Build Your VTX The Honda Way

11/22/2004 8:59:10 PM

Remember in the 1960s and 70s when it was possible to sit down with your local automobile dealer and factory-order your favorite muscle car with dozens of color and trim combinations that made your thoroughbred a one-of-a-kind standout at the local burger joint? Ah the good old days, where did they go anyway?

For VTX buyers, they are no further away than a stroll down to you local Honda motorcycle dealer. That's right, Honda's VTX1800 can be purchased in one of 51 custom-built packages assembled at Honda of America's (HAM) Marysville, Ohio motorcycle plant.

How is this possible? Consider that the big VTX is offered in five different platforms for 2005: the C-type performance cruiser, the retro-classic R-type, the spoke-wheeled classic S-type, the outrageous neo-retro N-type, and the all-new sport cruising F-type. Each of these five versions can then be ordered in one of three factory-built specs. Factor in three or four color choices for each version and voila, 51 VTX versions, right from the factory!

At the heart of Honda's custom building program are the three distinct build specs. Spec 1 provides a handsome silver finish on the VTX engine's crankcases, cylinders, starter motor and final drive housing. Next, aluminum parts are smooth cast and/or brushed to a satin finish, including fork tubes, upper and lower triple clamps, levers, clutch fluid and brake fluid reservoirs, switches and handlebar risers. For Spec 2, Honda finishes the VTX engine with satin black and machines cylinder fin accents; fork tubes are embellished with chrome steel covers and aluminum parts such as upper and lower triple clamps, levers, clutch fluid and brake fluid reservoirs, switches and handlebar risers are highly-polished. Spec 3 adds even more high-luster finish to surfaces such as the final drive housing and floorboards (available on some models). Other custom touches unique to each version are applied to wheels and rear shocks.

Imagine all this VTX customization without the significant expense associated with ordering one cruiser model and then special ordering numerous bolt-on accessories to be installed by the dealer. Not to mention the hassle and waste of disposing of discarded, brand-new parts. Better yet, Honda's renowned fit-and-finish is built into each Spec package, offering years of trouble-free service and backed up by the full factory warranty.

How long does it take to custom order a VTX? Honda's web site makes it easy to specify VTX type, spec and color. Of course, a Honda dealer will be glad to do this as well. For many riders, their local dealer already has a wide selection of VTX versions and specs available immediately or within a few weeks. For new orders, it takes approximately eight weeks; a savvy buyer will order a VTX during the off-season and show it off to friends on the year's first ride.

Isn't all this customization a lot of trouble? Perhaps for other manufacturers, but not for Honda, the company that perfected the art of making running-changes on the assembly line. For HAM's associates, it's all in a day's work.

There's more. Any of the 51 factory-built VTX packages can be further personalized with a broad range of dealer-installed Genuine Honda Accessories including windshields, backrests, luggage racks, saddle bags and chrome and billet accents. Do the math. When you build your Honda VTX the Honda way, it becomes a custom motorcycle distinct in every way but one-you'll have plenty of money leftover to take it to the burger stand every day.