2018 GW, 4600 miles, Impressions - Honda Goldwing Forums
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Midwest
Posts: 54
2018 GW, 4600 miles, Impressions

The preface to my story is on my intro. In a nutshell, I flew to Houston where my white 2018 had awaited me for 3 weeks, joined up with a friend who also purchased a red 2018 and we headed out to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where wed meet up with a buddy from Oregon on an FJR and buddy from California on a Yamaha Venture. I will post pics and videos of our trip later but wanted to use this post to tell you my likes and dislikes of the new Gold wing.

Having never sat on one, my concern was whether or not Id touch the ground. Im 5-7 with an inseam of about 30" on a good day and with an advertised seat height of 29.5 it was a concern for me. Right away I felt comfortable. The bar reach was just about perfect, the controls well within reach of my hands and the seat felt solid but comfortable. Id be spending a lot of time near the tank, arguably the worst part of the seat, so the comfort aspect remained to be seen. I have to stand on the balls of my feet but found sitting on the left half of the seat, i can touch flat footed.... on one foot. lol. ThaT WORKS FOR ME. I ghost clutched it a total of 4-5 times, so that wasnt an issue. Im not used to such a heavy bike so maneuvering it out of the shop mustve looked as awkward to the bystanders as it felt to me. The motor ran nice and smooth, no vibrations at the bars at all, a welcomed relief from the Harleys Ive owned/ridden. The shifting was FAST. 30mph and i was in 5th gear. That I did not like but am slowly getting used to it. The shifting was very smooth once on the throttle and at times undetectable. That i like. at slow speed, stop and go traffic, it can hunt between 1st and 2nd, sometimes lurching a bit as it tries to find the right gear. I Dont like that. I prefer to put it in Manual and choose the gear myself in those rare situations. I also chose manual mode in the mountain twisties. It up shifted and down shifted on me in the midst of a corner a couple of times and although it didnt translate to any difference in the line or disrupt the chassis in any way, it felt uneasy to me. I used the Rain mode in the 3 downpours and could feel the difference in shift points, throttle response and in the suspension. I mostly kept it in touring mode with very few stints in Econ mode. Sport mode was a blast, mimicking my CBR 100 XX but with a lot less power. Although it was fun, it seemed out of place for a bike like that. Definitely a noticeable difference.

The miles unfolded and my butt never complained. My last stint home was a 1320 mile marathon, only stopping for gas/drinks and once for dinner. The seat fit me well so no need for an aftermarket one. I placed a 50 liter Kuryakyn bag on the passenger seat and it served the dual purpose of additional storage, which left a lot of space in my bags and trunk. It also served as a back rest. Made me realize that a back rest was my next purchase.

The chassis on the bike was fantastic. I pointed it into the corners and it railed them. Even the one time I hit a corner too hot, and I had to correct mid corner, it settled into its line and followed my input precisely. I did use the double up and baggage as the preload setting in the mountains. The front suspension system was also fantastic. 4600 miles and my hands never felt numb or buzzy". All the small bumps were soaked up by the system. I did catch myself bottoming out on several occasions and will be looking into the fix for that. The back never wallowed or strayed, following the front around every sharp turn.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Midwest
Posts: 54
Part II

I struggled with the freecom 4/iphone/car play almost the whole trip. 2 days from the end I found the solution online and everything worked beautifully. The GPS was spot on, choosing the same routes my google maps did. I didnt insert any way points so I didnt have the problems others complain about.

Hated the grab rails. It didnt affect my set up, because I used the straps provided by Kuryakyn and attached them to the trunk rack I had the dealer install. My buddy however struggled with the set up and a multitude of cords, not having purchased the rack. He's getting one.

Another thing I hated was the windshield. theres a dead spot right in the middle that no matter how much Rain X i put on, or how fast I was going, it wouldnt clear off. Beads of water just stood there like little boys in their first boy/girl dance. I found that odd and irritating. I had to lower it below my field of vision, and allow the rain to easily bead off my helmet shield.

The closing mechanism on the tank storage space began catching so way too much effort was needed for it to latch. a little lithium grease should fix that. The fit and finish was good. cheaper than the BMW i considered and the Ultra Glide I had. The paint job was incredible. Many people complimented me on it saying theyd never consider buying a white bike until they saw this one.

The lights, especially the brights worked well peripherally but I thought they needed to be raised, which I will do. It was puckering at times to go around a bend and have nothing but darkness at the opposite end. Honda is back ordered on the wiring harness for the running lights so the dealer hadnt installed them. Looking at my buddies bike they didnt seem to make a difference in that regard.

Being short, the reverse and forward mode were god sends!

All the controls worked well and were easily learned. The infotainment system and menus can be more intuitive but were eventually learned.

The pounds this bike lost and its looks sold me on it. I like the styling of the older GWs but prefer the sharp edges of this one. The bike handles like a sport bike, is easy to maneuver by foot. It doesnt take any effort to get it to do what i want it to, unlike my previous harleys. it was just a joy to ride. no work at all.

The limited top end sucked. I dont understand that, but then again most people in this category arent looking to hit 125. Neither am i but hate the constraint.

Theres an engine heat "bubble" that surrounds the rider that was horrible through the texas heat. that bubble was welcomed in the 40 degree mountain air however.

Gas mileage. 50-65mph, 50mpg+ saw 53.5mpg on one tankful. 65-75mph 44-47mpg. 80-90 mph, 40-42mpg. averaged 44.3 over the 4600 miles.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 05:32 PM
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nice write up!

Lots of us will live our dream of owning the new wing through you!
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 06:36 PM
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while i'm not in the market for a wing I do thank you for the write-up
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-28-2018, 08:09 PM
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Great job and look forward to pics and ride report

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 10:52 AM
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Very well done. Awaiting the pics.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for the report. I'll probably upgrade to a 2018 GW in a few years.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 10:17 PM
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Thank you for sharing your impressions
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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The group is dubbed OFR. Ole Farts Ride. We get together every few years for a couple week long trip.

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Last edited by Blkbrd11XX; 08-30-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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