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Old 02-22-2014, 10:03 PM   #1
sunshineskyway OP
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ST1300...commuter...what can you tell me?

Hello,

Going through some life changes now. Lost 240lbs, he was dead weight anyway, lots of freedom now and leaving a very cold state for a very warm one.

So here is the question I am posing to you. I am looking at a 2006 st1300, but I am looking to see what I can learn before I drive 1000 miles to go see it, and hopefully learn what I should be looking for and questions to ask the owner.

I am in my 40's 145lb with some experience with bikes. I owned a couple 750's, a V-strom 1000, and suzuki 400. I liked the bigger bike like the v, but was quickly bored, and it was tall. V-strom was not comfortable on long trips, and I am going to need my new bike to be.

I am moving to Florida next month and will be using the bike daily for a 40 mile commute, 3 days a week. I will be taking it to North Carolina, probably 2 times yearly, with a random ride to Wisconsin once a year.

So what do you think,
- Good fit for someone my size and experience level?
- Any problems I should be aware of, mechanically?
- Will gas mileage be a concern on long trips? I just want to ride and not stop every couple hours for fuel.
- Is it an entertaining ride, or will I be bored stiff?
- Is the st1300 good for a 40 mile commute 3 days a week?
- How is it in the rain?
- Do I worry about leving the bike in the rain for the day?


Thanks to all,

Sarah
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:01 AM   #2
vintagemxr
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Sarah,

I had an '05 ST1300 before trading it for a Gold Wing in '06 out of a need for passenger comfort. The ST is one of Honda's very best bikes and a well maintained one will easily go 200,000 miles. How do I know? My friend Gail put 200,000 miles on an '01 ST1100 in 5 years and replaced it with my ST1300. I rode her ST1100 with 202,000 miles on it and it still ran like new. So, no worries about reliability.

I should mention here that Gail is about 5'5" tops and normal weight for her height. She handles the ST without any problem and in fact is or was quite a sporting rider. I say "was" because at 70+ years old she's slowing down a little and riding less, last I heard my old ST1300 only has about 60,000 miles on it.

If the ST has a shortcoming it's that the engine produces a fair amount of heat so some people add some extra heat shielding underneath the rear portion of the tank. That is a common mod on the ST police bikes.

Fuel econonmy should be around 45 mpg give or take depending on how heavy you are on the throttle. With the big gas tank you can cruise a long ways between refills.

The bike is fast, cruises easily at 100 mph 2 up, and corners like a much lighter machine. Low speed parking lot handling can be a bit heavy but one gets used to it.

I don't think I ever rode mine in the rain (I live in Phoenix) but the fairing provides plenty of protection and the electrically adjustable windscreen is super and will spoil you.

I wouldn't leave any bike parked in the rain all day or even uncovered in the sitting in the sun all day unless I had to. Buy a shorty cover and cover the bike.

I've had a VStrom 1000 and I can say for sure the ST is a more comfortable ride than the Strom and will eat up miles with lots less effort.

There is a forum out the for ST owners so you can find more info there.

Doug
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:30 AM   #3
Mr_Gone
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What vintagemxr is spot on. The ST1300 is a big bike and not exactly nimble in stop-and-go city traffic, but it's not terrible, either. On the highway, cruising, you'll love it. It's got something like a 7.5-gallon fuel tank, so you should easily be able to go 200+ miles between fill-ups as long as you're not going WFO all the time.

Power delivery is smooth. Lots of storage. Reliable as the sunrise. An ST1300 is a great bike.
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:46 AM   #4
kraven
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In Florida and the deep south (Florida is now officially a shared colony of Cuba and New Jersey- not the South anymore), sport touring bikes with full fairings can get to be super hot and miserable if you're an ATGATT rider.
There's no way to express how oppressive the heat is until you ride in it.

That's my biggest gripe with the ST in the dirty souf.

Otherwise, it's no big deal for it to get rained on or left in the sun.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraven View Post
(Florida is now officially a shared colony of Cuba and New Jersey)
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:27 AM   #6
jeffjones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraven View Post
In Florida and the deep south (Florida is now officially a shared colony of Cuba and New Jersey- not the South anymore), sport touring bikes with full fairings can get to be super hot and miserable if you're an ATGATT rider.
There's no way to express how oppressive the heat is until you ride in it.

That's my biggest gripe with the ST in the dirty souf.

Otherwise, it's no big deal for it to get rained on or left in the sun.
The heat isn't bad if you are one that can handle it to begin with. If you hate the heat to begin with you'll hate ridding in it even more.

The ST (i have an 03) is a great bike like all will mention.

for the rain: good tires and it can handle the rain riding just like any other sport bike.
for the sun: protect it as best as possible with a quality cover, the sun is so powerful down here and it will make a new bike look old in a hurry if left outside unprotected. Its sad the amount of bikes/toys I see sitting outside with sun damage and most are fairly new.


BTW: welcome to florida, the state of compromise.. the weather is worth putting up with the flocks of lowlifes who call it home and steal every ones stuff and annual snowbird migration can be a pain.
you must be moving to tampa area (skyway bridge)
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:32 AM   #7
kfsinc
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Being that this is an adventure riding site, I would be remiss in not suggesting you take a look at one of the dual sport bikes talked about elsewhere on this form.

It sound like you've had some experience there with your VStrom. Take a serious look at the BMW 800GS, the Kawasaki Versys, and the newer VStroms. Lots of people have set theirs up for long distance comfort.

The dual sport genre gives you several options in power, luggage hauling and seating position. As mentioned above, you're not going to like that ST on a hot Florida day. However you will crave it when you come to cheese land on a cool day. Dual sports can be set up for both extremes. You will seldom get bored on a dual sport.

For me anyway, the multiple riding positions are the biggest advantage on long trips. On the ST, you are pretty much constrained to one position. I also very much prefer the more upright position for riding in traffic (commuting).

Full disclosure, I have not ridden the ST for more than a few miles. I have spent a few thousand on other sport touring rides that are similar.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:36 AM   #8
Dranrab Luap
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Sarah, as others have posted the ST1300 is stone cold reliable. One of the best ever. The heat issue concerns me though. That's something you can't fully appreciate until you experience it and you can't experience it unless you ride it in the sweltering southern summer heat. That you come from a cold climate concerns me more. I tolerate heat pretty well, so the motorcycles that have a reputation for putting out the most heat don't phase me. For others it's an absolute deal breaker.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:10 AM   #9
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If heat does bother you like it does me, the ST would be one of the last bikes on earth I'd want to commute on.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
kraven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffjones View Post
The heat isn't bad if you are one that can handle it to begin with. If you hate the heat to begin with you'll hate ridding in it even more.
Yeah, the last time I was in South GA visiting my family I saw a guy on an ST13 and he was nearly nekkid, wearing sneakers and a pair of shorts. He was sweating profusely but was about 60lbs overweight. His wife was also encumbered with sweat and blubber as well back on the pillion.

But you're right about the heat being tolerable if you don't mind it or your body adjusts well to it.

I like the heat, myself. But I figure the bubble the fairing makes in summer was worth a mention since Florida's two seasons (hot and 90 days of not) are both fairly warm to some.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:49 AM   #11
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If you get the bike, please post pics of it!
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:51 AM   #12
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I put 55k miles on a 06 abs model.Am 5'8"&150lbs.Had no heat issues and routinely rode it in 100 degree temps.I rode with sport bikes in the mountains all the time.Pick your parking spots carefully and stay off the front brake at slow speeds.If your commute is 80 miles round trip you will have gas left over after three days.I bought risers but took them off.After market seat is a must.If I also didn't have the Aprilia I would've bought an extra windshield to cut down for some more air flow.Be careful on your first rides as the bike is so quiet and quick you will be doing 90 when you think you are doing 60.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:56 AM   #13
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In the 2009 Iron Butt Rally a few ST riders routing south got some pretty nasty burns on their inner thighs.

I have a K1200 GT and it is hot and I ride in the Pacific North West. My wife rode a FJR 1300 and riding in the Southern States in the summer she had to really watch manage heat issues and excess dehydration.

That new Honda 700 CC motorcycle might be a good choice. Perhaps rethink your bike choice for commuting and riding in the heat and humidity.

I have ridden to the Keys in July and the hear/humidity was unbelievable on a bike.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:59 AM   #14
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Too big and heavy for a good commuter. Something in the 6-800cc range with luggage cabability. Good on gas, cheap insurance, cheap to run, takes regular. 700 honda, 650 strom....
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:31 AM   #15
WYO George
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I had a 2003 ST1300 and it's one of the few bikes I really wish I had never gotten rid of. It was an incredible touring bike with a range of over 300 miles per tank easily. I never found it to be bothersome in parking lots, but at the time I had it I was a strong, athletic mid 20's MSF instructor so handling the bike was never an issue. The heat didn't bother me at all unless I was stopped in traffic for long periods of time, as long as I was moving it was no worse than the other sport touring bikes I've ridden. The one thing that nagged at me enough that I eventually got rid of the bike was the sound. It has a sound like George Jetson's space car combined with a sewing machine in need of oil.

I actually got to the point I wouldn't start my bike if people were around because I was so self-conscious over the sound of the bike. In retrospect it was silly of me as I loved the bike and I've matured enough in the past ten years that it would not bother me in the least now. It's silly how decisions get made when we're young and dumb!
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