the need for anything the size of a Goldwing. And when you factor in riding in other countries, a Goldwing or a bike that size really makes no sense. My wife and I have ridden in nearly 60 countries, some several times, and it very seldom involves highway riding. A mid-size adventure touring bike around 800cc is perfect for this task. If you want to cruise US interstates (why would you want to do that?) then maybe a Goldwing works. I have found, however, that the backroads in the US or elsewhere is where the adventure and fun is to be found.

    • David M says:

      It seems that you are simply using this article as a place to brag about your riding experience.

      If the bike doesn’t suit your style of travel, that’s fine. But it obviously suits a lot of other people who don’t choose to replicate what you do. It doesn’t suit me either but that’s ok. Now about the piddly assed 800cc being perfect…

    • paul246 says:

      Motowarrior, aka William Robinson below, your repetitious ad nauseum is just what David M says it is… bragging… and boring.

  25. Bubba Blue says:

    I was surprised when I came to the passage “From an aesthetic perspective, it looks slim and sporty, especially when the topcase is removed.” I hadn’t picked up on any comment that a removable topcase was a feature. That discussion would merit specifics.

  26. CrazyJoe says:

    I like you old guys saying your not old enough for a grand dad bike. As a old guy I would love one. What I can’t handle is the price. Sure I have it but 31,500 for bike? Ouch. This update has taken a huge leap in price.

    With Yamaha and Kawasaki’s three wheelers in the news wasn’t Honda going to put out one called a Neo Wing? Great styling but probably cost 40,000.

    Are they going to come out with a Valkerie? How about Neo version like the 1000 OR the 300 on their UK site? The Neo design looks like the new standard ujm. It would work on Gold Wing. It might show off that engine too.

  27. Frank says:

    Nor so sure about the decision to send someone with little or no experience to critique a luxury touring bike, and a completely redone Gold Wing in particular, which represents that segments ‘best of’ for so many years. Think I’ll refer to other experienced journalists for now until I get to drive one myself.

    • Don says:

      I think your comment is accurate. “Overall, the new 2018 Gold Wing is a marked improvement over the outgoing model in many ways.” The author makes this statement after admitting he’s never ridden any Gold Wing before, so he can only be parroting back what the Honda marketing people have told him. It’s interesting that those same marketing people keep stressing how this is a two-up tourer but never mention the smaller luggage space on the new version. I want to read a story where a couple travel across the country on the new bike after having used the old version for the same ride. Do they feel hampered by a lack of space on the new bike or is it easy to adapt? The author, assumedly, has his wife on back to provide feedback but when she informs him the stereo isn’t loud enough he dismisses the valuable info in a somewhat offhanded manner (I thought).

  28. redbirds says:

    Gold Wing’s handle incredibly well considering their size. Yellow Wolf on the “Dragon”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37XLJNLpzxQ

    • Dino says:

      Never saw him in action, but heard about him, and that was on the old model.. I assume the new one would be even faster since it is lighter…

      Wonder if he has any floorboards left, pictures of him throwing sparks i nthe corners.

    • MGNorge says:

      Reminds me of a trip up Mt. Rainier with my neighbor. The pace is quick enough you miss all the scenery! Wings do just fine in the twisty bits if that’s what you want.

  29. Mark says:

    That frame would make for an interesting naked bike custom.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “interesting naked bike custom”

      it’s not an interesting naked bike custom it’s A CHOPPER…

      https://tinyurl.com/ydefuozl

      • Jimmihaffa says:

        Willis: “Choppers’ Zed’s”
        Pretty Lady: “Who is Zed”
        Willis: “Zed’s dead baby, Zed’s dead..”
        Pulling up alongside Willis on a 2020 Kawasaki Z1400 supercharged luxo-tourer…Arnold
        Arnold (to Willis): “Zed ain’t dead…I’m back…Phased plasma rifle in 40-watt range.” As he burns smoke and rubber peeling away from Willis…

  30. BobR says:

    I’ve owned and ridden motorcycles for over 50 years now (I’m going to be 72 this year). I’ve also taught motorcycle riding for more than 10 years, although I “retired” from that a few years ago. I’ve owned a GL1800 since 2003 when it was new and my wife insisted I get one! Taking it home from the dealer was the first time I had ever ridden a Wing, and I told myself on the way that: “she made me get a sportbike without her knowing it”. It’s been a great ride and we’ve put an enjoyable 130,000 km on it; but, when they announced the 2018 model in October – I pre-ordered a Tour DCT without hesitation and without ever riding one too. I expect it to be GREAT, even if it has reduced cargo capacity.

    Since 1969 I have also owned an Austin Healey 3000 and my wife and I used to love taking it for a ride, even with our three kids and dog. Since getting a Wing (and the kids all grown up), my wife really prefers to go for a ride on the bike and the Healey is getting much less used. So, riding a bike compared to touring in a sports car can have different appeals to different people.

  31. Geoffrey Hill says:

    Bought a new ’98 Wing. Wife used to fall asleep on the back also. Kept the rear shock way over max recommended air pressure. Had NO chicken strip on rear tire. It handled well.

  32. Buzzard says:

    In 1978 I purchased a gold wing at age of 26, piped it jetted it.Smooth and quick. My twin and I have owned Busa’s ZX 14’s ninja 1000’S and many more other motorcycles. In 2013 we both purchased F6B’s Deluxe and riders made fun of the wing until we got them in the twisties. ” Oh my God I didn’t know
    They were that agile”. I used to make fun of them like some of these readers. I ordered a 2018 Goldwing non tour and am excited about the new engine and suspension. If I get where I can’t ride (2) wheels i’ll buy a covertabile put the top down and wear my helmet. LOL

  33. paul246 says:

    I have ridden the previous 1800 Goldwing, an amazingly good handling bike with lots of power. I can’t wait to give this new rendition a try.

  34. Sentinel says:

    I never have understood the appeal of these barges on two wheels.

    • Snake says:

      Then you need to try my current ride, a Goldwing Valkyrie. All that massive engine grunt, less filling body weight ^_^

      https://youtu.be/vBfsxbXk7B0

      If you don’t want the “Meet the bike” leadup, the fun starts at 2:30 :p

      Also:

      https://youtu.be/KBl7kd7GYyg

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “the fun starts at 2:30…”

        …then a new Ducati V4 shows up at 5:45, oh wait.

        • Snake says:

          That’s a VFR800, not a Duc Panigale V4. And it’s one of his riding buddies, remember “Where are the others, why cannot I see the others?” (because he left them in the dust when he pulled out of the parking lot! :p )

          Try from 7:42, where he drops down to either 2nd or 3rd and then 8:20, where he waves one of his guys to come next to him and they then do a roll-on. Watch the dot in the righthand rearview get smaller!! ^_^ [laughs] “It’s not possible, it’s a CRUISER for gods-sakes!!”

          Love this guy’s reactions!

          Technically the VFR800 is 0.4 seconds faster 0-60, but that’s only if you happen to be in the right gear and wring its neck. The Valk just such a torque monster that twisting the throttle, in just about any gear, is an absolute HOOT!

        • Snake says:

          That’s a VFR800, not a Ducati. It’s one of his riding buddies, you know, the ones that he LOST when he pulled out of the parking lot and twisted the grip? “Where are the others, why cannot I see the others?” :p

          Go to 8:20, where he does a roll-on against one of his riding buddies. Watch the dot in the righthand mirror get smaller!

          Love this guy’s reactions to riding the thing 😀

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “That’s a VFR800, not a Duc Panigale V4.”

          no worries “Snake Pliskin”, it’s a running joke here at MD, welcome.

    • larryc7777 says:

      Go 500 miles a day for several days on anything else and I think you’ll begin to understand.

      • Selecter says:

        Done it here. Kawasaki GPz1100, Kawasaki Z750S, T509 Speed Triple, Yamaha FZ6… There’s a whole lot of “anything else” that one can easily do multiple 500-mile days on and not be worn out.

        Each can do what they will with their own money. For my money, spending $24k on a touring bike would be ‘nice’, but not even remotely necessary. Not even close.

        • My2cents says:

          I’ve ridden 500 and much more than 500 mile days on several motorcycles as well including a GoldWing, so I speak from first hand experience. At no time during a full day ride would you ever regret this choice. But it’s like choosing a $50 hotel room over a $125 hotel room, you get what you pay for.

        • Snake says:

          Well, admittedly, those are all good motorcycles with, compared to many other modern bikes, moderate seating positions, the entire lot of them.

          What I wouldn’t give for a great, true GPz recreation right now. Power, moderate weight and actual comfort, please?

          • Selecter says:

            For the record, my GPz was the mid ’90s model – a steel spine-frame with a retuned ZX-11 engine stuffed into it. It was roomy, smooth, and unfortunately carbureted. It would swallow a 500-mile day like nothing as long as the needle valves weren’t sticking and puking gas all over the place…

            I quite liked it, aside from that!

        • larryc7777 says:

          But the main point is that you haven’t done those miles on a dedicated touring bike…so how can you possibly compare the level of comfort and lack of fatigue at the end of each day. If, for instance, you had done a couple of trips on a newer Goldwing and a couple of trips on one of those other bikes then you would have a basis for comparison.

          When I was much younger I always ordered new performance cars with the least number of “non performance” options as possible( no A/C, no radio, no anything that added weight and didn’t add performance). As I got older I discovered that my body kinda liked having the creature comforts provided by those options. The same applies here. You can make long trips on performance oriented motorcycles(and I have) but I bet you will be more relaxed and less tired at the end of the day having riden that distance on a good touring bike.

          • Norm G. says:

            but here in the 21st century now the air conditioning DOES add performance in the form of a liquid to air inter-cooler. ladies and gentlemen, the DODGE DEMON putting a new twist on an old drag racer’s trick…

            https://tinyurl.com/yao6dqtr

          • larryc7777 says:

            Dodge Demon(Drool, drool, drool). On top until the next round in the Manufacturer’s War. Reminds me of the factory competition of the late 60’s & early 70’s…only with A LOT more HP. 🙂

  35. VLJ says:

    Ooops, make that Justin, not Dirck.

  36. VLJ says:

    Justin’s trepidation over riding this thing for the first time reminds me of when I sold Hondas and had to deal with Gold Wings for the first time.

    Scary. The really old used models, especially, with their rubber-mounted bars that literally moved in my hands as I’d try to walk the behemoth out of the showroom and around a corner and down a gradual slope. Throwing a leg over and negotiating it in the parking lot for the first time was a white-knuckle affair for me.

    Glad we both managed to make it through.

  37. Montana says:

    “…..I’ve never ridden a Gold Wing. Honestly, I’ve never ridden anything quite this big before.”

    “…..the new 2018 Gold Wing is a marked improvement over the outgoing model in many ways.”

    How did you come to this conclusion Justin?

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Justin can weigh in, but I believe he was referring to objective criteria. Lighter weight, more efficient, better looking, etc. I have ridden every Gold wing, and I plan to do a review of the same bike soon.

  38. Greg Breneman says:

    I have a 2015 BMW 1600GT. The new wing is no match for it in power or cornering clearance so any idea about sporty riding is out. The bags also detach on the BMW and I like the way it looks. As for advertising the first video ad I saw for the wing featured some wimpy male riding pillion behind some woman. Good job Honda insulting your customer base as I am sure that doesn’t help the image or sales. In the end one big yawn and forgettable.

    • Lynchenstein says:

      You seem personally threatened.

    • xootrx says:

      That’s ridiculous. The BMW is quicker, yes, but the Gold Wing is still a fast motorcycle. Cornering clearance differences are minimal, and the Gold Wing is still a great handling bike, so sporty riding definitely NOT out. But we’re talking about touring bikes here, and a majority of roads in the U.S. aren’t twisties, so there are other factors to consider, such as wind protection, all day comfort, etc., and the Gold Wing blows the BMW clean away in those areas. Then there’s the reliability issues you don’t read about in the motorcycling press, such as BMW’s chronic drive line failures, as well as electrical bugs, neither of which get much response, or even acknowledgement, from the factory. Go to any Iron Butt rally, and see how many BMW riders bring along extra drive line parts, just in case.

      • WillyL says:

        Compare service costs at the 100000 km mark as well. The BMW is a great bike but the GL has the touring class dialed

    • I KNOW A FEW PEOPLE WHO HAVE BMW’S AND ITS FULL OF PROBLEMS, COME ON.

    • dale says:

      BMW rider attitude (actually most of them, not all of them)! To them their bike is KING of the universe!

  39. dt 175 says:

    passenger sure looks at ease…

  40. ABQ says:

    I just don’t get something. Motorcycle companies are finding ways to make their bikes more fuel efficient. But then they reduce the size of the gas tank so you still only get the same range. The Goldwing is supposed to be a touring bike. It is supposed to go the distance. But they shrink the gas tank???

  41. steveinsandiego says:

    stunningly good looks, but at 69 i’m more attracted to 400lbs wet.

  42. Blitz11 says:

    I think you mean “CAN Bus” electrical system, not “canvas” electrical system. Also, “rear brake,” not ” rear break.” Sorry to nit-pick, but i just finished reviewing student design reports, and was in that sort of mood.

    Very interesting about the steering feel and delay. To provide context, is the author’s background sport bikes, sport tourers or just general motorcycling?

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Thanks for catching those.

    • Just Tom says:

      +1 to Blitz11: I appreciate Justin’s “first ride review”, but we have no idea what his background is so it’s difficult to know what to think of his impression. I highly respect Dirck’s opinion, but am all for multiple perspectives. Can we learn more about Justin so we have some context for potential reviews?

  43. Gary says:

    I think Honda did a great job except for one thing: They should not have down-sized the side luggage, and they should have made it removable. If they had done that, they would have given BMW a run for the money. As it stands, no way I’ll be trading in my R1200RT. I can use the RT to cleanly split lanes during the week, and every so often I load it up with side case, top cases, bags, a wife, etc., and it is an excellent tourer that weighs significantly less than the Wing.

    • paul246 says:

      That is why you use inserts with handles that you remove from the hard bag, it saves scratching up the finish while toting your stuff around.

      • Gary says:

        The thing that makes removable luggage so nice is that it can be removed. That gives the bike a much narrower beam, which makes it more practical to commute and ride every day. I commute on my RT every day, and save hours of time every week because I can easily go between lanes. Granted, you can also do this on a wing and other bikes with permanent side bags, but it makes it more difficult.

        • Stuki Moi says:

          And the downside to removable bags, is that when attached, they are much wider than integrated ones, necessitating removing them far more often for tight traffic commuting.

          In practice, the ‘Wing’s bags are narrow. They sit low, so don’t move much laterally when leaning. If you can get the ‘Wing’s gigantic front fairing through a gap, the bags will follow safely. Yet, despite their narrowness, they still swallow most full size helmets with a bit of body English. And are always with you. For when you unanticipatedly have to pick up some stuff on the way back home. Or, even more importantly, on the way to a concert, where you’ll have to park the bike unattended for a few hours and the lockable hard bags are comforting.

          Not saying BMW is somehow screwing up. They have the best and most comprehensive factory luggage offerings of any brand. Just that there are pros and cons to both approaches.

          • Gary says:

            Point taken. But I’m not sure you’re correct. I’d have measure, but I’m pretty sure my RT, with bags attached, is still narrower than a Wing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big Wing fan. I’ve owned several, and they are solid bikes. Probably more reliable than BMWs. But I stand by my premise.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “I’d have (to) measure, but I’m pretty sure my RT, with bags attached, is still narrower than a Wing.”

            Gary my friend do yourself a favor and MEASURE, i’ve seen widebody jets with narrower “fuselages” than an RT with bags. look, you don’t wanna end up like the FJ rider at the docks…

            https://tinyurl.com/yc5s94hs

    • Jodyz says:

      The R1200RT is at the top of my list but the Wing is now tied neck and neck. Of course, back to back test rides will be required to see which one suits me better. Price of the RT and seat height of the GW may be fighting for top spot on the pros/cons lists. If my 30″ inseam can survive the RT then I’ll probably save the few thousand $ and buy the BMW.

      • Gary says:

        Great idea to ride both. I had owned a succession of GLs over the years … from 1000s to 1200s, and I test rode several six-cylinders. But once I rode the RT, there was no going back.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        Perhaps somewhat counter intuitively, a shorter inseam is a benefit when riding the RT for any distance, as it doesn’t have a world of legroom. Neither does the ‘Wing, in all honesty (blame boxer layout engines in both cases), but the ‘Wing accommodates highway pegs much more naturally and comfortably.

    • jimjim says:

      Love my RT with removable luggage, ride it that way most of the time and it still looks great without the bags.

  44. ivan says:

    I have to say that these updates to the GoldWing put this model on my shortlist for a new bike. I’ve been riding since 1967 and have ridden just about every kind of bike we have here in the US. I have looked at GoldWings before and they always seemed just too much bike, too big, too heavy. But I can see riding this model now, especially with the top box removed. I’m don’t need to be hanging off a bike and showering sparks in the twisties to enjoy riding anymore. And like Justin says the GoldWing is one of the few bikes that introduces itself; you don’t have to explain why you didn’t just get a Harley. lol.

  45. bmbktmracer says:

    It sure looks far nicer than the previous model. I wish I understood touring on a motorcycle, though. I’ve tried it and it’s miserable. You’re either too hot or too cold, stopping for food is time-consuming and unpleasant. You can’t just stop somewhere and take a quick look around due to the helmets and riding gear and time involved. You’re very limited with what you can take and what you can bring home. You can’t talk to your passenger unless through a headset. So, I agree with Honda that the vast majority of Wing buyers don’t need all that capacity for the way most riders use their motorcycles. My recommendation: get a Miata for touring and a lightweight bike for fun.

    • mickey says:

      Yea you really don’t get touring on a motorcycle. I love rolling up miles, watching the scenery change, feeling the heat, the cold, getting wet, it’s all part of the ride. Starting in Ohio, staying the night in Missouri, the next night in Texas, the next night in California different geographies, different climates, different flora and fauna, oak trees here, palm trees there, cactus here and just rock formations there. Mountains, deserts, swamps, dense forests. man I love motorcycle touring. You take what you need and not what you don’t. Talking to a passenger thru a headset is vastly superior to the old way we used to do it by turning your head ( and taking your eyes off the road) and yelling.

      So where do you ride that you have to hop off and eat fast, and what places are you visiting that can’t take time to take your helmet off? Seems to me you are severly limiting the use of your motorcycle.

      • Scotty says:

        Cant agree more Mickey! Motorcycle touring is wonderful – new people, new roads, new foods, new cultures, new experiences. Yeah I get wet – its part of the deal. I ride solo, and with one other rider, a close freind of 17 years. We have a great time. Got my licence, and two weeks later was off on a 10 day trip on an SRX600. Changed my life.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I guess my take on it is similar to Mickey’s. I don’t consider myself a touring motorcyclist seeing as it isn’t something that I do often. But I do enjoy the occasional journey: Africa, Europe, TAT, or just a tarmac trip through several states. I don’t mind being cold or hot or wet, lost or found. Truth is, I find something refreshing about the discomfort and uncertainty.

      That said, a Goldwing is not the kind of bike I would own. It is too focused for my tastes. But if you’re thing is covering paved ground two up with luggage, I can certainly understand how a bike like this might be invaluable.

      • mickey says:

        Honestly the bike doesn’t matter. Whether it’s top of the line like a Goldwing or BMW/6 or like Scottys SRX600 (my first out of state trip or tour was in 1968 on a CL77 305 Scrambler, the bike that taught me I could ride further than just in my neighborhood and that I didn’t need to sleep in my own bed). Touring is a state of mind and a willingness/eagerness to experience different things. Those that run the same canyons weekend after weekend racing their buddies will never understand.

        A bike like this Goldwing will let you experience those things in comfort, as fast as you want to go, for as long as you want to go, with minimal fuss. It frees you to enjoy the journey.

  46. Rapier says:

    Reduced fuel capacity? That is completely insane. What is it with Honda?

    I just took a break to go look up the VFR 1200 again. A bike ruined by low fuel capacity and range. For the amount of machine you get they are practically giving away used ones. Then you figure you have to start looking for gas at 125 miles on your touring bike and, damn. I did consider one for about 30 minutes last year. Nah

    This isn’t as bad probably but still. it’s bad.

    • The range on the new Goldwing will be about the same as the old because of the increased fuel efficiency.

      My 2012’s fuel warning light comes on at 210-220 miles. With a gallon left, I can go another 30-35.

      So, the range on the new bike, with 40+ MPG will be similar – well over 200 miles.

      • WSHart says:

        And the new Wing could’ve had greater range, but NOOOooOOOoOOooo…Honda decided that in order to lose weight, they would claim greater mpg and give it less fuel capacity. Also, make the bags and trunk smaller. After all, this thing’s for young peepses, not old farts and young peepses don’t need to carry much more than a credit card and their ego.

        Someone else here mentioned the Miata. Sounds like a much better touring rig than this neutered winglet. But yeah, it will sell because many Wingnuts tend to be nuts, and in a year or two Honda will make a special touring edition with a 7 gallon tank and bigger bags/trunk.

        As for the so-called “bagger” edition? Well, as someone smarter than most once said, it ain’t an elephant if it ain’t got a trunk. Keep your Effete Wing, Honda. Let me know when you get some real range and storage for adults. No one needs a touring rig but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make it right the first time. You did the same dumbass thing with the Africa Twin when you gave it a smallish tank and the next year (this year in fact) offered a “special” edition with a substantially larger tank.

        Isn’t that just special? Miata, hell yes. But I think I’d even take a new Fiat Spyder over this winglet. Honda just screwed the paunch (i.e., older Wing owners).

        All riding is touring, kids. You need range and Honda claims the same range as before due to supposed increased mpg. Why did they not just leave the bigger tank on board? Oh yeah, they can claim lighter weight again. FTN.

        • SausageCreature says:

          I know, right? I mean, without a trunk there’s less room for curly pin-striping and all those shriner/elks lodge stickers. And where would I mount the little American flags?

          Next thing you know they’ll tell us there’s no way to pull a trailer.

          • Randy D. says:

            Hopefully you can pull a Unigo (1 wheel) trailer like I have and hardly know you are. 8^ ) Then you have plenty of room.

          • WSHart says:

            So you’re just gonna pack your sausage right up against your backside? No trunk for that junque eh SausageCreature?

            The winglet is a nice scooter but they should’ve given it a bigger tank for more range, especially out West. And the bags and trunk are nigh on worthless. It will sell and as I said, Honda will pull an Africa Twin and put out a special edition with a bigger fuel tank and bigger bags/trunk in a year or two, LOL!

            Then there will be much howling and gnashing of dentures.

          • Dino says:

            WSHart… “Then there will be much howling and gnashing of dentures.”
            Best post of the day!

      • Stuki Moi says:

        I really hope Honda verified the “similar range” claim with serious practical testing. Not “according to the EPA” type mpg gaming calculations. In general, where you need range, is also where you can get away with, hence will be, whacking it. The new bike supposedly handles better. Which, in practice, out in the open where gas stations are few and far between, means you’ll ride it harder. Etc., etc.

        Theoretical range at a steady 55mph on a flat interstate with no wind, is a pretty useless metric. So, again, I really hope that is not what Honda is referring to when they claim equivalent range.

        • Grover says:

          I agree. A sportier bike will result in opening the throttle wider and more often. People that want a touring bike want all the range you can give them and I think this is the biggest detractor on the 2018 ‘Wing because it COULD have had more range (always a good thing.) A reserve of fuel on a lonely road is always comforting.

    • My2cents says:

      The folks at Honda are probably not the insane

  47. William Robinson says:

    When I was much younger, any time I would talk to riding buddies about Goldwings they would say, “We’re not old enough to buy Goldwings.” Now that I’ve been riding for well over half a century, I still don’t think that I am old enough for a Goldwing. I just don’t understand riding a motorcycle that big, heavy and car-like. Yes, I am sure it is great for a passenger who would just as soon be riding in a Miata, but to me the joy in riding a bike has more to do with the basic nature of a motorcycle than the luxury. I’ve ridden a bunch of miles on a lot of different motorcycles, and I have begrudgingly grown to appreciate some advancements such as ABS and heated grips. I’m sure there are lots of riders out there who will appreciate all the advanced technology and will consider this their dream bike, and that’s fine. For me, however, this is a barge too far.

    • viktor92 says:

      Totally agree. The bike is a technological marvel, but it’s almost a car with two wheels. Heated grips, heated seats, bluetooth, satelital radio, etc. etc… why not buy a car instead of this mammoth on two wheels ??

    • Hey guys – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

      It’s far more “motorcycle” than you might expect.

      I loved my Kawasaki Nomad – but the Goldwing I bought a couple of years ago is amazing.

      Nothing like a car. Trust me.

      Safe riding.

      • MGNorge says:

        I’d have to agree. Riding any motorcycle is going to be aa riding experience (preferred) to being in a car. This is why we have choice folks, what a boring, boring world we’d have if we didn’t. Is the Goldwing for everyone, certainly not, but that can be said about most everything. If I was a regular long distance traveler the Wing would be a major candidate for me, no doubt.

        • William Robinson says:

          One point I should add is that my riding has not be just been in the US, although I have ridden coast to coast 6 times. Never in all my US miles have I had the need for anything the size of a Goldwing. And when you factor in riding in other countries, a Goldwing or a bike that size really makes no sense. My wife and I have ridden in nearly 60 countries, some several times, and it very seldom involves highway riding. A mid-size adventure touring bike around 800cc is perfect for this task. If you want to cruise US interstates (why would you want to do that?) then maybe a Goldwing works. I have found, however, that the backroads in the US or elsewhere is where the adventure and fun is to be found.

          • Randy D. says:

            I agree, WR, interstates is for when you have X amount of time to get from A to B. Side roads break up the monotone and have found even the comfort of my butt. 750 to 1,000cc is all I need for 1 or 2up long distance riding in 50+ years of touring. If I want luxury I’ll drive the car. For an adventure it’s by bike or maxi-scooter. Actually the scooter is half way between a bike and car as far as luxury goes, IMHO.

          • MGNorge says:

            My point is that we have choice. I use my Wing owning neighbor as an example of someone very happy riding his Wing with his wife on back. He seems happy as a clam. Am I to argue that or push my preference upon him?

  48. Tyler says:

    I read that they changed the panniers & topcase with smaller units/lower volume, is that the case? If so, I can see that being a deal breaker for a true road warrior packing for a week long (or more) trip.

  49. joe b says:

    Put Mr. Ivins on that thing, lets get his feedback.