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2010 Honda VT1300CT Interstate Long-Term Review


by Marc Cantin ,

I first rode the Interstate at the 2010 Honda press event at Savannah, GA in early March 2010, and reported some first impressions. Like a lot of fellow scribes there, I really enjoyed the power and creature comfort of the new variant, and secured one for a long term test this summer.

People comment on the nice styling everywhere I go. The front tire may be a bit on the heavy side, but the rest is balanced, faultless. (Photo: Bill Petro/Honda Canada)

Our plan was to get as many staffers on the bike as possible, over the longest distances, and produce a comprehensive report of the different styles, morphologies and skill levels of those who rode it over the summer. We also wanted to tell a story of how we adapted the bike to our needs, if at all. Since picking up the bike in late May, the plan has evolved and grown a little, as I will explain.

My riding in Georgia was limited to urban Savannah, as I ended up on other bikes when travelling to and from the track. Compadre Luc Brière picked up the bike from Honda and rode around for a week before letting me ride it. He reported a mild tendency to weave at 120kph+, which he attributed to the fat front tire and partly to the big windscreen. As he said, “We’ll put as narrow a weenie as we can find for that widish rim, and I am sure that the weaving will disappear”. So, already we have found something we want to try! He did not mention high speed turbulence, so no issue there for him and his shorter stature.

I jumped back on the bike and immediately felt at home, as I had in Georgia. My first highway foray alerted raised an “Issue” however - a strong turbulence from 100kph on, with my visor actually flipping open at 115kph. I had to slow down to below 80kph to make the bike rideable for me, and I had a splitting headache after 20km. It was obvious that some air was coming around and perhaps over the windscreen and creating a vortex behind it that replicated the one we feel when riding behind a large truck at highway speeds. It was like being slapped from one side then the other at 120 strokes per second.

Evidently, Luc’s shorter stature left him free of the tempest, while my longer trunk created a set of unfortunate aero circumstances that did not affect him. And by the way, I lived through the exact same experience on a 2009 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. At that time, two senior reps from different dealerships told me that this was normal and that you had to buy another windshield. The good news is that they can tell you from experience exactly what you need based on your build.

Good to go for hours on end, and even more if I could move my feet back 10 to 20cm. I am working on that, and will report on it in the next article. (Photo: Bill Petro/Honda Canada)
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