I'd put this bike against any Goldwing of the same era anyday
Prior to purchasing the bike the PO told me that he had concerns in reference to the rear brakes. Those concerns were certainly warranted. I'm not sure how well the 1 piston calipers worked as new, but it is certainly weak for such a heavy bike. I am currently in the process of replacing all the lines with SS lines and hope to upgrade all of the components to accommodate 2 piston calipers.
This bike is equipped with integrated system where the foot brake controls the rear and the left front. In 86 they were upgraded to the 2 piston setup, which most people praise as being much more reliable.
When I purchased the bike it was in average shape with evidence of some abuse. At 40,000 I now notice the clutch is slipping. (Next project) Last on the list are the tires. PO purchased a cheaper brand of tires which do not compliment the bike well at all and give me the white knuckle syndrome every time the shadow of a cloud passes over. I've had enough of that after 8K miles, and will kiss them goodbye this Friday.
Other than the previously mentioned, I think that this will be a very reliable bike.
As I just mentioned,"I think that this will be a very reliable bike." I found and bought this bike on accident. I went to Houston to test drive a Honda GW. After a 5 hour ride I received a call from the owner that he sold the GW while I was driving down. That night, while my blood was boiling over him selling the GW, I ran across the Venture on Craigslist for $1600. The next morning we packed up the hotel room and stopped to look at it on the way home. It was raining pretty hard, so I ended up buying it without even test driving it.
This was probably the best deals I've made in the past 10 years. Most of my friends have newer bikes. And this old beauty is more than willing to carry us 2 up when their newer HD's or GW's sputter out on them. It's happened twice. If you are looking for an inexpensive big gal, this is one you shouldn't pass up.
2 points to make:
1 The 83's as well as a few more years were 1200 not 1300. (I'm not sure what year the 1300 started.)
2 Watch out for 83-thru mid year 85. There was a flaw with the second gear. Almost all of them start losing 2nd. I haven't yet, but I baby it because I know about it. I have know idea how the 2 PO's rode her, but so far so good.
There are plenty of nice 86 and up VXZ's out there still. Usually they are much cheaper than comparable bikes for other makers. I don't really understand why though. It is just as comfortable as a GW and very reliable machine. I don't understand why Yam decided to move the line over to the cruiser still bagger instead of chasing the GW customers. To me this was a serious mistake. God only knows what type of product they would have had they continued this line.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th February, 2009