2014 Honda CTX1300 | FIRST LOOK

Big Red builds a midi-bagger between the CTX700 and the Gold Wing F6B

Part of Honda’s rollout of new 2014 models got a slight head start when photos were leaked showing an undisguised CTX1300 caught on public roads during a photo shoot in California. And that’s why when Honda pulled the drape off the 2014 CTX1300, we had that sense of deja vu. But you may, too, even if you haven’t seen the spy shots: The CTX is a logical outgrowth of the CTX700 mini-bagger and sports enough stylistic commonality to be obviously linked to the Gold Wing-based F6B. Though you have to wonder if there’s not a bit of Billy Ray-like filial disconcert.

Or, you could think of it as a “customized” ST1300, since the 90-degree V-4 is based largely on the long-running sport tourer’s, with DOHC, four-valve-per cylinder heads, a five-speed gearbox, and shaft final drive. Updates for CTX duty include different pistons, revised “calibration” for more low-end and midrange torque, and taller overall gearing.

The chassis is all new, with a steel-tube frame and twin shocks adjustable for spring preload only. A low saddle is high on the features list, at 29.1 inches, and a 200mm-wide rear tire will probably earn a second glance at the rear end.

Honda says the CTX1300 weighs 724 pounds wet for the base model, another 8 pounds for the Deluxe, which adds a Bluetooth-linked audio system and twin speakers; the system links to your smartphone through Bluetooth, and can be paired with wireless headsets as well. ABS and TC come as part of the Deluxe package as well, while brakes on both models are mechanically linked.

Honda has not finalized CTX13 MSRP, but listed a “target” price for the base model of $17,000, which leads us to speculate that the Deluxe should run $18,500 to $19,000. The CTX700 starts at $7,799 and the F6B (now available in a sunglasses-prompting yellow/black colorway) is $19,999.