CTX 1300 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone - I have had my blue deluxe version for about three weeks now and I have about 250 miles on it. I thought I would put my current thoughts out there for anybody who cares. I want to preface any negatives later in this post by the fact that I love this bike and it handles great considering its wheelbase. Also, I am not affiliated with anybody that I mention in terms of accessories or otherwise.

My post here refers to the pictures in my album, which did not upload in the same order that I intended -- but you'll get the idea. Also, you might notice my right mirror is busted. A "slip of the wrist". A new one is on the way.


The pictures showing the whole bike are intended to show what the bike looks like without bags. I think it looks a lot better. I can't wait to see what Honda's passenger backrest looks like. If I need to carry stuff, I use a backpack. If I was planning a long trip, I would put the bags back on.

I bought the Deluxe version, not for the audio, but for the black treatments. I never thought much of speakers on a bike and mine will never be used - useless. I generally ride without a helmut and I have my Garmin paired with my Iphone which I keep in my pocket. I have a pair of BlueBuds Bluetooth earbuds that work great in terms of noise cancelling, but I am still working on getting the right fit. Before the BlueBuds, I used, and still use, a pair of custom molded earplugs that I had made for shooting. They have an earphone cable to connect to my Iphone. These were made by 4earz "4earz.com". They work great in that I get really good music quality and gps directions, but I can still hear the road noise in the background. So, I believe them to be safe. If you crank the music volume, however, forget the road noise - you might hear a truck horn, but not much else.

You can see the screen of my Garmin Zumo 590LM in one of the pics. I think the picture is fairly representative of what it looks like in direct sunlight. Not great, but still readable. As a comparison, my Iphone 5 would not be viewable in this light (should have thought of a picture of that comparison). I mounted the Garmin with the stem mount, but I used a longer double ball "tensioner" than the one that comes with the Garmin.

I installed a Brakeaway cruise control. I had one of these on a VTX1800 that I had and I loved it. It isn't holding steady for me on the ctx yet, but I made a few adjustments. Haven't had a chance to test it again. The Brakeaway is great because you just have to tap the front break for it to disengage - no safety issues. Unfortunately, the unit is clear anodized aluminum. I considered having it redone in black locally, but sometimes "enough is enough!".

Re the windshield: After reading some not-so-great reviews on the tall Honda windshield, I got turned on to Madstad Engineering by another forum member, RichB. It is outstanding. You can see from my picture that the windshield brackets are adjustable for both height and cant and you can virtually eliminate all turbulence. They are changing the shape of my windshield to make it look more consistent with the curve of the front fairing. I'll have that installed sometime in the next two weeks (a benefit of being close to the manufacturer).

Just do a search on Madstad Engineering. I live close to their Dade City, FL location, so they installed it for me. I think RichB installed his himself. I wouldn't try that. It is a quite complicated install in terms of the amount of fairing parts that need to be removed to get the low factory windshield off. I would get a dealer to install it.

The GIPro gear indicator: You can see it on the tach in one of my photos. It simply plugs into the red service plug under the seat. Not so simple is routing the wire. The ideal routing would invole removing the fake gas tank, which Honda calls the "Top Shelter". Getting the Top Shelter off entails first removing the the engine side covers, both fairing pockets and more. (I have the service manual). I did not go that far. I got the engine side covers off along with the fairing pockets and the curved fairing pieces in front of the pockets. I then loosened the Top Shelter. I stuffed the cable up there as best I could and away from hot stuff. I have to say that I am not impressed with the plastic parts on the inside of the fairing that make up the pockets, etc. - They seem pretty cheap, but I realize that Honda is trying to conserve weight.

I need to point out that if you plan to do any of this, you have to remove a lot of "clips". Buy a pack of new ones first because you'll need them as they are not reusable (at least not for me). You can get a pack of 15 for $5.99 at your Honda dealer.

Finally, part of the reason I installed the gear indicator relates to the question that many people have about five gears as opposed to six. The simple answer is that the bike needs six gears and I bet we will see that on the bike's next iteration. When you are at 70 mph on the highway, you are turning about 4K in fifth - I keep tying to upshift, but it ain't there.

Ok - that's about it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,723 Posts
Thanks for the review.
I don't recall much in the way of negative reviews on the tall shield. Lots on the shorty but not so much on the tall screen. I really like mine and think it's perfect for my needs. No turbulence and I can look over it (very much preferred).

Madstad does make a nice screen but I prefer the OEM look. Show some photos when you get your new screen. :)

You really don't need to remove all that much plastic for access as the service manual seems to imply on first read. Don't pay a lot of attention to the "chart" at the beginning of the section for panel removal. But do read carefully the sections on each panel starting with the last panel you want to remove and work your way back to see what really needs removing. I've found, for example, you only really need to remove just the FRONT mirror COVERS and then the front garnish to get at the windshield mounting. Nothing else! I really don't completely "remove" the mirror covers but just unsnap them from their mounting and let them hang by their "keeper" strap.

Those clips/plastic pins ARE reusable and I've had them out many times now. There is a trick to doing it right and many modern bikes use these now. Had them on my Burgman, and even on my ST1100, and now the CTX. I use a standard flat blade screw driver (not a small tip) at an angle to press the center pin in (at an angle to ensure not to push the center pin too far) then the pin just pulls right out. Before putting the pin back in push the center pin to stick out the other way, again not too far, so the spreader legs sit in the recesses in the point. The pin will then slip right in the hole. Then push the center pin flush and it's done. No need to force it resulting in breaking the spreader legs. That would mean the holes are not lined up. The pin should just slip right in with almost no effort.

I found out another shortcut yesterday when I removed my top shelter (Honda has called all "false tanks" that for a long time, including my ST1100 since '92) to add some electrical stuff. You do not need to remove the header covers, nor the side covers. I found you only need to remove the shroud (below the middle cowl), then the top rear covers (battery cover on left and same cover on right), then the middle cowl on each side, then the storage boxes, then the top shelter. No need to remove the mirrors or either mirror covers, but do be sure to carefully remove the middle cowls by removing the pin in front, pull off the grommets, and sliding forward/rotating slightly (clockwise for the left cowl, counter clockwise for the right) to unhook from the headlight tabs.

Since it's not something that should need to be done often I don't find it much of a problem to do.

My GW, Burgman, and ST all had a lot of plastic to remove to get at the insides. This bike is not that much different. Sometimes less plastic, sometimes the same as those other bikes so it is better.

At least this bike is the first in a long time that I've owned that no plastic needs to be removed to do an oil change! Don't even need a center stand for that. Just use a block of wood to make it a little easier and wrap the left side exhaust pipes with aluminum foil to keep them clean.

While some of the plastic may seem cheap, it is rather durable. There are many bikes using the same kind of plastic, and many more will.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
Welcome to the board, Tom, and thanks for that write-up. But I don't see where you saved space in there for a kitchen sink ... :tongue:

Your pics show what a damm fine looking bike this is without the bags. I can't help think how awesome it would look with a mono-shock and the swing arms just hanging out there like a sport bike. :)

Also gotta wonder if down the road they don't come out with a semi-naked looking version like the CTX700N. That would make me drool. Again.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I think the question of 5 gears vs. 6 is going to be one of those personal choices based on preference and experience. Coming off a Tiger 800 that needed almost 5k rpm in 6th gear to go 70 mph, I find the 4k rpm in 5th gear at 70 on the CTX to be hardly noticeable. Nice bike and thanks for the write-up.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
I think the question of 5 gears vs. 6 is going to be one of those personal choices based on preference and experience. Coming off a Tiger 800 that needed almost 5k rpm in 6th gear to go 70 mph, I find the 4k rpm in 5th gear at 70 on the CTX to be hardly noticeable. Nice bike and thanks for the write-up.
I don't think I've ever owned a vehicle with a manual transmission that I didn't think needed another gear or two at some point. Even the 6-speed Thunderbird a few times I found myself looking for a 7th.

But anyway -- I honestly think the likelihood of a 6-speed on this CTX is the same as a DCT -- it's highly unlikely that either will happen unless or until this bike lives long enough to see an all new second generation, and even then it's still just a remote possibility. I'd love it if I'm wrong, but I just don't see it happening.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Bob - I'll defer to your wisdom on the subject.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, I can see the personal preference thing. It makes me wonder, however, at what speed you hit red line in fifth?? 100? I should look it up somewhere, but I'll be lazy and just ask you guys.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,723 Posts
I think the question of 5 gears vs. 6 is going to be one of those personal choices based on preference and experience. Coming off a Tiger 800 that needed almost 5k rpm in 6th gear to go 70 mph, I find the 4k rpm in 5th gear at 70 on the CTX to be hardly noticeable. Nice bike and thanks for the write-up.

Totally agree with this... except I only get about 3800 rpm at 70 mph. I barely arrive at 4000 rpm at 75 mph!
But anyway, it is still very relaxed running at those speeds. I will admit to looking for another gear while accelerating but that's just cuz I'm in the groove of shifting up as I go faster without any regard to how fast I am or what gear I'm in at that moment (like on the on-ramp to the interstate). I just get caught up in it :D
Once I realized how fast I am going I'm fine with 5th gear. I'm getting better about it however. I'm starting to note what rpm is when I hit 50 mph and if it's around 2800 rpm I'm done with shifting.
An overdrive gear might be nice but, like Ed said, unlikely since that would mean redesigning the tranny to make room for it. I really don't think it's essential with this engine. IMHO.

WARNING, my opinion here follows (just my opinion, mine alone, unless you choose to accept it too) :wink:
I still consider this bike to be an excellent touring style bike. Like the GW is but slimmer, lighter, easier to manage. I really don't consider it a cruiser per se. However I do believe it will cruise just fine. I consider cruising what you do on city streets at slower speeds and in no hurry what so ever. The CTX1300 will do that really well as long as you choose a high enough gear for it. When I do ride the city streets (25-35 mph) I usually choose 4th, or even 5th gear and keep my rpm between about 1600-2100. I find the mpg stays up doing this also. I've seen near 50 mpg doing this on a level street on the instant readout.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
Yes, I can see the personal preference thing. It makes me wonder, however, at what speed you hit red line in fifth?? 100? I should look it up somewhere, but I'll be lazy and just ask you guys.
Red line in 5th is around 130 mph (indicated). But .... this bike is electronically limited to 120 mph. (I don't know this for certain -- I don't rise that fast. Any more.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Hi Tom, glad you're enjoying the bike. I can't seem to find your pictures, is there something I'm not seeing that I should be clicking on?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
sleepingbear - thanks for the info. I don't drive that fast anymore either.

Dew - I just bought the one that Brakeaway indicates for the CTX1300. Maybe the same one fits other bikes - I don't know. But I was surprised that they had already tested one on the CTX1300. I just got back from a 50 mile ride and I forgot to test it after I made the adjustments the other day. I'm pretty sure it will be fine once I get it set correctly.

Hey bob - I just got home from a ride. I discovered that you were exactly correct when you said that it turns 3,800, not 4,000 at 70 mph in 5th gear; I was mistaken. However, I discovered this fact by absentmindedly trying to upshift at 70 mph, which is more to the point. I'm just saying that a 6th gear would be nice - no big deal. I point you to the first paragraph in my original post where I preface my comments with a statement that any negatives I have need to be considered in the overall context that I love the bike. I think we are splitting hairs here in that we both love the bike regardless of minor differences of opinion.

Here is another slight difference of opinion - My bike is telling me that it is not overjoyed to be in 4th gear at 25 mph. That's third gear territory IMHO. Maybe 4th on the flat with no traffic, which isn't the norm. I admit this bike is a torqy little thing and it will definitely pull out of the hole in 5th at 25mph, but it won't be all that happy about it.

In a different update, my GIPro gear indicator is not indicating properly. There is a procedure that you use to have it "learn" which gear you are in. This would be pretty simple you could run the bike thru the gears on a stand which is the recommended procedure. You can do it on the road but you need a long stretch with no traffic. It now knows 3rd, 4th and 5th, but not 1st and 2nd. I'm sure it will be fine, but I'll have to start over with the process.

Another update if anyone cares; I gave the BlueBuds bluetooth earbuds an extended test today. They work fine from a connection standpoint, but I am having trouble keeping them in my ears. I have very small ear canals and that is most likely the problem. It is also probably why the custom molded shooting ear plugs work better for me. Unfortunately, the "4earz" company doesn't have the right Bluetooth setup yet.

Finally, I just ordered the passenger backrest from my dealer. It's backordered until 7/5, but I should have it in a few weeks. I'll post some pics when I get it installed along with pics of the reshaped Madstad windshield.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Laurie - sorry I forgot to answer your question. Just go to the Photo Gallery and look for TomP. I have a blue/gray one.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
Here is another slight difference of opinion - My bike is telling me that it is not overjoyed to be in 4th gear at 25 mph. That's third gear territory IMHO. Maybe 4th on the flat with no traffic, which isn't the norm. I admit this bike is a torqy little thing and it will definitely pull out of the hole in 5th at 25mph, but it won't be all that happy about it.
I find that it's happiest when it's running at least at 2500 rpm, and I will very, very seldom run it lower than that other than when I'm slowing to a stop. It will run ok down to 2K as long as there isn't much of a load on it. Trying to accelerate at too low an RPM can actually be harmful to your motor, too -- different kinds of stresses than over-revving, but it's still harmful even if it isn't completely lugging. There's a point where it's just not worth trying to squeeze another fraction of a MPG out of it by spinning the engine too slowly. Remember, this mill in its original incarnation had a red line of 8,500. Don't get me wrong, I don't crank the crap out if it, either -- in normal riding I usually up-shift right around 3K, which puts it right around 2500 in the next gear, where it's very happy. And when it's happy, I'm happy. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Hi Tom,
What is the thread size in the fork stem, you used for the RAM mount? As I'll like to get one ready as I don't pick my bike up for another two weeks, and the bike is 350 kms away so it makes it hard to check.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ron - there are no threads. The Ram stem mount is universal. You first pry off the plastic cap covering the center stem hole. There is a cone shaped rubber expansion plug that goes down into the hole and the rubber expands as you tighten a machine screw down into it. You'll see in the instructions how to fit and cut the rubber expansion plug. When you get the Ram instructions, you'll see that it's pretty simple. Tom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
5th Gear Equation

I have a simple equation I use to avoid trying to upshift to a gear that isn't there:
65 @ 35 = 5
That's 65 mph @ 3500 rpm = 5th gear. At 65 the actual rpm is more like 3550, but for the purpose of this rule 3500 is close enough. Now when I, as Bob says, get caught up in shifting onto the highway, a simple glance at the numbers tells me when I can stop shifting and just focus on accelerating.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ron - I should tell you that I cut my rubber plug incorrectly and I just got lucky and was able to snug it up. I thought I was going to have to buy another rubber plug, but I got it to work and it seems ok.

I'll try to explain what I did wrong, but you should look at a couple youtube videos and then maybe my explanation will help. Here goes - in the case of the ctx, the rubber plug goes all the way in, so it is hard to score it for cutting the way that they describe.

If I were to do it again, I would do it differently. If you look closely at my picture, I think you can see that the base of the ram mount is not down flush with the stem hole. This is wrong. I think I should have first cut the fat round part of the plug off. Then I would cut an amount off the fat end of the cone equal to the depth of the understructure of the mount that should fit down into the stem hole, so that the mount is flush with the top of the stem hole. And then, I would buy a longer machine screw so that less of the thin end of the cone needs to be cut off. Then follow the rest of the instructions. I know this must sound like jibberish, but when you get the mount kit, think it all the way thru before you cut the expansion plug. In other words, "think outside the box" of the instructions. I might just do mine over one of these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Thanks Tom,
I'll check some youtube videos. 17 days till I get my CTX but who's counting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bob

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
I have a simple equation I use to avoid trying to upshift to a gear that isn't there:
65 @ 35 = 5
That's 65 mph @ 3500 rpm = 5th gear. At 65 the actual rpm is more like 3550, but for the purpose of this rule 3500 is close enough. Now when I, as Bob says, get caught up in shifting onto the highway, a simple glance at the numbers tells me when I can stop shifting and just focus on accelerating.
I did the exact same thing. Great minds...
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top