Honda ST1300ABS | PRICE: $15,499
Triple box-section spars and a strapping cast-aluminum steering head bear most of the ST's considerable mass. Solid mounts let the engine assume load-bearing duties as well. Meticulously matched bolts sharpen chassis feel whilst helping to squelch nasty vibration.
An aluminum upper triple-clamp holds 45mm cartridge-type fork legs securely. Sadly, they offer no external adjustments. The ubiquitous remote adjuster allows a 1.2-inch range of shock spring adjustment, while a somewhat less accessible screw lets you dial in rebound damping.
Smooth? Honda's big V-4 uses a 360-degree crankshaft and contra-rotating balance shafts. Heavy-breathing 31mm intake valves share each combustion chamber with 26mm exhaust poppets. PGM-FI injectors disburse fuel through 36mm throttle bodies as per the 3-D digital map. A catalyst in each 5.4-liter muffler cuts environmentally unfriendly exhaust gases.
Honda calls the shape an Aero-Ellipse, a slick look intended to steer air efficiently around rider and passenger whilst facilitating high-speed stability. Outriggers on either side touch down first in a tip-over to save more expensive bits. Don't ask how we know.
The front brake lever triggers the outer pair of pistons in each three-piston front caliper and the three-piston rear caliper. Pushing the pedal cues the center piston in front and rear calipers, while a delay valve slows actuation up front to decrease chassis pitch. A proportioning valve optimizes front/rear brake bias to conditions.
Horsepower: 114.1 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Torque: 83.5 lb.-ft. @ 6250 rpm
Flat as its outboard-from-heck exhaust note, the Honda power curve defines efficient power. Torque in the basement? This one makes 77 lb.-ft. of the stuff way down at 3000 rpm, and thrust flows like a fire hydrant from there to 7500.
Engine Type: l-c 90-degree V-four
Valve train: DOHC, 16v
Bore x stroke: 78.0 x 66.0mm
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension: 45mm Showa cartridge fork
Rear suspension: Single Showa shock, adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual three-piston Nissin calipers, 310mm discs
Rear brake: Single three-piston Nissin caliper, 316mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR18 Bridgestone BT020
Rear tire: 170/60-ZR17 Bridgestone BT020
Rake/trail: 26.0/3.9 in.
Seat height: 31.1 in.
Wheelbase: 58.4 in.
Fuel capacity: 7.7 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 727/681 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 114.1 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Measured torque: 83.5 lb.-ft. @ 6250 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 11.43 sec. @ 118.55 mph
Top gear roll-on, 60-80 mph: 4.52 sec
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 50/32/44 mpg
Colors: Light Silver Metallic
Warranty: 36 months, unlimited mi.
Contact: American Honda
1919 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90501
ST ergos lean you forward to get the most out of a relatively small fairing. Shifting a little weight to arms and wrists makes four hours in the saddle tolerable. An excellent stock seat helps out on that count as well.