The Honda VTX family is known to have powerful cruiser engines across its variants. VTX has an impressive and large V-twin engine and VTX 1300 is its younger brother, dating back to 2003.
Since then, the motorcycle has had several variants and generations with a common V twin engine and slight modifications.
Honda VTX 1300 features a 1312 four-stroke, liquid cool engine with an impressive compression ratio, 75 HP power, high tank range, and 91 ft-lbs in torque.
Yet, narrowing it down to some big chunks will make it readable for people in this article.
Honda VTX 1300 Problems
The common Honda VTX 1300 problems are engine vibration, electrical components failure, overheating issues, coolant and oil leaks, and faulty radiators. Wear and tear is another enemy, wheel bearings, brakes, and forks are vulnerable too. Engine stalling, high idling, and noise problems make it more terrible.
While its fuel system and valve adjustments make it a tough-to-ride motorcycle for beginners or non-techs.
Yet, worry not, we have all the solutions to the problems.
1. Engine Vibration And Electrical Problems
Starting from the engine vibration problem, probably the root of the devil in this bike. Yes, the vibration problem all alone has caused so much trouble and caused a lot more complications.
Nearly half of the problems in this motorcycle occur due to this reason.
But, this itself has a reason. We will see the reason first and the further problems later along with solutions and fixes.
Again, why does a motorcycle engine vibrate or why does the Honda VTX 1300 engine vibrate?
There are several reasons, but commonly they are almost similar. First of all, the unknown problems with the engines could be the devastating reason.
Problems with spark plugs, timing belts, fuel systems, chassis, wheels, injectors, electronics, sensors, and sometimes atmospheric weather too.
Sadly, there are multiple reasons for the ones we just mentioned, however, we will get to know the fix later, one by one. Other than mechanical failures, electrical failures result in consequences. This vibration leads to several electrical failures later on.
A few notable problems include loose headlight and indicator wiring, loose battery terminals, odometer and instrument panel failure, starter relay, ignition coil, and starter solenoid failures.
All these mentioned problems have two similarities.
First, they are all electrical. Second, they all occur due to vibration.
A motorcycle’s electrical fitting is not as rigid or durable as mechanical fitting.
So, when the engine continues to vibrate and you do not work on it, the vibration keeps getting worse until the electrical components start to get loose due to resilience.
The electrical wiring and components continue to lose wiring and lead to a sudden failure. First of all, the terminals of the battery are compromised and they don’t get back until you fix them.
And, the components come later. The headlight loses you while riding at a high speed. The terminals keep getting disconnected due to extreme vibration at high speed.
You need to disassemble the headlight before assembling and tightening its screws or connections again. For its prevention, you can apply a layer of glue under its headlight case.
2. Overheating And Coolant Pump Failure
VTX 1300 just like its other siblings is a liquid cool engine. Honda wanted to make a reliable and strong motorcycle.
For that, integration of a generously liquid cool engine was a must since they are more efficient, silent, eco-friendly yet more complicated than conventional cool engines.
As long as your liquid-cooled engine motorcycle is running flawlessly, it will bring ease to you. But the sooner the cooling system malfunctions, the issues will keep worsening in most cases.
For the reasons of overheating and failure of the cooling system, poor maintenance remains on top of the list.
People don’t usually or frequently maintain the cooling system and components as they were supposed to be. Then, bad habits and riding style make it even worse.
Using an improper coolant, a bad or malfunctioning engine, leaks in the components, and radiator and rear exhaust failures are the next issues in the funnel.
The usage of improper coolant with a high content of silicate and its mixture with water makes things terrible for the pump and radiator. Sometimes, using expired or poor-quality coolant enhances your trouble to another step. Better opt for high-quality and compatible coolant.
Also, using the car coolant in your motorcycle, it’s a possible reason for failure, which you should stop doing. For your coolant, make sure it’s not high in silicate.
Up to 0.5 ounces of sodium is far more than enough or roughly 2 ounces of sodium in a gallon.
Still, if you want to make it economical by putting water in it, don’t just use regular drinking water. Instead, you should use distilled water so it won’t add a layer of patina or rust in the cooling lines, chambers, and cooling pump.
Make sure to replace the rusting, malfunctioning, or broken components immediately.
Failure of head gaskets remains one of the largest reasons because it lets the excessive engine heat pass out in the environment and burn your calf muscles.
3. Wear And Tear
You must be wondering what causes vibration in the Honda VTX 1300, it’s the component’s wear and tear causing it and making it so extreme that its owner will suffer from this problem.
Technically and naturally, components are prone to wear out and cause trouble. Most of its moving parts fail frequently due to wear and tear.
Other than a few components, the wheel bearings, handlebar bearings, transmission shafts, gear teeth, brake pads, and front suspension forks tend to wear out frequently, if not quickly.
Wear and tear also causes the bolts and screws to lose up and cause extreme vibration.
But, there’s always a solution for problems you have.
Starting from the bearings, if they are worn out, you need to replace them since you cannot ride your motorcycle if its wheel, handlebar, and steering bearings are malfunctioning. You can try lubricating them to check if that works.
For wear and tear in the transmission-related components, such as shafts and gears, the technical fix would be to replace them if you can’t align them.
These components are consistently moving and they tend to face excessive friction if the lubrication is not top-notch. The same goes for the suspension components and forks.
These parts also keep moving and are designed to have oil for effective functioning. They also contain seals and you should be replacing them because they can deteriorate more frequently.
The wear and tear in the components and engine creates vibration.
Components that are lightweight or not heavy-duty in design tend to start loosening up, such as screws and bolts. You need to fix them as soon as possible by readjusting and tightening them again.
4. Intermittent Stalling And High Idling
You might hardly find a motorcycle that never stalls. So, if you find a stalling Honda VTX 1300, don’t be surprised, it’s supposed to stall just like any other motorcycle out there.
Of course, you can’t live with a stalling bike, you must take some actions to prevent it and fix it. But first, you should know the reasons for stalling before its prevention.
In the reasons, you can include symptoms too because it’s a clear indicator of a problem that is about to occur.
When your motorcycle is about to stall, the engine starts losing power midway and you will notice high idle even on choke.
The bike will now be dealing with decelerating issues even if it gets back to life and starts again. But, don’t assume it’s fine, it can stall again anytime. There are, once again, multiple reasons.
Primarily we found the valve adjustment and poor air filter to be the major reasons in our investigation. Our team found this issue to be common in motorcycles which sit for months and years with no use.
The valve adjustment is a timing belt that allows the opening of valves between the camshafts at the right time, not before or after it.
Incorrect valve timing leads to improper adjustment, making way for misfiring, intermittent failures, and stalling problems.
The fuel mileage is also compromised and the engine leads to damages. It should be done every 50,000 miles of riding. If you or the previous owner haven’t done it, you should be doing it.
But, if your motorcycle is on rest for months and you are just going to get it back on the road.
Or, if you have been on the road, but are not maintaining the other components such as spark plugs, carburetors, fuel injectors, filters, and ignition components, stalling can still occur.
These components are prone to fail due to carbon and dust contamination. You can fix them by unclogging and cleaning them.
However, replacing these components works best most of the time. Replacing these parts will also fix the high idling problem on the Honda VTX 1300.
5. Fuel Related Components Failure
Last but not least, the Honda VTX 1300 is famed for its fuel-related problems which is one of the most important areas in a motorcycle.
There are several natures and types of fuel-related failures, but mostly contain failure of components and poor fuel economy.
For both these reasons, malfunctioning of fuel filters, fuel lines, fuel pumps, fuel petcock, and fuel injectors, leads the class.
Improper and unsuitable fuel quality such as premium octane and high ethanol are also the major reasons for fuel components failure.
Using an unoptimized aftermarket exhaust and not cleaning the spark plugs leads this motorcycle to bring a bad fuel economy, and run its engine lean and rich.
Replacing fuel pumps, deteriorated fuel lines, and clogged filters leading to these specific failures can fix a lot of issues. Then, using low or medium-octane fuel or high-octane with less ethanol content can help improve the fuel mileage.
Is The Honda VTX 1300 A Reliable Motorcycle?
The Honda VTX 1300 is a reliable motorcycle for experienced motorcyclists and cruiser enthusiasts.
VTX 1300 has a powerful and gigantic engine with enormous power and performance. But, these problems can make its reliability a bit questionable.
However, many of its problems are fixable as we showed you the fixes in this article. Make sure to check and validate all the issues before you purchase the Honda VTX 1300.
If the issues are fixed or you fix them yourself, the 2006 Honda VTX 1300 can be a very reliable cruising motorcycle on highways.
Other models such as 2003, 2004, and 2007 models are also reliable, but they still used to have problems. But, if you specifically ask for the 2006 Honda VTX 1300 reliability, yes, it’s a reliable motorcycle once you find and fix all its problems.
Honda VTX 1300 User Reviews:
“I have a 1300 and compared to the other bikes I have owned by far not the best, it’s very noisy, not very smooth, and needs a sixth gear for interstate travel backroads.it is fine but the freeway no revs way too high.” Source: reviewcentre.com
“I’ve had about 15 bikes over the years, 3 gold Wings and 1 Harley ultra classic last August’16 I found this ’09 VTX1300t with 3600 miles on it I still had a ’99 Shadow 1100 but I bought this one and sold the Shadow, The balance is great & I love to ride.” Source: reviewcentre.com
Usama Ansari is a passionate writer interested in bikes and automotive vehicles. With years of experience and expertise in the field, he is quite familiar with many vehicles. His knowledge and love for everything related to bikes and automobiles have shaped his career, making him a trusted source of information and insights. Twitter | Facebook