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Yesterday was a good riding day for January, mid-60's here on Maryland's Eastern Shore. I rode 90 miles to Crofton, between Washington DC and Baltimore, and put down the kickstand on Dorothy for the last time. I traded it in for a brand-new 2018 Gold Wing Tour DCT. The new motorcycle is fantastic; I'm not going to extol its multiple virtues here. You know that bike.
Over the past five-and-a-half years, that CTX did everything that I needed it to do, and many, many things I would never expect *any* motorcycle to do. I rode that bike from coast-to-coast, in every conceivable environment from city streets to Moab. That motorcycle saved me and my soul on countless occasions, and I loved it dearly.
So why did I trade it in?
There's a children's book titled "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" that pretty perfectly sums it up. If you give a mouse a cookie (according to the story), he's going to want a glass of milk. And if you give him a glass of milk, he's going to want a straw to drink it. The story describes a slippery slope of complexity that builds and builds with each "little" thing that the mouse wants. This is what was happening to my CTX.
I wanted to install heated grips, but a few years ago a mouse literally built a nest in my top shroud. (I know, right?) While he was there, making his cozy winter home, he also nibbled on the wires that were set aside for installing factory heated grips. At the time, I just told the motorcycle shop to tape the wires up because HEY, who really needs heated grips anyway, right? Well a few weeks ago, after a pretty chilly ride, I decided that heated grips would make my life happier so I at first thought about sending it back to the shop, having them take it apart again and replace the wires, then doing the install of the heated grips.
Sounds simple, right?
Well, it's not that simple.
Remember our old friend, The Broken Tab?
Well, my "fix" for that involves zip ties and Super Glue, which totally worked by the way, but it means that I have to excavate a very thin line of glue between the side cover and the top dash cover. Again. And boy howdy, is that ever NO FUN. Not to mention that I'm not sure I would be able to get it back together without it looking like what it was: A horrible, no-good, Very Bad Thing.
Easy fix, right? Just order a new side cover! They're only (checks eBay) either horribly expensive or just not available. And if I buy a new, Honda OEM part? It's going to be a slightly different shade of red that I will either have to accept, or I'm in for a full-on color-matched paint job.
And so with some trepidation, I ordered a pair of those heated grip covers, thinking no problem, I'll just plug those into my Battery Tender terminal and be good to go! Almost a hundred bucks, but they got great reviews, so I got them. When they came in, they didn't have an SAE attachment, it's some kind of wonky proprietary-looking thing that attaches directly to the battery. Which is under that cover with the broken tab.
Sigh.
There's also the right saddlebag issue. After opening and closing the latch nearly every day for years, it's developing a nasty habit of not latching all the way and I lost a favorite baseball cap that way. Sure, I can replace the hardware for the price of a new kidney, but I could also just attach a hardware store latch that would do the same thing or howbout a bungee or velcro strap? Something that Jed Clampett would approve of.
While we're on about saddlebags, a few months after I bought Dorothy, I closed that same right bag with my helmet lock hanging out and broke off a quarter-sized piece of plastic from the bottom of the bag door. That's not getting fixed, ever.
Before I end what has turned into an unintentional rant, just let me say that all the problems I've experienced with the CTX have been made by human error, either mine or that first Einstein at the original Honda shop that assembled the bike and snapped off that @##$!# tab. Also me for not getting it properly fixed half-a-decade ago.
I paid $18,000 for it.
It was worth every single penny of that, and more.
Now on to new adventures!
 

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Congratulations on the new bike!

Five and a half years is actually a long time to keep a bike. I've only ever kept a few that long. My second CTX1300 is one of them. If you keep a bike much longer than that, you might form an emotional attachment that will make it hard to ever let the thing go. I know folks with twenty-year-old bikes that just sit in the garage.

The new Gold Wing is a great choice. Let us know if you find any good Gold Wing forums. I looked at a few a couple of years ago and they were not very helpful.
 

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Congratulations on the CTX1800!:smiley-happy0034:

(Wrong color though....:520:)



And put some dryer sheets under the pillion area of your seat. Ask me why?



That would be the $3,980 question. Mice like Wings too...:(
 

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@shane, Congrats on pursuing your desire. Now, what does the mouse want next??? :D

BTW - Is that your new Wing? The blue trike one behind Dorothy? Nice! :D :D
First: If you give a mouse a Gold Wing, he's going to want some new farkles. If you give him some new farkles, he's going to want a new travel trailer. If you give him a travel trailer, he's going to want a clear route across a continent... :)

Second: That blue trike actually looked pretty interesting, but it was a little bit beat up. It, along with the brown Wing just on the other side of it, were rental units that the dealership had parked out front. There was only one GW Tour bike available for purchase that day, with two of them inside with "sold" signs on the seats. It's a popular machine!
 

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Congratulations on the CTX1800!:smiley-happy0034:

(Wrong color though....:520:)


And put some dryer sheets under the pillion area of your seat. Ask me why?


That would be the $3,980 question. Mice like Wings too...:(
Ah, Springer, that's the thing! I had my heart set on a brown one, but when I got there I realized that the one brown one they had for sale wasn't really the Tour model; it was the bagger model with a top box added on. Besides that, it wasn't really "new." It was one of their rental units. After talking about it with wifey a few days ago, we had decided that we were going to go all-in if we were going to get a Gold Wing. She really wanted the heated seat, and I really wanted the other things like the electronic suspension adjustment and the DCT. So... the brown one went off the list pretty much as soon as I saw it.

The other bike that I was kind of thinking of was a Tour, non-DCT model in the fancy white paint. It sure did look purty. But... it was already sold. There was also a black Tour model, not sure of the transmission type, that was buried in an inaccessible stack of sold bikes and I couldn't have gotten to it even if it didn't have a big LEAVE ME ALONE sign on the seat.

Good call on the dryer sheets! I'll stuff a couple up there tomorrow night, when I install the Battery Tender pigtail. Didn't think of it at the dealership, haha.

And it's more than a notion to remove the seat! Not like the key-turn simplicity of the CTX. Gonna miss that, and possibly a few more things, but I'm sure there will be enough positives to make up for it. :)
 
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Nice ride Shane ...... Look forward to reading about " how you mastered the DCT" ...
Well, I was totally prepared to dislike the DCT. I really thought I would have to "learn" how not to shift, and that it would just feel "off" somehow. I couldn't have been more wrong. It took about three seconds for me to realize that the DCT was going to be great. The first fifteen minutes of my trip involved me getting lost in a busy urban area because I didn't know how to use the Honda nav yet. (Long story short: Even though the salesman set my "home" position for my actual address, it kept trying to route me back to the dealership. I'll fix that soon enough!) Anyway, in busy traffic on an unfamiliar bike, I didn't have a single issue with the DCT taking care of the shifting. I like to think that I would have been smoother if I were shifting... but in reality, I probably would not have been.

If I'm being 100% honest... the DCT is going to make my life on two wheels easier and I noticed a conspicuous lack of the need for skill to operate it. Also, I cranked the throttle wide open today to pass a truck with the wife on pillion, and it was teeth-jarringly FAST. I mean... ridiculously fast. Ludicrous speed in the blink of an eye. I can't wait to get it into Sport mode, haha!
 

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Here's a pic of the new wheels. It was possibly the Last Perfect Day before cold weather makes its triumphant return. I took the wife for a spin and she was very impressed with the passenger accommodations. She was less impressed with me wanting to test the 0-60 capabilities... mostly because this thing is just really diddly-darn fast.
 

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And it's more than a notion to remove the seat! Not like the key-turn simplicity of the CTX. Gonna miss that, and possibly a few more things, but I'm sure there will be enough positives to make up for it. :)
Indeed it is. I have been known to refresh my sailor vocabulary moving the Wing's seat. There are two metal bushings where the mount bolts go, and they have a habit of dropping off. A drop of silicone sealant judiciously applied will make them behave. If they are the least bit misaligned the seat will not....seat. Some owners forego installing the bolts at all, and others have found that pointed/tapered bolts find their way in more easily than the OEM. Every owner will agree that it takes patience, especially the first time. There is an excellent video by Utopia (no, I'm not pushing Utopia) that shows close-up the seat removal procedure. At least us baseline Wing owners don't have to worry about any cable harnesses during the process. :smile:


Something else you might find useful as you get used to the bike are slide-in partitions (available from Cyclemax) to keep stuff from falling out of your panniers.



It's always been a point of irritation for me that Honda persists in side-loading panniers instead of top loading. I installed these and have been very satisfied with their performance. Like everything else they're spendy:( I also went to my local auto parts store and bought some black door edge trim to fit over the top edges largely to achieve some aesthetic continuity with the rest of the bike.

Overall I've done very few add-ons. Grip puppies because I have big hands; National Cycle mounts for highway pegs; front fender rear extender.

You should also bookmark this video on clutch initialization. Takes a couple of minutes. I've done it three times in 12000 miles and it has improved DCT shift smoothness:


Congratulations and enjoy the steed.:smiley-happy0034:
 
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Great info, Springer! Thanks! I'm definitely going to look at those panier dividers. That was a source of consternation on the CTX for sure. I've never had highway pegs but I will get those, and fog lights, soon. Also, I'm not an iPhone guy so it looks like I'll be in the market for a decent mounting solution soon. Apple Car Play is nice but I love my Google Pixel 😁
 

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@shane
Are you thinking RAM mount?
I went to using only Google Maps on my Pixel 4 for navigation. I like Android as well. It's a waterproof phone, at least same as a Garmin GPS unit at IP68. I found a modified X-grip holder that I like better than the simple one RAM has available. You can see my writeup on installing it on my Burgman 650 at the provided link. You should be able to find some useful information there. You are on your own to run power to your phone, at least it will be different than my setup. And the RAM ball base location is just a suggestion (one I highly recommend if you can do it just to keep your eyes closer to looking down the road while also seeing the phone). I like the extra "grip pegs" on my phone holder since it ensures the other grip pegs don't press the power or volume buttons on my phone. I also do use the web just for extra insurance. Though I have forgotten to put it on once in a big while and had no issues with the phone staying put, I still want it there in case I come to a really rough road section.

Links to some Google photos included so you should have no problem seeing those.
https://burgmanusa.com/forums/17-aftermarket-accessories/169275-install-ram-mount-power-cord-my-burgman-650-a.html

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@shane
Are you thinking RAM mount?
I went to using only Google Maps on my Pixel 4 for navigation. I like Android as well. It's a waterproof phone, at least same as a Garmin GPS unit at IP68. I found a modified X-grip holder that I like better than the simple one RAM has available. You can see my writeup on installing it on my Burgman 650 at the provided link. You should be able to find some useful information there. You are on your own to run power to your phone, at least it will be different than my setup. And the RAM ball base location is just a suggestion (one I highly recommend if you can do it just to keep your eyes closer to looking down the road while also seeing the phone). I like the extra "grip pegs" on my phone holder since it ensures the other grip pegs don't press the power or volume buttons on my phone. I also do use the web just for extra insurance. Though I have forgotten to put it on once in a big while and had no issues with the phone staying put, I still want it there in case I come to a really rough road section.

Links to some Google photos included so you should have no problem seeing those.
https://burgmanusa.com/forums/17-aftermarket-accessories/169275-install-ram-mount-power-cord-my-burgman-650-a.html

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Thanks, Bob!
Yep, I'm a huge fan of the Ram mounts. I used the rubber web to make sure the phone stayed in the holder too, but I need to find another, larger one because I'm pretty sure that web, over thousands of miles, was too tight and ever-so-slightly bent my phone screen. But the system itself worked flawlessly. That's what got me across the country. I was a little dismayed that, when I got the Wing, there was no place to mount my handlebar clamp that I took off the CTX. I can guarantee that I would not have gotten lost for those few minutes if I had been using good ol' Google Maps on my phone! But, once I figure out the nav system, I might be OK. I will still prefer my phone, though. So when I was "lost" in the urban jungle metroplex on Saturday, I got out of it by pulling up Google maps on my phone, making sure my phone was connected to my helmet headset, then sticking the phone in my jacket pocket. I nav'ed out of that spaghetti road mess with just verbal cues without missing a single turn.

On the Wing, I have a few USB power options, but I'm likely to just run my phone's power from the Battery Tender pigtail; that's what I did with the CTX and it always had enough juice, unlike using the little USB plug built into the right pocket. That's meant for data, not really power, and left me without a phone in the wilds of Pennsylvania once.

I'm clearly going to have to "train" my eyes to avoid the vast array of buttons and switches and gauges, but the net result will be worth it. I'm particularly glad for the tire pressure readings right there where I can keep an eye on them without having to hunker down every other gas stop. :)
 

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I was also concerned with the size of my earlier phone, the one I was using before my Pixel 4. I originally bought my setup for my Pixel 2XL which is a bigger phone with a 6 inch screen and larger bezel than newer phones. The phone mount I bought is for a larger phone but works well also with my slightly smaller Pixel 4 with a 5.7 inch screen. The elastic web has worked really well. The holder I bought comes with 2 webs so I keep one in the glove box just in case.

How you described using your phone to find your way out of the spaghetti streets is exactly how I tested using mine for navigation. I simply plotted my route on Google Maps and started navigation while putting the phone in the glove box plugged in and just had the sound connected via BT to my headset. Worked great. So that's how I roll now with my phone out where I can see the map. The ONLY complaint I have with using Google Maps (without any other nav app) is the navigation stops at every "stop point" or waypoint and I have to actively tap the screen on the continue button to continue navigating. Since Google is gradually including features of Waze into Google Maps navigation (they bought Waze some years ago) it would be nice if they added an auto continue option. It helps that my gloves have touch screen patches on the thumb and forefinger but would be better if it was automatic.
 

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The 2019 Wing GL1800 is AUD$39,000 here in Australia .... 2018 GL1800 50klms AUD$38,000 .... Need to sell a kidney and half a lung for that ...
 

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The 2019 Wing GL1800 is AUD$39,000 here in Australia .... 2018 GL1800 50klms AUD$38,000 .... Need to sell a kidney and half a lung for that ...
Yikes, according to Google that's just over 26,000 USD. I paid USD$22,000 for my new gold wing; that's almost AUD$32000. That's spendy enough, sure, but I paid USD$18,000 for my CTX... it was before they dropped the prices. Unlike some folk, I was not at all angry. I paid what I thought it was worth, and I'm very happy for those guys who jumped in later and saved thousands of bucks. They got a really good deal, but I don't consider myself cheated. Time will tell if the GL steals my heart the way the CTX did, but it certainly seems to be headed that way at this time. :)
 
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