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Author Topic: 2018 Gold Wing DCT Tour Review  (Read 106 times)

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Offline union455

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2018 Gold Wing DCT Tour Review
« on: July 22, 2019, 02:43:02 PM »
2018 Gold Wing DCT Tour, riding impression so far: My new Wing now has 828 miles on her. I put approximately 600 miles on this past weekend at the Big Lynn Lodge rally in Little Switzerland and had a blast doing it. The bike drew a lot of curious riders, since it's the new kid on the block. Most questions had to do with the DCT transmission. In Bristol we demoed the DCT and the manual 6 speed. I could easily live with either one and be happy. My senior age hasn't gotten to the point where I have trouble with a clutch. I still ride my '05 Electra Glide just fine with it's cable operated lever. OK, the DCT is a different animal, then say the CVT on the Vespa I had. It can function as a fully automatic trans, just put it in D (like a car) and off you go. On the open road/interstate riding, it's just fine. On curvy mountain roads, I learned to use the paddle shifter more, in conjunction with the auto option. While in D (auto mode) you can (and should) downshift with the paddle to make your entry and exit much smoother. On the BRP I was often cruising in 6th gear (40-50 mph) but upon entering a curve I would paddle shift down to 4th or 5th. If you let the DCT do everything for you, it can get a little sloppy and downshift mid turn, usually with some annoying clunking. So, keep in mind, while in D (auto) you can easily down or upshift using the paddles. The shift is immediate and smooth. If you want to shift more on your own, simply push the gray button on the right switch panel (A/M) to lock out the auto DCT almost completely. While on the parkway I locked out the auto (so I thought) and did the shifting manually. Getting off the parkway I forgot to downshift coming to a stop sign and the DCT kicked in and did it for me at around 10 mph. It does not let you lug the engine or screw up! I like that.

Pros: The bike is like an ST1300 on steroids. Maybe that is what Honda wanted to do. It handles better than any of my previous Wings: '85-1200, '93-1500 or '06-1800. On curvy roads or high speed interstate it is rock solid. No more of the "Head shake" if you take your hands off the bars. The suspension and frame are brand new and do a great job. Fuel Mileage: I'm getting between 48 and 50 mpg, two up with luggage, highway and mountains combined. My '06 got around 38-42 mpg. This one has better lighting, LEDs out front and all around. Electric windshield that should be fine for all sizes of rider. It came with heated electric grips and seats although we haven't tried them yet. A USB cord is included under a flip open door, great for IPod use. It is Bluetooth equipped but you need headsets to utilize Apple Car Play. With my 29" inseam, I don't have a problem touching and being almost flat footed at a stop. At low speed like in parking lots the bike is well balanced and doesn't feel disjointed like the other models. Using the DCT in a parking lot with no clutch takes some getting used to, but being gentle with the throttle and riding some rear brake helps.

Cons: The onboard navigation sucks! Sorry, but its true. I've had GPS in cars and portable since they came out (my favorite is still a Garmin 2730). The bike's navigation is a chore to program. Not touch screen so you have to scroll to every letter you want to enter for a location, etc. While moving you are very limited to what you can do. This is common with most built in Navi on cars and bikes. I installed a Garmin Zumo 396 and it works fine. While riding, I have the bike's Navi displayed and sometimes program it to the same destination as my Zumo to give me a bigger picture. It has a nice big screen but other that, it sucks.

Luggage capacity: Widespread opinion (on forums, etc) is that Honda screwed up. You won't get two full faced helmets in the trunk, unless maybe they are both small. You can get a Fulmar modular helmet and a 3/4 helmet in once you get the configuration right. If you have luggage in the trunk, the helmet lock the bike came with is laughable. A "holder" slides into a slot in the left rear grab rail, that opens by pulling a rod located inside the left saddlebag. Then you have to have a cable or lock to slide thru your helmets to keep them on the seat. I use a thin cable and padlock to do it. What a PITA! The saddlebags are not removable and seem to hold as much as the ones on my ST1100. Traveling two up (as we usually do) on a long trip will take some creative packing of lightweight articles. I installed a Show Chrome luggage rack on top of the trunk to carry our light rain gear. The truck lid is rated for 5 lbs (yeah right), but the rack is rated for 10. My Kuryakin bag from a previous bike, with light rain gear inside weighs 7 lbs.

Comfort: The seat on this Wing is similar to my previous 1800. Not as comfortable as the '93 1500 but okay. Janet said her's is fine, mine is OK, but we haven't ridden long distances recently so my butt might need some breaking in. For me, after about an hour and a half some squirming is necessary, but seamless undergarments have been ordered! This last trip required 3.5 hours riding and wasn't too bad. A Sheepskin would help, ordering one soon, thanks Mike D.
Protection from the elements: This bike definitely has less wind/rain protection than the previous 1800. Being 90 lbs lighter and with a narrower fairing and windscreen, there has to be a trade-off. You get more wind and rain on your arms and legs.
Overall: We really like this motorcycle. Since we ride two up 95% of the time we BOTH have to like it and we do. The more I use the DCT the better I like it, especially since I can shift when I want, without a clutch. The DCT might help with trade in value down the line. There have been no bugs or issues with the bike mechanically since taking delivery.

Drop me a line if you have any further questions. I don't mind answering them!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 02:59:16 PM by union455 »