THE ALL-NEW 2018 GOLDWING !
Year after year, as the 2001-era GL1800 Goldwing got older and longer in the tooth, Goldwing afficianados expected an all-new Goldwing to be released. After all, the original GL1500 lasted for 13 years before the GL1800 replaced it in 2001. By that measure, the new GL1800 replacement should have been appearing right around 2014. As the years ticked by, and Honda presented us with the same old GL1800 with minor refinements and yet another paint color as a "feature," owners despaired that Honda had forgotten about them.
Well despair no longer, because on October 24th at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda unveiled the all-new 2018 Goldwing. Unlike the drastic revolutions seen from the GL1200 to the GL1500 and from the GL1500 to the GL1800, the passing of the torch from the 2017 GL1800 to the new 2018 (now just confusingly named Gold Wing) seems more of an evolution than a revolution.
The engine is still a flat six-cylinder, and it is still 1800cc, despite being a completely new, from-scratch design. The twin headlights, turn-signal mirrors and passenger seatback trunk are all familiar. At first glance, you might even mistake the new Gold Wing for last year's GL1800 - that's not something you could say for a GL1500 and GL1800.
But there are definitely significant advancements under the skin. The front suspension is in fact revolutionary - gone are the front forks used in virtually every motorcycle, replaced with a dual wishbone system far more capable and suited to a heavy touring bike. The front and rear suspension are fully computer-controlled, and adjustable for different riding and road conditions.
With Honda's recent concentration on computer-controlled dual-clutch transmissions (they are now on their fourth generation DCT), it's no surprise that the 2018 Goldwing arrives with your choice of either a long hoped-for six-speed manual transmission, or a fully automatic 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. A throttle-by-wire engine control simplifies the addition of its selectable torque control systems, traction control and cruise control.
2018 Goldwing Saddlebag The Big Scandal
But by far the most talked-about change, the one that has the forum buzzing, has to be the reduction in storage space. With a 50-liter trunk and two 30-liter saddlebags, storage on the new 2018 Goldwing is now a diminutive 110 liters, down from the GL1800's 150 liters, and a significant reduction compared to the GL1500's 192 liters of storage. The Yamaha Venture has 140 liters of storage - and that is upgradeable, while the BMW K1600GTL has a total of 127 liters.
Many people posting on the web site are in love with the new 2018 Goldwing, but are definitely not in love with the storage reduction, and some are calling it a "deal breaker."
The other complaint seen fairly often on the GoldwingDocs forum is Honda's seemingly incessant focus on weight reduction, at the cost of everything else. The new Goldwing is 85 pounds lighter than the 2017 GL1800 - but to lose that weight, several compromises had to be made. The fuel tank is smaller, there is no center stand, the wind protection is less due to the narrower fairing, and as mentioned, storage area has been reduced. As one GoldwingDocs user wrote, "I don't care if it's lighter, I just want to be able to carry my and my wife's stuff for a weekend!"
As you would expect, this announcement has generated some of the most traffic and postings on the site in years - in fact, on the day of the announcement, GoldwingDocs set a new record for the most number of users on the site at the same time! There are several forum topics with active discussions and conversations - plus information and insight. Here are some of the best:
Everything You Need to Know About the New 2018 Goldwing - if you read only one thread, this should be it! Pictures, information, specifications, videos, reviews! If you read this earlier in the week when we sent out our special announcement, you should check back - tons more information, specifications, pictures, and even some corrected info has been added to the first post in this thread. Truly everything you ever wanted to know about the new Goldwing.
2018 Goldwing Specifications - Started out as a post of specifications, but grew into a discussion over the likes and dislikes of the new bike. There are now actually many more official specifications in the "Everything You Need to Know" post above.
New 2018 Gold Wing Survey - Spend 30 seconds and share your thoughts on the new Goldwing with our quick poll, or read others comments and takes on the new bike.
2018 Goldwing EngineThe Biggest Advance in the New Goldwing.
To me, there are two huge changes in the new Goldwing. The first is the front suspension: Honda has abandoned the traditional fork suspension found in motorcycles since the advent of time, and replaced it with an advanced single-shock system that performs light-years beyond the antiquated fork system. That will make a difference in how the bike feels and rides.
But the real news is down below: the engine. Not so much the engine itself - which apart from some advancements in terms of fuel efficiency (molybdenum coated piston skirts, Unicam four-valve valvetrain) is pretty much the same, but what's in the bottom of the engine case: the transmission. Or rather, transmissions.
The new Goldwing has two available transmissions: A traditional foot-shifted six-speed manual, or a brand-new computer-controled 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). Now I am a traditionalist - I love shifting gears, and I am proud of my proficiency and smoothness when it comes to shifting. I practice shifting as perfectly as I can whenever I ride. However, knowing just what the new dual-clutch transmission can do, how it does it, and just how it changes the way you ride the bike, I would be sorely tempted to choose the DCT.
Many people are not familiar with DCT technology, or exactly why it is such an advance over traditional manually shifted transmissions. If you want to come up to speed on exactly what a DCT is, how it works, and why you probably want one on your next bike, check out our new educational article: What exactly is a dual-clutch transmission, and how does it work?
Bron, GoldwingDocs - november 2017 Newsletter.
A Man's got to know his limitations