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2004 Honda ST1300A

Honda has a long history in the sport/touring category with the legendary ST1100. Introduced in 1992 and produced for ten years through 2002, the V4 shaft drive ST1100 developed a cult-like following as a competent and reliable machine for putting serious mileage on. In the mid-90s they added ABS and TCS as an option so you will see them equipped both with and without. Ten years is a long time in for any motor vehicle so for 2003 Honda totally redesigned the ST1100 morphing it into the ST1300. Its still a v4 shaft drive, but has been updated thoroughly in every other way: it's more powerful, lighter, and handles better. ABS is still optional, which I opted for. If you'd like further info on it here are some reviews and comparisons...
http://www.riderreport.com/output.cfm?id=131851 (complete review of new ST1300)
http://www.riderreport.com/output.cfm?id=142849 (comparison with Yamaha FJR1300
http://www.riderreport.com/output.cfm?id=747127 (comparison with four other sport/touring bikes)


 

All told, I really like this bike and am glad I bought it. It fit what I was looking for perfectly: comfortable, adequately sporting, seriously great engine, integrated storage (wanted to just leave the bags on this time so I could pick up something along the way and not have a way to transport it, some bikes don't look good with their bags on, the ST's are meant to be on all the time), Honda reliable, and a good value relative to the current crop of BMWs. Having 7.7 gallons of fuel on board is great too.

Most motorcyclists "improve" their bike in some way, probably part of the individuality thing that attracts us to motorcycling in the first place. Some guys go crazy with mods and additions, sometimes called "farkles". I like to focus instead on functional improvements that are as subtle as possible, but provide some meaningful improvement to the function of the bike. I wouldn't buy a bike if I didn't have some appreciation for it aesthetically and I therefore don't like to detract from the original design much. All that said though I've made the below noted tweaks to my bike.

Honda accessories I've added:

  • Accessory wiring harness (required for heated grips and power plug)
  • Power plug (to be used for cell phone charger etc.
  • Hondaline heated grips

Other mods and notes:

  • Removed f/r side reflectors. These things look awful, aesthetically tacked on, it's much cleaner without them.
  • Vista Cruise throttle lock. This is the poor man's cruise control, but I find it works just fine. High-end touring bikes are now starting to come with proper electronic cruise control, which I wish this bike had, and I'm sure it will one of these years, but this simple throttle lock gets most of the job done, and for only about $12.95.
  • Metzeler Z6 tires. The OEM front tire was defective, it had lateral runout (side-to-side wobble) in it. Sadly, my dealer, Beaverton Honda-Yamaha, really handled it poorly and wouldn't acknowledge the problem or replace it. In disgust, I just decided to buy new tires myself, and I've always preferred the feel of Metzelers anyway. When the local Cycle Gear installed the new tires they agreed the front tire was defective and shouldn't be ridden.
  • Bar risers.
  • Sargent seat. For a bike intended for long distance use the seat becomes an important aspect. The stock ST seat is just too soft to be effective. Most riders report that anything more than an hour on it has you squiriming. My experience was exactly the same. The Sargent is great — firm and supportive, stays comfortable indefinitely, and looks sharp too. I got mine in their CarbonFX material with black welt & trim to look as stock as possible. Worth the money!
  • CeeBailey windscreen in +2" height and +2" width. The stock windscreen is well made and aesthetically pleasing, but ST1300 riders immediately discover that it creates a fair amount of turbulence and noise in most positions, at least those that get the air flowing at or above the riders helmet. There are several aftermarket screen manufacturers but I decided on CeeBailey becuase of the design, quality, and reputation.
  • SteedoHealer. (not installed yet)

Operating notes:

  • I've found that optimum tire pressures are 36 front / 40 rear. The manual indicates 42/42, but I've found this causes the front to feel less secure.

For those interested in finding out more about these mods, or just exchanging information with other ST1300 owners, I've found two online forums worthwhile... www.st1300.us.com and www.st-owners.com

I'll try to get some pics here of my bike posted, but it looks like any other '04 ST1300. The only things visibly different than stock are the seat and windscreen which would only be noticable to someone very familiar with the bike.

 

 

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