cruiser motorcycles

Honda VTX 1800 S: Specs, Background, Performance & More

Honda VTX 1800 S Specs, Background, Performance & More

Honda has mastered the art of taking its audiences’ imagination and turning it into reality. Its VTX 1800 cruiser lineup is proof of that. With a single engineering concept, Honda launched an extraordinary variety of cruisers by refining the bodywork, paintwork, features, and accents.

The creative journey began in 2002 when Honda introduced the VTX 1800 S and two other bikes. Riders love the S-type VTX 1800 cruiser for its old-school characteristics and modern technology.

Read on to find out more about the Honda VTX 1800 S cruiser. Get the complete information about VTX’s specifications, features, background, and performance on this profile.

1. A Brief History of Honda VTX 1800 S

The year 2002 saw commendable advancements in cruiser technology. This year marked the beginning of a new cruiser era with the release of Honda’s massive V-twin motorcycles. No one could have predicted the success these bikes were going to meet. The low-maintenance 52° four-stroke, water-cooled engine that boasted a 1795 cc displacement was the main attraction for all bike enthusiasts. The powerful and reliable motor coupled with heavily chromed bodywork left almost nothing to desire. For this reason, the Honda VTX 1800 cruisers are dominating the urban settings and interstates even after 20 years.

Honda deserved all the praise it got for releasing three different VTX 1800 models with three equally distinct variation builds in just one year.

First, the Honda VTX 1800 C was introduced, followed by two highly-anticipated retro models: the VTX 1800 Retro and VTX 1800 S.

What set these two models apart was the design of their wheels. The Honda VTX 1800 Retro possessed cast wheels while the VTX 1800 S sported old-school spoked wheels, tube-type tires, and heavily valanced front and rear fenders. The perfect combination for the most-coveted retro-style cruiser look. The Honda VTX 1800 S also had a large radiator, tank-mounted easy-to-read speedometer, and dual exhausts to complement its classic profile. The paintwork of the Honda VTX 1800 S bikes evolved over the years. The vivid but basic tones were replaced with more sophisticated two-tone color combinations. Honda quit manufacturing these beautiful bikes in 2006.

1.1. 2002 Honda VTX 1800 S

The 2002 Honda VTX 1800 S model was available in vibrant red color.

1.2. 2003 Honda VTX 1800 S

The 2003 Honda VTX 1800 S bikes were available in the following colors:

  • Metallic Silver
  • Orange

1.3. 2004 Honda VTX 1800 S

The 2004 Honda VTX S cruisers were painted in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Metallic Silver
  • Black/Titanium
  • Black/Candy Red

1.4. 2005 Honda VTX 1800 S

For the 2005 model, Honda kept the classic monotone black but also launched the following new color combinations:

  • Black/Candy Black Cherry
  • Black/Metallic Green

1.5. 2006 HondaVTX 1800 S

The 2006 VTX 1800 S models saw the most striking color palette:

  • Gold/Black
  • CandyOrange/Black
  • Metallic Silver

1.6. The Honda VTX 1800 S - Customized Trims

All the models of the Honda VTX 1800 S series (2002-2006) were available in three custom-build options: Spec 1, Spec 2, and Spec 3. Honda designed three unique trims along with multiple color variations to ensure that each rider gets a cruiser that meets his/her standards and personal tastes.

Let’s discuss the features of these variants in detail.

Spec 1

  • The starter motors, crankcases, and cylinders were available in a silver finish.
  • Those who opted for Spec 1 got beautiful handlebars with cast aluminum risers and a stylish VTX-logo cap featuring a satin-brushed finish.
  • The clutch and brake levers were available in a metallic cast-aluminum finish.
  • The inverted fork tubes and fork caps had a satin-brushed finish.
  • The switch housings displayed a smooth cast-aluminum finish.
  • Cast aluminum upper and lower triple clamps came with a hairline satin-brushed finish.
  • Radiator covers had a luxurious glossy black finish.
  • The floorboards were made of aluminum and possessed a clean hairline satin-brushed look.
  • The final drive housing featured a gorgeous silver shine.

Spec 2

  • The crankcases, starter motors, and cylinders were different in Spec 2. They featured a smooth satin black polish with milled cylinder fin edges.
  • Aluminum handlebars featured heavily chromed mounts and an exclusive VTX-logo cap.
  • Fork tubes were upgraded with chrome accents. Chrome steel covers and caps were also added.
  • The clutch and brake levers featured a polished aluminum finish.
  • Highly polished cast aluminum was used for upper and lower triple clamps.
  • Switch housings had a hairline satin-brushed look.
  • Radiator covers were touched up with a dark glossy black finish while the final drive housing created a stark contrast with its shiny silver finish.
  • The aluminum floorboards came with a hairline satin-brushed finish.

Spec 3

Spec 3 was mostly similar to Spec 2 with only a few notable changes:

  • In Spec 3 the radiator covers came with chrome accents and side covers. Whereas the radiator cover came with a black gloss shine in Spec 2.
  • The aluminum floorboards in Spec 3 were chrome-plated and highly polished. On the other hand, the Spec 2 variant featured aluminum floorboards with a hair-line satin-brushed polish.
  • The final drive housing in the Spec 3 variant was hairline satin-brushed and also possessed chromed fasteners and axle covers. Meanwhile, the Spec 2 variant had a simple final drive housing with a silver finish.

2. Honda VTX 1800 S at First Glance

Honda VTX 1800 S at First Glance

The Honda VTX 1800 S is a retro-remake with lots of chrome plating, large valanced steel fenders, a 5.3-gallon fuel tank, and a massive V-twin engine. Nothing about this bike is insignificant. The classic spoke wheels, wedge-shaped mirrors, classic tail light, chrome-plated VTX badging, and jet-black graphics artfully show off the aesthetics of the bike.

The 1795 cc V-twin, four-stroke liquid-cooled engine is a specialized machine that generates peak horsepower at 5000 rpm and peak torque at 3500 rpm. A 4.5-liter airbox ensures an uninterrupted supply of clean and cool air to the engine. Moreover, the radiator with a glossy black finish also increases the cooling capacity of the bike.

For better handling, the steering head of the S-type VTX 1800 motorcycle is assembled at a 32° rake (caster angle), and 6.4 inches of trail provide adequate stability. The front and rear suspensions offer a smooth ride.

A low-slung, chrome-plated 27.4-inch plush saddle, large levers, and a relaxed handlebar position are designed to make a long-distance ride more comfortable.

The 296 mm dual disc in the front wheel and the 316 mm single disc on the rear wheel stop the bike with a combined effort under the VTX linked braking system.

Another impressive attribute of this bike is that it utilizes a closed-loop ECU system to control the emissions of harmful gases.

3. Honda VTX 1800 S: A Buyer's Guide

3.1. Is Honda VTX 1800 S Fuel Injected or Carbureted?

The Honda VTX 1800 S utilizes an efficient programmed fuel injection system (PGM-FI) to provide a controlled supply of fuel to the engine. Due to its fuel injection system, the VTX 1800 S offers good mileage.

3.2. What is the Average Mileage of the Honda VTX 1800 S?

The Honda VTX 1800 S has an estimated mileage range of 34-38 mpg. It is important to note that the mileage figures can vary greatly depending on the owner’s riding style. The amount of repair work done on a bike can also affect the mileage you get on your Honda VTX 1800 S.

3.3. Does Honda VTX 1800 S Meet the Emission Standard of CARB?

To meet the emission standards of the 2008 California Air Resources Board (CARB), Honda has equipped its VTX 1800 S motorcycles with an ECU-controlled system featuring two oxygen sensors and two exhaust catalyzers. The sensors in the closed-loop system control emissions by constantly supplying a precise mixture of air and fuel. Moreover, the catalyzers also help to reduce harmful emissions of oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons.

4. Detailed Specification (Honda VTX 1800 S)

4.1. Dimensions

Length 2630 mm / 96.7 in
Width 990 mm / 39.0 in
Height 1155 mm / 45.5 in
Wheelbase 67.5 in
Rake 32°
Ground Clearance 140 mm / 5.5 in
Seat Height 27.4 in
Dry Weight 750 lbs
Curb Weight 791 lbs
Trail 6.4 in
Fuel Capacity 5.3 US gal
Fuel Economy 38.6 mpg

4.2. Chassis

Type Double cradle steel
Front Suspension, travel Inverted telescopic fork 45 mm, 5.1 inches travel
Rear Suspension, travel Swingarm with twin shock, 3.9 in travel
Adjustable: five-way spring preload
Front Tire Size 150/80 R 17 M/C
Rear Tire Size 180/70-R 16 M/C
Front Brake 296 mm Double disc with a linked braking system, three-piston calipers
Rear Brake Single 316 mm disc with a linked braking system, twin-piston caliper

4.3. Engine

Type Liquid-cooled four-stroke
Bore & Stroke 101.0 x 112.0 mm
Displacement 1795 cm 3
Cylinder arrangement Two-cylinder V-twin
Compression Ratio 9.0:1
Valve Train SOHC, Three valves per cylinder
Fuel System/ Induction Fuel injection, PGM-Fi, 42 mm

4.4. Performance

Maximum Power 107 hp / 5000 rpm
Maximum Torque 163 Nm / 3500 rpm
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h (0-60 mph) 3.81 sec
Top Speed 217 km/h (135 mph)

4.5. Drive Train

Clutch Wet, multi-plate hydraulic (operating)
Transmission Five-speed constant mesh
Final Drive Shaft
Primary Reduction 1.571
Final Reduction 3.091
Gear Ratio 1st 2.353
Gear Ratio 2nd 1.478
Gear Ratio 3rd 1.111
Gear Ratio 4th 0.871
Gear Ratio 5th 0.697

4.6. Electrical

Ignition Transistorized
Solid-state digital, two spark plugs per cylinder
Alternator 400 W at 5000 rpm
Instruments Standard
Battery Capacity 12 W - 18Ah
Starter Electric

4.7. Others

Colors Gold/Black
Metallic Silver
Base Price $14,599
Warranty 12 months / Limited

5. Aftermarket Parts & Modification Options for Honda VTX 1800 S

The Honda VTX 1800 has a vintage-inspired retro-cruiser look. Its styling profile has a distinct charm and fan base, but it is a bit too old-fashioned for some millennials and bike enthusiasts belonging to generation Z.

It is highly popular among the younger population because of its performance, reliability, and power- desirable features the latest cruisers lack. Moreover, the bike is far more affordable compared to the brand new machines, and for this reason, many bikers end up buying the VTX 1800 S because style can be costly. So does that mean our young bike enthusiasts would have to compromise on the style? Luckily, no.

The Honda VTX 1800 S is add-on friendly and can be customized without much effort. All you need to do is find a trustworthy brand such as Viking Bags to buy affordable, premium-quality and ultra-modern aftermarket Honda parts.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions.

HondaVTX 1800 S is indeed a low-maintenance bike and even a second-hand bike lasts a long time but splurging mindlessly on paintwork and decal designs is not a practical course of action. At the end of the customization project, you don’t just want a pretty-looking bike, but a ride with enhanced comfort, more luggage room, and an accommodating pillion.

To address your comfort needs, we suggest you install a more decorated firm seat and backrest. You can look for seats with chrome accents. Furthermore, adjusting the style of your motorcycle should not be an expensive affair. A pair of stylish leather saddlebags is enough to give your bike a much-needed makeover. Plus it will change your everyday cruiser into an exciting tourer. With saddlebags or luggage bags on board, you can hit the highway at any time. Want to ride on the most beautiful motorcycle roads with a friend? Make your bike a comfortable zone for your partner by adding a comfortable passenger seat and sissy bars.

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