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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know it's knitpicking, but I am tired of the label "beginner bike" for CTX. I have read numerous reviews, some great, some marginal. The overall opinion about our bike is that it's "user friendly" and therefore a beginner bike. In my opinion, the bike is rated to the rider! How about that? I do amazing stuff with my CTX700ND because I have ridden for so long. Works great for me. 90MPH passing when I need it? RIGHT THERE!

The problem in the horsepower/cc wars, especially in cruiser world, is we have changed the standards for what's NORMAL. I say normal because we accept a level of bike performance and size now that is far beyond what once was two decades ago. I got caught up in that craze and went for BIG 110 Cubic Inches! That's basically larger than Honda Civic engine. Honda had to make a special crane lift to install the almost 50 pound crankshaft. Then Kawasaki made the Vulcan 2000cc. That was the last of the moster V-twins (Triumph Rocket a 2300cc triple of course).

There is a place for skill titles and range of performance, but with a medium size engine and ergonomic comfort design like the CTX700 line presents, I consider it a mid range bike just like any cruiser with a V-twin in the 650cc to 900cc range. The convenience of the automatic transmission is amazing, but that does not make it a beginner bike (IMHO).

According to such labels, my pal Josh's Honda CBR250R is a beginner bike, and Josh is in fact a beginner rider. HOWEVER, his little CBR250R flew ahead of me on my old VTX1800C during our 4 day/3 night ride to Death Valley. IN THE SNOW. Climbing the Sierra's TWICE, with a total of at least 8 mountain ranges. The fact that he averaged 80MPG withstanding, that was NOT a beginner ride, and on curves he was way ahead of me.

I am saying these terms like "beginner" bike.. they are just labels and as such are only opinion.
 

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good luck changing any bike labels. only time and the existence of different models will break the mold many put the various bikes into. Motocycle magazines are always showing the latest and greatest models and comparisons. they have to keep moving on and they are just as guilty when it comes to labeling various bikes into categories.

One bike can be many things depending of how it is used and how the owner outfits it. I like a simple class. Motorcycle, not cruiser, not sport bike, not scooter. I tell my wife I am going for a ride on my motorcycle. I don't say I am going to go ride my Honda or ride my Yamaha.

it takes years... best to ignore it all and ride.

ps: those bikes are loaded for traveling. cool.
 
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It's a better beginners bike than a half-ton Gold Wing or a liter-sized sport bike.

But for many folks, a Rebel would be a better beginner bike than the CTX700.

I have recommended the CTX to several folks I know who are interested in getting their first bikes. I wouldn't recommend any of the big tourers I've owned.

The low seat height, smooth handling, and automatic transmission make this a better bike for beginners.

But I've been riding on the street for 40 years and I consider this bike to be more than capable for 90% of the riding I do. The only weaknesses are the poor windshield and the small fuel tank. It's not nearly as good on long trips as my Trophy. But unlike the Trophy, the CTX runs any time I hit the start button.

If I can't get the new Trophy fixed in a reasonable time, I plan to cut my losses on it and make the CTX my primary ride again. I'll move up to the bigger Cee Bailey screen and add some extra fuel capacity on the back. That should make the bike one of the best tourers I've ever owned.

I've done some 500 mile days on the CTX and I have some 600 mile days planned. While it's a good bike for a beginner, I wouldn't label it a "Beginners Bike".
 

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I know this isn't a Triumph forum but what issues, specifically, have you had with the Trophy? It's on my short list of ST's ...

Thanks!
 

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Some of the new Trophies have an issue with completely draining the battery in a few hours. For me it seems to happen overnight after the bike has spent a cold day in the parking lot at work. I've sent mine back to the dealer and I'm hoping I can get the central computer replaced under warranty.

It is unlikely that Honda would ever release a bike with an issue as serious as this. It is also unlikely that I will ever again buy a bike with all that extra electronic crap installed.

A big part of the appeal of the CTX700 for me is the lack of gadgets.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Funny way to say it but your right: ironically, for all it's modern technology with DCT, EFI, and ABS, the my CTX700ND reminds me of the good old Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM). SIMPLE to operate, reliable, fuel efficient, and tame to ride.

Well said TN Smith
 

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Now your beginning to get the idea, Ralph. All these folks replying to this thread are just beginning to get the idea about this bike. To me, this bike is what Soichiro Honda was all about, and I hope Honda continues to go this direction. And all these guys who rode Yamaguchis and Zundapps, Montesas, you name it, who are now riding the CTX700 are just beginning to ride......again. Hope you continue to be one of them. By the way, have you figured out what those slots in the front of the faux gas tank are all about? Maybe a better question is, do you miss your head buffeting? This is a very cool ride indeed. Has anyone told you it's just a big scooter yet? I've heard that one. But the real problem is that Honda may not continue to make the bike, or even a next generation one like it. 'Cause with Honda, it seems to be the power of dreams. We're lucky they came up with this at all.
 

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Funny way to say it but your right: ironically, for all it's modern technology with DCT, EFI, and ABS, the my CTX700ND reminds me of the good old Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM). SIMPLE to operate, reliable, fuel efficient, and tame to ride.

Well said TN Smith
+1!

While the CTX700 has lots of technology built in; in my mind Honda is using technology that matters to a rider; not a lot of convenience items that add bling and digits to the price tag but add little to what a vehicle does for us out on the road. A lot of this electronic stuff, which has really gone to the extreme, especially with respect to automobiles, have tons and tons of digital technology built in, which requires alot of engineering effort and money to develop; it looks cool, and can help us be more distracted while riding, but this sort of technology has little practical use in so far as advancing safety, efficiency, or ease of operation of on-road motor vehicles. There are examples of important technologies; like adaptive cruise control and driver alerts, but for every real vehicle technology advancement, there are ten of these features introduced that do nothing but make operating a vehicle more complicated, more likely to distract us, and more likely to fail. Is this happening because engineers have reached the pinnacle of what ICE-powered vehicles can do? Because it is what drivers/riders want? Or is it because there is more profit margin to add this cheap electronic gadget stuff and then use advertising campaigns to encourage everyone to believe these are absolute necessities for transportation?

I know product development (in a perfect world) should be driven by wants and needs of the consumer, but in this case, it seems like OEMs might be trying to drive us into believing these gadgets are important, so that they don't have to keep doing real engineering work. Of course it could just be my old-fashioned thinking that anyone operating a motor vehicle on a public space should be 100% focused on operating that vehicle; and leave those other tasks to times when others aren't relying on everyone to be paying attention so that each of us can go on living another day. And if it is that it's just my old-fashioned thinking, then multi-tasking while operating a motor vehicle is not dangerous; it's only my illusion.

Sorry, I couldn't resist joining in on the rant about gadget crap.
 

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Manufacturers will try different things and further develop what sells. What sells is what folks want enough to part with their hard-earned cash.
 

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Manufacturers will try different things and further develop what sells. What sells is what folks want enough to part with their hard-earned cash.

I agree, but I also think that marketing campaigns often attempt to sway us into changing what we think are important features based on the direction the OEMs want to move the industry, especially with industry leaders, i.e. Honda Powersports. It is debatable to what extent those campaigns are effective. Personally, I think the automobile industry has been much more successful at this technique and motorcycle companies, for the most part, though some of them keep trying to push certain features and technologies through innovative products, have failed at moving the industry the way they'd like to see it move. At least in North America.

As an example of the auto industry, I believe the Big Three helped pushed consumers into believing SUVs were to be a vehicle of choice starting in the 1990s, which helped them avoid making technological advances to meet the CAFE standards at the time, as SUVs, classified as trucks, were exempted from the standards. And selling SUvs allowed them to capture huge margins by repackaging pickup truck platforms and selling them for big bucks with only incrementally increasing the cost per unit. Of course not all of this was due to manufacturer manipulation. There were other factors, such as low gas prices that helped make the gas guzzlers popular throughout the 90s and early 2000s.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The big issue with motorcycles is profitability: Honda makes main income off of cars, Yamaha makes money off many things besides motorcycles. It's a tough business, and risky at best. Look at the economic collapse in 2008... Suzuki did not make bikes for a while model year. WOW. HD maintains the lead in sales, whilst taking an eternity to upgrade or change models as they age. They are the only company who can do that because of the nostalgia.

But now things are better, and we are enjoying a return to new products. Whether you like the new Indian from Polaris or not, it's an impressive feat and a good development for all motorcyclists.

We may see some cool stuff continue to evolve out of our favorite manufacturers. Honda takes some big risks that don't always pay off, yet they support the product lines for a long time. I bought a used 2005 VTX1800C: that bike did NOT sell well, but they made it for EIGHT (8!) long years.

I am hopeful about the future of motorcycling again- it's why I purchased a new bike, and a new model year, and financed it through Honda.
 

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Since I'm coming from mostly Scooters (125 up to 500, triple digit capable tourer) I find it to be a good transitional bike. I wanted something that was a good commuter in urban traffic, but also capable of 500 miles without a hitch.

I still love my scoots for sub-100 mile days. Storage, ease of ride, and overall hooligan fun. But they aren't highway capable or comfy on the 10" wheels.

Anyway, my original point was ride what you wanna ride. Most of the folks that made fun of our scooters rode <3k miles a year. I've put on 25k miles on various bikes in 2 :p.
 

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I think the entry level moniker is deceiving for this bike. If someone hadn't pointed out the CTX to me, I would have never even looked at one. I wasn't sure what I was looking to buy, but I certainly wasn't looking for an entry level bike. Or a cruiser for that matter. I'm not sure how I would categorise the CTX, but I love it. Interestingly, I was prepared to spend twice as much for a new motorcycle before I saw the CTX.
I only had a chance to ride mine 500 miles before I had to put it away for the winter, but its such a sweet mannered motorcycle, I think it would make a great first new bike. Or in my case, a great 8th new bike. :)
 

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I did my test ride yesterday on a CTX700D DCT and after 20 miles of riding, I'm hooked. The one I rode had the Honda tall windscreen. It was the one in the local showroom and had 65 miles on it. The tranny is cool and I noticed that it shifts quickly in D. By the time I had it up to 30 it was in 5th gear. To get to 6th I had to be at 40. You do hear the clunk of the early shifts, but no hesitations as it shifts. Again you hear some of clunk when coming to a stop as the tranny downshifts. All very smooth. I noticed a minor lack of power when attempting to add rapid throttle between 20 and 30. As the power is supplied and the tranny keeps the current gear and the computer then requests the lower gear and that downshift occurs. Nothing that was terrible but it was something I noticed. Obviously it may be better to do the urban riding in S rather than D.

The 700D doesn't feel terribly heavy when stopped, but once I started rolling I knew the weight was there. Not in a bad way but a very comfortable positive mode. It makes you feel as if you could take your hands off the grips and this bike could steer in a straight line without any correction from you. Sort of like being on a rail.

I did notice compared to my Majesty that it took more effort to get into a lean. My first few righthand turns found me using more of turning with my hands than leaning enough into the turn. After about 20 minutes I got more comfortable and I figured out the amount of weight shifting I needed to get the proper lean. Practice will obviously take care of that.

I found the brakes very interesting after coming from a scooter. I felt the rear brake was "soft" in regards that I had to apply more foot pressure that I thought was necessary. On the other hand I felt the front brake was more sensitive than what I was used to and I found myself applying too much. Again I guess this is all relative of what I normally ride and you get used to all of this over time.

We had a very windy day in town yesterday and since I rode the Majesty to the dealership, I retraced my route home and back. The CTX was a joy in the wind and I felt so much more stable when getting hit by side and front gusts of wind.

Ride comfort was great and I rode on some of the urban roads that are bumpy and have many repairs. It was actually a better ride than what I expected. Foot positions were very natural since the Majesty allows you to ride with your feet up and extended on its running boards. Height off the ground was excellent and I actually sat a little lower than the Majesty.

I wasn't impressed by the tall Honda windscreen as far as its effectiveness. Obviously if I buy I'll put on a Cee Bailey.

Overall the experience was very positive and pretty much cements my decision to go with this bike once I sell the scooters.

Jack
 

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Thanks for the write up. Mine has been delayed in transit. Hopefully I'll have delivery next week.
 

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I did notice compared to my Majesty that it took more effort to get into a lean. My first few righthand turns found me using more of turning with my hands than leaning enough into the turn. After about 20 minutes I got more comfortable and I figured out the amount of weight shifting I needed to get the proper lean. Practice will obviously take care of that.

I found the brakes very interesting after coming from a scooter. I felt the rear brake was "soft" in regards that I had to apply more foot pressure that I thought was necessary. On the other hand I felt the front brake was more sensitive than what I was used to and I found myself applying too much. Again I guess this is all relative of what I normally ride and you get used to all of this over time.


Jack
If you experienced any difficulty in getting the CTX to turn you probably are not using the proper technique.
You have to countersteer a bike, simply "push left" to turn left, "push right" to turn right.
If you never took a MSF class you should. Braking technique is also covered.
The primary braking on a bike is with the front brake. I believe Honda has limited the rear braking on purpose to allow beginners to use the proper braking technique,
 

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If you experienced any difficulty in getting the CTX to turn you probably are not using the proper technique.
You have to countersteer a bike, simply "push left" to turn left, "push right" to turn right.
If you never took a MSF class you should. Braking technique is also covered.
The primary braking on a bike is with the front brake. I believe Honda has limited the rear braking on purpose to allow beginners to use the proper braking technique,
I've done the MSF training. My observations were my very initial experiences comparing my scooters and the CTX. The CTX being of more weight requires a little stronger technique in regards to counter steering. My initial MSF training was on a Honda Rebel which seemed to be a little more aggressive with the rear brake.

Quite honestly someone coming from another cycle would probably not notice the differences if any from their former ride. Nothing really negative other than if your only ride has been scooters, you will find some differences which as I noted will take some practice and maybe some further refinement of the techniques that you have used on vehicles with brakes on both handgrips and anywhere from 100 to 200 lbs less in weight.

Jack
 

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Why be upset over the "beginner" label? It seems that that's exactly what Honda is after with the bike, marketing it towards new riders and people that haven't ridden for a long time. (And also short people. lol)

I'm not trying to be contrary, especially as a newer member and poster... but what's the alternative? Label it as an advanced bike? Intermediate? Neither is going to happen, nor would it be all that accurate.

An advanced rider can certainly put any motorcycle "through its paces," but that doesn't make the bike not a "beginner motorcycle." Since a beginner can hop on this bike and be much less likely to make rookie mistakes and/or kill themselves (haha) as compared to most other motorcycles out there, that seems to be why it's called such.

I'm not sure how else you'd label it, to be truthful. *shrug*
 

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Whether someone labels it a beginner, returner or put-put, it's a smooth rider with more than adequate power.
Enjoy the ride, the freedom of getting out of the cage and enjoying the open air is what matters.
 
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