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After not being able to ride for a few days (we had almost 2" of snow on Monday!), last night I was restless and wanted to take the bike out for awhile. For one thing, I wanted to make sure the new position where I had set the handlebars was going to work. So despite it being in the 40s, I went for a ride, to get some dinner.

I was in one of those rare (for me) macho moods last night--the kind where you just want to ride and don't want anyone in your way. Since I live in a pretty urban area, that's not easy to find. So last night I pushed the bike a bit harder, perhaps being a bit of a jerk sometimes, riding more aggressively than usual. I figured out how to properly format a flash drive so that the bike could read it, so I had loaded MP3 files onto it and was blasting the speakers pretty good. And I was definitely at the upper end of the speed limit, pushing it a bit over at times.

I have to tell you, it felt great. My mood let me finally relax and enjoy the bike's incredible performance. After owning a Gold Wing and a Shadow, the CTX 1300 is the closest I will come to riding a "crotch rocket", and to me it feels like one. Its low, sleek lines make it look like a fast bike, and the engine's whine makes it sound like one.

Last night it was a fast bike. Up until then I had been riding pretty cautiously, getting used to the feel of it, not yet trusting the handling and my own reflexes. But now, after 250 miles of almost all city driving, I know what the bike can do. I'm getting used to using the clutch for finer control of my speed, and not having to brake as much to slow down. I'm more comfortable with turns, and able to make them without going wide now that the bike feels so stable to me.

Despite my freezing fingers, last night I think I had that first "aha" moment with the new bike, finally able to trust it enough to really enjoy riding again. I have a feeling that this might be the most fun bike to ride that I have ever owned.

(See? I don't always just complain about the short windshield… :D)
 
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So how was the... nope, not going there :D

Good to hear about the joy ride! Having an almost sport bike currently you would think the CTX would seem rather tame by comparison. Not so. Even though I don't have the miles you have I could tell with the few short test rides I did that this bike would be one of the most comfortable and enjoyable rides I've known. I would dare to say it even keeps up with my ST1100 with no problem for speed and does it better. Sounds like you really had fun. The biggest way to have fun on a bike is to relax and allow it to do what it does. :D

Now, maybe an extra layer under the jacket and a pair of warmer gloves... :)
 

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This bike definitely has the grapes, despite its relatively meager dyno numbers. I have not jumped on it hard yet, but I did give it a good 4th gear roll-on, and it did jump better than I expected, catching me a bit by surprise. Anyone who takes this machine for a ride after shying away from it because of its rated hp and torque numbers is likely to be in for a pleasant surprise.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So how was the... nope, not going there :D
Dinner? Fish and chips at IHOP. No big deal. But my waitress was a new biker herself, having gotten her license last year. She has a 250 and is thinking of moving up to a 600. She liked the CTX1300 a lot.

On the way back I came by a bar called the Holiday Club with a couple of dozen bikes parked outside. Turns out that Wednesday nights are their Pints and Pistons night. Who knew? I cruised by a couple of times, but the spaces were all taken and I needed to get home anyway. *sigh*

Now, maybe an extra layer under the jacket and a pair of warmer gloves... :)
My body was fine, just my hands were cold. I've tried all kinds of gloves and liners. Nothing seems to help, because I have less-than-stellar circulation in my hands. I've been looking at Gerbing heated gear, believe me. But it's pretty expensive, and I keep telling myself that we are ALMOST done with this blasted cold weather (it will be warm any day now) so I can hold off buying that stuff until fall. So, though I am rarely a coffee drinker, I went through three cups of it last night, mostly because the cup felt good in my hands! :)
 

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I gather from your little review here that you are happy with the performance of the CTX 1300. How do you find the riding position though. One of the things I'm looking for is it to be more comfortable than other bikes that have similar performance. Did you find that to be the case?
 

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I gather from your little review here that you are happy with the performance of the CTX 1300. How do you find the riding position though. One of the things I'm looking for is it to be more comfortable than other bikes that have similar performance. Did you find that to be the case?
I'll jump in here in front of Steve, if I may ...

The CTX1300 is about the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden. The riding position is just perfectly natural ... to me, anyway. I got rid of the ST1300 after a very short time because it was too much of a forward lean; I didn't mind the foot position too much, but it wasn't one of my favorites, either. Three of my last four bikes have been cruisers with a foot-forward position, and they all also had more of a stretch to the bars than I preferred. I kind of remedied that on the VTX1300 with risers and the VTX1800 with a new bar, which made it better but not ideal. I couldn't do squat about it on the Triumph because of availability of parts that would fit (not that I had it long enough to actually look for parts, anyway). The Magna 750 that I had in between had a similar peg position to the CTX, but again the bars were more of a reach than I like.

The CTX gives me just the right comfortable foot position and hand position. Almost straight up-and down seating position, with enough forward lean to counter acceleration but not so much to be uncomfortable. Once I got the bars positioned right, for the first time in ages I don't feel like I have to go looking for something in the after-market to make the ride more comfortable. In the rides I've taken so far which granted have only been a few hours each), I have had absolutely no hint of discomfort or fatigue anywhere. I truly feel like I can ride it all day, with maybe a welcome butt break for fillups.

All I can tell you is, you have to get one out for a ride first chance you get. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What Ed said. :D

Seriously, he covered just about everything. I, too, think I could ride the CTX 1300 all day, stopping only for gas or "bio-breaks", as I have heard them called. And comfortable seating is a HUGE deal for me, because I have a condition that makes sitting painfully uncomfortable after a short time. I had to replace the stock seat on the Shadow almost immediately. But even a nice Mustang seat and an AirHawk cushion didn't let me ride more than an hour at a time.

I almost could not believe how comfortable the stock seat was on the CTX 1300. To be honest, I think that had a lot to do with my buying decision. I sat on it at the Progressive bike show and it was love at first sit! :D

My right leg seems a bit longer than my left, as my right knee just touches the engine cover. But that cover has what looks to be a thick rubber pad on it, so it is not at all uncomfortable. I have noticed very little heat transfer, either (though that may change once summer gets here). The only discomfort I have noticed is that my right leg occasionally feels like it needs to be stretched out a bit. That happens anyway sometimes, and that's what gas and pee stops are for. Maybe at some point there will be a way to mount highway pegs to solve even that minor problem.

Like Ed said, the best way to find out if it's right for you is to try it.
 

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Oh yeah, Steve -- you touched on another point I meant to make note of. I have yet to feel any heat coming off the engine. I haven't yet sat in 90* stop-and-go traffic, but I have been in a few traffic lines and I haven't felt any indication of engine heat of any kind. And I was actually hoping for some on Sunday, as it was a bit chilly on that last ride.
 
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