Monday, April 16, 2012

Bike Review: Honda ST1300

I purchased this bike after doing a fair amount of research - but never riding one. I purchased this used (as I do most bikes I have owned) but it was in pristine condition and my intention was that this bike would be my solo, long-distance touring machine.

Overall, I wasn't actually that happy with the bike. After a three-day trip around Lake Michigan, I made some conclusions.

One good point is that it sat tall - which is ideal for this 6'3" guy. So few bikes can boast that feature - with the exception of the BMW line of bikes.
Also on the plus side is the getty-up. I am not a huge fan of having excessive cc's that serve no purpose. In my mind, it not only is wasted on me, but it adds to the cost, weight and service of the bike.

That said, this bike has a bias for speed. It just wants to go fast...and you have to be very conscious of that as it creeps up so fast that, if you're not deliberately watchful, you're suddenly climbing past 80 mph with barely a whine from the smooth engine. I actually spent more time consciously slowing down than speeding up because of that.

The bike is typical Honda, meaning, a mechanical work of art. That said, the heat on the lower legs is bothersome, but workable. In cold weather, it is a blessing, but other than that, it really makes a pleasant ride less so.

I just couldn't get comfortable on the bike. The seat is very adjustable but I got saddle sore just after 100 miles....which is way too soon. I did have one inch risers on the handlebars, which allowed me to sit up more, but I still found myself more forward than I care to be - which takes a toll on long rides.

I did put a larger windshield on the bike which greatly increased wind/rain protection - but still exposed my hands to the cold and wet.

The gas tank was a behemoth at 7.6 gallons, but that fact was negated by the saddle which kicked me off precisely at 100 often times less on longer rides.

Would I still have the ST1300 if I didn't get a Goldwing?'s a great bike and I would have made other refinements to make it a better LD tourer.

Perhaps at 50 yoa, I am just less inclined to go the distance on a sports-tourer.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi, I really like your post you done a great jobs . Thanks for sharing valuable information.

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  2. I changed about 15 tourers/cruisers in the past 12 years, mainly bemmers like the GT,RS,RT and LT, and I had to replace the seat with an aftermarket one on all of them.
    I just got a 2007 ST with very few miles. My main complaint for now is the cold air flow ( it is winter right now )on my hips when I raise the windshield.

    1. I get the opposite effect. If I am riding in Jeans in winter, when I raise the windshield, I get a nice warm airflow across the top of my thighs.

  3. I'm 58 years old and just purchased my second ST1300 after crashing my first on a curve covered with gravel. I also find the seat uncomfortable and covered my first one with a Alaskan Sheep Skin which helped a little but not enough. This time I am putting on a different seat(probably a Rick Mayer.) I also had a riser on mine and probably wont' do it again depending on how the seat fits me. I think though the bike is pretty heavy it is an absolutely fantastic machine. I also credit the crash bar design for saving my leg when I went down. Though the bike went out from under me, it never touched my lower leg. I hate to think what would have happened to it if I had been riding a BMW or Concours.

  4. The stock seat is like any other motorcycle seat .. horrible. Purchased a Russel day long seat and never looked back.(Also have one on my KLR) Also put the largest Cal sci windscreen on. Result is that you hardly need to raise the screen and your hands stay protected.Lowered the foot pegs and this bike is now very comfortable .It already had the risers when I bought it .I am 6 ft.

  5. I've own a 2006, and I have to agree somewhat with what you're saying. At 5'8", the seating position for me is ideal. The windshield did present a problem with cold/wet hands,but since 2007 I installed some wind deflector winglets and that took care of that.'s my best bike out of my collection for long distance travelling.

  6. i am using honda st1300 bike since last two year i am more happy with it's present time in this range this is best one bike.

  7. I am the 58 year old guy that posted in January and was going to get a Rick Mayer. I had a custom seat built for me by a woman close to home and it made a world of difference. I strongly urge ST owners to look into a custom seat that fits them. It changed the bike. I will be putting a riser on as well.

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  10. Thanks for the review, gathering more info on this bike. Looking for a used one to buy but first need to sell my VTX1300r :)

  11. After years of riding sports bikes, I have decided to enjoy some more comfortable motorcycling, and have bought an ST1300.
    My 2003 model does not have the electric screen, so I can have it in the low or high position.
    I am fairly tall - 6 foot, and so I have selected the high position.
    However; when I am riding, I feel that I am being pulled quite strongly towards the screen, and am pulling backwards all the time.
    Does anyone else experience this, and would it help to put the screen down to the lower position?