Honda has adroitly filled a niche in the entry-level motorcycle genre with its two twin-cylinder CTX models, which are based upon the 670cc parallel twin first introduced in the NC700X. Plenty of new and returning riders are looking for inexpensive bikes with a low seat, comfortable easy handling and a torquey engine with smooth, seamless power—like a cruiser. But many of those potential riders, Honda believes, would prefer a bike with some fresh, modern styling and technology, rather than the traditional heavy-metal cruiser look. The fairing-equipped CTX700 and naked CTX700N deliver on this Comfort, Technology and Xperience concept with unique appearances that take cues from the 2009-2010 DN-01 crossover bike, particularly the faired CTX. Both apparently have been received well enough to justify a larger new CTX1300 version, giving CTX700 owners an upgrade path as well as appealing to more experienced riders who are looking for a bigger bike with a fresh look.
Styled similarly to the faired CTX700 with the addition of integrated saddlebags, the larger new CTX1300 is powered by a 1,261cc, 90-degree V-4 that shares its architecture with the venerable liquid-cooled, fuel-injected ST1300 sport-tourer, but has new pistons, different gearing in the 5-speed box and a new 4-2-2 exhaust system. Honda says it makes significantly more torque than the ST1300 as a result of the updates, and listening to its snarling engine rev at the unveiling at Honda HQ is quite convincing. The V-4 is also mounted longitudinally in the CTX1300’s steel double-cradle frame, and power gets to the ultra-wide 200-series rear tire via a shaft final drive system designed specifically for the bike. A high-zoot 45mm male-slider fork in front and—surprisingly—garden-variety twin rear shocks with adjustable spring preload handle suspension duties.
Key to the big CTX1300’s appeal is its relaxed ergonomics, which combine a low seat height of 29.1 inches with wide, comfortable-looking seats for both rider and passenger, a wide pullback handlebar with an adjustable brake lever, and mid-mount footpegs. An underseat fuel tank contributes to its potentially nimble handling by lowering the bike’s CG, though it will have to wait for our first ride to see how the 724-pound (claimed curb weight) machine will get along with that fat 200-series rear tire. The bike sports LED head- and taillights, and an LCD info display is flanked by an analog speedometer and tachometer on the instrument panel. A pair of small fairing pockets seem like an afterthought, as their hinged lids only open a few inches to avoid hitting the handlebar. Both a top trunk and centerstand will be on the options list as well as heated grips and a taller replacement for the stock shorty windscreen. While the saddlebags are bolt-on units, Honda says removing them still leaves the bike with a finished appearance.
Stepping up to the blacked-out CTX1300 Deluxe model will net the rider traction control, anti-lock brakes, self-canceling turn signals and a contemporary sound system with Bluetooth for connecting to BT headsets and smartphones. A pair of fairing-mounted speakers also deliver the tunes. The Deluxe equipment is expected to add $1,500-$2,000 to the CTX1300’s price tag, which was still TBD at this writing. Although the CTX700s are available with automatic dual-clutch transmissions, there are no plans to offer a DCT on the CTX1300s due to cost considerations. They are expected to reach dealer showrooms in March 2014.
Honda Genuine Accessories
Tall Windscreen, Audio Package (for standard model), Heated Grips, Heated Grip Attachment, 12-Volt Accessory Socket, Rear Carrier, Centerstand, Chrome Handlebar Ends, Chrome Windscreen Garnish, Chrome Engine Shrouds, Chrome Back Mirror Covers, Chrome Valve Covers, Chrome Master Cylinder Cap, Chrome Clutch Lever, Chrome Brake Lever, Color-Matched 45L Rear Trunk, LED Fog Lights.
Accessories subject to change.
Model: CTX1300 / CTX1300 Deluxe
Engine Type: 1261cc liquid-cooled longitudinally mounted 90° V-4
Bore and Stroke: 78mm x 66mm
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Induction: PGM-FI with electronic control IACV, four 36mm throttle bodies, eight holes per injector
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital with 3-D mapping and electronic advance
Final Drive: Shaft
Front: Inverted 45mm fork; TBD inches travel
Rear: Twin rear shocks with spring preload; TBD inches travel
Front: Dual 310mm front discs
Rear: Single 315mm rear disc with CBS
ABS (Deluxe model)
Wheelbase: 64.5 inches
Rake (Caster angle): 28° 5’
Trail: 114.3mm (4.5 inches)
Seat Height: 29.1 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5.1 gallons
Estimated Fuel Economy: TBD
Colors: Metallic Black, Gray Blue Metallic, Candy Red
Curb Weight*: 724.2 pounds (CTX1300) / 731.4 pounds (CTX1300 Deluxe)
*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.