2018 Gold Wing butt test drive - observations & commentary
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Thread: 2018 Gold Wing butt test drive - observations & commentary

  1. #1
    Senior Member VStarRider's Avatar
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    2018 Gold Wing butt test drive - observations & commentary

    I feel special - I am only the 4th person in the Rochester, NY area to sit on a new Wing.

    There are three Honda motorcycle dealers in the area, and I believe the dealer I was at was the first one to get a 2018 Wing. It was in the service dept., getting put together. The techs had just finished it and were going over the checklist. They allowed me to go out back and give it the once over.

    First thing I want to say is that this new Wing is TOTALLY different than any old Wing, going back several generations. If you like the big, bulky fairing, bags, trunk, etc. going back to the 80s, you may not like this iteration of the pre-eminent touring motorcycle of the world.

    1. It looks like a very small, very narrow, very compact bike....very much has an adventure-touring / BMW type feel to it. Compared to the Star Venture, this bike looks petite. What I noticed is how big the flat-six now looks with a body that has lost a lot of weight and girth around it. The bike looks a lot lighter than it is.

    2. I checked out the trunk ... it is quite shallow, and it curves down sharply towards the back. I did not have the opportunity to test if a helmet would fit in this trunk, but I am doubting my Schuberth XL will. Perhaps I am wrong ... I will try it out at another time. The saddlebags are considerably smaller than our B's and the 01-17 Wings. I can fit my laptop bag in my F6B's bags, though snugly. No way my laptop bag is fitting in these bags, which look 1/3 smaller. I took a picture using my left hand for scale on the new Wing (red) and my 2013 F6B (black).

    https://imgur.com/a/1TFm2

    3. The riding position is awesome, in my opinion. Moving the motor forward an inch and pushing the passenger seat back made a world of difference. At 6'1", I was one of the guys who could not comfortably fit on a 01-17 full Wing. Problem solved. I feel like Honda made a smart move in designing a huge carved out area for the rider's legs, something that stood out as an issue in yesterday's seat of the pants test of the Venture. I took a pic comparing the cockpit of the new Wing vs. my F6B, focusing on legroom.

    https://imgur.com/a/mCUxA

    The view from the cockpit is stunningly different. Picture going from driving a Lincoln Town Car to a Honda Civic...that what it is like. The fairing, instrument panel, and controls may not measure much narrower, but the feeling is significantly different. Gauges are higher, more upright and its packaging is smaller. The Fairing itself is much more streamlined ... and far more compact. The riding position, as mentioned, feels great. The bike was on the center stand, so I did not get the chance to balance the weight, but the narrower feel, and much more upright position feels as if it was meant for long-haul ergonomic comfort. Sitting on the bike in a riding position made me feel as if I would have a lot of confidence going into sharp curves.

    There is much more foot room. My legs and feet are cramped on my F6B ... not enough to be annoying, but noticeable. The new Wing has plenty of leg and foot. Obviously, one cannot stretch their legs the way it can be done on a cruiser with a V twin, but much improved. Not sure where they found all the space.

    The handlebars felt exactly in the right place.

    The seat feels good, with lots of support.

    Again, from an ergonomics perspective, this new Wing is solid. Honda seems to have spent a lot of time considering the perch and how the bike fits your body.

    4. Controls and switches look and feel typical high-quality Honda. Bags and trunk now open with a small square push button rather than a latch. The trunk did not have a liner, but it is possible that the techs did not have that installed yet...or, perhaps, it doesn't come with one. For comparison, the Venture trunk is fully lined with car trunk like material.

    5. The techs fired up the motor for me. The whirring sound of the new combined alternator/starter sounds completely different, like a front loading washer starting up on spin cycle. The engine itself has a more gruff sound to it ... typical for a multi-valve motor compared to a two-valve of the same type. It no longer sounds like a big electric motor until past 3000 rpm, like our previous generation sixes sound. Very aggressive sounding while revving in neutral...and rpms come in a hurry when the throttle is twisted.

    Overall, this bike is going to shock a lot of full Wingers who have been used to a certain look and feel from their big touring bikes going back 30 years. I am not sure how this much of a change is going to be accepted ... perhaps Honda is willing to take that chance in order to draw some new buyers in? That's a chance Harley hasn't been willing to take yet.

    I was quite impressed, much more so than the Venture I sat on yesterday.
    Current ride:
    2013 F6B Standard, black; purchased 10/8/15
    Current mileage: 24,800
    Additions:
    *Angrystad, glovebox key knob, center stand, Tridium LED fog lights, foot wind deflectors, Ram mount, 12V fairing pocket, Baker wings, heated Corbin seat; keyless saddlebag release, Ergo IIIs
    Current Wish List (subject to change):Helibars or Kury risers, Garmin 595 GPS
    2018 Miles:
    8,800 as of 11/4

  2. #2
    Senior Member choptop's Avatar
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    Nice observations.
    SOUTHERN small town Wisconsin

  3. #3
    Senior Member willtill's Avatar
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    Your comparison pictures are great. Really appreciate you posting those. Gives a better impression between the old vs new features of the G/W.
    21 years Army (retired)
    ...been everywhere, seen everything, done almost everything.


    “Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

    -Dolly Parton

  4. #4
    Senior Member lloydmoore1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post. I'm 6'1'' and was wondering how my legs would fit. Great info and pics

  5. #5
    Senior Member Broken Hand's Avatar
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    Great post. Thanks for your time and excellent perspective pics. Can’t wait to see these in the wild. White, blue, and bronze look the best. Honda shrunk the size while giving more cockpit room, amazing feat of ingenuity. Enough for me trade in my F6B? Almost, but I wish the trunk could be more easily taken off and on. My wife will only ride if I have a big, secure seat on the back, but even then, that will be 2% of my riding time. 1st world problems. Hah!


    Hondas and Kawis and Zukis and Yammys...Oh my!

  6. #6
    Junior Member Flat6Fool's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review / information. I'll be test riding a Tour today as that's all the Powerhouse dealership nearest to me (Al Lamb's) currently has. Looking very much forward to it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat6Fool View Post
    Thanks for the review / information. I'll be test riding a Tour today as that's all the Powerhouse dealership nearest to me (Al Lamb's) currently has. Looking very much forward to it.
    Let us know your opinions and other details when you can and have a great ride....Regards

  8. #8
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    I have mine! 2018 Goldwing DCT in matte silver. Traded in 2015 Wing. Only rode about 50 miles (cold in South Dakota), but I am going to love it. Obviously lighter and more nimble. Narrower, so it is easier and safer to reach the ground. Sounds good, looks great, much more comfortable seat and bar relationship. I need sunshine!

  9. #9
    Senior Member blackmetoc's Avatar
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    I hear Brookhaven, MS has some in stock. That is a few hours away. I don't know if they are on the coast yet.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Honda 2007 Shadow
    Honda 2006 VTX
    Honda 2013 F6B

  10. #10
    Senior Member blackmetoc's Avatar
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    Awesome, I expect you won't be riding too much until it warms a wee bit.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Honda 2007 Shadow
    Honda 2006 VTX
    Honda 2013 F6B

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