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I spent a few minutes today reading a Honda ST forum just to gain some insights about the CTX engine. There was the usual chatter about the need for a 6th gear just like on the CTX forum. But then it was pointed out that the ST was geared so that 3rd and 4th gears were for most riding situations and 5th was indeed an overdrive. Interesting. I can't find gear ratio data for the ST or CTX. However, yesterday I did a little experiment to answer the following question: if you are going along at say 65 mph in 5th gear and you need to pass a car quickly, what is your best strategy? Simply roll on the throttle in 5th. (This is the obvious answer if you ride a big v-twin.) Or, downshift to 4th and then roll on the throttle. (The obvious answer if you ride a sport touring bike that needs to rev.) My conclusion. 5th gear roll-ons at 65 mph with the CTX are not impressive. However, drop it into 4th, open the gates and suddenly things get very fast very quickly with an impressive engine howl. I think 5th as it stands is probably indeed the right overdrive and there is no need for 6th. However, I'm planning to spend more of my riding time in 4th.
 

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It all depends how you want to ride the bike. If you ride like a S-T type bike and keep the rpm up you will keep it in 4th most of the time, but you will also always be near the top of the power range at Interstate speeds (65-75+). And you will also suffer some on the mpg (which I found generally drops more as you get close to 4000 rpm, 75+ in 5th gear, slower in 4th gear).

I always kept my ST1100 (geared similarly to the ST1300 but slightly less power) in lower rpm revs and rode it more like a touring bike than a S-T bike. So I was always in 5th gear on the major highways... anything over 55 mph, and had NO problem pulling out for passing.

I ride my CTX the same, only much lower rpm for the same speeds. In 5th gear by 45 mph or very soon after, and keep it there for any highway speeds and even some faster city streets. I prefer the easy sound and effortless ride down there, and the max mpg. And there is no problem I can see pulling out for passing from there and have done it a number of times. But I can see if you want the S-T performance you'd prefer the lower gear/higher rpms.
 

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Of the many bikes in my past, an ST1300 was among them. It's geared tall and cruises effortlessly at way over the limit.
Many bikes do, but the ST is so smooth and quiet that 90 mph feels like 55.

The tune of the CTX may take some of the upper rpm's away, but I haven't come close to missing it...it's robust torque lets me ride a gear high and pull away with ease.

I think a lot of the folks who complain about a twitchy throttle are riding it in lower gears at higher rpms.....I'd suggest riding a gear taller than you're used to and let the torque do the work.

The ONLY time I've ever wanted for a six speed when a five speed is fitted - is for closer ratios when riding quickly - less abrupt downshifts going into corners, etc.
A sixth gear is not going to be much taller than an overdrive fifth...so lower rpm's at cruise speed, etc. is not really a reason to want a sixth gear.

The ST1300 was not a bike that IMO needed six cogs - it was fine with five.

Bikes like my FJR1300 would benefit from a six speed just to improve the sporting nature.
 

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I can say that i think that the ctx 1300 has plenty of power in 5th for just about any highway situation. But as far as gearing goes while its not bad, i do think it needs a 6th gear for both overdrive and max fuel economy reasons.
 
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