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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I posted last night after taking a test drive on a 2020 Goldwing Tour DCT and wasn't and still am not sure if it's for me, but realized a lot of it is how I am thinking about what a DCT is best for. I have a 2015 Valkyrie and I am used to the power and shifting of the manual transmission - it's a very very quick bike and I love the rush of linear power. It just goes. Now I must point out it's much lighter than a full dress wing and has a clutch so I can control the power much better so not an apples to apples comparison. After reflecting on my ride more I think I figured out what the DCT is perfect for and what I need to do to accept it. DCT is perfect for riding, enjoying and remembering that the Wing is a touring bike vs a power cruiser and is for long distance comfort. If I continually try to compare it to my Valkyrie or any muscle bike with a manual and therefore very controllable power band I think I will feel that the wing is "lesser" (crazy to utter those words) as it's not blazing fast like my Valkyrie. So for me to accept DCT on a Wing and to fully appreciate it I might need to rewire my brain and remember if I want the adrenaline rush of power it's the Valkyrie I need to ride. If I want smooth, stress free riding and to just enjoy riding with my wife then the DCT might be perfect for that as long as I have the discipline to not try to make it something it isn't or to compare it to my Valkyrie. The manual option to shift the DCT does help tremendously, but in my opinion it's still not as linear as a manual and that temporary "lugging" for a second after shifting is different than anything that I have ever experienced. I know the GL1833 is a torque monster but after a shift the DCT makes it feel like it's not for a split second. Almost like it's too smooth of a shift and as life long rider I expect it to be a more abrupt change with instant power like a MT. DCT too smooth to wrap my brain around? I don't understand what I am saying half the time so if you don't know what I mean I totally get it lol.

I also must point out that DCT is on some power sports cars like Ferrari, Shelby Mustang, etc so I fully admit I don't know how to reconcile that and the fact that some muscle cars come with DCT seems to be a serious validation of the technology and a clear sign that DCT is the future of sports cars and motorcycles.

Thanks for everyone's posts and opinions on all my posts. I am a researcher and just want to make the right decision. I would be sick if I bought a DCT or MT and wasn't in love with my bike - they are like kids to me! I love forums as you get a broad perspective of real world experiences and that is invaluable and I appreciate people taking the time to respond and share.

Thanks!

Mark
 

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I test drove a '14 Valk when they first came out.
I couldn't believe how smoothly and easily the transmission shifted, compared to my F6B.
And it felt like a rocket compared to my F6B.
Wonderful power cruiser, but pretty much useless without proper wind protection and some way of carrying even small amounts of luggage.
I really liked that Valk for what it was.
And yes, take your time with your MT/DCT decision.
The bike must "talk to you" if it's going to be a rewarding purchase.
 

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2018 Honda Goldwing Tour DCT
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Great post and I certainly understand where your coming from. I had a heck of a time at first wi5h my 2018 Tour DCT. Was my first Goodwing ever. I came from a Yamaha FJR 1300 which I still love to this day. But going from the FJR to the Goldwing first gave me buyers remorse.

First and foremost biggest problem was trying to get used to a 900lb. elephant. Everyone here kept saying how much lighter and more nimble the 6thGen is and all I kept thinking was every time I ride it I get home and am exhausted after trying to handle this beast and get it to maneuver like my FJR. I was tired, sore and anything but relaxed. Then someone here helped me remember theres a 300lb weight difference between the Goldwing and FJR.

I had to reset and relearn what my expectations should be. Once I did that and started getting some saddle time things began to change. I began to see and respect the Goldwing for what it is As well for what it isnt.

Once I had this accomplished I was pretty good to go. Im still learning the bike each time I go out and sometimes its like learning to ride a bike all over again even though I have been riding for a long time. Most of my life actually.

As far as the DCT……got nothing there for you.…other than what Ive already said. Only exception is the DCT got me riding again after a 10 year hiatus. Most people here have heard my story before but I can give you a condensed version. I was in a helicopter accident in the Marines. Spent 93 days in the hospital with multiple surgeries and taking a year and a half to learn to walk again. As I got older (50 now) my injuries began to hobble and hurt me to ride any kind of bike especially giving me problems to shifting. At 40 I never thought I would ride again. Then I found out about the Goldwing DCT and it was game on then.

Hang in there brother sounds like your working this out for yourself just fine. Cheers🍻
 

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2021 Honda Goldwing Tour DCT
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Great post and I certainly understand where your coming from. I had a heck of a time at first wi5h my 2018 Tour DCT. Was my first Goodwing ever. I came from a Yamaha FJR 1300 which I still love to this day. But going from the FJR to the Goldwing first gave me buyers remorse.

First and foremost biggest problem was trying to get used to a 900lb. elephant. Everyone here kept saying how much lighter and more nimble the 6thGen is and all I kept thinking was every time I ride it I get home and am exhausted after trying to handle this beast and get it to maneuver like my FJR. I was tired, sore and anything but relaxed. Then someone here helped me remember theres a 300lb weight difference between the Goldwing and FJR.

I had to reset and relearn what my expectations should be. Once I did that and started getting some saddle time things began to change. I began to see and respect the Goldwing for what it is As well for what it isnt.

Once I had this accomplished I was pretty good to go. Im still learning the bike each time I go out and sometimes its like learning to ride a bike all over again even though I have been riding for a long time. Most of my life actually.

As far as the DCT……got nothing there for you.…other than what Ive already said. Only exception is the DCT got me riding again after a 10 year hiatus. Most people here have heard my story before but I can give you a condensed version. I was in a helicopter accident in the Marines. Spent 93 days in the hospital with multiple surgeries and taking a year and a half to learn to walk again. As I got older (50 now) my injuries began to hobble and hurt me to ride any kind of bike especially giving me problems to shifting. At 40 I never thought I would ride again. Then I found out about the Goldwing DCT and it was game on then.

Hang in there brother sounds like your working this out for yourself just fine. Cheers🍻
Thank You for your service and ride safe
 

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I have a 2018 DCT Tour. If you did not try the “Sport” mode, you have not discovered the potential of the DCT. It is a whole different animal. You also will need to learn the shift paddles. I have a friend who had been riding in “Tour” mode, and mistakenly put his in “Sport” mode. His front tire came off the ground. Re-test ride a DCT and try the Sport mode. Tenderly at first!
 

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2019 Darkness Black Goldwing DCT (1800BD)
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The manual option to shift the DCT does help tremendously, but in my opinion it's still not as linear as a manual and that temporary "lugging" for a second after shifting is different than anything that I have ever experienced. I know the GL1833 is a torque monster but after a shift the DCT makes it feel like it's not for a split second.
That's exactly it - it "feels" too smooth, but it's not losing power. It's perfectly rev-matching - something 99% of riders cannot do consistently (and even those who are "consistent" do it less than half the time with lots of concentration). The power is just "there" and always delivered, even as it shifts.

Now, we're gonna get a bet technical...;) Acceleration comes from torque. More torque, more acceleration. But if your torque curve is essentially flat across RPM, like the Wing? Well - you don't feel the acceleration - because it's basically constant! Think about it - what do we do to make people feel "weightless"? We let them fall (airplane in dive, so the air around the person is moving at the same rate). Likewise, we don't feel like we're moving when we're sitting still - even though we have a constant 9.8m/s^2 acceleration applied!

Humans feel something called the jerk force - which is a change in acceleration. When we go from stopped to moving, we feel that. If the acceleration we're subjected to changes - we feel that. If the acceleration is constant - we don't feel like we're moving faster. It's the rate of change of acceleration (derivative of acceleration - measured in Stapps) that we feel.

So, how does this matter? Well, the 1833 is a verified torque monster. It has essentially flat torque over it's range. And that means it can deliver pretty much constant acceleration over that range! So we're accelerating really hard - building up lots of velocity - but because it's not an increasing level of acceleration (like most bikes and cars - they have a peaked torque curve), we don't feel it as much.

What does this mean in DCT versus MT? Well - this is where that perfect, tens of milliseconds shift and rev match come into play. The system has a LOT less change in acceleration when it shifts! It maintains the acceleration much, much better than an MT - a lot less time NOT with full torque/power delivered - so that it doesn't "feel" as fast, because you're not getting literally jerked around as much!

Consider the published 0-60 and 1/4 mile times for cars with MT and DCT options. The DCTs are always faster! They shift and recover way faster than a person could ever dream of doing. Staying in the power more time means more acceleration applied, meaning more velocity.

Likewise with the DCT Wing versus the MT. It doesn't feel as fast, because you're not getting sloshed around as much as if you were trying to shift yourself. So while it "feels" slower - it's actually better.

I've seen this in action. A neighbor has a Valk, and we've done the stop-light drag. He'll jump me off the line, but by the time the first shift is completed, I'm next to him, and by the time I'm shifting to 3rd, I'm slightly ahead. I've ridden his bike, and it does feel faster! But empirically - it's not. And that actually makes sense with the science and engineering of the situation. The DCT just stays in the power better and longer, and thus can build up velocity faster.

So, moral of the story? Sometimes what you feel is actually the result of humanity! A computer can do it way faster, and way better, than you (or anyone) could ever hope. And with the same engine, you'll get better results with the computer. And that makes it actually out-perform, even if it doesn't feel as fun.

So, keep that in mind when doing the "seat of the pants" comparisons. There's a ton of apps you can download that will measure your performance; on my bike, using one of these apps, and launching hard (on throttle and brakes) on the DCT in Sport mode, I'm consistently at 3.5 seconds for 0-60. That's quick. And VERY consistent. And while it doesn't feel as much "sound and fury" as I'd expect from driving it, but it really IS that fast. And an MT causing bigger interruptions (and more jerk force) will "feel faster" but in reality will not be.

Anyway, that's my $0.02...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's exactly it - it "feels" too smooth, but it's not losing power. It's perfectly rev-matching - something 99% of riders cannot do consistently (and even those who are "consistent" do it less than half the time with lots of concentration). The power is just "there" and always delivered, even as it shifts.

Now, we're gonna get a bet technical...;) Acceleration comes from torque. More torque, more acceleration. But if your torque curve is essentially flat across RPM, like the Wing? Well - you don't feel the acceleration - because it's basically constant! Think about it - what do we do to make people feel "weightless"? We let them fall (airplane in dive, so the air around the person is moving at the same rate). Likewise, we don't feel like we're moving when we're sitting still - even though we have a constant 9.8m/s^2 acceleration applied!

Humans feel something called the jerk force - which is a change in acceleration. When we go from stopped to moving, we feel that. If the acceleration we're subjected to changes - we feel that. If the acceleration is constant - we don't feel like we're moving faster. It's the rate of change of acceleration (derivative of acceleration - measured in Stapps) that we feel.

So, how does this matter? Well, the 1833 is a verified torque monster. It has essentially flat torque over it's range. And that means it can deliver pretty much constant acceleration over that range! So we're accelerating really hard - building up lots of velocity - but because it's not an increasing level of acceleration (like most bikes and cars - they have a peaked torque curve), we don't feel it as much.

What does this mean in DCT versus MT? Well - this is where that perfect, tens of milliseconds shift and rev match come into play. The system has a LOT less change in acceleration when it shifts! It maintains the acceleration much, much better than an MT - a lot less time NOT with full torque/power delivered - so that it doesn't "feel" as fast, because you're not getting literally jerked around as much!

Consider the published 0-60 and 1/4 mile times for cars with MT and DCT options. The DCTs are always faster! They shift and recover way faster than a person could ever dream of doing. Staying in the power more time means more acceleration applied, meaning more velocity.

Likewise with the DCT Wing versus the MT. It doesn't feel as fast, because you're not getting sloshed around as much as if you were trying to shift yourself. So while it "feels" slower - it's actually better.

I've seen this in action. A neighbor has a Valk, and we've done the stop-light drag. He'll jump me off the line, but by the time the first shift is completed, I'm next to him, and by the time I'm shifting to 3rd, I'm slightly ahead. I've ridden his bike, and it does feel faster! But empirically - it's not. And that actually makes sense with the science and engineering of the situation. The DCT just stays in the power better and longer, and thus can build up velocity faster.

So, moral of the story? Sometimes what you feel is actually the result of humanity! A computer can do it way faster, and way better, than you (or anyone) could ever hope. And with the same engine, you'll get better results with the computer. And that makes it actually out-perform, even if it doesn't feel as fun.

So, keep that in mind when doing the "seat of the pants" comparisons. There's a ton of apps you can download that will measure your performance; on my bike, using one of these apps, and launching hard (on throttle and brakes) on the DCT in Sport mode, I'm consistently at 3.5 seconds for 0-60. That's quick. And VERY consistent. And while it doesn't feel as much "sound and fury" as I'd expect from driving it, but it really IS that fast. And an MT causing bigger interruptions (and more jerk force) will "feel faster" but in reality will not be.

Anyway, that's my $0.02...
That makes sense and I really appreciate your comments!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got a question for the OP. When you say that you feel a momentary hesitation manually shifting the DCT, are you sure that you were not giving a slight throttle blip out of muscle memory.
i don’t think I did as I didn’t try to pull a clutch with my left. I do have a question though - with a DCT in manual are you supposed to let off the throttle when you shift? I am thinking no as I didn’t when I rode in manual but wanted to make sure.

Thanks!
 

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DCT vs manual and our "seat of the pants" opinions...
Cousin drove my 2015 SRT392 Challenger auto 8 Spd. Coincidentally, he'd just rented a manual (same engine) a couple weeks before. I asked him what he thought of the difference. He swore the manual was faster. His words: "a lot faster." He claimed he'd never buy the auto for that reason. Yet at the dragstrip everybody knows that 8 speed DCT will beat the manual every time. The auto is faster, end of story. My point? For reasons explained above, it doesn't feel that way.

Oh, and almost forgot: it felt like it was neutering the throttle just a bit a split second after each shift. Maybe for the same reason as our Gold Wing DCT?
 

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Ask yourself do I want to ride the bike and do the work? Or ride on the bike and let the bike do all the work for you? No wrong answer and only you can answer that question. I am only 69 years old so I like to ride the bike so mt for me. Maybe when I am older I will want my bikes, cars, and trucks to do all the work then get a DCT.
 

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After a few thousand miles, I notice quite a bit less of the lugging after it shifts at low speeds, and in fact it now pulls harder after each shift even at the low revs. Either it takes this long to break in the engine and/or the Honda ECM limits low RPM torque allowed until the engine breaks in. Either way, it's much more satisfactory now, and when I'm not in a hurry it pulls the two of us and all of our schmutz even when it shifts at 2000rpm. After an eight day two up trip I've come to realize what a low RPM locomotive this engine can be. It's equally happy hauling you up a steep hill in 7th gear at 2000rpm as it is ripping along in SPORT.

That said, the DCT responds to how you ride the bike. Accelerate gently in TOUR, and yes, it shifts at ~2000 and gets you into 7th gear pretty quickly. Give it a decent twist off the line, and it will upshift at 3000-3500, getting you moving quite quickly. Whack it open and it will do 5000rpm shifts. Get on it hard in SPORT, and it will use all of the rev range and it moves darned well for an 830+ pound bike.

Also, it seems the DCT is sensitive to how you move the throttle. Move it smoothly, and the DCT responds smoothly. Snap the throttle open/closed and/or be aggressive on the brakes, and it thinks you want to be frisky and thus will hold gears longer and to higher RPM. Once you learn how the system works, you can start to predict how it reacts and give it inputs to get what you want.

I find it kind of intriguing actually, but I'm an engineer geek.

Lastly, be sure the bike your test riding has had a recent clutch calibration procedure run.
 

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DCT vs manual and our "seat of the pants" opinions...
Cousin drove my 2015 SRT392 Challenger auto 8 Spd. Coincidentally, he'd just rented a manual (same engine) a couple weeks before. I asked him what he thought of the difference. He swore the manual was faster. His words: "a lot faster." He claimed he'd never buy the auto for that reason. Yet at the dragstrip everybody knows that 8 speed DCT will beat the manual every time. The auto is faster, end of story. My point? For reasons explained above, it doesn't feel that way.

Oh, and almost forgot: it felt like it was neutering the throttle just a bit a split second after each shift. Maybe for the same reason as our Gold Wing DCT?
Yep, for the same reasons above.

And note: when you manually shift, you "neuter" the output a LOT longer than the DCT does. But since you're consciously (or unconsciously doing it as reaction to a conscious decision), it doesn't register. It's "normal" - it's expected. But you're neutering it a lot longer al the same!
 
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Between the two, there's some difference in the riding experience. The clutched version provides more intimacy with the motorcycle--a more inward experience. The DCT allows more appreciation of the world you're riding through--a more outward experience. Whichever you choose, you'll gain and you'll lose, but in the end you'll be in love.

Edit: It's a joy watching you think your way through this.
 

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There is one more aspect to the DCT that has not been mentioned: TRAFFIC! Spend 20 minutes in any major city at rush hour, or a traffic collision and you will rethink the MT, and wonder why you did not get the DCT!
 

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There is one more aspect to the DCT that has not been mentioned: TRAFFIC! Spend 20 minutes in any major city at rush hour, or a traffic collision and you will rethink the MT, and wonder why you did not get the DCT!
I mentioned that some time ago when in 2018 I got caught in Vegas traffic on I15 for over two hours in 100 degree heat. However, each to his own. 6 spd. or DCT, it's still a great bike.
 

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I agree that stuck in traffic DCT would be nice, but the more I thought about it we always try to avoid traffic 2up touring, it's a very small % of our riding time on the Wing, we got the 6 speed manual and are very happy with it.
 
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