Honda VTX 1300 / VTX 1800 Motorcycles Forum banner

dumb question.

2260 Views 14 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Grant
ok this may be a total noob question. I have been riding for years, just me, not in any group. My old bike was never modified beyond changing the spark plug gap, and the only tuning was moving the choke lever when it warmed up.

The past several years I have spent modifying my car, and now I am turning my attention to a Vtx. I have the knowledge and ability to do 99% of my own mods, paint and rewelding for a rake being the 1%.

I say all this so that you know I am not a total moron. Now for the question.....can someone tell me what "trail" refers to? I know it has to do with the rear suspension/swing arm, but I can't put together what affects it and what exactly the measurments refer to. I.E. 4" trail....what is 4".

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believe it or not that actually clears it up. I was seeing other threads where trail was refered to and changing the rear shocks modified the trail, so I was thinking it had to do with the rear end. If I read the chart right, a stock bike with say a 32 degree rake may have say 3inches of trail, but when you rake the front end to say 38 degrees you may end up with a 4 inch trail. given that the neck is used to draw the line to the ground, I see how changing the rear shocks to a taller shock would raise the bike and decrease the Relative rake on the neck and thus change the point on the ground at which the neck centerline points to.

If I have that right, the trail is measured from the front axle forward to the point on the ground at which the neck centerline points to, and since the neck and the forks are parallel, just offset, the offset is not enough to counter act the longer line of the neck centerline, compared to the forks shorter length ending at the axle.

I have an interesting ? then. on the triple trees that give a total of 45 degrees of rake that you have on your site, it looks like the shocks are no longer parallel to the neck. I don't know the numbers but in theory, since the neck is the same then the spot to which it is pointing could end up being behind the front axle verticle line....would that make the trail a negative measurement. If that's right how is stability with that triple tree setup. I ask because that is one of the major mods I would like. The first is a 240/250 kit, the second is the rake. given the cost though they will likely be some time apart. I plan on the foots mod almost immediately.

so when I do the foots mod, as long as I make sure the outer diameter of the 1800 tire and wheel is the same as the 1300 then I won't have to worry about different size shocks.

thanks for the help
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No doubt the are expensive, and the fork extensions needed as well. the look is phenominal, and considering it is totally reversable, it is bound to cost more money. I am coming from modding honda cars, and some of the prices on bike parts is sky high, but then I remind myself that there isn't that much to a bike so the prices have to make up for the lower number of parts on a bike.

I have 2 main mods that I want to do to the vtx I am buying, one is the 240/250 kit....or a 300 if available. the other is a rake like the one on your site. they are both $$$ mods so they will take a while to be able to do, but in the mean time I want to do the small things, like the foots mod, shocks that will let me sit lower to the ground (with out affecting the stability) intake, exhaust, etc. So I will be on your site frequently for parts.
See this is the type of info that I will need to make sure I get what I want. I will be driving the vtx to and from work during the good seasons, about 70 miles mostly highway, and then around town for leisure.....So handling is definately a concern. I have seen the custom choppers with the bigger tires like a 300 or so and it looks soooooooooo nice, but if I loose function it's not worth it for my purposes. The bike in your sig... is that the 240 metz? cause that's the look on the rear tire with shorty fender that I am looking for, and the short pipes really open up that wheel. I will be keeping my ears open for info that I need for these big mods, and when I get the $$$ for them I'll call to make sure I get what I need. Like I've said, modding bikes is new to me so I know there are things that I need to get used to, and concerns to keep in mind when modding, lucky for me I don't mind asking the "dumb" question, rather than assuming I know it all. My very first upgrade will be a new helmet and jacket, since my current ones were hand me downs from my dad and are old enough that they wouldn't know a chin vent, from a piece of kevlar armor. Thanks for the info, I will tap your wealth of knowledge plenty of times in the upcoming months, from this to the simple stuff, like is the hypercharger Pro-r the best performing intake, and if not is it close enough the I can give up the 1/2 hp difference, for the cool look on the hypercharger and the vacum operated butterflys??? more on this later though.
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********* said:
My pleasure sir!
The dyno results I've seen indicate there are better choices, as far as maximum power production but you'd be within 1 or 2 HP of the best.

Cool, that's what I was hoping to hear. If I was worried about having the most HP I'd get the 1800, build the motor as much as possible and do some type of turbo setup. My little scooter ( rebel 250 ) had a low enough power to weight and torque to weight ratio, plus gearing, to beat most cars off the line ( not that I was racing but you can tell when a car is trying to speed up to keep you from getting over). Most bikes have that advantage over most cars, and given the additional power of the 1300 ( over the rebel ) I think it will give me plenty of power to keep me happy for a while. I don't need to be able to beat a sport bike ( otherwise I would have gotten one ), I just want enough to have fun.

I will probably every bolt on mod that will give better performance, without having to rebuild the internals on the motor. I have seen some writeups on the smog deletion and reed valve block off and I think that may be the second mod that I do. I have never understood, from a performance stand point, why the auto makers ever thought to inject warm air into the totally goes against the logic for performance. I understand it helps with emmisions, but the guy who thought this up needs a :spank: .
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********* said:
Keep in mind, those smog system deletions you mention will not add any horse power or torque. I'm still running all the original smog equipment on my VTX and I've modified just about every other piece on the bike. Some people feel it improves the sound of the intake or exhaust but personally, I just don't see it. Removing the pair valve hardware makes accessing the valve lash adjustments easier but unless you're going to set your own valves, I don't see any advantages. I think a lot of people feel that removing those systems is an act of rebellion against the governmental bureaucrats but I'm not into that either.

Installing a free breathing intake, free flowing exhaust and re-jetting the carb. should yield about a 10% increase in power and torque which will make a notable difference, as well as increasing the bikes "sex appeal" about 100%! :D
some of the info I found about the pair valve and reed block off said that it in itself won't add any noticable power, but that it will aid in adding power when you do other mods for performance. I could care less about the rebellion thing, I just like to mod stuff :cheers: .
makes sense. So what would be the benefit to doing the reed valve and pair removal? aside from access to the valves. Are any of the parts visible? will it clean up any clutter? or open up room under the seat for mounting things like alarm brain/gps tracker? And yes when the time comes I will be doing my own valves, unless it happens to be a free service under the warranty which is not likely to happen.
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