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Good morning,

I have my motorcycle course in August and I have been drooling over owning VTX for a few years. I'm 6ft 2in at 300lbs. I only see 02 & 03 1800cc bikes OR 05-06-07 1300cc bikes for sale near me. What types of things should I look for? Will my size be a factor on a 1300cc? What mileage would be considered high?

I'm not a speed demon or an adrenaline junkie. I will be learning how to ride on this bike and hopefully do some long cruises.

Thanks for the help and amazing forum.

-long time reader, first time poster.
 

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You will have to try them both out to feel the differences. With the VTX, just forget about any miles on them, they can go for at least 150K + with regular maintenance and care. Your size, I feel , will be more comfortable with the 1800. It is a hundred # or so heavier, but a big strong boy shouldn't have any problem with that. The early 1800's have a couple small issues that if they haven't been already done, will need done asap. The early 2 years had the fuel pumps inside the tank, reducing capacity for long trips. Make sure the tanks aren't rusted, or that will clog up the internal filter, pump, injectors. If it hasn't been changed, you will need whats known as an FPR, or fuel pressure regulator. About $40 at your Honda dealer. 2 small bolts, easy enough to change. The diaphragm on these crack due to age, not from high miles or abuse. Makes them hard starting, rough idling/ rough running on the road, fuel mileage in the 20's, fuel smell from the exhaust, hot pipes will ignite unburnt fuel as backfiring. Check the dipstick for strong smell of fuel, it might appear as over-full on the stick. The cracked diaphragm is bleeding fuel into the crankcase. Change the FPR, the oil, and filter. Run it around the block, drain the oil a second time ( not the filter) to make sure it's cleaned out. All fluids need changed every 2-3 years as they will draw moisture. The final drive flange bearings need inspected, cleaned and re-lubed with Moly 77 paste, not grease, every 10K or when you change the rear tire. Inspect, and lube the disc brake pad slide pins. Tires have a 4 digit sidewall code for the week/ month of mfg. Regardless of tread depth, older than 4-5 years are getting hard, losing their gripping ability, developing micro cracks, dry rot. I run Ride-On internal balancer/ sealant in mine. Run 40-40 psi front, rear to start and adjust up/ down from there. Run only 87 octane, it was built for that. Rear shock bushings are a cheap, easy replacement for a better ride, get the green ones from Honda instead of the black ones. Any other questions will be answered here. Don't be afraid to use the 'search' feature and read a TON. The FI of the 1800 is great, the linked brakes are too! It's a torque monster! Crack the throttle and hold on!
 
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I'm a big guy too, and I had an '02 1800C. If I could get another 1800 that would be my first choice.

What to look for;
Most is like buying any motorcycle. If it's clean, check the nooks, then it was likely well taken care of. Open the tank. If you can see any corrosion, walk unless it's a really wicked deal. Mileage on a VTX is less important ... it's a Honda and will blow through 100k miles, no sweat. It's far more important the bike was well maintained. Check the tires. If they are more than 3 yr old, you'll need to think about replacing them. Especially for an '02 1800, check for a very sooty exhaust. If the exhaust is sooty, then it's likely it will burn some oil ... not uncommon for the '02s. Mine was sooty, and I still rode it, and enjoyed it. So what, a half quart every 1000 miles or so. No biggie for me, but if I had it to do again, it's something I'd look for.

I'm sure others will come along with thoughts.

Welcome to to board. Good luck on finding your's. These are excellent bikes, 1800 or 1300. Like any motorcycle, though, it is far easier, and much more enjoyable, to keep it well serviced than it is to let it get to a point where it's become totally unreliable.
 
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Big guy here too. I would go with the 1800. Had mine for nearly nine years. One thing that I feel that would be very important for you would be to investigate seats before you buy. If you can no longer buy new Mustang or Ultimate seats for the VTX I would recommend buying a bike with one of them on it. And with a backrest if at all possible. The seat is the single most important comfort factor between you and the bike, or the worst detractor if you can't get a good aftermarket on the bike. A bad seat may limit your rides to an hour depending on how well you deal with pain. The best seat I had on my 1800 was the Ultimate Big Boy, and I tried several brands over the time I owned the bike.
Good luck in your search. There are some absolute gems still to be found out there, and if you find one in good shape that was taken care of you can look forward to many happy miles with plenty of power at your disposal.
Ride Safe!!!
 

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+ 1 on an aftermarket seat. An expensive but worth it upgrade! To add, many of us as we get older, the weight of the 18 becomes unmanageable, and they look to downsize or upgrade to something newer easier to handle. I'm 69, and still able to handle 'da beast'. Next year, the year after, it might become different. Figure what kinds of add-ons you'd like, and then look for a DEAL that already has those on it. You can always upgrade later.
 
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Good morning,

I have my motorcycle course in August and I have been drooling over owning VTX for a few years. I'm 6ft 2in at 300lbs. I only see 02 & 03 1800cc bikes OR 05-06-07 1300cc bikes for sale near me. What types of things should I look for? Will my size be a factor on a 1300cc? What mileage would be considered high?

I'm not a speed demon or an adrenaline junkie. I will be learning how to ride on this bike and hopefully do some long cruises.

Thanks for the help and amazing forum.

-long time reader, first time poster.

I'm 6'5" and 260...... I ride a 1300. I think for me it's actually a little small. I almost wish I bought an 1800. After a few modifications like highway bars and pegs the 1300 finally fells more comfortable. My advice is to sit on both and feel which one is more comfortable. Each comes with it's own quirks so familiarize yourself with both and see which ones you can live with. The other replies on this thread will help with that. Find what feels natural for you and that's all that really matters
 

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PLUS ONE.. on big size

6'3" 255 lbs.
I have owned my 2005 VTX1800F since NEW 3/2005...
92,500 miles.. all mine.
its a great bike
my advice get a 2005 to 2008.. many changes at early 2005...
they are out there.. just not so easy to find.
case in point my "F was $14,000 new

Ride Safe , Ride Often.
 

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Neither VTX is really a beginner bike.IMO, Start with something smaller you can drop and pick up. Doesnt really matter how “large” you might be, motorcycling is a skill and nothing to do with size. Once you get the proper skills, then get a bike more appropriate to your size.
 

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OK,, local history.. Thanks Donnie !!

back in the day... a shop or dealership would not sell a larger bike to someone with little to no riding experience

I started with a 1966 Honda CB77 ( 305 SuperHawk) second largest Honda made..
I rode the SuperHawk from Cleveland Ohio to Philly Pa.. then to Niagara falls, and back to Cleveland...
each leg was less then 8 hours in a day.
then in 1972 a New CB750... the biggest bike Honda made
1975 1000 Goldwing
1983 1100 Goldwing
1986 1200 Goldwing
2005 VTX1800 "F"

skill first then size of bike..
BUT.. today's bikes ( 2000 and up ) have much better behavior then long ago.
 

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Big guy here also, 1300 works for me. They are all the same frame and dimension anyway.
Very easy to balance at slow speeds.
But actually no logged time on a 1800 for comparison.
 

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Big guy here also, 1300 works for me. They are all the same frame and dimension anyway.
Very easy to balance at slow speeds.
But actually no logged time on a 1800 for comparison.
1300 and 1800 are -NOT- the same frames. If they were, all aftermarket stuff would fit either, and it doesn't.
 

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1300 and 1800 are -NOT- the same frames. If they were, all aftermarket stuff would fit either, and it doesn't.
there is 1 frame for a 1300
2 different frames for a 1800...
and the 1800 "F" frame uses differnent mounts for the rear shocks/springs.. bearings and NOT bushings.

Fact.. look up the part numbers for there frames.
 

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He's right to the point that the 1300 and 1800 are very close the same size, physically, even though the frames differ substantially. It's no difference you'd casually notice anyway ... size wise anyway.
 

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Neither VTX is really a beginner bike.IMO, Start with something smaller you can drop and pick up. Doesnt really matter how “large” you might be, motorcycling is a skill and nothing to do with size. Once you get the proper skills, then get a bike more appropriate to your size.
I started riding a little later in life and my first bike is the '02 1800C that I'm still riding today. +100,000 Km and it has never been dropped. The key is the motorcycle riding course that you are about to take. If you always use the skills that you are about to learn you should be fine as long as you are somewhat coordinated. Remember this; over 90% (95%?) of motorcycle fatalities are first year riders with little or no formal training. I do agree with Donnie D in that it is a skill and has nothing to do with size. Over the years I've seen a lot of smaller women riding big touring bikes and handling them with finesse. The other thing is to make sure that the bike fits you, you'll get a feel as soon as you sit on it. My wife's second bike was a 1300R and on it she was a average rider at best as she felt that it was top heavy for her. She went to a '08 H/D Heritage (+300cc increase) and her riding improved immensely...the difference?...she feels comfortable on it. Good luck with the course and happy shopping.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm amazed at how many great responses I have received. I'm happy to be a part of the forums here! I will send an update once I take my exam and purchase my first motorcycle.

Thanks everyone!!
 

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I'm about your size and been riding a 2007 1300r for 10 years . It has a lot of getup and go ! If you get a bike , accessories cost a lot so a bike with them is better .
 

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See if you can locate any Bike Nights in your area.
Bound to be a good mix of bikes.
Talk to ppl, sit on their bikes, (With their permission of course.)
 
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My advise, buy a bike you don't mind getting rid of in a year. Or don't mind if it gets totaled as long as your not hurt. I'm 69 and started riding when 13, riding dirt bikes helps. Growing to bigger bikes. Rode 650 Triumph late teens, early 20s. Then on and off riding my father's BMW R90 for 10 years, then got a HD Sportster and a Honda CBX. Rode for another 15 years. Stopped riding for 14 years. Then in 2015 got a 2000 BMW R1200C. Totaled it 5 months later due to a brand new rear and a sudden rain storm, caused the bike to slide out from underneath me on curve doing 30-35 mph. Should have remembered I had a new tire. Bought a 2004 Kawasaki 1600 Mean Streak afterward and totaled it after 2 months when SUV pulled out in front of me. Didn't hit SUV but did hit the street, sliding from braking. Got up with a broken arm. But lucked out as the lady stopped and owned up to causing me to go down and had excellent insurance. With arm in a sling, bought a 2002 ST1100, and later a 2006 VTX 1800C, which I still have both. 1st year after not riding, totaled 2 bikes. The BMW cost me $1000, had full coverage and my insurance company gave me $6400. So don't buy as your 1st bike, the final bike you want to keep.
 

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I will echo the “start small and expect to trade up” approach. As noted elsewhere, the first year can be very dangerous, as even after the best training, you still have to learn the physics of motorcycle riding, and you also have to learn how to prepare for, avoid, and react to road hazards (objects, people, animals, distracted drivers, train tracks, rain, grooved surfaces, gators... the list is endless). Much of that learning only happens by experience, and reacting to hazards on a smaller, lighter back is almost always less difficult than doing so on an 800 pounder. It’s not that you can’t learn on a big bike. You can. But it is harder, and more dangerous, than starting with a smaller, lighter bike.
Personally, I went from a 50cc scooter I bought in ‘68, to a Yamaha Twin Jet 100, to a Honda CB350, to a Suzuki 380, Honda 750, Suzuki 1100, then to my first cruiser, the VTX 1800, at age 50. Even after almost 40 years of riding, it took me a couple of weeks before I felt reasonably comfortable with the VTX, and about a month before I felt “at home”. After being on bikes more in the “sport bike” category, getting used to the added weight and changed handling really took a while. In contrast, I was comfy with each of the lighter bikes almost immediately. I’m sure there will be others who had very different experiences, but that’s mine.

Regardless of your ultimate choice, ride safely, and welcome to riding!
 

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I am 6' and 230 and really think the 1300 would suit you since you are a beginner and not an adrenaline junkie. I have a 1300R and sometimes wish it was a 1800 because I am an adrenaline junkie. If I went back in time to buy the VTX again I would probably get a 1800 for the power. I love my Valkyrie and the VTX 1300 is a FINE bike too. Some days I wish I had a smaller bike (650-1100) just to go to town and back because I miss my 79' Yamaha XS1100, my 85' Honda VT1100C.
In fact I would like to have all these motorcycles I owned back. LOL 65 Yamaha 80, (highly modifed 68 Honda S90, 85mph top speed), 68 Honda CT90, 72' CB350 (dads actually), 73 Yamaha 175 Enduro, Kawasaki 400LTD, Suzuki TM125, 79' Yamaha XS1100 Special, 85' Yamaha 700 Virago, 85' Honda VT1100C.

I didn't get pics of most of the bike listed but here is one of the 85 VT1100C Shadow
175297
 
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