Honda VTX 1300C - Long Term Update

Tech & Accessories

Honda VTX 1300C

Caretaker: Cherney
Odometer: 3660
Miles Ridden this Cycle: 547
* Race Tech Suspension Rework

  • Memphis Shades Install

After several shipping snafus, we finally worked out the kinks on our National Cycle Peacemakers exhaust and got the unit properly rigged.

On the plus side, the sound-volume feature works exactly as advertised: the pipes run nearly as quiet as stock (with just a touch more texture) with the handlebar-mounted toggle switch in the up position. Pressing the toggle downward (on the fly) opens the baffles on cue, and the aural stimulation comes on with a noticeable whomp. The volume in the open/loud position isn't too painful either, the pipe's build quality seems solid and the included slash tips look attractive. But while we think the Peacemakers represent a pretty cool concept, there is the dilemma of rejetting to compensate for what are essentially two different exhaust profiles.

Proof came in the form of a dyno run-we found that we'd lost several horsepower, especially in the quiet setting. It wasn't a surprise, since we'd done no mods to the airbox nor a carb rejet. When we do rejet in the future, we'll do it for the closed (quiet) position, since this would presumably be closest to stock.

At $599, the Peacemakers are priced in line with other systems on the market. So if sound quality rather than pure performance is your primary goal, these are the ticket.

As for the VTX, we also mounted a Memphis Shades Pop Top shield, whose 16-inch height proved handy for pushing aside air on freeway runs (at least from my chest). That said, it did nothing to improve helmet buffeting at high speeds, and it isn't adjustable (though it is detachable with the right hardware).

Finally, Race Tech fine-tuned the rear suspension one last time to my dimensions and weight, and the VTX isn't as stiff now, yet still tracking stably out back. Tweaking the suspension is by far the most satisfying mod we've made to the bike thus far. Shame I gotta return it.