News Releases 1998
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MotorcycleJapanFebruary 9, 1998
Honda Announces Launch of Distinctively Designed Steed VLS and Steed VLX American Custom Bikes

Tokyo, February 9, 1998 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the launch of the new improved Honda Steed VLS and Honda Steed VLX American custom bikes, which will go on sale on March 16 and March 24, respectively. Both bikes boast a powerful 400cc 4-stroke V-twin engine. The VLX is the basic model, while the VLS features individually styled sprung front forks.

The improvements to the VLS include newly designed spring-type front forks, a 21-inch diameter front wheel, and a flangeless fuel tank designed to accent the bike's particularly characteristic style.

The new VLX model combines the best of the styling used in the two previous models - the luxury VLX and the classic VCL. Thanks to changes in the suspension, the ground clearance is now 10mm less, enhancing its long, low-slung, sleek lines. The Steed series has been designed to appeal a wide range of bike lovers.

Honda Steed VLS
Honda Steed VLS

Honda Steed VLX
Honda Steed VLX

Domestic annual sales target: 6,500 units

Main features of the Steed series

  • Liquid-cooled 4-cycle OHC V2 2-cylinder engine. Reassuringly powerful at low and medium revs, these new engines employ a wider range of gear ratios than the previous models.

Special features of the Steed VLS:

  • Specially designed chrome-plated spring-type front forks with a linked structure combine with the 21-inch diameter front wheel to give an exceptionally smooth ride, thanks to the bike's increased ability to absorb shocks from the road surface, plus impressive styling.
  • With the clearance reduced from 140 mm to 130 mm, and a seat height of just 650 mm, the new VLS is much more low-slung.
  • A flangeless fuel tank design and small headlight unique to the VLS combine to convey a sense of custom-made classic luxury.
  • Three available body colors: Candy Phoenix Blue, Candy Red, and Black.

* VLS stands for V-twin Lowdown Sprung

Special features of the Steed VLX:

  • Modified front and rear suspension have reduced clearance by 10mm compared with previous models and brought the seat height down to just 670mm.
  • Styling for this basic model of the new Steed series combines the elegance and classic lines of the old VLX and VCL models.
  • One body color option available: Classic Black.

Main specifications

Model Steed VLS Steed VLX
Type Honda NC37 Honda NC26
Length x width x height (m) 2.335 x 0.765 x 1.115 2.310 x 0.760 x 1.115
Wheelbase (m) 1.620 1.600
Ground clearance (m) 0.130

Seat height (m) 0.650 0.670
Curb weight/
dry weight
(kg) 223/211 215/203
No. of riders (person) 2
Fuel economy (km/l) [60 km/h test on flat ground] 37.2
Minimum turning circle (m) 3.3 3.1
Engine type NC25E (liquid-cooled 4-cycle OHC 3-valve V2 2-cylinder)
Displacement (cm3) 398
Bore/stroke (mm) 64.0x62.0
Compression ratio 9.8
Maximum power output (PS/rpm) 31/7,500
Maximum torque (kgm/rpm) (kgm/rpm) 3.4/5,500
Carburetor type VDD0
Starter self-starter type
Ignition full-transistor battery ignition
Lubrication forced pressure and wet sump
Oil capacity (l) 2.8
Fuel tank capacity (l) 9.7 11.0
Clutch coil spring
Transmission 5-speed return
Gear ratios 1st gear 3.166
2nd gear 2.000
3rd gear 1.500
4th gear 1.173
5th gear 1.041
Drive ratios (primary/final) 2.058/2.750
Caster (degrees)/trail (mm) 35o00' /136 35o00' /164
Tire sizes Front 90/90-21 54S 100/90-19 57S
Rear 170/80-15M/C 77S
Brakes Front hydraulic disc
Rear drum
Suspension Front bottom-link telescopic
Rear swingarm
Frame type double cradle
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