December 1st, 2001
by Al "TXVTX"
It's a cool fall weekend morning as I stroll to the garage. Grasping for the handle I notice the slight breeze from the south trying to warm up the morning air, still heavy from the cold night just past. As the garage door opens its bearings are singing in protest from the lack of lubricant, just enough to let the neighbors know that my garage door is on its way up. Looking into the garage, I spy the first glimpse of chrome, leather and beauty. It's my 2002 Honda VTX; the stunning new power cruiser from Honda, all 1800 cc's of it.
Firmly grasping the KuryAkyn handgrips I stand this behemoth up and move the kickstand back to its resting place. Carefully I roll the VTX back out of the garage then swiftly put the kickstand down once again allowing the bike to rest again. But I know better as I place I key into the ignition switch and make that familiar ¼ turn to the right. My focus is back to the handle bars, I put the kill switch into the run position then confirm that VTX is in neutral and depress the start button. Instantly the bike begins to rumble almost like that of a small block Chevy with a big flat tappet cam. Its very deep song of life is awe inspiring, one of multiple magnitudes of power and ability just sitting there idling and waiting to be mounted. I quickly close the garage door with a loud wham and turn the lock hard to the right. The exhaust is playing its tune with the confidence of a baritone singer as I imagine those 4" pistons going up and down. Dawning my riding leathers, helmet and gloves I straddle beautiful VTX. I notice how low she really sits now that I have changed the suspension, tires and seat. A quick blip on the throttle confirms that the beast is awake and awaiting my commands.
Pull the chromed clutch lever, downshift to first gear, right foot on the KuryAkyn peg, handle bars turned, a little throttle passing through the braided stainless throttle cables and I am on my way. I admire how easily the fuel injection responds to requests and rapidly shift into second gear. Effortlessly the VTX pulls away despite its 750lbs of mass plus my 275lbs. It was no mistake that I added the PowerCommander PCIII fuel injection computer, nor the Thunder Teardrop air kit and finally the Jardine prototype drag pipes with a cross over. Neither was it a mistake taking it to the dyno and having a custom map made for this configuration. Flawless execution of power is the end result. SAE corrected rear wheel horse power is now at 103.1, up from 88 and the torque is 114.9 up from just 99. Quick shift to third and I am moving quickly now.
Adorned with a custom Rifle Classic L windshield, 26" tall and 25" wide, and with Rifle lowers I barely notice the wind rushing past I. My wonderful wife having made a pot of coffee filled the thermos and placed it in my Custom World studded saddlebags along with a packed lunch. The previous day was spent detailing my highly dressed VTX from the one off custom H.a.c. stainless steel radiator cover to the Custom World luggage rack. Polishing the chrome switch housings, reservoir covers, KuryAkyn blinker mirrors, drive shaft cover to the Aeromach vertical side mount license plate holder.
Thinking that the county should fix this old road one of these days, I now shift into 4th gear but with the knowledge and confidence inspiring feeling that the Progressive fork springs surrounded by 15W oil to the Progressive HD 440 rear shocks provide; I know I won't be jolting I into the next day when I hit a bump. With the big Metzeler 200/60-VR16 tire in back and the Metzeler 130/60-VR18 up front this baby is ready for any winding or bumpy road. Stop sign ahead, must stop quickly but that is no problem for these linked brakes as I continue to downshift and bring my beast to a full stop.
Ahh, my favorite road, long straight and flat with nothing but Texas farm land on either side of it. The VTX is now warmed up and I am feeling aggressive! It is still early enough and no one else around so I firmly grasp the throttle I give the VTX a few good rev's then shift in to first. Clutch out quickly! Throttle on hard! Breathing much faster now. Speed shift to second and hang on as the front wheel pulls off the ground all the while those jugs are racing in their cylinders and the exhaust is giving me positive feedback! Shift into third, take a breath then look at the speedometer, oops I am already exceeding the 70mph speed limit! Shift into 4th and slowly back off the throttle, heart pounding, adrenaline flowing freely and pure excitement fills my eyes! I slowly bring this monster back to the speed limit and keep cruising in 4th gear as the motor is just purring all the while wanting to play some more.
Finally I meet up with my riding buddies a few more miles down the road at our normal meeting restaurant. After the greetings we are all ready for planned ride for the day. What a bike!
The day I picked the VTX.
My VTX in its current transformation.
Check out my bike & accessories.
More details about my bike can be found at HondaVTX.com
Ride with Safety and Safely,