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Overall the bike shifts smoother, throttle response in Sport mode is just a tad less twitchy at lower speeds, and suspension is slightly improved. The bike seems to downshift in a much more natural way when coming to a stop in full auto mode. The downshift when stopping is less disruptive and seems to happen in a more progressive manner, rather than trying to rapid fire downshift, and there is less of a clunk when it shifts. I'd say that is probably the single biggest improvement.
 

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Very nice review. Is it possible that your notice of slightly improved suspension is mostly due to the brand new never ridden before sate of that bike? Too bad Honda did not improve the Nav unit...

prs
 

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My question is: Could we have an update on that shifting problem for the '18 and '19 Bike. I suppose the new DCT software is making this bike better. Fred can you ask Honda if it's possible. Yesterday I asked my dealer but he didn't now. The greatest problem that I had with shifting was in hairpins. I went up to the Stelvio(Italy well now mountain, 53 hairpins) and he was shifting down to 3 gear before the hairpin. But when I came out of the corner and I go on the throttle he was shifting down to second gear a little brutal. He did it every time. Even I felt that engine is strong enough to stay in third gear. So after 10 corners I went to manual shifting and that was real good. Did this mountain before with my CRF1000 and all went fine all the way in automatic gear.
 

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Great review Fred, thanks for that !
The DCT improvements are very interesting indeed.
Sad too see that Honda missed the opportunity for a more evenly spread of the suspension pre-load settings.
 

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I would like to have someone like Ghul in Europe. So he could making better that shifting problem.
 

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First: thank you Fred for the competent review.
So , as I suspected, most of the changes are minimal and personally none affects my total satisfaction of the 2018 model.
Are they worth several thousands dollar difference in price compared with the discounted 18-19 model?
No, unless you really like those 2020 colors...which I don't.
 

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The white scheme looks good with the pin striping. On the tour models I prefer the chrome silver look and the bagger style the black and darker colors with the black accents. Just my personal preference. Not to enthused about the tour with the black lower accents and pattens. Was hoping for some nav updates or even a entire different format. Maybe next year. Car play for me
 

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Ok Fred, you are the winner :) PM me and I will send a check...actually...just the one dollar bill to your address. Yes I know, will be hard to determine what nice extras you can get for your Wing with a sawbuck...hope that means a dollar and not $100 cause I am not rich so a dollar it will be.

Was a good video review. Now any of us waiting on the fence or waiting on money just need to figure out if the dct refinements are worth X more money then buying a non 2020 year dct model. Guess if money was not a big factor some might trade in an older dct for new...just would have to like the colors offered now by mother Honda.

guess they did not address the exhaust note some have issues with.
 

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So I wonder, with the improvements on the 2020 dct would one be able to achieve the same effect by using manual mode on a pre 2020 dct model? Guessing maybe not...don’t own either so not knowledgeable about dct and feel.

Darn, I know for many a 2020 dct or even left over earlier year dct is a win-win way to go. Still with 2018 manual pricing even using a clutch would be a sweet ride...just a bit more floaty it would seem if one could live with exhaust drone sound if such impacts the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My question is: Could we have an update on that shifting problem for the '18 and '19 Bike. I suppose the new DCT software is making this bike better. Fred can you ask Honda if it's possible. Yesterday I asked my dealer but he didn't now. The greatest problem that I had with shifting was in hairpins. I went up to the Stelvio(Italy well now mountain, 53 hairpins) and he was shifting down to 3 gear before the hairpin. But when I came out of the corner and I go on the throttle he was shifting down to second gear a little brutal. He did it every time. Even I felt that engine is strong enough to stay in third gear. So after 10 corners I went to manual shifting and that was real good. Did this mountain before with my CRF1000 and all went fine all the way in automatic gear.
The changes in the DCT shifting appear to be from a combination of things. First, Honda added some additional internal dampers in the transmission, so there really isn't any way to do that to a 208/19 model without tearing apart the engine and transmission and spending huge amounts of money. I suspect that the dampers are what are responsible for the reduction in noise and amount of "clunk" you feel when you shift. The 2020 bike shifts feel, (dare I say it) more like the automatic transmission in a car, and are significantly smoother and quieter. The other improvements seem to come from internal programming in both the ECM and TCM controllers for the improvements in throttle response and shift speeds. While the ECM can be reflashed, the TCM has yet been done, which I suspect is where the transmission shift point maps are stored. I don't know if any hardware or wiring changes have been made, so I can't say for certain that the 2020 ECM and TCM could be put on a 2018/19 bike, but I suspect that would be possible. It would however be a pretty expensive proposition.

The Guhl reflash come real close to the changes Honda made to the throttle mapping, so that is a viable option for 2018/19 owners. Actually, I like the Guhl throttle mapping better than the 2020 throttle mapping. I suspect at some point they will also start reflashing 2020 ECMs.
 

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Thanks for the review Fred...like the refinements Honda has done...and the new white color for 2020...just wish Honda would had done more upgrades with the Navigation system and wish Honda would address the dash panel plastic that is impossable to clean without putting micro scratches in the dash panel that looks horriable with the sun shining on the dash panel.
 

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Fred, I very much like what Guhl did to the mapping of my 2018. Regarding tranny clunks and clinks, that has only been noted by me when the re-calibration was needed. I suppose others may have variation of characteristic. If/when you speak with Don Guhl, encourage his consideration of the TCU to see if we can eliminate automatic downshifting when in manual mode.

Bartho; when I am on mountain roads with switchbacks and such I use the manual mode. Not a perfect solution because Honds, for some strange reason, lets its down shifts automatically in manual and that can be quite disturbing after supposedly setting-up the curve. When I ride those roads in automatic, the bike consistently up-shifts the very insant I begin to trail out or braking and trail back into acceleration - ready to blast out past the apex and the dang tranny bogs me down.

prs
 

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My biggest dislike of the earlier DCT model was the clunky and noisy shifting, followed by the passenger grab rails.
From your review, it seems all my negatives have been addressed.
After watching your review I will definitely try to get a test ride on the new model in April.
Thank you.
 

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Thanks Fred.....

Nice to see Honda continuing to make improvements to the new GL1800 design.
Very happy with how my 2019 DCT performs as-is but I'm sure the improvements make it even better.

If I was in the market now I would go for a 18/19 model just because the colors for 2020 are terrible IMHO.
That's another improvement Honda needs to make IMHO.....lets get some cool colors, not all this drab stuff. (y)
 

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Oh no!...... they have improved the perfect bike. Now what?

It’s good to see Honda making these improvements so soon.
 
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