I have a 2007 Honda ST1300 I purchased two years ago with 28888 miles on it. I now have over 86,000 miles on the bike (September, 2020). Covid has taken a bite out of my riding in 2020 so far, but I still expect to arrive at the starting line next June with about 100,000 miles on this bike.
There were at least 3 owners before me. The man I bought the bike from owned the bike for 4 years and put 4000 miles on it. He pretty much rode it to work and back, doing little, if any maintenance. Because of this, there was a lot to catch up on: Fluid changes, fork service, valve service, bearing checks, tire change, filters, lube, rear end oil change, fastener torque check, Brake service, coolant flush and more. I found the typical ST fluid leaks around the hose clamps and the five way vacuum fitting clogged up in the V. It took a few tanks of fuel with Seafoam to clear out the varnish. The fuel pump failed around 50K and the rear hub bearings failed around 60K.
This spring, since I wasn’t riding because of Covid, I took the time to go through every part of the bike. I flushed the radiator, I changed the oil and rear end, I checked the brakes, I flushed the clutch and brake systems, I did another fork service, I checked the valve clearances, I checked all of the electrical connectors, I checked the steering head bearings, I checked the clutch – then replaced the clutch, and more.
I already have a number of FARKLEs (Fancy Accessory, Really Kool, Likely Expensive) on the bike.
- Garmin Zumo 660 GPS. I’ve had this for a number of years. It still works well and I’m used to it, but the screen is starting to be difficult to see in daylight and the search entry method isn’t easy. I will likely use this one as extra info (speed, time, etc) and as a homing timer — how many miles and the time needed to get to the next checkpoint.
Update: April 2021 – the Zumo died, so won’t be running this for the IBR. I’m debating if I want to get another GPS and which one.
- Garmin DEZL 780. I’ve had this one for a year or so. It has a huge screen and is bright in all light conditions. It’s easy to enter search text and as it’s made for truckers, it’s unlikely to take you down a rutted dirt cowpath.
- I have purchased the latest waterproof Garmin GPS – the Zumo XT. I haven’t installed it yet, but will soon. I will have to decide if I’m running three GPS units or if two is enough. If I run two, I will run the Zumo XT and the DEZL.
Update: April 2021 – I have had this Zumo on the bike for the last few months. It’s nice and has a lot of great features. Easy to see, never washes out. The screen is a bit on the small side. I’m currently using the DEZL as my primary and the Zumo as my secondary.
- SPOT Tracker. A tracker is required for the rally. This sends out a signal to a satellite every 10 minutes or so which puts a spot on a map that the rally organizers can use to track your progress. It also has a safety call that works when cell phones don’t.
Update: April 2021 – I have moved the spot tracker from a ram ball on the handlebar to a clear pocket on my jacket. The flashing lights are on my arm instead of in my face and the tracker is on me if I’m separated from the bike in a crash.
- My cell phone. I keep my cell phone in a mount on the handlebars. I have this and one of the GPS’s bluetoothed to my headphones so I can hear directions and use the phone to make and take calls. Voice commands are getting better, so a lot can be done hands free while riding. I have my Google Pixel 3 on the handle bar and my work phone – an iPhone in the tank bag
- A fuel cell. I’ve been using a 4 gallon fuel cell for several years on several different motorcycles. On this bike, I can get up to 450 miles between fillups. Unfortunately, this fuel cell was made for another motorcycles and the capacity of the ST and this fuel cell will be in excess of the 11.5 gallon max capacity the IBR allows. I will be having another fuel cell made over winter that is a bit smaller.
Update: April 2021 – I have my new Boyd welding fuel cell. It will be mounted on the passenger seat area so I can put my tail GIVI trunk back on.
- Auxiliary lighting. Most motorcycles don’t have good enough lighting for those long nights on the road. They just don’t throw light far enough down the road to see reliably at speed limits over 55mph. I’ve added two Cyclops LED lights above the mirrors. They are tied into the high/low beam switch for the main lights as set to 100% brightness on high beam and 40% brightness on low beam. They do a pretty good job of lighting up the night and they make the bike more conspicuous during the day.
I ordered a pair of Denali led lights for the forks, but they are too big – more like the driving lights I have above my mirrors. I have decided to stick with the stock lights and the two cyclops.
- Electrified tank bag. I like tank bags. I’ve had one pretty much since I started riding motorcycles. It carries the items I need or want daily on the ride. I’m currently using a Wolfman bag which has graced at least three bikes.
The tank bag is electrified so I can charge my phone, my extra helmet communicator, my GPS’s and my camera.
- Water. You can’t ride long distance without water. You have to stay hydrated. When you don’t stop for hundreds of miles at a time, that means you have to have some means of drinking on the run. I carry an insulated 1 gallon Coleman on the bike with a drinking tube that I can access while I ride. It keeps water reasonably cool during the summer and keeps it from freezing in the winter. The cooler rides on the right passenger footpeg and the drink tube runs up to the handlebars where I can grab it while riding.
- Heated gear. Even in the summer, it can get cold enough to need heated gear. In the winter, it is essential. The clutch master cylinder provides a perch for the wireless controller and the gear plugs into the bike battery. I use a heated jacket liner and heated gloves. I’m looking to add heating socks as well. My legs stay fairly warm on this bike, but my feet are hanging out in the cold.
- I haven’t run a radar detector in decades. I’m debating one for the rally. It’s expensive and I’m not really sure it’s worth it.
Update: April 2021 – I have been using Waze on my phone for some time now. As I get used to its capabilities, I see that it’s just about as effective at showing where police activity is as a radar detector. With the other information that Waze gives makes it much more useful than a radar detector. Budget dollars will go elsewhere.
- Communicator. I have the SENA 20S and the SENA 20SEVO communicators, which are essentially interchangeable. They fit on a perch attached to the left side of my helmet and connect through Bluetooth to my phone and my GPS. I can hear turn by turn instructions from the GPS and I can take and make phone calls while I ride. The helmet piece has earphones and a microphone. The units can communicate with other similar units if they are paired and close enough to each other, so you can have bike to bike communication, or rider to passenger communication. I mostly use them for GPS directions, listening to podcasts or music from my phone and for phone calls.
My original 20S battery took a powder. Fortunately, someone figured out that there was an available battery that fits and works in the 20S and actually has the same plug on it. Yeah YouTube! Bonus, it has more storage as well. I’ve run my last two certificate rides with it and it works like new.
- There always seems to be something that comes up to solve on the bike. Hopefully, this is the one and only for me over the next couple of months until the rally finishes. I have been using Hi-Flo oil filters for some time over several bikes. The nut on the back makes it easier to get them on/off. The last two filters have sprung a leak at the nut, one at 4000 miles and the second at 3500 miles. It drips on the exhaust, so isn’t hard to detect from the burning oil smell. I have used dozens of these filters over the last several years and have never had a problem. I bought both of this filters together and they are probably from the same batch, so I threw away the other two new filters I had and bought OEM Honda filters.