Wow, that Honda VTX is a porker! I've read several articles about the VTX, and I just never realized that it's a 705 lb bike. That's why comparisons like this are so valuable. During individual bike tests, sometimes a bikes shortcommings get glossed over a little bit - especially if a bike has other redeeming qualities. But, when you stack the numbers up against other bikes in the class, there's no where to hide!
just looking at the dyno chart it would seem that neither the v-rod or v-max belong here. The power comes on so high up in the rev range it would make me think you got to be going pretty fast to feel it! I'm a Harley guy and love the low end torque of my twin cam 88. And I may go up to the 95 ci, only time and money will tell. But really fuel economy should also figure in as cruisers also double as short distance turing bikes, or at least mine does. I get in the mid forties but if I really go slow can get more. this may seem like a small thing to the younger guys out there but it all adds to the experience, good or bad. But to me the cruiser is about low end grunt, the thing you feel right off idle. So the Honda is right on I would prefer a belt drive and a bit less weight still I would like to ride one just to feel it at 3200 rpm! I think the stage I plus a few cubes would give me about 78 or so foot pounds at the wheel, plus my superglide weighs about 90lbs less, so cool!
how right you are.. the only time i even came close to revving up to 8.000 rpm, was on my 1979 1000cc goldwing, trying to establish its max speed (+/- 190 km/h on the speedo)..
some might say i have no business commenting on (power) cruisers, since i ride an r1150rt.. sorry folks, but i'll just go on reading anything about motorbikes in any of the languages i more or less understand..
oh, by the way, that goldwing is still alive and kicking, be it with a sidecar attached to it. i'd just love to hang that onto the VTX.. if i were a rich man..
The most interesting thing about the differences in bikes, attitudes, and markets for each:
1. V-ROD- Everyone who has one immediately
rode it strait to a dyno, to:
(A) build a pipe for it,
(B) build a stroker crank and big pistons for it,
(I'll bet Honda Jim at JE Pistons already has a
set done for the V-ROD)
(C)Jack Sparks at Carrillo is thanking the Con
(D) See how expensive it is going to be to get
100 ft lbs and 150 hp outa this motor!
2. Honda VTX 1800- Everyone who got one:
(A)Immediately rode to the nearest Yamaha
shop to brag about trading in their Road Star on
it! (cheap shot, but I had to!)
(B) Rode it EXACTLY 100.00 miles to confirm
the gas mileage figures
(C) Started practicing emergency right turns for
I really don't get the VTX. I understand the appeal of a "Honda quality" cruiser, but why not back it up with performance? It seems to me that Honda, Kawasaki, (especially Kaw) and Yamaha all seem be trying to "out Harley" Harley-Davidson.
I saw a glimmer of real imagination with the Yamaha concept bike a few years ago (I hope that will be the new "Warrior") and see some interesting ideas with the Valkerie, but Kawasaki's Vulcans look so much like a Harley it's amazing.
I guess since I have to ask, it's me that doesn't get it.
Hopefully the market for all segments will continue to grow, so that I will have VTX's that make me scratch my head, V-Max's to make me turn my head, Vulcan's to make me shake my head, and V-ROD's to make me want to stroke my head!
I agree the VMax isn't exactly a 'cruiser', but if push came to shove, it fits 'cruiser' closer than anything else, IMHO. It's still got that sit back feel, though not -quite- so back... it's definitely not a lean-forward type of deal that even a lot of the current 'super-standards' have. It weighs way too much to be part of that new S.S. breed too.
So, you have long, kinda low, kinda laid-back, kinda porky, FAT back tire (though not nearly as radical by comparison as it was when it debuted), less than stellar handling (sorry vmax guys!), and lots and lots of ATTITUDE... (some would say the key ingredient?)... and talk about individuality!
This bike has it in spades! There is no mistaking a Vmax.. by sight or by sound!
Cruiser.. or Power-Cruiser fits that mold best... but that's still kind of a stretch, I agree.
Heresy perhaps, but you can see more than a few styling cues in the Vrod from the Vmax. (flame on!! )
p.s. I've longed for a Vmax for years.. I'm sad to see that Yamaha is going to kill it off.
Isn't this the wonderful thing about bikes? Manufacturers & their engineers, marketing types and designers noodle together what they think is the best design for who they think is going to buy it at the time. And then the magazines and e-zines get ahold of them and nit-pick (and here we get to comment). Finally they hit the real world where all the hot air blows up against the consumer and their wallets. Then the consumer (you & I) decide how to spend what cash we can to buy something that will run 10-13 second quarters, top out over 130 (pleas, not on the streets) and all for less than a Honda Civic or Geo Sprint. Gawd, I love it. These are the good old days.
I'm not a cruiser fan, but I've always admired the V-Max. Even after all these years, it is the best way to get the adrenaline pumping. I know it has
questionable handling and brakes, but all the bikes in this class are more about style than performance. If the riders wanted performance, any 600 supersport will do the job at a fraction of the cost. Bravo V-Max !
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