Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Redmond, WA, USA
I'm a big fan of the ST1300. If we didn't ride 2 up a fair amount of the time, that would be the bike in my garage. Honda quality, low maintenance costs, and a terrific ride. A lot of my rides locally are with ST owners and I've test ridden the bike. I prefer the seating position to either the RT or the GT. I prefer the engine to the RT. Obviously, the GT's engine / overall performance is superior to the ST, but I'll never use that performance, so for the cost difference, I'd go with the ST. (Not to offend the easily offended, but I'm not a fan of the looks of the new GT - that's a personal issue, not a commentary on the bike or its legions of fans). You give up wind protection, heated grips (as a standard, but an easy add on), self-cancelling turn signals, an integrated music system / comm system, reverse, top box is an add-on, and a couple of other bells and whistles.
Probably the biggest issue is that you'll want to make sure the sport(ier) seating position is one you like (it has a small lean forward that some find uncomfortable - for me, it's perfect - the K12S is very similiar IMHO). As Joe says tongue in cheek, visit the st-owners forum and you'll gain some insight. The nit pickers about that bike are just as vocal on that forum as the ones here about the LT, so you'll pick up all the negatives pretty quick (engine whine, heat on legs, coolant hose connections, uncomfortable seat come to mind). They have an active riding group in Atlanta, so join up with them for a ride and you'll get a good idea of the bike and its strengths as well as weaknesses. Then take one for a test ride and see if it sings to you, if not try something else. We're just lucky to have so many good choices in the sport touring category that one for sure will be exactly the right bike for you.