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After 1400 miles on my black CTX 1300, I took off the bags to see how it looked. Looks sharp but the ride is even better. More responsive, better handling. Feels like a different, sportier bike.
It does look very sharp without the bags but I like having the bags on there. I just came from the 700 without anyway to carry much of anything.
 

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Well, my CTX700 was very nimble and cute but I don't miss it
 

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Tried it.

Liked it.

Went back.

TMS.
 

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Agreed. For the me the utility of the bags far outweighs any slight handling gains I can perceive with them off. I never even take the top case off anymore. Too useful.

Jeff
 

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I'm with Jeff and some of the others on this. I do like how the bike looks without the bags. But the utility is what I need more than looks or handling. The bike has plenty of power to overcome any slight drop in the performance without bags attached. If I didn't carry so much, or was not so paranoid about needing the tire plug kit or air pump or bungee cords just in case I wanted to carry something on the seat, then I'd likely leave the bags off. :)

Want to add: for those who don't need to carry so much stuff or can carry what they need on the pillion or in a back pack, I agree with removing the saddlebags. I'm sure it would improve the mpg a little too.
 

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A newbie question if I can.... Are the bags quick release or do they bolt on?

I'm yet to pick mine up and haven't thought about it!
 

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Heya, Kevinnugent! The bags mount with two bolts. Unfortunately, they aren't quick release but they do come off in just a minute or two. Sometimes it's a little more difficult to get them back on, just because you have to make sure the holes line up properly. I take mine off to wash the bike, and I do love how the bike looks without bags, but I'm a packrat and need them. :)
 

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One of the reasons I'm getting this bike is for longer trips, so I think the bags will stay on. I don't like the way leather saddlebags lose their shape over time, so was pleased to see the hard panniers on the CTX.

So, I'm thinking internal soft bags to carry things to/from hotel room etc.... Yeah?
 

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2 bolts in each bag to remove. Not quick release. I'm one who tends to leave things as they are unless I have a good reason to change something. So I'll likely never remove the bags anyway. My old ST1100 had quick release bags and I only removed them for maintenance so that feature was really wasted on me.
 

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One of the reasons I'm getting this bike is for longer trips, so I think the bags will stay on. I don't like the way leather saddlebags lose their shape over time, so was pleased to see the hard panniers on the CTX.

So, I'm thinking internal soft bags to carry things to/from hotel room etc.... Yeah?
You mean like these??? :)
Cee Baileys | Honda CTX 1300 Saddle Bag Liners

 

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I don't know. I think it looks kinda ugly without the bags. The bags complete it. I've never had my bags off and don't know if I will. It might grow on me though.
But it looks too scooterish... :350x700px-LL-66dd6d
 

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I just ordered the skin for the right saddle bag (scratched it pretty bad) and I want to take the bag off the bike to work on it. Does anyone know what size of hex bolt that is. I moved down to AZ for a job and the wife and tools are still in Washington. I have some hex wrenches, but they are all standard; and I'm assuming this is a metric size. Thanks in advance
 

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Yes it is metric. Do you have the tool pouch that came with the bike? The largest hex wrench in that kit is what fits it. I don't remember what the mm size it is so I went out to the cold garage to check. It is a 6 mm Allen wrench, at least that's what fit it when I checked just now. I've had them off a few times but didn't pay attention to what size tool I used and just fitted to use the right one. I have mostly metric tools since all my cages and the bikes have been metric.
 
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