Test ride: 2012 Honda ST1300 ABS Sport Tourer

?Honda?s ST1300 ABS: An Ideal Sport Tourer?

Honda?s 2012 ST1300 Sport Tourer hits the sweet spot when hitting the open road. If like myself, you find that laying over the tank of an all-out sport bike with your upper body weight pressing on your wrists and holding your head up to see where you?re headed isn?t as much fun as it used to be, then you probably ought to start shopping for a multi-purpose Sport Touring bike. There are lots available in today?s motorcycle marketplace to choose from, but after riding the Honda ST 1300, you may not feel the need to look any further.

The ST1300 isn?t a new bike to Honda?s lineup, but the 2012 model reflects progressive enhancements. The power is courtesy of a compact 1261cc DOHC, 16-valve, liquid-cooled, longitudinally mounted 90? V-4 with a PGM-FI automatic enricher circuit, four 36mm throttle bodies, eight holes per injector and 4-into-two stainless triangular dual side exhaust. The motor features an oversquare bore and stroke of 78mm and 68mm respectively, that improves power flow and drivetrain efficiency. The motor?s energy is geared to the rear wheel via a final shaft drive through a smooth shifting, cassette-type five-speed sequential manual gearbox. There are dampers on the transmission mainshaft, clutch and driveshaft to aid in reducing noise, vibration and driveline lash.

Suspension componentry is made up of a rigid aluminum upper triple-clamp and 45mm Honda Multi-Action System cartridge front forks with 4.3-inches of travel, while the rear suspension incorporates a single shock, which mounts directly onto the swingarm. The shock features a five-position (1.2 inches) spring preload adjustability and 4.8-inches of travel.

Slowing and stopping the ST1300 are dual full-floating 310mm discs with CBS three-piston calipers with ABS up front and a single 316mm disc with CBS three-piston caliper and ABS in the rear. Rolling stock consists of Dunlop Battlax 120/70 ZR18 front and 170/60ZR-17 low profile rear radial rubber mounted on three-swirl-spoke, U-section cast aluminum wheels (3.5-inch front and 5-inch rear).

Other important features that grace the ST1300 Honda include; full-coverage bodywork offering wind and weather protection, low noise as well as high-speed aerodynamics; integrated lockable and detachable hard saddlebags with handles that hold 35 liters each, and contain straps to limit bag opening to 90 degrees for content security; plastic-covered body-protector stays that extend outward to?protect the bodywork; dual-section fuel tank that places 5.5 gallons of fuel in the conventional tank location with an additional 2.2 gallons located in a sub-tank located low in the chassis, increasing fuel capacity and creating an even fuel weight distribution; an electric fuel pump that operates inside the sub-tank, providing consistent fuel pressure for the PGM-FI system;? a headlight assembly that features dual lenses with twin-filament H4 low/high-beam bulbs and multi-reflectors, with a pushbutton located on the left side of the fairing that electrically adjusts the headlight angle over a 2.5-degree range; a locking left-side fairing pocket offering the carrying capacity of an automobile console, with a weather-resistant vinyl flap covering the right-side pocket;? breakaway rearview mirrors that minimize damage in the event of a lay-over; a convenient centerstand assist-lever that folds away when not in use (there?s also a conventional sidestand); integrated front and rear turn signals (which are unfortunately non-self-canceling); an integrated ignition switch/fork lock, with a single ignition key that operates all locks; and a non-transferable three-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty.

If that?s not enough to impress, there?s also an electric windshield height adjustment and a locking fuel filler door.

The fairing houses an analog speedometer and tachometer as well as a digital dual trip meter and odometer, average fuel consumption, a depleting bar fuel gauge, air temperature and clock. A light pod appears on the right side with indicators for Neutral, ABS, oil temp and more. Readouts are legible except in very bright sunlight.

The ST1300 displays an extremely aerodynamic image with full fairing and bodywork. The fuel tank is sculpted for tucking in one?s knees comfortably. Rider pegs and foot controls are positioned midway for optimum comfort.

My test 2012 Honda ST1300 was finished in a sinister gloss Black with Silver logo and graphics. There?s a Black and White Police model with lots of extras geared to law enforcement bikes. The civilian model had a base price of $18,230. Expect to add a couple hundred more for dealer prep and handling, which will vary from dealer to dealer.

SUMMARY: Initially, when told that I was getting the ST1300 to ride and review, I envisioned an all-out sport bike, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that it?was in actuality a sport tourer that was not only exceptionally good-looking, but?fun and easy to ride. The riding position was near perfect for my 6?4? frame, and despite the bike?s 743 pound weight, it felt much lighter and maneuvered easily at both low and high speeds due to its exceptional balance and weight distribution. The seat is well padded and comfortable and the handlebars are easy to reach from the upright seating position.

The motor-driven adjustable windscreen offers 7.4 inches and 13 degrees of adjustability for greater wind protection and touring comfort. A thumb-operated push-button on the left handlebar operates the windscreen motor, and an additional 2.3 inches of manual adjustment is possible by repositioning the windscreen on its mounting brackets. It does an incredible job of cutting down high speed wind buffeting.

Power is linear and plentiful with a quiet exhaust note. throttle response is instantaneous and steady provided the revs are kept up, otherwise, the shaft drive tends to send a message with a slight jerkiness. Not a problem at all provided you?re paying attention.

The motor is also relatively quiet, allowing one to enjoy a peaceful ride through the countryside. Harley riders won?t know how to act ? I didn?t at first. There?s no loud V-Twin rumble ? only a mild whirring and thrumming ? nice for a change of pace. Ride quality is compliant, soaking up pavement irregularities gracefully, while carving twists and turns easily.

My only thoughts for improvement would be a gear indicator and self-canceling directional signals. Bottom line, the 2012 Honda ST1300 is a sport touring bike worthy of high praise at a lower cost than many competitors.

SPECIFICATIONS: Honda ST 1300 ABS-?12

Base Price:??????????????? ??????????? ??$18,230.

Price as Tested: ? ? ? $18,430. * est.- Dealer prep and handling rates can ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ????vary.

Engine Type and Size: ??????????? 1261cc DOHC, 16-valve liquid-cooled longitudinally ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? mounted 90? V-4 with PGM-FI with automatic enricher ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? circuit, four 36mm throttle bodies, eight holes per ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? injector and 4-into-two stainless triangular dual side ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? exhaust.

Horsepower (bhp): ??????????? ??????????? N/A??????????? @ rpm

Torque (ft./ lbs.): ??????????? ??????????? N/A??????????? @ rpm

Note: Honda does not publish motorcycle horsepower or torque figures.

Transmission: ??????????? ??????????? Five speed sequential manual.

Drive Train:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Final drive – Shaft

Suspension:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Front -? 45mm HMAS cartridge forks; 4.3-inches ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? travel.

Rear? – HMAS gas-charged single shock with five-??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? position spring preload adjustability; 4.8-inches travel.

Brakes:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Dual full-floating 310mm discs with CBS three-piston ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? calipers with ABS front / Single 316mm disc with CBS ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? three-piston caliper with ABS rear.

Tires: ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Dunlop Battlax? 120/70 ZR18x3.5-inch front / ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? 170/60ZR-17×5-inch low profile rear radial mounted ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? on three-spoke, U-section cast aluminum wheels.

Wheelbase:??????????? ??????????? ??? ??????????? 58.7 inches

Length Overall: ??????????? ???????????89.4? inches

Curb Weight:??????????? ?? ??????????? ??????????? 743 lbs.

Fuel Capacity:??????????? ??????????? 7.7??????????? gallons

Seat height:??????????? ??????????? ?? ??????????? 31.1 inches? (+/-0.6-inches)

0 – 60 mph:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Not tested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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