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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, let me say first, I don't own this bike yet. If I buy it, it will be for my wife who is driving her own Honda Shadow 600 currently and ready for an upgrade. Most of the riding her and I do is more like touring and consist of moderately long day trips. As a result, at least some of the riding we do is on the interstate at 65 or 70 MPH.

Does the rider experience suffer from not having a 6th gear when traveling for an hour or two at the speeds I mentioned?

I used to have a Vulcan 900 and although it was capable of maintaining interstate speeds, it was anything but fun to drive without that 6th gear to bring the engine revs down.

Thanks in advance. I appreciate your help with this.
 

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Welcome to the board!

To be honest, I've yet to ride a bike that at one time or another I wasn't looking for another gear on the highway. And that includes a 6-speed Triumph Thunderbird. As for the CTX1300, sure it could possibly benefit from another gear; I do occasionally find myself going to upshift from 5th, usually when riding solo. When I've got the wife on back, 5th gear feels just about right.

Does the riding experience suffer? I don't think so. This motor has a very wide power band, and the transmission and final drive gearing are pretty well matched to the motor. Now that I think about it, an extra gear might actually make it feel more sluggish on the highway, and that would certainly make the experience suffer.

What do you ride now? Be careful -- you might find you like this bike, too. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right now I'm riding a 2012 BMW R1200RT. I like everything about it but I must admit, I have a suspicion that it's going to bite me on the butt when it comes to maintenance. I read the BMW forums and I'm nervous about reliability and yet I talk to other owners and they swear by them and claim they would never sell their BMW. I don't think you can beat a Honda engine.

Well anyway, this is a Honda forum right? I thank you for your reply and also the welcome to the forum.
 

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That is a nice looking machine. I've heard all the same things about beemers, too -- upkeep can get costly, but their owners swear by them, put gazillions of miles on them, and usually stay very loyal to the brand.

Have you or your wife seen a CTX1300 up close yet or gotten to throw a leg over? It definitely is a step up (or two or three) from the Shadow 600. As is the seat height -- 29.1", vs 25.4" on the Shadow. Something she'll want to keep in mind, especially if she's a little smaller in stature.


Oh dammit, they've got Ben & Jerry's on Food Factory and now I want ice cream.
 

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I don't miss a 6th gear. My last ride was a Triumph Tiger 800 which had a 6th gear but ran higher revs at highway speeds than the CTX1300 does. I'm rather enjoying having one less gear to mess with.
 

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I haven't had a bike with 6th gear yet. Don't know that this one needs it. My GW didn't need it. I find it very relaxing at almost any speed in 5th gear. So far I've noted that I am doing about 2000 rpm at 36 mph, about, in 5th gear, and I get up to about 3800 rpm at 70 mph, I think (I know it's around 3550 rpm at 65 mph). My ST1100 wouldn't do that. Engine sounds like it's just not struggling at all and keeping a very relaxed tone at 70 mph with a LOT more to give. Of course, since the ST1100 was my last bike I've been used to seeing over 4200 rpm at 70 mph in 5th gear and the engine on that bike sounded like it was revving but still had a lot more to give also (but not a relaxed tone to me, more like hurried). The ST also would be nearly lugging at anything under 2500 rpm in 5th gear. I just really think the CTX1300 has such a relaxed ride to it and no lack for ability to get up and go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We have seen the CTX 1300 up close but my wife has not test driven it yet and here's why. She first sat on this bike at the Javitts Center motorcyle show in NYC several months ago. As you mentioned (sleepingbear) being able to flat foot the bike is a must for her and at the show she was able to do that. Now here's the weird thing. We went to our local Honda dealer a month ago and when she sat on the bike again but this time she was NOT able to flat foot it. In both cases she had her regular riding boots on, so we're confused by that. Anyway, we are going back to the dealer tomorrow to see why that would be the case. If we can get that sorted out, I think this bike MAY be the one for my wife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, (Bob & MarkH) sounds like the absence of a 6th gear is not an issue on this motorcycle. Going 70 MPH and only revving to 3800 rpms should feel fairly relaxing for the driving and the bike. Thanks.

God I love forums. They're the best feature of the internet!
 

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We have seen the CTX 1300 up close but my wife has not test driven it yet and here's why. She first sat on this bike at the Javitts Center motorcyle show in NYC several months ago. As you mentioned (sleepingbear) being able to flat foot the bike is a must for her and at the show she was able to do that. Now here's the weird thing. We went to our local Honda dealer a month ago and when she sat on the bike again but this time she was NOT able to flat foot it. In both cases she had her regular riding boots on, so we're confused by that. Anyway, we are going back to the dealer tomorrow to see why that would be the case. If we can get that sorted out, I think this bike MAY be the one for my wife.
It may just be a matter of where she is situated in the seat. I have a 31" inseam; depending on the ground under me (for example, if the road is severely crowned), sometimes I have to slide forward a bit where the seat is narrower to be able to flat-foot both feet.
 

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I occasionally reach for a 6th gear as others have said.. Obviously with a lower revving engine and lots of torque this bike lends itself to short shifting.. I believe this is what is fooling my braining into reaching for a 6th on occasion.. It definitely isn't out of necessity and it certainly doesn't impact the ride experience as it's nearly as smooth out on the highway at speed as it is sitting in my garage..
 

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I love my black deluxe Ctx 1300 bike. But being a sport bike rider(cbr600) in addition to a cruiser rider, I am used to having 6 gears. With that being said, I agree that this bike is okay with 5,however I am really curious to see how one with 6 gears would ride. This is due to the fact that I love honda products and trust that honda would make a 6 gear tranny that takes advantage of the enormous power and broad torque range of this bike.
 

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I do a LOT of LD riding I would love a sixth gear for those super slabs ..at 75 + This why I don't miss my 2012 wing,, way too busy at highway speeds and MPG sucked for NO reason when their cars get 15 to 20 mpg better and are still zippy. My RT1200 got over 50 mpg My k1200 LTi got 48 at 70.. But beemer maintenance for even the small stuff was off the hook expensive.
Now the CTX is averaging about 45 mpg at 65-70 mph. which is excellent compared to my wing but you can tell by how hard it pulls from 50 up that it could really make use of a true cruising gear...
I had a 69 chevelle SS with a 400turbo trans.. I installed a honeO drive 30 % gear over drive unit,, went from 15 mpg to 20 mpg
 

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On level superslab running a constant 70 mph I usually end up just over 50 mpg, closer to 52 mpg. Slight hills, like we have around here, affect that a little... down to 47 going up, and 58+ going down. At 75 mph the mpg drops to just at or under 50 on the level. Crappy mpg (32 average) was one of the reasons I gave up my GW, that and wrestling the bulk of it around parking lots and downtown traffic. I am happy with what the CTX has. IMO I really don't think it's needed, but wouldn't complain about a 6th gear for overdrive.

I did notice that on the short steeper hills in Wisconsin that are all around where I went camping in June I end up running down the hill and almost coasting up the next and the mpg jumped up to over 56 mpg with average speed around 50-55 mph for much of the riding I did there.
 

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Pretty sure you are ahead of me on break in miles already. I have observed MPG improving since initial purchase.. only got about mid 30s at first no matter How I babied it. But now with just a tad over 2000 mpg is improving YEAAAA!!
 

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depends a lot on how you ride, where you ride, when you shift, etc.

With my current ride, I would KILL for 3800 RPM at 70 mph. 4000RPM gets me 60mph. If I want 70 it's about 4667 RPM. add to that a simple engine with no counterbalancers that weighs only 450 lbs = not fun highway riding.
 

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This gets it.

I occasionally reach for a 6th gear as others have said.. Obviously with a lower revving engine and lots of torque this bike lends itself to short shifting.. I believe this is what is fooling my braining into reaching for a 6th on occasion.. It definitely isn't out of necessity and it certainly doesn't impact the ride experience as it's nearly as smooth out on the highway at speed as it is sitting in my garage..
I think this sums it up pretty well regarding the occasional search for 6th.
 
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I too have looked for a sixth gear the odd time....probably because my last bike had one.....having said that though, I haven't found the lack of the sixth gear an issue at all...the engine actually seems to like to rev a bit and is quite happy at highway speeds...
 
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