How to Change the Coolant on a Honda VTX 1800

Written by tyson simmons
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How to Change the Coolant on a Honda VTX 1800
Keeping clean coolant in your motorcycle's radiator allows the bike to perform at its optimal temperature. (motorcycle image by Greg Pickens from

Coolant, like motor oil, can sometimes become contaminated, dirty and less effective and must be changed. Allowing your VTX's coolant to become dirty can cause it to circulate heat less well and thus make the motor overheat. This can cause serious damage ranging from melted seals to cracked pistons. Using old coolant can also reduce your motorcycle's performance, causing it to run well below its peak. After all, a hot motor isn't always a healthy motor.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Front wheel block (optional)
  • Bucket
  • 12mm open-end wrench
  • Pre-mixed antifreeze coolant

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  1. 1

    Pull the motorcycle up on a front wheel chock if you own one. This will give you easier access to the radiator.

  2. 2

    Remove any aftermarket radiator cover you may have installed, as most block the radiator drain plug.

  3. 3

    Place a bucket underneath the radiator drain bolt and remove it using a 12mm open-end wrench. Let all the coolant drain out of the radiator. This can take anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes.

  4. 4

    Replace the drain bolt using a 12mm wrench. Tighten the bolt as you would any locknut.

  5. 5

    Press down and turn to open the radiator cap on the right side of the motorcycle.

  6. 6

    Pour in pre-mixed antifreeze coolant slowly. It is important that you use pre-mixed fluid or mix pure antifreeze with 50 per cent water before you pour it into the radiator, as pure antifreeze won't keep the motor as cool. Allow the liquid time to work its way around the piping of the radiator. When you see the coolant rise up close to the top of the reservoir, you can be sure its full.

  7. 7

    Replace the radiator cap carefully, making sure to get it on correctly. The side tabs on the cap must match up to the grooves on the housing before the cap can be twisted into place.

Tips and warnings

  • To keep your coolant at its optimum level of performance, replace it with every other oil change.
  • Always stay aware of pinch points when working around movable motorcycle parts.

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