With its development kept under wraps for five years, the Honda VTX 1800 finally emerged from secrecy in 2002. Greeted with a mixture of awe and envy by the motorcycling community, this monster of a motorcycle — the biggest original-equipment V-Twin ever — escalated the displacement war among cruiser manufacturers, dwarfing every other factory cruiser to date. For VTX 1800 enthusiasts, 2008 marked the last year of production, bowing out with three distinct model variations — VTX 1800F, VTX 1800N and VTX 1800T Tourer.
Engine, Performance and Handling
Driven by a burly 109.67-cubic-inch, or 1,795 cc, water-cooled, 52-degree, V-twin engine, the VTX 1800 is a high-performance motorcycle that clocks a 12.3 seconds at 105.5 mph in quarter-mile time. Fuel injection-fed, with a five-speed transmission and shaft final drive, the VTX 1800 offers head-snapping torque accelerating from 50 mph, 80 mph and even 100 mph or more. Its fuel requirement is 87 octane, which delivers fuel economy of 31 to 50 miles per gallon with a 194 mile average range. Based on a comprehensive road test, according to a review in Motorcycle Cruiser, the VTX 1800’s low-slung suspension sacrifices optimal cornering clearance. Overall, the review indicates the motorcycle is easy to handle in a variety of riding situations. Notable is the innovative linked braking system, helpful for those riders who do not use the front and rear braking power in appropriate proportion.
Styling and Paint Schemes
The original 2002 VTX 1800 morphed into three custom models by 2008, each with specifications appealing to different riding preferences. The VTX 1800f features classic retro styling. Sporting a radical dragster-style profile that features chopped fenders, chromed two-into-one exhaust pipes, semi-swept handlebar and prominent bullet-style headlight, the VTX 1800F features a 27.6-inch, two-piece gunfighter-style seat with a detachable passenger section, straight-cut rear fender and the 10-spoke, racing-style, cast wheels with wide radial tires. Available in black and candy red tribal, the VTX 1800F has a bold, aggressive attitude with performance to match.
The 1950’s-inspired VTX 1800n features retro-styling with staggered straight-cut dual exhaust; hot-rod-style wrap-around fender with an integrated LED taillight; wide, pin-striped, 5.3-gallon flangeless gas tank; cast aluminum 17-inch wheels and fat, sticky tires. With its neo-retro appearance and robust high-performance engine, the VTX 1800N is a stylish interpretation of old meets new. It is available in black, dark orange metallic and black with black custom art, depending upon the custom specification package.
The VTX 1800T Tourer is ready for coast-to-coast travel with its large leather saddlebags, custom windshield and chrome passenger backrest. Chrome-plated steel studded trim on the 27.4-inch low seat, deeply valanced retro-style steel fenders and slash-cut, staggered dual exhaust further enhances the profile of the Tourer. It is available in black, two-tone black and candy black cherry and two-tone black and metallic blue.
Weight and Dimensions
The VTX 1800, both the f and n models, is more than 750 lbs. ready to ride. The Tourer is heavier, with an overall length of 98.5 inches, handlebar width of 33.5 inches and 67.5-inch wheelbase. Its low seat height is the inseam equivalent of 32.6 inches and the low center of gravity helps stabilize this relatively hefty bike, ensuring an easy-to-balance ride at slow speeds.