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2003 VTX 1800R, Silver
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I've been riding a 1984 Goldwing (GL1200) for a few years.. and decided I needed a 'New' bike! In this case almost 20 years Newer! The Goldwing I had was not very pretty... But, it was bulletproof! For years I've been wanting a Harley, like a Road King or Fat Boy, and I decided it was finally time to get a V-Twin. When I told my wife my plan to get a Harley, I had a lot of convincing to do, (once I revived her). She said stuff like "blah, blah, blah... what about retirement???"..."Blah.. blah.. blah... Thousands of Dollars!!!"... I said, sorry, my mind is made up, and I've been budgeting for this for years. Now that, that was settled. (yeah, right.).. I began shopping. I found quite a few nice Harleys for $10,000 or less that I'd be happy with. But, then I started thinking about 'Retirement'.. and 'Thousands of Dollars'... Then thought about why I wanted a Harley. Mostly because of the sound of the bikes, the hype, and brand. But, I've seen VTX's and and have been a Honda rider for a long time. The VTX is more powerful than most Harley's. I'm certain it'll be more reliable and durable.. and If I buy one, I'll have an awesome bike and I'll have tons of leftover money!

Anyway, I found a great one for $3,000. A 2003 VTX 1800R. 18,000 miles. In pretty good shape, but a weak battery, needing fluids change and maybe some basic cleanup. So, over the last 2 weeks, I've been watching YouTube video's on so many basic VTX maintenance things, and have been taking care of my new bike. Brake / Clutch Fluid Bleeds, New battery, New Oil, Rear End oil. Brake Pads. And New Tires, that I installed myself. I'm the kind of guy who likes working on my machines as much as riding. So this has been a great new experience for me so far.

I've been reading a lot of messages on this board and look forward to learning more about my bike, and all of you. And I'll be sure to share about my experiences in VTX Land!

(If you read all that above.. Thank you for your patience).
Have a great day
- Craig
 

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Too short for my weight
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5,563 Posts
Welcome from the mountains of western NC! Enjoy the bike! I also love tinkering with the bikes as much as riding them. You’ll find that you made a great decision with the VTX.
 

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Welcome, Craig, from central Pa. high atop the Alleghenies. Where are you located? You do realize the dual-pin crank of the 1800 will never sound like a HD, right? It sounds BETTER, IMHO. The torque- OH YEAH! When you get around Tuit, I recommend lighting upgrades to LED. Better visibility, lower draw on our nearly maxxed out electrical systems. Do you have records of P.O. maintenance? If the FPR hasn't been changed, GET ONE! For ~ $40 you will need one, as they go bad from age. The diaphragm cracks bleeding fuel into the crankcase. Smell the dipstick for reeking fuel! Don't ride it this way until you change the FPR (fuel pressure regulator), the oil and filter, then run it around the block and change the oil a second time to rid contaminants. I also recommend changing all fuses to the EZ-ID kind that light up when they pop. Saves time and headaches chasing gremlins. Replace the rear shock bushings to the green ones, the PN is somewhere in search. When not riding, keep the battery on a Battery Tender Jr. or Plus model. Some things need OEM like the Battery, brake pads. Tire pressures start @ 40/40 and adjust from there. Aftermarket seat or not? Stock seat is a real hemmoroid pusher. Some have had issues with the rear flange bearing, so since you're a handy guy, pull the rear wheel and clean, inspect the bearings, and re-apply MOLY paste, not grease! If you don't have any Moly 60, now there is Moly 77. A little goes a long way. Any other questions will be answered here, great people!
 

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2003 VTX 1800R, Silver
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Awsome tips PaXman11! I went to adeptpowersports.com to get the FPR and Bushings (Part #52489-HN0-671).

One of my many bike projects was to replace my tires... and in the process, I discovered that (as you suggested) the Rear Flange Bearings.. not only need grease.. they are shot. I found on other threads here people have mentioned a guy who'll rebuild them... but, I got lazy trying to find the person, and didn't know if he still offered this service.. SO, I found the Honda Part number for the Rear Flange and found it (new) at adeptpowersports.com for $200. I guess it'd be cheaper to have the 'guy' do it. But, like I said, I was a bit too lazy to track that down. Now I'll have an 'Extra' Flange I can get rebuild and just swap them out every couple of months, or however often they go bad :)

The seat I have is an aftermarket one... It's really nice / comfortable. I think it's from 'Ultimate Seats'. Good call on the LED headlight. I had considered replacing the stock one... but, thought I didn't really care about better quality light... BUT, you added the point about LED's being a lower power draw... OK.. I'm sold! That'll be a project coming up shortly.

I'm In California about 30 North of San Francisco. We have some beautiful riding around here. I like to go up the coast along Highway 1. It's spectacular riding along the coast.. But, the cliffs are pretty 'inviting' to ride off if you're not minding the road. I'm also close to Napa Wine country, so an Inland ride is also nice.. unless I get there when all the buses drop off their tourists.

Thanks again for the tips and the warm welcome!
 

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Awsome tips PaXman11! I went to adeptpowersports.com to get the FPR and Bushings (Part #52489-HN0-671).

One of my many bike projects was to replace my tires... and in the process, I discovered that (as you suggested) the Rear Flange Bearings.. not only need grease.. they are shot. I found on other threads here people have mentioned a guy who'll rebuild them... but, I got lazy trying to find the person, and didn't know if he still offered this service.. SO, I found the Honda Part number for the Rear Flange and found it (new) at adeptpowersports.com for $200. I guess it'd be cheaper to have the 'guy' do it. But, like I said, I was a bit too lazy to track that down. Now I'll have an 'Extra' Flange I can get rebuild and just swap them out every couple of months, or however often they go bad :)

The seat I have is an aftermarket one... It's really nice / comfortable. I think it's from 'Ultimate Seats'. Good call on the LED headlight. I had considered replacing the stock one... but, thought I didn't really care about better quality light... BUT, you added the point about LED's being a lower power draw... OK.. I'm sold! That'll be a project coming up shortly.

I'm In California about 30 North of San Francisco. We have some beautiful riding around here. I like to go up the coast along Highway 1. It's spectacular riding along the coast.. But, the cliffs are pretty 'inviting' to ride off if you're not minding the road. I'm also close to Napa Wine country, so an Inland ride is also nice.. unless I get there when all the buses drop off their tourists.

Thanks again for the tips and the warm welcome!
The guy who rebuilds the flange bearings is a fella named Jon. He intermittently monitors conversation over on the VTXOA site. He goes by Jons1800VTXC. He's in Wash., so not too far from you. Here's the deal. Since you said your flange bearing was shot, he likely couldn't do anything with it. He takes used bearings in reasonable shape and does what he has to to make them usable, better than they were. I would assume he might have some extras around for sale. IDK what he would charge now, but I sent him mine as a good unit, and paid for a re-man unit he had on hand. He then inspected it, determined mine was a good core to work with, and REBATED me I think it was $60, so the net wasn't too bad, maybe $120? I read a lot about things mechanical, and look for possible weak points to head off trouble before it happens to me. Thats why I use Ride-On in both my tires, for the internal balancing, and the sealing properties. It has paid off once already when I got a flooring nail dead center of the tread in my darkside rear. If you go to the VTXOA site which is a sister site to this one, just 'private conversation' him and ask what you need, or use their search engine to track him down, or search rear flange bearing.
 

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2003 vtx 1800 113000 miles
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8 Posts
Hi All,
I've been riding a 1984 Goldwing (GL1200) for a few years.. and decided I needed a 'New' bike! In this case almost 20 years Newer! The Goldwing I had was not very pretty... But, it was bulletproof! For years I've been wanting a Harley, like a Road King or Fat Boy, and I decided it was finally time to get a V-Twin. When I told my wife my plan to get a Harley, I had a lot of convincing to do, (once I revived her). She said stuff like "blah, blah, blah... what about retirement???"..."Blah.. blah.. blah... Thousands of Dollars!!!"... I said, sorry, my mind is made up, and I've been budgeting for this for years. Now that, that was settled. (yeah, right.).. I began shopping. I found quite a few nice Harleys for $10,000 or less that I'd be happy with. But, then I started thinking about 'Retirement'.. and 'Thousands of Dollars'... Then thought about why I wanted a Harley. Mostly because of the sound of the bikes, the hype, and brand. But, I've seen VTX's and and have been a Honda rider for a long time. The VTX is more powerful than most Harley's. I'm certain it'll be more reliable and durable.. and If I buy one, I'll have an awesome bike and I'll have tons of leftover money!

Anyway, I found a great one for $3,000. A 2003 VTX 1800R. 18,000 miles. In pretty good shape, but a weak battery, needing fluids change and maybe some basic cleanup. So, over the last 2 weeks, I've been watching YouTube video's on so many basic VTX maintenance things, and have been taking care of my new bike. Brake / Clutch Fluid Bleeds, New battery, New Oil, Rear End oil. Brake Pads. And New Tires, that I installed myself. I'm the kind of guy who likes working on my machines as much as riding. So this has been a great new experience for me so far.

I've been reading a lot of messages on this board and look forward to learning more about my bike, and all of you. And I'll be sure to share about my experiences in VTX Land!

(If you read all that above.. Thank you for your patience).
Have a great day
- Craig
I think you made a good choice. I have the same bike and have put 113000 miles onit. Ialso do all of my own repairs and maintenance. I'm 67 years old and have been considering downsizing a bit. I am thinking about a 1300 VTX for the same reason. The price and the performance of the Harley's just don' impress me.
 

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I think you made a good choice. I have the same bike and have put 113000 miles onit. Ialso do all of my own repairs and maintenance. I'm 67 years old and have been considering downsizing a bit. I am thinking about a 1300 VTX for the same reason. The price and the performance of the Harley's just don' impress me.
You mentioned about downsizing to a 1300. I thought that the 1800 was only about 65 lbs. or so heavier. Am I mistaken or will this be enough of a change for you?
 

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2003 vtx 1800 113000 miles
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You mentioned about downsizing to a 1300. I thought that the 1800 was only about 65 lbs. or so heavier. Am I mistaken or will this be enough of a change for you?
I'm not sure about the weight difference but the center of gravity seems lower . My son has a 1300 c and I have ridden it and it seems lower and easier to handle in parking lots and backing up. It seems to be pretty zippy also.
 

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Stock weight specs for 1300 C are 678# 1300R 710# 1300T 748#. 1800 C 706# 1800N 756# 1800R 750#. Depending on how much add-ons weight will vary. With my w/s, car tire, hard bags, tons of chrome dress-up stuff, mine has to be way over 800#
 

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I'm not sure about the weight difference but the center of gravity seems lower . My son has a 1300 c and I have ridden it and it seems lower and easier to handle in parking lots and backing up. It seems to be pretty zippy also.
Whether you move to a 1300, a 650 or even a Vespa, the main thing is that you are still on two wheels with the wind in your face. Good luck finding that perfect new ride and be sure to let us know what you decide on.
 
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