I found this article while doing a search for another subject. After reading this I realized it may be of interest to many owners of early 02 VTX's besides myself. The problem is I cannot relate to what hose the writer is referring to "under the right side bottom of the fuel tank". Can anyone tell me what hose the writer of the article is referring to? I don't think it is the gas tank vent hose. Besides, the vent hose is under the left side of my 02.
VTX Plug Fouling Cure!
Recently, I was thumbing through the service manual for my 2002 VTX-180OC (VIN sequence 6125, mfg 06/01) when I realized it was time for a plug change. After a trip to the local dealership for four NGK IFR5L11 plugs (at a list price of $15.99 each), I pulled the right front plug to start the change process. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the plug, though similar in size, had quite a different electrode. The following Monday, I checked with the service department at the dealership. I wanted to know why my bike had come from the factory with other than the specified plugs.
The service manager explained that some of the early production VTX1800s had a fouling problem (of which I was aware) and that Honda had used the different plug from the time when, they discovered the problem until the fix was implemented. The actual problemthat caused the plugs to foul was a kink in a hose under the right side bottom of the fuel tank. He was unable to tell me what the hose was, but he did point it out to me on a floor model. Seems that the nose was cut too long, and when it was put into the allotted space, the extra length caused it to kink. This kink was the culprit in the early fouling problems. The "work around" plug wasn't any better at stopping the fouling, but it did a much better job of working when fouled, which is why Honda used it as a temporary fix. Sure enough, when I checked my bike, the hose had a nifty kink in it. The solution was simple, though. Just trim the hose until it was able to fit without kinking. The biggest hassle in the fix was fitting a pair of cutters into the limited space available. It's worthy to note that the plugs that Honda originally put in the bike were somewhat fouled when I pulled them, however, the fouling never caused any rideability problems. The plugs, according to the service manager, could be used as a straight substitute for the IFR5L II for the life of the bike without problem (or loss of performance).
But, here's the kicker: The NGK BKR5Eli plug that came from the factory with my bike list for $3.79 each. The set of four would be less than one IFR5L11. Hope this clears up the plug dilemma for my fellow VTX'ers.