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Quick Spin – Honda CTX 1300 | BIKE TESTS

Honda’s futuristic full bagger is in a league of its own

Honda has tread a fine line with the CTX 1300 , opting to wrap its whisper quiet V4 engine in space-age bagger styling, but when it comes to eating up the miles there are few bikes out there that can compete. This techno-cruiser offers effortless long-range pleasure with a healthy selection of biking mod cons such as combined ABS, traction control, heated grips and a cranking sound system.

Its sheer size doesn’t come to a halt easily, and you can forget about lane filtering, but the CTX quickly reveals its qualities when you hit the open road. With speed the bike becomes planted and any challenges experienced when piloting this cruiser through suburban life simply melt away as you work toward the 330km range limit of its 19.5-litre fuel tank. In contrast to what you might expect, the handling is sublime because of the ergonomic position of the raised bars and the relaxed riding position. A by-product of the comfortable low-set pegs is the bike’s tendency to touch down at very slight angles of lean but that said, it is very predictable and there’s also traction control for peace of mind. In testing I found the combined ABS system to be virtually undetectable, such is its quality of design.

The front fairing is something to behold with its fixed side mirrors and massive LED headlight. It emits a huge spread of light and is very effective at preventing wind buffeting when fitted with the high screen that currently comes standard with all new purchases. Carrying capacity is good thanks to the dual panniers; however, the raw plastic finish on the clasps and forward console is prone to scuffing.  The sound system is an interesting feature, and with such a low revving power plant you can get away with playing your favourite tracks off a memory stick or via blue tooth while tootling around town. The info displayed on the dash is clear and easy to read and although a gear indicator would have been nice, the five speed box makes it possible to putt along in anything from second to fourth so it’s not essential.

Why Honda didn’t provide an option for cruise control as standard, or an optional upgrade, is a mystery, but I get the distinct impression that the CTX represents good value as is. If you’re searching for something unique to tackle Australia’s open roads this could be the bike you’ve been waiting for.

By Paul McCann