Honda VTX1800 – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips —

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Honda VTX concept

Honda VTX1800 (August

If big cruisers are your bag, one’s bigger than — and has the performance to match. VTX1800 has just raised the bar in the stakes

There’s something satisfying about dragging off a car a red light — especially it’s some joker reckons they stand a of coming out on top.

And when joker happens to be in control of a machine, upon which lovingly lavished countless in the eternal pursuit of more a growling exhaust note and styling add-ons, the victory is all the

But not even a tricky little UV light was going to save particular Subaru WRX owner, between my legs that throbbed something special very special indeed. it’s not everyday you sit atop a V-twin, two big ol’ pistons the of dinner plates churning up and in this instance turning out 16kg-m of torque.

And on this I used those two pistons to effect, my steed hungrily off the line in a manner which its size, the Rex shrinking at an impressive in my mirrors. Honda VTX1800 Subaru WRX nil.


I recently had the opportunity to sample the big and all juvenile, testosterone-driven traffic games aside, it really is a

Chasing the very American big is biggest is best’ ethos, any manufacturer could well built a machine with capacity and skimped on the rest. Not this is one well thought-out with the performance to further the bitter old memories of under-powered, and under-achieving cruisers of yore back into the pages of

Inspired by the Honda Zodia, a machine which stole its share of the limelight at the 1995 Motor Show, the VTX1800 has the bar for production cruisers, thanks to its jaw-dropping powerplant.

Sporting the conrods and cylinders Honda has had to mass produce, the 1795cc, three-valves-per-cylinder, 52-degree V-twin out a claimed 103ps (at 5000rpm), but a neck-snapping 16.2kg-m of torque (at a low

On the open road these translate to useable power about everywhere, while I help but find a big grin across my dial whenever I the throttle open around as I strained against the acceleration and snicked my way up through the bike’s gearbox.

Well, snick the upper gears at least unfortunately changing between and second can only really be as something more akin to a such is the clunky nature of the


The engine up incredibly easily for such a big although its low-set revlimiter can catch you out on fast starts you’ve acclimatised to the fact riding something with a bigger than those in many small cars.

You find any carbs on the VTX either Honda’s PGM electronic fuel (with automatic choke) the mixture, further distancing machine from the low-spec of old.

By and large, the efi works a here — certainly early-morning Melbourne starts a hassle in the slightest — but degree of concentration is needed to things smooth around at lower speeds.

One of the nice points of this is its user-friendly and flexible nature it’ll pull from in top, while a good of go is also available in 120kmh roll-ons.

Rolling through the to Melbourne’s north west, a of sweepers with the odd patch of stuff thrown in for good it became instantly apparent the VTX is one of pick a gear, any gear’ of motorcycles. A lazy man’s if you like, which suits me because on most ambles the countryside I’m exactly

Mind you, should you to investigate the life expectancy of a of VTX hero knobs on a twisty (around five tight — or one long sweeper per knob), you won’t find the lacking. Actually, its ground isn’t too bad — par for the course for a bike like this and what you lack in corner you make up with that torque, rocketing you out of corners shoulder-wrenching ferocity.

And while expect the vibrations of such a V-twin to rattle your clean out of your gob onto the expanse of fuel tank, the VTX it simply isn’t the case, the successfully conquered courtesy of its offset crankpin and two counterbalancer


Thankfully, all stonking V-twin mumbo is up with a decent chassis and associated running gear, the specs listing graced several points you’d be accustomed to finding on a sportsbike than a cruiser.

The tubular-steel chassis might be cruiser fare, but inverted The 45mm units are non-adjustable, but complemented by the dual rear (equipped with adjustable the entire suspension package quite well.

Over the majority of road surfaces I the VTX’s suspenders to be quite although things can get a little when going head-to-head any large pothole or bump.

the same mid-sweeper at speed see the otherwise super-stable VTX get a bit of a wallow on, but generally only occurs you’re pushing the edges of its parameters anyway.

It’s under brakes, and fork is controlled relatively well, the behemoth’s claimed 320kg dry Thankfully there’s an excellent package to arrest that


For such a hefty the anchors the VTX comes equipped haul this thing fast. With three-piston gripping twin 296mm up front and a twin-piston unit the honours (with a 316mm down the back, their power and feel surpasses the package of any standard cruiser ever ridden.

A linked set-up has been employed, but linked in a way more closely the Gold Wing’s system, not the found on the marque’s VFR800, and Varadero.

Using the front only activates the two outer of each front caliper, using the rear brake not presses the rear caliper action, it actuates the middle of each front caliper with a proportional valve the strength with which the are applied.

Honda VTX concept

The system works really on the open road, while low manoeuvring didn’t seem to be any more tricky than it is for a heavy, raked-out machine this.

Ergonomically, I found the VTX to be a My 190cm slotted aboard ease, with just the amount of legroom and the ‘bars an stretch away. Mind with a low 693mm seat those shorter of leg should the VTX equally accommodating.

The ride itself is quite upright, reclining back slightly for on the taller side, and the sculpted was broad, well-shaped and comfy. appointments aren’t merely an either; passengers can expect legroom and a similarly good


Performance-wise, the VTX may be perfect for cruising around or relaxed jaunts in the country, I can say your arms, wrists and will cry enough long you find top speed, due to the ‘windsock speeds over 120kmh Judging by the lazy purr of the at 100kmh in top, I’d speeds in excess of 170kmh be possible for those dedicated to find them.

I hate to how the bike’s fuel economy suffer on extended sprints at as it was I got an average of just 12km/lt town, giving the VTX an effective of only 180 to 190km. Trouble is, just so hard not to really it on at every opportunity, and in doing so that delicious wave of In one, err, somewhat strop through the countryside I just 8.2km/lt.

But flapping about on the back of a at go-to-… speeds definitely what this machine is all Decent performance, a top-quality and tough, aggressive lines are the of the game for the VTX, and although never don an open-face lid simply I’d swung a leg over a I dragged the trusty old leather and black full-face out nonetheless.


The VTX looks tough, plain and and riding it makes you feel — well, perhaps a little. And even though Accountants outnumber Hell’s on our roads these days by a to one, it’s the feeling riding the VTX evokes which is to attract prospective buyers to motorcycle like mozzies to a

Unfortunately, the muffled fart does little to enhance any image you may be hoping to create, but on an aftermarket system and get set to turn heads — and rupture ear drums!

Honda has invested effort in styling the VTX, and I help but think it’s hit the A move away from the majority of examples of the ilk, in my opinion are caught in something of a warp, the VTX is an interesting combination of old and

Plenty of chrome, combined long and low mean looks, been complemented by racy alloy rims with fat modern — albeit — instrumentation and a futuristic on the bullet-type headlight nacelle of Quality fittings set off the top-notch and chrome, ensuring re-sale should remain high, and has gone to some lengths to a list of optional extras than your arm, backrests, windshields, footboards and an of chrome and billet add-ons, others.

At $22,990 (plus ORC), the VTX is up in the pricier end of the non-Harley cruiser significantly more than $17,790 (plus ORC) 1500 Classic or Drifter, $16,464 (plus ORC) Intruder LC or Yamaha’s $18,999 ORC) XV1600A Road But it’s still significantly than your average Cam 88 Hog, and there’s no denying you get a lot of bike for your bucks. the VTX1800, Honda has gone out and a trail all of its own.

With like Yamaha’s not-yet-released Star Warrior set to follow, I Big Red’s definitely on the right

Story Rod Chapman

Photos Mueller

Published. Wednesday, 29 2001

Honda VTX concept
Honda VTX concept
Honda VTX concept
Honda VTX concept
Honda VTX concept

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