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 miles...an often times less on longer rides.
Would I still have the ST1300 if I didn't get a Goldwing? Sure...it'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.