Honda VTX 1300C
Miles Ridden this Cycle: 699
* RaceTech suspension rework (www.RaceTech.com)
* National Cycle Peacemakers install www.NationalCycle.com
It figures that the mods I ordered months ago for the VTX would show up all at once-just as I was preparing to return the ol' girl to Honda (the 2007 model year has officially expired).
Tops on the list was the full-bore suspension upgrade RaceTech performed on the VTX's less-than-adequate stock setup. RaceTech's Matt Willey gave us the scoop: "The front end felt mushy due to a soft stock fork spring setup (.6kg/mm overall), so we installed .95kg/mm straight-rate springs. Damping was also poor, so we added Gold Valve Cartridge Emulators to the old-school damping rod forks used on the VTX."
Willey also said the basic emulsion units out back were running light springs, with only 2 inches of useable travel. They couldn't be disassembled, so RaceTech replaced them with a pair of its prototype gas-charged Caddies shocks, with springs, damping and preload set for a 180-200-pound rider.
The change was dramatic-the VTX's slop has been tightened up, and the bike now handles in a much more controlled fashion. Consequently, my butt is spending more time in the seat instead of being pitched out at every bump. Some rear-end harshness is still there, though; Willey says the high-speed compression valving needs to be softened because I'm considerably lighter than the 200-pound rider setup RaceTech dialed in. Looks like an in-house adjustment is in my near future.
Tardy as it was, the National Cycle Metric Peacemakers system also arrived, complete with a switch actuator and the slip-on mufflers. We had it rigged onto the VTX in about an hour (though we're still waiting for a cable to replace the one that got kinked in shipping so we can properly test it).
The Peacemakers allow you to run pipes that can bark or be quiet within the same unit. The secret weapon is a so-called "diverter valve" in the front of the muffler that's controlled by an actuator motor and bar-mounted switch. The valve reroutes exhaust waves through a more (or less) restrictive pathway in the muffler, and volume goes from quiet to loud or visa versa. Soon as we get 'em correctly rigged, we'll hustle over to the dyno to check NC's claim of 10 more peak horsepower than stock. Check motorcyclecruiser.com for updates and details on this and other mods. As for returning the VTX, I believe I'm going to try and stall Honda a while longer...