2018 Honda Gold Wing | First Ride Review

2018 Honda Gold Wing
The all-new 2018 Honda Gold Wing, shown here in the top-line Tour DCT Airbag version, comes in four additional model variations with and without a top trunk and 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). Compared to the similarly-equipped 2017 model the new bike is said to be nearly 90 pounds lighter. (Photos courtesy Honda)

Honda’s iconic Gold Wing dominated the heavyweight-touring category for many years thanks to its combination of smooth, stump-pulling power, excellent handling for its size, luxurious, wind-protected comfort for two and class-leading convenience features. Ironically, the first Gold Wing lacked such well-defined direction. Honda intended the 1975 GL1000 flat four to be the “King of Motorcycles,” a do-it-all machine with unsurpassed smoothness, power and handling that would showcase the company’s engineering prowess and hopefully steal the superbike crown back from Kawasaki’s mighty Z1 900, which wrested it from the Honda CB750 in 1973. Though the Wing didn’t quite trounce the Z1, as fate would have it there wasn’t a large, smooth, reliable and comfortable bike like it on the market in the late ’70s, and long-distance riders quickly promoted the Gold Wing to the king of touring motorcycles. The bike spawned an entire industry of accessories like fairings, luggage, lighting and seats around it, and as the years passed it became more and more integrated and capable, right up to the latest Gold Wing GL1800 flat six that has soldiered on relatively unchanged since 2001.

Check out Honda Gold Wing Milestone Models 1975-2015

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Outlines of the 2018 model (in red) against the previous Gold Wing show how much shorter and narrower the new bike is vs. old.

Over the years the Gold Wing has also grown in size and weight, and its rider demographic has aged, earning the bike a reputation as a “couch on wheels” and an “old man’s bike.” Sales have leveled off to a simmer and some have been lost to competition with traditional V-twins or faster and lighter multis like the BMW K 1600 GTL. Upgrades for 2012 included refreshed styling, more luggage capacity and electronic updates, but the Navi/ABS version of the bike tips the scales at 916 pounds wet and lacks many features found on the competition. While the 2017 GL1800 still provides an unmatched combination of two-up comfort, power and handling, the bike has been overdue for a rethink.

Read our Honda Gold Wing vs BMW K 1600 GTL comparison review

Prepare to be blown away.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Seating space and relaxed ergonomics have been maintained while moving the engine and riders forward for better mass centralization and handling.

The 2018 Honda Gold Wing is not just all-new—Honda has taken a “light is right” approach that has knocked off almost 90 pounds, shortened the bike’s overall length by 2.2 inches and further centralized mass for better handling, while maintaining its signature roomy rider and passenger accommodations. Honda says the lighter, more compact 1,833cc flat six has more peak horsepower and torque, and all-new bodywork is sleeker and lighter with taut new styling. The bike’s electronics are state-of-the-art, with throttle-by-wire, four riding modes, C-ABS/traction control, electronically adjustable suspension and windscreen, Bluetooth and a fully featured infotainment and navigation system that includes Apple CarPlay. Two models, a Gold Wing Tour with a top trunk and sportier Gold Wing without, have varying levels of equipment and the choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automatic. Pricing ranges from $23,500 all the way up to $31,500 for the top-line Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag model.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
A few days prior to the public unveiling Rider had the opportunity to sample camouflaged, pre-production examples of the Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour DCT at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.

Rider was given a preview of the new Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour in Japan at an exclusive test session at Honda’s Twin Ring Motegi racetrack. Following a nearly six-hour tech briefing on the Gold Wing’s new features, we took a dozen or so laps around the 3-mile circuit, first on the previous GL1800 and then on camouflaged, pre-production examples of the new base Gold Wing model with a 6-speed manual transmission and a Gold Wing Tour DCT. I’m not going to pretend that 12 laps around a silky smooth racetrack are a comprehensive test of a bike with so much potential, but Twin Ring Motegi is a highly technical track, and I was able to get a good feel for the lighter bike’s vastly improved handling, suspension performance, brakes and wind protection. I also swapped two-up rides with a fellow journalist to get an impression of the passenger accommodations.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Double-wishbone front suspension gives the wheel a more vertical path upon compression, so the shorter engine could be moved forward. Honda says 20-percent better fuel efficiency allowed a smaller 5.5-gallon fuel tank for more compact packaging and less weight.

Underneath crisp, more aerodynamic bodywork and styling that freshly complements the Gold Wing’s heritage, an all-new engine and chassis were redesigned with three main things in mind—cut weight, move the rider(s) forward and centralize mass. Inside the liquid-cooled, 1,833cc flat six the crankshaft is smaller but stronger and aluminum cylinder sleeves save weight. Cylinder bore centers are closer together and the bore and stroke is changed from 74.0 x 71.0mm to 73.0 x 73.0mm to help shorten the engine by 29mm. A single 50mm downdraft throttle body replaces the former pair, the intake manifold is lighter and the engine gets more compact Unicam valve actuation with four valves per cylinder vs. two. An Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) saves 5.3 pounds and quickly starts the engine with a single button press, and new exhaust is 7.7 pounds lighter and sounds throatier. Though redline remains 6,000 rpm, Honda says torque output is increased down low and up top as well as peak horsepower. The DCT-equipped engine is 8.4 pounds lighter than the previous six, and the manual transmission engine weighs 13.7 pounds less—cruising rpm in top gear is the same for both transmissions.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Base Gold Wing with 6-speed manual transmission and no top trunk could be considered the replacement for the F6B, but the Wing is 3 pounds lighter and much better equipped.

An all-new robotically welded twin-spar aluminum frame with a shorter seat rail and single-sided swingarm with a revised pivot-area structure together are 4.4 pounds lighter and also move the rider(s) forward. Up front a unique double-wishbone steering and suspension setup—similar to the Hossack system and BMW Duolever in function—prevents excessive fork dive and gives the front wheel a more vertical stroke trajectory so that the engine could be moved further forward still. Massive bearings in the (remarkably acronym-free) double wishbone design reduce steering friction, and eliminating traditional fork stiction cuts shock felt at the handlebar by 30 percent—it’s positively eerie how the Gold Wing’s handlebar remains nearly motionless while the tie rods dance up and down and the Showa spring strut soaks up the bumps. The double wishbone separates steering from the suspension too, so the Wing steers lightly and there’s no bump steer at all. It’s also more compact than a fork so the fairing could be wrapped more tightly around it. Overall the front end seems to work extremely well and eliminates a lot of flaws inherent in telescopic forks—we’ll know more when we get it out in the real world.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Honda stayed with its iconic flat six to power the new Wing but made massive changes, chief among them incorporating the Unicam valve train with four valves per cylinder from the CRF450R and Africa Twin. A single 50mm throttle body takes the place of two and the engine is shorter and lighter.

Additional dampers in both the all-new DCT and updated manual transmissions drastically reduce shift shock and noise—both transmissions shift butter smoothly now—and an assist-and-slipper clutch on manual models reduces lever effort by 20 percent. The 7-speed DCT is most impressive—at the track it shifted as smoothly and silently as a car—and it has Sport, Drive and Manual modes as before, with the shift buttons on the left bar. Manual transmission Tour models still have reverse driven by an electric motor, while the DCT bikes feature forward and reverse Walking Mode actuated by the up and down shift buttons that move the bike forward and back at about 1 mph to ease parking.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Base model with manual transmission gets manual rear suspension preload adjustment and preset damping. DCT and Tour models add Electric Damping Adjust that is set when Riding Modes are changed along with front/rear ABS bias and traction control.

This new engine is so smooth and tractable I almost forgot to try the four riding modes, Tour, Sport, Eco and Rain, each of which delivers full power but tapers the throttle response accordingly. The modes also change the front/rear ABS proportioning, traction control and the suspension damping on the Tour models when set. I found Tour to be the most satisfying mode at Motegi, since it delivered brisk acceleration without any abruptness. Sport gave the throttle response an unnecessary edge in my opinion, though the soft Eco and Rain modes will likely prove useful when you’re trying to maximize range or tiptoe around wet corners. The front/rear electric damping adjust noticeably stiffens the suspension in Sport mode, but I couldn’t really feel any change in the suspension from the plush but controlled Tour mode in Eco or Rain. Rear suspension preload is manually adjustable on the base model and can be adjusted electronically to the usual four settings on the Tour versions.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Benefits of the DW front suspension include less felt shock in the handlebars, tighter fairing packaging, far better suspension response and no bump steer. Can’t wait to try it in the real world.
2018 Honda Gold Wing
All-new robotically welded aluminum frame is 4.4 pounds lighter in combination with the single-sided aluminum swingarm.

Convenience and comfort are still priorities on the Gold Wing, starting with the new electric windscreen, which comes in a shorter height on the standard Gold Wing. Both the standard and Tour screens have stepless up/down switches and stifle wind noise and buffeting effectively when they’re all the way up. When the ignition is turned off they go all the way down (for putting on a motorcycle cover). Hill Start Assist, TPMS and a Smart Key fob for the keyless ignition are all standard too. Tour models get grip and seat heating, the bike’s all-LED lighting can be enhanced with optional LED fog lights, and the accessory list includes a passenger audio control, luggage liner bags, custom seats, backrests, the taller windscreen, a CB radio, HomeLink garage door control and a color-matched top trunk for the standard model (which can also be removed from the Tour and a Trunk Removal Kit installed in about four hours).

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Tall electric windscreen on the Tour models rises in an arc to maximize wind protection when fully raised. It goes all the way down automatically when ignition is turned off so the bike can be easily covered.

A comprehensive description of the Gold Wing’s new infotainment system would be longer than this entire article—suffice to say it’s state of the art, with a 7-inch TFT display and up to four speakers with 25 watts per channel, or 55 watts with an optional amp. Stock speaker power is moderate because most riders will want to use wireless Bluetooth headsets with the system, which offers built-in navigation and Apple CarPlay, so it automatically detects your iPhone and you can access Apple Music and Maps, make phone calls and send dictated messages using Siri with the phone connected to the bike’s USB port. The best part is that most of the buttons that cluttered up the previous model’s fairing are gone, replaced with an attractive and intuitive menu system, although the TFT display does not have touchscreen capability.

2018 Honda Gold Wing dash
Navigation and infotainment system with a 7-inch TFT display at center and Apple CarPlay is standard on all models. The instrument panel has indicators for riding mode, seat and grip heating, luggage lid and side/centerstand position, and much more.
2018 Honda Gold Wing
Most of the buttons that cluttered the previous model have gone away in favor of a tidy center console with the infotainment/navi menu control knob, heating, audio and optional HomeLink buttons.

Performance at Twin Ring Motegi was extremely promising. The new Wing handles rock solidly, with low-effort, more predictable steering and slightly better cornering clearance than before. The wider 200-series rear tire is said to contribute to better low-speed handling, though we didn’t have time for many low-speed maneuvers. The bike does feel lighter and better balanced in slow corners, and the new triple C-ABS brakes with 6-piston calipers up front are flat out phenomenal. Power delivery is smooth and has a nice growl when you’re hard on the throttle, and I couldn’t get the bike’s head to shake with hands off the bars on cruise or decel. Wind protection from the reshaped fairing and windscreen(s) is terrific, and the ergonomics and seat comfort for the rider seem just as comfortable as before.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
New frame, updated swingarm and suspension with Showa shocks gives the Wing rock solid, stable handling at speed with low-effort, neutral steering. It also has a bit more cornering clearance, though we still ground the footpegs down pretty well at Motegi.

The new Wing is not without its potentially controversial aspects, chief among them fuel capacity, at least until Honda’s claim of 20-percent better fuel efficiency is proven. Capacity is down to 5.5 gallons from 6.6 to save weight and space, though Honda’s claim of 42.2 mpg average would make range from regular unleaded about the same. The Unicam valve train requires more frequent inspection intervals of 24,000 miles vs. 32,000, and luggage capacity is also down from 150 to 110 liters total (30 in each saddlebag and 50 in the trunk, plus one smallish fairing pocket and the airbag compartment on non-Airbag models), which is certainly going to boost top-trunk luggage rack sales. Passenger accommodations are noticeably less plush than the previous model’s too, with grab handles that are too low to use without bending forward. Finally, while most are optional, the large number of features left off the $23,500 base manual-transmission model like a centerstand, HSTC (traction control), a heated seat, reverse, front/rear electric damping and preload adjust may raise an eyebrow as well (a features comparison chart is below). All of these decisions were made in the interest of saving weight and making the bike more approachable to younger riders, with the thought that anyone who objects can always fall back on the previous model.

2018 Honda Gold Wing
Saddlebags are 30 liters per side, liner bags are available. All of the luggage has gas struts for smooth opening.
2018 Honda Gold Wing
Top trunk on Tour models (and optional on standard) just barely holds two large full-face helmets, or 50 liters. It can be removed and an optional Trunk Removal Kit installed in about four hours.

Through the late 1970s and into the ’80s, as the Gold Wing models were increasingly embraced by long-distance riders, Honda eventually got its wish and the bike did become the King…of touring motorcycles, as it turned out. In focusing the new Wing’s design back-to-the-future on a leaner, sportier profile and contemporary electronic and convenience features, Honda seems determined to regain the luxury-touring crown and lose the Wing’s “couch on wheels” reputation at the same time. We’re expecting to get our hands on a test bike right after the first of the year, so we should know if it has succeeded very soon (link to our follow-up story is included below).

Read our 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT First U.S. Ride Review

Read our 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour vs BMW K 1600 GTL Comparison Review

Check out the Honda Gold Wing Timeline 1972-2015

2018 Honda Gold WingKEY UPDATES

  • Lighter overall package results in improved handling and maneuverability
  • More compact, lighter engine with four-valve head and Unicam valve train
  • Available seven-speed DCT with Walking Mode forward/reverse
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Robotically welded aluminum twin-tube frame with revised plate thicknesses
  • Radially mounted six-piston dual front braking calipers
  • Double-wishbone front-suspension system
  • Electrically controlled suspension
  • Throttle-by-wire with multiple riding modes
  • Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Smart Key
  • Apple CarPlay
  • LED lighting
  • Updated design with 11.8 percent improved aerodynamic efficiency
  • Electric windscreen adjustment
2018 Honda Gold Wing
2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour in Candy Ardent Red.
2018 Honda Gold Wing
2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour in Pearl Hawkseye Blue.

The three 2018 Gold Wing Tour models—Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour DCT, and Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag—feature saddlebags and a top case, as well as a tall electrically adjustable windscreen, front and rear speakers, and electrically adjustable suspension.

  • Colors
    • Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour DCT: Candy Ardent Red, Pearl Hawkseye Blue
    • Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag: Candy Ardent Red/Black
  • Availability: February 2018
2018 Honda Gold Wing
2018 Honda Gold Wing in Matte Majestic Silver.

The two Gold Wing models—Gold Wing and Gold Wing DCT—come with saddlebags but no top case or the accompanying rear audio speakers. The electric windscreen is shorter on these models, and preload adjustment is manual. HSTC, electric damping-adjust and a  centerstand are not included.

  • Colors: Candy Ardent Red, Matte Majestic Silver, Pearl Stallion Brown
  • Availability: February 2018

GL MT – $23,500
GL DCT – $24,700
GL Tour MT – $26,700
GL Tour DCT – $27,700
GL Tour DCT A/B – $31,500

2018 Honda Gold Wing2018 Honda Gold Wing2018 Honda Gold Wing Specs
Base Price: $23,500
Price as Tested: $27,700 (Tour DCT model)
Warranty: 3 yrs., unltd. miles, transferable
Website: powersports.honda.com

Type: Liquid-cooled, longitudinal opposed flat six
Displacement: 1,833cc
Bore x Stroke: 73.0 x 73.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Valve Train: Unicam SOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Adj. Interval: 24,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ 50mm throttle body
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.9 qt. cap (as tested)
Transmission: 7-speed DCT automatic (as tested)

Ignition: Fully transistorized
Charging Output: 1,560 watts @ 5,000 rpm
Battery: 12V 20AH

Frame: Aluminum tubular & box-section double cradle w/ single-sided cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 66.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 30.5 degrees / 4.3 in.
Seat Height: 29.3 in.
Suspension, Front: Double-wishbone w/ Showa shock, electronically adj. (as tested), 4.3-in. travel
Rear: Pro-Link w/ Showa shock, electronically adj. (as tested), 4.1-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm discs w/ 6-piston opposed Nissin calipers & C-ABS
Rear: Single 316mm disc w/ 3-piston floating caliper & C-ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 18 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.00 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/70-R18
Rear: 200/55-R16
Claimed Wet Weight: 842 lbs. (as tested)
Claimed Load Capacity: 423 lbs. (as tested)

Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 87 PON min. (claimed avg.) 42.2
Estimated Range: 232 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,550

2018 Honda Gold Wing



  1. From what I can read, very little real power increase other than some midrange, huge reduction in storage, smaller tank (regardless of possible mpg increase), and from the live video, an obnoxious and loud Harleyesque exhaust sans potato, and a significantly smaller passenger seat.
    I hate to see a 0-60 run, or a 60-90 run off between this and the BMW GTL. If my suspicions are correct, the result would be unacceptable and a deal killer. The Beemer has 160 HP.
    After years of waiting, I think I just slipped into a clinical depression. I’ve been riding Wings since 1983.

    • You ride Goldwings to compete in 60-90 mph roll on contests with BMWs?
      Seems to me if fast is a big criteria, there are way better bikes available for that kinda thing.

      • Nope, 60-90 isn’t why I ride a Wing. Just a point of power comparison. There’s no reason IMHO these days why you can’t have both, no? The Kawasaki Concours 1400 has enormous power. Now granted it’s 150 pounds lighter, but still 42mpg off the showroom floor and about 47mpg after a flash.
        All I can think of is that in addition to the weight reduction they had to prioritize mpg over power to squeeze out another 22% claimed, as I doubt the weight reduction (much of it because of no tipover bars and a gallon less gas) would result in that kind of mpg increase. Maybe that’s what their surveys revealed as a priority, but it’s not mine.
        Will there be aftermarket or OEM storage solutions? Don’t know but probably. But the engine is here to stay. That’s a tremendous amount of investment to yield a couple HP, and shave off 20mm and 8 pounds. Perplexing.
        These are questions as much as statements. I’m a long time Rider Magazine fan so this is a good forum for others’ opinions.

    • Agree. Also looks like left hand has to be removed from handlebar to dial knob for changing music and to center touch screen for other functions. That’s much more effort and prevents dealing with that stuff while cornering, which is less safe. I’ve got my ’08 Airbagger dialed in with Avon Cobras, EBC rotors and HH pads, Sirius radio adjustable on the left bar, etc. To get this new Airbagger, I give up storage, reduce weight only by a few pounds, lose convenience for radio and GPS operation, and spend probably $20k minimum. Nope.

    • I have a 2003 GL1800 which i enjoy. Ive been of waiting for a 4 valve 6speed manual goldwing. Looks like this bike achieved that but only 5more hp Very lame. Smaller bags also lame, 1 gallon smaller fuel tank :(. If i was looking for another bike like this I’d go for the BMW another 30 some hp, more luggage capacity, and probably close to 100 lbs less weight.
      Why not let those 4 extra valves work and breath cam it accordingly and raise the redline to 8 or 9k. Pump out say 180hp or even 160hp like the bmw. Would be nice to hit 0-60mph in first gear. Glad to see it should have a true over drive gear. Im always looking for 6th gear

    • From the graphs I’ve seen the Goldwing has a HP and torque advantage over the BMW K1600GTL at lower to midrange rpm’s where most riders would actually ride these. Who rides these bikes at 5,000 plus rpm’s?

  2. PS, My wife and long time long distance Wing partner has also been patiently waiting with me for years for this announcement. She saw the 1/3 reduction in storage and left the room during the presentation.
    All the added tech is no doubt welcome and way overdue, so cudos there, but an underpowered machine relative to the GTL, and maybe even compared to the new Yamaha tourer, with no storage to speak of is probably going to be cause for me to pull the deposits I’ve had at three dealers for over a month.
    Just what the community needs, another obnoxious set of pipes to set opinions (richly deserved) against us. If loud pipes buy Honda a younger crowd of $30,000 buyers, they cudos to them.
    Overall, I’m not jumping up and down in my seat as I expected to be for a long time coming and will probably pull my deposit, regardless of the long list of worthy improvements.

  3. For a “First Ride Review” this article was comprehensive – well done! After using other Honda’s DCT – including the most recent version on the Africa Twin – I’m intrigued about the Goldwing’s application. From where I sit, it’s the one feature that either attracts or repulses me away from a purchase. Only a full test under my own butt over at least one full day under urban and rural conditions will tell me . . . unfortunately, that opportunity will be next to impossible to find.

  4. Thanks for the comprehensive review! Sounds like you suffered for it – 6 hr technical briefing??? Is that normal? Wow.
    Then lapping a racetrack on a …. Goldwing 🙂 Bizzaro-land!
    Really glad to hear the bike has lost weight and seems less blingy than the previous model.

    • That struck me as strange also, as android users outnumber iPhone users about 2 to 1. The 27% decrease in luggage capacity and reduced passenger comfort frankly disappoint me. Going after the younger rider? Honda was going after younger riders? How many young riders buy large touring bikes?

      • Why didn’t Honda send out a survey to goldwing owner asking for the opinions? Younger rider aren’t going to spend 30k for a bike nor buy a touring bike. They buy something like a BMW s1000 rr To be kool. Dont know why Honda did what they did. Was looking forward in buying my gold wing but looking more towards BMW 1600 gtl. More bang for the buck..

  5. Well, It is an attractive motorcycle, however a few issues right off the bat are concerning. Aluminum cylinder liners and 18 pounds cut from the engine? I would have concerns about reliability. Not made better, made cheaper perhaps. And why such a complicated front suspension? Base model with no trunk or center-stand for almost 24 grand. Sorry, I will stay with my ST1300.

    • If you think about it… Honda ‘engines’ are doing quite well in open wheel racing & NASCAR. So pre-worrying about motor reliability is probably non-sequitur with a company with the reliability record of Honda. Also, a center stand on the base model is an option the dealer can add…

    • Ride the machine, then…if you like, be critical of the front end! Been riding BMW for years, with that “complicated” front end. Much better than forks.

    • My concerns exactly, no steel lined cylinders. Anyone recall the Chevy Vega aluminum cylinder bore fiasco? For a long-distance tourer, that along with a smallish tank is causing me serious concerns. I rented a 2018 GW Tourer for 3 days. 5.5 gallons goes way too quickly. Only a 3-year warranty? If I were Honda, I’d be worried over making it any longer due to the aluminum cylinder bores vs steel. My guesstimate on purchasing a GW Touring, add some extra goodies, between $25K-30K? I’m reconsidering.

  6. Oh, by the way, I almost forgot (old age), the number 1 reason I will not be buying the 2018 Goldwing: The ridiculous telemetry key fob. WHY, WHY can’t I just have a simple and reliable physical key? This single issue prevented me from pulling the trigger on a new BMW tourer. Most of us older guys who buy these machines want a regular key! Why is that so hard to understand. With all those options could having a regular ignition switch with a key be so difficult. Hell, I would pay extra for it!

    • I’m an older guy, and my key fob doesn’t bother me except when I forget it and have to go back in the house to get it. I carry extra batteries for myself, and other riders if needed. Just recently offered a battery to a fellow rider whose battery had died, he declined despite my insistence, saying he would just input the code. I would have to break out the owner’s manual to figure out how to do that.

    • Wally1, we’re curious. Why do you want a key? I can think of a few reasons but I’d like to know yours.

      Also, the new Wing’s Smart Key has an emergency key built in, which you can release with a button and use to open the bags if the Smart Key dies. And you can start the bike by entering a code. With the Smart Key the bags lock when you walk away from the bike and unlock when you approach it, and it’s really nice not to have to dig in your pocket for a key to start the bike–especially if you have already put your gloves on and the key is buried under a rainsuit/riding suit, etc.

      • My reasoning against a smart key? Simplicity. Electronic system fail rates are far more common than simple mechanical systems. Try to get any of these systems repaired in five years. Young people are not going into the service industries, no money to be made. I have yet to have a key ignition fail on any of the 30+ bikes I have owned. I am not against technology, Love fuel injection, modern ignition etc, but sometimes it’s just more, not better. Example: My 1997 HD Road King has a then modern FI. Can’t get parts for it and no one knows how to work on it. I am about to change to a carb conversion or sell the bike. A carb may not have the performance, but when I am in the middle of Nevada on the side of the road, I can fix it.

    • Emmett,
      Using your reasoning on “who needs all that fancy stuff”, let’s do this- Strip off the ECU and put coils, a rotor and distributor, and points on it. That way you can sit on the side of I-90 with cars going by at 80mph in the pitch black and use the old dollar bill trick to clean dirty point contacts. But don’t forget to tighten up the point’s baseplate, because then your timing is now too advanced or retarded. Oh, ya, and don’t forget to take off your gloves when it’s 25 deg F. outside as you’ll have to tickle the choke just so carefully.

      I continually get in these discussions with people, and I collect Soc Sec just for the record. For the life of me I can’t figure out why I wouldn’t want pre-selectable suspension, riding modes, traction control, software controlled linked braking, TPSM, ABS, etc. Not a fan of apple car play? Well OK then, fumble in your pocket while you’re riding for the correct switch on your Sony Walkman. But be careful when you have to pop out the cassette and flip it over.
      I hope it’s not because you aren’t willing to put on a pot of coffee, sit in the garage on your new ride and read the manual.
      All kidding aside (and I am trying to inject a sense of humor into the discussion), I have serious problems with this bike. From top to bottom: Engine, storage, passenger seat, gas tank, no tipover bars, and noisy pipes. But the technology? All I can say is it’s about darn time.

      • Joe, do you know where the idea came from that the new Wing has noisy pipes? I’d like to find the source of that nonsense and reply to it. They have a deeper sound than the 2017s but they aren’t noisy at all.

        • That’s good to hear Mark. I got that from watching the intro video. It really loud compared to my ’03. Almost like my old ’64 Triumph Trophy. I think that’s where everyone is getting if from. If I’m wrong I’m wrong.

        • Just from what others and I heard on the intro video. If you’re saying it isn’t noisy then I’m glad to hear that. Maybe it’s where they had the mic for the video located. Sitting in front of my computer, to us it sounded something like my old ’64 Triumph Trophy with two more cylinders and some cotton in the tailpipe.
          Good news. Thanks.

          • Ah, that explains it. At the end of the presentation in Santa Barbara someone thought it would be a good idea to put the mic right next to the end of one tailpipe and rev the engine. Under those circumstances anything would sound very loud. In reality the new Wing sounds a little throatier, but near as I can tell without a dB meter it’s no louder than the previous model.

      • Joe–TOO FUNNY! At 65 I well remember sitting by the side of MANY roads, playing with tires, points, and broken chains. But I would like to share more about THAT paradox….
        I paid $1600 for my 1972 Honda CB750K2 (adding Road Runner fairing and saddlebags), totaling 93k+ miles over about 8 years. I rode this bike into Canada, Mexico, Florida Keys, to California–and many of the national parks. Besides basic maintenance including chains, tires, tubes, swing-arm bushings, throttle cables, light bulbs and front fork seal changes–I had only ONE show stopper at some 65k miles: I had to replace the camshaft because of some errant oil flow stoppage on left side. It took one weekend to yank the engine and replace the camshaft.
        Fast forward to 2007. I paid $21,000 for my 2007 BMW K1200Gt. BEFORE attaining 30k miles I suffered 1) front wheel replacement (pot-hole = bent rim) for $1400(?), 2) ABS mechanical-brain-controller failure at some $1800, differential oil seal failure at $600, unresolved “asthmatic wheezing” problem–perhaps induced by the ubiquitous adulterated alcohol gas that cannot be avoided. And never mind no comprehensive factory manual could be had (sans very cheesy computer disk I had to get from Canada), and no-after market manuals were available, either.
        Observation: the relatively puny, 67 hp 750 propelled me almost 4 times around the earth in some 8 years, costing less than two cents per mile (sans expendables; estimating $100 cam-cost), with show-stopping down time of one weekend–and NEVER ONCE required Honda Dealer service/help. The 152 hp BMW pumped me just over 1 trip around the earth in some 4 years, costing $1.20 per mile to operate (sans expendables), and was down about 4 weeks for the problems described, spending about 2 weeks in the shop for help beyond my capacities & tools (ABS controller and differential oil seal). The wheezing problem was never resolved.
        Moral of this story: I love the heated grips, seats and blended fairings and incredible horsepower. But if my LIFE depended upon getting from the East to West coast on one of the two bikes, I would TRUST it FIRST to the 45 year-old technology–including cleaning/adjusting my two sets of points BEFORE I left on the trip = standard practice. 🙂 dr
        PS: Currently ride 2014 Gold Wing. I DON’T have to be first anymore–I just wanna get there!

        • Interesting comparo Dan,

          I’m not sure why you had so many problems with the upgraded “E-guts” on your BMW. The extensive motorcycle crowd I hang with all say that BMW has become a nightmare regarding maintenance and reliability. So sad, ’cause I remember in the 60s when I was a kid, when the boxers came into the fore, they were considered the ultimate in long distance riding.

          So whether your problems were due to “new fangled” electronics”, or the Beemer itself, I’m not sure, but I’d lean towards the latter.

          I’ve owned an 1100, 1500, and my 1800 all purchased new. My 1800 now has 76,000 on it and other than the recalls has had zero maintenance issues. The basic maintenance items you list in your first paragraph on your 750 I’ve never had to do. Not once on any of my three Wings. 1983 – 2017.

          I’ve always claimed my 1800 is just as reliable as a car, and I think the 2018 will be at least as much so. These electronics have gone through a long maturing process. Nothing on the Wing as far as “E-gadjets” is new or revolutionary, the technology has been seasoned.

          What’s holding off my deposit now is only waiting for OEM or aftermarket to fix the saddlebags. The lack of increased engine performance is truly disheartening, but not a showstopper.

          Regarding other forum complaints, I’m sure Honda spend a lot of time in the wind tunnel so I trust the fairing/windsceen. As long as my tank range is the same, I’m happy. (And the increased engine efficiency will save enough dollars/day for a latte.) Passenger seat, that remains to be seen.

          Home run on the rest Honda.
          Ride safe Dan. 🙂

        • You’re comparing apples to oranges. BMW’s are nowhere near as reliable and trouble free as a Honda. As point of reference, I’m 57 years old and have owned all 4 major Japanese brands as well as Beemers, Triumphs, Guzzis, Bultacos, Maicos, you make it.

  7. After barely containing my excitement during the wait for this new goldwing I’m left with nothing but a numbness…. and a new love for my 2004 st1300. The wing has gone from a touring bike to a sport tourer and they already had a good sport tourer. I’ve been saving for a new wing for a couple of years now… guess I’ll be buying used or old stock. You lost me Honda.

      • too true, it’s a motorbike, not a life changing moment in your life. Jeez, a whole pile of people waiting 17 years for an update on one motorbike. Was there nothing else in your life?

  8. I’ve been riding Wings since i bought my 1100 Interstate in 1983. My current ride is a 07 1800. After looking at the pictures and reading the first reviews, i must say that I’m underwhelmed. It appears as if Honda has again not listened to its biggest client base, namely those that currently ride Wings or about to be promoted into the world of Wings. I don’t know about others, but I do know that most of us got our Wings with comfort on top of the list of requirements. Seems that I’ll be riding my old bike for quite a while still.

    • I don’t blame you my friend I’ll be riding my 1999 wings for a while myself but what I am truly upset about.. is that some of these Honda dealers are going out of business and the other Honda dealers refuse to work on a 1500 Goldwing now and only want to work on the 1800 Goldwing that my friend is a very serious issue with me. And makes me wonder if this is Honda’s idea of trying to force us to buy an 1800 Goldwing by not wanting to work on the 1500 Goldwing that started it all…?????

  9. Nice write up on this new wing. This new wing definitely looks slimmed down from previous models but, I like it. I am reticent to compare one motorcycle to another and then decide which one is better or worse. Each motorcycle is designed to be what it is and will never appeal to everyone. For example if you believe the BMW1600GTL is a better motorcycle then, you should buy that bike. Honda is not going to build a BMW 1600GTL and call it a Gold Wing. Nor would I compare the new Yamaha Venture / Eluder to the the BMW or Honda. They were all designed to be different. I say buy what appeals to you and don’t sweat the differences. Variety is the spice of life. Nice job Honda and nice article Tutttle.

  10. Looks like rider position is unchanged for taller riders like me it sucked. Fairing is unchanged no way to put comfortable road pegs on it to stretch out. These 2 reasons are why I sold my 2014 after 7000 miles. Would have been nice to have detachable saddlebags also. No heel toe shifter either and I suppose they still claim it destroys the transmission. I HATED having to hook my boot under the shifter it just destroys them. But the only thing Honda has is cool colors. I will not be going back to one.

      • My question is this guys… and it’s the bottom line question…does Honda read these reports and comments married to the Honda Goldwing.. because that’s what is truly truly important.. the younger generation is not interested in the Goldwing.. only us Goldwing riders for years are interested.. so it’s us they should be talking to and not kids

        • Anyone seriouslly think Honda didn’t do their market research before developing this version of the Wing? Honda didn’t do a redesign to sell it to folks who bought the last version. There are plenty of those–new and used–around for anyone who still wants one. The new version is for a new and different generation of riders. If that ain’t you, thats OK. Honda has other options for those aging out of the sport.

          • True, Honda is interested in new markets, but then again, how many members of the current generation can just write a check to buy the bike they want? I am in a bit more agreement with Mr. Rowe, we older farts are the market for Goldwings, the young guys are more likely to want, or afford, a Kawasaki Concours or Yamaha FJR.

          • Your lack of marketing background shows. You jump from millennials to “old farts.” There are a huge number of potential buyers with the wherewithal between those two groups. Think BMW, Ducati, Harley, Motus, Indian, etc. These are all premium brands that are hitting sales records. That’s where Big Red wants to be with this version of the Wing. The only issue I see is they may have waited too long. Guess they had too many of the last version to clear out. Which is the main reason Honda didn’t go ‘the same, only better’ route.

          • Fair enough, you may be right. My local dealer has a good inventory of 2015 & 2016 from $4700-$5700 off MRSP. Maybe the “improved” 2018 will improve Honda’s fortunes with the younger demographic. After all, J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Motorcycle Competitive Information Study, revealed that the average rider age has increased from 40 in 2001 to 49 in 2010. This trend seems to be continuing despite all of the manufacturer’s marketing efforts to attract a new crop of riders to some really great, low cost, smaller displacement entry level bikes. Is it lagging incomes in this age group or perhaps that they are so risk adverse that they refuse to “mix it up” with brain dead 4 wheeler operators? If the new Goldwing cracks this nut, I’m sure the industry will appreciate their efforts.

          • We shall see. My hunch is that the newer generations have not yet experienced those “On Any Sunday” moments or a MotoGP race or a flat track race or a Harley rally. All the things that first attracted us current riders. Lots of other things to do relative to when most of us were growing up. It ebbs and flows. Manufacturers adapt. Marketing departments go into overdrive. Technology advances. There will always be a group that discovers that primal freedom of piloting a 2 wheeler. Just like we did.

        • Honestly (as an ST owner) the reduction in weight and size is what got my attention. In a few years when I put the ST to pasture I’ll look pretty hard at the Goldwing if it’s still on the path to a sport tourer. When riding friend’s Goldwings the front end wobble/weirdness was pretty off putting; combined with the simple mass of it I just wasn’t all that interested. Curious to see where Honda goes with this since the put the ST motor in the CTX…

  11. I’m sorry guys I have been riding a Goldwing for 25 years and I am truly truly disappointed with this whatever it is Goldwing you want to call it the bike is ugly Frankenstein was made better than this bike.. you should have just stuck with the 1500 engine body stretched it out put a 6 gallon tank in it and made the seats bigger and longer for passenger and pilot as well as the trunk and saddlebags.. and put that 1800 and 20 cc engine inside that frame.. and allowed the AM FM radio to play cassettes as well as CDs.. all of that would have just been great.. we’re not looking for a motorcycle that’s a cross between a BMW,. Ninja,, and Harley.. we Wing riders do not need all of that rocket speed on the highways.. we want to enjoy The View instead of looking at it in a blur.. we just want a gold ring that looks like a Goldwing with just a few modifications such as a 6 gallon tank or more if possible longer frame so that the seats are longer and wider for both passenger and Pilots bigger trunk and saddlebags.. we don’t need blinkers on the rear view mirrors.. and lastly a sound system that cassettes and CDs can be played on and a mechanically friendly motorcycle that doesn’t cost us a second mortgage just to have it serviced and for the Goldwing to be honored at all dealerships when it comes to be worked on that’s it that’s all..signed Emmett U.S.M.C.

      • No he was describing what used to be considered the best Sport Touring bike for decades. Now it is basically an overpriced Sport Bike. I’ve had many Goldwings and Harley’s as well. I would never buy the new Goldwing. I rode the new one as a loaner vehicle, it was a nice riding bike, but less protection from the elements, less comfort as far as the seat goes, no place for highway pegs. No solid crash bars, just chunk of cheap appearing rubber with small bars underneath. Cargo space was unacceptable for a long touring bike. I also rent from a place called Fun times when I go to Arizona. The owner has a 2015 Goldwing. People love renting it. He had a brand new Goldwing and his clients kept thanking him for saving them 24 thousand dollars. Most who rented hated it, said they would never buy one. I have a 2016 Wing which could be my last. Good luck Honda, I keep running into long time Goldwing owners that think exactly as I do. So if Honda wanted a younger crowd, good luck. They lost much of the older loyal crowd.

    • While you’re at it Emmet how about an 8 track? Oh ya, and I bet an 8 track would have much better sound if we used vacuum tubes. A couple buggy whips ought to round it out also. Sorry, I forgot the rotor, distributor cap and points. My bad.
      All in good fun dude. 🙂

  12. I like the looks. Like the promise of the new front suspension and better MPG. Like the 6 speed transmission and DCT. LOVE the weight reduction. Like the ABS. Kinda like the ride modes, but they should be standard. Love the electric windshield, but since it looks like they straight up swiped the mechanism from the ST1300, I’m gonna say there will be a LOT of very pissed off owners of this new ‘Wing when the mechanism strips out from all those unnecessary ups and downs and they have to pay $400 to replace a $10 piece because Honda only sells the entire mechanism rather than the components.

    Do NOT like the notion of downgrading passenger comfort. Question the leg room. And consider the entire Apple CarPlay (or any other such doo-dads) and speakers to be a waste of money.

    • Well, Apple CarPlay is a waste of money to Android users who just so happen to comprise the majority of smartphone users.

  13. As a past F6B owner, I am loving this new Wing. I’ve test ridden the new Yamaha Eluder and was underwhelmed. Felt cheap, I’m tired of loud motorcycles, air cooled, hated the kickstand, very hard to deploy, wind buffeting at highway speed, but would also like to consider the K1600B, if I can ever find one at a dealership near me, I’ll take a look. People complain about the price, it’s right in line with the BMW, the 19,999 price on that is a false bit of advertising, there won’t be any of those bare bones bikes imported, so you are stuck with the 25k model.

    • Recently I switched from a Harley and purchased a new k1600b. Absolutely amazing motorcycle. Whatever you decide, make sure you test ride a new 18 K1600B before you buy. The features on the more loaded up model are worth the cost in my opinion. I love the forward floorboards, the keyless option, the clutchless shifting is amazing, the electronic adjustable suspension delivers a controlled and comfortable ride. The 6cyl K motor with 160hp is beyond words. You’ll never want for more power. I love this machine.

  14. Well, I read all these comments and I guess if you own a Wing your opinion may have some impact. On the other hand if your 58 and have been riding 98 Shadow Aero C3 customized for years this caught my eye. In a year and half I will treat myself to a new bike when I turn 60 and regardless of some of the negative comments I will certainly test ride one along with 2 other commonly known HD’s. I am a Rider subscriber and they’re pretty much spot on with there reviews. So thank you and we’ll done.

  15. Bob hit the nail on the head. buy what you like and enjoy it. Ipersonaly ride a 1999 Gold wing that is too big for me so I triked it and love my new safe and comfortable ride

  16. I have been waiting for a DCT in the Goldwing for years, but less storage and less fuel, doesn’t cut it. Guess I’ll continue to ride my 2005 Goldwing until Honda does another re-design (if I’m still around by then). For Honda’s sake, I hope the infotainment system attracts some well-heeled millennials, but it’s a major turn-off to me at age 67. The last thing I want is to be bothered with is more unsolicited communication while I am out riding. In fact, the only time I ever switch on the audio system on my ’05 is to listen to the Weather Radio broadcasts when I see threatening weather on the horizon.

  17. Like all the refinements.
    At last the engine finally looks like a 6.
    Disappointed Honda haven’t extended the fuel range. Nearly every day ride on my Goldwing I need to visit a gas station twice. I thought Honda would have addressed this.
    Are the bars and pegs adjustable?
    The aftermarket designers will have a great time with this.
    Shame it doesn’t have a unique style, it looks over designed, detailed. Like a street fighter with quirky plastic. There is nowhere for the eye to rest. It should have an air of sophistication, cruisey and confident. Instead it looks the opposite.
    Although if you gave me one I’d retract all that I’ve said.

  18. Great write up! Thank you!
    My only disappointment (currently on a ‘15 K1600GT) is if I want the black drivetrain, I sacrifice the goodies the Tour model gets – without even the option to add them back. Why?
    I’m looking forward to seeing these in person!

  19. Very nice write up! I started riding with my Uncle back in the 40’s in those day’s it was Harley’s, Indians etc, I bought my first bike in 1956 a BSA. I’ve owned numerous bikes over the years, among them were BSA’s ,Triumph’s, AJS’s, Yamaha’s, Harley Davidson’s , Honda to name a few. Five of them were and are GL1800 Goldwings. I’m currently riding a GL1800 and a Triumph T-100 Bonneville. As I’m in my late 70″s I thought I had purchased my last Goldwing, as with proper preventative maintenance they will last almost indefinitely. But this new Wing has my interest up and I can’t wait to see, touch, and ride one! Maybe there is just one more ride for me…………..

  20. Hmmm, I’m thinking I will be looking to upgrade from my 07 to a 2014 or 2015. Should be some sweet deals on used Wings and I’ll be in the market.


    • Berf, this has been fixed, it is not a touchscreen. I could swear someone demonstrated touch functionality, but learning everything about this bike in the time we had was like drinking from a firehose….

  21. This is the best write up I have seen so far on the new Wing.
    A little info about me..
    I am 51 yrs old and have owned the 1800 Wing since they were first introduced in 01. I am an avid biker with a large collection of bikes. In my youth I raced pro motocross and I still do many track days with my 2015 Yamaha R1 but for street riding the 1800 wing remains my favourite bike.
    For the most part I am impressed with what Honda has done and I have already ordered a red DCT Tour non air bag model but I do have some concerns as well.
    1. In this article it states 2550 rpm at 60mph. That is very little lower rpm than the old 1800. My biggest beef with my 01 1800 is that high gear is not nearly tall enough to take advantage of the engines tremendous low RPM power. I would like to see 70mph at 2200rpm.
    2. The smaller fuel tank. Fuel range was already not a strong point with the old 1800. I strongly suspect that the new 1800 will only match the old 1800’s fuel range when travelling at high speed. At lower speeds I predict that there will be very little difference in fuel economy.
    3. Although I commend Honda for incorporating a removal trunk on the new wing it appears that this has been poorly executed. This article states that it is approximately a 4hr job to do the conversation. They should have incorporated quick release anchor points on the tail that would allow the conversion to be done in a couple of minutes. They could then offer a larger top box as an option as well a a sturdy rack that could attach to the anchor points when not using the top box.
    All that being said I will be eagerly awaiting spring to try it out.

    • My understanding is that they DO offer a trunk-removal kit as an accessory (98 bucks, I think). Maybe the four-hour job described is for the installation of this kit? Yeah, four-hours labor every time you want to do the swap would be WAY too much!!

  22. When was the last time any of you had to have the valves adjusted in your car? Would you put up with such nonsense in your Taurus, your Camaro, your Ram or your Accord? Kawasaki was able to put hydraulic lash adjusters in the ’86-03 Voyager Xii, but Honda can’t do the same in 2018? (sigh)

    • Typically valve checks are somewhat expensive if done at the dealership, and at every 24k quite a few would need it done yearly.

  23. There are two more items I should mentioned in my above post.
    4. From what I understand from the initial reviews the electronic shocks are not able to be independently set other than by the rider mode. In order to have the shocks set on firm dampening it will require you to be in sport mode. Unfortunately sport mode looks like it will screw up the throttle response. You should be able to set the shock dampening regardless of what driver mode.
    4. The new engine does not seem to offer much improvement over the old one. 10lbs less and 5hp more seems a little underwhelming. The red line should have increased to 7000rpm with a peak power of 145 hp @ 6500 rpm with no loss of power in the low end. IMO asking for 7000rpm and 145hp from. 1.8 litre six cylinder engine is not unreasonable.

  24. I have no comments about the new 1800 but was amazed at the start of this well written and tested article, good job. The progression of the Gold Wing was interesting and defined why it became know as King of Touring until the market showed it tapering off during the mid 1800 reign. I was just wondering if some of that is relative to the great reliability and performance of Honda and Gold Wing. I’ve never read an article of a Harley, Yamaha, or Kawasaki racking up the mileage of a Gold Wing without rebuilds. A BMW maybe, but I’d have to see mileage costs between the two bikes for 500k. Sorry no yea or nays for the 2018 Wing.

  25. I applaud Honda for FINALLY updating the Goldwing, FINALLY after 17 model years! But frankly, hardly any increase in power (what happened with the rumored hybrid with 4 cylinder gas engine?). Anyways: smaller bike andI don’t care re weight difference once rolling. But I do CARE a lot about reduced luggage capacity!
    Frankly my Goldwing does everything I need it to do, at 55 mpg regular gas. I don’t want Bluetooth, I don’t want phone calls on my ride and I don’t want to have to ditch my Shoei helmet for a $1,000 Bluetooth helmet!
    NO SALE.

  26. The suspension improvements, electronics improvements, new/improved 6cyl engine and the availability of the DCT transmission are huge! But the shrinking of storage space is very perplexing.

    New rumor; 2019 Goldwing Aspencade model releases with more storage capacity and improved passenger ergonomics!

  27. It looks like the gearing info given in this article is incorrect. It states 2550rpm @ 60mph. In the Cycle World video it states 2500rpm @ 75mph. I sure hope the spec given by Cycle World is the correct one. As I stayin my first post my no. 1 beef with my 01 1800 is the waaay too short gearing. If the spec given by Cycle World is correct this issue has FINALLY been addressed. If the spec given by rider magazine is correct I will be EXTREMELY disappointed!

    • Well we certainly aren’t infallible, and it’s possible EIC Tuttle read the tach incorrectly. We’ll be sure to double-check and report back with a definitive figure when we get a bike here for a more thorough test.

  28. Alas, they didn’t change the ergos much on these bikes. Sorry to say, that’s a deal-breaker for me. I demo’d a ’15 Wing and couldn’t go for more than 5 minutes before turning around. It felt like a knife between my shoulder blades and both hips were on fire – and I have ZERO joint problems (as of now, anyway, knock wood!), so no Wing in my future. Looks like a nice bike for those whose bodies fit it, though. Excellent review, BTW.

  29. A great article that I can hope was correct. I own a ‘99 SE and would love more “sport” in my ride and i’m 57 yrs. of age. Better suspension, infotainment and less clutter. All this is wonderful stuff. But more maintenance intervals are a big negative!

  30. Honda has gone in the proper direction. They need a new group of buyers/owners. My age group grew up with bikes that handled well and looked the part. I am 45 and still ride sportbikes. I’m definitely drawn to the new wing. Past versions were interesting to me but lacked the styling I’m attracted to. I didn’t like the look of “grandpas bike”. This new version is just what I’m after. It really looks the cats 🐈 pajamas.

  31. How in the heck does an 1833cc, 32 valve motor get detuned to 125hp this day and age? This is a motorcycle for God’s sake, who gives a hoot about MPG? Americans want horsepower for effortless acceleration. Even Cadillacs are making 600 hp…

  32. Well, I got one of the first,if not the first 01 1800 in Kansas City and I remember well how many didn’t like and talked down about the 1800’s. Well I feel Honda made the best GL on the road. I’ve had 1200, 1500’s and 1800! And I don’t think Honda will make a lesser bike now. They consistently improve. I cannot afford a new one now, but I bet Honda will still be outstanding. They build the best and don’t knock the competition.

  33. We ride 2 up 14 days at a time. We need a bit more luggage space, not less (about a whole saddle bag less) We were ready to buy this new Goldwing, but this is a deal breaker. Keeping the K1600.

  34. Yeh, good for Honda, they just released a bike that has the technology of European motorcycles from 10 years ago. I hope to see a comparison between Goldwing 2018 and the release of BMW Grand America 2018. Sorry should not compare bikes of international (European) to lesser standards ((USA) have to catch the rest of the world). Specs speak loud. 160hp, 26.5 ltr, forward cruise boards standard, 127ltr luggage, with option of trunk rack and tank bag optional extra. Honda GET BACK IN THE GAME. Don’t like being compared specifically to a manufacturer, check Yamaha Star Venturer, Harley Davidson any of there EVO models. !!!!. Honda the public wants to be able to ride for and carry luggage for a couple going away for the weekend, not overnight, and not looking for fuel every 2 hours. ( I do stretch the legs every 2 hours but I don’t need the wasted time at a fuel bowser). NB I live in Australia and to travel from coast to coast there is 420km between fuel stops. Honda Goldwing 2018 is stuck on the side of the road. 3 cheers lets take 4ltr fuel and 40ltr of storage.

  35. Looks like I’ll be buying a used Wing. What with the Beemer being out for a while I would have thought that Honda would one up them but no. Honda stepped up the Wing but a very small step. I have as of yet talked to a current Wing owner that is planning to buy the ’18. And if Honda thinks that younger buyers will want this bike just go look at the Kawasaki H2-SX. In it’s conservative bid to try not to alienate current Wing riders they did just the oppposite. Honda’s biggest problem is that Honda is no longer a motorcycle company run by motorcyclist , Honda is now a car company run by greedy shareholders who don’t care what we want , just what sells.

    • I have several issues with this bike also re: storage, engine, no rear tipper bars, no vest ports, and no blind spot monitoring.
      But the showstopper is the storage.

      But regarding you other comment… Are you suggesting Honda should be considering anything other than “what sells”. That’s what they’re in business for. Not to lose money after coming to your door and taking a list of what is personally important to you and then building it.
      Maybe they’re right about this new design and it’s salability, maybe not, but that’s a different issue.
      Greedy shareholders? You mean the ones that provide the capital so companies can produce all the stuff you take for granted everyday?
      I suggest you move to Venezuela and check out that system.
      Really dude. 🙂

  36. Well it’s been just over a month now since Honda released the wraps on the new Goldwing and the pro/nay camps are entrenched.
    Frankly for the price of a nice hardly used Miata I think I know where my money will be going next. In the meantime my 2003 Goldwing does everything I need on the highways and I have it equipped the way I want.

    It’s too bad Honda didn’t simply keep the luggage the same and eliminate so much wasted space for the bulbs and housings, by using led’s. I intend to convert and recoup a lot of space in my trunk and saddlebags when I do this conversion this spring. A new wing with less storage is bad, and only 5hp more?

    I don’t like the integration of the starter and alternator, remember the widespread failures of the 1200 alternators?

  37. Hi Mark:
    Excellent and extremely thorough review as always. You are the best. My 2014 GL 1800 is my fourth, preceded by a 1200, 1500, and a first year 1800. I have always wondered why Honda could not have a electric adjustable windshield and 6th gear. It has been an issue on all of my previous wings. We live in the foothills outside Denver and know about a few twisties in the area. We have put on a total of over 500,000 miles on wings.
    To say I am disappointed with the GPS on my 2014 is a great understatement. It is one of the most useless pieces of electronics I have ever experienced on a motorcycle. So the Apple Car Play would be a huge improvement. I remember in one review however that I read that if you intend to us a CB and all of the other connectivity on this system you must we “wired” to the bike. Is that correct?

    One of the pictures in your article is a bronze color. Is that a color that will be available?
    I will ride the new Wing but at this time am underwhelmed because of the lack of storage and passenger seating issues you mentioned in your review. if I had to make a decision today I would spend a couple thousand on Racetec suspension mods on my 2014 and continue to live without the windshield and overdrive.

    I have been waiting for a long time for this bike but would pass.

  38. Saw the bike at the NY show. Shocked at the limited storage; lack of helmut locks; and plastic tip over guards on the engine and exhaust piped (left one broke after female passenger thought it was the foot peg).

  39. The new Goldwing looks like one fine bike to me. I would love to ride one! A 2009 crash forced me to a Can Am Rt. I owned the 1200, 1500 and the 1800. My RT has the simi automatic tranny which is state of the art as is the GW motor. I said if the GW had the RT tranny with the motor it would be the best combo in the industry.
    Looks like Honda has done that in spades. Caught up with the Beemer with electronics and gadgets. If you need to bring momma’ s false teeth and the knitting needles, buy a trailer or take the pickup and bring the dog along too.😃

  40. If Honda wants to send a 5 time Golwing owner to Harley they are doing a good job by taking away storage space. My wife and I rode 23,000 miles last year we have theMotorcycle fully loaded year around with Helmets, Coats, Raingear. I have no idea where we would be able to put that stuff with less storage. Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. looks good…until you start really looking into it.
    Guess I would say, “Honda, you can’t have it both ways”
    And IMO that’s what they’re trying. What they may be doing is pissing off their core buyer market.
    A Goldwing IS an old man’s bike, always has been. They just need to target their REAL market a little better.

    ME???…Instead of finding ONE bike to try to do all things (as this one is) I have several
    I ride an 89 GL1500 “My Cadillac”…yes it’s a couch and that IS why I ride it. Still prefer it to the 1800.
    I also have a Stratoliner for shorter hops that really is a nice ride
    And to round things out a VRod if I want to go power cruising…ALL these at FAR less than the “new” 1800 alone would have cost me

    No, I’ll just stick to what’s in my stable and be perfectly happy

  42. Tom’s right about Honda’s strategy. They are trying to win over the hipsters (just look at the models in their brochure and online adds) while retaining the oldsters. Time will tell if this approach will work. Cadillac did the same thing. My guess is that the next generation of GLs will be even more sleek and racer-like. The days of big, comfy touring bikes pulling trailers and transporting two-up riders sporting a few extra pounds and inches are coming to an end.

  43. Sadly, reading all these comments, I gotta say, and I’m in the industry, that the Goldwing is a train that has left the station. We used to see, service and shoe many Goldwings. Now, we may see one every six months, and while I’m riding I never see any Goldwings newer than 2010. The younger generation isn’t the least interested in the Goldwing, and very few are interested in a HD.

  44. Besides all of the other detractions that have already been mentioned, my questions is where do you mount the cruising pegs or running boards. They only have one place to put your feet and no way to mount highway pegs. That and the smaller trunk and no cubbie holes for the passenger seat make it a no deal.

  45. I am one of those guys who never buy the first year of a new model, and yes this is a radical departure from the old GW. I do have a engineering experience and when I examined the the new front suspension and steering, It was a real red flag. I now see that problems with this design have started to develop. One bike didn’t have 100 miles on it and the steering tie rods had to be changed out. The other issue is the large display screen that takes up the center of the instrument cluster. WHY?
    The new steering linkage system scares the crap out of me, I guess time will tell. I have always owned a Honda, (and currently do) but the new Goldwing is just not for me. I am still trying to figure out what the engineers were attempting to accomplish / thinking?

  46. I have had a lot of wings and one 1600GTL BMW which was a junk heap, engine blew at 4K miles then again in 44 hundred so went back to Kawasaki concours which never screws up and smokes the wing and the BMW the new wing has a speed limiter of either 112 or 118 I heard so that is out of the question

  47. I’m on my 2nd GL, and for the most part it has done everything my wife and I need. But I’ve been waiting anxiously every year for updates to bring the bike inline with other manufacturers, mostly electronics, suspension and windscreen.

    I believe Honda has placed the 2018 in to a different category; sport tourer. High seat, loud exhaust, small luggage capacity are not what a touring bike is.

    In 2002 while speaking to a Honda rep, he said Honda made the GL with me in mind, a 34 year old. So Honda made the new Wing with a younger crowd in mind, but I don’t know a single younger person willing to spend 30K on a bike.

    Honda just built a bike that I won’t upgrade to (even though I can afford it) being that there are now more bikes that it competes with.


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