I recently purchased my Honda Interstate and have put a few miles on it when the weather was permitting. I use it for back roads, interstate travel to Florence, back and forth to work and home and just leisurely cruises for the sheer joy of the ride.
This is my first motorcycle (I had ridden a few before and a lot of dirtbikes, though) and the 1300cc engine hits the sweet spot in my personal opinion. It offers enough power to get moving on the interstate at 80 mph. and remain smooth with obviously more power to take on faster trips if you wish.
Being as I am not speed demon and just want to enjoy the freedom, this motorcycle more than fits the bill for what I wanted. There is some slight vibration due to the windscreen when moving above 65 mph., but it is negligible and if the ride wasn't so smooth before hand, I doubt I would notice it.
I do get a fair amount of buffeting on my helment when riding, but a slightly more aggressive riding posture elements it completely.
The windshield does a fantastic job of keeping the cold off my core though, so that it is a huge plus during the winter months, but I will probably remove it in the spring and summer months (easily accomplished with the removal of four simple bolts) to really get a sensation of additional freedom.
The 1300cc engine is also ideal when in town. Some of the large bikes out there are indeed wonderful on the freeway, but you have to use a really fine touch when hitting small towns with low speed limits.
The Interstate handles those low speeds with the same rock solid performance as it handles the high speeds and is fairly easy to mainpulate. Keep in mind though, I am a big fellow so that helps a lot when manuevering a 700 lb. motorcycle.
The braking and clutch are very smooth and the shaft drive offers a relatively maintenance-free upkeep, ensuring your motorcycle will run smoothly for years to come.
Truly, the only real complaint I have about the bike is the seat. While it is low and easy for almost any rider to sit on with both feet on the ground and it looks really stylish, it could use a little more padding as it will wear on your tailbone for longer trips.
The passenger seat also almost requires a backrest and the positioning has the passenger sitting a good deal higher than the rider. The height differential isn't a big deal in my case as most people are so short compared to me that I am still significantly taller than them, but it is something to consider for similar sized riders.
I still highly recommend the Honda Interstate as a wonderfully priced touring motorcycle that can also handle in town traffic with ease. If you are going to be riding with a passenger, definitely opt for a backrest for them.
Happy trails and safe riding.
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