cruiser motorcycles

Honda VTX 1300 S: Specs, Background, Performance & More

Honda VTX 1300 S Specs, Background, Performance & More

Honda never fails to deliver excellence to its clients. With every motorcycle model, their bar of standard engineering just keeps on getting set higher. We witnessed uncompromised quality and power in their VTX 1300 S motorcycle; a two-wheeler that operates equally well on the road and in the dirt. For this reason, the VTX 1300 S has ruled the hearts of its owners since 2003.

We noticed that the VTX 1300 S fever is not going down any time soon. Even after fifteen years of final production, the bike is being sold at competitive prices. Time and again, this middleweight cruiser with enough power and sporty “oomph” has proven itself to be a fun ride for both novice and experienced riders.

Therefore, we bring you a detailed Honda VTX 1300 S bike profile. With this article, we aim to provide you with essential knowledge about the bike and facilitate your purchase.

Read on to decide whether Honda VTX 1300 S meets your riding preferences and style!

1. A Brief History of Honda VTX 1300 S

2003 proved to be a landmark year for Honda. The year saw the release of the much-awaited VTX 1300 S model. The mind-blowing VTX 1300 S cruiser was the downsized version of the V- Twin Extreme (VTX) 1800 series inspired by the Zodia concept displayed at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show.

At that time, the bike enthusiasts demanded a better selection of high-horsepower but lightweight cruiser motorcycles, and the VTX 1300 S was exactly what they wanted to drive. As a result, the world witnessed the VTX 1300 frenzy among the bike-lovers who made this bike one of Honda’s major best-sellers to ever exist. Despite its hype and demand, the bike was discontinued in 2007. But even after fifteen years of its last production year, the bike is a perennial favorite among the young and experienced riders. The thriving second-hand market is enough evidence to prove this claim.

The VTX 1300 S had a brand new 1,312 cc engine that was made fresh from the ground up.

The liquid-cooled V-twin powerplant with its smaller bore or shorter stroke had a different design. The 1300 motor used a 38 mm CV carburetor in contrast to the fuel injection system in VTX 1800. The carburetor came with a manual choke for cold starts and was heated by an engine coolant for better cold-weather operation.

The engine configuration was also slightly different in the VTX 1300 S motorcycles. The liquid-cooled overhead cams were used just like in the larger 1800 cruisers, but the engine was designed around a single-pin crankshaft whereas the 1800 VTX had a double pin crankshaft. For this reason, the 1300 engine was noisier and required dual two-axis primary counterbalancers to reduce vibrations. The 1312 cc engine had a cable-operated clutch, whereas the 1800 VTX had a hydraulic clutch system.

Unlike the VTX 1800 models, the VTX 1300 S bikes used standard unlinked brakes. The large front brake was a 336 mm single disc and the rear brake was a 296 mm disc.

In addition to the same 52° V-twin layout, the low-profile, lean VTX 1300 cruisers had much in common with their heavier V-Twin 1800 counterparts as far as the power train was concerned.

Both lineups came with a radiator featuring a cooling fan. In both lineups, the engine’s cylinder heads had two intake valves and a single, larger exhaust valve for optimum flow of air/fuel for combustion efficiency. Both versions featured an electronic control unit (ECU) with 3-D ignition maps for each cylinder for optimal engine performance. Another commonality was the dry-sump oil system which was used to lower the engine height. The bikes also featured a shaft final drive for Honda’s signature low-maintenance functioning.

1.1 2003 Honda VTX 1300 S

The 2003 Honda VTX 1300 S models came with spoked tires and were available in three basic yet shiny colors. The minimalist paintwork and styling imparted the “timeless antique” look to the cruiser. On the other hand, it provided ample opportunity for the owners to add a unique personal touch to the bike.

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black

1.2 2004 Honda VTX 1300 S

For the 2004 VTX 1300 S model, Honda introduced the following colors:

  • Black
  • Candy Red
  • Pearl Dark Blue
  • Metallic Silver

1.3 2005 Honda VTX 1300 S

For the 2005 VTX 1300 S models Honda only replaced the pearl dark blue color scheme with a vibrant magenta shade. The colors of 2005 are as follows:

  • Candy Red
  • Magenta Metallic
  • Metallic Silver
  • Black

1.4 2006 Honda VTX 1300 S

The 2006 Honda VTX 1300 S models were available in the following colors:

  • Bright Blue Metallic
  • Candy Black Cherry
  • Classic Black
  • Metallic Silver

1.5 2007 Honda VTX 1300 S

In 2007 Honda reinforced its basic palette that was first launched in 2003. But this time the colors had a metallic touch. The 2007 VTX 1300 S also saw a new color addition. Have a look:

  • Black
  • Metallic Blue
  • Dark Red Metallic
  • Titanium

2. Honda VTX 1300 S at First Glance

The VTX 1300 S is an exciting blend of traditional cruiser framework and modern, polished chrome styling. The bike runs on “old-school” spoked wheels. The chrome-hooded headlight, semi swept handlebars and floorboards are the main style features of this bike. Just below the shiny chrome headlight, a large 140/80-17 front tire is assembled to give the bike a commanding presence.

The compact housing of essential instruments is tank-mounted and decorated with polished chrome. The assembly of instruments consists of an odometer, speedometer, turn signal lights, and indicators for high beam, oil pressure, and coolant temperature.

The black resin rear fender is placed under the seat cowling and has been designed to position the battery and electrical components at the front for optimum mass centralization. The design feature is stylish and purposeful.

The beautiful aluminum polished, 34.5 wide handlebars, and a low 27-inch seat allow the rider to easily reach the comfortably-padded, large hand grips.

The Honda VTX 1300 S came with a brand new engine design known for its deep pulsing rumble. The 1312 cc 52° V-Twin power plant produces 74.8 horsepower and 123 Nm torque per 3000 rpm. The engine utilizes a 38 mm CV carburetor designed for smooth throttle response, optimal combustion efficiency, and better acceleration.

The 1300 VTX engine has a linear power delivery which ensures that the rate at which the speed is increasing remains constant. The dry-sump oil system is responsible for the engine’s low height and gives the bike its signature long and low frame.

The bike uses a sturdy cable-operated clutch for smooth gear transitions. The five-speed transmission with calculated gear ratios provides a sporty feel and a better fuel economy.

The single disc 336 mm front brake and the 296 mm rear disc brake complement the bike’s top speed of 113 mph with its adequate stopping power.

From the looks of it, one can safely conclude that the Honda VTX 1300 S screams an all-encompassing power and indulging comfort.

3. Honda VTX 1300 S Buyer’s Guide

3.1 Is Honda VTX 1300 S a Good Beginner Bike?

The Honda VTX 1300 S is a middleweight cruiser. It weighs approximately 708 lbs on a full tank and with 1312 cc displacement it is the perfect bike for a beginner. Moreover, its low-slung 27-inch seat allows flat-footing and inspires confidence in riders. However, it is highly recommended that after the MSF training course, you hone your riding skills on a lightweight bike for a few months before you hop onto this beauty.

3.2 How Many Miles Can a VTX 1300 S Cover on a Full Tank?

The Honda VTX 1300 S offers an average mileage of 33.3 miles per gallon. Since the bike offers a fuel capacity of 4.8 gallons you can get an average range of 160 miles on a full tank. The mileage of a bike is a variable factor and depends on a person’s riding style.

3.3 How Much Horsepower Does a Honda VTX 1300 S Have?

The Honda VTX 1300 S has a maximum horsepower of 74.8 hp at 5000 rpm.

3.4 How Fast is the Honda VTX 1300 S?

The Honda VTX 1300 S can run at a top highway speed of 113 mph. The cruiser strongly vibrates at this speed. Therefore, for an enjoyable vibration-free ride, it is recommended you don’t push the throttle beyond 65-70 mph.

4. Detailed Specification (Honda VTX 1300 S)

4.1 Dimensions

Length 2575 mm / 101.4 in
Width 960 mm / 37.8 in
Height 1125 mm / 44.3 in
Handlebar width 34.5 in
Wheelbase 1670 mm / 65.7 in
Rake 32°
Ground Clearance 130 mm / 5.11 in
Seat Height 685 mm / 27.0 in
Dry Weight 661 lbs.
Curb (wet) Weight 708 lbs.
Trail 144 mm (5.7 in)
Fuel Capacity 4.8 gal
Average Range 175 miles

4.2 Chassis

Type Double cradle (steel )
Front Suspension Telescopic fork - 41 mm, (5.1 in) travel
Rear Suspension Swingarm with twin shock, 94 mm (3.7 in)
Adjustable: five-way spring preload
Wheels Wire spoke
Front Tire Size 140/80-17 M/C 
Rear Tire Size 170/80-15 M/C
Front Brake Single 336 mm disc, twin-piston caliper 
Rear Brake Single 296 mm disc, single-piston caliper

4.3 Engine

Type Liquid-cooled, four-stroke (52 degrees V-twin)
Bore & Strok 89.5 mm x 104.3 m
Displacement 1312 c
Cylinder arrangement 2 cylinders V-twi
Compression Ratio 9.2:
Valve Trai SOHC, three valves per cylinder (two intake valves, one exhaust valve operated by screw-type adjusters
Fuel Control Single overhead cams (SOHC
Fuel System Carburetor, 1x Keihin CV, 38 mm
Lubrication Dry sump, 4.5-quar
Minimum fuel grade 89 octane

4.4 Performance

Maximum Power 74.8 hp / 5000 rpm
Maximum Torque 123 Nm / 3000 rpm
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h (0-60 mph) 5.12 sec
Top Speed 182 km/h  (113 mph)
Fuel Mileage 29 - 37 mpg (33.3 average mpg )

4.5 Drive Train

Clutch Wet,  multi-plate, cable operated clutch
Transmission Five-speed constant mesh
Final Drive Shaft
Primary Reduction 1.935
Final Reduction 2.818
Gear Ratio  1st 1.900
Gear Ratio  2nd 1.148
Gear Ratio  3rd 0.912
Gear Ratio  4th 0.778
Gear Ratio 5th 0.697

4.6 Electrical

Ignition Transistorized
Alternator 364 W at 5000 rpm
Instruments Speedometer, LCD odometer/trip meter; warning lights for neutral, high beam, turn signals, oil pressure, coolant temperature.
Battery Capacity 12 V - 12 Ah, sealed
Charging output 364 W
Starter Electric
Forward lighting 55/60-watt halogen headlight

4.7 Others

Colors Black
Metallic Blue
Dark Red Metallic
Base Price $ 9199
Recommended Service Interval 8000 miles
Warranty Twelve months (unlimited miles)

5. Aftermarket Parts & Luggage Options for Honda VTX 1300 S

The Honda VTX 1300 S has a vintage-inspired style statement. The owners enjoy modern technology and advanced engineering but often find it too plain and simple.

Well, there is good news for all those riders who like to get creative with their rides and prefer contemporary styling. Honda VTX 1300 S is easily customizable and you should be able to find high-quality aftermarket parts to upgrade your bike without any difficulty.

Too lazy to hunt for them in a brick-and-mortar store? Don’t worry, you can easily purchase the upgrades online at VikingBags or any other well-reputed virtual store.

Do you need the inspiration to begin the modification work? Here are a few ideas. You can convert your simple daily cruiser into a tourer by mounting a pair of refined leather saddlebags. Once you see the saddlebags on your bike you will feel compelled to go on a rejuvenating bike tour. Though this bike provides ample mileage for long distances, you might have to bargain on the comfort level. For added comfort and more luggage room, you can always add sissy bars and replace the bike’s original seat with a more comfortable option.

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