2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT | Test Ride and Review
Written by The Duke of DC.
Overview and Test Ride
What can be said about the Honda Gold Wing? Introduced at the 1974 INTERMOT motorcycle show in Cologne, Germany, it has been the yardstick for all touring motorcycles since. Before I ever smelled the glorious mix of gas and oil going into my first trail bike, the Honda Goldwing was a household name. Whether you were a regular on two wheels, or a contestant on Jeopardy, “what is Honda Gold Wing?” would have been common knowledge for the average Joe.
Fast forward over 40 years and a lowly D.C. based motovlogger gets to swing a leg over his first (certainly not last) Gold Wing. The 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT leaves literally nothing to be desired. Boasting a 1833cc horizontally opposed 6-cylinder, producing just under 98 horsepower and a staggering 108 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, the 833 lb frame is propelled without pause. Standing at a very rider friendly 29.3 inches, the seat height lends itself to all shapes and sizes, but hey, you can read the specs in the brochure. What you came for is a first hand, first ride review and impression.
Here’s where things get really interesting… those impressive power figures are routed through a state-of-the-art 7-speed automatic and semi-automatic transmission. Don’t worry, your vision isn’t blurring… that’s an automatic transmission! Believe me when I say that my admiration for the engineering and execution of this motorcycle are in no way fabricated. A case that was not always true. In fact, leading up to the moment I pulled away from the dealership, I had nothing but doubts. It wasn’t but moments later when I was heading down Route 50 at 40mph having done nothing so much as twist my wrist and let the magic happen that I realized how seamlessly Honda had integrated this relatively new technology.
Is the Honda Gold Wing hard to ride?
I should stress that the next statement is one I would not make lightly. My test ride on the Gold Wing was the single most comfortable ride I’ve ever had on a motorcycle. Neither balance, nor acceleration, nor connection to the road were sacrificed in this piece of technological marvel. One might fear that the standard manual gearbox and operation of said gearbox connect all riders alike, and although I firmly believe that the manual will reign supreme for the foreseeable future, it cannot be ignored that the DCT automatic hasn’t been skipping leg day.
With multiple riding modes (Tour, Sport, Rain, Econ) controlling power delivery, shifting points, and general sportiness, you can cruise around town, munch down highway miles, or push it to redline, all with the click of a button.
What stands out above all else though, is the comfort. From the plush rider and passenger bark-o-loungers to the immense and highly adjustable wind protection, or the cold weather riders fan favorite, heated grips, the Honda has it all. If you’ve got a thing for buttons, or just happen to want to feel like Captain Kirk for the afternoon, you’ll be first on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Apple CarPlay makes its way to the 7in full color TFT display in a less than stellar integration, but hey perfection is boring, and otherwise, I can’t begin to find any issues with the godfather of the iron butt challenge (google it).
Check out the Duke of DC’s full video review.
How much is a Honda Gold Wing?
The 2018 Honda Gold Wing comes in three trims: Base, Tour and Tour DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission). The pricing ranges from an MSRP of $23,500 on the base model, to $31,500 on the Tour DCT Airbag model. Based on data from Rollick, the most popular trims are:
- 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT
- 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour
- 2018 Honda Gold Wing Base
If you’re thinking of purchasing a used Gold Wing, models from 2010 through 2017 are typically priced in a range from $8,500 up to $28,000 depending on usage and condition. You should still expect to pay close to $20,000 for your pre-owned model.
Honda Gold Wings available inventory for sale
When shopping on the dealership lot, Rollick data suggestions that the 2018 Tour DCT and 2018 Tour are the most carried models by dealers. For used vehicles, there are still many 2015 to 2017 model year vehicles available for sale on dealership lots. Inventory drops off significantly once you start searching for 2014 or earlier model years.
The Final Say
I was fortunate enough to take the Gold Wing on a 40 mile loop, mixed with high-speed highway/interstate travel, stop-and-go traffic, and the best twisties that Northern VA has to offer. At no point on the ride did I wish I had a more focused sportbike, a more expensive “luxury” branded competitor, or an ultralightweight traffic-friendly motorcycle. After bringing this beauty back to the dealership, all I can say is the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT is a jack of all trades and a master of most.
Thinking of buying? See available Honda Gold Wings for sale and get an upfront, transparent price before you head to the dealer.