As we already gotten used to, Honda is here to offer the pleasure of riding under a variety of forms represented by the 2009 VTX1300C, VTX1300R and VTX1300T models, the corresponsive characteristic words for each one of these being street-rod, classic and touring.
Although 2009 brings only a range of new colors for each model individually and the engine is the consecrated 1312cc, liquid-cooled, 52-degree V-Twin, the market can’t get enough of these models and neither do we.
The 2009 Honda VTX1300C is more of a boulevard cruising motorcycle as it features, footpegs, two-into-two, bullet-style mufflers, custom cast wheels (19-inch up front) and bobbed fenders, making it easy to distinguish and damn attractive as well. Chrome is of the essence on this model.
With its deeply valanced fenders, pullback handlebars as well as floorboards and heel-toe shifter for greater long haul comfort, the 2009 Honda VTX1300R stands as an incursion in the classic days of motorcycling where chrome and impeccable looks were as important as acceleration and comfort.
As for the 2009 Honda VTX1300T, this is simply a retro model fitted with windscreen, saddlebags and passenger backrest.
Entering the new millennium, Honda found itself indeed recognized also as a cruiser motorcycle manufacturer, but their most representative model was the middleweight Shadow. They had to get seriously into business with the cruiser lineup and they had to do it fast. The results soon came in the form of the VTX1800 (2002) and the VTX1300 (2003). This last is also the model that concerns us.
Back in 2003, there would have only been the Honda VTX1300S or “R” in today’s terms. This was powered by the now beloved 1312cc V-Twin engine developing 74 hp at 5,000 rpm and 123 Nm at 3,000 rpm. There was a disc brake for each wheel and a shaft drive for the rear one. Four colors were available: Black, Illusion Blue, Pearl Orange and Candy Red.
The Honda VTX1300S carried on for 2004 and the colors available were Candy Red, Pearl Dark Blue, Metallic Silver and Black, but an entirely new addition to the lineup was the VTX1300C. This performance-custom was inspired on the VTX1800C and was fitted with stylish cast wheels, cut down fenders and shorter dual exhaust while taking over the engine from the “S” model. The colors available for the new addition were Candy Red, Pearl Orange, Metallic Silver and Black.
By 2005 three models formed the VTX1300 lineup, the R, S and C. The most notable difference between the latest model (the retro one) and the S was the presence of retro-style cast wheels on the first and standard spoked wheels on the second. The all-new 2005 Honda VTX1300R was available either in Candy Red, Magenta Metallic, Metallic Silver or classic Black while on the 2005 Honda VTX1300S Candy Red and classic Black colors were joined by Magenta Metallic and Metallic Silver. The custom model simply carried on being produced with no technical changes, but featuring Bright Blue Metallic and Titanium paintjobs.
In 2006, Honda kept the same formula for the VTX1300 lineup, but did add some new colors: Bright Blue Metallic, Metallic Silver and Candy Black Cherry joining classic Black on the R/S models and Candy Black Cherry, Dark Grey Metallic and Candy Orange joining classic Black on the C.
For the VTX1300R and S, 2007 brought Metallic Blue, Dark Red Metallic, Titanium and Black while the 2007 VTX1300C saw Dark Red, Pearl White, Pearl Dark Blue, Pearl Bright Green and Black.
Honda ended production of the S model starting 2008 and oriented on improving the R & C models. They got restyled two-into-two exhaust system with bullet-style mufflers for a classic, custom look, stylish chrome side covers as well as new ranges of colors. Black, Pearl White, Metallic Blue were for the R model and Metallic Black, Metallic Silver, Candy Red, and Pearl Yellow for the S one.
2008’s big addition was the Honda VTX1300T. This was yet another proper Honda way of exploiting the great V-Twin engine which didn’t brought any change. Features such as the stylish custom windscreen, 24-liter capacity leather saddlebags, chrome backrest and stylish chrome side covers as well as the Black, Metallic Silver, and Metallic Red color schemes make sure that the Touring model stands out from the crowd.
In such an important market segment, Honda simply made sure that it would be in for leadership as Star motorcycles may not have a custom model to offer, but do successfully sell the V Star 1300 and V Star 1300 Tourer models as alternatives to the R and T Hondas. They go for modern, classic styling, but the heart of both these models is a 1304cc, liquid-cooled, V-Twin; SOHC, four-valves per cylinder engine fed through a fuel-injection system which makes it stronger pulling
than the carbureted Honda V-Twin. They also use belt final drive instead of shaft as quiet operating and easy replacing is considered simpler that oil changes and longer life. The Tourer adds an adjustable windshield, leather-covered hard saddlebags and passenger backrest.
Suzuki’s Boulevard lineup is quite offering and, from it, we can distinguish the 2009 Boulevard C90, C90T and M90. This last is a custom with style and performance to back it up. With a 1462cc, liquid-cooled, OHC, V-Twin engine that is also fuel-injected all three models are equally capable of powering their masses, but the new Boulevard M90 is definitely the most outrageous looking of them all and fits the performance cruiser characteristics perfectly. The Boulevard C90 is as classy as you get from Suzuki and the C90T is simply an extension of the simple model as it adds the well known extras.
Kawasaki starts and ends with the Vulcan 1500 Classic which is not even new for 2009. Still, it competes with the VTX1300R and actually proves more capable than the Honda as it is powered up by a 1470cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four-valves per cylinder engine.
Honda won’t go for fuel injection as no retro bike ever had that and they plan on being as original as possible which in our opinion makes them unique, not left behind.
But no matter how powerful, competitive or innovative a bike would be, its style is what sets it apart and in this case, we’re working with three different ones. For starters, there’s the Honda VTX1300R, a machine that properly blends the old with the new as it features smooth flowing lines over a modern piece of V-Twin engineering. Best characterized by the deeply valanced front and rear fenders, retro-style cast wheels and pullback handlebars the R stands for comfort and bling bling. The colors available on the 2009 Honda VTX1300R are Metallic Silver, Metallic Black and Bright Blue Metallic.
And so does the Honda VTX1300T which looks like a fully accessorized “R” model. The extra parts are the windshield, leather saddlebags and passenger backrest. Available in Dark Red, Titanium and Black, the “T” is more of a serious piece of machinery.
The headlight, signal lights and instruments housings to cylinder-head cover, air-cleaner cover, left and right engine sidecovers as well as the rear shock covers are chromed on the “R” & “T” models, and that’s just to give you a short brief.
But if custom is your style, Honda offers probably the best looking custom bike of the category. The Honda VTX1300C is definitely a motorcycle for those who want to stand out as the custom cast wheels covered in stripped-down fenders, the one-piece seat and the unique 2009 colors (Titanium, Dark Blue Metallic, Metallic Red and Black) contribute at creating that original look.
The chromed elements are exactly the same as in the case of the first two models except the fact that the sidecovers are painted on the models that aren’t Black painted.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices vary pretty much from model to model. And so we have the cheapest one (and the best looking, in my opinion), the VTX1300C coming with a $9,899 base price. Advertised with an MSRP of $9,999 is the 2009 VTX1300R model while the Touring marks $11,299, being the most expensive on in the VTX1300 lineup.
With the 2009 VTX1300, Honda shows once again knowing to sell virtually the same product in different shapes and styles even though technically, as we saw, it isn’t superior at all, but per contra, it doesn’t fall in the fykes of fuel injection.
Have it Custom, Retro or Touring and it will stand either for modernity or for a reinvention of the past.
Model: VTX1300C / VTX1300R / VTX1300T
Engine and Transmission
Engine Type: 1312cc liquid-cooled 52o V-twin
Bore and Stroke: 89.5mm x 104.3mm
Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
Valve Train: SOHC; three valves per cylinder
Induction: Single 38mm constant-velocity carburetor
Ignition: Digital with three-dimensional mapping, two spark plugs per cylinder
Final Drive: Shaft
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: 41mm fork; 5.1 inches travel
Rear: Dual shocks with five-position spring preload adjustability; 3.6 inches travel (VTX1300C) / 3.7 inches travel (VTX1300R & T)
Brakes Front: Single 336mm disc with twin-piston caliper
Rear: Single 296mm disc with single-piston caliper
Tires Front: 110/90-19 (VTX1300C) / 140/80-17 (VTX1300R & T)
Rear: 170/80-15 (VTX1300C) / 170/80-15 (VTX1300R & T)
Wheelbase: 65.45 inches (VTX1300C) / 65.7 inches (VTX1300R & T)
Rake (Caster Angle): 32.0o
Trail: 149mm (5.9 inches) (VTX1300C) / 144mm (5.7 inches) (VTX1300R & T)
Seat Height: 27.46 inches (VTX1300C) / 27.35 inches (VTX1300R & T)
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons, including 1.0-gallon reserve
Curb Weight: 678 pounds (VTX1300C) / 710 pounds (VTX1300R) / 748 pounds (VTX1300T)
Colors: VTX1300C: Titanium, Dark Blue Metallic, Metallic Red, Black
VTX1300R: Metallic Silver, Metallic Black, Bright Blue Metallic
VTX1300T: Dark Red, Titanium, Black
New for 2009
Unique VTX1300C Features
Custom cast wheels give a performance-custom profile.
Unique VTX1300R Features
Unique VTX1300T Features
Honda Genuine Accessories - VTX1300C
Honda Genuine Accessories - VTX1300R
Honda Genuine Accessories - VTX1300T