The Bottom Line
Who Should Buy the Honda Interstate, Sabre, and Stateline Motorcycles?Custom cruiser lovers looking for reliability, rideability, and solid value.
- Single-pin v-twin powerplant offers carefully balanced combination of "pulse" and smoothness
- Lack of Honda branding offers refreshingly clean, uninterrupted lines
- Priced thousands less than equivalent non-metric models
- Seat comfort can wear thin on longer rides
- Interstate, despite good touring intentions, has shallow saddlebags and a low windshield
- Ride quality suffers due to low-slung stance
- Price: Interstate ($12,749), Sabre ($11,799, $12,799 with ABS), Stateline ($11,699, $12,699 with ABS)
- Engine: 1,312cc, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 52 degree v-twin
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Final drive: Shaft
- Brakes: twin-piston, 336mm single-disc front, single-piston, 296mm single-disc rear
- Suspension: 41mm front fork (with 4.0 inches of travel), single shock rear (with 3.9 inches of travel)
- Seat height: 26.8 inches
- Fuel capacity: 4.4 gallons
- Curb weight: 712 pounds (Interstate); 640/679 pounds (Sabre/Sabre ABS); 672/688 pounds (Stateline/Stateline ABS)
Guide Review - 2010 Honda Interstate, Sabre, and Stateline Review
Expanding on the success of the lineup, Honda's new-for-2010 Interstate, Sabre, and Stateline offer fresh twists on the factory custom cruiser theme. The Interstate ($12,749) is the longer-distance bike out of the bunch, with floorboards, 5.8 gallon saddlebags, and a windscreen. The Sabre ($11,799; $12,799 with ABS) is more custom oriented, with a 21-inch front wheel, a narrower seat, and a pro street-style handlebar. Rounding out the trio, the traditionally styled Stateline ($11,699; $12,699 with ABS) wears a blacked out engine, larger fenders, a leaned back saddle, and wider handlebars with an more upright riding stance.
Despite mild variances in ergonomics and wind protection, the common thread is the 1,312cc v-twin. The single-pin mill (as opposed to the dual-pin setup found in the VTX1800) creates a pleasant pulse, a characteristic also common to Harley powerplants.
During a 120 mile roundtrip ride from Torrance to Malibu, I was first struck by the flexibility of the powerplant, and its carefully modulated balance between character (ie, vibration and exhaust volume) and livability. This is where Honda engineering excels: this liquid-cooled engine offers plenty of torque and a pleasing exhaust note, producing just enough "pulse sensation" without becoming grating over the long haul. Similarly, the 5-speed gearbox shifts smoothly, clutch effort is light, and linked brakes offer strong stops.
As the miles wore on, a few distinctions emerged: the Interstate's windshield helped block much of the cool coastal wind, though its top edge sometimes distracted from sight lines. The Sabre felt (and looked) the coolest to ride, though its stretched-out ergonomics weren't quite as accommodating over longer distances; the Stateline offered a more livable seating position, with the handlebars falling easily into reach. Each of the three bikes had more than ample power for passing. Though they exhibited the inevitable peg-scraping on tight canyon roads, they met my expectations for handling, especially considering their relatively low-slung profiles.
Two thirds of the way through my ride, the bike's firm suspension and relatively thin saddle telegraphed enough discomfort to suggest this trio is not quite setup for long distance rides, but nonetheless, these custom-style cruisers offered a solid combination of engine character, slick looks, and fun-to-ride personalities. Considering their relatively modest prices of entry, that's a winning combination sure to satisfy most cruiser enthusiasts.