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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With two easy days to go (4,200 miles into the 4,900-mile ride from Alaska) I was in a small Michigan town looking forward to getting home. But at 7AM on day Home-minus-2 the 2018 DCT Wing wouldn't start.

I don't recall the exact sequence, but when the ignition was turned on the headlight began flashing rapidly. The display was showing a "-" for the gear selection and just 5 square boxes for the Riding Mode Indicator (I've always just used TOUR). I couldn't even open the luggage boxes. Suspecting the electronic key, I opened them using the emergency key, but had stashed the spare 2032's in the fairing compartment, the only place on the bike that wasn't either not lockable (mini-frunk) or key-opened (Don't do that!). Well, the problem wasn't the electronic key anyway.

With sad memories of a last-day electrical problem on last year's ride home from AK, I hooked up the StarkPower jump battery. The motor started, but would not keep running. After checking a few fuses (no problems) I went back to my motel room. There's a joke that the "Gold Wing [or BMW] tool kit is a credit card and a cell phone," but the relatively close Honda dealer was "booked up" and couldn't spare anybody. The small motorcycle shop in the town, specializing in Harleys (maybe Harley accessories), couldn't spare anyone either. But the proprietor did agree to check my battery, if I could get it to his shop.

By now it was almost 11 AM. I reserved the room for another night and started looking for transportation. NO DEAL! No Uber, no Lyft, no taxi service in this small town. What the devil! But my cell-phone map said the shop was only 1.3 miles from the motel. It was a hot, sunny July day and I'm an old geezer, but in pretty good shape and I had a light REI daypack carried for occasional hiking, so I stashed the Wing battery in it, donned sneakers, confirmed walking directions from motel clerks, and headed out. I think that "1.3 miles" was the hypotenuse of a right triangle while my walk was more like its two legs, but I found the shop. The pleasant young proprietor connected the battery and soon told me it wouldn't hold a charge.

I hoped I could get a new battery overnighted from that busy Honda dealer. But the young man disappeared into the back room and soon reappeared with a Yuasa battery box: Identical to the Wing's! He applied acid, we settled up (about $90), and I hoofed it back to the motel. It wasn't even 2:00 PM yet. I installed the new battery and the Wing fired right up. I let it run a bit while I picked up my tools, supplies and luggage, then had lunch and a nap and prepared to resume my trip tomorrow.

I love my DCT Gold Wing --- it's a real joy... but this electrical business (I had a non-start problem last year too, but it was only 150 miles from home and the motor kept running after the jump battery start) is worrisome. That might have happened at a remote Yukon or British Columbia campground. I can recall NO indications that this was about to happen. Everything seemed normal until 7AM that morning. Doesn't exactly inspire a long-distance tourer's confidence...

PS. What does that flashing headlight mean? I'd never seen it before, and found no reference in the Owner's Manual.
 

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Did you have to replace the battery last year as well or was this the original battery that you just replaced? I agree, with no warning this could be a disaster in remote locations. Glad it worked out in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did you have to replace the battery last year as well or was this the original battery that you just replaced? I agree, with no warning this could be a disaster in remote locations. Glad it worked out in the end.

No; as far as I know this was the original battery. Last year, a man from American Honda stopped by where I was stranded at my final rest stop (he happened to be in the area and was notified by the nearby Honda dealer I'd called), found only about 8.5 v on the attempt to start (not enough, he said), and hooked up my StarkPower battery. When I got home, my dealer said there was nothing wrong with the (original) battery. A puzzle, to me at least! (I took delivery of the bike in early May of 2018, so this "original battery" was a little over a year old...)
 

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Is the bike bone stock, or has it been farkled for long distance travel with electrical accessories? This is just a question, not an answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is the bike bone stock, or has it been farkled for long distance travel with electrical accessories? This is just a question, not an answer.
Just a short cable, direct to the battery, for the heated vest or tire inflator.
 

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Well that’s not a possible path for investigation. I wonder if there is a short somewhere? Seems like there’d have to be. But then that wouldn’t explain the miraculously healing of your battery after you got home.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think the original battery had a bad connection inside or some sort of intermittent issue and the first incident was a warning. It got bad enough the second time that the test showed it bad. There have been quite a few bad batteries from the factory.
This seems reasonable, Tonik. I'll keep my fingers crossed with the "Michigan" battery, and keep the jump battery in the Wing's top box!
 

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Tonik's suggestion was on my list to mention here, 'nuf said. Battery Tender offers a digital voltmeter that plugs into the heated vest connection you have. It is small, about the size of a memory stick. Get one and monitor it over time, looking for significant voltage drop between rides (which may be intermittent or consistent). Also, develop a habit of turning the engine off only with the foot brake applied or park brake applied to make absolutely sure you are turning off while rear wheel is in motion. This type of battery will not survive long if "deep cycling".

prs
 

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Everytime i read about problems with the new bikes it scares me. I don't like all the things you have to remember when starting and stopping, getting to complicated for me. Seems like even on automobiles the more the whistles and bells the more problems they seem to have. I am going to ride my 08 till it takes a dump, maybe in 2 or 3 years Honda with have some of these problems solved. Good luck
 

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Everytime i read about problems with the new bikes it scares me. I don't like all the things you have to remember when starting and stopping, getting to complicated for me. Seems like even on automobiles the more the whistles and bells the more problems they seem to have. I am going to ride my 08 till it takes a dump, maybe in 2 or 3 years Honda with have some of these problems solved. Good luck
Many have your same concerns, but this issue was just a bad battery.

Don't let the relative complexity of the new Wing (and all new cars) keep you from enjoying the great front end, the lighter weight, better handling, stronger motor and a better overall riding experience.
 

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My guess would be that the rough roads to/from Alaska did a number on the internal welds in your battery. The other possibility is that you turned the key off and the engine stopped running, but the bike was still powered up, this has happened to quite a few folks. Then when you return you find your battery is dead.
 

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My guess would be that the rough roads to/from Alaska did a number on the internal welds in your battery. The other possibility is that you turned the key off and the engine stopped running, but the bike was still powered up, this has happened to quite a few folks. Then when you return you find your battery is dead.

Fred, or anyone, is there any way of knowing if you've done this?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My guess would be that the rough roads to/from Alaska did a number on the internal welds in your battery. The other possibility is that you turned the key off and the engine stopped running, but the bike was still powered up, this has happened to quite a few folks. Then when you return you find your battery is dead.
Fred, the latter seems unlikely but I can't guarantee I never did it. If the bike is "still powered up," wouldn't the display still be on? It would seem hard to miss that.
 

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If I don't plug my bike up after every ride I can be sure it won't start the next day but am trying to get thru riding season before I buy another one next spring. Same with the tires but not sure Ill make it.
 

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Fred, or anyone, is there any way of knowing if you've done this?

So when you come to a stop, make sure that the bike has come to COMPLETE stop before you power down the bike, the rear wheel can NOT be moving even in the slightest. Then, watch your dash for the electronics to shut down and the windshield to lower to the lowest settings.



Furthermore, the first farkle I put on a moto is a digital volt meter to watch the charging status. It won't tell you if you have a fried battery upon start up, but it will tell you if you are charging and when you go to turn the the bike on, what the status is of the battery before you try to kick it over.
 

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Fred, the latter seems unlikely but I can't guarantee I never did it. If the bike is "still powered up," wouldn't the display still be on? It would seem hard to miss that.

Yes, the display and meter panel will still be on and lit up. However, it has happened to myself and several others on here. Normally you just shut off the ignition and dismount and walk away. If you don't consciously check the meter panel to make sure it really is off, you can miss it. Two things can cause it to happen.


1. If the rear wheel is turning even a little bit, like with the bike on the centerstand, when you turn the key off.
2. If the bike does not pick up the signal from the FOB when you turn it off.


It's also important to note that if you walk away with the bike in this state, someone can walk up to it, start the engine and ride off on it WITHOUT the FOB being present. The only solution is to get into the habit of checking the dash each and every time you shut the bike off. Turning the key knob a second time to engage the steering lock is also another way to prevent this from happening, because the second time you turn the knob, it will shut down regardless of wheel movement or FOB being present.
 

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I'm beginning NOT TO LIKE THESE NEW BIKES, day in and day out more every time I read stuff like this...........Please tell me that Honda is doing her best to fix ALL these problems that the new 2019 wings are having... and will eliminate all these problems next year?

Ronnie
 
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