A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2018+)
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Scott_MacMartin
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:20 pm
Location: Ontario
Motorcycle: 2001 Goldwing 2018 Goldwing

A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by Scott_MacMartin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:26 pm



What better way to celebrate Friday 13 than getting the new 1800 GoldWing. I have owned a 2001 Honda GoldWing 1800 since, well, 2001. The 2001 Wing carries nearly 300,000km of memories. Nobody else wants a bike with this much history even if it runs flawlessly. So I will continue to enjoy its company.

While this report is about the new 2018 redesigned Wing, my familiarity is with the 2001 GoldWing. Comparisons are to that benchmark.

The 2018 GoldWing feels light when you initially stride it. Also lower. The weight is low and the bike feels light when rocked back and forth. The windshield is narrow and optically very good. Instrumentation is more "in front of you" than before. It seems a bit more difficult to get on without kicking the seat or passenger backrest because the seat seems shorter front to back.

Starting requires that you touch and release the kill-switch button and the engine itself manages the starting process. Most of us are familiar with holding the starter button until the engine catches, but this wing does it differently.

This new Wing feels very light at parking lot speeds. The automatic transmission handles slow turns (both acceleration and slowing) well at parking lot speeds. There does not appear to be any driveline lash which can disrupt balance.

Accelerating up to city speed limit of 60km/h reveals a MUCH louder exhaust note. It is clearly apparent and perhaps even masculine. The engine itself is a marvel of silence. Mild throttle settings are reflected in the automatic short shifting, eventually settling on 6th gear at about 70km/h. One can hear the gears being engaged as the automatic prepares for an upshift. This is markedly different from an automobile with its silent and invisible process. The Wing transmission is clearly a computer controlled manual transmission and the behaviour is clearly motorcycle. I approve instantly, and no longer reach for the clutch within about 10 minutes of city driving.

Pulling onto the highway it seems windier than I recall. So I slowed down to 100 from the indicated 130km/h. I am used to relating speed to shifting gears and so ended up going faster than I had expected. There is definitely more presence in the wind. The wind is blocked and I am comfortable. With this bike I actually prefer my full face. On the previous bike I preferred an open face as the air was so quiet that the helmet became hot and claustrophobic. Turbulence behind traffic is very noticeable and unpleasant on the older wing. Turbulence following traffic on this 2018 Wing is not unpleasant, and I am pleased with that.

The sound of the exhaust seems to vanish as I run at highway speeds (for me, that is 100 to 110). The louder exhaust seems to be designed for in-town presence as the bike exhaust is also very quiet in the garage.

Handling is crisp. This bike feels more like my brother's 500cc naked bike than I had expected. This is more the motorcycle experience I recall from my youth, and it makes me smile.

Sweeping into corners is something that I will have to learn again. I have always used shifting of gears to confirm my speed (ie 4000rpm in third is perfect for this sweeping curve). I lose those reference points with the automatic, so must watch myself closely entering curves to avoid being too hot (or so slow as to make the curve uninteresting). I do not know if this will be a continuing issue for me, but I WILL know by the end of the summer.

Also, slowing the bike fractionally within a corner to compensate for a decreasing radius curve used to just run trailing throttle. Chopping the throttle in Tour mode behaves as if I just pulled in the clutch on the previous model. Sporting ride requires that one switches to the Sport mode to retain the feel of a full manual transmission in curves.

The seat is comfortable. One can move around on it - forward or back - or leaning a bit off the side. It does not contain you like the previous model and hold you in a set super comfy spot. The new bike seat is perhaps a bit more European and a bit less American. Both seats are nice but very different.

Brakes are awesome. I was checking my report written for the 2001 Wing in 2001 and wrote that exact three-word sentence. Brake design continuously gets better.

Temperature was plus 8C for todays riding. I did not find my fingers cold. I had set the heat at 3 out of 5 for my hands and that was quite enough. I set the seat at 1 out of 5 and that too was satisfactory.

It is almost as if the new Wing was intended to be sold alongside the older wing. The character of the new wing is sporty and taut. The character of the old Wing is comfort and silence. Very very different bikes.

I think I will keep both of them insured.
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AZgl1800
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800

Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by AZgl1800 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:40 am

great write up, and comparison to our old bikes..... wow!
calling an 1800 "old" is not something we thought we would ever say.

but, my '02 is like your '01, only in Hot Rod yeller. :mrgreen:
~John

See you at NASR-11 July 10th, 11th, 12th 2018

http://www.northamericangoldwings.com/c ... 9-nasr-11/

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WingVetteGSXR
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:39 pm
Location: Fox Island, WA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800, 2006 Suzuki GSX-R600

Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by WingVetteGSXR » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:35 pm

Just picked up my new Blue Tour DCT yesterday. Getting ready to tear it down to install all the farkles before I ride it. I too have an old 1800. A beautiful black '03 with 76,000 miles. Running into the same problem. No one wants an old bike regardless of condition. No bites at all. Can't see keeping it around though. Probably will have to end up "giving it away". A shame. Especially cause it's got a warehouse full of farkles.

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AZgl1800
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800

Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by AZgl1800 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:55 pm

WingVetteGSXR wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:35 pm
A shame. Especially cause it's got a warehouse full of farkles.


Farkles are only of value to he who paid for them.

My '02 had $4,000 of Kury chrome stuff on it when I bought it, and I got it for $500 below market at a dealership.
Local market, not the typical dealer markup prices... other 1800s in different areas were going for 8500-10000 at the same time. it had 77,000 on the odometer, and sat neglected for a year at the dealership. just as purty as the others, you could not see one dime's worth of difference in looks.
~John

See you at NASR-11 July 10th, 11th, 12th 2018

http://www.northamericangoldwings.com/c ... 9-nasr-11/

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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:08 am

AZgl1800 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:55 pm
WingVetteGSXR wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:35 pm
A shame. Especially cause it's got a warehouse full of farkles.


Farkles are only of value to he who paid for them.

My '02 had $4,000 of Kury chrome stuff on it when I bought it, and I got it for $500 below market at a dealership.
Local market, not the typical dealer markup prices... other 1800s in different areas were going for 8500-10000 at the same time. it had 77,000 on the odometer, and sat neglected for a year at the dealership. just as purty as the others, you could not see one dime's worth of difference in looks.
Yup, my GL1500 came to me with a TON (well, not a ton, but still quite a bit of weight) of chrome bits plastered all over it that someone had spent a lot of time and money purchasing and installing. It did not change the price/value of the bike one cent. I took almost all of it off and sold the chrome bits on eBay where someone else paid to buy the bits and install them on their bike, thereby increasing their own bike's resale value by $0.



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