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View Full Version : Debating in what to buy - Honda Shadow vs. Irons Sportster



jorgemendez9999
02-05-2015, 8:33 PM
So I am looking into buying another bike for my next bobber project and I have been looking into Hondas and Sportster.

What are your thoughts about them two?

Which one would you go for?

milunchbox
02-05-2015, 8:40 PM
What year bikes are you looking at?

jorgemendez9999
02-05-2015, 8:48 PM
2000 and up

Pendulum
02-05-2015, 10:25 PM
Shadow vs Sporty? Is this a real question?

I've never ridden (or even done much research) into the Shadow, because I think they're kinda funny lookin, so take this with a grain of salt but... The Sportster is a much better looking bike in my opinion. As far as actual factual reasons I'd go w/ the HD over the the Honda: Better aftermarket support, bigger community, better parts availability, better sounding, and assembled in America (yeah, I know many parts are from outside of the USA). The whole liquid cooled thing kills me as well. Resale value is also something to consider. A well taken care of Sporty can be sold for pretty much what you pay for it in my experience.

EDIT: Just read a review of the Shadow 750RS... Stamped gas tank? srsly? Fuck all that noise.

jorgemendez9999
02-05-2015, 10:53 PM
Shadow vs Sporty? Is this a real question?

I've never ridden (or even done much research) into the Shadow, because I think they're kinda funny lookin, so take this with a grain of salt but... The Sportster is a much better looking bike in my opinion. As far as actual factual reasons I'd go w/ the HD over the the Honda: Better aftermarket support, bigger community, better parts availability, better sounding, and assembled in America (yeah, I know many parts are from outside of the USA). The whole liquid cooled thing kills me as well. Resale value is also something to consider. A well taken care of Sporty can be sold for pretty much what you pay for it in my experience.

EDIT: Just read a review of the Shadow 750RS... Stamped gas tank? srsly? Fuck all that noise.

This is exactly what I am looking for. Good opinions. Thanks a lot for your input. Oh! and yeah it was a real question haha

Pendulum
02-05-2015, 10:59 PM
This is exactly what I am looking for. Good opinions. Thanks a lot for your input. Oh! and yeah it was a real question haha

No problem. Keep in mind that I've never ridden a Shadow (or even sat on one), so I'm only speaking from experience with Sportsters and one Shadow review I read. Good luck either way.

EVILBLACKSABRE
02-06-2015, 12:52 AM
Shadow vs Sporty? Is this a real question?

I've never ridden (or even done much research) into the Shadow, because I think they're kinda funny lookin, so take this with a grain of salt but... The Sportster is a much better looking bike in my opinion. As far as actual factual reasons I'd go w/ the HD over the the Honda: Better aftermarket support, bigger community, better parts availability, better sounding, and assembled in America (yeah, I know many parts are from outside of the USA). The whole liquid cooled thing kills me as well. Resale value is also something to consider. A well taken care of Sporty can be sold for pretty much what you pay for it in my experience.

EDIT: Just read a review of the Shadow 750RS... Stamped gas tank? srsly? Fuck all that noise.I don't know about other Shadows, but the Honda Shadow Sabre model was assembled in Ohio, by Americans (2000-2007).

Just because it's a "Jap" bike doesn't mean it was assembled in Japan. One should do a little research before making assumptions about where a bike is made.

If you've never owned a Honda, how can you comment on support or the availability of parts? There is plenty of support for Hondas. Parts are plentiful and easily available, shops that work on Hondas are all over the place, and as far as community, lots of people ride Hondas. Hell, even Chop Cult has a sub-forum dedicated entirely to Jap bikes.

"Better sound" is always a matter of opinion, and different pipes will produce different sounds.

As far as liquid-cooled, when I'm out riding in the summer heat, or stuck in traffic, I really appreciate my liquid-cooled Honda. I've seen guys on Harleys stopped on the side of the freeway, and when I asked them if they were ok, they said "Yeah, just overheating". And while they sat there waiting for their bike to cool off so they could get back to riding, I just went on my way.

Of the two bikes the OP asked about, I can't recommend one over the other, because I've never owned a Sportster. I would never recommend a person not buy something that I have no experience with. But that's me.

As for my experience with Honda Shadows (I own two), I've been riding one for almost 12 years now (avatar), the other I've been riding for almost 9 years now. I live in socal and ride every day (I don't own a car). Neither bike has ever broken down or ever once failed to start. I've never needed to perform an engine rebuild or replace anything other than tires, brake pads, etc. I've never needed to pull or open one of my engines.

Heck, if we just want to talk shit about bikes we've never owned, I could just as easily say "Don't buy a Sporty because the REAL Harley riders will make fun of you and say That's a girls bike". And then there's the old "Don't buy a Harley, they're always leaking oil, breaking down, and rattling apart from the vibration". But I didn't think the OP was looking for shit talk.

And the really odd thing is, in another thread here in the Jap bike forum you complimented a guy on his liquid-cooled Honda Shadow.

PeteyD13
02-06-2015, 7:26 AM
It's a tough call, and a very personal call at that. Shadows are cheap, they have aftermarket support, parts are easy to find simply because there's a ton of them on the road, and they're reliable, really reliable.
There's not as much in the way of bolt on bobber or chopper parts for them, and you have to be a bit more creative and do more cutting (they have triple back bones I think,) when doing tanks swaps and things like that than you would with a Sportster.

On the other hand, Sportsters are also affordable, though maybe not as cheap as a Shadow, but they're cheap. They have a ridiculous amount of aftermarket support, the Harley community is huge, they're easy to work on, lots of bolt on parts, Harley's reliability issues have largely been sorted out, the year range you're looking at are all rubber mount motors I think which counters the vibration arguments. The EVO is a really good motor imo, they're torquey and fun to ride.

If I were looking at two bikes, same year, same price, a Shadow and a Sporty, I'd buy the Sporty, but that is a purely subjective opinion. In the end it comes down to you man, which one works better for you?

milunchbox
02-06-2015, 8:01 AM
My buddy jay had a shadow that sounded better then most harleys. Look at the shadow thread they have a ton of sweet bikes. I would buy what ever one you find a good deal on first.

Westboundbiker
02-06-2015, 9:56 AM
It's a tough call, and a very personal call at that. Shadows are cheap, they have aftermarket support, parts are easy to find simply because there's a ton of them on the road, and they're reliable, really reliable.
There's not as much in the way of bolt on bobber or chopper parts for them, and you have to be a bit more creative and do more cutting (they have triple back bones I think,) when doing tanks swaps and things like that than you would with a Sportster.

On the other hand, Sportsters are also affordable, though maybe not as cheap as a Shadow, but they're cheap. They have a ridiculous amount of aftermarket support, the Harley community is huge, they're easy to work on, lots of bolt on parts, Harley's reliability issues have largely been sorted out, the year range you're looking at are all rubber mount motors I think which counters the vibration arguments. The EVO is a really good motor imo, they're torquey and fun to ride.

If I were looking at two bikes, same year, same price, a Shadow and a Sporty, I'd buy the Sporty, but that is a purely subjective opinion. In the end it comes down to you man, which one works better for you?

Problem is, you're unlikely to find a Sporty and a Shadow at the same price- at least not the same year.

Also, EvilBlackSabre... Damn good post. You can't get much more reliable than a Honda.

EVILBLACKSABRE
02-06-2015, 11:18 AM
Problem is, you're unlikely to find a Sporty and a Shadow at the same price- at least not the same year.

Also, EvilBlackSabre... Damn good post. You can't get much more reliable than a Honda.Thanks.

Admittedly I went off on a bit of a rant, but fuck, the guy comes to the JAP BIKE FORUM and starts talking all kinds of shit about a model of bike that I own and LOVE. "Shadow vs Sporty? Is this a real question?" as if the idea of buying a Shadow instead of a Sporty is absolutely ridiculous. And who really cares where a bike is assembled, as long as it's done right.

If someone who has actually OWNED a Shadow had a negative experience with it, or Honda, and spoke from that experience, I wouldn't have an issue, because I don't argue with personal experience. But to talk shit about the Shadow line when one has never even ridden one, much less owned one, yeah, I'm likely to say something, and I might not be polite.

If I went over the the American bike forum, or the Sporty forum here at Chop Cult and said "Who in their right mind would buy a Sporty? They're ugly as fuck. They're junk. Harley charges an arm and a leg for parts and service. Get a REAL mans bike, not a girls bike?", something tells me I wouldn't get a friendly and polite response.

And for the record, I have absolutely nothing against Harley Davidson, Harley bikes, Sportsters, or the people who ride them. I am not the least bit anti-Harley whatsoever. I got love for ALL bikes, even the ones I don't particularly like. I say, ride what you like.

bparsel
02-06-2015, 11:32 AM
HAHA, dude ^^^ you need to cut back on your caffeine intake.


I've owned both, had a shadow ACE and a VLX 600. I've only owned 1 sporty - an '07 48. The hondas will always be reliable, they are practically impossible to kill and make nice bikes. The 48 was a ripper though and given the choice I would always go with the sporty. The reliability issues of Honda VS Harley arent even worth comparing in 2000 and up bikes. The Sporty will be just as reliable and have better components. I think it just comes down to what price point you want to get a bike at. I also think if I were to ever go back to a Jap bike I would look at Yamahas, the v-stars make a really nice little platform to do something with.

EVILBLACKSABRE
02-06-2015, 12:20 PM
HAHA, dude ^^^ you need to cut back on your caffeine intake.


I've owned both, had a shadow ACE and a VLX 600. I've only owned 1 sporty - an '07 48. The hondas will always be reliable, they are practically impossible to kill and make nice bikes. The 48 was a ripper though and given the choice I would always go with the sporty. The reliability issues of Honda VS Harley arent even worth comparing in 2000 and up bikes. The Sporty will be just as reliable and have better components. I think it just comes down to what price point you want to get a bike at. I also think if I were to ever go back to a Jap bike I would look at Yamahas, the v-stars make a really nice little platform to do something with.LOL.
No caffeine here. My level of crazy is all-natural. :p

SkinnyFnny
02-06-2015, 2:03 PM
I, personally, think that the shadows looks absurd when most people chop them. Sure, it's a vtwin, but the engine starts to look like an after thought if you take it too far... I used to work at a honda dealership and the only shadow I ever liked was the 750rs with the old rs750-ish color scheme IN STOCK FORM.

Functionality though either bike is going to be great. If you're in it for looks just buy the damn hd and be done with it.

RussH
02-06-2015, 2:25 PM
Carbed sporty 883 would be my choice.

jorgemendez9999
02-08-2015, 8:03 AM
Thanks everyone for the input. I am still making up my mind but I am heading towards the shadow.

heyyodho
02-09-2015, 3:48 PM
I own a 2000 Shadow VLX. Although it has been a fun beginner bike and I'm quite happy with the way my build has been working out aesthetically, it has been very frustrating finding off-the-shelf parts for me to use (that fit my vision for my build). It's too damn slow though.

dylanjoseph29
02-09-2015, 6:56 PM
56513 I've got a 96 Vlx 600 and my dad has an 05. They are slow and the 4 speed at 75mph puts the bike at 3000 rpm or better. That said. I love mine

Rocs
02-09-2015, 7:30 PM
Paid a $1000 for my shadow. I also put about $300 into it. I also love that it starts everytime i push the button.

I never drove a sportster. 56520

billyolds
02-09-2015, 10:49 PM
Im a shadow 750 owner. I have over 60k miles on the bike, cross country twice, around lake michigan from florida and a brooklyn to florida ride, plus daily commutes to work. I ride the piss out of my bike and it could care less. Oil changes and general maintenance is all Ive had to do and its allowed me to enjoy the bike and make it look how I want. Im not alone, I have a few buddies with the same engine and same experience.

I can dig some sportsters, but I personally hope I never own one now. I was open to a sporty in my price range when I was looking for a bike, but nothing was close in value. Now I see too many guys riding sporsters that fit right in with crowds, built or not. I build the shit out of my bike and still get shit for it being a honda. Oh well on the shit, but Im not gna buy a bike just to fit in either. Not too mention most big twin harley riders are stoked about my bike...funny how that works.
Same for the vlx shadows, nothing really wrong with them just too small of an engine and a 4sp. Not too mention the word "bobber" follows them around pretty hard, something about the general use of that word bothers me. How ever you cannot beat building a sweet bike to run around on for generally well under 2k.

To through another bike into the mix, look at vulcan 800 and 900, not sure on efi years but the 800s are all carb and chain drive, great platforms and seem to be great motors as well.

heres my 750 as it sits now.
http://i846.photobucket.com/albums/ab27/billyolds/20150204_153053.jpg (http://s846.photobucket.com/user/billyolds/media/20150204_153053.jpg.html)
Found a wrecked one on craigslist Im hoping to snag up and do another build on.

hotrod937
02-10-2015, 12:28 AM
Everything else aside one word. Resale. On the worst day of its life a sporty is gonna be worth 2500 bucks and sell quickly for more than 2K. That's not saying you can't get a cracked case ironhead pile for 1500 or a grand which I would buy all day long but an import cruiser is almost impossible to give away for any price above free. Don't get me wrong, I will buy everysingle motorcycle I see with a title for a couple hundred bucks, infact I do this often and own 10ish jap bikes and only one Harley. With that being said an import v twin would literally have to be 400 bucks for me to come look at and load up. 1000 guys on your local craigslist would like to have a Harley. 3 to 5 over a years time are wet enough to pay anything close to market for an import Vtwin.. Now one might say, I'll never sell it. This is only true if it's your gramps knuck he bought brand new or some VR1000 bike you've wanted since you were 5 years old. It's also super nice when you need money or want to buy something else to be able to sell a few things from the pile quickly and make moves. The Harley also way ups your trade game. Now you might have the guy who makes good enough money to pay close to market for any bike (or jet ski) he wants or he just doesn't care about money, see sons of anarchy thread.

jorgemendez9999
02-10-2015, 6:54 AM
I have found a 1987 Honda shadow 1100, 4 speed. I will talk to the owner of the bike and see what he says. Anybody owns that same model?

Westboundbiker
02-10-2015, 7:28 AM
Hotrod937, not true. Metric cruisers hold their value just fine. Especially the newer Shadows and V-Stars. Just because a bunch of people get wet over the HD logo on the side of something doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of people that know that Honda and Yamaha means reliability at an entry price.

billyolds
02-10-2015, 7:40 AM
Its all relative if you stay away from odd ball and low cc jap bikes really. higher resale value and easier to sell means you wont find a steal to begin with.
keep your eyes open, the right deal is out there.

jorgemendez9999 the 1100's are twin pin cranks that sound like shit imo and shaft drive. Depending on your intentions I would shy away.

goofyfoot2001
02-10-2015, 7:44 AM
I've dorked around with jap bikes most of my life. They're good bikes, but a paint to work on. When something actually goes wrong with my sporty, I'll let you know how hard it was to work on. :-)

jorgemendez9999
02-10-2015, 9:13 AM
Its all relative if you stay away from odd ball and low cc jap bikes really. higher resale value and easier to sell means you wont find a steal to begin with.
keep your eyes open, the right deal is out there.

jorgemendez9999 the 1100's are twin pin cranks that sound like shit imo and shaft drive. Depending on your intentions I would shy away.

Can the shaft drive be switched to a belt or chain drive?

Pendulum
02-10-2015, 12:25 PM
I don't know about other Shadows, but the Honda Shadow Sabre model was assembled in Ohio, by Americans (2000-2007).

Just because it's a "Jap" bike doesn't mean it was assembled in Japan. One should do a little research before making assumptions about where a bike is made.

If you've never owned a Honda, how can you comment on support or the availability of parts? There is plenty of support for Hondas. Parts are plentiful and easily available, shops that work on Hondas are all over the place, and as far as community, lots of people ride Hondas. Hell, even Chop Cult has a sub-forum dedicated entirely to Jap bikes.

"Better sound" is always a matter of opinion, and different pipes will produce different sounds.

As far as liquid-cooled, when I'm out riding in the summer heat, or stuck in traffic, I really appreciate my liquid-cooled Honda. I've seen guys on Harleys stopped on the side of the freeway, and when I asked them if they were ok, they said "Yeah, just overheating". And while they sat there waiting for their bike to cool off so they could get back to riding, I just went on my way.

Of the two bikes the OP asked about, I can't recommend one over the other, because I've never owned a Sportster. I would never recommend a person not buy something that I have no experience with. But that's me.

As for my experience with Honda Shadows (I own two), I've been riding one for almost 12 years now (avatar), the other I've been riding for almost 9 years now. I live in socal and ride every day (I don't own a car). Neither bike has ever broken down or ever once failed to start. I've never needed to perform an engine rebuild or replace anything other than tires, brake pads, etc. I've never needed to pull or open one of my engines.

Heck, if we just want to talk shit about bikes we've never owned, I could just as easily say "Don't buy a Sporty because the REAL Harley riders will make fun of you and say That's a girls bike". And then there's the old "Don't buy a Harley, they're always leaking oil, breaking down, and rattling apart from the vibration". But I didn't think the OP was looking for shit talk.

And the really odd thing is, in another thread here in the Jap bike forum you complimented a guy on his liquid-cooled Honda Shadow.

Didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Like I said in my post, take my statements with a grain of salt because I don't know a whole lot about the Shadows. But, most of my statements remain the same, regardless.

As far as where it's assembled: I really don't care, but some folks do. Parts availability is more than just being able to find a new bolt-on tail light, or a set of bars, or even a throttle. I ride my shit, and I've broken down in some out-of-the-way spots. You're gonna have an easier time finding a Harley clutch cable in a small town in the USA than you will for a Shadow. Same for a stator, exhaust gaskets, etc. Same reason I've always stuck with B16s in my Hondas and KA24s in my 240SX, instead of a B18C5 or SR20, respectively. As far as sound, you're right. That's subjective. But, just about every person I've ever talked to about the subject has agreed that Harleys just sound better.

I'm not sure what you're on about regarding reliability, since OP is asking about late-model Harleys. The only issues I had with my Evo-powered Sportster were from the previous owners neglect. Once that was sorted, it was smooth sailing. My friends that have modern Harleys have tens of thousands of miles on them, with nothing more than regular maintenance. My Evo chopper is broken right now because some moron put it together wrong. Not the engineer or factory assembly lines fault there.

When it comes to cooling: I commuted on my Sportster, 40 miles each way, 5 days a week. I rode it hundreds of miles each weekend. I live in downtown Phoenix, which meant being in bumper to bumper traffic in 130-140* with no wind (yeah, I know the weather almanac is going to tell you I'm exaggerating, but when it's 120* ambient air and you're on the I-10 in traffic, temps go up) and I never had an issue with cooling. Granted, I knew better than to sit still.

Again, you've lost me with a reference... When was I "shit talking"? I gave some subjective points and some very objective points. I prefaced those points by saying, essentially, "I don't know a lot about X, but I like Y because:" If you don't like my opinions, that's fine. I love talking about motorcycles, even with folks that don't share the same views as me. Just don't let your feelings get all riled up. It makes you look silly. Just like digging through someones post history to try and find something to string 'em up with makes you look petty, and childish/silly. Yeah, I complimented someone on a Shadow at some point in time. I've done it more than once. I guess being able to objectively appreciate someones build is fucked up? Just because I'm not a fan of the look of a liquid-cooled cruiser doesn't mean I can't compliment someone for building a nice looking example of one. I think Dodge Neons and El Caminos are fucking atrocious, but if I see a well-built Neon SRT4 or El Camino I'll certainly appreciate it and compliment the owner on it.


Thanks.

Admittedly I went off on a bit of a rant, but fuck, the guy comes to the JAP BIKE FORUM and starts talking all kinds of shit about a model of bike that I own and LOVE. "Shadow vs Sporty? Is this a real question?" as if the idea of buying a Shadow instead of a Sporty is absolutely ridiculous. And who really cares where a bike is assembled, as long as it's done right.

If someone who has actually OWNED a Shadow had a negative experience with it, or Honda, and spoke from that experience, I wouldn't have an issue, because I don't argue with personal experience. But to talk shit about the Shadow line when one has never even ridden one, much less owned one, yeah, I'm likely to say something, and I might not be polite.

If I went over the the American bike forum, or the Sporty forum here at Chop Cult and said "Who in their right mind would buy a Sporty? They're ugly as fuck. They're junk. Harley charges an arm and a leg for parts and service. Get a REAL mans bike, not a girls bike?", something tells me I wouldn't get a friendly and polite response.

And for the record, I have absolutely nothing against Harley Davidson, Harley bikes, Sportsters, or the people who ride them. I am not the least bit anti-Harley whatsoever. I got love for ALL bikes, even the ones I don't particularly like. I say, ride what you like.

Where did I talk all kinds of shit, amigo? The only even remotely condescending or rude thing I said was about the gas tank, and even that was just me stating my opinion. By the way, if you have to explain to people that you're not a racist, you're probably a racist.

Westboundbiker
02-10-2015, 12:30 PM
Can the shaft drive be switched to a belt or chain drive?

Anything CAN be done. How easily... That's another issue. If you're set on chain or belt, get it to begin with. There've been a few guys that have made the conversion... but you'll want some serious fab skills and access to machining, or the willingness to drop the cash on it. I know the Shadow 750 (non-ace) was chain drive around the 2001 era, my buddy has one.

Pendulum
02-10-2015, 12:36 PM
Can the shaft drive be switched to a belt or chain drive?

Not easily. Not trying to be rude, but if you don't already have a picture of how you'd do it in your head then it's way too much work for you. My first bike was a shaft drive, and it was cool. Maintenance free! Looks kinda goofy usually, though.


Everything else aside one word. Resale. On the worst day of its life a sporty is gonna be worth 2500 bucks and sell quickly for more than 2K. That's not saying you can't get a cracked case ironhead pile for 1500 or a grand which I would buy all day long but an import cruiser is almost impossible to give away for any price above free. Don't get me wrong, I will buy everysingle motorcycle I see with a title for a couple hundred bucks, infact I do this often and own 10ish jap bikes and only one Harley. With that being said an import v twin would literally have to be 400 bucks for me to come look at and load up. 1000 guys on your local craigslist would like to have a Harley. 3 to 5 over a years time are wet enough to pay anything close to market for an import Vtwin.. Now one might say, I'll never sell it. This is only true if it's your gramps knuck he bought brand new or some VR1000 bike you've wanted since you were 5 years old. It's also super nice when you need money or want to buy something else to be able to sell a few things from the pile quickly and make moves. The Harley also way ups your trade game. Now you might have the guy who makes good enough money to pay close to market for any bike (or jet ski) he wants or he just doesn't care about money, see sons of anarchy thread.

Yeah, I thought it was interesting how the Shadow fan girl glossed over that one. Must not have had a good retort.


Hotrod937, not true. Metric cruisers hold their value just fine. Especially the newer Shadows and V-Stars. Just because a bunch of people get wet over the HD logo on the side of something doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of people that know that Honda and Yamaha means reliability at an entry price.

You said it yourself... a bunch of people get wet over Harleys. When you're trying to sell a bike, you want as many people interested as possible. The majority of times, a new bike rider that wants a cruiser is going to want a Harley first and foremost. One of my exes dads went through a mid-life crisis and bought a V-Star (maybe a Shadow), and when talking about it with me, my dad, and other guys he'd frequently say "It's not a Harley, but...". You don't here mid life crisis guys saying "It's not a Shadow, but it's still cool." To be clear: Shadows aren't inherently uncool in my opinion, but most Americans know that in the cruiser realm, the Harleys are what the "cool kids" have.

dylanjoseph29
02-10-2015, 1:02 PM
" To be clear: Shadows aren't inherently uncool in my opinion, but most Americans know that in the cruiser realm, the Harleys are what the "cool kids" have.(quoting pendulum) True, but "fitting in" is lame. And who cares about resale on a bike he's probably gonna get for less than 2 grand. Ride it till the wheels fall off and ya got your money's worth

jorgemendez9999
02-10-2015, 1:06 PM
Pendulum:

I have a picture in mind of what I want in a bike. Always have before I make a decision on buying one. I even draft designs to see how they even look (cosmetically speaking). NOW, the reason why I ask other questions is because I would like to know more about Shadows since I am leaning towards one at the moment. Like you said in your last post, Harleys are what the "cool kids" have, I will have one eventually, not because im a cool kid ha!, just because I want one, just cant afford the one I want at the moment and I am getting a nice opportunity to get a 1987 Honda Shadow 1100. I know its a shaft drive and I have an idea of how i want to make it look. But i still have so many questions about it. I appreciate your input tho, Its always good to have different point of views.

NOW, this is for everyone that can give me some info about this. Is there ANY model/year that comes with a belt drive? (in the shadow 1100 line)

Pendulum
02-10-2015, 3:39 PM
Pendulum:

I have a picture in mind of what I want in a bike. Always have before I make a decision on buying one. I even draft designs to see how they even look (cosmetically speaking). NOW, the reason why I ask other questions is because I would like to know more about Shadows since I am leaning towards one at the moment. Like you said in your last post, Harleys are what the "cool kids" have, I will have one eventually, not because im a cool kid ha!, just because I want one, just cant afford the one I want at the moment and I am getting a nice opportunity to get a 1987 Honda Shadow 1100. I know its a shaft drive and I have an idea of how i want to make it look. But i still have so many questions about it. I appreciate your input tho, Its always good to have different point of views.

NOW, this is for everyone that can give me some info about this. Is there ANY model/year that comes with a belt drive? (in the shadow 1100 line)

I feel ya on not having the pockets for the Harley just yet. I was in that boat up until a couple years ago (which is why I've owned/built mostly Japanese stuff). As far as being able to picture things in your head, I was referring to the shaft-to-chain conversion specificaly :)

These links might help:

http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/72-technical-discussion/98017-when-did-ace-go-shaft-drive-chain-drive.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Shadow

jorgemendez9999
02-10-2015, 3:55 PM
I did a quick research on some other forums and google and some other places and all I get is that Shadows 1100 are only made with a shaft drive.

Pendulum
02-10-2015, 4:21 PM
Do you want the chain just for the looks, or is there another reason? Shaft drive is great, since it's pretty much maintenance free, but it does complicate things when hardtailing/radically adjusting suspension height and most people agree it doesn't look as good as chain drive.

EVILBLACKSABRE
02-10-2015, 4:22 PM
Pendulum-

First let me say that there are no hard feelings on my part. Hell, you can even fuck my sister.

As far as "shit talk", I'm not looking to repeat myself or rehash the issue, but since you asked, that's how I interpreted your statements when you said- "Shadow vs Sporty? Is this a real question?", and "assembled in America". That sounded like shit talk to me. As if the idea of buying a Shadow instead of a Sporty is ridiculous, and as if being assembled in America made a bike superior to a bike assembled in Japan. From what I've seen in my 30 years of riding, a lot of Harley owners have not been happy with their "assembled in America" bikes. But like I said, who cares where a bike is made as long as it is made well.

As far as my comments regarding Sportsters, they were an example of typical Harley-bashing "shit talk". And by "shit talk" I don't mean personal opinions of taste, I mean comments intended to insult, which I think are out of line. And like I said, that is how I interpreted your statements (quoted above) regarding Shadows.

As far as re-sale value, the reason I didn't comment on that is because I don't know the re-sale market. Also, I have never in my life bought a bike with the intent of re-selling it. I have parted with bikes, and lost a bike, but all were unplanned. Every bike I have ever bought I intended to keep until the day I died. And I can't help but wonder how modifying a bike, of any model, might affect resale value. It doesn't appear that the OP intends to keep his bike stock.

I typically ignore what I perceive to be Jap bike-bashing and any talk suggesting the superiority of anything Harlely (which is how I perceived your comments), but seeing it here on a Jap bike forum inspired my comments. After all, if I can't speak up in defense of Honda Shadows on a Jap bike forum, where can I?

Like I said, no hard feelings on my part. And if I misinterpreted your words then that's my bad. But let's be honest, if the OP had asked this same question in the Sporty forum, and having no experience with Sporty's I posted there and said "Is this a real question?", and then suggested the OP not buy a Sporty because, among other things, they are made in America, the guys over there would tear me a new asshole. And in my opinion, they would be right to do so.

Shit, it's all just words on a computer screen. I can assure you, I haven't given this thread, or your comments, any thought since the last time I posted here.

All my best to you.

jorgemendez9999
02-10-2015, 4:54 PM
Do you want the chain just for the looks, or is there another reason? Shaft drive is great, since it's pretty much maintenance free, but it does complicate things when hardtailing/radically adjusting suspension height and most people agree it doesn't look as good as chain drive.

I am not looking for chain drive. I am mostly looking for belt drive. I am not familiar with shaft drive and I might want to lower the bike a little bit so I dont know how it would work out with a shaft drive. I mean, I can learn but lets say its something really complex, im going to be stuck with that haha.

EVILBLACKSABRE
02-10-2015, 5:01 PM
I am not looking for chain drive. I am mostly looking for belt drive. I am not familiar with shaft drive and I might want to lower the bike a little bit so I dont know how it would work out with a shaft drive. I mean, I can learn but lets say its something really complex, im going to be stuck with that haha.Shaft bikes can be lowered. My Shadows (Sabre, 1100cc) are shaft drive, and although I haven't lowered mine (I like the clearance), there are many Sabre owners who do lower their bikes. If I recall correctly, it's just a matter of installing shorter shocks and shorter fork springs (I believe that Progressive makes both). But if you go with rear struts, you don't need the shorter shocks. I've seen many lowered shaft drive bikes. Some so low I expressed concern over road clearance.

And if you are interested, there are also kits for extending the fork rake on Shadows.

jorgemendez9999
02-10-2015, 5:21 PM
Shaft bikes can be lowered. My Shadows (Sabre, 1100cc) are shaft drive, and although I haven't lowered mine (I like the clearance), there are many Sabre owners who do lower their bikes. If I recall correctly, it's just a matter of installing shorter shocks and shorter fork springs (I believe that Progressive makes both). But if you go with rear struts, you don't need the shorter shocks. I've seen many lowered shaft drive bikes. Some so low I expressed concern over road clearance.

And if you are interested, there are also kits for extending the fork rake on Shadows.

my idea was to lower just the rear and keep the front the same height... would that be a problem with the shaft?

dylanjoseph29
02-10-2015, 5:25 PM
Shadow 1100's are all shaft drive. From 1985 all the way to 2009

dylanjoseph29
02-10-2015, 5:34 PM
VT 750C Black Widow 2000
VT 750C Shadow Ace 2000-01
VT 750DC Black Widow 2001
VT 750DC Shadow Spirit 2001-03
VT 750C Shadow Ace 2002-03
VT 750DC Black Widow 2002
VT 750C Shadow Sport 2002
VT 750C Shadow 2004-06
These all come with a sealed chain drive

EVILBLACKSABRE
02-10-2015, 6:01 PM
my idea was to lower just the rear and keep the front the same height... would that be a problem with the shaft?You can do that with no problem. I've seen it before and never heard a bad word about it (I've been on Honda Shadow forums for around 13 years now, so I've seen a lot done with them and conversed with the people who own them. not to mention the Shadow owners I know personally).

The only issue that people have to be careful of is making sure the ends of their pipes don't hit the road when they hit a dip (long pipes). But if you're doing a bobber, then your exhaust probably won't be that long

PeteyD13
02-11-2015, 7:11 AM
my idea was to lower just the rear and keep the front the same height... would that be a problem with the shaft?

Like EVILBLACKSABRE said, it won't be an issue. I ride a shafty CB900, forks are stock, and the rear is dropped fucking drastic like with eleven inch shocks (they're off a Sportster ironicly.) I've got no problems with shaft angle or handling geometry.

Saltytonk
02-11-2015, 8:01 AM
So I am looking into buying another bike for my next bobber project and I have been looking into Hondas and Sportster.

What are your thoughts about them two?

Which one would you go for?


Either bike would be a reliable ride.............but don't you think if you are going to build a "bobber" , you should be looking for a flathead or knucklehead?

yeah ........I went there

jorgemendez9999
02-11-2015, 9:07 AM
Either bike would be a reliable ride.............but don't you think if you are going to build a "bobber" , you should be looking for a flathead or knucklehead?

yeah ........I went there

for example?

jorgemendez9999
02-11-2015, 9:09 AM
You can do that with no problem. I've seen it before and never heard a bad word about it (I've been on Honda Shadow forums for around 13 years now, so I've seen a lot done with them and conversed with the people who own them. not to mention the Shadow owners I know personally).

The only issue that people have to be careful of is making sure the ends of their pipes don't hit the road when they hit a dip (long pipes). But if you're doing a bobber, then your exhaust probably won't be that long

Yeah definitively the pipes are going to be short. That was my concern too, dragging the pipes but Im making them short.

Saltytonk
02-11-2015, 10:36 AM
for example?

Don't sweat it. It was a joke. Do a search on definition of bobber sometime , you will find a ton of humorous reading material.

DustyDave
02-11-2015, 10:42 AM
Aw hell decide which YOU like and get to work.
Dusty

Wolfie
02-11-2015, 6:34 PM
if yer poor like me, get the Shadow, work it, then flip it fer better....if ya make more than $400/wk...go the iron....

Japper bikes are an easy way to make money flippin....

jorgemendez9999
02-11-2015, 10:30 PM
if yer poor like me, get the Shadow, work it, then flip it fer better....if ya make more than $400/wk...go the iron....

Japper bikes are an easy way to make money flippin....

Good point!

pleasedie
02-12-2015, 12:58 AM
As far as choosing a stock sporty over a honda shadow(I'm assuming Shadow Phantom?), I'd go with the Shadow. Could be that I've never been into Sportsters but there is a community despite what some posters have said about em, plus they are really reliable bikes. The vlx's are even pretty cool too as well. That shadow above my post is badass and check out this dude's build thread http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40650&highlight=phantom

ps- my best friend rides a 2013 shadow & I ride a Intruder. We both ripped our baffles out and his bike is way louder and meaner than mine. Don't have a vid of it running or anything unfortunately but it can be a pretty loud bike.

http://i61.tinypic.com/5agikp.jpg

jorgemendez9999
02-14-2015, 7:32 AM
Thats a really nice build. I am looking forward to do something like that.

Mocnyang
02-14-2015, 4:54 PM
Honda vs Harley, the Harley for sure just based on resale value even after its bobbed.

Now I've never owned a shadow or a sporty but have ridden different models of each and prefer the sporty over shadow.

For the record I own a 74 flh and a 75 cb750, and yes the Harley leaks oil and has its issues but I've been stranded roadside multiple times on the honda and the Harley always got me home. Shit even got a pushrod out of adjustment and ran on one cylinder 10 miles back to the garage.

All in all they are both good makes and are reliable so pick whichever one you think you'll like best, that's the whole point of riding is doing what you want.

Wolfie
02-14-2015, 7:06 PM
Do a search on definition of bobber sometime
Actually, whats called a "bobber" nowadays, or a "brat"...was the original chopper of the late 40s, early 50s....and yes, I know....I built em....

Choppers with raked out fronts and extended forks were "california choppers" and were the brainchilds of car hot rod gurus like George Barris, Ness and Roth, et al...
Original choppers started on the east coast right after WW2 and many bikes were shipped back from Europe....most were like WLs....then guys grabbed Duoglides, etc...stripped the fuckers all to hell, open pipes, blacked
em out....wasnt till 60s really that choppers became "what most think they are now"...

Bobber, was taken fron a hairstyle of that era...."a bobbed "do""...kinda like a DA (ducks ass)....but only wimmins wore bobbed do's....bobbed when referring to a bike, often too referred to the rear shorten fender which had a "bobbed tail" like a bobcat.....

Early 60s Outlaws MC....on one of the early "choppers"...

https://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/image_resize-10-php.jpeg

jorgemendez9999
02-14-2015, 10:41 PM
AWESOME!! Thanks a lot for that info!

Hotel
02-14-2015, 11:02 PM
Currently building 83 shadow, also had 81 magna and my big bike now is 03 VTX. Id go shadow, yeah you may lack a little power, defiantly wont catch the 883 but still a fun ride you can toss around like a bicycle. Honda is a strong name and make ridicously dependable bikes.

jorgemendez9999
02-14-2015, 11:20 PM
Besides the performance and the look i want to give the bike according to what i want and have in mind. I want a bike that can take me far ..faaar away. Anywhere i want to go. I just want to pack up some stuff and ride without worrying about anything.

dylanjoseph29
02-15-2015, 7:56 AM
Either brands late model bike will take you where u wanna go. There's no wrong answer here, just buy your bike already.

pleasedie
02-18-2015, 12:36 AM
damn I didn't know the history of the term "Bobber" which absolutely makes me cringe when I hear people calling choppers bobbers haha.

Phantom09
02-18-2015, 6:57 PM
Thanks pleasdie for posting my build thread! I'm saying go Honda. My phantom hasn't let me down no leaks always starts up. Everything's made for Sportys so it's all bolt on pretty much. On the other hand shadows don't really have a market of bobber/chopper parts. But that's the fun part, making parts fit a bike it isn't supposed to fit.

My phantom as of last weekend.
http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/ag86/93bagged/D2264B15-6EAE-4294-A3E4-0E457C04362B_zpsq38asaax.jpg (http://s1300.photobucket.com/user/93bagged/media/D2264B15-6EAE-4294-A3E4-0E457C04362B_zpsq38asaax.jpg.html)

deathmetaldan
02-19-2015, 6:04 AM
really not sure why people are talking resale with iron head sportsters..... they sell for jack shit.

Usually the case with import vs harley is how much time you can wait on parts. Jap bikes run forever as long as you do basic upkeep but some parts can be hard to come by (especially old ones) so you have to wait for them to be shipped to you. The honda shadow has made such a huge community and aftermarket now that you can find pretty much anything you want in any town you go to.

Harleys put you in the cool club of douche bags that automatically assume you are best friends. The only reason i ever considered getting an HD is because you can go into most part stores and find what you need..... which isnt the case most times with an iron head.

so it really comes down to what you want to do, if you want to road trip across multiple states knowing that where ever you break down you can find any part you need or you want to wear the HD dealership jacket and go to the dealer parties in the summer.

in terms of resale. Most people that cut up any bike have a hard time selling it unless its done by a big name in the business that people lust after, especially if you customized it to your specific tastes. If you dont mind sitting on it and advertising it for at least a year.... you might just find the guy that has to have it. The guy that has to have it might be like me and see that you have been posting it for a year without a sale and offer you much lower than what you are asking so that is something you need to be prepared for.

So in the end, build what makes you happy and maybe somebody will see it on the street and make you an offer. If you know you will want to sell it soon just do some small simple mods and keep it clean.

Shittyvlx
02-19-2015, 2:09 PM
I've seen more parts available for the 600vlx shadow if your trying to bob lower and hardtail the bike. The larger shadows frame seems like a bigger project if you were to do the same but I guess it depends on the look that your going for. I own a shadow I hard tailed and "bobbed" its a fun cool bike but I also would like a harley seems like there's more support and way more parts available . The double backbone on the shadow makes swapping any other tank a pain in the ass too.

Mocnyang
02-22-2015, 9:31 PM
Did you get a bike yet? Curious to see what you pick up.

jorgemendez9999
02-22-2015, 10:17 PM
I picked up a Shadow today :D

1986 Honda Shadow VT1100

Runs good but has some cosmetic issues that can be worked. I will look into buying a new gas tank cause it has some dents unfortunately.

dylanjoseph29
02-22-2015, 10:55 PM
Team shadow prevails!!!!! Ugh suck it sportsters. Jus kiddin. Little dents can be fixed with BONDO and fresh paint. Build thread??

Phantom09
02-23-2015, 6:47 AM
What's your plans for it?

Hotel
02-23-2015, 9:45 AM
[QUOTE=dylanjoseph29;654342]Team shadow prevails!!!!!

I second this!
We need pictuuuuurreeesssss

jorgemendez9999
02-24-2015, 8:57 PM
57105

This is it! It has to be cleaned up cause it has been sitting for almost a year so its gona take some work. I want to bob it but I want the option so I can put a sit on it so I can take my wife out for rides. I want to change the handlebar for a Z bar, re paint the gas tank, I want it to look like a rat bobber but a nice looking rat haha ..what I do need are exhaust pipes because this dude tried welding some brackets for the pipes he had on and it looks really bad. I mean i can grind and re weld it and then wrap the tubes for now but eventually i would like to have nice pipes on it.

Phantom09
02-24-2015, 11:06 PM
Hell yeah, it's a solid start. Ebay sells pillion pads that have suction cups on so you can remove the seat when she's not riding.

jorgemendez9999
02-24-2015, 11:18 PM
Hell yeah, it's a solid start. Ebay sells pillion pads that have suction cups on so you can remove the seat when she's not riding.

That sounds pretty cool! how can i search for that??

Phantom09
02-24-2015, 11:44 PM
That sounds pretty cool! how can i search for that??

Here ya go also try Amazon. My buddy bought a la rosa seat and matching pillion pad

http://m.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=pillion+pad+suction&isNewKw=1&_pgn=1&epp=24&itemId=&isRefine=true&mfs=KWCLK&acimp=0&sqp=pillion+pad&_trksid=p2056088.m2428.l1311.R1.TR6.TRC0.Xpillion+ pad

jorgemendez9999
02-25-2015, 12:04 AM
nice!!! that would be something that will work great on my purposes. Thanks for the link!

EVILBLACKSABRE
02-25-2015, 12:47 AM
Good choice. I really like the Honda 1100 engine, plenty of power. I know several people who use Shadow 1100's as two-up touring bikes with all kinds of luggage and windscreens and they ride all day.

I kinda like the way it looks now, but I like "ugly" bikes. It already has kind of a "rat-ish" look to it.

The previous owner must have been one tall dude based on the extended pegs and forward controls.

Have fun with the bike. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

jorgemendez9999
02-25-2015, 5:53 PM
I want to have a mix of satin black and raw metal ..make it look kinda funky