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Discussion Starter #1
If I could go back a few weeks and do it over again, I would not have bought this bike...for several reasons.

First and foremost, it's not running right. On the plus side, it does start. However, it needs the choke to run. I started it today to add some sea foam into the tank and get it into the system. It starts with the choke and pretty much needs the choke to run. I can close the choke to halfway and it still runs. But, if I close it, then the bike just shuts off. I know you guys said not to run it too long with the choke because it will foul up the plugs, so I only ran it for a few minutes.

I could have sworn I noticed a small puff of black smoke when I started the bike or maybe it was when I turned the throttle. Either way, I think I did see that. From what I read, that means it's running rich...but, doesn't that contradict what I read about these bikes running lean?

What are my next steps? What would you do to get this bike running tip top? Recall that this bike does have the V & H Big Shots, which I'm sure isn't helping the way the bike is running. Is the next logical step to tear down the carb and do a rebuild on it? I am guessing a new 58 main jet, which I will order this week. What are your thoughts?

I might very well sell the bike, but I want to make sure it's running awesome before I sell it. I think I was pretty dumb in buying a bike that I literally saw run really cold blooded. That was my mistake and, as I said, one that I regret. Please help me fix this...
 

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Mosin Prime
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If you get it running awesome, then maybe you won't want to sell it. May have to get in to the carb, hard to say. What's the year and model of it? Miles? 1300 it sounds like. Have heard a great many times, that battery terminals should always be checked for tightness. Not with a screw driver, but a socket. Hopefully it's not a computer issue. Sounds like you're off to a good start with the carb, but maybe a couple easier things to check first. There's a manual floating around somewhere on the boards to help with pictures and diagrams, you may have a loose or cracked vacuum hose. They run under the tank. I had some trouble with one when I had my VTX and when it was plugged in everything was great. I had V&H Big Shots (LOVED THEM SOOOOO MUCH! Best sounding exhaust still to this day I've heard!) on my 05 Retro 1300 for nearly 55,000 me miles I put on it from 2012-2020. I traded it in at 70,500 miles, and that's still barely broke in all this time later! Others will chime in with some other quich checks before you have to dive in to a carb or motor. Hopefully it won't come to that. Any back story on the bike? Fuel condition? Clogged filter? The "choke" is a enricher on these bikes. Mine was always cold blooded, especially in the winter. I had to crack the enricher a little bit to fire it up. I had a throttle lock, so I'd rev it til I can lock the throttle and it would warm up enough to push in the enricher. Couple places to start. Good luck, let us know how you make out!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The bike is an '06 1300C with about 35k miles on it. It has the V & H Big Shots, but otherwise pretty stock, except for those ridiculous 14" ape hangers. I don't have much of a back story about the bike. I know that it probably sat for a while. From my understanding the PO rode this bike around a bit, but then got a Harley about a year ago and mostly rode that. So, this bike has possibly mostly sat for a while. I wouldn't say a year, but he likely did not ride it much due to favoring the HD.

It has 14" ape hangers and he had braided brake lines, clutch cable, and throttle cables installed. That was done professionally. But, the bars were not. They used cheap aftermarket risers and they didn't even glue the left grip to the bar. I was able to just pull it right off and there's no glue in there. The good news is that I can reuse the grips when I replace the bars. The problem with not using the glue for the grip and the cheap aftermarket risers is that it now has me questioning everything about the bike. Why in the world would you not glue the hand grip?! That's such a simple step. Lesson learned for me I suppose. Don't get too excited looking at a bike and more things to look for when you do. Sucks though...

I have new Honda risers and a new handle bar ordered and they should arrive by next week. The 14" ape hangers are really lame. I'm 6' tall with long arms and they are above my shoulders. And, they are way to far forward. They need to go, but I can't go too much shorter because of the longer cables and lines. The PO did give me the stock cables and lines, so if I need to, I could use those. But, none of that matters if I can't get the bike running right.
 

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Deep breaths, Coastal_Rider. You can fix this. It is not the V&H Big Shots. They will have almost no impact on how the bike runs. It sounds to me like you need to work on the carb. You should buy a Factory Pro rejet kit, a Glen's permanent A/F screw, and dimpled block-off plates. total cost for these is only about $125 at most. Then remove the pair system and clean/rejet/tune the carb following the procedure shown in the "Carb - what effects what" thread here on the Cafe. The VTX1300 is a great bike. It has a stock carb that is touchy in cold weather or when the bike is cold but this can be overcome with only a little work.

Where are you located geographically? Perhaps someone with some experience can help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm located in northeast Nebraska. I will plan on following through with the recommendations you made. $125 is a small price to pay for a better running bike. I had not heard or read about the block-off plates; that one is new to me. After I get it running better, I'll focus on the replacing the ape hangers. I've never understood the appeal of those and do not find them comfortable in the least.

Unfortunately, it will be negative temps here in Nebraska for the next week. That should give me enough time to order those parts you mentioned. I also found out today after trying to start my other bike, that I have a non-running '94 Magna too...also likely a carb issue (sat for about 10 months). But, one bike at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Does anyone have a link to a good carb rejet kit?


In addition, in case anyone is interested, I will have a set of 14" chrome ape hangers for sale, cheap, with risers included.
 

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search for Factory Pro for a VTX1300. Do NOT get a Dynajet jet kit. They do not work as well. Take comfort in the fact that a LOT of folks have come onto the Cafe with sad stories of how bad their bikes are running. They have almost always been happy after rejetting and tuning. The next thing you should look into is a front steering bearing replacement. That would be good to do while you are replacing the ape hangers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
search for Factory Pro for a VTX1300. Do NOT get a Dynajet jet kit. They do not work as well. Take comfort in the fact that a LOT of folks have come onto the Cafe with sad stories of how bad their bikes are running. They have almost always been happy after rejetting and tuning. The next thing you should look into is a front steering bearing replacement. That would be good to do while you are replacing the ape hangers.
What is wrong with the DynoJet kit? Just curious.

I see the Factory Pro kit, but they want $115 for it with shipping. I don't want to spend $115 for the kit when I'm most likely selling the bike as soon as the weather warms up. I see jet kits on eBay for $22, the dynajet kit for $50, and then the Factory Pro kit for $115. Again, I don't want to dump money in a bike I'm probably going to sell when the $22 new jets and a cleaning might do the trick.
 

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What is wrong with the DynoJet kit? Just curious.

I see the Factory Pro kit, but they want $115 for it with shipping. I don't want to spend $115 for the kit when I'm most likely selling the bike as soon as the weather warms up. I see jet kits on eBay for $22, the dynajet kit for $50, and then the Factory Pro kit for $115. Again, I don't want to dump money in a bike I'm probably going to sell when the $22 new jets and a cleaning might do the trick.
The Factory Pro Needle has a better design. Spend the extra money, it will save you time. The next owner will not reach back out to you saying you sold them a bike that doesn't run right.
 

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In my opinion, if you are trying to get a VTX to idle with no choke at sub-zero temperatures, you are doing a disservice to both you and the bike. The VTX is like a FORD, cold-natured!!
 

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So I'm curious if you did the simple stuff first?
drain the gasoline, put some fresh in and change the plugs I had a similar problem years ago,
And from that point i never use the choke, and i use iridium plugs.
I'm not saying that's the problem but start there.
 

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I agree. Do not worry about it running at 0°F. However, a stock VTX 1300 will not start and idle by itself with no choke even at 70°F. They are just set too lean from the factory in order to pass emission testing and need that choke (actually a fuel enricher) opened until the bike warms up.

I do not know the reasons but the VTX community has had terrible results getting the carb tuned well using Dynojet kits but great results with the Factory Pro jet kits.

I think this is a link to the jet kit and a long A/F screw but not as ideal an option as Glen's permanent A/F screw. As you note, they want $115 with shipping for both. Honda, VTX 1300, Retro, carb, shift star kit
 

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Definitely get a factory pro kit. 11 years ago, before I knew better, I got a Dynojet kit. It is not at all for the beginner. On my 07 1300C, the suggested needle setting was too lean off idle, and the main jet was too rich at full throttle. This meant it stumbled on throttle application, pulled hard mid range, but choked near the rev limiter. In addition, they did not include a pilot jet; instead, they said to open up the idle mixture screw to make up for the too lean factory pilot. I hated having my idle that rich. To their credit, they included a weaker slide spring, which helped. The stock carb settings were nearly unrideable until warmed up.

You need to know carbs well to dial in a dynojet kit. After lots of experimentation, I have great results with mine, but why screw around- just get the factory pro.
 
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