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2010 Honda Interstate, Sabre, and Stateline Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 2 Star Rating (1 Review)

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2010 Honda Interstate

An action shot of the 2010 Honda Interstate.

Photo © Honda

The Bottom Line

Three attractively priced, factory custom cruisers that may not be tall on long distance comfort, but offer finely modulated riding dynamics and slick, low key style.

Who Should Buy the Honda Interstate, Sabre, and Stateline Motorcycles?

Custom cruiser lovers looking for reliability, rideability, and solid value.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Description

  • 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

Big-bore bikes like the Honda VTX1800 and Suzuki C109R once captured the imagination of cruiser buyers, and their stately presence and ginormous engines mirrored the once-booming global economy and the "bigger is better" ethos. Fast forward a few years, and the more modest 1,300cc displacement has become the new 1800, with Honda's VTX1300 series selling nearly 83,000 units since it was introduced in '03.

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.

>>Click here for a Interstate, Stateline,and Sabre Photo Gallery<<

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 2 out of 5
Honda Stateline - A mixed bag, Member rolling5thunder

Iíve ridden the Honda Stateline for two full seasons, and since I have ridden in a variety of conditions, I now have a very good appreciation for the pros and cons of this machine. Pros The engine is very smooth, even at very low revs. Very much smoother than the Harley. Iíve ridden the Stateline for hours and I have none of the shakes that I get with the Harley. The engine has a lot of power and performs flawlessly, even when I am in the wrong gear. The transmission is just great. Perfect gear spacing, smooth shifting, and it is easy to power-shift. The drive shaft requires zero maintenance. Just get on and ride. There is no lash from the shaft. I like the looks of the Stateline. It has a very modern gas tank and a sleek look. The fenders are a bit too retro for me but overall it looks good. The blacked-out cylinders look good too. The instrument panel is located in the gas tank. This adds to the sleek look. The instrument panel is easy to see, even with a full-face helmet. There is no glare on the instrument panel, even on very sunny days. The only gauge is the speedometer. This is augmented with the standard set of idiot lights. I personally like more gauges (particularly a tachometer and a temperature gauge) but this is consistent with the current style of cruisers. The footpegs are forward of the centerline. Well out of the way when putting my feet on the ground, and in a comfortable position when riding. The seat is low, which is the current style. It makes planting my feet on the ground very easy. The Stateline is very well balanced. I can ride the Stateline easily at very low speeds. It is so well balanced that I can come to a full stop at a stop sign and go again without putting my feet down. Cons The front brake is very good, but the rear brake is ineffective. This causes a serious nose-dives when braking. Honda should have improved the rear brake, included an anti-dive front end (as they have on other bikes) or both. The turning radius is much larger than I expected both at low speeds and high speeds. This makes it difficult to negotiate parking lots and other tight spaces. Plan to do the back-and-forth shuffle in parking lots. At higher speeds, I scrape the footpegs early, so I have to take intersections much slower than I am used to. The Stateline has a single shock in the rear that is too stiff for use with a single rider. It gives a punishing ride on rough roads and causes an unintended dismount whenever I hit a bump. Yes, there is an adjustment to soften the ride; and yes, it is worthless. The air cleaner is an oversized medallion on the right side that interferes with my right knee. Iíve returned from many rides with a bruised right knee. Honda should issue kneepads to all Stateline buyers. The handlebars are very low (within an inch of the tank when turned to one side). This is the opposite of the chopper look with very high handlebars. The handlebars are spaced too far apart and are too far forward. I have very long arms, and I can barely sit in an upright position. Any normal person will find these handlebars too far forward. Letís face it. If you wanted to be leaning that far forward on the motorcycle, you would have bought a sport bike, not a cruiser. The exhaust note is OK. At low throttle speeds it is very quiet, which is very good for going through sleepy suburban areas. When the throttle is opened up, it creates a deep, flapping, noise. It is not annoying, but it will not be confused with a Harley. This may sound picky, but the horn sounds like something that I would use on a kids tricycle. It was easy to fix. I just replaced it with one of many horns that can be found on the aftermarket. Summary Overall, the Honda Stateline is a mixed bag. It doesnít have any major flaws, but It has enough annoyances that I will not keep it another year.

45 out of 45 people found this helpful.

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