Pros: light weight,MPG,seat height, style, Honda Rep.,can tour, great starter bike
Cons: 4 speed tranny, seat, rear drum brake, small gas tank.
The VLX600 has been around since mid 90's with few changes, as Honda created this sportster clone as close to perfect the first time. About the only changes that most owners would like to have seen are one more gear (It's only a 4 speed) and maybe a larger tank. It has great power for a 583cc Vtwin, and can be made a little more powerful with after market exhaust pipes and some jetting and less restrictive air intake. also changing the rear sprocket can lower the engine revs a little if you plan on taking a lot of long trips, although most people have found that Honda got the gearing pretty spot on as it is. I have added the large windscreen in Honda's parts book, which makes a HUGE difference in comfort and the largest saddle bags that will fit between the rear turn signals and the passenger foot pegs, A sissybar and luggage rack combo so I can carry a lot of STUFF. I am 5-11 and have found that I had to add a crashbar with footpegs to stretch out for long ride comfort. the gas tank is rather small with 2gal normal run and .9 gal. reserve, and if you keep the speed down around 55-60 you can expect 50-60 MPG depending on wind and weight, so every 100 miles you will be stopping for gas and to stretch your legs. Because the oil has to serve lube requirements for the engine and clutch and transmission I recommend that in order for the oil to keep it's multiweight properties that it should be changed every 2500 miles, even more often in 95+ deg. weather, using a good motorcycle oil with wet clutch protection. I have been using Valvoline 20W-50 4 Stroke Motorcycle oil with great results as lower oils (such as 10W30 and 10W40 will lose their multi weight properties in the extreme thrashing that the tranny will cause, as I learned reading an oil engineers study results on oils in motorcycle use. you will also be having the valves adjusted every 8000 miles and changing spark plugs at the same time. other than these maint. items, as well as lubing the chain( I use a spray grease that can be purchased at wall mart for around $5 a can or at Honda dealership for twice as much) you can expect 25-30k out of a chain if lubed properly. You can also expect around 75000 miles out of this bike if it is driven like a cruiser and not a crotch rocket, and maintained well. The bike weighs 468 lbs full of fuel without any added objects. Adding saddle bags and windscreen and sissybar/luggage rack and crash bars will bring it up to around 500 lbs at the most, and with the 27" seat height it is an easy bike to handle for small people and ladies, although I have seen many an 800lb big cruiser being handled quite well by the ladies as well. The VLX 600 is considered a starter bike, but I have been riding for years and just like the feel of it over the heavier bikes and not to mention the much better fuel consumption of the VLX.