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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rode the ST1100 over to Cortland, in between rain storms, and took out a Blue CTX1300 standard for a pre-arranged test ride. The sales folks said I'm first one to ride one from this dealership. Small honor taken!:p

My first move was to make an ever tightening left hand circle in the parking lot, to get a feel for the balance and such. This felt very solid and comfortable, stable would be another description. Did not feel like it was going to tip over, which the ST sometimes threatens to do.

I rode up hill into the farm land and made a quick u-turn on a dead end road. It handled the hill climb easily and turned easily through the 90 degree corners. Brakes felt very strong and coming to a complete stop was smooth and balanced. I must emphasize the "Balanced" feel of coming to a stop. This bike is well balanced. Something the the ST lacks if I am the least bit off center, it threatens to tip.

Next was a speed trip up the I-81 ramp and north. This is where I felt my first and probably biggest problem. Its the lack of a good windshield. At speed it felt like my head was going to blow off. Any movement of my head side to side was met with an immediate high pressure blast that was unsettling to say the least. I've not ridden many non-faired bikes, and I decided I'm not going to start now. Tall windshield only for me. The shorty is a non-starter. Can't figure how designers could win out on this issue where design and looks are more important than function.

The handling of the bike was superb:D It swerved, and cornered with easy. Turns better than the ST1100. The amount of ground clearance is adequate. It was just a pleasure to tool around in town and in the country. The suspension does feel stiff and at times abrupt, but this is not a deal breaker for me. It may go away with use or with suspension adjustments. I'm not concerned about that issue.

Some nit picks:

  • Mirrors are too small, but dealer moved the bars so I could see
  • Horn button location switched with the directional switch so I was blowing the horn before finding the turn signals.
  • The LCD info screen is a hard to see, too dark, should have used the same tech as the ST1300.
Last, but not least is the price. Lets just say its high enough to make me wait until I win the lottery, or something else falls in my lap. I would not be happy with the standard model, the Deluxe with High windshield, trunk and center stand would be a good replacement for the ST1100.

Rav
 

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Thanks for the comments, Rav. Obviously this bike isn't going to light everybody's fire -- everybody has different needs and priorities than everybody else. The only criticism of yours I completely agree with us the horn/turn signal location switch -- why on earth would they do that.

As for the windscreen, I've mostly ridden non-faired bikes, so this isn't thatbig a deal for me. I had a short blast up to 80 mph yesterday, and I felt fine, if not a little noisy. Of course I have a tall shield on the way anyway, but every time I ride I wonder if I really want it or not. ;)
 

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Glad you were able to finally test one. Yes, you would find a world of difference with the tall screen. Those of us who have owned a bike without a shield are a bit more used to dealing with that issue but having the taller screen on this bike makes sense for many. Very quiet and no buffeting with this one. No need to look at the aftermarket IMO.

I know what you mean about the turn and horn buttons. First few days I kept doing the same thing. Now I find it less effort to hit the turn signals, but more effort to hit the horn.

Oh, and that LCD brightness thing. I found the factory seems to think the lowest setting is best OTD. I agree, it is very dim so I changed the setting to just above center and it is very bright for me now even in bright sunlight (it is adjustable).

And did you happen to mention something about balance? Yep, going from my ST1100 to the CTX1300 was a big improvement for that as well. I like to think I had the balance figured out with the ST but it is sooooo much easier with this bike. :D

Good review. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"Oh, and that LCD brightness thing. I found the factory seems to think the lowest setting is best OTD. I agree, it is very dim so I changed the setting to just above center and it is very bright for me now even in bright sunlight (it is adjustable)."

So the LCD brightness is adjustable? Brilliant! Is that a menu option of some kind?

Rav
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One more quick note: I'm burdened with the need to back my bike up hill into the garage by man - pushing. The CTX was pretty friendly to being man handled backwards in the dealers parking area. So that is one more good item to add to the list.

Rav
 

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So the LCD brightness is adjustable? Brilliant! Is that a menu option of some kind?

Rav

Yep there is a settings menu to set some options.
When the ignition is on or on ACC and you hold SET and either up or down SELECT (doesn't matter which) for a few seconds you will get the settings menu. Use the SELECT up/down to choose what option you want. One of those items is BRIGHTNESS and this is where you set the LCD brightness. I found mine at the lowest setting so turned it up. When done "selecting" a setting press SET to exit that option back to the main settings menu. Use SELECT to move to EXIT and press SET to exit back to the normal view, only now with your new settings.
 
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