2005 Honda ST1300
Hot Diggidy! Long, fast, smooth ride
The balance shafts needed to be adjusted. Factory settings were OK, but there's a sweet spot that eliminates lower RPM growling. Whoever had it before me didn't take care of it.
In spite of the used condition of the bike, it was easily cleaned up. Decent maintenance makes a huge difference, and Honda made this machine to tolerate and recover nicely from the abuse. Regular maintenance is a breeze, but use a cookie sheet under the center stand when changing the oil filter as it'll run down the left leg of the stand. Be careful pulling the head cover (to get to the oil filler cap and spark plugs) as you can bend the metal keepers - read the book - it helps :o)
Lift the tank, pull the plenum (where the air filter is) and get a look at the engineering to really appreciate what Honda put into this machine - it's no wonder it runs as smooth and powerfully as it does. The framework is light, but way beyond rugged.
Mine has a slight dislike of oxygenated fuels (10% ethanol) and costs about 5-7% in MPG. Good gas and behaving myself can net mid 50s MPG highway, mid-high 40s around town. The biggest stock tank I've ever seen will get me about 300 miles before it hits reserve.
Adjustable windshield made the most notable difference transitioning from a Vulcan - First time out I went from 40 to 110 in 5th gear (so smooth) it wasn't until everybody else was going really slow that it dawned on me that maybe I should look at the speedometer while backing off the throttle. It never broke a sweat - just clean, smooth, quiet acceleration. I'll never be able to depend on wind buffeting or vibration as a speed indicator ever again.
Handling is outstanding - never dives into curves, but you can lean almost to the fairing and not lose traction or control. The handle bars could use a bit of a lift to straighten out the back for taller riders. Suspension is superb as one ride down I59 north of Houston (or most any Louisiana byway) will convince anybody.
It has some features I didn't expect, but was very pleased to discover. Adjustable headlight angle (from the dash), hazard lights, ample storage, really adjustable seat, and a fuel computer!? Yes, it gives you average or instantaneous mileage, two trip meters and when you run out to your reserve it tells you how many miles you have left before you're walking - cool!
All in all, I can see why there's not a huge market of used ones out there and why it can be tough to get a new one (depends on your dealer). This is a keeper.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th April, 2008