Comments on: BONUS EXTRAS – 2010 Honda Stateline Rides and Culture Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:52:57 +0000 hourly 1 By: No Kowtowing! — RoadBike Tue, 21 Dec 2010 16:56:16 +0000 […] until recently b/c of a broken right arm — I noticed that someone had commented on my Bonus Extras post regarding my review of the Honda Stateline bike back in our October (has it been that long??) […]

By: Jonny Tue, 21 Dec 2010 16:25:00 +0000 Hey Chris-

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you; I’ve been laid up after kissing asphalt on the Major Deegan back in October, just a couple days before you posted your comment. Some jerk cut off the car in front of me, then came to a complete stop in the center lane of the Expressway. God knows why. I’m okay, just some broken bones; should be back to work in a few weeks.

I appreciate your kind words about the Stateline article. Sure, I caught some guff about it from the manufacturer, but RoadBike prides itself on its truth & honesty in our reviews. I really felt bad about talking smack about a company that’s been a tried-and-true friend of the magazine over the years, but I was assured I had the full support of the staff in writing that story, and in the interest of journalistic integrity and providing a necessary service to our readers, we plowed ahead with its less-than-complimentary tack, animosity (and potential ads!) be damned.

As the article pointed out, we ALL found the bike to be lacking, in various ways and in several areas. But that horse was beat to death in the article; no need to revisit it here. The issue with the handling, tho, deserves comment b/c you’re right, Chris: Honda is known for its durability & quality, even while pinching pennies. Perhaps it was just this particular bike, b/c others said they noticed it, too.

Either way, here’s the facts: I commuted about 50 miles each way on this bike for more than two weeks, and as soon as I cleared the city limits every morning and got up to about 65 or 70 mph (generally too much traffic in the evenings to achieve that kind of speed!) here came the speedwobble. Without fail. We never did figure out why our Stateline behaved that way; its ergos — fat tires, long wheelbase, wide bars — would seem to counter squirreliness. Didn’t.

But I’d also like to take this chance to make clear that my review wasn’t based on a single weekend spent aboard a test model with a full technical team trailing in a support vehicle. No, it was only after racking up over 1200 miles on the Stateline that I wrote that review, and I specifically wrote it in that poll-the-staff style b/c I wanted to clearly illustrate that the complaints stated were not just mine, but the qualms and opinions of the staffers quoted therein. NObody here loved the Stateline; some liked it more than others, but EVERYbody who rode it had issues with it.

That’s why we ran that article as-is; RoadBike doesn’t kowtow to advertisers. Never has, never will.

I’ve caught my share of flack for that article — but I stand by it, and I’m glad you appreciated it, Chris.


PS: One final note: After that issue & review went to press, Star released its own 1300cc custom cruiser, the Stryker, which is on the cover of our current issue. Its list price? About a thousand bucks LESS than the Stateline — with zero plastic on the engine. Happy Holidays to all.

By: Chris Simons Mon, 18 Oct 2010 16:33:54 +0000 Jon,
I’m confused by the surprised tone of the article when pointing out the plastic valve covers and LED display controls. These are items Honda has been practicing since at least the VTX models. In fact, Honda adding a clock to the LED display is an improvement over the VTX line! I was genuinely surprised to learn that your experience with the stability of the bike at higher speeds is dangerous as that seems very much out of character for Honda. I know that every bike made has compromises due to mass production costs but I am disappointed that Honda continues to “cheapen” the finishing touches of their product despite having a generally excellent record of reliability for performance. Thanks Jon for a thorough review.