Honda VTX1300 vs Kawasaki Vulcan 1500, forget the Harley...
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Thread: Honda VTX1300 vs Kawasaki Vulcan 1500, forget the Harley...

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    Default Honda VTX1300 vs Kawasaki Vulcan 1500, forget the Harley...

    Looking for any info on a comparison of the VTX1300 to, not a Harley mind you, but a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500... and don't forget the V-Star 1100 by Yamaha as a third contender. Though it may not really compete.
    Trying to get some owner input on some of this. This is kind of a show down between the big three V-twins. I think that all three bikes are of pretty high quality though I feel Honda does make a better machine.
    I read one review about the VTX1300 that made me pause, it accused Honda of being insincere about the VTX1300 line. Some short-cuts not found on the 1800, (excess plastic, exposed wires, ect) and the clunking noise at 1st and 2nd gear ("..very unlike Honda") Riders almost unanimously have extremely high praise for the VTX 1300, but it does have its list of concerns. Any thoughts?
    Reviews on the Vulcan praise its fuel injected smoothness, its comfort and its reliability. The Vulcan and the V-Star are nice bikes and they have their devoted fans, but a comparison of them and the VTX1300 or VTX1800 is not easily found.
    I am on a slow boat in Singapore and I will be buying my new bike when I return stateside. Have many miles to go and some decisions to make before I land. I am thinking very seriously about the VTX1300C, it just seems right. (I am thinking the 1800 may be too much..) But the Vulcan….? Hmmm.. Long live and prosper?

    Nes
    2007 V-Star 1300, Candy Red!
    Stock options ... pending!

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    I had a 2004 Vulcan Classic 1600. Great bike and sounds great with Vance and Hines Big shots. The Vulcan has a lot of good things, gas gauge, blinker shutoff, gas cap hinge. It also has a single crank pin that makes her sound good. It rides great and the suspension doesnt need any work. If I get another to go with the X I'll get the Vulcan 1600 Mean streak.
    Black '03 1800c


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    Senior Member qdude1's Avatar
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    The 1500 is a great highway bike, FI, but disappointingly tame.
    If highway was my primary ride I'd have picked the 1500.
    I beleive the 1300 is easier to whip around and handles better in town.
    The VTX gets 5-6 mpg more.

    Both bikes are of excellent quality. I am very familiar with both, having logged many miles on each and I considered each carefully.
    I choose the VTX because the 1500 is doggy and has a higher center of gravity.
    If I had choosen the 1500 though, I doubt I would have been disapointed

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    Two of my riding buddies have V-Star 1100's, one a custom, the other a classic. The one with the classic (brand new) still has his older Vulcan 1500. We all went on a ride this past weekend, with another friend borrowing the Vulcan, and another buddy on a Shadow 1100. I probably could have pulled away from them all had I wanted to, but all are capable of staying with each other during any kind of normal riding. The interesting thing to note was the V-Star classic was dragging his floorboards all over the place, and I only touched down once. We were going the same speed around the same corners. Maybe he was trying to do it. I know I was definately trying not to.
    2002 1800S Illusion Blue
    Jardine Drags, Hypercharger Pro, Honda windshield and lowers, Kury Iso-grips, Corbin Rumble seat, Cobra Fatty highway bar.

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    Thanks for responding. I appreciate your info.
    I am reading the things that I think I was hoping I would find. The Vulcan is a good bike, has some nice perks that make it a good purchase. Riders who have had one don't regret it, and may get another one.... but the VTX is in the garage!

    Any other cruiser stories out there, any other bikes to compare the VTX to... besides Harley's?

    This last is actually a rib-poke at a friend of mine, a Harley enthusiast through and through, who feels personally betrayed at my sliding preference towards the 'metric side'. He actually dragged me down to the Singapore Harley Davidson dealer and made me sit on an electric-blue Springer Classic. Nice bike! But not at $18,000 bucks. Cripes!

    Sadly the Singapore Honda dealer caters to only small bikes for the local preferences here. I must wait further to have the privilege of sitting on my own VTX1300C.
    Nes
    2007 V-Star 1300, Candy Red!
    Stock options ... pending!

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    Senior Member Justa_Poser's Avatar
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    How can you go wrong with a VTX1300? There are five bikes parked in my basement (walk-out basement). Yes, there's also a Sportster and a Road King in there. Still, I certainly cannot complain about my VTX1300S. Really, what's not to like? Good power and handling and it's water-cooled. Plastic chrome doesn't bother me - it's lighter and will never rust. AND there are plenty accessories out there for the VTX. Much more so than for most other bikes. Plus, it's a HONDA. My advice would be to get the VTX and never look back.
    Happiness is a belt-fed weapon

  8. #7
    wayne
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    My wife rides a 1100 v-star and I drag the floor board before she does.
    That was before I lowered it 2 inchs.

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    Senior Member Tombstone's Avatar
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    All right! Another inmate joins the asylum! Welcome to the board. Once you get stateside, go around to the dealers and park your butt on each of the models you're considering. Test ride if possible and make your decision after you've weighed all the evidence. You need to pick a bike you'll love for AT LEAST the life of the loan and the only sure way to do that is through physical contact with the machines themselves. Best of luck on your purchase decision; post often and let us know how you're doing.
    Tombstone (AMA # 282162)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kballowe
    Plastic chrome doesn't bother me - it's lighter and will never rust.
    Sure does scratch easily and it tends to "fade" for lack of a better term.
    Lots of stuff...

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    Senior Member Justa_Poser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kannibul
    Quote Originally Posted by kballowe
    Plastic chrome doesn't bother me - it's lighter and will never rust.
    Sure does scratch easily and it tends to "fade" for lack of a better term.
    OK, that's true.
    Happiness is a belt-fed weapon

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    Default Re: Honda VTX1300 vs Kawasaki Vulcan 1500, forget the Harley

    Quote Originally Posted by Nes
    Looking for any info on a comparison of the VTX1300 to, not a Harley mind you, but a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500... and don't forget the V-Star 1100 by Yamaha as a third contender. Though it may not really compete.
    Trying to get some owner input on some of this. This is kind of a show down between the big three V-twins. I think that all three bikes are of pretty high quality though I feel Honda does make a better machine.
    I read one review about the VTX1300 that made me pause, it accused Honda of being insincere about the VTX1300 line. Some short-cuts not found on the 1800, (excess plastic, exposed wires, ect) and the clunking noise at 1st and 2nd gear ("..very unlike Honda") Riders almost unanimously have extremely high praise for the VTX 1300, but it does have its list of concerns. Any thoughts?
    Reviews on the Vulcan praise its fuel injected smoothness, its comfort and its reliability. The Vulcan and the V-Star are nice bikes and they have their devoted fans, but a comparison of them and the VTX1300 or VTX1800 is not easily found.
    I am on a slow boat in Singapore and I will be buying my new bike when I return stateside. Have many miles to go and some decisions to make before I land. I am thinking very seriously about the VTX1300C, it just seems right. (I am thinking the 1800 may be too much..) But the Vulcan….? Hmmm.. Long live and prosper?
    I'll cover a few items at least for me and my 2005 1300S. I'm sure the defenders will post.

    1. Leaky radiator hose, Tighten all clamps.
    2. Very limited tire selection due to the size and spokes. Some have had issues with the front tire. Go R if your looking at the R/S line.
    3. POS bearing in the front which induces a lot of wobble on accell and decell for me. Not good on and off the interstate. It is my next fix in July.
    4. Plastic parts, I actually like them. Reduces on weight, rust, and repair costs.
    5. Speedo rattle fixed with #7 o-rings.
    6. My gas milage stock and after pipes/re-jet is about 42 mph with a windshield. Stays about the same either in town or Interstate. Beats the cage.
    7. 2 up riding. Like you I also considered the 1100*. Not sure how much the diff would have been, but the 1300 is just what I needed. Even with the wife, plenty of power to do what we need with bags, tools, etc.
    8. As noted, plenty of after market items for the 1300.
    9. I will be changing out the rear shocks for Progressives. Either the 412 or 411 (not sure what the diff is at this time) based on the stock shocks sorta aren't all that great (in handling or smoothness) and many here sing the praises of the Progressives for their handling.

    This is my 3rd or 4th Honda, not their best bike that I've bought IMO. Gets a 7.5 on my scale. Others' opinions will definitly vary. It's harder with the Metrics but I would try to find a stealer that will allow you to do a good test ride (not 4 miles) on what ever brand you look at. That is one place most HD's stealerships have over the Metrics. Even had a local HD want me to take the bike home over night one time (pearl yellow RK, beautiful bike), I aint falling for that trap. Too easy to start saying yes at that point. I still have a lot of fun when I buy a bike. Sitting and riding (when possible) the different models.

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    Looked at the same bikes you are looking at 3 months ago. I sat on them all - did not get to test ride - but did alot of research on this website and others. The 1300 (I got the S and prefer the spokes) felt better balanced (lower center of gravity to me - so it felt lighter and easier to handle especially riding 2-up with the g/f). I have to admit initially being drawn to the 1300 for its looks over the others as well - more unique.

    Looked at the Springer Classic as well - $19K to own a bike that looks like 8 out of every 10 bikes you see - no thanks.

    Ride all you can when you get back sateside - you will be thankful and it will be FUN!

    2005 1300 S; beetlebags, dual tour saddle, switchblade windshield, Roadhouse slip-ons, CP fatty beach bars, sterling SS, Baron's B.A.K. - waiting on SS brake line

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    Hey, great information all. Some really good stuff here. Thanks for chipping in and sharing your stories of your past and present bikes.

    And VTX_Retro, thanks for your detailed list. That vibration on acceleration and deceleration.. I need to check that out. I have seen that mentioned in some reviews, but have never heard of the 'fix..' I will check into the other forums on this web site.

    I am about to set sail from Singapore and am heading for Bangkok. (its that slow boat thing .... again) I have to say farewell to delightful Singapore, icy cold Tiger beer, and.... last but not least... that $20,000 dollar Springer Classic at the Harley store downtown.. LOL.

    Please, continue to add stories of your other bikes. I find the diversity of the mix intriguing. And some of you guys have owned and ridden all of the bikes that I am thinking of, like over the weekend and stuff.

    I realize that it just dawned on me after reading a few of your postings...
    something I never allowed myself to admit as far as motorcycles go...

    a garage.... can hold more than one........

    Ride safe all!!
    Nes
    2007 V-Star 1300, Candy Red!
    Stock options ... pending!

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    Senior Member debelt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos
    Looked at the same bikes you are looking at 3 months ago. I sat on them all - did not get to test ride - but did alot of research on this website and others. The 1300 (I got the S and prefer the spokes) felt better balanced (lower center of gravity to me - so it felt lighter and easier to handle especially riding 2-up with the g/f). I have to admit initially being drawn to the 1300 for its looks over the others as well - more unique.

    Looked at the Springer Classic as well - $19K to own a bike that looks like 8 out of every 10 bikes you see - no thanks.

    Ride all you can when you get back sateside - you will be thankful and it will be FUN!
    Brentos, you got a nice look'in bike from what I can see of it, IMHO.
    '03 VTX 1800 C, '05 Yamaha Midnight RSV
    "I only use my gun whenever kindness fails" - Robert Earl Keen.


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    Thanks debelt

    2005 1300 S; beetlebags, dual tour saddle, switchblade windshield, Roadhouse slip-ons, CP fatty beach bars, sterling SS, Baron's B.A.K. - waiting on SS brake line

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    I know at Americade the last 2 years they have had a vendor that is selling fork stabilizers that fit the 1300. It clamps to the forks and stabilizes it somehow. They were singing the praises of it working on the 1300X and other bikes. I inquired about the 1800 and they said flat out no as it is inverted forks, so I didn't look further. Might be the fix you were talking about with the vibration?
    IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE DUMB, YOU BETTER BE TOUGH! 2003 1800C BLACK & DARKSIDE!

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