A ride review on the new 2018 Goldwing

Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2018+)
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Posts: 2007
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

A ride review on the new 2018 Goldwing

Post by Rednaxs60 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:25 am

Went to my local Honda dealer to pick up some miscellaneous parts from my favorite parts guy - rode in on my '85 LTD. Had a good chin wag, and just before i left I wanted to find out how a person got to ride the new 1800 demo bike. I also owned an '08 1800 for three years that I had upgraded the suspension with Traxion for better performance and ride.

I was interested in this because a friend of mine, brand new rider, has been researching bikes, riding gear and whatever associated to motorcycles. He was an academic expert and he was a wealth of information; however, no practical experience. He went up to VI Honda in Nanaimo, BC to do a test ride on the Africa Twin DCT. He had a down payment on one here in Victoria and we convinced him it would be a good thing to do a test ride.

My other HD friend went with him and was going to do a test ride of the new 1800 DCT when my friend on the Africa Twin laid it down in the parking lot for a test ride of some $1500.00 CDN - a few scrapes and such. He has cancelled the purchase of the Africa Twin and went to the Triumph dealer and bought the 800 CC Tiger, he had done a test ride on it and it did not take a nap on him.

Getting back to my story. I asked the sales team what I would have to do to ride the new 1800. Sat down, showed my driver's licence, signed my life away, and was getting a pre-ride brief, about 10 minutes total.

Was given a good brief, and some of the more finer points were demonstrated. Would need some time to take in all the controls and bells/whistles, but I got the jist of most. Had it on the setting where the engine shut off when stopped for a period of time at a light. Even in this mode if you don't want this, you don't have to change the setting, just apply a little throttle and it will start again and idle while stopped. The horn is quite loud and rivals the horn on the older 1800s.

Mentioned when I got back that the pre-ride brief missed the horn and signals, but I found them anyway. the bike is quite comfortable, low centre of gravity, and ride is quite smooth. The front suspension is magic, can't say enough good things about it. The engine sound is a little more throaty than the older ones, and quite nice. Handles well and quite smooth riding. Found the DCT to be a bit harsh on the downshift, but not all the time. You can hear the gear changes as well - this has been mentioned. There are 4 modes as you know but I left it in the tour mode. Wound it up on the highway and it went down two gears and swill make you sit up and take note. No replacement for displacement. Overall very nice, but the front suspension is truly magic, everything else is great, but the front suspension is state of the art. Mentioned that it would be good to test ride in the rain because the weather envelope on the older 1800s is quite good and as long as you are moving, you do not get wet. The same with the my 1200, as long as it is moving you don't get wet, not as good as the 1800 but quite close.

The new wing is very nice, but I thought about all the hype and innovations compared to what I have. Won't comment on the difference in engines - knew this from having an 1800 with the 1200 - no replacement for displacement.

I have a stereo and sound quality is quite good. CB already installed. Fuel management system, trip computer, oil pressure/temperature indicator - the new 1800 does not, rear suspension has been upgraded as has the front, gets good fuel economy - 350 to 400 Km per tank, easier to work on, have installed a GPS unit that is apparently much easier to upgrade than the one fitted on the 1800, and have USB connections for myself and passenger.

Do miss the heated seats and reverse function - selective in where I park so not a big issue. The horn is also very loud. Don't know about the headlights but the older 1800s had very good lighting.

Some have mentioned the luggage capacity as an issue. Maybe only pack for four days then take a laundry day, let the butt relax as well. Going to the local GW Chapter coffee this coming Friday at a local adventure gear store. It is being put on for the local GW chapter, and is about packing and the new clothing and accessories that are available for those who need to pack light for weekend and long distance touring, much like hiking/camping scenario - should be interesting. lots of new technology out there to help with this issue.

Fuel is not an issue with the new 1800 or my 1200s. On my trip across Canada had one stretch in Northern Ontario of 220 Kms between gas stations. Maybe heading north into the Yukon or Alaska would have similar, but normally there are lots of gas stops.

Other than the front suspension that is truly magic, not enough change to make me upgrade, besides as a pensioner have to be frugal with the sheckles. New is nice no matter what the item.

Would prefer the non-DCT model because of the transmission shifting idiosyncrasies. Maybe Honda will smooth the DCT shifting in the fullness of time.

For a purchase price of some $34,000.00 CDN before taxes and fees, I can do a lot of maintenance and work on my two 1200s. You can go a long way on this amount of capital.

Is there a convert here, not in the foreseeable future, or some years down the road. It's like driving Sonya's new 2017 KIA Soul compared to my 2011 KIA Soul, so much nicer but not enough to get me to change.


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


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