From zero bike exp to a VTX1800 - VTXOA
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Eastern North America - mainly Florida
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Cool From zero bike exp to a VTX1800

At 57 years old, I completed the 2-day course for a Virginia motorcycle permit with no prior street experience.. hadn't sat on a motorcycle in 40 years. The 2002 VTX1800 at a Harley dealership was delivered to my door in Citrus County Florida - February 2019. First few weeks were terrifying. But I went out every other day for a 40-minute ride and slowly developed the reflexes, coordination and slow-turning skills. YouTube instructional videos helped greatly. It was this gradual, low risk approach that led to today - where I can pull U-turns on busy city streets, lean into winding mountain roads and cruise divided highways full of aggressive drivers at 80mph. Why?? No more kids to raise, and nothing left to prove professionally. This has transformed an otherwise boring, middle-aged guy's life. I suspect some of you are thinking "he's just lucky he hasn't dropped the bike or been hit yet..." The first video I saw "Five ways to die on a motorcycle" helped set my attitude in the right direction. It seems that being cautious, and always leaving room to correct a situation helped. I was coming down a hill when the cars ahead suddenly stopped behind a guy waiting to make a left turn. I didn't think I had enough room to stop, but applied front and rear brakes while scouting an escape lane around the shoulder of the road. As it happens, the bike stopped in time... thanks to good advice and good practice. After seven months of riding and 4,000 miles in all kinds of places I don't think I'll ever give this up. And I don't think I could ride anything with less power than a Honda VTX1800 with Kuryaken intake and Vance Hines pipes.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:37 PM
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Welcome to VTXOA VaughanDaddy. Starting out on a VTX 1800 is a pretty big challenge but it sounds like you're coming along good. I would recommend that you also take the MSF basic rider course as soon as you can. There is a lot of information about all VTX's here from general information, maintenance, step-by-step how-to's, etc... Some basic things you should be aware of are that the Fuel Pump Regulators or FPR's are known to fail if they are more than 10 years old. One way to tell if yours is bad is if your engine oil reeks of gasoline. If so, you'll need to replace it before riding it any more. The ground fix is something that needs to be done to all 1800. Unless your brake and clutch fluids look clear and fresh, they should be changed. These are fine motorcycles and you will enjoy having it for years to come. Post some pictures....

2003 VTX 1800R
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:39 PM
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Welcome. You've made a fine choice in your bike. Maybe not a 'traditional starter', but one that (as you've shown) can clearly be mastered even by a beginner. And one more good point... it's one you are less likely to "outgrow" as compared to smaller bikes.

Stay safe, and stay in the saddle.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:47 PM
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Welcome to the VTXOA.
1800 has a linked brake system, it works well from what I have read..

Enjoy the ride.

Stay away from old people in cages, they are dangerous.

2005 1300c Red, Mustang seat, HK 2.5 straights. Leds for safety-front & back. 194,184 VTX miles
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks pushrod.. I think the previous owner must have taken care of these things.. all fluids are clean. The bike came with new tires, brakes and evidence of good general care. Wish I could find and thank the previous owner... he was trading this in for a Harley.. I hope he had no regrets.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 02:40 PM
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Location: Arizona
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Welcome from Arizona! I've found MC Rider's youtube channel useful too and have been subscribed for years.
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2007 VTX 1300R Pearl Challenger Brown (aka Titanium)
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, dud-57... The safety course instructor warned against anything below 650cc for a starter bike. Then a sales rep at Classic Iron in Fredericksburg warned me against anything less than 1100-1300 on the grounds that I'd outgrow it quickly. Apparently the VTX1800 may be the only bike that is low enough and easy enough to master - if carefully. But then a 50 yr old buddy saw my VTX pics and immediately took the 2 day course in Ohio before getting himself a Vulcan 900. He's my size but swears the Vulcan is enough bike for him.. interesting stuff.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Arizona.. yes, MC Rider's "five ways to die.." should be mandatory viewing for all new riders. Also, his video about not "laying down your bike.." You know, when I got into that situation I was sure I'd have to lay down this VTX to avoid collision but MC's advice literally came to mind at the moment and I focused on good braking.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 07:16 AM
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Welcome from Daytona Beach, enjoy and ride safely.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 09:08 AM
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Phil...(72)”Nobody told me I die at the end”
2006 (bought new)...1300R Candy Black Cherry,DARKSIDE,foots mod.. ..
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