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1. Premature Wheel Bearing FailureOne of the common problems even the Honda-enthusiasts vent about VTX1800 is the premature wear of the bike’s wheel bearings. Before we go any further, let’s get the PSA out of the way—checking your wheel bearings and servicing them per Honda’s spec instructions l is part of the regular upkeep of all bikes.
- The wheels generate a peculiar whirring feeling during rides.
- A hyperactive humming vibration comes up through the handlebars from the wheels.
- A buzzing humming sound while riding resonates from the VTX’s wheelbase.
- Damage to your VTX1800’s wheel hubs and axels.
- If you find that the wheel bearings on your VTX1800 are failing, waste no time replacing them.
- A decent home mechanic should have no problem knocking out a wheel bearing replacement in a couple of hours if they’ve got the proper tools for the job, of course.
- Remember, there’s no shame in seeking a Honda-literate mechanic for the job.
2. Loose Headlight VibrationAnother unfortunate trend the VTX1800 follows regards its headlight and its tendency to buzz loose. As someone who avoids riding at night when I’m in new places, the idea of a loose headlight scares me. Luckily, though. More than a handful of riders isolated the problem and took to the forums.
- To find out where the buzz is coming from on their Honda VTX1800, some riders place their fingers on the headlight while riding.
- I’ve encountered reports from said VTX1800 owners that claim the headlight rattles and vibrations stop once you apply pressure to the headlight.
- We suggest you honor the brave souls that risked their lives pressing on their headlight while ripping their VTX one-handed by keeping both hands on the bars and taking their word that the rattling headlight indeed stops buzzing when you hold it down.
- Remove the two Philips head screws.
- Pop off your headlight; it’ll roll down towards you as you remove it.
- Let it hang forward while you’re working if it doesn’t bother you. If you feel it will interfere with your focus, though—no shame in removing it all the way while minding the wiring.
- You can either let the headlight hang forward or remove it all the way.
- In the headlight bucket, you’ll find a cluster of wires connected. You’ll encounter a bunch of wires in the headlight bucket.
- Gracefully, as not to meddle with the wires’ connectivity, apply that electrical tape or a velcro strap in a way that prevents the wiring from interfering with the headlight bucket.
- Some testimonies point to riders gluing foam to the bottom of the VTX headlight’s housing for padding, further enhancing the resistance factor of the stabilized wiring.
- Other riders rip off a piece of double-sided tape, about an inch and a half long, and stick it to the bottom of the headlight’s seat. You’ll have to slit the tape so the headlight can slide into the slot if you go this route.
3. Battery Terminals Disconnect EasilyThis next common issue frustrated riders seem to take with the VTX1800 in the forums is the claim of battery terminals disconnecting while riding. Now, we’re not picking on the VTX1800 here—this is a common problem on countless Big Twin bikes thanks to the inherent vibration in the engine’s design.
7 Typical Signs of a Bad Battery Connection on a Honda VTX1800:
- The VTX doesn’t start
- Heat generates from terminal connections while the battery is at work
- Smoke, burning, or the general smell of hotness floats up from the battery while riding
- Displays are less defined and fainter than normal
- Power loss, either while attempting to start the bike or while riding
- Lights dim while your VTX is running or turn off during startup
- Clock display resets itself
4. Water Pump Leaks CoolantThe VTX1800 changed the definition of Big Twin with its liquid-cooled v-twin. How’d they got away with such a monster of a motor before anyone else had it like that? Keywords—liquid-cooled.
- Most car coolants integrate an ingredient called silicate.
- The VTX1800 specifically suggests coolants that don’t contain silicates.
- If you ignore the Honda suggestion, your VTX1800 will develop a coolant leak.
- If you try to extend coolant longevity by topping it off with water, as some riders have admitted to doing, you must distill the water. The minerals in undistilled water in your coolant can corrode certain motor parts.
General Pros and Cons for Honda VTX1800
Here’re some pros and cons of the Honda VTX1800:
- Accessible Power via Snappy Throttle Response
- Convenient Heel/Toe shifter design
- Heavy Torque
- Comfortable and Ergonomic
- Generous Storage Space on Touring Models
- Premature Wheel Bearing Failure
- Loose Headlight Vibration
Battery Terminals Disconnect Easily
Water Pump Leaks Coolant
What Do the Reviews Say?
What’s the Resale Value of a Honda VTX 1800?
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.