Wing Ding 41- Demo Ride on ‘19 DCT Wing
Wing Ding 41 was held in my “backyard” from Tuesday August 27 to Saturday August 31 so I decided to attend. I went to 2015 Wing Ding in Huntsville, AL. I am not an active member of GWRRA. I joined to get in and their roadside assistance seems to be good bargain.
I could only attend Friday and Saturday due to my work schedule. The 2015 Huntsville Wing Ding was held in convention center that was fairly compact. The number of physical Gold Wings parked in one place was impressive. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel, being the largest non-gaming Hotel in USA is huge facility. It is so big and so many parking area you did not get the “wow” factor of look at all those GoldWings. There were a lot there am sure but spread out. There are a number of less expensive hotel/motels in immediate area that I saw a number of Wings parked there.
I attended the vendors area, went to the Friday night drill team performance and light show. The drill team and light show was held downtown several miles away from Opryland Hotel by the Tennessee Titan’s Nissan Stadium. There were a good number of Wings at that event.
One of the main things I wanted to do was look at vendors, look at what people were doing onsite with their Wings, I needed the attention of J & M Audio for correcting my Bluetooth device and I wanted to take Demo ride on new DCT Goldwing. I also looked at Bushtec trailers, lighting at Electrical Connection and discussed heated gear for cooler riding.
On Friday when the vendor show area opened I went directly to Honda Demo sign up and lady said they were booked up for the day. She suggested going directly to the outside Honda truck early Saturday morning to sign up as there you could line up before they starting making appointments at 8 am. She said 7:30 or earlier.
I got up and to the Honda truck by 7:30 am on the last day of the Wing Ding 41. There were already a good number of people there and they were giving out a numbered ticket to be called to make Demo Ride appointment. I was number 15 in line and they said they would start calling people up at 7:45 am. They had maybe 15-18 Honda m/c of which maybe 6-8 where Goldwings. Of the Goldwings maybe 4 or 5 were DCT. I think most were Tour models but maybe 2 Goldwings ( no top case, look like old F6B). I was sweating it because the first 6-8 people in front of me chose GW DCT. No one was wanting to ride the Africa Twin or the handful of smaller bikes there, it’s a Goldwing convention, right. I did get appointment on Goldwing DCT non-Tour at the first appointment of 9 am. I could have hung around for a later ride on Tour model as there were 5 appointments available for that day as it was cut off at 1:30 pm because the closing ceremonies for Wing Ding was around 3 pm.
I had near 30-40 minute wait before the safety briefing before the demo ride. I went out to the line and found the GW I was assigned to. A Honda rep came up and starting covering all the features, let me get on, start it up, go thru technique for walking speed forward and new type of reverse. He discussed all lot of features about the Wing and he was owner of the bike himself.
Anyway, I got to take a 30-40 minute ride with a group. I am going to say this, I really like my current ‘13 Wing but I became a BIG FAN of DCT. It was so relaxing to not have to worry about shifting on start up on inclines or downshifting taking corners/turns. I did not reach for the clutch but kept thinking I was missing something to do with my left hand and foot. I really like the new styling. I read all the negatives about storage decreased, less wind protection, smaller gas tank, etc. I looked at what riders of new Generation 3 GW were doing to their Wings, placing bigger windshields, placing air wings on ‘18 and ‘19. Every negative I have read I am seeing the after market vendors making a correction. Owners of all Wings are adding after market Farley’s whether you own any year Wing. Same with Harley owners, they are “juicing” their rides up too.
Yes it is 4 inches narrower than my Wing. Near 100 lbs lighter. Handling to me was on par with what I am use to. I shifted to “Sport” mode and was warned by 2 different Honda spokespersons to hold on and be prepared for “ different bike” in that mode. One rep called it a “beast”. Not sure I would say that but it is very different than “Tour” mode. You feel it immediately by engine sound and throttle response. The best way I can explain it is dropping down gear to pass or accelerate quicker feeling. I played around with the paddle shifting up and down while in “Tour” mode. Then I stopped messing with it because I was trying to think why don’t I just let the DCT do the thinking.
Now I can not quit thinking about that new Wing. I am always looking at little things to improve my current Wing but now I am thinking do I want to invest anymore in my Wing.
If I had the cash difference in hand for trading and I would not be in the “Dawg House” at home with momma.....I would be on new Wing while some riding season left.
2013 GL1800, Level III
1996 HD Heritage Softail Classic (sold this past summer)