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2012 Honda ST1300 Review: Night Rider

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2012 Honda ST1300 Review: The Goods
2012 Honda ST1300

The 2012 Honda ST1300.

Photo © Basem Wasef
How do you get from A to B with the optimum combination of speed and comfort?

Motorcycle manufacturers have offered a variety of solutions over the years, and Honda's answer since 2002 has been the ST1300, a sport touring motorcycle that's become a favorite among an unlikely cross section of riders: law enforcement officials and long distance tourers.

Priced at $18,230, the ST1300 occupies the higher end of the sport touring segment. It's powered by a 1,261cc V-Four engine mated to a 5-speed transmission that powers the rear wheel with a shaft drive. A massive 7.7 gallon fuel tank feeds the engine, and combined with Honda's EPA estimate of 35 mpg, produces a theoretical cruising range of around 270 miles.

Standard touring-friendly features include integrated, lockable and removable saddlebags, anti-lock brakes, and an electrically operated windshield. The non-adjustable front suspension offers 4.6 inches of travel, while the rear preload can be set using a dial just behind the engine. Honda describes the ST1300 as having a combination of "Gold Wing-inspired luxury with CBR-derived performance," but there's a surprising amount of GL-inspired heft here, too: the ST1300 has a staggering curb weight of 730 pounds, making it far more "touring" than "sport."

So, why have I called the ST1300 "Night Rider"? It goes deeper than the fact that it's only available in black. To find out why, click "Next".

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