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ST1100 FAQ - 2009

The following questions were submitted in 2009.






From:  Nubbi Tanga, Cambodia

Q:        I veri much lak your site and hope that you give me your bike. It is very nice and shiny. I like shiny things ooh yes. one time i had a shiny thing but then lost it. I searched all over my tree but could not find it. Will you bike fit in my tree if you give it to me? please send. Nubbi

A:        Dear Nubbi
Thanks for your message. I've checked the postage to Cambodia, and will certainly send you the bike as long as you pay the postage. This works out at £20,000. The only problem of course would be whether the ST1100 would fit through your letterbox. Please advise on the size of the letterbox fitted to your tree.

(This was the very first question received...)


From:  M.W., UK

Q:        Ive been riding for 2yrs . Only rode a thundercat but only the odd good wkend . Im after a tourer so my back aint killing after an hour like on the thundercat . Just wondered if youd think an st1100 would be a good move for me with the lack of experience and with how heavy the bike is cause i want to do massive miles in comfort ? Thanks.

A:        Make no mistake, the ST1100 is heavy. But it's quite amazing how rapidly the weight seems to disappear once you start moving. Weight should however not be an obstacle. An old instructor once said to me, "never ride any motorcycle you can't lift upright." Yet if you use the right technique, any bike can be righted.

Your height could be an issue. A friend of mine is around 5'4" and much as he liked the ST1100, it was just too tall for him, so he settled on a Deauville instead. Yet even then custom seats are available which would reduce the ride height slightly. However I think this is unlikely to be a problem; if you can ride a thundercat you can ride an ST1100.

The best solution is to actually go and sit on one, and if possible take it for a test ride. Depending on your location in the UK, you may want to have a look at http://www.pan-clan.co.uk/ - you may be able to go to a club meeting or one of the area reps may be able to assist.

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From:  M.S., Macedonia

Q:        abs and tcs not working please help me.

A:        I'm afraid you haven't provided sufficient information. I would suggest you contact your local Honda service agent.

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From:  R.B., USA

Q:        I am a returning member - #xxx.

A:        Really?

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From:  K.D., UK

Q:        Hi, interesting web pages, problem with my pan, it's a 92M model no abs. It feels as though it is trying to fall of its front tyre at slow speeds, rear swing arm and bearings are new as is shock, doing brake pads and freeing calipers if needed this morning,tyre is a metzler, hpo you can help, do you have the fork height in the jokes, how much if at all should they show through top joke.

A:        The first thing I would check is the tyre pressures; incorrect pressure can have very odd influences on handling. I run my front tyre at 36psi.

I presume neither of the fork tubes are bent?

The second thing I would check is the steering head bearings. Put the bike on its centre stand and have someone sit on the rear of the seat so that the front wheel is off the ground. Kneel in front of the bike and grab the bottom of the forks with both hands. See if there's any forward/backward movement there. Also turn the handlebars slowly from full lock to full lock and see if the steering feels "notchy" anywhere.

Are the clamp bolts tight?

As regards the fork height, the fork tube itself (disregarding the top bolt) should be flush with the top yoke.

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From:  K.D., UK

Q:        is there a set of higher handlebars for the st, did/do the police use any. I find I'm in an uncomfortable crouch when riding mine, also as a height deficient (short arse) person I've already got the lower seat, many thanks.

A:        As far as I know the police just used stock handlebars. There are alternatives available; like the Helibars, but these are a bit pricey.

What I did was to install some Genmar handlebar risers which had the effect of moving the handlebars towards me slightly as well as raising them a bit.

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From:  F.H., Canada

Q:        I'm trading in a 2007 XL1200R tomorrow on a 2002 ST1200 in Vancouver. Your site is very helpful and I may (will) have some questions for you when I get back from the coast.

A:        OK.

Q:        I've just ridden my new 2002 ST1100 (74,000 Kms) over the mountains from Vancouver and it was a blast; like piloting a small aircraft at very low levels. :)

Anyway, I have some questions.

1. Even after reading the owner's manual, I can't figure out how to adjust the mirrors. I've seen the mirror housing come off (the dealer delighted in demonstrating this), but I didn't see any adjusters. Does one just push on the mirrors? Do you have to take off the housing?

2. I'm missing a tiny little plastic cover plate on the left side. Looks like about an inch by an inch and quarter. Do you know where I can get one?

3. I'm missing the left rear attachment bolt and bumper for the left saddlebag. Are these available? Any substitutes?

4. The seat looks flat, but on riding it I notice it has a distinct forward cant. I've never liked tipped seats so I'm thinking of getting my upholstery genius locally to shave off a little of the foam at the rear of the rider's section to make it level. The alternative is a Corbin and mucho dollarnos.

5. Where can I get a luggage rack and backrest combo, rather than a top box?

A:        1. Mirrors - you've probably figured it out by now, but you're quite correct, you just push on the glass. If they've never been adjusted they could be a bit stiff, so I would take the mirror housings off which will allow you more leverage. You could try a drop or two of penetrating oil, but don't use too much or there could be insufficient friction to keep the mirror in your chosen position.

Good though the mirrors are, I bought myself a couple of wedge-shaped blind spot mirrors which I affixed to the upper section of the mirror glass closest to the bike. This has improved the visibility of vehicles' positions when they're approaching the (duh) blind spot.

2. The mirror infill - I removed both of mine in order to fix the brackets for the auxiliary lights. Being made of thin plastic, both were cracked. You have a few options:

a) make your own out of some thin plywood - painted either black or to match the bike colour - this would be my preferred (and cheapest!) option

b) Keep an eye on Ebay

c) Honda dealer

3. Pannier attachment - any scrapyards near you? If not, I would keep an eye on Ebay (much as I dislike it) - failing that, a Honda dealer again.

4. Absolutely. A friend of mine took his seat to a local place to have it lowered, and it made the world of difference. By all means take it to your local upholsterers.

5. The plain luggage rack with passenger backrest is a rare beast. Whilst doing my research for the website, I found that Honda didn't do one. They merely added a backrest to their existing top box.

Once again it will have to be a "home-made" job unless you want to spend lots of dollars. Have a look at the following:

Bikers' Friend

McEnd Luggage Racks

Q:        What is the usual fitting for the bottom back corner of each ST1100 pannier? My bike has what looks like an after-market add on which includes a metal brace inside the fender, a hole in the fender, a thick (one inch) rubber bumper with a hole in it, and a bolt with a hole in the end through which is a cotter pin. It certainly holds the bottom of the pannier securely and is easy to remove, but it's not in the parts list. Was this a popular add-on? Did bags fall off without it? And another question; is the bolt holding the back of the pannier attachment rail supposed to be snugged up firmly?

Also I'm trying to figure out if my handlebars are standard. They look a little odd (dark green in colour and no plastic cover) with clamps about two inches high. I can't complain though; they're just right for me.

A:        See photos below. Excuse the dirt but the bike is overdue a wash!

Pannier inner face      Pannier Mounting Rail

As you can see from the second photo, the only rubber mounting is on the pannier itself, there's nothing on the rear fender.

So I can't quite figure out the purpose of your metal brace/rubber/bolt. Certainly not a popular add-on as far as I'm aware, and in my opinion it's superfluous. I've carried all sorts of kit in my panniers, and even on British roads (which are in a dreadful state in case you didn't know - bumps, potholes etc etc) I have never had a problem.

It can't even be an anti-theft device, as the pannier is lockable to the bike with the front clip. (Of course a determined thief could easily break it off with a crowbar anyway).

So it's up to you whether you leave it in place or not!

I do know that if a Pan is fitted for a trailer this requires a metal brace inside the rear fender, but without seeing yours it's difficult to ascertain whether this was the original purpose of yours.

Regarding the top rail; there should be about 3mm of movement at the back i.e. the bolt should not be snugged up tight.

As for your handlebars, again they're not standard. The lack of plastic cover is the result of the installation of handlebar risers - once you've done this, the cover won't fit back on unless you butcher it a bit - see Handlebar cover picture.

As long as the bolts are secure, I wouldn't worry about it (and as you say, as long as your posture is comfortable that's the main thing!)

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From:  S.T., UK

Q:        I am looking for a set of st1100a grab rails for my 2000 model, is this something you gould help with?

A:        Part no. 22 and 23 on this parts fiche.

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From:  L.K., USA

Q:        I have an chance to but a '92 ST1100 w/ 27.5K miles for $3K USD. I ride dualsport thumpers (XR250 and KLR650) and know nothing about ST's, but WANT a multi cylinder tourer. What should I ask and look for when inspecting this red beauty? I want to jump on this fast b4 someone else. Many thanks in advance.

A:        For a 1992 model, 27500 miles is a really low mileage for a tourer.

Personally I would want to reassure myself whether it was genuine, or whether a new speedometer had been fitted.

So I would check the paperwork carefully - is there a full service history? Apart from the regular oil changes,spark plug and air filter changes no major service items are due until around 90,000 miles when the timing belt needs to be replaced.

Have a look if there is any play in the front forks (steering head bearings need replacing if there is).

Apart from looking for any obvious signs of crash damage, I would have a look at the rear swingarm, just in front of the rear tyre, as this area is prone to corrosion. Also take the seat off and have a look at the top of the fuel tank, as rust can develop here as well. Also have a look at the radiator for any bent/missing fins, and see if there is any rust on the exhaust in the collector box area (that is the bit underneath the bike where the exhaust pipes from each side of the engine meet before splitting into two again) - water tends to condense here and again cause corrosion.

Otherwise $3k sounds a reasonable price.

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From:  M.H., UK

Q:        re balancing the carbs.what is the best pressure to balance the carbs to?

A:        To be honest, as long as each cylinder is balanced to the others, it's irrelevant what the actual pressure reading is.

However, the compression of each cylinder should be in the region of 171 - 227 psi; any lower than this indicates either the valve seats need regrinding or new piston rings are needed.

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From:  M.S., UK

Q:        Hi, I've just had my ST1100 fitted with Avon ST Storms. Can you confirm that the pressures should be 36 front and 42 rear. I would appreciate your advice, many thanks.

A:        Thanks for your enquiry. Yes, 36 front and 42 rear are what I use on mine.

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From:  D.L., UK

Q:        hi there, i would like to now if you can help me, i have a 2000 ST1100 pan, and i have this wobble just like the tyres going down that filling, i have have had new head bearing done, i have got new tyres on, i have moved from bridgestone BT54 to avon storm AV55(AV56) thinking that will sort the problems out, ha ha i am not happy the way its handly can you help, look forward to hear from you.

A:        It's difficult to diagnose problems long-distance. I presume the tyre pressures are ok. As you've had the head bearings replaced, this SHOULD eliminate these as the cause (presuming of course they were tightened correctly).

It also depends at what speed the wobble occurs and goes away. When was the fork oil last checked?

My suggestion would be to take the bike to a reputable garage to let them diagnose the problem.

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From:  L.L., Ireland

Q:        loved your ideas.. bought my pan a few months ago.. can you tell me please what type of leds you got for the locks.. i went on that site and dont know which ones to order... you should make a become a member on this website.. people would love to oin this site.. i know i would.

A:        The exact LEDs I used are no longer available; they've been superceded by better ones. But the equivalent of the model I used for the dash lighting was U5011B and the stop/tail bulbs were the equivalent of U3804R.

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From:  M.S., South Africa

Q:        I JUST BOUGHT A ST1100 PAN EUROPEAN IN STUNNING CONDITION BUT THE PREVIOUS OWNER LOST THE LEFT PANNIER. WERE WILL I FIND A REPLACEMENT AND WHAT DOES IT COST?

A:        Congratulations on your new bike! How on earth does one "lose" a pannier?

To be honest your best bet would be to see if you can find a scrapyard. You may be lucky and find a pannier the same colour. The alternative is to keep an eye on Ebay.

Buying a new pannier by mail order would work out very expensive with postage to SA.

The last alternative is to try and find a Honda dealer near you.

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From:  D.W., UK

Q:        Really silly question - when you replaced the Dashboard bulbs with LEDs what type are they? Are they the push fit or the Twist-lock type? Would like to order some before I disassemble anything!
I think the site is superb by the way and refer to it quite a bit!

A:        Thanks for your message, glad you like the site!

The exact LEDs I used are no longer available; they've been superceded by better ones. But the equivalent of the (push fit) model I used for the dash lighting was U5011B and the stop/tail bulbs were the equivalent of U3804R.






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