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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi im currently in talks with Honda uk regarding the major damping issues on what is otherwise a excellent bike...in my view the rear shocks are under damped and very bouncy on bumpy roads, can get a bit out of control, the front forks the rebound and compression damping is not acting fast enough, causing severe judder and a general bad feel with vibration through the bars and occasionally trys to kick the bars from your hands, both front and rear have design damping problems in my opinion...both easy fix(well the rear twin shocks need replacing and the front fork rebuild and valving/springs etc) but why should i pay out fixing a design fault........ok my background, i used to race years back, i was a full time despatch(delivery) rider for about 11-12 years covering 80-110,000 miles every year...since then im still doing approx 30-40,000 miles a year on various bikes i own, i had a few years as a tire tester for avon tires..ive owned most types of bikes from gl1800 to fireblade and m/x enduros, so i have a clue what a bike suspension should do, any other owners noticed any wierd suspension issues? my ctx has now done 2300 miles
 

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Have you tried adjusting the rear shocks? It does make a difference.
See THIS thread for how to do it easily.
It is best to use the official spanner for this since there is an offset in the tool to fit around the frame. See post 5 for the PN information.

Don't have anything on fixing the front. As you read other threads here there has been some mention of the damping/suspension issue but it seems it softens up a bit for most of us as the miles pile on. I guess I don't have such cracked and bumpy roads around here as it sounds like you do as I don't really notice an issue any more. At least no more now than was with my ST1100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HI BOB its not a pre load issue as jacking the rear up only makes it harder, this will amplify the bounce effect im about 10 1/2 stone so not a heavy rider, and im a very experienced rider and i used to test tyres/race etc and ive covered countless miles on many other bikes, im not saying the suspension is rubbish as it clearly works very well on about 65% of uk roads, bike handles well, better than my st1300, its just honda have messed up on the damping, thanks for your comments, but i think we are talking different issues?
 

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hi im currently in talks with Honda uk regarding the major damping issues on what is otherwise a excellent bike...in my view the rear shocks are under damped and very bouncy on bumpy roads, can get a bit out of control, the front forks the rebound and compression damping is not acting fast enough, causing severe judder and a general bad feel with vibration through the bars and occasionally trys to kick the bars from your hands, both front and rear have design damping problems in my opinion...both easy fix(well the rear twin shocks need replacing and the front fork rebuild and valving/springs etc) but why should i pay out fixing a design fault........ok my background, i used to race years back, i was a full time despatch(delivery) rider for about 11-12 years covering 80-110,000 miles every year...since then im still doing approx 30-40,000 miles a year on various bikes i own, i had a few years as a tire tester for avon tires..ive owned most types of bikes from gl1800 to fireblade and m/x enduros, so i have a clue what a bike suspension should do, any other owners noticed any wierd suspension issues? my ctx has now done 2300 miles
M<y bike is the same as yours changing preload helps a little but does not fix the problem.
 

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Yes. The front suspension needs some work. I just assumed someone would soon start to market improved, progressive springs that would fix the problem. But if enough people complained maybe Honda would do that.
 

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It is what it is....I doubt you'll make any headway getting Honda to address the issue in any manner.
The only way it will get changed is if it represents a safety issue (and boy, I can hear the keyboards firing up to say "but...it IS a safety issue!").
It's not.

I agree the rear is harsh - oversprung and underdamped, and makes bad pavement unpleasant.
My options are clear - aftermarket suspension if it bothers me enough.

I also agree that on a bike that is one of Honda's quality-flagship bikes....along with the VFR1200 and a couple others - that a bit more money should have been thrown at the rear suspension.
It's a dual shock design with inherent limitations....but could be better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree that most the time the suspension shortcomings are more annoying, more than a safety issue, although Honda's huge resources should of made the bikes shocks right throughout the range to start with, the problem i can see is using the bike in the wet, i believe it could cause grave concerns under certain conditions, so im pushing this with Honda all the way, lets face it the st1100 and st1300 had no such suspension pitfalls, im just frustrated that the ctx1300 could be a almost perfect real world bike, i love it most the time...ill let you know what the Honda uk man says...ride safe cheers Garry wiltshire/uk
 

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is the front fork air or oil damped? Maybe it was set up wrong at the factory or dealership? It is things like that that make many of my friends say "never get the first year production of anything" etc.
 

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hi im currently in talks with Honda uk regarding the major damping issues on what is otherwise a excellent bike...in my view the rear shocks are under damped and very bouncy on bumpy roads, can get a bit out of control, the front forks the rebound and compression damping is not acting fast enough, causing severe judder and a general bad feel with vibration through the bars and occasionally trys to kick the bars from your hands, both front and rear have design damping problems in my opinion...both easy fix(well the rear twin shocks need replacing and the front fork rebuild and valving/springs etc) but why should i pay out fixing a design fault........ok my background, i used to race years back, i was a full time despatch(delivery) rider for about 11-12 years covering 80-110,000 miles every year...since then im still doing approx 30-40,000 miles a year on various bikes i own, i had a few years as a tire tester for avon tires..ive owned most types of bikes from gl1800 to fireblade and m/x enduros, so i have a clue what a bike suspension should do, any other owners noticed any wierd suspension issues? my ctx has now done 2300 miles
Hi Garry,
I likewise have contacted Honda Australia about the same issue. I have persevered with all the adjustment advice, you have to go through the motions but it is clear to me the suspension issue will not be fixed by time or a C spanner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi again had a email reply from some pr man at Honda uk....well im not really happy with the mans view on things, he said if that's how the bike is then that's basicly tough, Honda will not take action if a bike dosent suit my riding style....i really feel he didn't understand the basics of compression rebound pre load and damping in general, as he kept coming back to the fact i thought the shocks were too hard, i never said this and always stated that the damping front and rear isn't adequate, return etc on the front far too slow, hence the judder/vibing and harshness over bumps, the rear is under damped, hard harsh ride with occasional bucking you out of the seat..anyway im off to see a suspension specialist i know next week,he will ride the ctx and give me a independent professional opinion, more fuel for my complaint,more owners need to complain to honda as i think its not good enough for a top spec tourer/cruiser, i expected more from them? ride safe and ill post soon cheers Garry
 

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You may want to pick up a lawyer on the way ;-)
 

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Hi again had a email reply from some pr man at Honda uk....well im not really happy with the mans view on things, he said if that's how the bike is then that's basicly tough, Honda will not take action if a bike dosent suit my riding style....i really feel he didn't understand the basics of compression rebound pre load and damping in general, as he kept coming back to the fact i thought the shocks were too hard, i never said this and always stated that the damping front and rear isn't adequate, return etc on the front far too slow, hence the judder/vibing and harshness over bumps, the rear is under damped, hard harsh ride with occasional bucking you out of the seat..anyway im off to see a suspension specialist i know next week,he will ride the ctx and give me a independent professional opinion, more fuel for my complaint,more owners need to complain to honda as i think its not good enough for a top spec tourer/cruiser, i expected more from them? ride safe and ill post soon cheers Garry
I'll be very interested to see what your suspension specialist has to say. I'm thinking it still won't get Honda to do anything (like the know-nothing PR guy, they'll probably stick to their story that it's just a personal preference thing). But a specialist might give us some ideas on how to improve the ride and handling, like what to look for in an after-market option.

Personally, I don't mind the ride of this bike. I thought it was pretty stiff early on, but it has definitely softened up. I'm not that overly aggressive (any more) other than scraping the occasional peg, and I definitely don't have the track experience that you do. But I'm sure I'd notice and appreciate the difference if there were some way to improve the ride anyway.
 

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I'd definitely love to hear as well. I can't see how honda, with their decades of experience, could have let something like this out of the gates. They certainly had a bunch of test riders. Maybe they only rode on smooth roads?
 

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I've not had any serious issues with the suspension on my CTX1300s. Both are a bit stiff, but the tires seem to stay on the road and the bikes never wallow in the corners.

I've had a couple of bikes that sent my butt up into the air when I crossed some local railroad tracks. Neither CTX is doing that.
 

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I've not had any serious issues with the suspension on my CTX1300s. Both are a bit stiff, but the tires seem to stay on the road and the bikes never wallow in the corners.

I've had a couple of bikes that sent my butt up into the air when I crossed some local railroad tracks. Neither CTX is doing that.
I don't recall ever being tossed out of the saddle on any bike, not even the lighter ones I've had ('99 VFR800, '01 Magna). But I definitely felt that wallowing on the VTX1800. I swear I could feel the frame flex a foot or two pushing it through fast sweepers. No such thing on the CTX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi again just to clarify, im not slagging the ctx1300 off as such im just telling it like it is, maybe the fact im riding slightly faster than some others, or maybe im only about 10.6 stone...yea its true i ride at some pace, but be assured im not expecting this wonderful bike to be a comfy cbr1000rr or armchair R1 i relise a bikes purpose and limitations etc, im just pointing out that i personally find the shocks not fit for purpose on those cracked/bumpy roads, which if you live and ride in most areas of the uk you will know about..we are only talking minor tweaks/set up shimming or valving on the front and adjustable rear shocks to make the bike a pleasure to ride anywhere, is that too much to ask Honda..im sure they would soon fix it if Marcus or Pedrosa complained of severe judder or rear shock failure ? ps i had a gl1800 wing and my riding style didnt upset that bikes ride?...Again i love the ctx1300 most the time its a joy to ride, but not on those those dodgy uk roads, it becomes like a cheap nasty hack...jeckle and hide..anyway enough said for now, see what the expert thinks and maybe a cheap solution coming soon? ride safe yours Garry
 

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^^^ Nobody's arguing with ya here. ;) We've got some pretty crappy stretches of so-called pavement around here too that I surely wouldn't mind if the CTX handled better.
 

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I'll wager that if the CTX had a more conventional riding position with a higher seat and your feet more under you than in front of you....where the legs do some of the shock absorbing instead of your spine - the ride would be much better.

I would like to get the bare facts when you get them, ie. centerline distance from eye to eye and outside diameter of the spring (for space considerations).

If Hagon has a fitment that works I'd consider it, but I would also contact Penske, Works Performance, etc to see if something on their shelf fits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ctx1300 suspension update

hi i took my bike to a local specialist in setting and building front forks and rear shocks...he has said the front has very sluggish slow damping action and next week im taking him the forks to see what we can do
as for the rear shocks he reckons the damping is not adequate, but im have hagon uk sort a set of fully adjustable nitro shocks next month...ill update as the amendments happen thanks and ride safe Garry
 
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