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2002 Honda VTX 1800 C
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I’m a newbie but I can’t believe how poor the mileage is with my new beast. I filled it up yesterday right to the top and by the time I hit 70 miles on the trip meter the fuel light came on. I’ve read some other threads that it’s all in the wrist. I get that but still that’s not even 25 mpg! It’s not like I’m doing burnouts, why is it so lousy where I can’t even ride 100 miles on 3 gallons? I emailed the previous owner asking him if that fuel light could be trusted, and I’m waiting to hear back but I fear I’m only getting about 23 mpg, and that can’t be right, can it? This weekend I’m going to pick up the stock exhaust, which the previous owner has and I plan on putting it on because, well, the decibel level with those cobras is pretty obnoxious, even though I like them. I’m guessing I’ll have to re-map the power commander and not sure how it’s going to run with the stock exhaust, but do you think maybe that way I can get closer to 30 MPG? Thanks for your advice.
 

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From what I've read and experienced myself and read in different forums, the VTX's fluctuate bike to bike on MPGs but tend to average 30-40 depending on configuration and rider. Poor mileage could be a bad tune, could be something like the fuel pressure regulator (16740-MCH-013), or something simple like bad plugs. I'd start by doing a full tune-up on the bike. You never know what condition anything is in until you start to really tear it apart and get into it. I highly recommend going through and reading this site: Motorcycle Tech Pages there's tons of useful knowledge there that you should definitely check out. When I first got my 03 I read it like a bible. It made it so I knew the bike inside and out before even picking up a wrench.
 

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I’m told They all do pretty good going down hill.....good luck... (y) (y)...forgive me slow morning..
 

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How much fuel had been used when the warning light came on? The reason I'm asking is because a mate of mine had the same thing but it turned out his gauge was just a bit premature with its low level.
 

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Ask the previous owner if he ever changed the fuel pressure regulator. If not then I'd put that 1st on the tune up list. Replace the vacuum hose too. I would also inspect the map that's loaded in your Power Commander assuming it's a PC3 with a USB plug connection. There's a list of maps available for download on the Power Commander website. One of the maps changes the fuel mapping back to factory stock. I normally get about 140km's (87 miles) before my low level warning light comes on. Keep in mind the tank also contains the fuel pump and filter which takes up space and the tank is relatively small for the size of the motor so even with 30-40 mpg you're stopping for fuel often.
 

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What year is your bike? The 2002-2004 models with the fuel pumps inside the tank, have a problem with the Fuel Pressure Regulators, or FPR, going bad due to age, not mileage. When these go bad, they allow too much fuel into the combustion chambers and that excess fuel doesn't burn and it washes down the cylinder walls into the engine case thinning the oil to water. If your fuel pump is inside the tank, check your oil level it may be showing over filled and it will reek of fuel. Do not ride it any more, change the FPR, then change the oil and ride around the block a few times. Then change the oil again to be sure you go all the fuel out
 

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2002 Honda VTX 1800 C
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What year is your bike? The 2002-2004 models with the fuel pumps inside the tank, have a problem with the Fuel Pressure Regulators, or FPR, going bad due to age, not mileage. When these go bad, they allow too much fuel into the combustion chambers and that excess fuel doesn't burn and it washes down the cylinder walls into the engine case thinning the oil to water. If your fuel pump is inside the tank, check your oil level it may be showing over filled and it will reek of fuel. Do not ride it any more, change the FPR, then change the oil and ride around the block a few times. Then change the oil again to be sure you go all the fuel out
Thanks for that info I will do that check to see if my FPR is bad. Seems like probably should replace it anyway given the age of the bike. It has just under 22K miles but it is an 02. Would this be the correct replacement?New Genuine Honda Fuel Pressure Regulator VTX1800 R/C/S (See Notes) OEM #T178 | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for that info I will do that check to see if my FPR is bad. Seems like probably should replace it anyway given the age of the bike. It has just under 22K miles but it is an 02. Would this be the correct replacement?New Genuine Honda Fuel Pressure Regulator VTX1800 R/C/S (See Notes) OEM #T178 | eBay
By The way, the seller had serviced the bike at a Honda dealer and they changed all the fluids, so I can’t smell any fuel in the new oil. I guess that doesn’t mean there’s none in there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How much fuel had been used when the warning light came on? The reason I'm asking is because a mate of mine had the same thing but it turned out his gauge was just a bit premature with its low level.
I’m not certain because I haven’t been to a gas pump since the light came on the second time. The first time the light came on I got pretty paranoid pulled straight into a station and it only took 2.7 gallons. So the next time I’m out I’ll go straight to a gas station, and I’ll see but I wouldn’t be surprised if it only takes about 3 or 3.2 gallons. To me that says it’s probably coming on too soon, but the manual says it’s supposed to come on when there’s like .75 of a gallon remaining. (Another thing that’s weird is it’ll come on and then it’ll go off and then will come back on depending on where the gas is sloshing around inside my guess.) To be honest I’m not used to fuel injected bikes I’ve only had one before this VTX, it was a triumph Bonneville and the fuel light wasn’t problematic nor was the gas mileage :)
 

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I’m not certain because I haven’t been to a gas pump since the light came on the second time. The first time the light came on I got pretty paranoid pulled straight into a station and it only took 2.7 gallons. So the next time I’m out I’ll go straight to a gas station, and I’ll see but I wouldn’t be surprised if it only takes about 3 or 3.2 gallons. To me that says it’s probably coming on too soon, but the manual says it’s supposed to come on when there’s like .75 of a gallon remaining. (Another thing that’s weird is it’ll come on and then it’ll go off and then will come back on depending on where the gas is sloshing around inside my guess.) To be honest I’m not used to fuel injected bikes I’ve only had one before this VTX, it was a triumph Bonneville and the fuel light wasn’t problematic nor was the gas mileage :)
The fuel light coming on and off as it's close to the low fuel level is normal. I usually find it goes on and off more frequently when it's near that fuel level if I'm on hilly roads at the time.
 

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The fuel light is not accurate enough to tell what fuel mileage your are getting. The only way you can be sure is zero the trip meter when you gas up, then after putting some miles on it, divide the number of miles ridden at the next gas stop by the gallons of gas it take to re-fill. Repeat a few times and do an average.
 

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the light on my "F" comes on around 90 miles after a fill, but it is inconsistent, flashes on and off for 50-60 miles, especially when riding twisty roads. I know I get 150-160 miles out of 4.5 gallons, I believe the "F" tank is 4.8 Gallons. I watch my trip odometer, not the fuel light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The fuel light is not accurate enough to tell what fuel mileage your are getting. The only way you can be sure is zero the trip meter when you gas up, then after putting some miles on it, divide the number of miles ridden at the next gas stop by the gallons of gas it take to re-fill. Repeat a few times and do an average.
Yeah I know that’s what I did. The trip meter said 67 miles, and I put in 2.7 gallons To fill the tank. That’s just shy of 25 mpg. (To be honest I’m more concerned about range than I am about gas economy because I like to be able to go at least 100 miles between gas ups. It’s about all I can do on my Valkyrie, and that’s getting about 30 mpg. It has a bigger tank.) The previous owner said that I didn’t get all the gas in there that I could’ve because you got a lean the bike and kind of burp the air out of it.
 

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Yeah I know that’s what I did. The trip meter said 67 miles, and I put in 2.7 gallons To fill the tank. That’s just shy of 25 mpg. (To be honest I’m more concerned about range than I am about gas economy because I like to be able to go at least 100 miles between gas ups. It’s about all I can do on my Valkyrie, and that’s getting about 30 mpg. It has a bigger tank.) The previous owner said that I didn’t get all the gas in there that I could’ve because you got a lean the bike and kind of burp the air out of it.

well as I said I can get 150-160 miles out of a tank, that's what I watch.. your 2002 has a 4.49 gallon tank. with about a 1 gallon reserve. so you should easily get 120-130 miles to a tank with a 1/2 gallon left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well as I said I can get 150-160 miles out of a tank, that's what I watch.. your 2002 has a 4.49 gallon tank. with about a 1 gallon reserve. so you should easily get 120-130 miles to a tank with a 1/2 gallon left.
I think you must be running stock exhaust and intake, am I right? The previous owner did reply at length and said the most he’s ever gone is 135 miles and that was kind of pushing it with the light on. But he said there shouldn’t be much problem with me getting 100 miles on a tank full with the cobra pipes I have, k&n filter and power commander. I’ll get it figured out and I’ll let you guys know what I learn.
 

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I think you must be running stock exhaust and intake, am I right? The previous owner did reply at length and said the most he’s ever gone is 135 miles and that was kind of pushing it with the light on. But he said there shouldn’t be much problem with me getting 100 miles on a tank full with the cobra pipes I have, k&n filter and power commander. I’ll get it figured out and I’ll let you guys know what I learn.

nope.


bubs chambermaid pipes, custom made intake, power commander 3 with a custom tune. keep in mind though I have a bigger tank, 2005 forward tanks are 4.8 gallons. not 4.5 gallons. only .3 of a gallon, but probably good for another 10-15 miles.

188040
 

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You might want to post more information about your bike, what year, model ? C, S, R, N, F, T ?
For comparison, mine is a 2003 R and I typically get 40-42 MPG but I seldom ever check it. I put gas in mine pretty often so it's been a long time since I've let it get down to the low fuel light sensor but as I recall, it comes on in the neighborhood of 150 miles or so. When I hammer it, or when the wife is on with me and we have the bike loaded up, the mpg's will drop, 35 is the lowest I have ever seen. I don't have a fuel manager on my VTX anymore, but I did have a PCIII until 2017. I do have Vance & Hines exhausters, and a K&N air filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
By The way, the seller had serviced the bike at a Honda dealer and they changed all the fluids, so I can’t smell any fuel in the new oil. I guess that doesn’t mean there’s none in there!
Thanks for that info I will do that check to see if my FPR is bad. Seems like probably should replace it anyway given the age of the bike. It has just under 22K miles but it is an 02. Would this be the correct replacement?New Genuine Honda Fuel Pressure Regulator VTX1800 R/C/S (See Notes) OEM #T178 | eBay
So I checked my FPR according to that link you provided and it is not bad it’s not putting out any fuel through the vacuum nipple. So maybe it’s just me getting paranoid and I got to figure out how to make sure I got a full tank when I get to the gas pump next time. I will report back what I learned about this issue.
 
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