A Look Back: 1991-2002 Honda ST1100

1997 Honda ST1100
The auxiliary gas tank, removable trunk, custom saddle and tall windscreen on this 1997 Honda ST1100 project bike from the February 2004 issue make 400-mile days fly by.

When Honda introduced the V45 Sabre in 1982, everyone thought the V-4 revolution was at hand. Everyone at Honda, that is. With a few exceptions nobody else jumped on that bandwagon, though Honda continued cranking out sportbikes and cruisers with V4 engines. In 1991, maybe looking for another way to demonstrate its faith in the layout, Honda rotated the engine 90 degrees, put it in an all-new sport-touring chassis with all-enveloping bodywork and a huge underseat gas tank, and the ST1100 was born.

Though big and heavy—61.2 inches between the axles, and depending on the model anywhere from 679 to 737 pounds wet—the ST1100 worked well enough on smooth back roads to keep riders entertained. The 1,085cc “flying” four had the same kind of low-end grunt as its cousins, cranking out a claimed 79 lb-ft of torque and about 100 horsepower. A quartet of carbs nestled between the cylinder banks provided glitch-free fueling, and the 7.4-gallon gas tank kept them fed for up to 300 miles between stops.

As was standard on factory sport tourers of the day, a pair of locking hard cases blended seamlessly into the flanks of the bike, and could be removed and replaced with extra body panels. The OE windscreen kicked up a lot of turbulence, and was often shelved in favor of an aftermarket unit that produced less buffeting. For many riders the stock seat wasn’t up to the range provided by the big tank, and the low handlebar was often replaced with something higher; the conventional tubular-bar design made that an easy swap.

The new Honda ST1100 graced the cover of our July 1990 issue.

About the only other feature that came in for criticism was the 28-amp alternator on the pre-1996 models. It wasn’t up to powering all the auxiliary lights, heated clothing and other gadgets riders added, and some failed outright. In ’96 a 40-amp unit replaced the old one. It can be retrofitted to older bikes, but it’s not a simple job, to some extent resulting in the higher prices you’ll find for later ST1100s.

ABS and traction control were options, and in 1996 the ABS models also came with linked brakes. The twin front discs worked fine under all but the most extreme use, where they tended to overheat and fade; a brake pad upgrade and fresh fluid generally solved the problem. The driveshaft produced some hop in response to ham-handed throttle use but otherwise performed without complaint.

Many used ST1100s show fairly high mileage—few ended up as garage queens—but the model’s reliability is legendary. Valves, once adjusted, stay that way for a very long time, and with regular oil changes most bikes will glide past the 100,000-mile mark with no fuss at all. One thing you don’t want to skip is timing-belt replacement, set by Honda at 90,000-mile intervals; push your luck there and you risk bent valves.

On used ST1100s check the rear brake caliper for corrosion caused by water thrown up in the rain, and look under the bike for rusting exhaust components. If the bike has been down it’ll be obvious—there’s hardly a square inch of it that isn’t covered with plastic—and inspect the covers on the tipover bars for evidence of, well, tipovers. The hard cases that came stock on the bike should be included in the deal, too.

Expect to pay somewhere between $2,400 and $3,500 for a good used ST1100. Post-’96 models are typically at the higher end of the price scale, as are those with ABS and traction control, which came as a package. Most examples you find will have at least a few accessories like a taller screen, a custom seat or a passenger backrest; these add to the appeal of a bike but not necessarily to its price unless they’re accessories you’d add anyway.


  1. I owned a couple of ST1100s. They were fabulous bikes. Great handling despite their weight and comfortable for both pilot and passenger.

    Interestingly, Honda of Germany had a great amount of influence on their original design and it shows. They seemed like they were meant as the ultimate autobahn blasters, capable of hour after hour cruising at 100mph plus speeds. The underseat gas tank dropped the center of gravity and helped give it a very planted feel at such high speeds.

    Too bad that it’s successor, the ST1300, didn’t live up to the reputation of its predecessor

  2. Had two ST1100’s also, still have a ’96 and agree with all John F said. I liken it to the feel of riding a locomotive, when at speed. Rock solid and it can go more than fast enough to scare me! Great in the twisties, with a potential lean angle that leaves little room on the tires for chicken strips. With a new Russell Day Long saddle, a Canada coast to coast and back again trip was a real pleasure, 5,000 km of that with the missus aboard. The weather protection provided by the fairing really is phenomenal, with a slightly higher non OEM screen, of course.

  3. I’m a 6’4” first owner on a 2000 ST100. I’ve never found a motorcycle that fit me quite so well. I rode a GS 1200 BMW in Europe this summer & expected that would ruin the appeal of my ST. They come from two different technological eras but when it comes right down to it the ST remains intensely satisfying.

  4. A ’99 ST was my first bike when I started riding in ’07. As a 5’8″ first-time rider, I dropped it so many times I lost count, but it was 100% reliable and smooth. Eventually, of course, I learned how to handle it under any normal conditions and the dropping stopped. Since then, I had a brief stint on a VFR800 and lately have been enjoying an FJR1300. It feels light, low, and easy to handle, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion the ST would be more comfortable.

    • Abigail, I’m really interested in your comparison between the Yam FJR1300 and the ’99 ST. I’ve owned an ’09 Yam FJR 1300 and loved the bike, but I really didn;t need all that power, plus (at 5’8″) the bike was a bit too tall for me. I really want a bike that is about 70-80% of the FJR and a used ST1100 might be perfect. What do you think between those two?

      • I have a 1997 ST 1100 I bought new. 51050 miles, tall windshield, Corbin seat, Givi trunk with a custom back rest and cruise lock. Bike has never been dropped and all maintence including rear splines has been done by the book. No rust on brakes, exhaust or swing arm. I tried last fall to sell it for $2850 and only got one call, no takers. brlove@comporium.net.

    • Abigail, I currently have (and plan to for a long time) a ‘98 vfr800. It’s fantastic. I added a throttle lock to it, a givi D200S windscreen and some older Givi E-21 side cases. I drove 650 miles one way to get it. Best purchase ever.

  5. I currently own a runner, and am building a second 91 St1100’s. Had a low mileage garage bike and ran it for years. Don’t like the 1300. Different feel. Best unknown bike for the money. Worth the parts you put in, the miles you drive. Not much else. Accord on two wheels, ok except the bike handles. With the new LED lights you can add lights without having to buy the expensive upgrade altantor. Upgraded the front forks springs for two up touring for cheep as well.

  6. After riding Goldwings for 20 years I had a chance to try a 2000 ST1100.
    I ended up buying it the same day, wish I had rode one years ago.

  7. scored a 98 st1100 for $2500 a few years back, put a sargent seat on it, had the rear shock spring replaced, pair of Michelin PR’s, stuffed an escort bird dog into the faring with a dash mount LED indicator, ram mounted go pro required a slick handle bar adapter and a coupla of clamps bolted together, but works great and gets around the windshield. Will be taking it back to Denver where I keep it stored ( $9/15 min off the plane) .Shakedown run after winter maintenance was this week on the dragon, very few bikes up there, but should be a pic on 3/14 of the only black ST up there.
    I owned an 02 rt1150, put over 100k on it b4 harley in my lane took me out on skyway….paid cash for a 1290 SA when the settlement paid out, it’s amazing, but something about this ST has filled the hole my RT left, i was ready to ride it forever, and riding the ST reminds me so much of that RT, and the ST is, i will confess, a better value, hands down, to own. put 3 final drives in that RT, and the insurance alone on the KTM is $1200/yr vs $300 for the ST…i could have 3 st’s spread out x-country if i could bring myself to sell the 1290 SA…never touch a 1290 SA, it truly amazing and worse than a crack habit to support, very addictive, i’ll never be able to sell it, but it’s the ST that charms me, a worthy long sword superslab
    transporter with surprising handling once you correct worn suspension and put Pilot Roads on it..

  8. I’ve had my 98 ST1100 for a few years now. Ridden it around a fair bit. Never saw any 300 miles on a single tank of gas!

    That said, it’s a good bike when the fuel pump doesn’t quit on you.

    • I’ve had one for close to twenty years and have done over 300 miles on a tank on numerous occasions. Regardless of the pace, it averages about 46 mpg both one or two up and cruises nicely at 85 mph… With other motorcycles in the garage, the ST110 is now reserved for our two-up trip rides.

  9. I’ve a 2007 ST1300. My wife had a massive stroke in August of that year and spent months in the hospital and rehab. I put 8300 miles on it before that. It became my daily ride. However, it sat and the fuel pump seized due to gas separation. This past May while pushing it out the shop I sat on it and I wondered if it would run. The local dealer said it wouldn’t. Long story short, I pushed it back in the shop. After a fuel pump replacement, fuel line cleaning, injector cleaning, battery replacement, and fluids change I fired it up. I’ve put 2K on it thus far and remember why I loved this bike.

    • Hey JB, been riding years before the Ethanol thing. I use a fuel conditioner called; ‘ Sentry ‘ the marine type for gas. CAnnot say enough good about this stuff. It will cure the gas seperation problem, heck it will even ‘fix’ old dead fuel . ( Seen this happen in a varnish smelling tank on a lawn mower!) 2006 Vulcan VN2000 at about 80mph the exhaust note would change, I’d back off and run about 75 on I-75. Started to use this product to combat seperation a cap full at fill up. I was passing cars waiting for exhaust note change . was doing 97-98mph. Also I sold this bike at 131,000 miles and there was vitually no leakdown loss at all and was kinda nerve racking as it never used any oil between changes. PS used T6 at every 2500 miles . Blew my back out in 2014 only reason I sold it. Bought 2014 Honda GL1800 with a voyger ‘traing well’ kit. after that in ’18’ . Sold it as It just didn’t fit right and would cause things to go to sleep, possibly from back injury, not sure. Now seen a ST1100 on here and researching. Seen your post on fuel seperation and pass on what I know. Ride safe

  10. My 99 ST had 24k when I purchased it, two years ago. In the last three weeks I have added about 4k with a single day (14 hours) 790 mile jaunt. That is a 56mph average. I 🖤 my ST. It isn’t the city commuter that my other cycles have been but it has carried my BMX bike and even another bike or two with zero complaints.

  11. i purchased a 1993 st1100a acouple months ago. better than any harley i ever owned. it goes plces you wouldn’t think a bike like that would go. i don’t know about the 300 miles yet. getting ready to go to arizona on it. thats how dependable it feels.

  12. Have had my ST1100 for five years bought at 53k now has 67k love this bike since day one. On the freeways it’s like Dream. Solid at high speeds. Cutting curves on the Northern California mountain roads is a pleasure at ease. Smooth yet throaty sound. At 70yrs old the day I dump it, it will have to go. I’ll have to go to a Strom or a FJ-09. Not looking forward to that day.

  13. Bought my 2000 ST new and covered 185,400 miles to date——-the finest bike that I’ve owned in over 55 yrs of riding.
    Never any problems but things are beginning to wear out ——-obviously.

  14. I like the numerous pleasant testimonies I’ve heard about this ST1100 Honda bike and would really love to own one as am a bike enthusiast…
    Am from Ghana in West Africa…who will sell one to me please?…

    • Did you ever find one? I have the 2002 AT Model – ABS and Traction Control, the last and very best of the ST1100’s. Candy bApple Red!!! You can see it on Craigslist Tucson. 46,900 miles. Well maintained. New Michellin Road 6, brakes, fluids and battery. Corbin Seat. Never been down. No dings, scratches, dents or leaks of any kind. You will not find a better one. My last ST1300 I sold, the buyer drove van and trailer non-stop from Oregon to get it. This is testament to how really great the ST bikes are, and I agree the 1100 is better than the 1300. This ad dated: 7/6/23. I’m 80. Time to quit. $3400 Firm + shipping. Purchase price and shipping & handling cost to be prepaid in cash. I imight deliver. (Buy me a plane ticket home.)

  15. I’ve owned a 1999 ST for 7 years now and still love riding this thing. 300 + miles per tank is not unusual AT ALL .
    This thing averages 50 mpg. . Great bike .

  16. Got my ST1100 new in 2001. Crossed Canada wide 4 times and many long trips into the US. Have done a lot of commuting as well. There will always be room in my garage for this awesome motorcycle. Biggest day was 1720Km in 14 hours of spirited riding. Was happy to get back in the saddle the next morning.

  17. I first saw a pan st1100 in the 90s when I was sat outside my local pub. I was taken by it’s looks. I’d never seen a bike quite like it.
    So! Many years later I decided to get another bike. What to buy?? I decided a I wanted a touring bike though adventure bikes have always been my thing.
    I bought a 2000 pan st1100 CBS ABS TCS with 43,000 miles on it. All stock. Changed the screen for a taller one. Put a custom seat on it. Fitted a 52ltr top box added sat nav and usb power point onto a bar I made and fitted over the dash.
    I was very wary of it weight very. It’s taken time to get used to the weight but now I’m ok with it. As a bike? Well! What can I say? One of the nicest bikes I’ve ever ridden and I still don’t understand why they stopped making them?? I’m used to it’s weight now and literally as soon as the wheels start turning its balance is great! It’s not a bike to have it’s backside thrashed out of it. The secret is to use its torque and it has enough. I’ve changed the way I ride and am now enjoying this bike very much. If not thrashed it’s very good on fuel. Better than most newer bikes I think.
    So! Honda why don’t you make a commemorative st1100.
    If I hadn’t bought this I would have bought the VFR 1200. Again a nice bike but didn’t really take off??

  18. Bought my ’95 ST 1100 in Aug. 2004, w/ 32K miles on it.. paid the seller extra for the Mustang gel seat (over the stock one) and for a rear rack & backrest..options well worth having, esp. the backrest- if you ride anyone. Sadly, haven’t put the miles on it that I had expected..only about 30K more, in 16 yrs. isn’t much. My riding miles get split between a garage full of bikes.

    BY 2004, I ‘D BEEN RIDING FOR 30+ YRS..dirt bikes of all types, motocross, Trials, street bikes, have owned over 30 bikes..most bought new, (early in my riding experience) after gaining some experience, most have since been purchased used. Last new bike was a ’98 VTR 1000.

    I’d rate my ST 1100 in the top 4 or 5 of my favorite bikes.. Owned a GL 1200A for many years, & 60+K miles, & would be in my top 3 favorites.. the ST is close to that GL.. Other favorites are a 1991 VFR 750 & a ’79 FXEF Harley.
    My ST came with handlebar swap, Progressive fork springs, I added a Works Performance rear shock (used-from e-bay & put on a set of 2 Bros. Racing slip-on “mufflers”. They stayed on for maybe a week..replaced them back with stock mufflers.. (2BR’s were too loud.) Strange, that I’ve put only about 30K miles in the 16 yrs. I’ve owned my ST.. used it for commuting to work, running errands, & hasn’t left the state of MI. since I’ve owned it..Plan was to use it on many cross country trips, but plans change, unfortunately.

    Having ridden my GL for years, the ST’s weight wasn’t much of a factor..it’s a little lighter, faster, but doesn’t have the same severe weather protection the the GL has..(esp. noticeable when caught in heavy rain.)

    St has been remarkably reliable..oil & filter changes, tires & brake pads.. As reliable as most cars..good power, & handling, very planted in corners. Love the torque of a V-4 motor (& v-twin)..pulls strongly when desired. I feel the ST1100 is one of those under appreciated bikes, with used ones selling for prices well below what they’re worth..IMO

    If anyone reading this is considering one..I’d suggest going for it. Nice, fairly low mile bikes are selling for around $3K in my market area..a real bargain.

  19. I just committed to buying a 92′ with 57k miles. My only concern is the heat coming off onto my legs. My 86′ Kawasaki Concours has the same problem and I haven’t found a cure. Looking forward to cold weather when I’ll appreciate the heat but right now it’s 100 degrees and the extra heat is not fun. I just test rode the ST and the gears are SO different from my Concours, I’m always looking for another gear that just isn’t there past 70 mph. The Honda is geared such that 4th feels like 6th on the Concours and 5th on the Honda is like overdrive. No wonder people report getting 50 mpg. Looking forward to riding to California from Fort Worth Texas very soon. The tires are brand new and the PO just did a tune up so it’s ready to cruise.

  20. I bought my 1998 st1100 4 years ago with 10,200 miles on it. I put fresh tires on it and painted the rust prone exhaust areas with POR-15 anti-rust paint. No rust damage had begun so this was precautionary. The other thing I did was add an inner rear fender extension that protects the swing arm cross brace from being blasted by road grit and salt. This might help delay the start of rusting on parts of the exhaust piping. This is a great touring bike.

  21. Hi all. I bought a 2002 ST1100 two years ago…had 24K miles and showroom condition. Put about 7K miles on it since and could not be happier. A couple of 400 mile days and could have kept going. Cruise at 80mph all day, smooth as silk, and carves the corners once I learned to trust it. Handlebars raised 2″ and aftermarket taller windscreen. My only complaint, and pretty minor, engine temp in stop-and-go traffic. On a warm day at a two minute stop light, temp goes about three quarters to H. Fan eventually kicks on and maintains, but doesn’t cool until I moving again. Is this a thing with ST’s?
    Thanks and be safe.

  22. I bought a 91 st a couple of years ago, to take some of the work off of my Vmax. The bike has now become my main ride. Its no lightweight, but it handles well, the 7+ gallon under seat tank make for that weight to balance out nicely and the need to constantly Seek out gas stations a big bonus. I’ve owned many motorcycles in including a goldwing and this old st is hands down my favorite ride.

  23. Well, be 81 in a couple mons. Been riding over 60 yrs. Bought a 2003 ST1300 3years ago; forgot how much fun riding could be. So much so , that 4 mons. later I bought an additional 2005 ST1300 with only 19K miles.( I’ve got 13 bikes) I tend to supply my 2 sons with rides on trips. Of all of them, I prefer the ST s; including the 97 BMW R1100RT. No doubt, both 1100 and 1300 ST s are keepers. And, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. Still true today.

  24. just purchased a 2002 33,000 mile for under $3000… clean bike.I went on first “long” 300+ mile ride with lots of twisties. It did really well and like mentioned above once I trusted it wasn’t going to slip it moved flawlessly through miles of twisties.

  25. On my second ST1100, unbeatable for freeway work. Just retired, Phoenix area, commute done, need a smaller bike. 2002, 90K, purchased new.

  26. My coworker picked up a 1999 st100 that was garage kept, and a trade in at the local Harley dealer. It had 16k miles on it if I remember correctly. Well he bought another Harley, his dream bike he says. Now I get to buy the st1100 from him this weekend. He is ready to part with it @ 19k miles for 2000$. I’m excited to go get it as I have been dreaming of a touring bike to go along with my dirtbike, super sport bike, and city sport. The ST is silver and completely stock

  27. just bought my 1st st1100 been riding for 40 years . just didnt want to go to the gold wing age yet. still have my 81 900f for the fast stuff. cant believe how smooth this bike is .. cross Canada doesnt seem so far….

  28. i bought a 1999 with 50 somes km in 2019 and ride as a kid, squize the trhottle pretty much for my age, i cant stop finding a way or a plaçe to have to go to be on it , and wish to live old to go through, it ride like ice cream, fast ,fun and confortable so far the best .

  29. You do meet the nicest people on a honda i have had many cb360(4) 650 nighthawk,, v45 magna,, 1000 intercepter ,,2005 st 1300 in red (stunning) my pride and joy 1999 valkyrie with the big flat 6 1520 cc 6 Mikuni carbs and six solid chrome headers into 6 growlers wrapped into 2 big squares she was my flyin angel and my Harley eater custom ordered in yellow and cream all gone now however TODAY2 days short of my 60th birthday i am heading out to buy a 1998 valk tourer in jet black and a v45 magna with 0n 13.000 kms on it show room and so the love affair begins again ride or die!!!!! eh sorry Canadian couldn’t help it

  30. The bike I will always miss…..so many great trips on the red ’97. Never failed me. Heavy in the parking lot but once rolling lightens up. Change out the seat and you can ride five hours at a pop. The only issue I had was changing light bulbs…beasty. Solved that with a set of aux lights. No wonder they are so widely used by police forces and parameds in Europe. Yep, will always miss that bike.

  31. 1 had a brand new 1991 ST1100 untill 2016 when It was damaged by a car. It had about 18400 miles. I found a used 1991 three years with 9500 miles for $3500 and bought it. It has been the best motorcycle for the money.I used for commuting , grocery shopping, anything. I wish Honda was still producing them.


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