Retrospective: 1990-2002 Honda ST1100 | rider journal

12 months/Mannequin: 2002 Honda ST1100

grasp: Clement Salvadoric

Hometown: Atascadero, California


Within the late Eighties, the European market was as vital to Honda because the American one. And bikes had been well-liked, as a result of automobiles and automotive insurance coverage had been dearer than they was right here. Demand was fairly totally different, with the Yankees preferring massive cruisers and narrowly targeted sports activities machines, whereas east of the Atlantic had a extra sensible method, favoring bikes that may very well be used for commuting on weekdays, after which trip. However two-up needed to go.

Each bike firm is continually trying round to see what the competitors is doing. The Japanese Huge 4 undoubtedly have their very own home spy networks, attempting to trace one another’s works, but additionally native producers. Within the US, the one indigenous competitors was from Harley-Davidson, however in Europe a number of home manufacturers had been taking their share of the market.

1990-2002 Honda ST1100

Within the late Eighties, BMW, with its new four-cylinder Ok-bike, was doing fairly nicely within the touring market. The pinnacle of Honda Germany determined he wished a chunk of that motion and obtained permission from Japan to design his personal bike, a sport-touring mannequin with an emphasis on touring however nonetheless agile.

Therefore the ST1100, launched in Europe in 1990 as a pan-European, featured wind-protective fairing, detachable saddlebags and shaft drive. Trip to work within the rain, load luggage for journey, and by no means fear about cleansing and adjusting chains once more. It was a model new machine, with a longitudinal (that means that the crankshaft was at proper angles to the axles) V-4 engine, which housed about 100 rear-wheel horses.

1990-2002 Honda ST1100

This was no mild weight, because the ST weighed about 700 kilos with its 7.4-gallon gasoline tank. However the blessing was that the tank was beneath the seat, protecting the burden down the place many discerning touring riders prefer to take it. This required a gas pump pushing gasoline as much as the carburetor—4 34.5mm Keihins—within the coming period of gas injection. Would not matter, because the carbs did a superb and trouble free job of protecting the engine operating. A choke lever on the handlebar was paying homage to a carburetor.

With a bore of 73mm and a stroke of 64.8mm, the liquid-cooled V-4 had a complete capability of 1,084cc. It used double overhead camshafts, with a single timing belt operating all 4 camshafts and 4 valves per cylinder. Valve adjustment was performed by shims, not all the time appreciated by dwelling mechanics, however service intervals had been set at a reasonably lengthy 16,000 miles. With digital advances the ignition was transistorized. And the oversquare engine pulled robust all the way in which to the two,000- to eight,000-rpm redline.

1990-2002 Honda ST1100

All the things was constructed to final, all the way down to the wet-sump engine, with almost four-quarters of the oil capability and a cooler entrance. It sat in a full-cradle metal body (contributing to the bike’s heavy weight), which gave the rider confidence when pushing arduous into curves at nice speeds. There was a 41 mm Showa cartridge fork up entrance, with Honda’s TRAC anti-dive mechanism and permitting about 6 inches of journey. No adjustment right here. On the rear, the one Showa shock supplied about 5 inches of journey, with adjustability for rebound damping and spring preload.

Longitudinal energy went again to the driveshaft by way of a moist clutch and a cassette-style 5-speed transmission. The aluminum three-spoke wheels used 18-inch 110/80 tires on the entrance, 160/70 17-inch tires on the rear, with 61 inches of shade between axle facilities getting used.

Europeans beloved it – there was in all probability no higher motive why it was a great different to BMW, together with a bit extra energy. The American market received to see this bike a yr or so after it was launched east of the Atlantic. A number of enhancements had been made after that first model, together with rising the alternator output from 28 to 40 amps and providing a mixed ABS and traction management system. Early ABS, operating from 1992 to ’95, had separate programs on the entrance and rear wheels, however upgrades for ’96 used linked brakes. A light improve of the windscreen got here for the 1995 mannequin yr.

Crucial factor for a bike of this design is consolation. On this ’02 mannequin, which is definitely yours, a laminar lip was added to the highest of the windscreen to easy the airflow round my helmet, as I am taller than common. There is a good addition on the left facet of the devices, the place a one-handed-turn knob can change the angle of the twin halogen lights; Quite simple, very helpful. Becoming a tankbag over the plastic cowl above the engine was made easy by an organization known as Bagster which makes ninehide covers for greater than 200 bike fashions, permitting a bag to be clipped neatly. That bag has pushed a variety of miles, as on my ’92 mannequin, which bought out after 93,000 miles, after which on my then-new ’02 ST1100, which has 103,000 miles and counting.

The flattened saddle is comfy for lengthy two-days, or much more single days, permitting the rider to maneuver backwards and forwards. Saddlebags are locked onto the bike, however they are often eliminated with solely minor fuss. Nonetheless, it’s much more helpful to have a liner in a bag; Merely open the bag, take away the liner, and also you’re in your means.

1990-2002 Honda ST1100

A handy frill on the ST is the deal with on the left facet of the saddle, which turns the bike till pulled 90 levels, which could be very helpful when lifting the bike to the centerstand. One other a lot appreciated addition is the hid crash bar on the fairing, which permits for a gradual fall with out harm.

An enormous smile may very well be seen in Honda Germany after the arrival of the ST1100. They’d given a great kick to the competitors within the previous Wazoo, ST quickly successful all types of prizes. And it was left unchanged for the following dozen years till the ST1300 was launched in 2003.

Throw a foot over that saddle, flip the important thing, push the button, clutch in, click on first, and the fast, silent rush of energy is exhilarating. And 500 miles with a gas cease in between is all the time a temptation.

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