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Discussion Starter #1
The CTX1300 was my primary reason for attending the motorcycle show in the Chicago area this year. I was not disappointed. There were TWO of them there--a standard model in Candy Red, and a Deluxe in Gray Blue Metallic. (I would have liked to see a black one, as that's the one I'm considering, but there are plenty of photos available of that one. I was actually quite impressed by the gray-blue color.) The Deluxe one was rigged up with some power leads so that your could see the cockpit lights and the LCD display, and the audio system worked. A MODE button toggled between four different choices for directing the audio output: headset (I assume for a wired connection), Bluetooth headset, speakers, and off. The buttons for the audio controls looked a lot like those on the Gold Wing, with the chrome bars between them.

I would have loved to see the LED headlights and taillights in operation, but no bikes at the show had those functioning, and I suppose that's best.

Sitting on the bike reminded me a lot of my old GL1200 Gold Wing, though the center of gravity was lower. It was fairly easy to balance, and the position of the handgrips felt very natural for me. I think the leg position would be OK, too. I sat all the way back in the seat, just touching the low backrest. A friend who is also a Shadow 1100 owner tried out the bike as well; his legs are somewhat shorter, so he did not sit all the way back in the seat. I suspect it would be fine for both of us once it was moving, but shorter riders might have some issues with the 1300. The seat felt pretty comfortable to me, though wide. I might eventually have to replace the stock seat, as I did on my Shadow, because having a comfortable seat is a top priority for me.

One of the saddlebags was unlocked, and though the mechanism for opening it was a little tricky, it was fine once I got used to it. It drops most of the way open like the bags on the newer Gold Wings, so I expect I would want to add the saddlebag liners to keep items from falling out. (I assume there WILL be saddlebag liners--right, Honda?)

The one thing that bothered me was that the tops of the saddlebags were badly scuffed from the boots of people getting on and off of the bike. I suppose this is normal; not everyone is going to be as careful as they would if it was their own bike. But I found myself having to raise my leg up quite far to avoid doing the same thing. I hope there will be an aftermarket solution to this, as it could ruin the looks of the bike pretty quickly since your boots are hitting matte-black plastic and will be difficult to clean up. I am very particular about how my bike looks, and with the CTX I might be even more so, since it is likely to get a lot of looks.

Now I have a big decision to make. With all of the ice and snow on the ground, thinking about riding seems pointless, but I know spring will be here soon enough. Do I want to start the season on my Shadow, or on a CTX1300? Believe me, it is VERY tempting to go with a new bike, as this one has pretty much everything I've been looking for.
 
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When you mount or dismount a motorcycle,try to imagine that there's a riders backrest on it,and that it will not fold out of your way so as to clear your right leg when attempting to swing it over the rear of the seat.So,ya train yourself to stand on your left leg,hang on to the bars with your left hand,then kinda bounce on that leg while lifting your right leg and slipping it thru the open space between the imaginary back rest and the back of the gas tank.Once you figure it out,you'll understand what I'm sayin,and contunue to use that technique,as it should become second nature to ya.I learned that trick a loooooong time ago while watching an older rider with a HD dresser with the big saddle and the high chrome rail on the back of it,mount his machine.So when I installed my first riders back rest,about 100 years ago,:D which I now wouldn't be without,:)I had no trouble at all getting on or off the machine.And I've been mounted on two wheels consecutively for well over 50 years.So ya see,I'm NOT quite as DUMB :eek: as I sound.lol lol :eek::eek: Dave!!!
 

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Looks a lot like my ST1100 with paniers in place (as they always are). I just got used to lifting my leg a bit higher to throw it over. I had a rider backrest on my GW and was throwing my heal over the seat first and then sliding onto the seat. Do the same on my ST when it's packed for camping (without the camper in tow). Can't wait to actually sit on the CTX to see.
 

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After my Deer Strike, I had trouble getting my leg over my Wee Strom. I got in the habit of using my hand to grab my ankle and help my leg over the bike. It looks a bit weak, but it allowed me to keep riding.

When I traded the Wee for the Trophy I just automatically grabbed my leg before swinging it over the bike. I think the sales guy was a bit concerned about my riding ability when he saw that. :)

I haven't seen a CTX1300 in person yet, but I have to believe it will be easier to mount than the Trophy.
 

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One of the saddlebags was unlocked, and though the mechanism for opening it was a little tricky, it was fine once I got used to it. It drops most of the way open like the bags on the newer Gold Wings, so I expect I would want to add the saddlebag liners to keep items from falling out. (I assume there WILL be saddlebag liners--right, Honda?)

The one thing that bothered me was that the tops of the saddlebags were badly scuffed from the boots of people getting on and off of the bike. I suppose this is normal; not everyone is going to be as careful as they would if it was their own bike. But I found myself having to raise my leg up quite far to avoid doing the same thing. I hope there will be an aftermarket solution to this, as it could ruin the looks of the bike pretty quickly since your boots are hitting matte-black plastic and will be difficult to clean up.
I am not real pleased with the saddlebags on the CTX700. Is the locking mechanism on the 1300 the same cheap crap they've used on the 700? Are the color panels built into the bags, or are they just stuck on with tape like they are on the 700?

The 700 was built to meet a low price point. I'm hoping Honda has not cut the same corners on the 1300.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Actually I am pretty skilled at getting my leg up and over--my Shadow has a sissy bar and I often carry my gym bag or luggage bungied to the passenger seat. It's become second nature to me, so I don't think I would have much problem getting on and off of the CTX. Especially as paranoid as I am about not scuffing the bike! :) I will be adding National Cycle hard bags to the Shadow in the next few weeks, so I guess I will get used to dealing with saddlebags.

I wish I could answer your question about the locking mechanism on the saddlebags, and the color panels, compared to the 700. I didn't really take a close look at the 700, so I don't know. But this bike does seem to be a quality machine, and I hope Honda did it right. I haven't looked closely at any of the newer bikes with integrated saddlebags like the Gold Wing, either, to know how the locking stuff compares to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I am not real pleased with the saddlebags on the CTX700. Is the locking mechanism on the 1300 the same cheap crap they've used on the 700? Are the color panels built into the bags, or are they just stuck on with tape like they are on the 700?
Since I haven't really looked closely at the 700 saddlebags, does this photo help?



Here's another semi-closeup of the saddlebags:

 

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I've been told by some on the ST-Owers site who have visited the MC shows that the latch on these paniers is the same as the latch on the Hondaline top case for the ST1300. No one over there has anything bad to say about the quality with that latch so I would think this one should be OK.
 

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Here you go. A Hondaline top case that shows the latch to good effect here. Couldn't find a good photo of the latch open though. But you can tell this latch is basically the same as what is on the CTX1300 paniers and works well for the top case.
 

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