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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I have put 1100 miles on the CTX, I think it's time for a short term review. My longest single day of riding was 150+ miles, while I've put about 60-80 miles per day on average. The average length of my trips is between 2 to 3 hours. For me, with a twice broken back and more metal in me than the bike- that's a good ride before going home.
I've created several loops that run about 2 hours or so around southern NH and northern MA. I hope to make a motovlog and showcase some of the excellent riding we have here. I figure those loops are about right for shooting raw footage then editing down to a watchable length.

The CTX has really grown on me. I am so used to much more niche bikes that I was worried a bike so....normal....wouldn't hold my interest for long. But the thing is just a lot of fun. It does have modest limits but riding near those limits offers thrills without going too far. Changing nothing but the riding position would make this bike a sporty little number, even with that anemic motor. It's nothing approaching 'fast' but it's flickable around potholes and drain covers around town, and feels planted rolling around high speed corners on the open road. It stops well, it turns well...it just doesn't accelerate with any urgency. It's an extremely linear torque curve with almost no discernable powerband.

It's comfortable as a couch to me, but I am used to a rigid frame chopper, and before that a superbike. So a bed of nails is blissful comfort in comparison. I wish for a little more back support for the driver. That crazy version of this bike called the NM4 has perhaps the single most brilliant seat ever designed for a bike. I wish I had that. After installing floorboards, it's easier to just rest my prosthetic foot on it rather than position it on the peg. Because there is no ankle, my foot sticks up and only my heel is on the board, but it works fine even with the wind at high speeds. Handlebars are perfectly set by the shop, and for my 5'11" frame, is the perfect reach. If I have any complaint here is that the horn button is oddly placed and large, so I mistakenly hit it on occasion. The dash is clear even in bright sun and the fuel gauge is a godsend. I get over 160 miles on a tank of gas.

I'm fairly impressed with the DCT. I had reservations about it but it works pretty darn well. Around town or even in a big city environment Drive mode is perfectly adequate. It's so nice in stop and go traffic to not have to feather a clutch. Light sport bike clutches were no problem, but after a few miles of stop and go with the Harley, my arms looked like Popeye's. It's times like these that you realize- I don't miss that clutch lever at all. I also like how the bike won't allow you to stall it out of stupidity. I have totally forgotten I was in manual mode more than once and the bike took over downshifts when I slowed down. A bike that's impossible to stall=genius.

I mostly ride in manual mode, because I like to have the input when riding. The very best thing about the DCT is on-power shifting. Or in my case usually Wide Open shifting. No need to dump the throttle and yank in a clutch, just leave that throttle buried and whack an upshift just like a Ferrari. If only it went like a Ferrari.....

Brakes are fine. Since I rarely use the rear brake at all (I haven't done the relocation yet) I wish the CTX came with dual front disc brakes. I don't use the rear much as it requires me to pick up my whole leg and push forward- which just isn't a very precise movement. When I do however, the rear combines well with the front for adequate stopping power.

Not everything is sunshine and flowers for the DCT though. First- in Drive mode the bike selects 6th gear at only 38mph. This is at least 10mph too slow for any bike to be in 6th. The bike chugs and shudders to get out of it's own way. Worse, a lot of my riding is done right around....40mph. Which means you usually are in a range between say, 37mph and 43mph- exactly where the DCT likes to shift back and forth between 5th and 6th- all while 6th gear is two gears too high already! It is incredibly annoying and I often put the bike in manual just to keep it in 4th or 5th at those speeds.

Sport mode has proven pretty useless to be honest. I have all but abandoned it's use. Any time I am riding remotely 'sporty', manual control is far superior. Mostly Sport just drags out a gear too low on fast sections between turns, and is a gear too high for when you are in the corners. I would like to be able to manually program shift points (including **** 6th gear in Drive..ugh).
When switching between automatic modes, the computer takes a long time to recognize the change. The same holds for when it switches mode for 'passing gear' when you whack the throttle open in Drive. I am pretty sure what the bike does is just switch to Sport under the hood. But it drags switching back to Drive too long. Like it's asking; "Are you sure you're done riding like a goon?"

As far as looks go, I like the N version. It's front end is decidely better looking and more aggressive than the rear, which is simply functional. I've gotten several compliments from other riders. The DCT is definetly a conversation starter among bikers too. I am just about to pull the trigger on a shorty exhaust though, since the CTX lacks any sort of bark, and that exhaust can and plastic cover are huge and ungainly looking. I'm loathe to make it too loud, I just got off a Harley that could wake the dead (and my neighbors), but the CTX sounds too much like a scooter stock.

Overall I am very happy with this bike. Like most riders my first complaint about pretty much any bike is not enough power. The CTX is necessarily low powered because of the DCT, but it's lack of oomph even when banging downshifts to make it go is just underwhelming. It's a fine casual cruiser, but if you are used to bikes with hard acceleration the CTX seems like it's dragging an anchor. That said, it's incredibly smooth and stable and all-day comfortable. My occasional passenger appreciates the lack of gusto off the line instead of clinging on for dear life.

I don't know if I would have chosen the CTX as a regular manual transmission bike. I accept the lack of grunt for not having a clutch friction zone to work with, but given a normal clutch set up, I would be pretty disappointed in the CTX's get up and go.

The CTX is a great casual rider. It strikes an amazing balance between agility, acceleration, stability, and braking. It inspires confidence and allows a rider to dip a toe in sporty riding without having to dive headfirst into clip ons and rear sets. I would easily recommend the CTX for newer riders or those stepping up from small displacement machines. Or for those with disabilities such as myself.
I'm looking forward to the summer with the CTX. I expect to spend heroic amounts of time in that saddle and will continue to iterate on this review as I rack up the miles.
 

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Thanks for the honest review of the CTXs Auto Trany mode. I'm an experienced 55 yr. old rider and tried a scooter and loved the CVT. Thats why I'm taking a real serious hard look at the CTX DCT. But if it is so problematic and tall geared in automatic mode maybe I'll start thinking Burgman 650 again. I could drop the final gear ratio on the CTX by putting 4-8 teeth on the back sprocket, Or dropping 1 to 2 teeth on the front sprocket to give the higher gears it shifts to to early more urge . Of coarse this would only work if the shifts were commanded by the RPM of the motor rather than shifts commanded by the speedometer speed. I have heard this early upshift dislike in other reveiws of the CTX 700 DCT from other gents also. But this sprocket change I speak of could / would cost top end speed possibly. And certainly would effect Hwy. fuel mileage. But might be an option ? And could make it a "real good thing" the CTX has chain drive as apposed to shaft drive which has to stay as the factory made it. Again, This modification would be mute if the auto tranny shifts were commanded by the speed of the bike instead of engine rpm like most cars.
 

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Thanks for the honest review of the CTXs Auto Trany mode. I'm an experienced 55 yr. old rider and tried a scooter and loved the CVT. Thats why I'm taking a real serious hard look at the CTX DCT. But if it is so problematic and tall geared in automatic mode maybe I'll start thinking Burgman 650 again. I could drop the final gear ratio on the CTX by putting 4-8 teeth on the back sprocket, Or dropping 1 to 2 teeth on the front sprocket to give the higher gears it shifts to to early more urge . Of coarse this would only work if the shifts were commanded by the RPM of the motor rather than shifts commanded by the speedometer speed. I have heard this early upshift dislike in other reveiws of the CTX 700 DCT from other gents also. But this sprocket change I speak of could / would cost top end speed possibly. And certainly would effect Hwy. fuel mileage. But might be an option ? And could make it a "real good thing" the CTX has chain drive as apposed to shaft drive which has to stay as the factory made it. Again, This modification would be mute if the auto tranny shifts were commanded by the speed of the bike instead of engine rpm like most cars.
Remember this is just one guy's opinion. The DCT is generally loved by most people on the forum including me.

I carefully considered a Burgman 650 but the eCVT will eventually blow up without notice and leave you stranded. It's a well known issue among Burgman owners.
 

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Thanks for the honest review of the CTXs Auto Trany mode. I'm an experienced 55 yr. old rider and tried a scooter and loved the CVT. Thats why I'm taking a real serious hard look at the CTX DCT. But if it is so problematic and tall geared in automatic mode maybe I'll start thinking Burgman 650 again. I could drop the final gear ratio on the CTX by putting 4-8 teeth on the back sprocket, Or dropping 1 to 2 teeth on the front sprocket to give the higher gears it shifts to to early more urge . Of coarse this would only work if the shifts were commanded by the RPM of the motor rather than shifts commanded by the speedometer speed. I have heard this early upshift dislike in other reveiws of the CTX 700 DCT from other gents also. But this sprocket change I speak of could / would cost top end speed possibly. And certainly would effect Hwy. fuel mileage. But might be an option ? And could make it a "real good thing" the CTX has chain drive as apposed to shaft drive which has to stay as the factory made it. Again, This modification would be mute if the auto tranny shifts were commanded by the speed of the bike instead of engine rpm like most cars.
The DCT uses manifold pressure, rpm, and speed to determine when it will shift based on its basic and memory mapping.
 

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Remember this is just one guy's opinion. The DCT is generally loved by most people on the forum including me.

I carefully considered a Burgman 650 but the eCVT will eventually blow up without notice and leave you stranded. It's a well known issue among Burgman owners.
I loved my Burg 650, there was nothing wrong with the eCVT on those. Some break yes but I am sure with enough bikes sold from other brands the same will happen.

Brugman Background: Ride it avg 75mph up and down the freeway. Hit the throttle hard when moving in and out. Climb up and down mountains including the desert at over 110 degrees. Bascially I beat the bike up.

How did it last? Like anything else, replace fluids, don't by cheap and care for her. Many Burgman owners made the major mistake of chaining just oil and not trans oil. Why bad? It leaks over and over fills. Gear oil and other items are VERY easy to change! As for now prior to me selling my last one, I have stripped it down and make sure when I sell it, it goes to to someone and works.

Now for the Honda:
I love my bike, has more power and less tire changes than a Burgman. Does have more wind to the body, but it's not then end of the world. I have had some minor issues, but it came with the previous owners neglagence to the bike. That and their piss poor wiring :/

Anyway, Keep enjoying the ride, cause she sure is a great machine to ride!
 

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howdy, as commented on, the ctx-dct is finely engineered to be adaptable to many kinds of disability. as noted , there is a learning curve to getting what you want out of the shifting but i find i can get everything i need in drive mode or manual mode for riding everything i've come accross except for suspension shortcomings. here in spokane there is such a difference between summer heat and winter cold that the asphalt roads get cracks that run accross the road which are really annoying on the ctx BUT they would be even more annoying on every scooter i've had from the sym hd 200, kymco 250 grand vista, bv350 and the piaggio bv500.

ken
 

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I personally think you're making a mistake about the dct. That's not been my experience at all, after I figured it out. Yes in D it's all about economy. That's why it's in 6th at 38. It doesn't give a rat's patootie about your performance desires. If in drive it's giving you what you want. 70 mpg in a 700 cc package.

Secondly. Sport mode is way different. It shifts at exactly the place to maximize winding out that gear, for the speed you're at. Up or down its doing that. If I'm in sport, and hit a curve too hot I downshift at least 1 gear, but that's my fault, not the dcts. If I'm in manual mode, I'm overriding the max performance of the dct. And trust me, it's better than I am at picking that point. With 1100 miles of experience, sincerely no offense, but you're not really even beginning to fully comprehend this bike or its capabilities. You're still in the mode of comparing it to your hog.

In traffic, I leave it in sport as it will hold the gear longer. At about 40 it's still in 4th. And at lower speeds I get maybe into 2nd at best, so my shifts are absolutely minimalist.

I too rode a burg. Like spun said, change the oil, tranny and rears once a year, and that bike will go on for a VERY long time. I ride with a bunch that have burg 650s. A few have about 65000 on their bikes now and absolutely no issues. In fact NONE of the owners has EVER experienced a mechanical disaster, orveven a major issue. They are NOT well known to explode. That was caused by a defective bolt that allowed the cvt to lose its stop. Change the bolt, a literal 5 minute job, and that bike will go for a very long time. And I too coped the C to the previous burg gor quite awhile. That's natural. The burg would accelerate instantly. Not the C. And for a bit I really wondered if I'd made a wrong purchas . Not any more.

So. My point is both these bikes are very well made machines. Most of any issue, riding or mechanical is user error.
 

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The DCT uses manifold pressure, rpm, and speed to determine when it will shift based on its basic and memory mapping.[/QUOTES So I wonder what would happen if I changed the final drive ratio at that rate ?
Nothing good without being able to remap the entire system. This would probably take a Herculean engineering task well beyond the capabilities of all but a manufacturer or company specializing in this type of work. It took Honda 2 years to remap and correct deficiencies in the 2010 VFR1200 software and those were relatively minor fixes. I'm still waiting on one for the CTX. I've only heard this talked about by a few other members but know of no one who has tried it. You might try some of the other forums that deal with other DCT equipped models.
 

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Right before I bought my CTX700DCT, used with 14k miles, I rode a new Burgman 650. I was considering that because I had once owned and enjoyed a Yamaha Majesty 400, though it was a good bit under powered. I did not like the Burgman as much as the Majesty. One of the reasons was the CVT clutch did not begin to move the bike at all until about 2200 rpm, which is 1100 rpm above the idle speed. Ridiculous amount of deadband. The Majesty had perhaps 2-300 rpm deadband and was effectively unnoticeable for most riding. I asked the Burgman sales guy about that and he consulted the mechanics and I was told that was normal. I left there with zero interest in the Burg.

Immediately after riding the CTX I knew it was for me. I rode the NC700 with manual transmission first and like it a lot but the CTX was just what this 70 year old needed at this stage. By the way, the comments about the time it takes for the DCT computer to decide you've switched modes to/from S/D was a problem for me to, at first. In fact I told the dealer service manager that it needed to be fixed as I thought something might be wrong with it, having 14,000 miles on it. He said he would talk to the Honda service rep and do whatever they suggested when I brought it in for service. Hearing that this is "normal" relieves me of my worry that mine is faulty.

The method I've found best for me so far (still inexperienced on this bike) is to leave it in D and just downshift manually as needed, when needed. Switching between modes when accelerating or decelerating is not the best way, in my opinion, so I no longer do that. I've ridden it only once in manual mode just to see how it went. My laid back riding style will rarely ever find a need for manual but I do use the downshift button a good bit as needed.

This will likely be my last bike and I can't imagine anything better suited to me for riding off into the sunset in another decade or two :).

Thom
 

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My switch from d to s and back is instantaneous. In fact, it's so fast that my hand is still on the throttle and the bike literally jumps ahead when I switch it to s. It switches much faster than I can get my hand to relax the throttle.
 

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Mdaniels4,

For the sake of clarification, do you mean to say, for example, you are riding along at 40 mph in D and 6th gear. You shift to S and the it downshifts immediately? Or the opposite, you are ridding along at 40 mph in S and 4th gear (just a guess), you shift to D and it immediately shifts up to 5th or 6th?

If that is correct and the way it's supposed to work, then my mode switching is glacially slow, especially if I don't back off the throttle. Having never done this mode switch on a new and/or perfectly functioning DCT bike, this information is critical for my next communication with the dealer and/or the regional Honda service rep.

Thom
 

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That's exactly what I'm saying, thom. I'm in traffic, I decide to go into s where it keeps me in the speed gear I want longer. I push the d to s, it lights up s immediately and shifts usually one down. Sometimes though if I'm at about 40, traffic slowing rapidly, I'll hear it click say three times in succession to get the right gear. Of course if it's in the right gear for the speed it stays there, waiting for the expected needs to change, which actually is fairly quick, up or down.

Same with up. I'm in s. At about 45 say, in 4th, go to d and two clicks it's in 6th. All this on the fly. No letting off the throttle like a clutch. Which is why I said I can't move my throttle hand fast enough and in D to s, it drops down a gear and it literally jumps ahead as it thinks I want that throttle position in a lower gear. Of course going from s to d it works better and smoother as now I've got more throttle for a gear or two higher.
 

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Mdaniels4,

For the sake of clarification, do you mean to say, for example, you are riding along at 40 mph in D and 6th gear. You shift to S and the it downshifts immediately? Or the opposite, you are ridding along at 40 mph in S and 4th gear (just a guess), you shift to D and it immediately shifts up to 5th or 6th?

If that is correct and the way it's supposed to work, then my mode switching is glacially slow, especially if I don't back off the throttle. Having never done this mode switch on a new and/or perfectly functioning DCT bike, this information is critical for my next communication with the dealer and/or the regional Honda service rep.

Thom
If your bike isn't used to being ridden this way, it may take a little "learning" to bring it up to speed. My CTX shifts modes instantaneously but I also work it fairly hard. My D mode responds much faster and more aggressive than most of the other CTX's I've ridden but that's because I use it primarily and shift down much more aggressively.
 

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I'm with MDaniels that it takes more than 1100 miles with the DCT to figure out how to use it to best advantage -- and to let it 'learn' your riding habits. I wasn't too sure about the DCT the first couple of months I had it. Drive was to sluggish, Sport too revved up.

With over 12,000 miles on mine, I've figured out my own pattern, know exactly when the DCT will shift, and really don't want anything that doesn't have a DCT. I love this thing!

My own pattern is to use Sport in town and up to around 45-50 depending on conditions, then flip over to Drive. If I'm about to pass a car or truck on a two lane road, I'll flip it to Sport then back after the pass is completed. I only use the paddle shifters in the hills and twisties because I because I can still anticipate the next hill better than the DCT.

I like this DCT so much that I bought an Acura TLX for my wife because of its 8 speed DCT. We really like that one too!
 

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That's how I ride as well, Java. I'll buy another Honda as long as it has the DCT. I really don't want any other bike anymore. Now Honda just start putting the DCT in as an option on your entire line!
 
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I used to have a car that had a learning transmission that would adjust the shift points based upon how you drive. I let my wife borrow it to drive to Vermont (very steep hills on the freeway) and when I got it back it took several hundred miles before it shifted properly again. If the DCT is indeed a "learning" transmission, that would explain a lot.

That being said, I am guessing that the used CTX I bought is still adjusting to my driving habits and I am still getting used to how (and when) it shifts. There is a hill near my house that is very steep on one side and a gently slope on the other. I use sport mode to climb both sides so it doesn't labor in 6th gear pulling my butt up the hill. Going down, I use sport mode on the steep side to keep the speed under control and drive mode on the gentle side because it will coast most of the way without downshifting. I have found it to be a much longer learning curve with the DCT than it would have been with a manual, since I have owned motorcycles before.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. I'll try riding more aggressively so the computer can learn, if that is the correct term, to shift modes more quickly. The indicator does switch modes instantly and if I hold the throttle stationary, it seems to change gears a bit faster than if I advance or retard the throttle with mode change. Maybe it is just operator inexperience with the DCT. My dealer need not worry until I've put enough time on it to be convinced it is an actual fault of the bike. Part of my purchase contract included a 3 year extended warranty and the 16,000 mile service. Both were peace of mind provisions that I insisted on to buy the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
See, for me the auto modes are a novelty. Again, in traffic I adore Drive mode. However.....I am okay with shortshifting to get a little more MPG, but the CTX is a bit excessive. I just loathe the lugging it does when it finds 6th. I am usually on back roads in rural New England, so right around 40mph is my most common speed- so the bike is either knocking back and forth between 5th and 6th, or just stuck in 6th lugging and wallowing. That's right when I put it in manual and just leave it in 5th. Still gets plenty good mileage.
Sport mode, meh. I just can't find much use for it. I tend to over-ride it constantly. If I am using the over-ride that much, might as well be in manual mode. The big thing is that you can predict what gear to be in whereas an auto can only ever react. So if I am going with any gusto- I vastly prefer manual mode. Primarily because I use engine braking a lot in preparation for cornering. And I also don't like mid-corner shifts that I am not initiating personally. It's not that it's 'bad' or anything, but it doesn't offer anything over manually shifting.
But to each their own. That's one great thing about the CTX- it appeals to a very broad range of riders and riding styles.
 
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