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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all, I'd like to start by apologizing for my first post being a little on the negative side, however, I'm hoping you all can remedy that. I've been riding for 39 years, and I'm currently looking for my next bike, which needs to meet a rather specific set of requirements that don't seem to follow the most common motorcycles. In fact I've been a little frustrated in my search, with so few options, so Imagine my surprise when yesterday someone suggested I check out the CTX1300. My first thought was, "Wow! How is it I've never heard of this bike before?" Which I'm sure comes as little surprise to any of you.

I was really liking the bike's design, features, and price point. I obviously found out about the one year run, but that's not a deal breaker for me. Not if it's a good bike. I was pleasantly surprised at how many of my needs the CTX1300 met. I was actually getting excited, so I watched some pro review videos and I began thinking this could be the one! It appears to handle the twisties well, sounds good with stock exhaust...Then ...I made the mistake of watching several CTX owner's videos. Wow... What gives? Why so negative?

I'm serious, after 10 mins of listening to the first guy complain about the mirrors, the suspension, Honda "screwing the owners", the power band, the nonfunctional Bluetooth, the "subpar Honda build quality", the corner cutting and bargain bin bike build, based on a detuned old reliable motor, with "an over weight steel frame that really should have been aluminum". I'd just about had enough, and clicked on the next video, only to find pretty much the same thing. And other one who also mentioned their disappointment with the ala carte tour trunk, and so on. It was a real buzzkill.

After getting my hopes up, I wanted to..I WANT to like the bike. So what gives? Why do CTX owners apologize for their bikes? Because oddly, for all their supposed short commings, they all seemed to have them for a long while. They look great, seem comfortable, did I just click on the only three negative owners videos on the web? I'd like this to be the bike, but first I need to address these concerns. I'd much rather know the truth up front, warts and all, so please help me to better understand the CTX, please be honest, and if possible, maybe help me feel a little better about ignoring those damn videos.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers!

JL222
 

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For some reason your post needed moderator approval before anyone could see it. Knowing that there are many sides to every choice of bike I did so as soon as I read your post.
Welcome to the forum @Longrider222

I am very aware of a few rather picky owners who bought this bike and were disappointed in their purchase. I've read or watched several negative reviews for several different models of bikes including Gold Wings, ST1100 and ST1300 (from which the CTX1300 engine and transmission come), BMW, HD and several others. Most negative reviews are from riders who have never before owned or tried a bike with fairing mounted mirrors or less than sport bike performance. Don't judge a bike based on the noise of the few but the testimony of the many. Besides, some riders just want to complain about something IMO. NO bike is ideal for everyone as they come directly from the factory. I find most journalist reviewers prefer a particular style of bike and will down play anything good about a different style of ride. But my experience with owners of many of those same bikes is counter what journalists say. It's like many HD owners who I personally know in my area who cannot bring themselves to consider anything a "real" bike if it doesn't have the HD logo on the tank.

There are, as you likely noticed, many positive reviews as well. YOU are the best judge of what this bike is to you. I found there was more than plenty of power any kind of riding. True, the HP and torque are less than that of the ST. But keep in mind that the numbers advertised as peak at often at a RPM most riders don't usually see unless they continually rev the engine like they would a sports bike. Touring/Cruisers like this bike are not intended to be ridden that way. Besides, if you really compare, the HP and more importantly the torque are actually higher than the ST below 5000 rpm. When I was riding this bike I almost never ran the engine that high since I never really needed to ride at over 90 mph nor have I ever needed to accelerate like a dragster. Yet I had no problem keeping up with the ST1300 and BMW riders in the groups I still ride with on some rather challenging twisty roads. The engine and transmission have been proven to be bullet proof in the ST1300 since it was introduced in 2002 and that reliability continues to this day in the CTX1300. There are some body panels that could have been made differently and better. Even my GW had body panels that were problematic as did a former co-workers BMW sport touring bike (he griped about tabs breaking on his BMW). This is inherent in any bike covered with body panels.

Keep reading in the pages of this forum for a balanced review of this great machine.

I know it is obvious that I sold mine and now ride a Burgman 650. That has nothing to do with what I thought of this bike. If I could I would have kept my CTX in addition to having the Burgman. There were personal reasons for this choice for me. There are still times I really wish I still had my CTX1300. I seem to be drawn to discontinued bikes. My very first bike was a small HD that was discontinued 7 years before I bought it, the GW model I owned was discontinued before I bought one in late 2002 (GL1500), my ST1100 was also discontinued 8 years before I bought one, and the Burgman 650 is now also discontinued. That doesn't stop me either since I look at the quality and reputation of the bike rather than if it is still available today.

Every rider is different and no bike is right for all riders.

edit: I just had to add this...
It's like movies. I never listen to or read reviews of movies by pro reviewers since it always seems I LIKE so many movies that those pundits badmouth in their reviews.
I also see on YouTube, but avoid like the plague, many videos that are titled "Everything wrong with <insert the name of your favorite movie here>". And those are always about a movie that I really like and usually make it really big at the box office world wide. Like I said, there are many people who are just not happy unless they find fault with something, anything, everything. And I'm sure they would find fault with all I just wrote here.
 

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As a former owner (I totaled mine a few years back), I still don’t understand where some of the negativity comes from. The suspension on mine was fine, but I’m guessing there was either a bad batch or something else that caused a number of these bikes to handle poorly, because there were a number of owners who had very similar complaints, while most other owners didn’t have the same experience.

Mirrors are definitely a subjective issue. Most of the time the visibility problems could be resolved by simply lowering the handlebar a bit from where the dealers set it. But sometimes, certain body types just didn’t allow for good rearward visibility. It’s a case where design won out over functionality; the mirrors aren’t as bad as some people make them out to be, but they’re also not positioned to be as effective as they could be.

Build quality, maybe there are a few cases where complaints are valid. Some of the Tupperware fitment and fastening might leave you scratching your head about why they did things the way they did. Most notably is one of the tabs on the battery cover panel, which breaks off easily and leaves the cover not sitting perfectly flat. There were also, as I recall, a number of pieces fastened to other pieces and not to something more solid like a frame piece or bracket, which gave the impression of being a little flimsy.

But the one complaint that still gives me the biggest chuckle is about the power. This is mostly from people obsessed with spec sheets and not having actually ridden the bike before panning it. Yes, max hp was reduced by about 40 from the engine’s original tune in the ST1300. That was done to flatten the torque curve, essentially giving you more torque in the RPM ranges you’re most likely to be using it. So no, the bike is not a top-end screamer, but it’s no slouch, either. From a dead stop or accelerating to get on the highway, the CTX always did just fine for me, and believe me, I am not happy with rides that don’t giddy-up when I put the spurs to them.

Overall, maybe there are a few things that could have been better thought-out, but the bike is basically solid, runs and handles great, it’s an awesome looker, and checks a lot of boxes for people who want to tour but don’t need full-blown land yachts to do it. The drive train is tried-and-true after many years in the ST1300 and is basically bulletproof. Best thing you can do is see one up close, sit on it, and take it for a ride. You’ll know right away if it’s all you’re hoping it is.
 

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Like the others said, it IS a great bike. Fantastic handling for its size, oh so comfortable, good radio & bluetooth once you figure it out, torquey motor that will please you every day. ABS and TC have come in handy multiple times. Overall, it's an old-school unpretentious durable reliable bike that could last a lifetime. That's the Honda premise, right.

Gripes about the mirrors are legitimate but are easily solved with Honda CTX700 or aftermarket mirrors. Front suspension is hard on uneven road surfaces, you will become adept in avoiding potholes. It is heavy though which cannot be solved.

I traded mine in after two years and 15k great miles. As a former car racer, speed is forever king and the CTX just wasn't fast enough for me. I wanted a tourer with superbike performance. I found that in the 1290 Super Duke GT which does 0-125 mph in 7.2 seconds - the CTX can't even go that fast. It was probably not wise at age 63 but riding that rocket is a blast! There are days though that I miss the calmly mannered CTX to ride all day long with the visor open behind the tall windshield. That's why I'm still on this forum, for when I grow up and buy my CTX back. Like that girlfriend I parted ways with, then missed for the rest of my life.

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I believe that many negative reviews are written by those who don't understand the bike. By that I mean, they expected the bike to be something that it isn't. The CTX1300 is not a replacement touring bike for the GoldWing. Nor is it a sports bike to compete with a Kawasaki Ninja 1100. Nor do I classify it as a sports touring bike. If one bought the CTX1300 expecting either, you will be disappointed.

I classify the CTX as a power touring bike. Whoa... what is that? A power touring bike is more than a sports bike, more than a full touring bike. Anyone who has ridden with me knows exactly to what I am referring to. On twisty roads that make more manly riders than I, cry, the CTX handles beautifully. It has tremendous torque to pull around a ridiculous decreasing radius with an equally ridiculous upgrade. The bike is equally fantastic on the straight aways including Interstates. GoldWings, including the new 2018 model, have a difficult time keeping up with me - especially in the curves.

However, as in all bikes, the CTX must be setup to one's riding style. I started as a sports rider over 42 years ago. My style has evolved into long distance touring but not abandoning the twisties. With a Corbin seat, heated grips, highway pegs not only can I handle any road or curve that comes up but I can also ride 14 hour days. With a 1983 GL1100 rear trunk mounted with a one-wheeled UniGo trailer, I can travel for 14 days without needing a laundry service. For the super slabs, a true cruise control, with satellite radio (or MP3 player) makes it even more comfortable.

I truly believe that the CTX is a great bike that is under appreciated by those who have not tapped into its full potential. Come on one of my many rides (10 are planned for 2021) and you will see what the CTX is really capable of doing. I can almost guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks all for the responses. After reading a few threads, especially the 7 page suspension thread from 2014, I'm beginning to suspect there is some truth in the early claims I've heard.

Correct me if I'm wrong, however, these are good bikes, if it happens to fit your unique set of needs, which it seems to do for me, yet there are some realistic shortcomings that would need addressing. Shortcomings that really should have been addressed from the factory. And if you're willing to do all the work and invest the extra money, then these can be great bikes.

In my particular case, the CTX1300 is already a little over my budget, and I'd most likely have to get one from out of state, which brings another set of expenses and complications, only to have to invest more money to make it the bike it should have been from the factory. The bike I'd want it to be.

I've spent the last ten years "personalizing" my last tow bikes, and if I'm honest, my main interest in a Honda is I'd like to get back to a bike i can just put gas in and ride, without having to deal with lots of ongoing maintenance, tweaks and modifications, and never being quite satisfied because there are a lot of compromises. I'll have to think on this.

Side note I'd just like to share. In 98 I bought a new Yamaha YZF600R. It was a a cool bike. When it was released, it was considered a capable sport bike, that is until the R1 and more directly, the R6 came around. I made all sorts of tweaks to the YZF to make it more to my liking. Added a smaller sprocket, changed the pipes and had it professionally re-jetted. Dropped the clip-ons below the triple-tree, and the tweaked the crap out of the suspension settings to get it more to my liking. It was my first real sport bike, before that, I'd owned an 82 Nighthawk 450, an 82 CB900C, a Sportster and even a 78 CB750 that I turned into a cafe bike. But after a year on the YZF, I was ready to move up and traded it for a 99 R6. Ho...ly... crap. THAT was a bike! Initially I'd expected to make all the similar changes, and dial in the suspension settings, etc. That said, I never had to touch a thing! I even left the factory exhaust can and factory suspension settings! It was brilliant! Only problem was, I got a few too many speeding tickets. And that whole constant sport bike knee and wrist pain thing, along with the numb hands; it got old. So I eventually sold it. Fast forward 20 odd years and I'm at a point where I'm NOT interested in speed, though I'd like something that can handle a twisty road if I grab it by the scruff. I want reliability and comfort, but not a grandpa's bike or a Lay-z-boy on two wheels. That said, thanks to years of mountain biking and skiing, it must have floor boards or mid-forward controls at the very least, because my knees cant take being bent back, in one posistion, for more than 20 mins or so, and the whole point of my next bike is to eat up miles. Along with sizable saddle bags, good wind protection, a removable trunk and music. Problem is, all the bikes that meet those requirements seem to be going out of production. I wouldn't mind a current gen Yamaha Venture, or an F6B, but both are well beyond my budget. Especially the Venture. This is wy the CTX1300 seemed to fit my needs so perfectly. But it's out of production too and has an extremely limited, and pricey, selection of aftermarket products. $250 odd for a taller windshield plastic? $600-$700 for a factory top box/trunk?

Oh well. I'm just rambling now and thinking out loud. I'd love a bike, like the R6; not the performance part, but one that needs nothing more than gas and go, but I may be asking too much. Especially at $6-$7k. I'll definitely have to think more on all this.

If you have any ideas, comments or suggestion, please do feel free to chime in.

Cheers!

LR222
 

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The first bike I owned was a 1967 BSA Lightning in 1970. I've owned 15 other bikes since then and I can't find anything to dislike in the CTX1300. The one I'm riding now is my 2nd CTX1300. As others have said, to each their own likes, dislikes and opinions.
 

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I stated this in another thread. In my view, the CTX1300 is the ultimate “jack of all trades, master of none”. It can carve canyons and handle twisties well - but not like a Concours or a VFR. It is a fairly comfortable tourer, with decent storage - but not like a RoadGlide or GoldWing. It’s a damned-good-looking bike that gets attention anywhere you ride it / park it. Mine has run 13.52 sec @ 97+ mph in 1/4 mile, and 8.54 @ 80 in the 1/8 mile. Has been on 2 SaddleSore 1000’s and one BunBurner 1500. This single bike can handle just about anything you can ask of a street bike - no need for multiple bikes in the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I stated this in another thread. In my view, the CTX1300 is the ultimate “jack of all trades, master of none”. It can carve canyons and handle twisties well - but not like a Concours or a VFR. It is a fairly comfortable tourer, with decent storage - but not like a RoadGlide or GoldWing. It’s a damned-good-looking bike that gets attention anywhere you ride it / park it. Mine has run 13.52 sec @ 97+ mph in 1/4 mile, and 8.54 @ 80 in the 1/8 mile. Has been on 2 SaddleSore 1000’s and one BunBurner 1500. This single bike can handle just about anything you can ask of a street bike - no need for multiple bikes in the garage.
That's definitely encouraging.

LR222
 

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I’m just guessing, but if I jumped in on a CTX early, paid close to the original list price, maybe didn’t realize how bad I would want a center stand, and heated grips, then see that they are included in Canada. Then see the model discontinued. Then see resale values drop pretty dramatically. I would be a little ticked off. It might influence how happy I would be with the bike.
On the other hand. I actually jumped in late. Got my bike a year and a half ago. Knew I’d have to add some things. I still can’t believe you can get a bike this nice for what I paid.
Honda messed up the introduction in a lot of ways. Price, features, and some quality issues. Then left the original owners hanging. It should be a case study for business schools on how to “not” launch a new model.
FYI, my hat is off to the original owners that stuck with it. Overlooked some possible hard feelings and racked up thousands and thousands of fun miles. Worked out things we newer owners can do to our bikes to improve them.
Jeff


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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Brian, my apologies, I somehow missed your post earlier. Much of what you say intrigues me and I find it encouraging. I too rode sport bikes some 20 odd years ago and have graduated to more comfort and the ability to put down long miles while still having fun in the twisties from time to time. I'm currently riding a Yamaha Roadstar 1700 that I've done quite extensive personalization to. I like to think of it as a "convertible" since I can quickly change it up in a matter of seconds. I have a quick release batwing, and a quick release replica late model Harley tourpak that is incredibly voluminous. I also a set of equally large replica late model lockable Harley hard bags that operate with one hand while I'm sitting on the bike. They too come off in a matter of seconds for maintenance and cleaning. For comfort, I have some Bluetooth speakers mounted to my engine guard, along with highway pegs and a rider's backrest. Let me tell you, having a backrest makes all the difference when riding as well as maneuvering out of parking spots on inclines.

But like I said, I also like having fun on the tiwisties, so I have an upgraded rear shock with remotely adjustable preload, that I can reach down and adjust while riding. It's a Showa take off from a GL1800 and it really transforms the bike.This is in addition to a set of RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and springs up front. I can't tell you how many times I've had sport bike riders, come up to me at rest stops and say, "I've never seen a Harley ridden like that before!" That's when I tell them It's a Yamaha.

The bike meets all my needs with the exception the amount of work it takes to maintain. I've never worked on any other bike as much as I have on my two Roadstars. Lifters, bearings, carb adjustments, valve adjustments and the random nuts and bolts that fall off from time to time due to the vibration of that rather large, hard mounted, V twin. Just to name a few. And that doesn't include regular maintenance. I recently lost a highway peg and speaker within 24 hours of each other because they just fell off. I've gotten in the habit of using plenty of LocTite Blue and Red, but there are always parts of the bike I've yet to get to.

On top of all that, two years ago, a tow truck driver did a real number on the bike and it's never handled the same since. So as you can imagine, I've had my fill of customizing and constantly working on my bike, just to keep it operating as it should. So I'm ready for something newer, more reliable, and less maintenance intensive, that still ticks all the boxes. I'd also like an FI bike so no more carb hassles.

My biggest problem with the CTX is it's about a grand or two over my budget, so I'll have to work on that, and that's not counting the changes I'd need to make. The suspension, seat, highway pegs, bigger windshield and large trunk are a must. Maybe even some mini floorboards too. And since there are no CTX1300s available within 500 miles of me, I'll have to buy out of state, sight unseen and unridden, and ship it, which is another expense and a big sticking point. So hopefully you can all understand my hesitations, thoroughness and need to ask so many questions. As it stands, I'll have to sell my bike before I can pull the trigger on anything, so this is all preliminary research. I appreciate everyone's input, patients an tolerating my damn long winded posts.

For the record, I'm also considering a Royalstar Tour Deluxe/Venture and Roadliner/Stratoliner Tour Deluxe. All have their shortcomings. The Royals are getting pretty old, though I've been promised they last forever. The Strats aren't cheap either, and they have very limited aftermarket choices for all the things I need; i.e. even more expensive than usual. Such is life.
 

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Hello all a little bit of my experience.
I did not want to buy CTX, yet it ended in my garage. What sold the CTX to me was the comfort, it fitted like a glove.
The reach, knee angle, the straight back just perfect.
Also price / value was the best on the market. One owner with 9.000km, paid 9,5 k Euros.
What I love is the easy laid nature, the silence. I mean I can go to nature parks and the deers barely notice me to ride by. Also in the neighborhood it is great, no noise complaints.
I do love the bike. It is the first bike ever i do not wish to modify to the nth degree
Did i modify it? Yes i did. But only to solve the common already mentioned issues.
Bar vibrations and mirrors. And added X-creen
My only yet unfulfilled wish is to mount top loading side cases. The originals are totally useless.
Apart from that the bike is awesome.
For my riding great.
 

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Thanks all for the responses. After reading a few threads, especially the 7 page suspension thread from 2014, I'm beginning to suspect there is some truth in the early claims I've heard.

If you have any ideas, comments or suggestion, please do feel free to chime in.
Hi, I bought my CTX deluxe because I saw the value - within my budget - how many bikes 2014 or newer can you get with ABS and a proven engine for this price?

Then I started seeing the shortcomings specially in a bike that was produced for one year, but most can be fixed relatively cheap.

For me the fix was:
Windshield - for me madstad was the solution, adjustable in so many ways.
Handlebars - hard to replace because of their design. I bought risers ($35) and adjusted them and they're comfortable now, , but now the mirrors are partially blocked, so I had to buy handlebar mounter mirrors ($35).
Suspension- for the rear, on the 4th notch and removing the weights on the handlebars has made it bearable, others are installing shocks for the vtx 1300, either OEM or Progressive.
Seat - I liked the OEM seat, then got a Corbin with backrest and I like it better.

In total I've installed:
center stand, trunk, heated grips, risers, throttle lock, madstad, foot pegs, aux lights, mirrors, wired for electric clothing, seat with backrest, passenger floorboards, gear indicator.

If you buy a CTX consider that it will be a bit hard to sell, that's the reason you could be buying the bike at a very decent price now in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you buy a CTX consider that it will be a bit hard to sell, that's the reason you could be buying the bike at a very decent price now in the first place.
Thanks for pointing that out. It had crossed my mind; with such a unique bike, the number of people who'd be interested has got to be limited. I live on the west coast, and everyone seems to be interested in sport bikes, sport tourers, dual sports and adventure bikes, and of course, Harleys.
 

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I never buy a bike thinking I want to sell it the moment I sign on the dotted line. I researched this bike for about a year before making my choice. I was coming from a V-twin with little wind protection and a riding position that I felt was hard on my back. I did test ride of the Yamaha Venture when it was first released (STAR Days 2017) and could not justify the $24K price. I found this style of bike by accident. I am not upset with my choice. It crosses off most of my boxes for reliability, comfort and ergonomics. The suspension can be a little harsh but all other aspects of the bike are spot on! I've added running lights, highway pegs and bars to protect the sidebags. Who doesn't buy a bike and add things? That is what owning a bike is all about. I use an Air Hawk pad on long distance rides.

As a side note, the best part of owning this bike is this forum. I have learned so much about the bike (both before buying and afterwards) from this forum. These guys are smart and their advice is valuable.

Dan
 

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I always wanted the ctx1300 after coming back into riding. I started off with the ctx700 for a year and then bought the 1300 a year later. I test road the 2018 gold wing dct before I bought the ctx1300 and was impressed with the gadgets and things but the price just wasn't in my budget. After buying the 1300, yes the mirrors were not ideal but the bike to a person like me and what I use it for .... it is perfect. The handling, the power, after I got a Corbin seat... the comfort for me and my wife...is all I need in a bike. I'm a backroad traveler and it does everything I need for it to do.
I don't plan on selling it and if this one breaks I think I would just buy another one.

So the answer is everyone likes what they like and if you don't......sell it.
 

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My thoughts from a previous thread...

Honestly I don't believe you can compare much any motorcycle directly to the CTX. I call it a jack of all trades master of none. It's a bagger but doesn't look like any normal bagger, it's sporty but not quite an ST1300, it's got kind of a cruiser/standard seating and foot peg placement but it doesn't fit that category either. When I was looking for one I checked out a 08 gl1800. Honestly I think it's a slightly slower accelerating yet more sporty handling version of that motorcycle that doesn't really sacrifice much in the way of overall comfort. Or maybe a smaller F6B? One thing's for sure I doubt there is a comparable bike from any other motorcycle manufacturer yet. It just does any kind of riding you want to do so well. Not perfect at anything in particular but darn good and completely happy to do whatever you ask. If it's 2 up touring or carving up the backroads or sitting on the superslab for hours on end. Just ask and the CTX will deliver. This is all my humble opinion though. Cheers!
 
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