Honda ST1300 Transmission, Clutch System, Gear Ratio

The Honda ST1300’s cassette-type five-speed transmission shortens overall engine length by 40mm and has approximately 5 percent lower gear ratios than the ST1100 for quicker acceleration and excellent roll-on performance.

Honda ST1300 comes with a multi-plate, hydraulic wet clutch.

Honda ST1300 Transmission Specifications

The Honda ST1300 comes equipped with a cassette-type five-speed transmission.

Dampers on the transmission main shaft, clutch, and driveshaft reduce noise, vibration, and drive line lash.

Honda ST1300’s transmission comes with a 45-mm HMAS cartridge fork in the front.

The ST1300 has a wide powerband thanks to the 360-degree crank.

Final drive has an enclosed shaft with integrated dampers.

Honda ST1300 Clutch System

Honda ST1300 has a multi-plate, hydraulic wet clutch that’s hydraulically operated.

If the motorcycle creeps or stalls when shifted into gear or if the clutch slips, there may be air in the clutch system.

You can approach a Honda dealer if you want the air bled out of the clutch system.

Honda ST1300 Gear Ratio

ST1300 gear ratios are shown in the table below. The first gear rotates 2.571 times per rotation of the drive shaft, the second rotates 1.722 times per rotation, and so on.

GearGear Ratio

Honda ST1300 Powerband

Honda ST1300’s broad powerband is the reason for its versatile performance across various riding conditions.

A snarly rush of power is experienced around 5,000 rpm, creating an exhilarating riding sensation.

The bike’s redline is at 9,500 rpm, indicating the upper limit of the engine’s RPM.

Rear-wheel peak horsepower has seen a significant increase, up by 22 to reach approximately 111 at 7,750 rpm.

Peak torque has been boosted by about 12 pounds-feet, reaching 83.6 at 6,100 rpm.



Refer to the table below for a brief comparison of the transmissions of ST1300, FJR1300, and BMW R1200RT.

ST1300FJR1300BMW R1200RT
5-speed transmission5-speed transmission

6-speed transmission was introduced in FJR1300ES in 2016
6-speed transmission
ST1300 Clutch System
hydraulic wet clutch
FJR1300 Clutch System
Electronic clutch
BMW R1200RT Clutch SystemHydraulic single dry plate clutch
ST1300 Gear Ratio:

1st 2.57:1
3rd 1.29:1
4th 1.04:1
5th 0.862:1
Gear Ratio:

1st 2.5290:1
2nd 1.7730:1
3rd 1.3480:1
4th 1.0770:1
5th 0.9290:1
Gear Ratio:
1st 2.28:1
2nd 1.58:1
3rd 1.26:1
4th 1.03:1
5th 0.90:1
6th 0.81:1
The final drive:
enclosed shaft with integrated dampers.
Shaft final drive:
encased within the swingarm, which has mono-shock suspension with a remote quick-set two-position adjustable pre-load.
Final drive:
System Enclosed driveshaft with two universal joints

Honda ST1300 Transmission: My Experience

Smooth operation with a hydraulically-operated clutch and gear changes requiring minimal force.

The shaft drive is well-suited for touring bikes and eliminates chain tension and mess.

The shaft drive operates discreetly, without typical up-and-down chassis movements.

Reliability and Durability

  • ST1300’s transmission is generally reliable if properly maintained. The most common issues are difficult shifts, gear slippage, and bearing wear at high mileage.
  • The five-speed gearbox can go over 100,000 miles without issue if fluid changes, gear use, and adjustments are done per Honda’s recommendations.
  • Manufacturing defects in some model years led to premature bearing failure. This required complete transmission rebuilds or replacements.
  • The models released after 2006 resolved the Gearbox problems. Read the following article for more info on ST1300 transmission problems.

Honda ST1300 Transmission Maintenance

Follow the instructions below to prolong the life of ST1300 transmission.

  1. Inspect the fluid level and make sure it is above the LOWER level mark. A fluid level below the LOWER level mark indicates fluid leakage, requiring repair by a Honda dealer.
  2. Other inspections include checking for fluid leaks, hose and fitting deterioration, and cracks.
  3. Replace the transmission oil every 16,000 miles to keep the transmission in good condition.
  4. Flush the transmission to improve shifting, remove sludge, and enhance cooling.
  5. Check the belts and chains; they should be snug with some slack. Inspect the final drive gear oil and replace it if needed.
  6. Inspect the belt every 1000 miles and replace a frayed belt immediately.
  7. Examine the variator weights for flat spots and replace them if necessary.
  8. Inspect shift linkage adjustments and lever free-play periodically to catch issues early.

Honda ST1300 Transmission Maintenance Costs

In general, the transmission parts last for years, but they need regular upkeep.

  • Bearing failures in some model years required complete transmission rebuilds or replacements, which could cost $2000-$3000 in parts and labor based on typical costs.
  • Honda Genuine fluid for changes every 16,000 miles helps maintain smooth shifts and reduce wear. This fluid costs around $25 per quart x 3 quarts = $75 for each fluid change but it helps upkeep the cooling system.
  • Check shift linkages and cables for proper adjustment to avoid premature wear. Replacing worn shift components can run $200-$300 in parts.
  • Inspect final drive gear oil, clutch plates and springs occasionally. Replacing worn clutch parts can cost $500-$600 in parts and labor.

Transmission vs Fuel Efficiency

The ST1300 has relatively tall gear ratios compared to some other sport-touring bikes. This helps reduce engine RPM at highway speeds, which improves fuel economy.

Honda ST1300’s five-speed transmission is heavy compared to other sport-touring bikes. This slightly decreases fuel economy.

The five-speed transmission’s design allows for very smooth, crisp shifts when properly adjusted. This maintains momentum and avoids abrupt throttle changes that would burn more fuel.

Here’s our article on the ST1300’s fuel efficiency.


When properly maintained with regular gear oil and component changes, the transmission is generally durable and reliable, with some models capable of over 100k miles without rebuilding.

However, a design flaw caused premature bearing failures in the early model years, requiring extensive repairs.

Routine adjustments, inspections, and Honda-recommended fluid changes every 16k miles are advised to maximize longevity.

Costs are reasonable for routine maintenance, but neglect can lead to rebuilds costing thousands.

High-quality aftermarket parts are available to customize or upgrade the transmission’s performance.

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