This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the Honda VTX1800S made from 2002 to 2007 in various forms — the VTX1800F, VTX1800S, VTX1800C, VTX1800S, and VTX1800T. (More on these variants below).
The Honda VTX series is a line of V-twin Honda cruiser motorcycles. VTX stands for “V-Twin Extreme”, because it’s intended to be a high-performance model.
The Honda VTX 1800 was launched in 2001 as a 2002 model. Honda claimed that 1800 put out 159 Nm (117 lb-ft) of torque at only 3,000 rpm and 75 kW (101 hp) at 5000 rpm, making the VTX1800 one of the most powerful production V-twin motorcycles of its time. (The Suzuki M109R soon took this mantle!)
Honda initially launched with three variants on the VTX1800. There are subtle differences between the three bikes.
- VTX1800C — the “Classic”
- VTX1800R — Retro, with cast wheels
- VTX1800S — with spoked wheels and tube tyres
Later, Honda added a VTX1800F in 2015, with low-profile tyres on cast-allow wheels, and an LCD tachometer. This bike competed more directly with the Yamaha Warrior, Victory Hammer, Kawasaki Mean Streak, and the Harley-Davidson Street Rod.
Finally, Honda added a VTX1800T Tourer model in 2007, with soft bags and a windscreen.
This post was originally published on December 4, 2020, but has since been considerably updated.
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Honda VTX1800 Service Intervals
The Honda VTX1800 has service intervals of every 4000 miles or 6400 km. In the manual, services are presented as staggered:
- Every 8000 miles change starting at 4000 miles (then at 12, 20 etc.), change the oil and filter, plus do some other minor inspections
- Every 8000 miles starting at 8000 miles (then at 16, 24 etc.), change the spark plugs, inspect the valve clearances, and do a few other checks.
Of course, since you’ve probably had your VTX1800 for many miles, it would make more sense to just combine the below list of items into one service every 8000 miles / 12800 km or year.
The VTX1800 has a hydraulic clutch, so service the clutch fluid at the same time as the brake fluid.
Final drive is via a shaft, so you also do have to replace the final drive oil occasionally.
What you need to service the Honda VTX1800 — Consumables and Special Tools.
If you’re servicing the Honda VTX1800, you at least need motorcycle maintenance tools — things like an oil catch pan, a paddock stand, and so on.
For the VTX1800, the manual recommends the following specific consumables.
|Item||Honda VTX1800 spec|
|Engine oil||The manual recommends SAE 10W-40 JASO T 903 standard MA,|
Pro Honda GN4 10W-40 or HP4 (without molybdenum additives) 4-stroke oil or equivalent.
Don’t over-torque the bolt (spec is 30 Nm/22 lb-ft for the oil drain bolt per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
|Oil filter||Needs to be changed every time you change the oil. Either get a stock oil filter (part 15410-MCJ-505) or the HF204RC. Torque for the oil filter is 26 Nm / 20 lb-ft.|
|Engine coolant||Use Pro Honda coolant (ethylene glycol pre-mix) which is a 50/50 mix.|
|Spark Plugs||NGK IFR5L11 should be used per the manual. Make sure it’s gapped correctly to 1.0-1.1mm (get a gapping tool) and torqued correctly. Manual says to tighten it 3/4 turn after it seats, loosen it again, then tighten it 1/8 turn after it seats.|
|Air filter||Part number is 17213-MCH-000, or the K&N alternative HA-1802.|
|Brake pads||Choose OEM, or EBC for more bite and lower fade. You need two sets for the front and one for the rear.|
* Front: OEM 06455-MAT-E22, EBC FA261HH (2 sets)
* Rear: OEM 06435-MCH-006, EBC FA261HH (Same, but 1 set)
|Shaft drive oil||Use Pro Honda Shaft Drive Oil to change your shaft drive oil.|
Honda VTX1800 Maintenance Schedule
Below is the maintenance schedule for the Honda VTX1800 motorcycles.
- I: inspect and clean, adjust, lubricate, or replace, as necessary
- C: clean
- A: adjust
- L: lubricate
- R: replace
- At higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval below.
- Honda recommends you get a dealer to service the wheels / tires and steering head bearings for safety.
|mi x 1000||4||8||12||16||20||24|
|km x 1000||6.4||12.8||19.2||25.6||32||38.4||Every|
|Engine Oil (Pro Honda GN4 10W-40)||R||R||R||Replace every 12 months|
|Engine Oil Filter (HF204RC)||R||R||R|
|Spark Plugs (IFR5L11)||R||R||R|
|Air Cleaner||R||R||Service more often if riding in rain / dusty areas|
|Radiator Coolant||I||I||R||Replace every 2 years|
|Final Drive Oil||I||I||R|
|Brake Fluid (Honda DOT 4)||I||I||R||I||I||R||Replace every 2 years|
|Brake Pads Wear||I||I||I||I||I||I|
|Brake Light Switch||I||I||I|
|Clutch Fluid (Honda DOT 4)||I||I||R||I||I||R||Replace every 2 years|
|Crankcase Breather||C||C||C||C||C||C||Service more often if riding in rain or at full throttle|
|Engine Idle Speed||I||I||I||I||I||I|
|Secondary Air Supply System||I||I||I|
|Evaporative Emission Control System||I||I|
|Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners||I||I||I|
|Wheels/Tires||I||I(S)||I||I(S)||I||(S): Where spoked wheels fitted|
|Steering Head Bearings||I||I||I|
About the Honda VTX1800
The Honda VTX1800 was the biggest cruiser ever produced — at that point in time. Honda later produced other motorcycles with bigger engines (e.g. the Honda Valkyrie Rune), and Kawasaki produced bigger V-twins with the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000.
The Hondas VTX1800 motorcycles are powered by a 1795cc V-twin with 106 horsepower and 120 pounds-feet of torque (over 160 Nm) at a low 3000 rpm. The engine has a 52-degree layout and produces a hefty pulsating feeling from idle to full song.
The engine has a simple design — single overhead cams and three valves per cylinder. The compression ratio is a mild 9.0:1. The manual says it only needs regular gas — no premium needed. In an age of ever-increasing fuel prices, this is a blessing.
Actually, the Honda VTX1800 is quite an economical bike to ride. User reports show mileage of between 40-45 mpg when ridden in normal conditions, including on the highway. Of course, ride it aggressively and it’ll drop to the mid 30s. Still, pretty good, especially as it’s on regular gas.
The “X” in VTX stands for “Extreme”, and this reflects a lot that is very big about the Honda VTX1800. And it’s not just displacement that’s huge on the VTX. The crankshaft weighs nearly 20 kilos (over 40 lbs)!
The VTX puts power down via a five-speed transmission and a shaft final drive. Putting all that torque down via shaft is an interesting take. It certainly makes me think twice before doing burnouts…
Despite the huge engine, the VTX is a very easy bike to live with. It is easy to start (classic Honda) and low-rpm pootling about is easy. You just need to be easy on the throttle as response is quite quick. Ditto when riding around roundabouts — a small change in throttle position can make a huge difference to your trajectory.
Predictably, the power of the Honda VTX1800 means it’s capable of easy riding at well over national speed limits. You can hold it at over 120 mph (193 km/h), per reports from other riders, and it doesn’t complain at all.
Honda made the big VTX bikes in a few guises, including tourers, classic cruisers, and “naked” cruisers (the VTX1800N). Owners have modified at least some parts of many VTX bikes, so you can expect to see aftermarket exhausts and sometimes different handlebars for modifications to the riding position.
Manual for the Honda VTX1800
The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the 2002 Honda VTX1800S, with parts input from the other Honda cruiser manuals.
You can download manuals for Honda motorcycles directly from Honda.