~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Farkle Time!

The ST1300, as nice as it is, could always be better. The idea of adding goodies or farkles as they are called now, to a bike to make it a more personalized ride is an old one. No doubt Gottlieb Daimler would have added highway pegs and sissy bar to his first motorcycle had there been an Internet mail order place from which to order them. More likely he merely hoped to send the saddle out to Honda top box gray-marketed into the US by selected parts supplies because Honda is apparently too focused on sport bikes, Goldwings and dirt bikes to sell it themselves. The box comes with a nice looking "Pan European" label on the back, that being the ST's model designation for Europe. The label now graces my tool box along with assorted other decals from over badged parts and bikes. I have no problem panning Europeans but I don't need it on my bike.

Happily, the Euro ST1300 is the same color as the US model so the wonderful candy red paint is a perfect match and the box is built to Honda's usual high standards. There must be some small difference though in the luggage racks because I found it necessary to substitute some supplied washers for stuff from my accumulated M/C bit n pieces box. I ordered the passenger elbow supports for the box, in for a penny, in for a pound I figured, but at $98 for the cheesy rubber elbow rests they can't be classified as anything but a serious rip off. The box might be worth it's asking prices of $550 compared to the non-color matched, far less stylish Givi units many guys mount on their ST's but arm rests are a rip. At least they mounted easily although the instructions advise you to drill holes in your shiny new box that would be at least 1/16 or so too large for the screws. Glad I didn't trust the directions and sized the fittings myself. I'd have been seriously torqued if I'd have drilled big holes and wound up with sloppily fit parts.

Other goodies already added to the bike are GenMar's handle bar risers to get the bars a bit closer to my arms and take some load off of my short arms. 325 miles the other day proved their worth. A sheepskin seat cover makes the stock seat bearable but not ideal; I'm sure it's nothing another $500 can't fix. A Helmet Guardian helmet lock set up has been secured behind the license plate to make locking the skidlid simpler than taking off the seat to use Honda's crappy built-in wire loop (Really Honda, was that the best you could do?). The biggie so far is a new Scorpio i500 alarm system with a perimeter sensor. For the first time in decades I don't feel so uneasy walking away from the bike to go into a restaurant. I'm not sure how useful the perimeter sensor feature will be but it was fun to adjust and play with in the garage and of course the essence of any good farkle is some degree of impracticality.

On order but not received yet are some Powerlet 12v power outlets, a rider/passenger intercom system, some heat deflectors to ward off the merciless ST1300 engine heat, and a Cee Bailey 4" wider windscreen. The stock screen is just ok and just ok isn't what I'm after. Speaking of ST1300 engine heat, it's still not as bad as the foot roasting cylinders on my old R100/RT BMW but some slightly better fairing design by Honda would have helped. Note to Honda: Find yourself a FLIR thermocamera and a good operator and figure out where the heat is happening.

Total farkle bill thus far: About $1700. Ouch. For a mere $3,300 more I coulda had the new Beemer. Ah but wait, that was MY $3,300 and not someone else's so I'm still very happy to have not spent already and to have it to get the ST1300 fitted out to suit me. The Beemer at $19,000 would have left me with no farkle money and we can't have that.

I'm not sure what else the ST needs that I just can't live without but there is bound to be something.

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