CTX1300 vs BMW 1200 GS - Honda CTX1300 Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-11-2019, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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CTX1300 vs BMW 1200 GS

Just spent five days riding a GS in the balkans, and wow. That bike is a beast. Compared to the CTX1300 it feels like an F16, incredibly maneuverable lots of power. I'm a big guy but w/ a little bit of open highway I opened it up and hit 136 before I backed off. This is with saddlebags and top case.

I spent most of the plane ride back planning how to flip the CTX for one. But funny thing happened when I got back on the CTX today, it fit me like a glove. Plenty of power to pass pretty much every car out there, agile enough and corners pretty well once I realized that my bluetooth tire pressure gauge was reading 6 psi low and pumped it up to 36.

Comparisons:
  • The CTX is obviously bigger and heavier, also lower and less top-heavy.
  • Barely have to think about counter-steering before the GS smoothly starts turning. By contrast, the CTX handlebar has to be pushed and held w/ firmness. It wants to go straight, but the GS wants to lean.
  • GS obviously has much more power, but the CTX has plenty for commuting, plenty for the open road.
  • Tiny little GS windshield in the high position worked great from 80 up to about 120 for this 6'2" guy, at which point I started leaning forward a bit. I have the 17" madstad and there is no position where it's quite as good as the little GS screen. It also flutters at high speeds.
  • CTX much more comfortable, both height and width of seat.
  • Like the look of the GS's aluminum-looking Givi cases better, but they aren't any more functional, or tougher, than the CTX's.
  • GS has the shift assist, so you basically don't need the clutch at higher gears/RPMs, but the CTX's engine so smooth and refined.
  • CTX has all that plastic, but the GS is butt-ugly.
  • GS much more likely to be stolen.
  • CTX has twitchy throttle and crappy suspension (this is actually kind of big).

Bottom line is that I'd probably say yes if someone offered to swap, but I think that the CTX is actually a better fit for me and the riding I do.
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Last edited by LouisWu; 08-11-2019 at 04:59 PM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-11-2019, 06:04 PM
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Good Right up Pete! Thankyou!!

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-11-2019, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Final point in the CTX's favor is the foot position. After a total knee replacement I was actually concerned that I couldn't spend multiple hours on a GS, but I could, aided by the ability to rest my leg on the engine bars.

However, the foot position on the CTX, especially w/ the new pegs I installed based on what @TDWright or @Koepper had when I rode w/ you, was much better.
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-11-2019, 09:02 PM
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Hoping you don't mind a little feedback:

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Originally Posted by LouisWu View Post
Barely have to think about counter-steering before the GS smoothly starts turning. By contrast, the CTX handlebar has to be pushed and held w/ firmness. It wants to go straight, but the GS wants to lean.
When I got my '01 ST1100 a year ago, I felt the same way, especially in comparison to my '96 Nighthawk 750. After a month of trying to get used to its resistance to steering effort, I raised the rear suspension about 1'2" at the shock; not sure how much that raised the ride height; maybe 3/4"? The improvement to steering input was immediate and profound. It now lays over and comes back up predictably and instinctively, and is a real pleasure to ride.

Raising the rear steepens the forks, which quickens the bike's response to steering input. Race bikes with quicker steering have more-upright forks, while cruisers with slower steering ride straight more easily. I discovered counter-steering after riding for around three years (been riding over 46 years now), and I steer strictly with it now.

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GS has the shift assist, so you basically don't need the clutch at higher gears/RPMs, but the CTX's engine so smooth and refined.
I have no problem shifting the ST after second gear without the clutch. I usually don't downshift without it, but I do upshift without it routinely. Quick off the gas, shift firmly, back on the gas. The transmission shifts easily when not transferring power.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-12-2019, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Fine View Post
When I got my '01 ST1100 a year ago, I felt the same way, especially in comparison to my '96 Nighthawk 750. After a month of trying to get used to its resistance to steering effort, I raised the rear suspension about 1'2" at the shock; not sure how much that raised the ride height; maybe 3/4"? The improvement to steering input was immediate and profound. It now lays over and comes back up predictably and instinctively, and is a real pleasure to ride.
Interesting. I've been looking at new tires, and at least one rear tire was recommended on this site w/ the caution that it raised the rear a bit. Clearly this would be nothing like the change you made, but might possibly make a noticeable difference.

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I have no problem shifting the ST after second gear without the clutch. I usually don't downshift without it, but I do upshift without it routinely. Quick off the gas, shift firmly, back on the gas. The transmission shifts easily when not transferring power.
I actually do this as well, though I wasn't sure if I should really be doing this.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-12-2019, 09:05 AM
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This year I am getting more used to the CTX ride. Last year I just did not have the same amount of riding time as I do this year but I am really getting into being able to take the curves and surprised at the CTX ability, especially coming off of the Shadow.. which was not that great in curves.

So what Larry is talking about might just be a key, and I have no idea where my bike's rear suspension is set, I think in the middle... but I think it does well...


Also, I have never taken a GS for a ride so I really cannot compare the two.


PS. Pete we missed you for the meet up..... and I am glad your having a good time in your travels. Hopefully we can meet up again in the future...….
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-12-2019, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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PS. Pete we missed you for the meet up..... and I am glad your having a good time in your travels. Hopefully we can meet up again in the future....
Yep, that was unfortunate timing, but the ride in the Balkans was a once-in-a-lifetime ride. Five days, four campsites, four guys on GS's, three brand new countries. Total blast.

I'm having some Michelin Commander 2's put on next week. If I'm understanding the tire sizing correctly (probably not), going from 50 to 55 on a 17" rim means making the seat almost an inch higher. That's fine for me (I'm 6'2"), and it might actually make a slight difference in the handling (changing the rake angle a tiny bit). 'course it'll also make the speedometer read low, but who looks at speedometers anyway....
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-12-2019, 10:05 PM
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Crazy Awesome.... and it sure is a once-in-a-lifetime ride.... so glad you took it... and your home safe!!!!





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Yep, that was unfortunate timing, but the ride in the Balkans was a once-in-a-lifetime ride. Five days, four campsites, four guys on GS's, three brand new countries. Total blast.

I'm having some Michelin Commander 2's put on next week. If I'm understanding the tire sizing correctly (probably not), going from 50 to 55 on a 17" rim means making the seat almost an inch higher. That's fine for me (I'm 6'2"), and it might actually make a slight difference in the handling (changing the rake angle a tiny bit). 'course it'll also make the speedometer read low, but who looks at speedometers anyway....
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-12-2019, 11:20 PM
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If I'm understanding the tire sizing correctly (probably not), going from 50 to 55 on a 17" rim means making the seat almost an inch higher.
Nowhere near that high. If you have a 160/50 17, for example, the height is 50% of the width, or 80mm. Change it to a 55 series and the height is now 55% of 160, or 88mm.

That's an increase of only 8mm, which is slightly more than 1/4".
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-13-2019, 01:36 PM
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@LouisWu . What countries did you visit on your trip through the Balkans???.
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