I never understood the top heavy complaint. I picked up a 1800 R with the usual add-ons and it felt light compared to my fully kitted 1300. Handling and cornering with the 1800 never felt top heavy. Easy in and easy out. But then I find the Vulcan 2000 also easy to handle. I think it's the amount of time I spend on my 1300 fully loaded with gear and a passenger that has me used to top heavy and even then it's still easy to handle.
Lots of pros to the 1800. The only cons IMO of the 1800:
- Jerky and drive lash in low gears. The Vulcan 2000 feels like a 600cc scooter compared to the lash of the VTX 1800. This is the main drawback to me as it's the same with the 1300.
- No ABS. The only second drawback to me. But competing bikes in this segment didn't get the ABS treatment either.
- Gas tank in R/S/N models is acceptable. Rest of models, not.
- Shocks could be much better. Easy solution.
Complaints I've heard or read that I'm OK with:
- Too heavy: maybe compared to a sportbike or the Yamaha Stratoliner with the aluminium frame.
- Too much plastic: the 1800 has a surprising low amount of plastic. I don't mind plastic in cosmetic areas.
- Sound: meh, the 1800 sounds like a Nascar car especially with pipes. I like that. And dual pin helps with vibes anyway.
- Not comfortable: the 1800 isn't a real tourer but can be made into one. Easy fixes. Buy an Airhawk if not replacing seat.
Tsukayu VTX hard bags & Tour trunk, Saddlemen touring seat with backrest, NC custom windshield, Risers, LED lightbar, Engine guard LED lights, Cobra fatty guard, Rear engine guards, Fender rail guard, Leather tank bib, Passenger floorboards, 12v socket, ISO grips WITH bar weights, Engine chrome, Triple tree cover, Shaft cover, Fenders chrome, Progressive forks & 12.5 inch shocks, All Balls mod, Chrome clock, Adjustable trunk rack