Well, since people have also chimed in about the 1300 and I have some free time, here goes mine:
- Best looking Japanese cruiser up to 1700ccs. Talking vs Kawa's Vulcan 1500/1600, Suzuki's 1500 (older version & newer), Yamaha's Vstar 1300 & 1600.
- Has as much torque (or more) as the above Japanese cruisers despite "only" being 1300 ccs. The VTX 1300 will also take any 88in HDs and can hang with the 96s all day long. That's if you care about HDs and piss contesting.
- Powerful acceleration, even with 2 up.
- Loaded to the gills in weight (i.e. touring with hard bags/trunk/2up/clothes for a week), it still pulls hard. Enough torque for everything you need.
- Carving canyons is good for a cruiser. The VTX 1300 feels stout in corners unless rear shocks are trashed. Good rear shocks installed turn the machine into a smooth sweep-eating work horse.
- Takes any abuse you give it to it.
- Superb reliability. I've put the 1300 to the extreme and she never fainted or looked like she needed any rest.
- Great sound with stock pipes.
- Single carb so easy to work with and no synching needed.
- A smooth machine once you get to know how to clutch her.
- Responds really well to synthetic oil (not trying to start an oil war, this is IMO).
- Brakes are surprisingly good for a cruiser of this size.
- You can still get most OEM parts easily.
- Plenty of aftermarket accessories. The VTX 1300 was one of the best selling cruisers in the US so the aftermarket industry reacted.
- The VTX 1300 responds very well to turning it into a comfy tourer. Or a Sunday cruiser. Or a truly chopped customized scooter.
- Edited to add: this forum. Incredibly-knowledgeable folks here; you can learn everything about the VTX in this forum. You'll also be corrected when wrong; no hard feelings. This forum and the VTX's manual, all you need.
My IMO Cons:
- Jerky and drive lash. Nature of the beast but its competitors have less of it.
- Noisy and rattles. Easy to fix but will drive you mad until you find them. VTX 1800 is the same. Synth oil helps with quieting down the machine too.
- No ABS.
- No fuel gauge of any sort. If you happen to be on a tight turn and you run into reserve, you'll be in for a dangerous experience. While I hate this, it's imperative that you re-set your trip meter at every fuel filling. At 145 miles I know for sure I will run into reserve, so I just switch the reserve switch at 130 mph and know I have about 50 miles more to go. That way you avoid any possible reserve-switch-flipping dangerous scenarios. Seriously, re-set every time you fill the bike.
- Rear shocks are absolute garbage. Replace them.
- Gas tank is huge and beautiful looking but does not hold enough fuel. Competitors have smaller uglier tanks holding more fuel.
- You can tell up close that Honda built the 1300 as a cheaper version of the 1800 and not just a smaller CC bike.
- Barely any gains hp/tq with air/carb/pipes modding. Nature of the beast again.
- Not as roomy as its competitors. The VTX 1300 feels more like a 900cc cruiser here. Can be fixed with aftermarket parts.
Other cons you'll hear which I don't mind:
- It's a Harley clon. Yeah, whatever, bro.
- Too much plastic. I agree to a point but my answer is "meh". No plastic where it matters (e.g. rear fender).
- Tank gas seam. Blah blah blah. Next.
- No wow torque or crazy fast speeds. The VTX 1300 pulls hard up to 90 miles per hour. From there upwards, she feels out of air compared to the 1800 for which the latter just keeps pulling.
- Valve adjustments. Sure, but having hydraulic adjusters eats away HPs. That's a reason why the VTX 1300 has more HP than the Kawasaki VN 1600.
- No 6th gear. I've never felt I needed a sixth gear unless cruising for hours at illegal speeds. A 6th gear would also take away from the machine's power. The VTX 1300 was not made to have a 6th gear as its purpose was not touring at ticket-rendering speeds. Touring for hours at 70-80 mph is smooth. No need for a 6th gear.
- No cruise control. Easy fix. You won't find cruise control on any of the 1300's competitors.
- No auto cancelling turn signals. Learn to get into the habit of cancelling your turn signals for your own safety. It could be worse like having each turn signal on each side of the handlebar.
- It's only "80incs" or "1300". Honda built a powerful machine for "just" 1300ccs and designed in 2001/2002. Competitors which designed cruisers with more CCs in later years didn't beat the "1300ccs" Honda in the hp/tq department. Do not be fooled by the 1300ccs denomination; the VTX 1300 is a powerful beast. Just don't go against any 1800cc Hondas or Suzukis, or any 1700/1900 Yamahas. Or maybe any 103in HDs.
seat is a pain to reinstall unless you do the mod
Mind if I ask what seat mod is this since you're talking about the 1300? I thought the seat pin mod was for the 1800. Never needed to do any mods to reinstall an (aftermarket) seat on the 1300.
1800 Neo Retro, stock with after market windscreen.
Con, I haven’t found any yet, I’ve only ridden 300(or so) miles since purchase. There are things that need addressed, but that’s why I’m here.
The 1800 Neo is the best 1800 of all IMO. You won't find any issues with it. You're a lucky guy to own such a beast.