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Thread: My uncle's Shadow

  1. #1
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    Default My uncle's Shadow

    My uncle has been asking me to help him find a Honda Shadow. Since my personal experience on a Honda is limited to a 250 Rebel, I wondered if you all could share some opinions on any Shadows you have ridden and worked on over the years. Oh, I mentioned an uncle with Parkinsons's a while back, different uncle but held in very similar regard to me.

    Some background for the "new-ish" rider may help. He's been away from motorcycling for a few decades. With a rider safety course in sight for this weekend he's looking to get back in the saddle really soon. In the 70's he had a Suzuki 450 he said, and sold it when family became a priority. The cruiser type bike is his preference so he may have had an L but can't remember. He is six feet tall and 200 pounds give or take. He'd like something that wouldn't be impossible for him to pick up if dropped, but with sufficient power for long trips to the mountains carrying camping gear. He would enjoy doing maintenance type repairs himself and getting to know his bike.

    This forum opened my eyes to some known issues with GS's of certain years/ models and I wondered if Shadows had any that you could share.

    He is considering this one. https://albuquerque.craigslist.org/mcy/6121344965.html

    Any input would be much appreciated by Uncle Jim and myself so thanks in advance.

    2004 Honda Shadow 750 Aero VT $2000



    Selling my 2004 Honda Shadow 750 . I am the original owner and it has always been adult owned. Never dropped and always maintained very well. Bike has 11,700 miles and is in excellent condition. Needs nothing. The only addition I made to it was adding the sissy bar.




    Roger


    Current ride 83 GS850G


  2. #2
    marvinsc's Avatar
    marvinsc is offline Forum LongTimer GSResource Superstar
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    By all accounts the Shadow is typical Honda, solid as an anvil. A true cruiser but if that is his thing it should suit him fine.
    Current ride 2006 SV650N
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Scott, I figured they are pretty solid bikes but it doesn't hurt to seek the wisdom from the GSR hive mind. He'll probably go with the 750. I suggested after his safety course and getting his license, he take my 850 out for a spin just to help familiarize himself with riding again. That Shadow has a 25 inch seat height but I'm not sure about the leg room while riding. Seems to me he may be cramped.
    Roger


    Current ride 83 GS850G


  4. #4
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    In that same category you could also look at the Yamaha V-Star / DragStar 650 which has been in production pretty much unchanged for over 15 years and is also as tough as nails.

    However, if he's long in the legs you might find the Suzuki Boulevard / Volusia 800 might suit better as the ergonomics are a bit more generous.
    Current:
    Z1300A5 Locomotive (swapped my Intruder for it), GS450 Cafe Project (might never finish it....), XT500 Commuter (I know - it's a Yamaha )

    Past:
    VL1500 Intruder (swapped for Z1300), ZX9R Streetfighter (lets face it - too fast....), 1984 GSX750EF, 1984 GSX1100EF (AKA GS1150)
    And a bunch of other crap Yamahas....

  5. #5
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    I have rode my Father in laws (RIP)06 Shadow 750.IT was the sub type with the 21"front wheel,the name eludes me.Didn't ride it for long really but it was OK.The feet forward stuff was weird at first but got kind of used to that faster than I'd have thought.Revving it just made it vibrate more.OK cruisers are NOT my thing.Well made,added some things for the FIL. Sadly his health started decline after he bought it and he never rode it farther than the end of his long drive way.

  6. #6
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    Another thing to consider if he is long in the leg department is that cruisers with floorboards generally offer a bit more leg room than their peg'd variants.
    Current:
    Z1300A5 Locomotive (swapped my Intruder for it), GS450 Cafe Project (might never finish it....), XT500 Commuter (I know - it's a Yamaha )

    Past:
    VL1500 Intruder (swapped for Z1300), ZX9R Streetfighter (lets face it - too fast....), 1984 GSX750EF, 1984 GSX1100EF (AKA GS1150)
    And a bunch of other crap Yamahas....

  7. #7
    bwringer's Avatar
    bwringer is offline Forum LongTimer Bard Award Winner
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    All I know is that the 600cc Shadow is badly underpowered. Any of the 750cc+ versions should be fine.

    It's a typical Honda -- anvil reliable. They're generally well cared-for by the owners, and the gawdawful cruiser/gyno table riding position usually guarantees low mileage. The one in the link is a fine and typical example.

    One thing I would add is that it seems like every cruiser I see for sale has ancient, hardened tires. If the tires are original or close to it, the bike will be much safer and handle so much better with fresh rubber.
    1983 GS850G, Cosmos Blue.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwringer View Post
    All I know is that the 600cc Shadow is badly underpowered. Any of the 750cc+ versions should be fine.

    It's a typical Honda -- anvil reliable. They're generally well cared-for by the owners, and the gawdawful cruiser/gyno table riding position usually guarantees low mileage. The one in the link is a fine and typical example.

    One thing I would add is that it seems like every cruiser I see for sale has ancient, hardened tires. If the tires are original or close to it, the bike will be much safer and handle so much better with fresh rubber.
    Right about why they're low mileage, just shows that people who buy cruisers are dreamers, not serious riders.
    "Only fe' collected the old way, has any value." from His Majesty O'Keefe (1954 film)

  9. #9
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    This is all very helpful. I've also heard about the legs forward riding position that all of your weight winds up on the seat which eventually makes the ride more uncomfortable. With the vibrations in higher rpm's, I wonder if that in combination with the position would contribute to low back pain too. One thing I'm very thankful for in the 850. Pretty well thought out ergo design.

    Good to know the 750 should have sufficient power. I'm not sure if he's looked into the V-Star or Boulevard. Seems like older bikes with low miles are always prone to having hard out dated tires.

    Thanks guys, good stuff here.
    Roger


    Current ride 83 GS850G


  10. #10
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    Nephew has almost identical bike. ( VT600C). Watch for signs of coolant leak near headset, and around the multiple hoses hiding under the gas tank.
    And between the "V". Not a big deal, just beware. ( I fixed all in 1 hour).
    As state above, rider position / comfort is #1 priority. I rode it OK, I'm 6' and 200 lbs. I just don't like the "harley" riding position, period. Your mileage may vary :-)

    And check fluid level !!! Nephew ran his radiator dry.. but didn't hurt motor ! (This was 2 weeks after he ran his Civic dry of oil... and scrapped it !)
    1980 GS1000G - The Beast
    1979 1000L -gone
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    Too many dirt bikes to list
    I know -JUST- enough to make me REALLY dangerous !



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