2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT Test In Texas Hill Country (with Video)

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT Test with Video

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

The long ribbon of road stretched ahead of me, unwinding gently through the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour’s windshield. The gray Texas asphalt was flanked on either side by scrubby grass verges, burnt brown not from summertime heat but from winter’s freezing dry cold. Beyond the grass and into the flat Texas landscape, the forest of naked trees that had been stripped bare by the same winter weather looked stark and cold through mid-January’s light drizzle.

We are riding the legendary Gold Wing, except this is not the usual version of Honda’s highly evolved model. It is Honda’s just released next generation version—the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour. The Wing has kept the same flat-six engine configuration, however, everything else on the iconic motorcycle that has essentially defined the touring genre for the last 40 years, has been radically changed.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCTI have visited Austin many times, and I always smile when the plane is coming in to land. Austin is a lovely city filled with friendly people and a vibrant music culture. There’s an excitement to this part of Texas, and the fun atmosphere is catching.

However, this landscape outside of Austin and beyond the local airport is quite flat and stark. My better half Mary and I are headed for an overnight sojourn in Fredericksburg, some 90 miles away if you took the direct route west along US Highway 290. We’ve opted to take a longer ride through the winding hill country roads that are more picturesque, with the intention of stretching the new Gold Wing’s legs a little.

The new Honda Gold Wing Tour is an absolute revelation. I could tell that before we had even left the parking lot of the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. Parked next to its predecessor, the new Gold Wing is slimmer and dramatically more elegant than the older model that is essentially a highly evolved, beautifully comfortable, couch on wheels.

2018-honda-gold-wing-tour-dct-review-texas-hill-country New vs Old

No criticism of the previous Wing, but truth be told, the Gold Wing had become dated and was missing out on a lot of modern technical advances. Among other things, it needed to go on a diet and get to the gym. The new model is about as dramatic an upgrade as it is possible to get.

There are two flavors of Gold Wing now available. Of course there are differences between the models, but essentially, the Gold Wing Tour is the fully dressed version, while the bagger edition sans rear trunk is simply called the Gold Wing (effectively replacing the F6B).

Both versions have a choice between between Honda’s amazing 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (for about a $900 premium) or the newly redesigned—and much improved—standard clutch/shift six-speed gearbox. You’ll have to get the Tour DCT model if you want the airbag.

Other than that, if you find you are committed to one version and end up wanting the other, Honda Accessories can sell you either a trunk eliminator kit to turn the Tour into the bagger, or sell you a paint-matched trunk to give full-dresser status to the standard Gold Wing. Taking off or putting on the rear trunk is about a three-hour process. I’d probably have to double that number.

The Gold Wing Tours are drop-dead gorgeous. The Tour Airbag version comes in the deeply lustrous, dazzling metallic Candy Ardent Red with very nice black accents. The other Tours offer the red (without accents), along with a dark Pearl Hawkseye Blue, or Pearl White. The bagger also has the Candy Ardent Red plain, as well as your choice of Matte Majestic Silver, or a stunning Pearl Stallion Brown. The paint is premium quality and uses Honda’s metallic paint process that debuted a few years ago on the VFR1200F.

An impressive wing-shaped array of 10 LED headlights at the front complement the daytime running strips, while multi-lens LEDs at the rear accent the Gold Wing’s beautifully sculpted lines. Incidentally, the rear lights no longer intrude into the interior of the trunk, making the interior space more symmetrical and usable.

LED front turn signals are built into the mirrors, while LED rear signals are built into the same unit as the taillight and stop lamp on each side. The turn signals now have a welcome auto-cancel feature, however I found that unfortunately they turn-off too soon, even in a straight line. I usually had to restart the signal again, sometimes twice, before I had reached my turn.

The slimmer, more compact-looking Gold Wing has lost around 90 pounds and, although it’s also a little taller than its predecessor, the seat is narrower at the front. Flat-footing while at a standstill is no problem, and perhaps even easier. The 2018 Gold Wings look more dynamic, a little more aggressive, more up-to-date. The old version parked next to it now looks a little sad, a little flabby, and a little dated. That’s not really fair, but times move on—and so has the Gold Wing.

With the Honda key fob in my pocket, a single stab of the smart-start button brings the all-new Unicam motor to life. Honda’s new Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) starts the fabulous, but still flat-six, motor willingly. As the name implies, the starter and electrical generator are combined into one unit, in the process saving over five pounds. The motor has a long list of major improvements and updates; suffice it to say it is lighter and dramatically more efficient and, thanks to the redesigned exhaust, it sounds better as well.

The motor is very quiet, and feels almost identical to the previous model. The competition-derived Unicam motor—which replaces a traditional SOHC design—is powerful and torquey from idle, and it is still turbine smooth. Power output is increased by a small amount, and throttle response is definitely improved. Because of its much-improved efficiency, Honda was able to reduce fuel capacity by over a gallon without reducing the riding range.

We wanted to leave Lost Pines Resort around nine in the morning, and the gray skies had hinted strongly that the light drizzle would likely turn to real rain. Fortunately, my intuition was as usual, wrong, and it never really rained hard on us. Although the Gold Wing Tour we were riding ended up getting filthy, we were nicely insulated from the wet road spray.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT reviewOnce packed and mounted up, I looked at the Lost Pines wet cobblestone courtyard with a little trepidation. I wondered how the cold Bridgestone Exedra tires coupled to a mighty powerful Honda engine would cope with the slippery ground–and how hard it would subsequently be to pick up a fully loaded 833-pound Gold Wing Tour once it fell over. I shouldn’t have worried.

The bike was fitted with Honda’s latest Dual Clutch Transmission. I first sampled DCT at its original launch on the VFR1200F almost 10 years ago, and this is the third generation of DCT. Honda magic has so refined the system it has now reached a must-have level on the perfect platform for it—the Gold Wing. Really.

DCT is a complex engineering feat with three simple goals: (1) unprecedented rider control no matter what speed; (2) seamless-feeling gearchanges for maximum rider and passenger comfort; and (3) the perfect gear ratio at all times, so that the rider always has access to engine power as needed.

And yes, it works.

Your first time on a DCT bike will be a little disconcerting due to the lack of clutch lever. Fortunately, a simple twist of the throttle makes the Gold Wing move away in the most gentle and controllable way possible. Counterintuitively, it is actually much easier and more predictable than feathering the clutch as we’re all accustomed to doing. Even the ultra-slick Lost Pines cobblestone parking lot presented no problem for the DCT system.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT handling
Cornering is as predictable as before, but the new Wing is much more nimble.

With the January temperature in the late 40s, it was definitely chilly. The Gold Wing Tour’s control console across the tank in front of me had both heated grips and seat warmer buttons to hand, while the passenger has access to a dedicated heated seat control. Needless to say, we used them.

Both Mary and I were outfitted in Tour Master’s excellent new Transition 5 jackets. They were not just comfortable—they were warm. She also had Tour Master Sentinel 2.0 rain pants on, while I was wearing Spidi’s comfortable-but-not-waterproof Kevlar jeans. If it rained I was going to get wet legs. However, it turns out the Gold Wing’s fairing is pretty good protection-wise. The gray skies looked a little ominous, but it wasn’t really raining, so thankfully, my legs ended up staying dry.

Accelerating on to the wide-open eastbound Texas State Highway 71—we were taking the scenic route, naturally—the Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT’s motor feels pleasantly familiar. It is smooth, quiet, and pushes Mary and me effortlessly westwards towards the Texan horizon at a nice and steady 70 mph.

Honda focused a lot of development effort on airflow management with the new Gold Wing Tour. Valid criticisms of the old model include a huge, non-adjustable windshield that blocks air as effectively as a barn door, but doesn’t really account for what then happens to the blast after it has been forced away from the rider. The lack of airflow also made the Gold Wing too hot in Summer. However, the new model is a big improvement aerodynamically, and a large part of the reason why the new Wing is such an upgrade.

The Gold Wing Tour’s electrically adjustable windshield allows me to set the height so that the windblast flows over my head; a pop-up vent can channel some air on to my face and body if I need it. Additionally, the rear seat recline has been reduced to bring the passenger a tad more upright so that the airflow continues over the passenger’s head and away. Even the rear of the Gold Wing Tour has been given the aero treatment, to minimize eddying at the back of the bike. Comfort-wise, Mary much prefers the new seating position as the high pressure wind now flows over and around the passenger, greatly reducing passenger fatigue over the long haul.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT for saleHonda also changed the ergonomics slightly for the rider, and the new handlebar position is just a little further forward. Both the rider and passenger footrests are positioned slightly further back, so overall both seating positions are a little more sporting.

Although I like the riding position, on balance I prefer the previous slightly more relaxed handlebar, and Mary prefers the slightly more stretched leg position from before, as well. None of these changes are big, indeed, we only noticed the difference riding the two models back to back, however with the new bike’s much improved agility and handling, I can see why the designers might want to give the new Gold Wing a little more of a sporting ride.

The seat itself is very comfortable and, for the rider, there’s much less intrusion on the hips, which I like. Mary favors the new passenger seat because her legs were less splayed outwards, making it more comfortable on her hips over the long haul.

Her only complaint was that the grab handles are too low, making them impossible to use without leaning down. Fortunately, the passenger accommodation is so secure that she only missed using the handles when I was hard on the brakes—a rarity.

The other upside to the new aero treatment is that our Sena 30K communication devices worked well. The 30K’s Mesh Intercom technology allows for instant pairing, and Sena’s noise-canceling technology is outstanding anyway. However, the relative lack of wind noise enabled crystal-clear, easy-to-hear conversation, and when we turned off the intercom, our music.

As we turned on to Texas State Highway 21 and flew southwest towards San Marcos, the gray skies started getting a bit darker. The light on and off drizzle that kept the roads wet wasn’t getting on to my legs or torso, and both Mary and I were feeling good. We were keeping a fairly brisk pace, so I was focused on the wet road and riding conditions, but the scenery was becoming hillier and definitely changing for the better. Texas has a lot of lakes and small waterways; as we crossed over bridges and alongside small rivers, the view was gradually becoming more picturesque.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT touring TexasThe infotainment and navigation system on the Gold Wing is bang up to date now. For iPhone users, the new Wing has Apple CarPlay integrated into the package. Pairing my iPhone wasn’t a problem as the Honda system is highly intuitive, still, it’s not a one-button process. The final step in the chain is to attach your phone to the bike via a standard Apple Lightning-to-USB cable (not provided), and it must be done last to complete the circuit. When the bike is turned off, the iPhone needs to be detached and then reattached last once more to restart CarPlay. I’m hoping Honda fix this minor irritation with a firmware upgrade at some point.

Once hooked up, the navigation, music, and intercom all play through our headsets. The Sena 30K intercom works very well, though even the mild wind noise over 60 mph keeps the microphones live. As a result, if the intercom is on, our music and navigation voice are automatically muted. Despite playing around with the sensitivity settings, it seems we have to choose between using the intercom to chat, or turn it off, and use everything else. The solution would be for the intercom to be able to effectively differentiate between wind noise and a voice. Until that technology is ready, I’d like to see a push-to-talk button option so we could listen to music and the navigation, and then use the intercom when we need to.

As we turn off the 21 and head towards Kyle, and then on to Wimberley on local county roads, we start to get more into Texas Hill Country. The two-lane road surface isn’t the best, yet the Gold Wing Tour seat—although ostensibly less plush than the one it replaces—is working well with the chassis and suspension; and it is very comfortable. It is firm-ish and nowhere near as bulky as before, yet it is supportive in the right places. Even in the sketchy conditions I’m comfortable, and really enjoying the ride; this ride is making me feel alive.

The asphalt is also quite patchy; there are tar snakes wriggling longitudinally along the road. At speeds ranging from 50 to 70 mph, the bumps and ripples are most definitely working the suspension hard. I have the preload set to its softest (one helmet icon showing) which is perhaps a little naïve with the bike two-up and with fully loaded luggage.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT msrpThe super-light steering that is so enjoyable to use is being pushed by the front tire a little. While the bike is staying true to line in the corners, it does feel as though the road is steering us a little at times. Note to self—at the next stop, bump the preload up to its correct setting and see if the front settles down.

Interestingly, I can peek past and under the handlebars, and in the gap between the steering and the fairing I can see the black plastic caps on the top wishbone joints. They’re bouncing up and down like mini-jackhammers, yet the bars are perfectly calm, and the Gold Wing is just gliding serenely along the wet bumpy road. Cool!

Clearly, the suspension is working hard, and successfully keeping the chassis and handlebars completely insulated from the activity below. Perhaps this bike should have been called the Gold Duck—because it’s serene on the surface, with a ton of frenetic activity happening below.

Kidding aside, the new double-wishbone suspension is perhaps the most astonishing difference between the old and new models. The old traditional fork, as doughty as it was, rode comfortably across the landscape. Its plush ride was obtained by softly springing the suspension and relying on its weight to absorb any road irregularities. It also had a constant mid-frequency vibration permanently coming through to the grips on anything but a glass-smooth surface, and on the brakes that became worse.

The 2018 Honda Gold Wing does things so much differently. A double wishbone front end keeps the suspension one step removed from the steering, and this has significant advantages. Bearings are used for all the steering shaft bushings, making for the light, smooth, action. Also, the up and down movement as the suspension performs its task, can be kept remote from the handlebars. That means all the hammering from the road doesn’t get through to the chassis or grips. Third and lastly, the new suspension design means that the front wheel has almost no rearward movement as it goes up and down—it stays in an almost vertical plane, allowing the engine to be mounted slightly further forward.

Even under hard braking using Honda’s electronically controlled Combined Braking System with ABS—standard on all flavors of the Gold Wing—doesn’t faze the feel at the front whatsoever—all is calm and serene, and the feel at the grips is wonderful.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT LEDThe new suspension design means the engine and rider can be moved forward 1.4 inches, which puts more weight on the front. It’s that front-end weight bias that improves the Gold Wing’s handling feel without compromising the luxury ride. The ride is so good, and I had such feel and confidence in the front end, that I couldn’t help but ask myself why the heck they didn’t do this a decade or so ago! The difference between the two models’ suspension performance is so marked, so improved, it’s worth trading up for this reason alone.

We stopped just outside Blanco for a quick break and I took the opportunity to bring the suspension preload up to the hardest setting—two helmets plus luggage—to see if it made any difference to the Honda Gold Wing Tour. As the rear shock servo dialed in the change to the spring (the bagger version only has manually adjustable shock preload) I felt the rear of the bike appreciably rising.

Once we started our journey again, the ride felt firmer, yet still not harsh or jarring. Though becoming more sporting, the Gold Wing continued to feel like it was simply gliding over the (at times) not so great road surface.

The slight wandering at the front that I’d been experiencing was gone; clearly the steering is sensitive enough that setting the correct preload is needed to help the Wing ride its best. I don’t want to leave you with the impression that the mild wandering was a big problem when the suspension setting was off, because it only happened with infrequent surface problems, and overall was not a big issue. However, the correction in spring-preload made it disappear.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT color optionsThe new suspension is so well set up that, despite maintaining the same 66.8-inch wheelbase and having a more relaxed 30.5-degree rake (from 29.25 degrees), the Gold Wing still turns quicker and is more nimble, while the stable, neutral handling so beloved with this bike, remains. The mild wallow associated with the previous model is gone. The motorcycle stays stable once set on line and, unlike the predecessor, the 2018 Honda Gold Wing’s agility allows it to change line mid corner without drama.

Once we were through Blanco and headed towards Luckenbach on River Road (aka Farm Road 1888) it started to get a little more twisty as the road followed the meandering path of the Blanco River. Straighter sections kept our average speed up; the Gold Wing was in its element, and I was too. The handling on the Gold Wing has always surprised everyone the first time they ride one, and aficionados have done some impressive cornering with them. The new one is better, and there’s a little more ground clearance too.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT Blue
Luckenbach Post Office dates back to the mid-1800s. The new Gold Wing is incongruously cool.

The scenery had changed for the better. Texas Hill Country, the heart of the Lone Star State, is very pretty indeed. The region is on the Edwards Plateau, with the boundary between the Llano Uplift (a low geologic dome) to the west and north, and with the Balcones Fault to the east. The burnt brown grass and stripped bare trees around the Austin environs had been replaced by a somewhat rocky limestone patchwork that has lots of greenery, plus some small rivers and waterways.

Lindendale Road, a continuation of Farm Road 1888, keeps an eye on the Blanco River as it moves past vast fields flanked by hedgerows, past attractive houses set on large plots of land, past and ranches with large imposing gates and long driveways leading who-knows-where. There are wooded areas with healthy looking Ashe juniper and Texas Live Oak trees with lots of foliage, even in winter. As we approached Luckenbach, it was clear from passing house, shop, and restaurant names that the area’s culture has been influenced by not just the Spanish, but by German, Swiss, and Austrian people, too.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT lunch stop
The old Gold Wing is definitely larger than the new one

The 2018 Gold Wing Tour DCT’s new electronics package includes ride-by-wire fueling and Honda has grouped the throttle response, DCT gearchanges, traction control intrusion, and suspension damping characteristics into four riding modes.

The default setting is Tour (no big surprise there), which has an intuitive throttle response, gear changes that allow for fast acceleration without holding all the way to the redline, fairly conservative traction control, and comfortably damped suspension.

I did experiment with the other three alternate modes, but for this ride, the Econ and Rain modes felt too sluggish for the pace we were setting, while Sport—though it would undeniably be awesome fun if I’d been one-up in the dry—was a little too frantic to keep things smooth for my passenger.

Tour mode was ideal, and the Honda engineers got it perfect for spirited two-up riding. It is a great combination of strong acceleration, smooth throttle connection, and a comfortable yet sporting ride.

On occasion I found myself needing a quick burst of acceleration. Rather than wait for the DCT to downshift, it was easier to just tap the ‘minus’ shift button next to my thumb, and make it happen instantly. The DCT would then stay in that gear for a short while before changing up again.

Somewhat surreptitiously exploring the performance and handling of the Gold Wing was a delight, and it didn’t upset my passenger, who was settled in and listening to her music without a care in the world.

Other electronic functions include cruise control (of course) which now, thanks to ride-by-wire can be managed more precisely, especially on uphills. There is also a Hill Start Assist function that helps prevent the bike from rolling backwards when resuming your ride after stopping on an uphill grade.

It seems we arrived at our destination on the outskirts of Fredericksburg all too soon as I could happily have kept going. It was late afternoon and the weather had turned beautiful. The sky had cleared, and the somewhat grubby 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour rode up the dirt driveway of the Barons CreekSide, known as The Romantic Getaway, literally two minutes from Fredericksburg’s high street.

Touring Texas via motorcycle
Barons Creekside is rustic and incredibly picturesque

Barons CreekSide is owned by Daniel Meyer who emigrated to Texas from Switzerland after a trip to the US in 2006. On his trip, he stayed in what is now The Barons Log Cabin. Having fallen immediately in love with Texas Hill Country, Meyer decided to buy the entire 26 acres and create his own Swiss Log Cabin village.

Meyer started by creating a continuously flowing Alpine-style creek and waterfall using thousands of hand-placed boulders and rocks, and recirculating the well-water. Over 150 native Texas trees were planted, and he renovated the existing Hilltop ChaletBig Lodge, and Mesquite Farmhouse. Finally, Meyer built a village of Swiss Log Cabins in the heart of the property, using historic elements he had imported from his own 250-year-old farmhouse in Switzerland.

Marh Buch relaxing
Mary enjoys the Geneva cabin porch. Sadly her Superbowl hopes were dashed a couple weekends later.

Daniel’s wife Deborah pointed us to Geneva, our cabin for the night. Taking our gear from the Gold Wing Tour’s luggage was a simple task. Although the new Wing has less luggage capacity than its predecessor, we didn’t find it a handicap.

We had packed enough gear for our overnight stay, plus our laptops and camera equipment. It stands to reason that everyone will have wildly different opinions on whether there is enough luggage capacity, but in our case it was just about right; we didn’t have to leave anything behind. Walking away from the bike with the electronic key fob in my pocket, the luggage automatically locked; as you re-approach the Gold Wing Tour, it will automatically unlock again.

There is a separate T-bar device that will, in theory, lock two full-face helmets to the bike using their D-loops. It’s a useful gadget to have if the trunk is full, but it is a bit fiddly to use with one helmet let alone two. If you’re good with puzzles, you’ll enjoy getting to use it. Happily for me, I had no need to try it.

Each of the Baron’s CreekSide cabins is unique. Geneva is a modest size cabin with a living room/kitchenette and a smallish bedroom to one side. The rustic atmosphere is intoxicating—for instance, the window above our bed was made from old colored wine and liquor bottles embedded in cement.

2018-honda-gold-wing-tour-dct-review-texas-hill-country Geneva Bottle Window
A window made from colored bottles!

Although it was cold outside, the room was very warm and extremely comfortable, as well as incredibly charming.

2018-honda-gold-wing-tour-dct-review-texas-hill-country Geneva Cabin interior
Interior of the Geneva cabin is exquisite.

Once unpacked, we went for a stroll around the property to enjoy the now lovely Texas evening as the sun started to set. Tame, non-flying Mallard ducks clucked up and down the grassy hill near our porch close to the bubbling creek, while Daniel’s four cats were there to roam the property and greet guests. Songbirds sang from atop the trees as the sun set.

The next morning, the weather was exactly the opposite of the day before. The sky was bright blue, the sun shone, it was dry—and it was quite cold. Undeterred, and filled with a great breakfast of custom omelet and baked pastries washed down with some very special coffee, we headed out.

Arthur Coldwells and Mary BuchOur route back to Austin was going to loop around to the north this time, again via back roads past the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, the second largest natural granite dome on the American continent. That is probably one of the only times you’ll hear the words ‘second largest’ when it comes to describing the size of anything in Texas.

The cold was enough for Mary to use the Joe Rocket Burner electrically heated gloves we had brought. They are battery operated, and with both batteries fully charged they have more than enough juice to run all day at the maximum of three bars. I was informed that they are well worth it.

I had the Gold Wing’s excellent navigation system programmed, and it worked well both days. It gives visual cues on the seven-inch color TFT screen in the center of the Wing’s dash, with clear audio instructions through my Sena 30K intercom unit. It does not need a paid subscription to operate, and Honda offers ten years of map updates included with the motorcycle purchase.

We had planned our lunch stop in Marble Falls and, as we walked into the restaurant overlooking the wide local Colorado River as it ran away from Lake LBJ’s Horseshoe Bay, we were pleasantly surprised by the spectacular view, with the sun shimmering across the water.

The ride back to Austin was more fun than the previous day, as the roads were now dry and the Bridgestones had a chance to heat up, giving me the chance to explore the Wing’s handling thanks to their excellent grip. The back roads, some unnamed, had some fast sweepers, and a lot of tighter and twistier corners too, yet the Gold Wing Tour’s exceptional handling dealt with them all.

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT two up touringHonda went to a lot of effort to centralize the mass on the new model, and over 100(!) prototypes were used before settling on the final chassis configuration. That relentless desire of Honda engineers to get it right has paid off. Large Project Leader Nakanishi-san is always laughing and smiling every time I’ve met him; I suspect that his genial temperament gets the best from his team; they should all be very proud of this new design.

Arriving back at Hyatt’s Lost Pines resort, I parked the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT and said a reluctant goodbye. The dramatic change to this quintessential touring machine has not been without its critics, but as Robert Frost observed at the start of this story, Honda took the road less traveled this time, and it has paid off.

By going slightly smaller, more compact, and sportier, Honda has taken a risk. However, I can unequivocally state that this motorcycle is an enormous technical step forward, and the effort has resulted in a motorcycle that is simply better riding, and more comfortable than previously. The talented team of Honda engineers has created a dynamic, premium package that fits the company’s performance-oriented pedigree, without compromising the luxurious flagship look and feel of the Gold Wing.

It strikes the ideal balance between comfort, performance, and fun, that will take motorcycle touring to another generation of riders, while the technical advancements will thrill the existing fan base. Performance and luxury are not mutually exclusive, and the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT delivers both in perfect harmony.

Photography by Brian J. Nelson and Kevin Wing



  • Helmet: HJC RPHA 70 ST
  • Communications: Sena 30K
  • Jacket: Tour Master Transition Series 5
  • Gloves: Cortech Scarab 2.0 Winter
  • Base layer: Cortech Journey Coolmax Crew Neck
  • Pants: Spidi J&K ProTex
  • Base layer: Cortech Journey Coolmax Pant
  • Boots: Tour Master Flex WP Dual Zip


  • Helmet: HJC RPHA 70 ST
  • Communications: Sena 30K
  • Jacket: Tour Master Transition Series 5 Women’s
  • Wet gloves: Tour Master Trinity Women’s
  • Dry gloves: Joe Rocket Burner
  • Pants: Tour Master Flex
  • Boots: Alpinestars Stella Kerry Waterproof

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT Specs


  • Type: Horizontally opposed 6-cylinder
  • Displacement: 1833cc
  • Bore x stroke: 73 x 73mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.5:1
  • Valve train: SOHC Unicam
  • Transmission: 7-speed automatic and semi-automatic shifting
  • Clutch: Automatic dual clutch
  • Final drive: Shaft


  • Front suspension; travel: Double-wishbone w/ Showa shock; 4.3 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Linkage assisted Showa shock; 4.1 inches
  • Front tire: 130/70-18; Bridgestone Exedra G853
  • Rear tire: 200/55-16; Bridgestone Exedra G852
  • Front brakes: 320mm discs w/ 6-piston Nissin calipers
  • Rear brake: 316mm disc w/ 3-piston Nissin caliper
  • ABS: Standard w/ linked braking


  • Wheelbase: 66.7 inches
  • Rake: 30.5 degrees
  • Trail: 4.3 inches
  • Seat height: 29.3 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 5.5 gallons
  • Estimate fuel consumption: 42 mpg
  • Curb weight: 833 pounds

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT COLORS

  • Candy Ardent Red
  • Pearl White
  • Pearl Hawkseye Blue

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT Price:

  • $27,700 MSRP

2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT Review | Photo Gallery