2014 Honda CTX1300 Cruiser Spied Testing — World Exclusive

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RideApart spies have captured the new 2014 Honda CTX1300 while undergoing its official promotional shoot. An all-new cruiser that combines the ST1300′s V4 engine with the CTX700‘s accessibility, it looks as if Honda is pushing further into dragging the cruiser market kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Photos: Chris Doane Automotive LLC

Immediately noticeable is the CTX1300′s exposed, liquid-cooled V4 motor. Clearly the same that is used by the Honda ST1300, except here it takes advantage of the exposed cylinder heads and exhaust headers to achieve a strong, muscular appearance.

Honda ST1300 V4
The Honda ST1300′s V4.

We believe the CTX1300′s motor to be the same due to the appearance of those exhaust headers, cylinder heads and crank cases. The head bolts are in an identical position within the identical covers.

2014 Honda CTX1300
Close up, the CTX’s V4 appears identical to that of the ST1300.

In the ST1300, that 1,260cc V4 produces 117 bhp at 8,000 rpm and 86 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,500 rpm. It powers the rear wheel through a shaft, as also clearly pictured in these images.

What we can’t determine through these images is if the CTX1300 will be fitted with the CTX700′s defining features — a Dual Clutch Transmission and Antilock Brakes. Forgive us a moment of speculation, but fitting those same features to the CTX1300 would be in line with Honda’s recent product direction. Both features make the smaller CTX700 exceptionally new-rider friendly. The DCT removes the need for a clutch lever and can operate in either automatic or manual modes, while the ABS brakes prevent the brakes from locking either wheel, making the bike even easier to ride.

2014 Honda CTX1300

Honda is strongly targeting new riders with nearly all its latest product introductions. With the American motorcycle market shrinking, they need to create a new audience to sell products to in the future. The idea is that someone who starts on a Honda CBR300R may move up to a Honda CBR500R, then a Honda CBR600RR. This new CTX1300 provides the same level of progression to its cruiser range. You may start on a CTX700, buy a CTX1300 a few years later, then move up to a Honda Gold Wing F6B. A tiered product range makes it easy for riders to advance the size of their bike as their skill (and budget) increases.

2014 Honda CTX1300

This new CTX1300 follows many of the smaller, cheaper CTX700′s design cues: half-fairing, hard panniers and a two-level seat. Upgrades on the larger bike appear to be LED running lights, integrated speakers (and presumably an affiliated infotainment system) in the cockpit, a chopped screen reminiscent of the F6B’s and mirrors which incorporate LED turn signals. Like the ST1300, the CTX1300 has crash protectors mounted on the engine. A nice touch for a bike which should be equally at home commuting, touring or leisure riding.

2014 Honda CTX1300

Mid-mount footpegs and pulled-back bars give the CTX1300 a refreshingly practical, sit-up-and-beg riding position. That will facilitate both excellent control and comfort, elevating the bike over its less practical competitors.

Controversially, the CTX1300 is somewhat reminiscent of the ill-fated Honda DN-01. Perhaps the greatest challenge the CTX1300 faces is proving whether Honda’s original concept of an accessible, practical, convenient cruiser holds commercial promise.

More Photos – Page 2 >>

  • eviladrian

    I like it, with those twin headers sticking out each side!

    It’s like Honda found the exact halfway point between the CTX700 and the F6B, stuck a pin in it, and said “Dig here!”

  • Rameses the 2nd

    Looks like a baby Goldwing. Honda is on a misison to create most practical, most reliable, and most ugly looking motorcycles. At some point you have to say, screw it; I will just buy Honda Fit.

    • David

      Or you can say, “I will buy a KTM/Triumph/Ducati and never be practical”

    • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

      Practical, reliable, awesome, and ugly… so, the Subaru method of design?

  • Michael Howard

    Sure wish a “move up” didn’t always involve “bigger and heavier”.

    • Khali

      You may prefer the CBR progression then :)

  • Jon B.

    boot cut jeans… the horror.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Plus 1,000,000. I’d love to have the chance to style one of these shoots so it wasn’t so tragic.

    • Rob McGarry

      At least they’re not skinny jeans.

  • Khali

    The front view looks totally awesome. The side view tough…
    I would add electric foldable mirrors (like on burgman 650) and removable panniers (or thinner covers like in honda deauville) so the bike is commuting capable on any place where a lane isnt 5 meters wide (europe for example)

  • Guzzto

    If only Guzzi had patented their knee warmer technology.

  • Mykola

    I think the CTX700 is great, and having read about not not ridden one, have the utmost faith that it is a great bike; but as far as this goes, I’d just just as soon get an actual ST1300 or a real (as in good looking) cruiser instead. How about a new Valkyrie?

  • Randy Singer

    The front brakes have six piston calipers. I doubt that this is for increased braking performance. More likely it means that one or more of the front brake caliper pistons are activated along with the rear brake when the rear brake pedal is used.

    Do the handle bars look unusually low, as well as extremely pulled-back? They look a bit like the handles of a wheelbarrow to me. I don’t know what this will mean for handling and comfort.

  • ThinkingInImages

    I’m not sure what I’m looking at here. This looks more like a small F6B with none of the cohesiveness of that design. It lacks the elegance of the Deauville’s lines. Basically, when I hear/read “designed for the American” market I cringe. The European models tend to be edgy. We get big scooters.

    • Piglet2010

      I did have someone ask if my Deauville was a scooter?!?

  • Justin McClintock

    It’s like a DN01 mated with that new cut-down Goldwing. And it ain’t pretty.

    • jonoabq

      The DN01 resemblance is the first thing I saw as well. The next thing I saw was the elasticated, slip-on boots, that slip right off again at the most inopportune (had to lay her down) moment.

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        We need a new meme where a cruiser rider says “I had to lay her down” in the same accent/manner/voice as the South Park “They Took Our Jobs” characters.

        • Stephen Wuebker

          Sorry…

        • jaystevens

          “I had to lay her down”

          I hear that and I don’t bother saying anything anymore. I just nod and walk away. I figure that I cannot learn anything there.

  • kentaro

    Official title of the female passenger: Temporary Unenthused Wife 2

  • Speedo007

    I thought the DN01 was the ugliest object they could imagine. Compared to this, the Burgman has the sex appeal of a Panigale.

  • Marek Kazmierski

    cue sound of Motus shutting its factory doors…

    • Richard Gozinya

      Not sure why they would, they’re completely different bikes, intended for completely different types of riders.

      • Marek Kazmierski

        take one look at the headers, then at the list prices of both machines… then the headers, then the list prices again… then think about how much new Indian are charging by comparison. Most people buying motorbikes want vehicles, not museum pieces. And with the exception of Jay Leno, with the economy as, is most people are trying to empty their garages, not fill them full of exotica. Motus – the US equivalent of Hesketh? They should have done a John Bloor instead…

  • Mr. White

    The profile is very odd looking, IMHO. It almost looks like the photo was stretched horizontally. Odd proportions. The front view is kinda cool, though.

  • grindz145

    Glad to know I’ll continue to be able to get parts for my ST1300 motor for the rest of eternity, because at this rate, it should last about that long.

    • Sue N Greg Campbell

      you dont need parts for an ST…1: Its a Honda and 2: and ST engine is almost as sublime as the wing engine…bit sportier.

      • grindz145

        Good point. After 70k I haven’t touched it.

        • Greg Campbell

          Actually there is a 3rd point Grindz145 …did I mention that… ITS A HONDA :-)

          • grindz145

            The truth is most modern bikes are at the point where they’re nearly indestructible. But short of valve adjustments, there is also pretty much no maintenance. It actually makes sense to be a cruiser motor.

  • Deeds

    Looks like a stripped down Goldwing. Never was a fan of cruiser bikes, but it’s great to see the V4 making it’s way into more bikes.

  • John

    I’ve been advocating a bike like this for a long time. A stripper ST1300 because that’s a beautiful freaking engine. Was thinking more of a naked roadster, to be honest, like a BMW 1150R, but that’s a pretty bike.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    They need to hipsterized/cafe it out to make it look saleable/ but then again no one would buy it

    • John

      I would. Well, depending on the cost. LOVE V4s with shaft drive. Miss my Sabre deeply.

  • Generic42

    Did anyone else picture this?

  • Davidabl2

    Better looking than any of the Victory bikes. Although that isn’t saying’ much.
    “Modern but not too ugly”

  • John

    I expect it will cost quiet a few limbs more than I have to offer.

  • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

    It’s like a Diavel hit middle age and mellowed out.

    • LUIGI

      Agreed to a certain point! BEAUTIFUL BIKE, been looking and rode tested this one, but it seemed a bit odd with that short rear end and PRICE.
      Besides that, I think most of these bikes started coming out after Harley successfully launched the MUSCLE. They are all COSI COSI the same style.
      Ducati rules, but a VROD is still the king, even though I am not a air cooled boring Harley style rider!

  • Lee Scuppers

    It’s not the ugliest bike anybody ever saw, just the ugliest production bike anybody ever saw — and lived.

  • John

    Nicely done, RideApart. Click on page 2 for more photos and get this –

    Sorry, but the page you were trying to view does not exist.

    It looks like this was the result of either:

    a mistyped address

    an out-of-date link

    But, hey, still a page click. $$$$$$$$$$

  • John

    Also, pictures don’t look staged at all. Not sure how the girl just “popped” on the back though. “Beam me down, Scotty”

  • John

    Take away the bags, and the fairing, and the pull back bars, and the forward set pegs, and you’d have a helluva nice bike. I’ll wait for somone to crash it, then something cool can be done!

  • Guillaume Béliveau

    A Honda Accord on 2 wheels, that is.

  • MrDefo

    I guess I’m in the mintority but I think this looks nice. As another poster mentioned, it is reminiscent of the Akira bike (at least that was my first reaction). And yes, I think it’s just a matter of time before we see more and more larger bikes with automatic or semi-auto transmissions. People like them, they’re ubiquitous in cars, it’s going to happen.

    • pdad13

      Maybe, but they don’t seem to sell very well. The Yamaha semi-automatic was a bomb. And the VFR 1200 doesn’t seem to be lighting the world on fire, either. Not sure what the CTX and NT dual-clutch models are doing.

      It’s tempting to believe that automatics will push nervous potential new riders to take the leap. But if someone suffers from manual transmission anxiety, it’s likely that it’s not the only thing that scares him/her about riding a motorcycle. It might work for a few but so far the results show that removing the need to shift isn’t the only major barrier. These people seem much more likely to go for a scooter, which appears less intimidating.

      I can’t see very many experienced riders switching to automatics, either. A manual gearbox is one of the things that makes riding so involving. Once you become proficient, it’s hardly a chore. And the clutch is crucial to fine bike control.

      I’m not sure cars are a good analog for motorcycles in many ways. Most everyone who needs one has one. People who ride motorcycles, at least in the first world, do so by choice and usually not out of necessity.

  • Larry

    It looks like a lighter, slimmer, revvier F6B…not a bad thing. If Honda would just do something about that tank/fairing/headlight/rad-shroud monstrosity, it might not look half bad. They should give one to RSD to mess with.

  • DerekB

    Not my type of bike but I actually like the styling, but I thought that the st1100 was awesome when I was a kid….

    then again I though the st1100 was awesome looking when I was a kid…

  • HeDidn’tWeDid

    I like it. It has hints of PC800 in there too. The PC800 is like the cockroach of 80′s Honda Motorcycles. I think this will sell to someone like me who thinks the CTX700 is kinda interesting, but is wanting a ride that is a bit larger for long distance running. (yes, I have read all the articles about small displacement touring)

  • Chris Cope

    Remember when Buford T Justice drives his patrol car under a semi-trailer in Smokey and the Bandit and it rips off the top of the car? That’s what I’m seeing when I look at the front end of this bike. I’m a huge mark for Hondas and I like that they are going after a new audience here, but I just can’t get with this machine. Maybe the windscreen extends considerably to give it less of a flat look.

  • AK

    Get rid of all that plastic on the front end, Traditional bare forks, analog speedo and tach along with an optional windshield and that bike would be a pretty fair cruiser.

  • CruisingTroll

    blech, I don’t like the styling of the CTX700 at all, this isn’t any better in my eyes…. but, given Honda’s current propensity for platform engineering, this bodes well for an updated ST1300. And that is a good thing.

    • AndrewF

      I suspect this IS the updated ST1300.
      (In other words, it will soon replace St1300 in Honda’s line-up)

      • CruisingTroll

        Not. The ergos are off and the weather protection is completely and totally wrong for a sport tourer, and that doesn’t even begin to get into the probable handling differences due to different frame geometry. It’s no more a replacement for the ST1300 than the F6B is a replacement for the Goldwing. IF Honda thinks this is a replacement for the ST1300, then Honda is abandoning the Sport-TOURING market. Which would also mean Honda is abandoning the large police bike market. (I say “large” because in addition to DPs used in small quantities by some law enforcement agencies domestically, mid-size road bikes are used by LEOs quite a bit internationally.)

        Mind you, Honda may not bring the ST1300 back into the lineup in the US and/or may not bring its true replacement here. There is, after all, a reason it’s known as the “Pan European”. In Europe, it and the Goldwing flip in popularity vis a vis here.

  • Shane Skats

    Needs FootBoards

  • Mark

    What an abortion lookin’ thing THAT is…

  • pdad13

    Me too.

    And, yes, that’s a clutch lever. Not sure how everyone missed that…except that maybe they’re more concerned with, ahem, other issues.

  • MC MotoHistory

    Well I think a lot of you are way to harsh. Honda is trying something new, it’s got a good motor and you can see a lot more of it than you can in the ST1300. It’s going for a modern bagger look that could work if the wind protection is right for light duty touring. But as show the wind screen is way to low, I’m hoping its got a well designed power windscreen so you can get a good pocket on the highway.

    • John Tiedjens

      I’ve always been a Honda fan but the last 10 years have been cause for great disappointment. Either making models that haven’t changed in years or models that don’t even make sense. THIS however is a good direction. Splitting the fence between a sport touring and cruiser I think has great merit. I ride a 919 and tho I love it, as a 6′ 2″ rider , all day with out a leg stretch, being able to carry junk or even a passenger gets old. Even real sport touring bike aren’t as comfy as they should be. I love the F6B and think it was brilliant to go that way and take the geezer aura away from the wing. This is a cut down version. I think people’s “Rage against the machine” stems from a simple design flaw… making the tank a non-feature. Tanks are a prominent piece of a motorcycle that give it a look and an appeal. Taking that too lightly is a big mistake. Otherwise as a really practical, fun and semi sporty machine… this look like something I’d ride all day. For those who blow their noses at it…. go spend 24K on a Harley based on ancient air cooled V’s, heavy with crap suspension…. at least you’ll be really cool.

      • MC MotoHistory

        Right On John!

  • Mr_DAA

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Even at 57, such couch-like luxury appeals to me not.

    I like the motor, though.

  • DJ Norm

    Looks like it could use a touch more windshield to me. The handlebars ae detracting from the looks for me but would have to sit on it or take it for a spin to see if they are as uncomfortable as they look. This is proof that you can like something yet dislike it at the same time.

  • LUIGI

    As a Harley VROD lover, I think Honda is giving me a different perspective and choice on this appealing style.
    I find it really nice, except that it needs a larger rear tire size for LOOKS and a bit less wide front end (mirrors sticks out to far away). Other than that, I think I am in for a BLACK model.
    Cheers
    LCL

  • John Tiedjens

    I hate to be the one but I like it! A hybrid between a cruiser and a sport touring bike I think has genuine merit. I ride a 919 and tho it’s a ton of go fast and handling fun I would like a more laid back bike capable of a passenger and luggage. Sport tourers are always still more on the sport end and not quite as comfy as they should be. V twins are log rides and beside lumbering down a highway like a John Deere tractor they do nothing well. This is like a cut-down version of an F6B and I thought that was nothing short of brilliant. Taking the geezer out of the wing. I have been really disappointed with the last 10 years of Honda. Making bikes that haven’t changed or making bikes the don’t even make sense to make. I think they are getting back on track. People’s immediate complaints about this bike all come from the fact they buried and discounted the biggest focal point of any bike…. the tank. People love fat round tanks… it’s what makes a bike , a bike. Discounting that in design is a big mistake. I could see having one of these… time honored engine, great suspenders and a cruiser comfy riding position but yet if you wanted to roll some twisties it looks like it would get it done with alacrity. All you nay-sayer…. go spend 24K on a Harley…you will be riding a dinosaur…. but at least you’ll be cool…… or so you’d like to think. LOL!

  • TronSheridan

    Oh Honda, you so funny!!