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Dare we say Honda’s been bingeing on Street Glide-style models? Some may consider it blasphemous to include the CTX in the same sentence with Street Glide, but when it comes to motorcycles sporting fairings with low-cut windscreens and hard luggage, Honda boasts five new ones: CTX1300/Deluxe, CTX700 and Gold Wing F6B/Deluxe.

On second thought, it’s actually unfair to the CTX and F6B to rank them among less-performing models such as Street Glides. In commendable fashion, Honda has taken a risk and created a niche market unto itself, the Sport-Touring-Bagger, comprised of the five models listed above.

We’ve ridden and reviewed the Gold Wing F6B and CTX700, but Honda’s press launch for the CTX1300 outside San Diego was the first opportunity to sample the second, and more substantial, model of the CTX family. You can read about the technical information in our 2014 Honda CTX1300 preview story. For this article, we’re sticking with riding impressions, which we’ll begin by saying that the CTX is as unique in its performance as it is with its styling.

The reengineered 1261cc V-4 motor differs from the ST1300 by way of camshafts, valves, throttle bodies and compression ratio to deliver more low- and mid-range power than its ST counterpart. Like the CTX700, the 1300 has a low, 7,000 rpm redline, which for traditional motorcyclists is a rev ceiling that takes some getting used to. Once familiar with the short-shifting nature of the V-4, keeping the engine in its powerband and riding its flat and seemingly endless torque curve becomes second nature.

Discuss this at our Honda CTX1300 Forum.

There’s enough cornering clearance to keep the pace exciting in the twisties. Braking performance is excellent. The CTX features Honda’s Combined Braking System (CBS) linking the rear brake to the center piston in the three-piston right-front brake caliper. A delay valve slows initial front brake response to minimize front-end dive.
There’s enough cornering clearance to keep the pace exciting in the twisties. Braking performance is excellent. The CTX features Honda’s Combined Braking System (CBS) linking the rear brake to the center piston in the three-piston right-front brake caliper. A delay valve slows initial front brake response to minimize front-end dive.
Engine performance is accompanied by a pleasingly throaty V-4 exhaust note that’s loud enough to make its presence known when cruising around town but quiet enough to not become bothersome at speed over long distances. We did notice a very unHondalike trait in some harsh off-to-on throttle response, resulting in tedious driveline lash that’s more of a nuisance than a deal breaker. Otherwise, the engine, five-speed transmission and shaft final drive performed dutifully throughout our day trip.

On hand at the intro were both the standard CTX ($15,999) and the Deluxe ($17,499). What you get for the $1,500 increase is ABS, TC (switchable), self-canceling turn signals, an audio package with Bluetooth connectivity, and a blacked-out styling treatment.

2014 Honda CTX700/N Review

Probably a first of its kind, the CTX’s self-cancelling turn signals function via the bike’s TC system. By using the same wheel sensors measuring speed, distance and time parameters, the ECU determines the completion of a turn and terminates the turn signal’s flashing. The system also accounts for changes in tire air pressure and wear-related changes in tire diameter. How’s that for high-tech blinkers? When signaling lane changes above 31 mph, the turn signal flashes for seven seconds regardless of distance traveled, and when below 31 mph, the signal ceases flashing after having traveled 131 yards.

Audio controls and instrument cluster adjustments are all located atop the faux fuel tank. Handlebar controls for volume or music track selection would be nice but probably not cost effective. The two storage compartments hold small items but are difficult to access with gloved hands.
Audio controls and instrument cluster adjustments are all located atop the faux fuel tank. Handlebar controls for volume or music track selection would be nice but probably not cost effective. The two storage compartments hold small items but are difficult to access with gloved hands.
Honda outfitted a couple CTXs with the optional tall windscreen which creates a protective bubble without bothersome rear-helmet buffeting. Other accessories include a passenger backrest, rear trunk and heated grips.
Honda outfitted a couple CTXs with the optional tall windscreen which creates a protective bubble without bothersome rear-helmet buffeting. Other accessories include a passenger backrest, rear trunk and heated grips.
The audio package on the Deluxe plays music via Bluetooth or USB connection. There is no AM/FM radio. The 20-watt per channel external speakers are powerful enough to be heard at lower speeds but are drowned out by wind noise at higher speeds. Sound quality is better behind the accessory tall windscreen. This is meaningless, however, if you have a Bluetooth-enabled helmet communication system directly linked to your Bluetooth music device – the best option for good sound quality.

When listening to the external speakers, the audio system features a three-level Speed-sensitive Volume Compensation (SVC) that adjusts music volume according to the speed you’re traveling. There’s also an auto mute function that mutes music when speeds dip below seven mph, and will return to the original setting at nine mph.

With a curb weight of 732 pounds (739 for Deluxe) the CTX1300 weighs only 36 pounds less than BMW’s six-cylinder K1600GTL. Thankfully the CTX’s low center of gravity masks its weight problem, but like the Gold Wing and ST1300, Honda needs to find a way to reduce the weight penalty of these machines to comparatively similar models from competing OEMs.

The lockable, 35-liter saddlebags are nicely styled and easily accessible but not large enough to hold a full-face helmet (and there’s no helmet lock). While there’s no quick-release mechanism, the bags are removable via two internal bolts.
The lockable, 35-liter saddlebags are nicely styled and easily accessible but not large enough to hold a full-face helmet (and there’s no helmet lock). While there’s no quick-release mechanism, the bags are removable via two internal bolts.
The CTX, with a non-adjustable fork and only preload-adjustable shock, maintained its composure when pushed hard in the canyons yet remained comfortably damped when traveling the freeway. The neutral riding position and friendly ergonomics also play a factor in promoting all-day comfort.

+ Highs
Innovative design
Comfortable
Diverse application
- Sighs
Weight
Driveline lash
Saddlebag capacity

The CTX and CTX Deluxe fill a gap in both engine displacement and price in Honda’s lineup between the $7,799 CTX700 and $19,999 Gold Wing F6B. Since the CTX700’s introduction last year, Honda claims its sales have been relatively brisk. Honda is, of course, hoping for the same results for the 1300, but at double the MSRP of the smaller bike and targeted at experienced, traditional motorcyclists, it’ll be interesting to see how the bigger, more expensive CTX is accepted.

2014 Honda CTX1300 Specifications

For the right person, though, we can attest to the CTX1300 being a solid motorcycle built to fill a niche we didn’t know existed until Honda created it.

Read more, see pictures and videos at: 2014 Honda CTX1300 Review ? First Ride + Video
 

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Another "First Ride + Video" from Adam Waheed

Have you seen this video at: 2014 Honda CTX1300 First Ride - MotoUSA? The report on it is at: 2014 Honda CTX1300 First Ride - Motorcycle USA . This guy, Adam Waheed seems to ride the motorcycle like a sportbike, and it is not a sportbike. There has been an ongoing discussion between me, and a Zone Television over Adam's riding skill ability. I think this is one of the reasons that the CTX 1300 did not do very good in marketing because of people that think that Adam is a great reviewer of the bike. What do you all think about this "reviewer"'s comments?
 

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Saw that video over a year ago. Most journalist mc reviewers are from the sport or sport touring market and kept comparing the CTX1300 to that category. Or so it seems from the reviews and admitted by many of the reviewers themselves. I agree that these reviews are one reason the bike was not promoted properly. Another reason is that Honda did NOT help at all by withholding the fact that this is not a S-T or sport bike, and did not clearly define that it fits in between cruiser and touring categories... making a new category all it's own. Even the dealers still don't know how to promote it unless they are really big into the touring or cruiser markets. The dealer where I bought mine (Storm Lake Honda) has a major market in Gold Wings and cruisers so they seemed to understand how to market the CTX better than most. My local dealer has a major market in dirt and sport bikes. They don't have a clue.
 

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Have you seen this video at: 2014 Honda CTX1300 First Ride - MotoUSA? The report on it is at: 2014 Honda CTX1300 First Ride - Motorcycle USA . This guy, Adam Waheed seems to ride the motorcycle like a sportbike, and it is not a sportbike. There has been an ongoing discussion between me, and a Zone Television over Adam's riding skill ability. I think this is one of the reasons that the CTX 1300 did not do very good in marketing because of people that think that Adam is a great reviewer of the bike. What do you all think about this "reviewer"'s comments?
I saw the video before I got my CTX1300 and was an overall positive review, I don't think CTX1300 marketing problem comes from bad reviews but simply the price was too high compared with the competitors.
 
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Saw that video over a year ago. Most journalist mc reviewers are from the sport or sport touring market and kept comparing the CTX1300 to that category. Or so it seems from the reviews and admitted by many of the reviewers themselves. I agree that these reviews are one reason the bike was not promoted properly. Another reason is that Honda did NOT help at all by withholding the fact that this is not a S-T or sport bike, and did not clearly define that it fits in between cruiser and touring categories... making a new category all it's own. Even the dealers still don't know how to promote it unless they are really big into the touring or cruiser markets. The dealer where I bought mine (Storm Lake Honda) has a major market in Gold Wings and cruisers so they seemed to understand how to market the CTX better than most. My local dealer has a major market in dirt and sport bikes. They don't have a clue.
I agree about how the mc reviewers keep comparing the CTX 1300 to those categories and how Honda did not clearly define it I think until the designer video came out, and I think, even, that was a little too late. Yep, some dealers do not know how to market it, and to me that is sad. I think they should have said it is like the Goldwing's little brother like the F6B in my opinion, but with less optional confusing buttons, and smaller saddlebags, and weighs about a few hundred pounds less than the Goldwing, and to really sell it based upon the V4 engine as well as the mpg it gets. The other thing they could have marketed it on was the motif of the Bald eagle. To me, that would have attracted more buyers aside from the high MSRP. If you look at the rear LED Lights, and the way it is formed, it looks like a Bald Eagles tail feathers when it is spread out in flight, in my opinion.
 

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I saw the video before I got my CTX1300 and was an overall positive review, I don't think CTX1300 marketing problem comes from bad reviews but simply the price was too high compared with the competitors.
I really did not base my opinion on a video when I got mine. I think that yes, the price was too high, and it was only part of the problem, but then again, to me, that would fall under the marketing of the motorcycle as a whole. The advertising department probably did not do enough research into the base MSRP, and wanted to rush it into production, without considering that as a selling point, or an advertising point of contention. I really think if they would have marketed not only the Bald Eagle motif, as well as the horizontal line design, that I think Harley was competing with them on that innovation, they would have still been ahead of Harley in that respect, in my opinion.
 

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Two and a half years after the original post here I am finding this as I'm looking for info on the CTX1300.
I found the video helpful and it tells me if you want a sports bike don't look at the CTX but if you want to get away for long ride it's a great bike. That's good enough for me.
I've been riding a Shadow VT750C2 for the past 4 years since coming back to biking on packing in work at 60 year old, and I'm loving it. Recently took a trip to Belgium for a week (from Gloucester, UK, so it's about 400 miles away), also did the RBLR1000, organised by the 'Iron Butt association', ride a couple of weekends ago.
Love the Shadow but looking for something bigger, smoother, for those long rides. GL1800 is just too expensive unless I went for an old one so the CTX fits just right for me.
I'll hang slack until I get it but look forward to posting on the forum at a later date.
Cheers for now
Photo of current bike during my lunch stop on the RBLR1000 ride
 
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