2014 Honda CTX 1300 Deluxe Test Ride

?2014 / 2015 Honda CTX1300 and CTX1300 Deluxe?
An Innovative, futuristic touring cruiser and more
The Honda CTX1300 and CTX1300 Deluxe are not officially in Honda?s 2015 model line-up but they are available in the dealer?s showrooms as a 2014 model since there is a sufficient supply of both popular bikes to support 2015 sales. Under such circumstances, motorcycle manufacturers often occasionally skip a model year with no changes on specific bikes.

The Honda CTX 1300 represents the evolution of the CTX family, joining the CTX 700 and CTX 700N as part of the CTX lineup. It is the second entry for Honda?s Comfort Technology eXperience (hence CTX). Another related Honda Cruiser is the Gold Wing F6B, but it?s bigger and heavier, and is powered by a six-cylinder motor.

Both the Honda CTX1300 and CTX 1300 Deluxe are powered by a 1261cc DOHC, 16-valve, liquid-cooled longitudinally mounted 90 degree V-4 motor with PGM-Fuel injection with electronic control IACV and four 36mm throttle bodies with eight holes per injector. The motor comes from the discontinued ST models and is mated to a five-speed sequential manual transmission (sorry ? no dual clutch gearbox, which would have bumped the sticker up considerably) that gears energy to the rear wheel via a shaft drive.
The base and Deluxe versions of the CTX 1300 also come with integrated saddlebags, which may be removed, adjustable suspension, a comfortable one-piece seat for rider and passenger (the passenger portion of the seat provides a strap handle) and LED headlights. For another $1,500., the CTX 1300 Deluxe model adds an Anti-Lock Braking System and Traction Control, self-canceling turn signals, an audio package that includes Bluetooth connectivity allowing one to play their favorite music cordlessly from a smart phone, which may be charged via the USB outlet found in the right-hand storage cubby, and blacked-out styling elements that provide a distinctive and unique persona.
The V-4 motor is mounted longitudinally and its four chromed exhaust headers (two per side) make for an appealing and impressive display. There are slight tuning changes that include a lower compression and taller gearing than found on the ST, which are intended to provide the CTX with better around-town rideability and fuel economy, with redline coming at 7000.
Essentially, the Honda CTX 1300 Deluxe is a non-traditional ?Bagger? that is capable of doing duty as a bagger, a commute bike, a weekend cruiser or even a sport tourer of sorts. The CTX is not small, tipping the scale at 731 pounds ready to ride with all fluids. The wheelbase is 64.5 inches and the overall length measures 93.7 inches. At first glance it may be a little intimidating, but once off the side stand, it is extremely well balanced at both low and higher speeds.
Rider ergonomics are ideal with knees bent at roughly 90 degrees, bars readily accessible with a comfortable arm extension and hands naturally angled. The seat is a low 29.1 inches, which will accommodate a wide range of rider physiques and enabling flat-footed support when stopped. The balance factor is attributable to not only the low seat height, but also the placement of the majority of the 5.1-gallon gas tank?s volume under that seat, but mostly to the fore/aft crankshaft orientation of the V-4, which allows for a narrow crankcase that enables the heavy engine to sit low enough netting a low center of gravity.
The shaft-drive chassis is a steel-tube affair, built expressly for the CTX1300. 45mm inverted forks provide 4.1 inches of wheel travel up front, while dual rear shocks allow 4.3 inches of travel. The rear suspension allows for a pre-load adjustment. Rolling stock for the CTX is Dunlop Sportmaxx130/70R18 rubber up front and a 200/50 R17 donut aft, mounted on 5-dual-spoke black painted alloy wheels.

My test 2014 Honda CVTX 1300 was the Deluxe model finished in Gray Blue metallic. Other available colors include Red and Black. The base price was set at $17,499., while the as tested sticker came to $17,889.

SUMMARY: The new Honda CTX 1300 Deluxe marches to a different drummer, establishing new ground rules for non-traditional bagger types. The styling is sleek and somewhat futuristic, but most of all, is extremely appealing.

Despite its long wheelbase and heavy mass, along with the not-so-aggressive geometry (4.6 inches of trail, 28.1 degree rake), the CTX turns in nicely, even with the 200 rear rubber. The handlebars are swept back and wide, providing an easy leverage for the big bike. Steering response and maneuverability are spot on making for ease of directional stability.
The 1261cc V-4 motor is exceptionally smooth, with a very broad torque range, and the 5-speed sequential manual gearbox shifts seamlessly. At lower revs, the shaft drive delivers a jacking effect, but with the revs kept up the issue is eliminated. Torque delivery is strong and steady from as low as 1,800 rpm past the 6,900 rpm redline before coming close to the 8,000 rpm rev limiter. Shifting gears at times seems almost a waste of time, thanks to such a broad range and tall gears.
An adjustable windscreen would serve as an improvement for taller riders, but the short existing screen is acceptable, with minimal buffeting. Another feature that would be appreciated, would be a gear indicator for forgetful riders. Traditional bagger riders will likely long for boards rather than the pegs provided due to gear the shift and rear brake pedal placement. The deep-dish seat is quite comfortable, though perhaps a tad short for longer ?legged riders. Passengers are provided with foot pegs, a seat strap handle as well as grips molded into the body work. Bags lock with the same key as the ignition, which also operates the fork lock, seat release and fuel filler door for convenience.

The Honda CTX 1300 Deluxe is a totally enjoyable multi-functional bike to ride, providing a feeling nearly bordering on invincibility. The big mystery is, why Honda is skipping the 2015 production year? Could a revised edition be in the works for the 2016 model year?

[wptabs style=”wpui-light” effect=”slide” mode=”horizontal”]
?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014/2015 Honda CTX1300 Deluxe [/wptabtitle]
?? [wptabcontent]

Base Price: $17,499.
Price as Tested: $17,889.
Engine Type and Size: 1261cc, DOHC, 16-valve, liquid-cooled, longitudinally mounted 90 degree V-4, PGM-Fuel injection with electronic control IACV and four 36mm throttle bodies with eight holes per injector.
Horsepower (bhp): *Note: Honda does not publish horsepower or torque ratings.
Torque (ft./ lbs.): *Note: Honda does not publish horsepower or torque ratings.
Transmission: Five-speed sequential manual.
Drive Train: Final drive – Shaft.
Suspension: Front ? Inverted 45mm forks.
Rear – Twin shocks with springs.

Brakes: Front ? Dual 310mm discs.
Rear ? Single 315mm disc.
Tires: Dunlop Sportmaxx130/70R18 front / 200/50 R17 mounted on 5-dual-spoke black painted alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 64.5 inches
Length Overall: 93.7 inches
Curb Weight: 731.0 lbs. ready to ride
Fuel Capacity: 5.1 gallons.
EPA Mileage Estimates: Not measured
Seat Height: 29.1 inches
0 – 60 mph: Not Tested

?? [/wptabcontent]
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

More from Our Auto Expert