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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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
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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

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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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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

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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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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by WingAdmin » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:13 pm

A couple images I saw that show some interesting things about the layout of the new 2018 Goldwing:

Difference between 2017 and 2018 Goldwing
Difference between 2017 and 2018 Goldwing


Frame vs Body on 2018 Goldwing
Frame vs Body on 2018 Goldwing


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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by Rednaxs60 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:36 pm

Finally got to sit on one, and discuss the bike with the dealership. Very impressive actually when you consider the market Honda is targeting. Hope the dealership still has a demo when I get back from Ontario, would like to ride one.

Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by Scoutens » Tue May 01, 2018 5:16 am

Any complaints about decreased storage between the GL1800 and the new? I'm considering replacing my '03 this year or next. I'm definitely looking forward to the reviews and comparisons you pioneers impart!

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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by Ronnowell » Tue May 01, 2018 5:23 am

2018 wing
Got mine yesterday , all I can say is wow ! What a bike 😊
Rode my 07 to the dealership fighting the cross winds , on the 18 barely felt the wind or road snakes , handling and the dct transmission are just awesome , now to figure out all the programming ....

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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by TWOWHEELCOWBOY » Tue May 01, 2018 7:15 pm

Congratulations Scott, kind of interesting I bought mine on the 14th the same exact bike best of luck and many happy miles.
Joe
I thank Jesus for everyday I can still throw a leg over and ride :)
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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by ex vtxer » Fri May 18, 2018 2:46 pm

i was at dealer other day and noticed that new 2018 dont have Goldwing badge on them!
None of the 2018 models have one, any reason for that???

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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by C-dub » Fri May 18, 2018 4:53 pm

ex vtxer wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:46 pm
i was at dealer other day and noticed that new 2018 dont have Goldwing badge on them!
None of the 2018 models have one, any reason for that???
I'm not exactly sure what "badge" you are thinking about, but the 2018 and my 2016 both have the round Goldwing badge/emblem on both side of the fairing. That's the only one my 2016 has other than the word Goldwing on the die panels over the rider footpegs.

Was there another type of badge on the front fender on previous models?
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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by WingVetteGSXR » Tue May 22, 2018 11:10 pm

Just put 198 miles on my new Tour DCT on my first day out. Mostly tour mode, a little bit of sport mode. Totally mixed day: meandering thru rural areas, highway, and some twisties. Speed 30 - 70mph. Computer said I averaged 49.9mpg. When I topped off and did the math (both tops off were filled exactly to the brim), it said 46.6mpg. So the computer being a bit liberal with its estimate.

I'm very happy with this though. I was one of the skeptical about Honda's claims about 20% better mpg. I used to average 43mpg on long trips fully loaded with my wife on my '03, but those were usually long days at speed, 50-70mph in sweepers or straight roads. I can easily see maybe about 48 - 49 mpg on a long day with mostly constant speeds in Eco mode. So my worries about highly reduced range I think won't be a player.

A few observations: Handling- little bit better than my '03. Acceleration feel- a little bit better than my '03. Noticable, but nothing to write home about. Suspension very smooth, love watching those tie rods jump up and down.

Electronics interface- very cool. Still waiting on my back ordered SENA SRL, so couldn't test out Apple Car Play yet. But could easily scroll thru my phone's playlist etc using iPod mode. I had it plugged in, but will try bluetooth next time. Navigation mode is highly restricted once you start rolling. Really annoying. Some of the menus you can't scroll both sideways and up and down, but not all of them.

Storage is what it is. My biggest complaint and that almost stopped me from buying the bike, but I knew this going into the deal.

DCT really easy to get used to. Very intuitive. Almost like it's got AI or something! I agree with the OP that you lose a little bit of feel in the twisties when in full auto. Manual mode a must in twisties.

Didn't see a lot of difference between Tour and Sport modes. Noticeable, but like acceleration and handling, not overly so.

Have to get used to the horn switch position. I tried to use it once when a cager got a little aggressive, and I reached for and pressed the downshift button. LOL!

The four way rocker and enter button on the left handlebar is pretty small and hard to use with summer gloves. I imagine winter gloves will be even worse.

Honestly I don't see any reason for the big dial/enter button on the "tank". It only seems to duplicate the use of the four way/enter switch on the left handlebar.

It's nice having a new bike with all the bells and whistles, but the only reason I did it was that my '03, at 15 years old was starting to worry me about reliability on long trips, even though it's been trouble free. Overall, given that even on my '03 I could mount my phone on a handlebar RAM mount and stream/phone call pretty much anything, I'd say that the two bikes are not a wash completely, but fairly close regarding handling and acceleration. Yes, riding modes and improved suspension are nice, but the bike overall is not the huge leap that I was expecting.

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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by ex vtxer » Wed May 23, 2018 12:33 am

I used the wrong venacular, i was thinking of the name "goldwing" on the side panels ???
(actually i was just wondering, just as i was in prior comment/question?)

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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by TWOWHEELCOWBOY » Wed May 23, 2018 8:07 am

Here,s my update. I’ve been blessed to have owned 7 Wings going back to 1985. I’ve worked at Honda dealerships and riden all the years and experienced all of the changes in technology. That being said, after riding my 2018 Wing for 1,000 miles, it is so good , so advanced in technology, suspension, power, handling, that if the sales person told me, that they would give me back my 2012 that I traded in plus all my money, plus a 5 thousand dollar bonus, I wouldn’t take it, I love the new wing that much. That’s just me, I’ll put up with the small luggage and other small things all day long. It funny to me most of the nay sayers don’t ever have any intentions of purchasing the new wing, and some of them have never owned a wing!
I thank Jesus for everyday I can still throw a leg over and ride :)
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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by C-dub » Wed May 23, 2018 10:29 pm

Seems like those have gotten the new 2018 Wing really like it. Are there any reviews or opinions from passengers about it?
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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by TWOWHEELCOWBOY » Wed May 23, 2018 11:12 pm

It’s like the Italians say what’s a behind you does notta matter :D
I know I’m gonna get a lot of hate mail from the misses on this one. Sorry
I thank Jesus for everyday I can still throw a leg over and ride :)
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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by C-dub » Thu May 24, 2018 7:16 am

TWOWHEELCOWBOY wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 11:12 pm
It’s like the Italians say what’s a behind you does notta matter :D
I know I’m gonna get a lot of hate mail from the misses on this one. Sorry
That’s from that one guy in the movie Gumball Rally. Right after he tears off his rear view mirror.
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by Springer » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:42 am

At the (severe) risk of oversimplification, I told my Honda dealership that my GL1500 was elephantine and my 2018 GL1800BD is a gazelle.

I suppose I'm in a definite minority, but I would not have even considered the 2018 Wing had it not been downsized from previous model years. I traded a much beloved CTX1300 Deluxe for it (and lost Traction Control in the bargain :| ). But...

The 2018 Wing is only about 50lb heavier at the curb and pannier capacity is identical. For all intents and purposes the 2018 was a very minor size adjustment to the CTX. Both bikes are extremely well balanced, comfortable, smooth and nimble.

But as someone looking back at age 73 with arthritic wrists and knees, the DCT, walking mode, hill start assist and cruise control offered on the 2018 were essential to keeping me on two wheels.

Looking back, I'm glad that I didn't go to a GL1800 directly from my GL1500; I might have passed up the 2018.

Regards
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Re: A comparison between the 2018 and 2001 GoldWing

Post by AZgl1800 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:19 am

Springer wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:42 am
At the (severe) risk of oversimplification, I told my Honda dealership that my GL1500 was elephantine and my 2018 GL1800BD is a gazelle.

I suppose I'm in a definite minority, but I would not have even considered the 2018 Wing had it not been downsized from previous model years. I traded a much beloved CTX1300 Deluxe for it (and lost Traction Control in the bargain :| ). But...

The 2018 Wing is only about 50lb heavier at the curb and pannier capacity is identical. For all intents and purposes the 2018 was a very minor size adjustment to the CTX. Both bikes are extremely well balanced, comfortable, smooth and nimble.

But as someone looking back at age 73 with arthritic wrists and knees, the DCT, walking mode, hill start assist and cruise control offered on the 2018 were essential to keeping me on two wheels.

Looking back, I'm glad that I didn't go to a GL1800 directly from my GL1500; I might have passed up the 2018.

Regards

Right there, is one Solid Good Point for the new 2018 model,

and one that I had not even considered for myself.

at 75, I am beginning to admit that my 2002 GL1800 is almost too heavy for me now...
yes, up at NASR-11 in Greendale, Indiana we joked about how many bikers does it take to unload a Goldwing off of a trailer.... 5, yup there was five of us...

me watching, as it was too hot for me, and I was almost ready to pass out from the heat....
but, the next morning, the temps got back down low, and after I board the bike and get rolling, it is all go go go....

If it ever lays down on me, and I'm all alone, it will just lay there until someone comes along and picks it up.


~John

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