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Honda Adds Stateline Cruiser to Retro-Look Lineup

By Arv Voss, December 18th, 2010

Joining the Fury and Sabre in the retro appearance category is the all-new Stateline cruiser. All three bikes share a familiar, nostalgic look about them, yet in distinctively different ways, and with different mission statements as well.

The Fury is the first in the lineup which I've already reviewed, and it clearly strives to achieve a genuinely nostalgic early chopper look with its long raked out front end, skinny front wheel and tire and bobbed fenders.

The Sabre, which I've not yet ridden, falls into the middle of the trio with a similar, but more subtle look. Now comes the 2010 Honda Stateline the biggest of the group, with a long, low stance, deeply valanced, downward arcing fenders and big V-twin motor.

I get the Fury and Sabre names, as they suggest something racy and adventurous, but the Stateline name somehow escapes me, unless it is possibly alluding to the bike's potential of comfortably crossing stateliness. It is a cruising bike that skillfully combines traditional old school styling with modern progressive elements and reliability. The Stateline seems to be more about riding dynamics.

Powering the Stateline is a 1312cc SOHC, 6-valve, liquid-cooled 52-degree V-twin with programmed fuel injection incorporating a single 38mm diameter throttle body. It sounds great with a deep rumble that exits from the dual right-side exhaust. Honda's practice is to not publish horsepower or torque ratings, but there seems to be plenty of both. The motor mates to a five-speed sequential manual gearbox that meters motive force to the rear wheel via a shaft final drive.

The Stateline rides on Bridgestone Exora rubber mounted on 5-spoke alloy wheels. Up front, the suspension features inverted 41mm forks with 4.0 inches of travel, while the rear suspension consists of a single shock; with 3.9 inches of travel. Braking is courtesy of a front single left-side disc and a single right-side disc.

Visually, the Stateline displays a new progressive/retro design featuring a raked-out front end and stylized curved frame down tube that evokes a unique custom look. Both the engine and new-style wheels are blacked-out and the wide steel fuel tank is specially styled with a teardrop-shaped, chrome housing or console that features a speedometer with warning lights for fuel level, oil pressure, oil temperature, light level and an odometer, as well as signal indicators that are not self-canceling. Also positioned in the console is a locking fuel filler door.

The new, wide, retro-styled Drag-type pullback handlebars sit atop 6-inch rearward curved risers that provide daylong cruising comfort. The seat is a deep, low, one-piece affair with a 27.6-inch height and kickup for a passenger. Controls are forward with pegs for both rider and passenger. The slim radiator mounts discreetly between the frame down tubes, further accenting the Stateline's clean appearance. A helmet lock is positioned on the left side rear.

My test Honda Stateline was sprayed in a high gloss black finish on the metal tank and composite fenders. (ABS/CBS available in Candy Dark Red color only). Other composite elements were chromed including the headlight bucket, valve covers, derby cover and horn.

The base price was set at $11,699 while adding ABS bumped the price another $1,000. Expect to add roughly $150 to $200 for dealer prep and handling. There were no options on my test Stateline, but Honda offers a complete line of genuine accessories including.

The Honda Stateline is a real attention grabber; it looks and sounds terrific. Twisting the throttle delivers instantaneous acceleration and gear changing is a smooth exercise -- not really exercise at all -- as it's positive and non-clunky as with some competitive bikes. The shaft final drive is void of the usual "jacking" prevalent in many shaft driven bikes.

The Bike is extremely well balanced and easily maneuverable despite its 670-pound "ready-to-roll" weight. Considering its price point and Honda's reliability factor, the Stateline is positioned to compete favorably with an upper hand over several competitors in its class. Most of all, it's a fun bike to ride, whether just boulevard cruising or blasting down the open road.

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