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Old October 15th, 2016   #1
HuntWhenever
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Default Thinking about getting an ST1300

Hi All. New member here. I am currently looking at a used low-miles 2012 ST1300.

A little background on myself:
I currently ride a 2015 V-Strom 650XT. It has side cases, a backrest, and highway pegs. I typically keep rain gear, bungees, and misc. work stuff in the side cases. I have a soft luggage rack on the back for my work backpack.

I commute to work (about 45 miles one-way), and occasionally take the bike on 2-day business trips (usually under 3-hour one-way trips). I ride solo 90% of the time, and 2-up riding is usually no more than 45-minutes. My commute to work is about 5 minutes of country roads, about 30 minutes of interstate, then about 10 minutes of light city traffic.

I love the bike on the interstate and on the back roads. I only have two issues with the bike...I'd like to have a little more power, and I'd like to have a little more saddle room for the occasional two-up riding (we're not small folks, so we're a little cramped on saddle space).

I'm about 5' 6" and 190LB.

I test rode a 2012 ST1300 with about 3,000 miles on it today. I rode both solo and with my wife. She was very comfortable on it, and the bike was comfortable with her on it. There is no doubt it will offer the two things I'm looking for (more saddle room and more power).

I can't afford both bikes, so if I get the ST1300, I'll be trading in the V-Strom (I know, both bikes are the perfect solution, right?).

My question to you experienced folks is...will an ST1300 be a lot of bike for a solo daily commuter? It will be great on the interstate for sure, but maybe not as fun on the backroads? I know it was a handfull wheeling around by hand back into its parking spot.
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Old October 15th, 2016   #2
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

That probably depends a lot on the rider.

But I think most owners would say it makes an excellent commuter. I found my ST13 was a total blast on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Old October 16th, 2016   #3
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

My fairly short daily commute (all of 7 or 8 miles) is easily done on the bike, but it's a mile of suburban residential streets then the rest is freeway so it does not exactly compare to yours.

STs love back roads as long as they are paved; I've had mine on a few gravel / hard-packed dirt roads and stayed upright but I chose to go v-e-r-y slowly and gingerly because I'm a chicken.

My favorite riding is on two-lane state and county roads, or on un-striped country roads. Someone categorized them as "roads with names instead of numbers" and that perfectly captures the idea. Being a conservative rider, I don't ride as if I am in a MotoGP event, meaning I get more time to enjoy any given stretch of road than the bullet riders... and the ST does me fine in that mode.

Good luck on your decision, whichever way you go.
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Last edited by ibike2havefun; October 16th, 2016 at 02:54 AM.
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Old October 16th, 2016   #4
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

Echo is right (this time!). A lot depends on the rider.

First, let me express my admiration for you. 5'6" and not one single question about getting both feet down! Good for you! Of course your Wee-Strom has a taller saddle than the ST1300 anyway.

The ST1300 was an awesome commuter bike for me. My current FJR is still my primary transportation. Yes, these are heavy bikes but they accelerate, they stop, they turn, they do everything a bike should do. Plus, they have wonderful side cases and a top box or rack can easily be added. As I read your summary of your riding I was thinking of how perfect the ST1300 would be for you.

Just my opinion, and I do think everyone should ride a bike for a while before modifying it, you are going to want to do some "personalization".

I would recommend:

Bar Risers
Custom Seat
Kaoko (or other) throttle lock

After that it is wide open. We can help.

Good luck.
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Old October 16th, 2016   #5
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redfish View Post
...Of course your Wee-Strom has a taller saddle than the ST1300 anyway.
I do have my Strom lowered about 3/4", but the bike is a lot skinnier than the ST1300. I definitely had a little longer reach to the ground on the ST with the wider saddle, but it was not bad at all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Redfish View Post
... I would recommend:

Bar Risers
Custom Seat
Kaoko (or other) throttle lock

Good luck.
I should have mentioned in my OP...the bike has a Corbin saddle and bar risers. I would definitely install some kind of throttle lock ( I use a Vista Cruise lock now and it works well for me ).
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Old October 16th, 2016   #6
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

Stock = Pain
Corbin = Brick
Sargent = well shaped and well padded brick
Custom (Laam, RDL) = Happiness

Any throttle lock is useful. I like the Kaoko for a couple reasons, YMMV.
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Old October 16th, 2016   #7
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

When you're moving it around, wheeling it by hand is by far the most difficult way. It feels (probably because it is) pretty heavy. When I move mine in the garage under "person" power, I always get on it. It's simply too much bike to stand next to and move. Having said that, once you get beyond ~5MPH, it feels delightful (to me). I can easily wind my way through parking lots and traffic cones, start and stop with ease.

The power delivery has a spot that i worry over when cornering..when you come in under no throttle, then shift to throttle in the corner, while at significant lean. Some say it's the way the fuel injection is programmed, and I don't know, so that might be it. Other than that, I'm quite comfortable powering out of corners, and through traffic. I did add a modified throttle tube (I can't remember the name right now) that seems to have improved it, and there's a website with a mod you can install that's supposed to drastically help with that "problem". I haven't found it enough of a "problem", though, to warrant more money thrown at it.

The bike does seem wide at first. It's like anything else you ride or drive, though: You get used to it. Just don't forget that you're wheeling down the road right at 1000lbs, and you'll be OK. This bike stops very well. the linked brakes we sometimes hear horror stories of are pretty well set up, and although I'm used to hitting both, and almost always do, if you're just cruising around, you can quite comfortably stop with either control. Hard stopping will always require both.

You should ask the seller if there's a way you can take a more significant ride. Typically, dealers will want you back in a few minutes. You might find one where you could ride for a 100 or more miles prior to return. That might give you some time to figure out if it's right for you - hit some turns and corners, some parking lots and low speed stuff, some highway riding. Coming off the Wee, this is a significant change. Going up to the Strom (the 1000) would be less significant.

I have the "brake-away" throttle lock. It's a good-looking piece of engineering, although severely over-priced. I also have the MC Cruise (http://www.mccruise.com/collections/honda/products/13). With some tweaking, the MC Cruise comes on as smooth as if I never touched it, and holds me right where I set it with no bucking, and no lagging. It's comparable to the cruise in my truck or car, except maybe smoother because it can't downshift on me. The lock is great for those quick adjustments while under way, but for real cruising (and not worrying too much about whether or not your license is in jeopardy), a true cruise if the way to go.

I still have the original seat, and can do a 500 mile day on it, but I'd not want to do more than one of those a week. Since most of my "out riding" cruising is in the 100-200 mile range, it still suits me OK. My work commute is 75 miles return.

I have a top box added from Redfish (thank you, yet again). It's a Shad, black, with the carbon fiber looking top (or is it real carbon fiber?). Whatever it is, I think it's just about a perfect match, and like it a lot. Since I installed it, it's been off twice: Once to show my neighbor how simple it was, the second time during a wash.

As with everything in life: YMMV.
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Old October 16th, 2016   #8
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaissos View Post
...
Having said that, once you get beyond ~5MPH, it feels delightful (to me).
...
I played around in the parking lot with the bike before the test ride. I was really really (really) surprised with how smooth the bike handled at walking pace.
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Old October 17th, 2016   #9
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

Don't worry about the ST on backroads, she's a natural. I've surprised many a sport bike rider staying right with them (and passing them in a couple of cases). Be mindful of the ground clearance in fast corners, you'll get plenty of notice from the foot peg nubs before anything hard mounted touches down. Setting up the rear preload for the correct sag is big help here.

Big Hondas have an amazing magic capability of seemingly loosing 200 pounds or more once the wheels are turning.
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Old October 17th, 2016   #10
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Default Re: Thinking about getting an ST1300

One question I had was how you keep stuff from falling out of the side cases when you open them?
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