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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Added about 1000 miles to the CTX over the last 4 days. I rode down the California coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles with a number of detours.

After miles of twisty roads I felt like I was getting confident with the bike, but then toward the end of the trip, I dropped it making a U-turn in an intersection. I was just going too slow and set it down gently. I was attempting the lift technique where you back up to the bike slowly and right it with you legs, when someone ran over to help me. He didn't appear to speak English, but I gave him a big smile and a handshake.

After that I felt like an idiot and was flustered, like I was taking turns too wide and just not relaxed. I made it home fine and was happy with how little damage there was to the bike. With a little polish I don't think it will be noticeable.

Other than that, I was a great ride. Talked with a lot of friendly people about the bike at gas stations or in front of cafes. I have decided that I will invest in the tall windscreen and heated grips, but won't make any other changes.

One other interesting thing, I had a guitar pedal in one of the panniers (Ibanez Tube Screamer). For those of you not familiar this is like a little metal brick for guitar effects. It probably weighs 3 lbs. Anyway, I just had this sitting in the bottom, not in a bag or anything. After one day of riding I noticed there was black plastic dust in the pannier where the pedal had worn away some of the pannier plastic from the bike vibrating. So a word of caution to everyone, keep any hard metal objects wrapped in something soft.
 

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Bummer -- nothing can ruin a nice ride like a dump. Doesn't do much for your confidence, either. Just relax next time out and remember before the lay-down and what the bike is capable of. You'll shake it off in no time.

Otherwise, glad to hear you and the bike are no worse for the wear. ;)
 

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Nice road trip... other than the tip over.
I notice that plastic residue with every bike I've owned with saddlebags or a trunk. I added a thin foam insert in the trunk on my ST to prevent that and also add a bit of cushion to what I put in there. In another thread here I posted photos of the saddlebag inserts I added that are rubber/vinyl tub liner material to bridge the gap over the hinge when the bags are open so nothing gets crimped between the shells when I close them. This material also adds a bit of cushioning. But I still tend to put more solid objects in a soft wrap of some kind, even if it's just wrapped in a towel. All bikes have some low grade vibration. Some bikes insulate the rider from that really well, especially the CTX. But it is felt by stuff put in the bags. Not so much engine vibration but just simply road bumps and unevenness of the road will cause that. Learned a little about that with my GW some years ago and ended up putting a carpet sample scrap in that trunk, but nothing in the bags. :)

Oh, and I did dump my GW once or twice the first many months I owned it. It was a big jump from a little Vulcan 750 I had before. First time was in my garage and took it off the side stand a little too aggressively. Ended up falling over on the right... and settled on top of the front fender of my Vulcan which I had not yet sold. That was a little more difficult to stand up since I had to get between the two bikes. Second time was trying to ride up closer to a building before a storm and dropped the front tire off the sidewalk into a hole. There was a stone wall next to that and, again had to squeeze between the two immovable objects to try to stand the bike up. That time there were many "friends" to watch and then help. :eek:

There was one or two other times as well but those were the most "memorable!"
 

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I dropped it making a U-turn in an intersection. I was just going too slow and set it down gently..
That happened to me within my first 10 minutes of riding...but I was all alone, nobody saw. I was sooooo worried that I was being given a sign that I was not supposed to be a rider.

I guess I see now that a tip-over can part of the program. I think the potential makes me pay way more attention.

My wife and I gained all of our experience riding dirt bikes. Heck, with those, when you're in trouble, you can just dive off the dang thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for sharing your stories. It is good to know that I am not the only one. I am going to try to find an empty parking lot to do some U turn practicing, maybe watch some Youtube tutorials, and see if I can get my mojo back.
 

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I probably should not say this...

I actually feel way more confident in making low speed turns than I thought I would. Because of the low CoG, the CTX1300 seems like a dream to maneuver around the parking lot or the cul-de-sac.

Now I am in trouble...

I used to crow about how I have never dropped my Magna (a tiny 500 lbs) in ten + years of riding it, but then dropped it turning into a parking space in a busy movie theater parking lot. My wife was on board (as always). No damage to the bike, but my pride was crushed - and my wife suddenly no longer saw me as indestructible. She jumped right back on, but I could feel for a long time that she was uncomfortable.
 

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I've found the CTX1300 to handle as well as my GL1800 in the tight spaces. It's a lot better than the GL in gravel parking lots. I've parked the CTX in some places that would have been tough to get out of with the GL.

The CTX is a long bike and that makes a difference in the U turns. The low CoG and the wide handle bars help. The sudden off/on throttle response can be uncomfortable at times. Low speed maneuvers require the use of the clutch.

This bike is much easier to move around in the garage than any of the other big bikes I've owned.

I don't drop a bike very often, but when I do it is usually a spectacular show for anyone who happens to be nearby. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't drop a bike very often, but when I do it is usually a spectacular show for anyone who happens to be nearby. :)
Too funny. That sounds a bit like a Dos Equis commercial.
 
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Sorry to hear you dropped your bike Man in Black.... I have dropped 3 at very slow speeds and one going too fast into a corner....Don't beat yourself up it happens to everyone. I don't know if I have a friend that I ride with that hasn't dumped one at least once. Good you didn't get hurt
 

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I remember when I started riding, I heard from everyone that it was inevitable that I would drop my first bike, which was a Shadow Aero. I never did drop it, although I came close on my VERY FIRST TURN out of the dealer parking lot but yanked it back up on pure adrenaline and rode home shaking, then had a sore/pulled muscle in my leg for days.

When I traded the Shadow and had never dropped it in 3 years of ownership I thought I was indestructible. Then when I got my Bonneville, within 6 months these things happened:
  • took a left turn too tight in low light and hit the edge of a median with the front edge of the header pipe, didn't go down but really jacked up the exhaust and tweaked the cylinder head
  • got cut off by an SUV as I was approaching a turn, braked into a skid/slide and finally had to gently lay the bike down on its side to avoid hurting my ankle due to the angles involved

I dropped it a second time years and years later due to nothing more than putting my foot down in gravel at a stop sign. Zero traction on the foot, leg went away from me, and I dumped the bike in a moment of awareness that if I didn't drop it I was going to severely pull or tear a groin muscle.

I'm absolutely terrified that I might dump the CTX I'm planning to buy tomorrow, as I've never dealt with that much weight on a cycle and can't predict what circumstances I might find myself in that I was able to muscle my way out of before. But it's not going to stop me from getting on and riding and practicing as much as I can.

I was very leery of the weight in parking lots during my test ride, but probably babying it too much (just very conscious that it was a demo I was NOT planning on buying). I felt amazing cornering the bike at speed. In fact I'm quite sure I leaned the CTX over more steeply than I have ever leaned my 200+pound-lighter Bonneville going around a hairpin turn. It felt like it just wanted to lean more but somehow gave me the confidence to roll with it and it came back upright just as I felt a bike properly should.

I'll be watching out for the low speed U-turns though.

Jeff
 

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A couple of days ago, I took a sharp right-hand turn and had the bike at least one and maybe two gears too high... it shuddered and almost stalled right in the middle of the turn but I grabbed a handful of clutch and made it through but wow I was shaky afterward. Word to the wise: don't leave your stereo turned up so loud that you can't hear the engine, even if it is Joan Jett and even if she is telling you how much she loves rock'n roll. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I like the way this bike handles except for the turning circle at low speeds. I still can't perform U-turns comfortably and I didn't even give it a second thought on my Triumph Thunderbird. At first I thought it was just nerves after my drop, but I think it may have more to do with the long wheel base. I am still hoping I will improve...
 
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