Author Topic: Goldwing test ride  (Read 744 times)

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Offline luv2fly

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Goldwing test ride
« on: August 30, 2018, 02:06:31 pm »
I answered one of those online surveys a few months ago. I think it started off a Cycle World web site. Long story short, I was invited on a factory demo ride. Rode about 2 hours to Kokomo, IN for a 4 hour event. Lunch was provided. Showed up to find a large tractor trailer rig sitting in the Marriot parking lot with about a dozen Wings lined up. All colors, all models. After sign in and a brief chat of the itinerary we headed to the bikes. The guy leading it went over the Dual Clutch set up and how to operate the bike in general. Just basics we needed to be aware of. Hill start assist, walk forward and reverse assist, DCT operation, parking brake (on DCT models), etc. Then we headed out on a 75 mile loop from 4 lane highway to some twisty back roads and sweepers. Electronic suspensions were already set up for solo riders. I opted for the tour model and accepted a DCT out of curiosity. Fully expecting not to like it and pick it apart. I won't go into how to operate the DCT or its features unless someone has a question, I'm sure there are lots of youtube vids already. I will say that when the bike is off, it is not in gear, hence the parking brake in front of the left knee. Operates exactly like a modern E brake in a car. Start the bike, hit the "D" on the right handlebar and 1st is engaged but the bike will sit still until you give it throttle. There is differs from a car. The trans remains in full auto mode until you decide otherwise. It shifts in (I believe) 600 milliseconds. Seamless. The same noise as a standard shift but less mechanical jolt. The harder you flog it, the smoother it gets. Rain, ECO, Tour, and Sport modes. Rain mode is like you are pulling a heavy trailer. Slower than my 88TC Road King with cams. No way you'll give it too much throttle to get in trouble in Rain mode. Didn't try Eco. Tour mode is where I left it most of the time. PLENTY of power to do anything you want. It will scoot. Toggle up Sport mode, hit the trigger shifter and hold on. I wasn't expecting much coming off a Concours 14, but I was thoroughly impressed. It felt like it had maybe 85% of the power of my Connie. 7 speeds, perfectly geared, and shifts so fast no human could match them. It felt like much more than the advertised 98HP. On the interstate it simply feels like a horse trying to run out from under you. Again, coming from a Concours.

Suspension - All I can say is WOW. Electronically controlled, double wishbone up front. Top of the suspension is clearly seen from the saddle. It catches your eye because there is movement up an down as it soaks up road imperfections. Its obvious. Its also obvious after the fact that you as the rider don't feel 98% of what is being absorbed by the bike itself. I purposely hit the pot holes, seams, RR tracks, poorly patched road repairs, this bike sets a standard. Along with my group was a 1600 GTL rider. He told me the Goldwing puts his BMW suspension to shame, no comparison. We were encouraged to find the limits on the bikes. Pin the throttle when appropriate, try and drag hard parts, make it dance. A few of us did. I leaned mine over far enough in a few sweepers and sharp turns the toe of my boot caught and got pulled off the peg. This bike will shred further, more stable, and with more confidence than my Concours. Shes a big girl, but she can dance with the best of them. All ya gotta do is lead. Guy from the BMW was hanging off the seat in a few sweepers, I never heard scraping. I can't praise it enough. Throw her down in a tight curve and she smirks, bend her over hard in a fast sweeper and she giggles back at you. THIS is what a bike should handle and ride like.  I cranked her over good when I could and the road caught the toe of my boot and pulled it off the peg.

Did get to play with the stereo a bit. Windshield down, it was loud and clear at 50/60. Full faced helmet, no problem. I noticed that it sounded very hollow and tinny. Quality sucked. THEN I found sound setting in the menu and saw everything was set in the neutral position. Bass and treble were neither enhanced, nor subdued. Factory settings. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to play with it to see how well it would improve with a little tweaking. Clarity and volume were great.

All bikes had factory GPS, Cruise, bluetooth, keyless fob which automatically unlocked the bags when you got within 3 feet, and numerous other features, including power windows, heated seats and grips. The model I rode retails for $27,700, an airbag adds $4k. For me, $27 large is a lot of bills for 2 wheels. I'd sooner have 4 used wheels with 500+hp, no top and a stick shift for the same money without the guilt. OR 2-3 nice used bikes instead. My wife would sign off on it, maybe I'm a tight wad, I still try to find 2 liters of pop under a buck. Its a small victory when I do.

Still, that $27K gets you a ton of proven tech. Standard warranty is 3 years, an additional 5 is optional. The bike performs. It was made to carry you and a passenger in comfort over long distances.  Much of it is plastic and aluminum, Thats also why it handles so well, protects the rider from the elements and was incredibly quiet with the screen up. When I'm riding long distances, that is EXACTLY what I want.  I enjoy not feeling beat after 300 miles, and it only gets worse as years pass. Am I running out to buy one? Not even with the $500 coupon they gave us towards a new Wing. But, I'll keep the Goldwing hat and remember it for when the Concours no longer does it for me and move up. My 'zen' is on the side of a mountain with not a another human in sight for the last hour, sun setting, not knowing where I'm going, and 2,000 miles from home. The middle of nowhere. Alone. Two wheels and less than a plan of where I am going or what I'm to do. For me, a quiet, capable, smooth bike adds to that.

Something I didn't like about the DCT. Slow speed parking lot maneuvers. I kept grabbing for that clutch to manipulate the engagement zone for balance and momentum. Much easier to make exact and minute adjustments with a few fingers than rolling an entire wrist. I would call that its biggest downfall as a concept. Well executed otherwise.



Bike I rode


At our half way point. Gave people a chance to swap bikes (DCT for a 6 speed, Tour for a standard, etc.)


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Offline TJ

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 10:16:56 pm »
Nice review, the slow speed riding takes some practice and trust in the bike.

Offline MizzouMike

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2018, 12:12:26 pm »
Thanks for that review!!
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Offline ZG

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 01:54:27 pm »
Great post L2F, thanks for the write up!  :great:
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Offline luv2fly

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 12:25:30 pm »
Spoiler alert - test riding a relatively new metric bagger Tuesday.  Stay tuned! :great: :motonoises:
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Offline Grant

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2018, 02:49:33 pm »
Nice review really enjoy your write ups please keep them coming  :beerchug:
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Offline ghostrider990

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2018, 09:54:55 am »
This was a good review, and great pics.

I keep admiring the new wing on the road, and decided to go check one out yesterday at a local dealership.
I did not go to test ride....just look.

I admire alot of what they've done, but as soon as I threw a leg over it -- i was immediately put off.
I'm just not THERE yet.  ::)  Frankly, I don't think I ever WANT to be. 
As much as they've shrunk this bike and "right-sized" it from the previous versions, it's still just WAY too big, fat, and bulbous for me.

I literally said to my buddy, nice bike, great features, awesome headlight and dashboard -- now down-size this into a newer ST-1200 with the VFR's V4 motor, and I'm a contender.  But ONLY then......

The space in the bags is smaller than my C14 with Givi55 topbox.  No REALLY.  Inexcusable for such a big bike, and it's ALL motor in terms of size and porkiness.

PLEASE HOnda -- I implore you.....make a REAL sport-touring bike.  Bring back the ST1200 with that BEAUTIFUL V4 motor, and they will come.

gr
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Offline Rob9876

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2018, 08:28:57 pm »
The space in the bags is smaller than my C14 with Givi55 topbox.  No REALLY.  Inexcusable for such a big bike, and it's ALL motor in terms of size and porkiness.
Is that right?  I was curious about that (I've got a '15 Connie w/ Maxia 56 topcase).  Do you know how much smaller the side cases are?

Offline jettawreck

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2018, 11:20:59 pm »
This was a good review, and great pics.

I keep admiring the new wing on the road, and decided to go check one out yesterday at a local dealership.
I did not go to test ride....just look.

I admire alot of what they've done, but as soon as I threw a leg over it -- i was immediately put off.
I'm just not THERE yet.  ::)  Frankly, I don't think I ever WANT to be. 
As much as they've shrunk this bike and "right-sized" it from the previous versions, it's still just WAY too big, fat, and bulbous for me.

I literally said to my buddy, nice bike, great features, awesome headlight and dashboard -- now down-size this into a newer ST-1200 with the VFR's V4 motor, and I'm a contender.  But ONLY then......

The space in the bags is smaller than my C14 with Givi55 topbox.  No REALLY.  Inexcusable for such a big bike, and it's ALL motor in terms of size and porkiness.

PLEASE HOnda -- I implore you.....make a REAL sport-touring bike.  Bring back the ST1200 with that BEAUTIFUL V4 motor, and they will come.

gr

Honda made ST1100's and then redesigned that into the ST1300 from 2003-2012(?, I believe, for North America at least, Europe got the 1300 in 2002). I have a 2004. I don't believe they ever made a ST1200. But, regardless, the V4 engine is a smooth torque machine.
Many members on the ST forums have been in apprehension for many years for a new version of the ST and some have been looking hard at the new "Wing" as a new replacement. Reactions are also obviously mixed.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 01:15:02 am by jettawreck »
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Offline Diz

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2018, 08:55:41 am »
Honda used 2 different 4 cylinder engines. The ST1300 engine was later introduced into the CTX1300, which was not a big seller. Several discussions here about being able to pick up a new one at half the price. Then there was the VFR1200 motor. Different design but it is being used in the VFR1200x, Honda's attempt at adventure touring. Both motors were superb, wish Honda could find a bike the buying public likes with either of those motors installed.

Offline luv2fly

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2018, 10:23:41 pm »
I hate to crash this party because I am of the same cloth.  Own/owned 5 Honda V4s.  The guy who was in charge of this whole shebang said Honda will not bring back an ST replacement.  The 1200VFR didn't sell well and the Goldwing is much more sport oriented.

No more Honda ST - of any variation, according to him.  Claimed the ADV market was where its at now and Honda is putting all its eggs in that basket.
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Offline Strawboss

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2018, 05:13:12 pm »
I tend to agree fly, I'm not sure the ST1300 sold all that well either compared to Kawasaki and Yamaha. Many complained of the "soul less, quiet, sewing machine sounding' motor. I lusted for one but the price was way too much for me, double the cost of my C-10 in 2002.
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Offline Bud

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2018, 07:04:32 pm »
I tend to agree fly, I'm not sure the ST1300 sold all that well either compared to Kawasaki and Yamaha. Many complained of the "soul less, quiet, sewing machine sounding' motor. I lusted for one but the price was way too much for me, double the cost of my C-10 in 2002.
The ST was on my list before I bought my 05 C10.  Price was always the issue.  My C10 was almost half of what an ST would have been.  I wanted one.....just not bad enough to shell out the extra dough to get it.  As far as the new wing is concerned, I rode one in Evansville at West Side Honda.  Very very nice bike.  Wonderful seat.  Smooth and powerful.  Handled well.  I'm sure there is something to pick at, but I didn't see it in my test ride.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 07:09:35 pm by Bud »

Offline Jim_Sherman_ID

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Re: Goldwing test ride
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2018, 08:00:53 pm »
In 2005 I sold my C10 and bought a 2005 ST1300. The bike does everything well and that V4 is so smooth with lots of torque. I've seen 2 test on sport touring bikes where they threw in an ST1300 just to see how it compared to the newer sport touring bikes that were 5-10 years new. It came in 2nd in most categories while other bikes might have had a 1st, but also 4th. They all agreed the Honda did everything well with no weakness. It can still compete today.

Honda's problem is it is too close to the Goldwing in price and features. They make more money on the Wing so it made no sense to cut into the Wing sales with the ST. Kawasaki did the same thing with the Voyager. Kawasaki went with the C10/14 rather that update the Voyager. They went with a cruiser for a touring bike. Kawasaki has the reputation of building fast bikes while Honda makes boring reliable bikes that do everything well. That is why the new supercharged HS might replace the C14.