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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 2 May 2013
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Thoughts on Honda ST1100..........

After doing a bit of research and preferring the 1100 over the 1300 pan European I was just wondering what other people who have owned either think?

It will be a long distance Tarmac bike with the exception of a rare gravel road if really really needed?

Will also be riding two up occasionally and will have basic camping gear loaded when going for more than a day rather than stopping at motels and the like?

Any advice welcome or alternatives to the 1100 pan European?

To be able to say I have been to at least 10 European countries by April 2014 will be a great start to my dream of travelling the world.
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Old 2 May 2013
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Hey man,
I've been riding the ST1100 for almost 100.00km and did two years of three weeks camping. The bike is known for it's good character and liability. The side boxes are huge and if you put a givi top-box on it I guess you can do a lot of what you want. The big disadvantage is if you have to service it you have to remove a lot of panels first.

If you still have to buy one, take your time and let a mechanic check the bike.

Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 2 May 2013
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Thanks mate.
To be able to say I have been to at least 10 European countries by April 2014 will be a great start to my dream of travelling the world.
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Old 3 May 2013
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My experience with the ST11 was that it was thirsty, was far too long legged (i.e. tall gearing and not enough torque for accelerating quickly at speeds below 120kmh without kicking down a gear), had very poor ergonomics (bars too low, seat very hard, pegs too high and locked you into position so you could not move arrange for a bit of pain relief) and was very top heavy meaning that the bike was very slow and difficult to turn on tight twisty roads (i.e. the roads where riding should be fun).

Neeless to say, I owned it only for a short while (6 months) and was very glad to say goodbye to it.
Garry from Oz - powered by Burgman
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Old 12 May 2013
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Do you really need or want such a large bike? Most multi-cylinder 600s will cruise all day long at 80mph very comfortably, loaded up, with a pillion.
UK to Mongolia 2009, on a DR350
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Old 12 May 2013
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Originally Posted by Nath View Post
Do you really need or want such a large bike? Most multi-cylinder 600s will cruise all day long at 80mph very comfortably, loaded up, with a pillion.

I did a 1 week tour with a mate on his first tour camping. My ride was a 650 Deauville his a st1100 both with camping gear and 2 up. He had several "Sweaty" near drop moments at garages and spent loads more on fuel. Also he had a datatool alarm fail ( not a bike fault I know) which disabled the bike. Cost a lot to get this removed at local Honda dealer due to removal of many panels. ( it happened to me a month later in France ! - cost nothing to remove ........I did it )

They are a big bike, especially if your a small guy/gal. Great on the move on tarmac. Gravel roads ???

My 650 deauville just did it, no fuss.

Now swapped for a 650 Vstrom - 2 up it's great - Very great! Gravel roads? YES. Fuel ? well 270UK miles on 22litre tank full. (urban routes)
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Old 12 May 2013
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I bought my ST1100 new in 2001 and have been all over North America and Europe with it. The bike has about 180,000 km on it now. Later this week, I'm going to get on it (in Zurich) and ride up to the Baltic countries, St. Petersburg, and Finland.

I'm very happy with the ST1100. It is heavy, that is its one and only disadvantage - but, like any motorcycle, that issue disappears once it starts moving. It can cope with gravel roads, if you happen to get stuck on one by accident, but I wouldn't call it a pleasant experience. If I have to do 5 miles on a gravel road to get to an interesting place, fine, that's no problem, but any more distance than that is a stressful nuisance.

To me, the great strengths of the ST1100 are:

- legendary reliability (I've never had a breakdown of any kind)
- all the power you would ever need - even on the autobahn
- excellent weather protection (I've ridden thousands of miles in below-freezing weather, and rain is a non-issue)
- enough storage space in the 2 panniers for a month-long tour
- the ability to 'transit' 1,000 km on motorways one day, then throw the bike into the twisties in the small alpine passes the next day.

I don't do my own maintenance, although I would feel confident doing about 90% of the scheduled maintenance myself if I had to. I drop it off at a Honda dealer in Switzerland each fall for what I call 'major preventative maintenance'. That costs about $1,000 a year (the Swiss aren't cheap, but they are good at what they do).

I get about 7,000 km out of a set of tires. When I get the tires changed, I also get the oil and filter changed, and most of the time, the front brake pads changed. The front brakes could easily last 10,000 km, but it's too much of a PITA for me to get them changed (while travelling) between tire changes.

There is a very active owner community on the internet, and all the 'issues' with the model have long since been identified and solved. You won't have any surprises with this bike, that's for sure.

I would quite happily buy a ST1100 again. I can't help you with a comparison against a ST1300 - I don't know enough about that bike to comment with authority.

If your main interest is long distance touring (i.e. riding more than 1,000 km a week when you are on holidays), then for sure, a ST1100 would be the perfect bike for that purpose.

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