ST1100...I might just pull the trigger.

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by elementalg20, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    An inmate is checking out a slightly rough 1996 model for me today with 43k miles on it, and I've also found what looks to be an exceptionally clean 1991 in oh so pretty black for $900 more w/ 60k miles. Options are similiar on the two, risers, top cases, two brothers cans. I know the 91' has the old 28amp system unless owner has modified to the newer 40 amp, otherwise I think the models are nearly unchanged.

    The 91' is closer to home as well, 7hrs compared to 11 one way, on top of that, the 91' is south(read possibly warmer lol) and I've got a pit stop going that direction(cousin, or my wifes uncle). But $900 more is a little hard to swallow for me right now. It's $2000 vs $2900 to be up front.

    I'm buying this to replace a K1200rs I had, as well as an R1100RS(not both, just my last two sport-touring bikes). I'm hoping this one is a little more touring and comfy 2up as well as hoping for that well known honda reliability. I had a pair of VFR's and loved the V4's just always wanted to rev a little less when riding 2up(still way faster than needed).

    Very excited as this is basically unplanned on my part, just sorta realized one night, hey I need a friggin st1100:clap
    #1
  2. mike884

    mike884 Been here awhile

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    ST1100's are rock solid and deceptively fast... its not quite the same experience as a VFR, but they are darn good bikes, definitely a good touring rig. I was looking for an st11/13 and went the VFR route just for giggles. :D
    #2
  3. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    I certainly don't expect it to be like riding my VFR once more. Those are great bikes imo, but best suited to solo work. That's only my opinion, alot of guys to tons of miles 2up on them it's just not for me and my nagging shoulder/back. Honestly, I don't expect it to even be like my R110RS, I loved that bike in the few twisty bits are around here, after I started to trust the front end better.

    I suspect it'll be alot like my K12RS, only with more relaxed ergo's, not as much power, and better sounds.
    #3
  4. Royal Tiger

    Royal Tiger Sd Kfz 182

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    If it's what you want, go for it! The only person who has to be happy with it is you. :D
    #4
  5. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I had the same experience a while ago (2 years) I was even looking at ST1300's,kept being too much money and really,they're too dang big/heavy. Then I looked at ST1100's. Just didnt grab me,never really been a Honda guy.

    Then outta the blue,a 99 1200 Triumph Trophy came up,only 80 miles away,very low miles,very clean. It was 3 grand but only had 14000 on it,shiny nice with luggage and all.
    Ive done the basic catch up maintenance and absolutely love the thing,it handles sweet and can be leaned way the heck over rarely dragging anything. Its more sporty then either Honda woulda been,big under stressed 1200 goes plenty fast enough with out working hard at all. Yet it goes into white noise mode on the slab,big quiet stable smooth bike with just enough wind protection.

    When the occasional wild hair strikes,I can spin it quickly to 9500 and it pulls like a banshee doing so,140 mph is a happy speed for it,smooth and quiet,no sense of wind blast.
    It just happens to fit,for me.

    Big bikes are fun,Im a dirtbike guy at heart but enjoy some street mixed in.
    #5
  6. rotten

    rotten LOST AGAIN

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    only thing that chases me away from the ST1100 is the timing belt ... I guess once bitten twice shy.
    #6
  7. WayneJ

    WayneJ City Slicker

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    Check out st-owners.com for everything you'll need to know about STs.

    OEM timing belts are good for 100,000 miles. Problems with the belt are pretty much unheard of before then.

    Did mine at 98,000 miles and the belt looked new. Now it's good for another 100 thou. :clap It really wasn't that difficult a job, just time consuming.
    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't want to pay someone else to do it because off the time involved.
    #7
  8. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Its a good bike, you would have a hard time going wrong with one. That said, the things to look out for:

    Timing belt: If its sneaking up on 100k miles, it should be done. Otherwise you can let it be regardless of age - both 90k timing belts I've changed showed no signs of aging.

    Final drive splines - the spider that inserts into the cush in the rear wheel needs to be lubed with 60% moly paste with every tire change. Its easy to overlook and catastrophic if you do.

    The alternator: early ST11s had a 28A alternator, that small an output for a touring bike is a crime. The ST11A (ABS model) and later ST11s were shipped with a 40A alternator that is superior. If the one you're looking at has a 28A unit, it *can* be upgraded to the 40, but it isn't cheap or easy.
    #8
  9. choppahead

    choppahead Adventurer

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    I spent last summer (approx 5,000km) on a '92 ST100. Knew the bike and the reputation they have.

    The Good: Fast, smooth, good range on a tank of gas, great motor
    The Bad: Hottest bike I've ever ridden, Uncomfortable, only one position for your feet/legs, hard on the lower back. Tall for me and hard to move around in a parking lot.
    The Ugly: Yep they are. Zero curb appeal. I like to see a motor when I look at a bike.

    Final verdict: I could get past the looks if they were exceptionally comfortable but it was so hot to ride in anything but cold wet weather and the seat/bars/footpeg location had me squirming after an hour in the saddle. Too bad. I loved the motor. I got rid of it at the end of the season.

    YMMV of course.
    #9
  10. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    Definately don't like to hear those sort of reviews choppahead. I've not ridden on as of yet, perhaps I should try harder to arrange a test ride first(imagine that i know).

    I've had some guys on here offer some nice bikes too, concours, zr7s, fz1 as well as an st11.

    Both of the ST1100 I was looking at didn't work out(one failed an inmates inspection, the other sold).

    I have located one I can get for $3000 but that's just a little over what I'm hoping to spend and it's as low as he is willing to go at this point.
    #10
  11. glynb

    glynb Relentless Underachiever

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    Not a huge deal. The timing belt is changed at 90K miles. Everybody I talk to that has done it said the old belt was just fine. There's a video on youtube through ST-Owners.com that gives you step by step instructions on how to do the replacement.

    Absolutely no reason not to buy one of these great bikes.
    #11
  12. dduelin

    dduelin Amazing grace how sweet the sound....

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    Another hot, heavy Honda.

    I can't imagine how all those owners roll up over a hundred, two hundred, even over three hundred thousand miles on them. :D
    #12
  13. Lucky62

    Lucky62 Dreamer Extraordinaire

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    I've owned 2 of these, both '95 models, both red (the fast color). Put at least 70k on the first one, only cost me fuel, tires, oil. GREAT 2 up bike, if the gal didn't try and do some yoga as I was slowing to a stop you couldn't tell she was there. Massive power and when on the superslab I owned it. Had all kinds of sporty cars try and act like I was "in their way" if I slipped into the left lane to pass an 18 wheeler as they were crusing 3 car lengths back, I could see the nose of their car rise as I pulled out, drop to 4th, give it half the throttle, and they got small....best interstate bike I've ever had. Also bought a Uni-go trailer and pulled it to CO, Key West, and all over the Eastern mountians, only way you noticed it was crossing a railroad track or speed bump, you had that third bump!

    I would have another one, except for the heat. You heard right, probably the hottest bike I've ridden EXCEPT for a Goldwing. I have no idea how in the hell I rode those things for so long. When I sold the 1st ST I bought a KLR, then a Vstrom lite, I'll never go back to any full faring bike, of course I used to ride with just jeans/t-shirt when on the wing, but learned the hard way that that asphault burns even if you just stop and lay down on it.

    I hate to talk bad about the heat thing, but when I owned mine I hadn't ridden anything on the street (I'm an old dirt guy) so I really didn't know it was so hot. Once I rode the KLR in the summer I felt stupid for travelling on anything with a full fairing in the AL/FL heat.

    The guy I sold my first one to is selling, not sure the price but I'm sure it's got over 100k on it now. I can get in touch with him if you like. Let me know.

    Just my two cents, I have been totally impressed with my Vstrom Lite, 43,000 trouble free miles, ridden 2 up to Key West (yeah, I like it there), Stillwater MN and various other places, plenty of power to pass the trucks, good ergos, lots of aftermarket goodies, better fuel economy, and cruises at 85 indicated at 5k on the tach. I have added 1 tooth on the countersprocket and down 2 or 3 on the rear. Not sure what they are going for used, would probably be at or around the 3k and up mark.....but, if you decide against the ST, look at the Stroms, 650 and 1000 you could luck out.

    Ok, drinking and rambling on ADV......sorry folks!
    Good luck and great riding on whatever you get!

    I still have the Uni-go and the hitch for the '95 st1100, if anyone is interested...

    Oh, and my second ST? Cleaned about 20 yards of ditch out with it playing hooligan.....some neck surgery and withdrawls from pain meds actually got me to slow down! Who knew? (bike was totalled)
    #13
  14. sagedrifter

    sagedrifter Southern Explorer

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    I would look for a later model, like the late 90's. Don't mess with a 28 amp version. They are hot in the summer, but a short wind shield helps. I liked mine in the winter months. The bike blocks lots of wind, so the weather protection is good. I've seen 2000's go for $4K recently in perfect shape with low miles.

    A well maintained ST11 with 60K or more miles still has lots of life left and the prices are much cheaper. :D

    The newer the better though, less likely to need hoses, fuel lines, carb boots and such. My 94 blew a coolant elbow, cracked it pretty good. So they aren't perfect, but they are really durable overall. IMO the 40 amp upgrade in a must have, I had trouble with the 28 amp system more than once. Not worth the chance on a long trip, I've seen a few die quickly. Get a 40 amp version, heated gear is nice to have, extra lights etc... Can't do that on the 28 amp version. Well, not for long.:rofl

    I still like the ST1300 better now, but for the money the ST11 is a great touring bike. I just mainly love having the powerd shield of the newer bikes. I did like being able to run the ST1100 on regualr gas though.:deal
    #14
  15. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    I've found a 91' with the 40amp upgrade, nearing 90k miles but the belt and pump were done a year ago. The owner is an ST fan, not just someone that happens to own one, alot of nice add ons, stock seat and bar height, but has most anything else I'd think of. He's at 3k firm on it and it's likely worth it, just not sure I want to pony that much up right now, just too many other things I should be spending money on....we'll see.
    #15
  16. kirkster70

    kirkster70 moto junkie

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    You should just go for it. I've owned 2, and the ST11 is a great bike. I owned an ST1300, and liked the 11 much better. Every bike isn't a perfect match for every person. So if you're thinking about it, just do it.

    If you don't like it? Resell it. STs hold their value well.

    And don't let the weight fool you. You can hustle the 11 down a twisty backroad with little effort. The steering is very neutral, so you really don't have to wrestle the bike to make it do what you want it to do. The bike is deceptively fast. It's so smooth that there is never really a "hit" of power when you twist the grip. Just silky-smooth linear acceleration.

    They take deer hits well, too. I drove my 11 onto the roll back after clobbering Bambi in the side at 60 mph. Insurance paid me more than I paid for the bike, I got to keep the bike, and then I parted it out for enough cash to buy the ST1300 with cash. Too bad I didn't care for the 13 too much. Good looking bike, just extremely top-heavy to me. Fuel injection was very twitchy which made for terrible low speed manuevers. The carburetion on the ST11 is seamless and buttery smooth. Carb syncs are easy to do as well.

    Hard to go wrong on the prices you are talking about. Good luck with whatever you decide.
    #16
  17. Yostwerks

    Yostwerks Been here awhile

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    I owned my 91 ST1100 for over 17 years and 77K miles. Great bike ! I preferred it to both my 97 Concours and 05 FJR 1300.

    On the ST1100 heat was never an issue compared to the Concours ... hottest bike I've ever owned.

    My last ride on the ST in Sept 08 .. Gone but not forgotten !
    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Royal Tiger

    Royal Tiger Sd Kfz 182

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    My only issue would be weight and that has more to do with my driveway/garage configuration. My R1200ST is 200 pounds lighter then a ST1100 with more power. It also wasn't $3k either. Personally I think you can't go wrong with any bike used in police service. The ST11/13 series proved itself under the most demanding conditions for a street bike.
    #18
  19. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile

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    About the heat issue...
    I own a 13. It USED to be a nut-cooker, but there is an easy fix.
    I sealed around the seatpan with a rubber moulding I bought from Home Depot. Then I removed the left inner fairing (invisible from the exterior). The increased airflow around the radiator swept the excess heat out of the left side air duct. No problem now in 90 degree heat. Mind you ANY bike gets hot when you're not moving, but the ST1300 is now no worse than my Versys. For more details, search for "heat issues" on the ST Owners forum.

    My Concours was a cooker as well, but a $20 aftermarket heat shield fixed the problem. Most all the ST's issues (and there are few) are fairly easily addressed. Don't let them scare you away.

    Ride On !
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    #19
  20. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile

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    Oh yeah..and another thing..

    When I bought my 13 I looked at several 11's. I decided on the 13 because I was "done" with carb'ed bikes. I never thought I really needed some of the bells and whistles standard on the 13. But....
    I found that the electrically adjustable windshield is the greatest thing since canned beer. Really. Who'dathunkit ? It's now an item I'll never be without, and I'm an anti-farkle kinda guy. It's that good.

    SO......I gotta recommend that you do whatever it takes to find a 13 over an 11. It really IS a generation ahead. Absolutely no regrets spending the extra dosh for the 13, and as bike-buyers go I'm as cheap as they come.

    Just food for thought.
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    #20