'19 BMW R1250 RT vs '19 Honda Gold Wing DCT Tour - Long

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by T-88, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    As an around the town bike for commuting or erand running, do you find the Wing to be noticeably more cumbersome?
    #61
  2. NarcoPolo

    NarcoPolo Been here awhile

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    Not at all. I’m 6’1” with a 32” inseam. I find the GS a little top heavy when I’m backpedaling out of a parking space, and because of the height I don’t get a good push with my legs since they are already almost fully extended on the bike. The lower seat height of the Gold Wing lets me get my feet firmly planted on the ground so I am very stable and can get good leverage to push with my legs. The walking assist mode is just a bonus. A button push engages the walking mode, and then the paddle shifters give you forward and backward movement control. The engine rpms automatically rise to overcome resistance, such as getting over the raised lip entering my garage, or going up an incline.

    I live in Texas, so I can’t split lanes. Living in Houston, I find the size of the Gold Wing to be an asset, not a liability. I see (a few) people on Groms or small scooters riding in traffic, but I would never feel comfortable with that. Houston drivers are pretty aggressive and I like having power and a sizable presence when I am out amongst them. I can’t think of any instance in which I find the Gold Wing too big or cumbersome. I think it handles parking lot maneuvers and picking my way through traffic just fine. I have great visibility (and the mirrors give the best rearward view I have had on a motorcycle) and the DCT is a blessing in stop-and-go traffic. With the storage (although I wish storage was bigger - not even close to my GS with Jesse bags and a 52l Givi topcase) and the ability to make calls and receive a text message and have it dictated to me while riding, I find it works great for commuting and errand running.

    One last thought. Many people consider touring size bikes only good for the open road, but look at what most large city motor officers ride. They are riding these bikes in congested city traffic every day, and most are on touring or sport touring bikes (Harley Road Kings and Electra Glides, Gold Wings, ST 1300’s, RT’s, etc.). I believe the comfort, weather protection and storage capacity of these bikes overshadow any deficiencies they may have in extreme nimbleness.
    #62
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  3. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Great post.
    #63
  4. neanderthaler

    neanderthaler Long timer

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    You aren't stuck with the basic Honda nav if you use an iPhone. You can you CarPlay and take advantage of Waze, Apple navigation or Google maps for navigation.

    I had a GSA and complained about how hard air filter changes were, until I got an RT. Today I changed the air filter on my Goldwing and wondered how air can even get that deep into a motorcycle. I'm sure it will get easier with repetition.
    #64
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  5. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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    My iPhone works fine when I have reception but where I ride I don't have cell reception much of the time so I like using a Garmin Zumo GPS with a route I program with my laptop using Basecamp. When on long multi day rides, I usually plan my routes the night before because I sometimes ride farther than I plan. Sometimes I just don't want to stop riding. On one trip to Canada, I started riding at 4:00 a.m. and didn't stop that day until I had ridden 950 miles. It took that many miles to get to the really good stuff.
    #65
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  6. GHanson

    GHanson Been here awhile

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    The Guhl ECU mod changes the GL1833's performance characteristics in some beneficial ways.

    In SPORT mode first and second gear performance is toned down a little to make takeoffs smoother. In TOUR full throttle is now available, rather than being limited; the difference is noticeable when passing. The slight hesitation off idle in TOUR is also eliminated, which makes slow maneuvering easier. The shift points in both modes seem to be the same. Removal of the speed limiter is an option, in the event the restriction rankles. ECON and RAIN modes are unchanged. My bike stays in TOUR about 99.9% of the time.

    Clutch initialization really smooths out downshifts. Makes sense to do it at least every oil change; only takes a couple of minutes and it's free. My air filter was pretty grungy at 16,000 miles. I checked valve clearances at 16,000 -- purely out of curiosity about the valve train -- and all valves were at center spec. It'll be a while before I look at them again. If an intake is out you have to remove the camshaft to change a shim, but the exhausts are screw-and-locknut tappets and are quick to adjust.

    I don't think anyone's mentioned a feature that I like a lot, namely that road shock through the handlebars is dramatically reduced from the previous model. I hadn't realized how fatiguing that is until I switched back and forth from my 2004 GL1832. Maybe I'm just getting old and brittle, but just that one improvement in the front suspension contributes a large part of the new design's smoothness.

    With the 200 rear tire turn-in isn't going to be as quick, but it works well enough for a touring bike. I think I read somewhere a police department was using 180s, possibly the tires for 1832s, in order to make it a little more maneuverable.

    Anecdote: I was southbound on Old NC 18 recently, setting what I thought was a spirited pace through the curves on my 1833, when my scan picked up two headlights overtaking me. At the appropriate time I moved to the right for them to pass. They blew past me as though I were standing still, the second bike having a rather large young woman perched on the rear, as they rapidly disappeared in the distance. No gear on any of them, of course. Sheesh. As I rode along, my hair feeling somewhat less on fire than previously, I mulled over the experience. I eventually decided "Good for you. You idiots. I survived my youthful stupidity. I hope you do, too.". I can remember doing the ton on Indian River Road 50 years ago, when it was all farm land: I think I can pass the baton of immortality to a new generation without regret.

    Whatever performance limitations the 1833 has will always be eclipsed by my limitations as a rider, and the tradeoff is that it's a supremely fun and comfortable way to go, around the block or around the country. I bet the K1600 is a lot of fun, too, and I thought about buying one, but decided I don't want to work that hard anymore.

    Oh yeah, I changed out the Bridgestones at 13,500. Not quite to the wear bars, but I felt the performance was falling off. My plan is to change this set at 12,500.
    #66
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  7. De-Silva

    De-Silva Been around a while....

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    WOW, this is a great thread!! Thanks for the wealth of information and reviews shared here :-)

    Anyone have any feedback on the "tip-over" bars and how effective they are? Does the bike stop when they touch the ground? or keep going further? I'd hate to see the paint scratch up the front fairings or the side panniers. Thanks again!
    #67
  8. DinerRider

    DinerRider Adventurer

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    I agree—great thread. I’m sitting on the same decision—RT vs GW for my next (second) bike. Currently riding a GS.

    If one bike is “sporty” and the other is “toury” (which I think is accurate, having ridden both), then the question on my mind is: what’s the scenario where I wished I had chosen the other one? What kind of road/riding?

    I took my K1600 into the twisties with no problem. And while that bike performed like a rocket ship with awesome torque throughout the rev range, it was just too top heavy and cumbersome at low speeds for my likes with a rider on the back. The Gold Wing, which I test rode last week, was night and day superior in that regard. No fears at low speed whatsoever, which kinda surprised me.
    #68
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  9. De-Silva

    De-Silva Been around a while....

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    It is a TOUGH decision to make... but one that I did make a couple of months ago after agonizing over it for several months. I mean I wasn't bikeless as I was riding my S10. Finally decided to go for a 2020 R1250RT and am very happy with it.

    Main things that won me over - larger fuel tank and range, slightly better luggage, 220 lb weight reduction (33% lighter)... approx same cost including the BMW top case in the used market.

    I am aware of the premium gas vs. normal + 12K valve interval checks... but decided to venture into my first European brand and like it so far.
    #69
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  10. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer Supporter

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    Two years ago on this thread I too was looking at both an RT and a GL. I really liked the DCT but mentioned the weight difference as a concern. I'm a geezer with arthritis in the wrists and thumbs. I made the jump and took a bagger Wing, DCT. I find the double wishbone front suspension along with the DCT makes a lot of difference in the beating to my bum wrists. The weight I don't notice because of how low the CG is. The walking speed forward and reverse is pretty damn handy too.

    I've had two RT's and a GS in the past and loved them. But a Geezer Glide is what's keeping this old man in the wind. I don't have a problem with that.
    #70
  11. GHanson

    GHanson Been here awhile

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    If I remember correctly Honda claimed a 30% reduction in force transmitted through the handlebars on the new Goldwings. It makes a noticeable difference over the course of a riding day.
    #71
  12. CJSRider

    CJSRider Been here awhile

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    I have a question about the DCT Goldwing. If you are doing a slow uturn, how does the DCT handle this? On the RT, you would have the clutch in the friction zone and if it started to fall in you let out the clutch to prevent dropping the bike. Is it possible to do this with a DCT. Thanks
    #72
  13. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer Supporter

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    I don't have one, but I've read that you learn to drag the rear brake to regulate your speed. Releasing the brake would be the same as letting out the clutch.
    #73
  14. kaertner

    kaertner Long timer

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    I had a DCT Crosstourer, you just use the throttle, the fuelling was perfect even on my 2013 model, no need to 'drag' the rear brake unless you're a bit ham fisted with the throttle. I always keep two fingers covering the front brake when I'm riding, all of the time and that way tiny throttle inputs can be made at any time just by holding the throttle with the palm and the thumb. Grabbing the throttle with the whole hand including all fingers is where riders go wrong with fine throttle control and often moan about snappy throttle responses using this way of holding the grip.
    #74
  15. CJSRider

    CJSRider Been here awhile

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    Thanks That make sense.
    #75
  16. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer Supporter

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    With tight slow speed turns you keep your fingers off that front brake. Yes it's all a balance between the throttle and rear brake. On a Beemer using the clutch or not you drag the rear. It's a bit tricky with DCT because it might want to shift. The brake gives you control and you can always slip it into manual. 2nd. gear works pretty good while practicing.
    #76
  17. kaertner

    kaertner Long timer

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    the fingers are covering the brake, just resting on the lever to give a much better fine control of the throttle than wrapping all 5 fingers around it. I never needed to use the back (or front) brake when I had my DCT in slow tight turns such as in car park areas or making uturns.
    #77
  18. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer Supporter

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    The question from CJS referred to a Goldwing with DCT. The Wing weights 200 lbs. more with a 4 inch longer wheelbase than a VFR 1200. Apple vs. Orange.
    #78
  19. Ultra54

    Ultra54 Been here awhile

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    I just went the other direction. Traded my 2018 Goldwing 6 speed for a 2021 RT. Not a bad thing to say about the Honda. Hope I'll say the same about the RT in a few years. Truthfully the RT in Blue with the TFT got me. I want a slightly sportier bike I suppose after getting rid of my XR. The RT fits the bill nicely between the Wing and the XR. The wife will still be comfy enough especially compared to my XR.
    #79
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  20. T-88

    T-88 Been here awhile

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    I started this thread.

    Despite beimg entirely happy with my '19 Honda DCT Tour Gold Wing, and having loved the '14 BMW R1200RT I had before the Honda, I continue to wonder about the new R1250RT.

    As you rack up some miles on your new RT, please keep us informed about your observations between the R1250RT and your '18 Wing.

    Happy riding!

    Tim
    #80