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It was a great trip. I left the Eastern Shore of Virginia on Thursday morning and rode about 5 hours west, crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and navigating Hampton Roads' Road Warrior-esque traffic. I spent the night in Waynesboro, VA, at the northern end of the Blueridge Parkway. The Days Inn was clean and quiet, and I slept like a rock. The next day, under threatening skies, I packed up the motorcycle and headed out for what turned out to be a harrowing ride. I started on the Parkway, and traveled for about an hour and a half on some excellent twisty roads. I wasn't able to outrun the storms that were following me, however, and I stopped at a visitor center to put on my rain gear. The thunder was rumbling and fat drops of rain just began falling when I decided that it would be good to get off the road and seek shelter. I took the first road down that I found just as the bottom dropped out. It was a little back road, thankfully paved but very twisty and extremely steep. There were warning signs every 50 yards which seemed to suggest that I was an idiot for being here at all, let alone in a thunderstorm. The sky was so black that the CTX's headlights were actually throwing a beam on the pavement. I reached the bottom of the road, and was greeted by several flowing mud overwashes that I carefully navigated with my feet down. It was hairy. I finally made it to clear roads and by the time I found a little town with a gas station that had a canopy, the rain had stopped. I decided not to push my luck on the Parkway, and instead took highways to my sister's house near Black Mountain, North Carolina. I arrived happy and in one piece and took the next day to rest while Dorothy (that's the name of my bike) rested in the rain in the driveway. I came home on Sunday, staying on interstates and major highways the whole way home. It took me 9 hours to get from Black Mountain back to my house, but the weather was absolutely fantastic and I found myself wishing that I had just a couple more hours in the saddle. In total, I traveled 1,109 miles over three days on the road with one day in there that I spent off the bike completely. It was an easy, comfortable trip except for the puckerific stretch coming off the Parkway. Here are a few observations:
* The CTX really doesn't know the difference between 55 and 80 miles per hour. On stretches of superslab, when the speed limit was 70 and traffic chugged along at 10 MPH more than that, the motorcycle felt at ease and very stable. I did have to watch, however, because when the music got cranking it was very easy for the speedo needle to creep up towards 90.
* Rain gear is a MUST. I was just using cheap-o Coleman rain pants from Walmart along with the rain liner in my Joe Rocket jacket, but I was very grateful for dry legs.
* The suspension (despite what is posted elsewhere) performed flawlessly. No issues with handlebar vibration or rear/front suspension. If a thousand-mile trip doesn't reveal an issue, then... well... there ain't one. Granted, I have had this motorcycle for a year, and it has over 10,000 miles on it. YMMV, but this is the most comfortable, plush ride I have ever had on two wheels. While I was sitting in my driveway at the conclusion of my ride, before I had even lowered the kickstand or raised my helmet visor, I was thinking to myself "Yeah... I could ride this all the way across the country."
* I did the entire trip with my phone acting as my GPS, and safely tucked away in my handlebar bag. I just listened to the voice prompts through my Sena headset and it worked perfectly. I used to mount the phone so I could see the screen, but I now appreciate how distraction-free it is just hearing the navigation prompts. It definitely kept my eyes on the road.
* The next time I take this trip, or a similar one, I will leave my laptop at home. Although I had plenty of room, it made for a heavy bag.
* I used my GoPro camera for some pretty interesting footage, but I haven't processed the video yet. Stay tuned. :) I had several mounting locations for the camera, including my helmet chinbar, the left and right crash guards, the dash (facing me), and the back of a saddlebag facing backwards. I used the wireless remote for the camera and it worked flawlessly. I will post my edited video ASAP.
* Everywhere I stopped, someone asked me about this bike! I had a very interesting conversation with a guy at a rest stop who had a Harley and wanted to trade up for something more ideally suited for doing long distances. I regaled him with tales of a silky-smooth engine and super-comfortable seat. He wrote down the model number and said he would stop at a Honda shop and talk to some sales people.
* Mirrors: I didn't have any issue. Of course, things get tense in heavy traffic, but the addition of two small blind-spot mirrors combined with a slightly upright riding position made for drama-free lane changes. Of course, I do a shoulder check every single time just in case.
* Fuel: I believe that I was pulling about 45 miles per gallon, but I didn't really keep track as much as I wanted. I was stopping about every 150 miles anyway to take a break, and I never let the tank get below one-quarter full.
* Anti Monkey-Butt Powder. Seriously. This stuff is magic.
I'm sure I forgot some things, but frankly I'm getting tired of typing. I will be doing another long ride up into Pennsylvania in a few weeks; the difference is that I will be doing about a thousand miles over two days instead of three.
 

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Great write up!

I have experienced exactly what you mean about the speed as yesterday on my 50 mile back roads ride to my chiropractor I found out how easily, or hard depending on how you look at it, it was to suddenly be at 75 or 80 when I thought I was cruising around 60. The roll on power of the Honda V-4 engine is simple fantastic and nearly the same as my old GL1800.
 

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Love my F6B-thinking about adding the CTX to the stable. Your ride report/pics just stokes that fire. Thank you for taking the time. BTW How tall are you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Love my F6B-thinking about adding the CTX to the stable. Your ride report/pics just stokes that fire. Thank you for taking the time. BTW How tall are you?
Six feet even.
Inseam is 32 inches, I weigh about 300 pounds (yes I'm huge), and my favorite color is green. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great write up!

I have experienced exactly what you mean about the speed as yesterday on my 50 mile back roads ride to my chiropractor I found out how easily, or hard depending on how you look at it, it was to suddenly be at 75 or 80 when I thought I was cruising around 60. The roll on power of the Honda V-4 engine is simple fantastic and nearly the same as my old GL1800.
The thing about the powerplant on this bike is that its unnecessary to really flog it to see the speedo needle swing to the right. Someone else said it here, so I can't claim the quote, and I wish I could remember who it was, but "You don't have to drive it like you hate it to make it go fast." I'm a flat-lander. I was raised and learned to drive on the flat roads of the Delmarva peninsula. I really appreciated the massive torque of this engine when I was confronted with the hilly terrain of the mountains. There was no hesitation, no need to downshift. It just GOES.
 

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Well done, Teacher. Nobody in the classroom was gazing out the window or nodding off. We tend to nitpick the snot out of this bike, and maybe don't realize what we've got. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
We tend to nitpick the snot out of this bike, and maybe don't realize what we've got. Thanks.
Amen! The worst thing, though, is coming to this forum and seeing nothing but gripes in the Recent Discussions column over there on the right. If a new owner (or prospective owner) wanted to get an idea for what riders thought of this machine, they would glance at that list and think that we're all driving rattling death machines. Adding salt to the wound are the people who hang around just to tell everyone how bad one particular part of this motorcycle is. That's like me saying "I've been a McDonalds person since the mid-1970s. Burgers, fries, milkshakes... tried them all. But they are now selling this sandwich with OLIVES on it. I'm going to go hang out at the McDonalds forum and tell everyone how much better Burger King is now."
NEW or POTENTIAL OWNERS: This bike is awesome. Take it for a test ride. Don't listen to the haters who lament the days when color television was a pretty neat idea. I will venture a guess that, after a certain number of years, any motorcycle will seem different. And not in a good way. This bike, though, right now, is a fantastic machine.
 

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2014 Honda CTX1300 Deluxe
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Me and my wife are going back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on July 20-22. We plan to camp near Blowing Rock and ride that area of the big hill country.
 

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I've ridden many miles on the BRP. Best trip, start at Front Royal Va. Ride Skyline Drive, that turns into the BRP. Go to the south end at Cherokee N.C. Now turn arounr and go back, stuff looks different going the other way. Beautiful Road!
 
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