Monday, July 03, 2017

VTX Oil Change

As usual, participating with other CMA Members in one of the local 4th of July Parade's this year.  Bike hasn't been cleaned up or had an oil change in some time, so made time to get it done today --  Mobil 1 synthetic and a Mobil 1 Oil Filter.  Bike has 20,297 miles on it.  Also took a little time to clean her up a little for the parade.  Next up is a front tire change, but that will wait just a little bit.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Time for front Brake Pads

Yes, not many updates in a while.  Haven't been riding near as much past few years...

Was planning on helping lead a ride this past Labor Day, but when I was pulling the VTX out of the garage, I was hearing some odd noises.  Lay on the ground and look at the front brake pads... not much to see!

Forward to today, and I finally made some time to put a new set of pads on.  Only took about 20 minutes, so a pretty easy job on the bike.  19,484 miles so it was time.


Not many tools needed, and can do it with the bike on the ground which is nice.

Old pads vs new pads

Not much of anything left of the old pads


Done... did a test ride around the neighborhood to seat the pads and all was well 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Rear Tire and Oil Change

 Although I haven't been riding either bike a ton this year... it was still time for a new rear tire and an oil change on the VTX.

The bike has 17,097 miles on it now... I put a new Michelin Commander II rear tire on and used a K&N oil filter and Castrol Actevo synthetic oil on the change.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Front Tire Change

 Well, it's been crazy hot this summer here in D/FW and I haven't done much riding at all.  

Planning a trip to Arkansas this coming weekend with my cousin and the front tire has been cupped for quite some time.  Had a new Dunlop D404F sitting and ready to put on, but was waiting on a "good excuse".  Well, this little trip is it.   The VTX currently has 14,850 miles on it.

Cupped tire


More Pictures are here.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Oil Change, etc.

 A little past due on some basic maintenance on the VTX.  Picked up a 5 liter of Mobil 1 15W50 and a new K&N Oil Filter and did an oil change yesterday. A noticeable improvement on the way the bike runs and shifts with good fresh oil!  13,085 miles on the bike as of this change.  The bike also needed a quick cleaning and mini-detail so I got that done as well.  Might as well take advantage of the "cooler" weather we are having here.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Tank Graphics

Wanted to get these done before the BBB trip and tonight's CMA Unity Meeting.   Wanted to do something that would match the front fender graphic wrap I did, so I worked up the graphics below and had some time to get them done and installed today.

Saturday 9/19 Ride

It finally let up a bit here in DFW on the rain and allowed me to get out and ride a little!

Todd and I rode out to Mineola to meet cousin Fred and his friend John out at East Texas Burger Company for some lunch.  Overcast most of the day, but never did rain on us!  Logged about 210 miles and got to scrub in the new rear tire in preparation for the BBB trip.

A few pictures are here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Handlebar Risers Installed

 With the Mustang seat and backrest, longer rides are a bit tiring with the current reach of the factory bars.  I looked at a few options and decided to give the PhatRisers a try as there is great feedback on them and they are priced pretty fairly.  I got the PhatRisers I which are a 1.5" rise and 2" pullback over the factory VTX bars.  Wanted to get these installed before tomorrow "break-in" ride of the new rear tire, and before we leave for BBB next week.

Parts arrived today while I was at work, so I knocked this out in the garage just before dinner.  Took about 30 minutes, so pretty easy job.  Sorry the pictures aren't great, but I took them in the closed garage since it's raining out.  Pictures are here.


Finally swapped rear wheel/tire

As mentioned in previous blog entries... I've already converted the front wheel from the factory S model (spokes and tubes) to the C model front wheel.  I've had the new R model rear wheel for a month or so, and got a new Metzler ME880 to put on a few weeks ago.  With all the rain here the past 2 weeks, I haven't ridden the bike to the office to do the swap.

Well, today is very overcast, but not supposed to rain until 3pm or so this afternoon... so I rode in to finally get it swapped out.  If the weather holds out, I'm riding out to East Texas Burger Co. in Mineola tomorrow and I wanted to use that ride as a break-in ride for the new tire before next weeks trip to AR.

Swap was fairly easy, but with the weight of the wheel/tire combination it's definately easiest with 2 people (thanks Albie).  Getting to the axle nut and other bolts is a little tricky with the exhaust and saddlebags in the way, but not terrible.  Swap took about 1 hour including having to move the rotor over from the old wheel to the new one.


Friday, September 04, 2009

New Driving Lights & Custom brackets

It's been proven that having auxiliary driving lights helps other cars on the road see you better and they perceive you as a "larger" vehicle vs a regular motorcyclist.

Like many others, it's hard to give in and spend $250-350 for an aftermarket light bar and lights.  A common less expensive option is to use a 12v halogen 50w light kit from Wal-Mart which can be had for ~$15.  The problem then is mounting the kit on the bike.  With the help of my friend Bob, we machined up some simple to use brackets that look good and don't detract from the look of the bike or clamp onto the forks.  Bolt them up using 2 stock bolts on the factory signal light bar and they are ready to mount the aftermarket lights.

Most bikes also have an extra plug inside the headlight assembly for a lightbar.  I tapped into that harness and ran those leads to a relay which control the driving lights and allow you to run full power lights by wiring them directly to the battery.  The relay simply acts as the switch from the factory wiring.  When your high-beams are on, the driving lights go off.

More Pictures are here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Speedometer/Odometer accuracy

Like most motorcycles... the speedometer on the VTX is off.  However, rather then the typical 5% or so, it is 9.9% off.  This prompted me to do some additional testing of the odometer as well.  After a few rides it was determined that the odometer is 5.3% off as well!  So the bike has less miles on it then the odometer claims. 


Today, at 9770 miles (9253 corrected miles),  I installed a solution... the SpeedoHealer by HealTech Electronics.  Found a real good deal from someone selling one on the VTX forum.

Just got back from a test ride and the odometer is right on with my GPS reference!  The speedometer is now only off about 4% or so, which is certainlly tolerable.  At an indicated 65 mph, the GPS is claiming 63 mph.  At indicated 80 mph, 77 mph.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chrome Fender Inserts

 Seems I forgot to make an entry for this...  but I put chrome fender accents on the VTX.   They are available now at Mobile Image.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rivco Highway Pegs & Vista Cruise throttle lock

Finally got a few more parts in and got them installed on the VTX.

First up is the Rivco Highway Peg mounts and pegs.  I looked at a lot of options since I didn't want a highway bar on the bike.  These seemed to be one of the cleaner looks and had a lot of possible adjustment.  They work well so far, but I'm sure there will be some minor adjustments as I get used to them.

Next is the Vista Cruiser throttle lock.  As much as I'd prefer to have a nicer looking system, there is no way I can justify $130-190 for one of the nicer looking competing systems.  I'd go with an electronic cruise control for ~$90 before I'd do that.  However, for ~$30, the Vista Cruise works fine for my immediate needs.  I've used them on my sport bikes for years... of course, the black plastic against the black of those bikes doesn't look out of place, versus against the chrome on the VTX. 

Friday, July 31, 2009

Stebel Nautilus Air Horn relocation

 I had installed the Stebel horn in the factory location.  Even though there is just enough clearance for it, I decided to go ahead and relocate it under the swing arm where I know if will be out of the way and more hidden.  It's not quite as loud, but it still does the job.

Front wheel swap

I have come to appreciate the retro look of the VTX S model vs the C model (what I got vs what I was originally looking for).  However, I'm a little leary of having to deal with tubes if problems arrise on trips, etc.   I picked up a C model front wheel to test out how I like it on the bike.  The S/R model front wheel (what I had) was a 17" x 3.5" wheel with a 140/80-17 tire.  

Now, I could have bought an R wheel, which is the same size as the S wheel, but without spokes (or tubes of course).  However, that wheel is about 80-85% solid, and I prefer not to deal with that solid a wheel in wind, etc.  The C model wheel is a more open (and imo more attractive) design and is 19" x 2.15" and runs a 110/90-19 tire.  This should also improve handling.

All the spacers, etc are the same size between all the models (thank goodness Honda was smart!), so I just swapped over the rotor, spacers and dust caps to the "new" wheel and tossed it on.  

Here is a picture of the 2 wheels side by side, and a shot of the bike with the new wheel.   If I end up liking this setup after a few rides (as I'm sure I will), I will acquire a matching rear wheel as well (same size between all models, just no spokes/tubes).



More Pictures are here as well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hondaline Tall Backrest

When I bought the bike it already had a very nice Cobra sissy bar & back rest on it.  However, since I added the Mustang seats, the passenger backrest was a bit small and low.  I found a good deal on a used Hondaline Tall sissy bar & back rest, so I picked that up.  Once I went to swap them out, I found that I would need some spacers and bolts that didn't come with my used purchase.

My good friend Bob machined up the proper spacers for me, and I ran around over the course of 2 days finding the proper bolts.  It seems that 10mm x 1.25 thread in the length and type I needed was semi-hard to find.  Much easier to find 1.50 thread.  Anyhow, today we got the parts switched out and all is well.

Marty is happier now, since the new backrest is +4" taller then the Cobra setup and the back pad is at least 2x the size as well.

Here is a before and after picture, with the new seats and backrest(s) - click for larger picture


More pictures are here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mustang Two-Piece Vintage Wide Touring Seat

Mustang seems to be the primary preferred manufacturer for seats for cruisers.  I have been debating on buying one new, and found a decent deal (~$400) for the 2-piece setup ($450+ retail)

Found someone about 200 miles away selling a like new (sold his VTX and had only 1 multi-state ride on it) Mustang Two-Piece Vintage Wide Touring Seat with Driver Backrest (part #79327). After talking a few times.... we decided to meet half way Saturday night at 5pm.  The seat is setup like the one in the picture.

I now own (and have already installed) the seat.  Picked it up for a very fair $400 (usually sells for $650+ since it also has the backrest). 


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Maintenance, etc.

Well, it was a touch "cooler" (not 104)  here yesterday (Friday) so I decided to take the bike to work on do some maintenance and other stuff I wanted to do. The bike now has ~8600 miles on it.  Tossed the bike up on the jack and started.

1) first up was an oil change. New K&N oil filter and Mobil1 15w50 oil.

2) New plugs. Went with the intention on using the factory NGK's, but they were not in stock so I went with the Champion 810's. Set the gap and swapped em out.

3) Pulled the air cleaner and gave the K&N a good cleaning and fresh oil

4) Had planned on pulling the carbs and giving them a once over, and also double checking the jetting. But ran out of time with other stuff I had going on as well. This will be done next time

5) Had also planned on checking the valves, but again, ran out of time today. Will do next "cool" day

6) Did a quick wipe down of key areas with Original Bike Spirits (old spray Honda Polish).

I also worked on swapping out the Cobra brackets and passenger backrest to the Honda Tall backrest and brackets.  However, it didn't come with any spacers, which appear to be required.  So, I have a friend (thanks Bob!) working on machining me some spacers.  So for now... no passenger backrest, but did put the bags back on.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


My brother in-law Jason was off Friday so I lead him on one of the Wolf City routes.  Took off around 9am and stopped at good ol Luna Azul for lunch in Leonard.  I hadn't been out there in a while, so was a good ride.  Clocked right at 150 miles per the odometer on the VTX.

Today there was a North Texas Riders Meetup group ride, so figured i'd meet some new people and go.  Nice group of people, but the ride was so-so.  Standard cruiser route I guess, barely any back roads and a bit slow for my tastes most of the time.   Guess this will be a good group for riding with when Marty is with me (which is the point of the VTX anyhow).  Clocked 179 miles this morning, and stopped for lunch to talk, etc.



Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Installed Stebel air horn & SAE power

I had bought 2 Stebel Nautilis compact air horns a few years back.  Had one installed on the F4, which was quite nice.  Never did anything with the second one.

Well, the VTX got it installed on it today.  Definately a nice improvement!  Here's a little video demo of the horn

Also installed an SAE power connector on the bike which I tucked up under the tank on the left side of the bike.  This is perfect for plugging in a battery tender, heated gear, or using it to power other 12v devices on the bike.


Friday, July 03, 2009

New Bike for 2-up Riding

Okay... Iknow I'll catch crap from my sport bike and sport touring friends, but here goes.I picked up this 2003 Honda VTX-1300S for 2-up riding with Marty (wife). She prefers this style of bike as a passenger. I had been looking for an 2004-2006 1300C model, but this bike came up and the deal was right so Ijumped on it. Bought today with ~8600 miles on it. Mods already on the bike when purchased Factory front floor boards Factory Toe/Heel shifter Factory wide brake pedal Chrome Driveshaft...

Read More "New Bike for 2-up Riding"