March 13, 2003

Instrumentation and controls

Well, the move from ST1100 to STX1300 has resulted in a very different cockpit. Honda have generally done a good job although (as ever) not everyone is a fan.

Moving from left to right:

That dial? That raises/lowers the headlight. Meaning that, for example, when you have a pillion it's no longer obligatory to blind oncoming traffic. Gee, we're just so polite...

The cluster of four buttons controls the display and the trip computer. From here you can adjust the display brightness, the way that fuel utilisation is displayed, toggle between (and reset) trip meters and set the clock.

Next come the rev counter and speedo and above those are one of the weak points. The turning light indicators. Unfortunately, if you're tall you need to look carefully as this may be the last time you see them.

The next panel, from top to bottom comprises of the fuel gauge, fuel consumption meter, trip meter and odometer, air temperature and clock. The two areas of complaint with this panel have been visibility in strong light (not a problem in my experience) and the bizarre units of measure for fuel consumption. Miles per litre anyone? The Air Temp gauge is only any use when you're under way as when stationary, it is rendered useless by the heat of the engine affecting the sensor. Not a big problem but, hey, you should be told.

Not shown in the picture is the engine temperature readout. Don't ask me why but I can assure you it's on my bike, honest! I don't know whether this is any good as it never goes beyond half way, even in stop/start traffic on hot summer days. Still, maybe when I go through France, it'll budge beyond there. Then again, maybe not...

Lastly, the light on the right have the Neutral indicator, Fuel Injection, Oil, High Beam and ABS warning lights. The Beam indicator is very good, indeed. The ABS light remains on from the moment you start the motor to just after you get under way.

Lastly, that Pan European log on the far right? It's backlit. Unlike the panel of buttons on the left. Duh! What were they thinking!!!

All in all, I find the cockpit gives me all the information I need and in such a way that I don't end up searching about for it. I've no idea whether it warns you about stuff in a good way as I haven't had a major failure yet.

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