Honda ST1300 Cruiser Reviews on Cycle Insider (8)
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2006-10-30 2003 Honda ST1300 Cruisers View Listings

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This bike has been a joy to own and ride. It is very top heavy for a new or non husky type to ride. I just needed a better pilon bike. The ST, to continue to be sucessful with it's competion, needs to lose some weight and gain some power and farkles while retaining price competitiveness. For me, it was more than adequate for power. You can easily spend thousands in farkles making the bike fit you. The seat is good for only 200 miles (upgrade/airhawk), handlebar risers are a must and you need a trunk. Parking lots are a challenge even for a strong and expierenced rider. It is still a Honda with great reliability and drivability. Sell private if possible.
- Stephan Matta, Bremerton, Washington

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2005-01-11 2003 Honda ST1300 Cruisers View Listings

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Love the bike alot except for the stock handlebars, stock seat and the one thing I forgot in my previous post-- When the air temp gets above 80 you will burn the skin from your shins and knees! This bike gives off serious heat that isn't channeled from the riders legs! Honda has a problem in this respect to this bike. It needs a factory fix and so far the company is ignoring the problem-more people need to complain about it. Other than that it is one of the greatest bikes built. Just wear some good thick pants!
- swhite, Angola , Indiana

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2004-06-11 2003 Honda ST1300 Cruisers View Listings

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When I purchased the bike it was raining. So I got to know how it handled and performed during a 120 mile rain. I was impressed about how it handled the weather and roads. I sold my st1100 and cbr600 f4 to compromise of both, touring, handling and acceleration. The st1300 is so much quicker and lighter than the previous st1100. I had a problem on the second day on my front left caliper, it came off due to the bolts being gone. Luckily I didn't get in an accident, one thing to keep in mind on linked brakes. That is if you lose your brakes like i did you have no brakes at all. I called the dealer and they were shocked that it happened but not as much as I was. Since then I have ridden the bike with my wife and it has really impressed me. I have read the reviews on the gas mileage and the computer is wrong on the average mpg every time. The last fill up I got 49.5 mpg on the miles divided by gallons and it was showing around 45. I would recommend this bike to anyone who wants to travel. I have not regretted my purchased and plan on putting many miles on this bike. The heat problem is a little noticable and honda should have done a better job of engineering. I changed the oil and taking that plastic piece off to get to the fill plug is a cluster. I plan on riding to this years Honda hoot and putting some serious miles on this bike and may write another review.
- Noll Davis, Winchester, Kentucky

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2004-06-09 2003 Honda ST1300 Cruisers View Listings

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I have owned my 2003 ST1300 non ABS for just over a year and I have just over 17,000 miles on it. I have taken it on several long trips 1,200 miles or more and ridden it in all kinds of weather. I've been to Canada on it three times, twice for five days each trip and one overnighter. My wife likes to ride on it also and finds it fun to ride. I find that it is a very dependable motorcycle and I have not had any trouble with it except a flat tire which I can't blame on the bike. I rode it all year long in all kinds of weather. I find that the fairing gives good protection and the bike is stable in heavy rain with water covering the roadway. I have also ridden it on very hot days (triple digit) and have not experienced the over heating problem that you may read about in some articles. I replaced the seat after about 2,000 miles as the factory seat is very uncomfortable after about 50 miles. I paid big money for a Corbin seat that is heated and have not regretted it. I also added a trunk to the bike(Honda,not a Givi)which is very nice to have on long trips. My wife also likes the backrest as it feels more secure to her. My biggest complaint with the bike is that American Honda does not support it worth a darn. There is a full line of accessories for the bike if you live in Europe. I had to call to England to get the Honda trunk that goes on the bike. They also make a radio for the bike (you may have noticed the speaker grills) but you can't get it in the U.S. I am on my second set of tires and rear brake pads. I've changed the oil and filter myself and I wish the filter didn't drain on the center stand. The air filter is not hard to change and it lasted about 16,000 miles. I changed the plugs at the same time for $7 a plug. Overall it been a great bike and I've enjoyed all of the miles I've put on it. I plan on putting 20,000 miles on it this year if work doesn't get in the way. P.S. Will someone please tell me why Honda doesn't put a cruise control on a touring bike, it would be nice on 600+ mile days.
- Ron Tennyson, Gig Harbor, Washington

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2004-04-19 2003 Honda ST1300 Cruisers View Listings

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ST 1300 is pretty excellent machine for such a heavy girl. My only complaint is the cheap soft paint Honda puts on an otherwise excellent motorcycle. Will post new findings as time goes by.
- Don Wilson, Bremerton, Washington

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2003-06-14 2003 Honda ST1300 Cruisers View Listings

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Chances are you've seen quite a number of reviews of this bike from various mags and clubs. I can't say I have read anything that I don't agree with within whatever context it was put. I must say, I have never read a thing negative, so if it's out there, I am not agreeing with it, but I'd like to read it. This is just a plain good motorcycle. The Yamaha FJR seems to be the standard, but in the same breath everyone says, "unless you prefer the touring bendt". One of my riding pals has an FJR. we each appreciate the other's bike. As I am not reviewing the FJR I will not argue for it here. I think I made the correct choice with the ST1300. If you bought this bike for a thirty minute hrill ride now and again, you are a fool, and should carefully study each word of the phrase, "a fool and his money are soon parted." There are many many 600 class entries that will give you butterflies in the belly way more than the ST. This is not to say the ST would keep right up to your 600, it just wouldn't feel like it was. Reasons for owning. Simply put, I have only space for 4 bikes in my garage. This is a tip top quality machine that equals BMW for longenity, beats all comers for build quality, and is only "not as sporty" as the FJR in paper theory, or if each is jockeyed by a 24 year old expert racer. I can say with confidence that comparing passenger comfort between the Yamaha and the Honda, my FJR buddies wife is not going to be as easy to get along with after an all day ride as mine! There is no indication beyond a slight "busy buzz" that the ST is going 65 mph in second gear. It gets everywhere so effortlessly (speed up or slow down) that it is easy to understand the car-like reference. In it's defence, it ain't a GL folks! Its a highly evolved sport tourer all the way to the bone! Two can travel in comfort and style, one can travel with a sore face from grinning all damned day long. I know! If you can keep this bike within the speed limits you are a better man, or have more points against your license than I! The headlight array says, attention, there is something coming (or perhaps better: "something wicked this way comes"). The tail light array is large and hard to miss. The controls are easy to read, and not too "foo-foo". I do not have the ABS model, so also don't have the electro-adjust window. Rear suspension can be adjusted on the fly, and seems best at the middle setting (two up, moderately aggresive driving, lots of twisties). There is a fair bit of gear sound below about 30 mph. Bothered me for the first few hours, now just sounds "right". FI seems very well mapped, no surges anywhere (a point acclaimed by my buddies with an FJR and a BMW R1150R who have ridden it). There is a naught deceleration if one does not roll off carefully, but so far every bike I have owned was tat way .. I can only assume there are a few not like that as the point seems to come up as a negative in reviews of every machine I've ever read through. It's a great bike. If you want a touring bike that turns heads (people - bikers and grockels alike - LOVE this bike!), and gets you there (way far away "there") quickly, reliably and safely, this is one of two options. If you prefer the FJR, it is the better bike for you. If you are trying to understand the slight difference in price, I would say you're simply paying for the build quality, and I think my FJR pal would agree. Again, not slamming the FJR, I almost bought one, but fit and finish are better on the honda. Have fun choosing. Ride safe.
- Steve Lovejoy, Duncan, British Columbia

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2003-04-12 2003 Honda ST1300 Cruisers View Listings

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My disclaimer. I'm just a regular guy not a professional tester. I wrote this for friends to let them know of my ride home. I wanted a St 1300 and bought one despite the reviews that compared it to a car. The story is below. Feb. 19th started out with me flying to Los Angeles. Then on to the super shuttle for the ride to the shop to pick up my new Honda Sports Touring bike. I walked in and asked for Dan the salesman I had talked to when I ordered the bike. He was busy with another customer so I had to wait awhile. It was quite a shop full to the brim of all kinds of bikes. My new St 1300 was sitting outside waiting to go. It just needed one clip to hold the mirror on, it was dangling on the right side. I gave it a good inspection and it was/is flawless. Dan was busy rounding up the manuals for the bike. Then I went into the finance guy and wrote him a check, that was $2000 less than my local dealer would have charged me. Dan took me outside and went over the bike with me. All the switches, gauges and answered any question that I had. As we were talking another guy from the shop comes up and, talking about my bike, tells Dan that the bike was OK after it fell down yesterday. Now I know from Hondas literature that the mirrors are supposed to disconnect if the bike falls over. So that's why it needed a new clip. Nothing was wrong with the bike. After the guy left I told Dan that he shouldn't be doing that in front of the guy buying the bike and I laughed. Dan goes " I could have slapped him. Then he tells me he also checked the bike over yesterday. So I put all my over night stuff in the saddlebags, put all my riding gear on and took the bike for a short test ride up and down the block. On the St the seat is adjustable 1.5 " up and down. Well the seat I'm sitting on is way to low. My legs are cramped and I'm sitting right on top of the tank. So Dan and another salesman work on getting the seat adjusted and now that I know how to do it its easy. It was adjusted to suit me. ( After 1200+ miles the seat is not perfect but I can live with it.) With nothing left to do I ask directions to the Freeway and hit the road. The 405 Hwy. to Interstate 5 and on North. In LA the normal traffic flow if its not rush hour is 80 mph. that's what I did. On the St that's 4200 rpm. I had the windshield set at its highest setting and the air flowed right over the top of me and just like the magazines said I had a negative pressure pushing me in the back. At its highest setting there is some flex at the top of the windshield as your riding. You are well protected on the St. The bike has a thermometer that showed 68 degrees as I left the shop. There had been complaints of to much heat being put onto the riders legs from the engine. You could feel it, the heat,but it wasn't uncomfortable.( It still hasn't been over 75 degrees here in Northern California and with riding boots the heat isn't a problem. The gas tank does get warm and you could cook a meal in the left side fairing storage box. Never put a candy bar in there!) Traffic was light and in no time I was at the Grapevine heading North out of LA. It is the road over the hills into the Valley. You go from Sea level to over 4000 feet in altitude. The temp. gauge was showing 46 degrees as I got to the top of the grapevine. I could have used some of that engine heat right about then. The St treated the whole thing as if it were flat. I dropped down into the valley and was going with the flow still right at 80 mph. I don't know if it is the proper break in procedure but that's just how this one was getting broken in. Somewhere on the flats I crossed over a bridge that crosses over one of the many canals and suddenly I was airborne, just for a split second. Just long enough for my heart to stop. Not even a wiggle out of the bike. Then I saw a sign nailed to a tree that said " Trust Jesus. I'm sure everyone that hit that bump was praying for just a little bit. I passed an uncountable number of trucks without even a shake of the handlebars. The same for the rain groves on the highway, they didn't affect the St at all. It must be the new technology. About 20 miles outside of Kettleman City I saw a huge bank of black clouds. At almost the same time it started hailing and then rain. I was pretty well hidden behind the fairing but was still getting a little wet. Ahead was a motorcycle riders best friend, an overpass. I stopped there and put on my rain suit. I didn't have the mittens or the shoe covers. I pulled out into a downpour and heavy head winds. Feet and hands got soaked in a little while, fairing helped but ...they can only do so much. The thermostat was showing 40 degrees. This wasn't turning into an ideal ride. I had checked the weather forecast before I went to L.A. and this wasn't in the cards. So for 45 miles I rode in the rain. I did run into head shake on the St passing trucks in the rain with this headwind. As an experienced rider I just let the bike do it's thing. It was busy moving back and forth, you just have to relax. Finally I ran out of the rain. I rode a few more miles and pulled over to a rest stop. My right hand was curled into a claw shape. I couldn't unhook my helmet. Where was the experienced rider I talked about earlier? I should have pulled over and let the rain pass. Eventually I got warm and got all my gear off. I called my daughter and told her I was an hour away. I turned off on Hwy. 152 to take me over to Hwy. 99. Hwy. 152 had miles of expansion joints. You know, the rhythmic bumps that make your your car bounce up and down. The St front suspension soaked them all up, no problem. The rear was a little stiff. I was cruising at 75 all by myself , riding one hand on the bars when a California Highway Patrol car pulls up along side and looks me over. Then he just drives off, Thank you, Officer! Boy was I asleep at the switch, I never saw him coming. The mirrors are excellent though a little low for some riders. They reminded me of the bar end mirrors I had on my Matchless. Well I made it to my daughters house 341 miles from the shop in LA. Got off the bike and all my bones creaked. Awful old for a hard day like that. There is a group of motorcyclists who ride 1000 miles a day for 6 days. The event is called an "Iron Butt Rally." Boy my hat is off to them, no way I'll ever do that. Next morning I got up and waited for the temperature to go up. While I was waiting I dropped the windshield down to its lowest setting. I also adjusted the rear shock to a slightly, 3 clicks, softer setting. Around 10 A.M. it was 48 degrees so I hit the road. Right off the bat I noticed that with the windshield at a lower setting it made no difference in the wind flowing over the top of my helmet. I raised my hand up in front of my eyes and up to the top of my helmet. I could feel the wind still flowing an inch or two over my head. What I did notice was my estimated gas mileage jumped up. The St has an on board computer gives you a running estimate of gas mileage. With the windshield down it was showing an average of over 40 mpg. When it had been at its higher setting it was averaging around 34 mpg. I was running into a head wind all the way until I turned to head for the San Francisco Bay area. All of a sudden I had a 25-30 mph wind from the right side. I don't know if you have ever seen this following a motorcycle but I know it looks weird. The riders head stays in one place and the whole bike moves off to the side. I was doing this for 20 miles, windy as hell. When you would pass a truck all of a sudden there would be no wind then as you finished the pass, whoosh the wind was back. I pulled in to Novato, Ca to get something to eat. While I was there 3 guys came up to quiz me about the St. So we went outside to look over the bike. Each of them took turns sitting on it. They had all looked at the same comparable Yamaha model. None of them liked the seating position on the Yamaha.
- Bill Barrett, California

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2003-01-21 2003 Honda ST1300 Cruisers View Listings

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I rode the new ST1300 for awhile, then proceeded to a Yamaha dealer that had a FJR 1300 on the floor because the guy who ordered it could'nt close the deal. Just my luck--so I bought it on the spot. What a bike. The ST1300 is a horrendous piece of s*** up against the FJR! The ST felt loose and sloopy, especially around fast 'sweepers'. And the way that windshield vibrates around was awful. The noise the engine makes reminds me of a bike the 'Jetsons' would ride. Make the comparison before buying the ST1300...Hommie
- Bruce Macdonald, Seattle, Washington

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