Sunday, May 22, 2011

The New Acquisition

I have been searching for a ST1300 for 3 months now. For some reason, I can find a 2006 with low miles, almost 2k cheaper down around Tennessee or so. Trust me, I have negotiated with private sellers up around Chgo - and there are a few - but they just won't come down in price.

I used to search Craigslist nationwide and finally settled on one outside of Nashville, TN. A 2006 Honda ST1300, 9900 miles, new tires, new battery, 1 inch risers, saddle-bag liner bags and clean title. Asking $8000. We settled on $7000 and I calculated about $350 in costs to hook up my trailer and go get it. My wife and I made a weekend of it.

It was better than I expected. The bike was exceptional in appearance. Not a single scratch or ding. Immaculate. It even smelled new. It also had a throttle rocker and a grip-lock type cruise control - two items I would have gotten anyhow.

Trailered it up and got home fine. I will post pics as soon as I can find my computer cord for my camera....geeze.

My first impressions of the bike is that it has a bias for speed. At 65 mph, it barely reaches 3000 rpm. It just wants to go fast. I am continuing to make minor adjustments, but it seems more than suitable for my long distance needs.

I do have some concerns though. I guess I am used to a more wider windscreen. This one - adjustable as it is - is not wide enough to cover my hands. Not a concern in moderate temps, but at 12k feet, winding through a mountain pass with 20 foot snowdrifts on either side, and my hands would get cold!

Also, I do dislike clamshell saddle bags - but there is no getting around that. Most ST models have them. I just hate how everything falls out of them when opened, or how hesitant you are to stuff them to max because it is hard to then close them. I would prefer a saddle bag that opens from the top.

I am now trying to think of a configuration to accommodate long trips i.e. where am I going to pack all my gear. I have narrowed it down to two choices: Get a larger rack in the back (I don't like top cases) where I can strap things down to, or get a trailer to tow behind the bike. Like a Bushtech or Unigo trailer.

Being the frugal traveler, I am drifting towards just getting a passenger backrest with an attached cargo rack to the rear of it. My thoughts are I could tie my big bag to the rear seat, and lash the tent to the cargo rack - which could also hold my big touring jacket when it gets to hot to wear. That really should be enough.

But oh the trailer. It would be so nice to not have to worry about rigid packing. Just throw it all in the trailer and hit the road. Not to have to decide whether to take extra pairs of socks instead of my travel pillow. Plenty of room in the center of gravity would be lower and it would make getting on and off the bike much easier. But the cost.....!!!

As I take my laptop with me on trips and do daily posts here, I am jonsing for a IPAD2 which would be ideal for that purpose. So light, slim and unobtrusive. Hmmmm....choices, choices.