VLX - Hardtail conversion or shock compressor? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 06-03-2008, 04:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default VLX - Hardtail conversion or shock compressor?

I really love the squat look of the hardtails and have been trying to decide if I should make mine a hardtail (cheap) or get a shock kit ($$$). I know that the hardtail conversion won't make my 40 year old back any happier, but I could always swap it out for the shock when planning trips other than 'bar hopping'. The shock 'compression' kits sound cool, but for the added $$$'s are they really worth it? What kind of real benefits will I get with a compressed shock ALL OF THE TIME versus an easily swappable (about an hour) hardtail scenario? I really love that tire-in-the-fender look and look forward to all comments!
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Why not do both, use fender struts attached to the axel instead of the frame.

Then you have the tire in the fender look and you won't criple yourself just for the sake of a few moments of coolness.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Hard Tail

Have you ever ridden a hard tail bike? Didn't think so. There is a very good reason why they disappeared. Be careful what you wish for, but if you just must do it, do something reversable. A hard tail will kick the misery index way up.
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: VLX - Hardtail conversion or shock compressor?

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Originally Posted by pcdoc
I really love the squat look of the hardtails and have been trying to decide if I should make mine a hardtail (cheap) or get a shock kit ($$$). I know that the hardtail conversion won't make my 40 year old back any happier, but I could always swap it out for the shock when planning trips other than 'bar hopping'. The shock 'compression' kits sound cool, but for the added $$$'s are they really worth it? What kind of real benefits will I get with a compressed shock ALL OF THE TIME versus an easily swappable (about an hour) hardtail scenario? I really love that tire-in-the-fender look and look forward to all comments!
i took a piece of 1" thick steel, cut it 11" (or 12 i dont remember) drilled two holes in it, stuck it in replace of the shock and boom it lowered it as far as you can lower a vlx.

sure the ride is a little rough, but if you keep an eye out for the holes then its ok. I dont notice any difference otherwise.

i say do it. (but keep the shock stored away)
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks everybody for your input!

Vlxr99 - You hit the nail on the head. I really didn't want to mess with the stock shock so I could swap it out when I needed it. Now if you could only remember how long you cut the steel, that would save me from trying to measure it up myself!

Deeppurple52 - Yes, I owned a 1947 WLD during my high school years. I would take the back tire down to around 20 - 25 psi to help even out the bumps but my back is not what it was 20+ years ago! I do somewhat remember paying for EVERY MILE on long trips which is why I'm planning on making it reversable.

Rickbb - Could you elaborate furthur, I'm not visualising the fix you are explaning. It may just be that my brain is not quite on track today!

If any of you are interested, here is a link to a page about customizing bikes and they use VLX's for demos.
http://roadstarclinic.com/content/view/10/97/
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your better off just shortening the stock shocks instead of going with a hardtail. Get a used pair off ebay and have an extra pair to swap back to stock when you feel the need.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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a VLX has an internal shock, I don't think you can get a shortened one, at least not cheap
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You can shorten any shock with a shock compressor. Also, there are links to lower the rear on the single shock models. It can't be very hard to fabricate one by looks of the lowering links they have on the market. How hard can it be to make one?!!
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Keep something else in mind.

Not only are you going to be taking more of a hit while riding,
so is the frame of the bike.

The frame was designed to have a shock/spring placed between it and the swing arm.

Removing that shock/spring is going to place an insane amount of
stress at the mounting points.
It's very likely that over a period of time that you could experience
frame cracks and fractures in that general area.

Hardtails were designed and gusseted to handle the stress, a stock VLX is not.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I found out from a fellow vlx'r that I need 3/8" holes 8 3/4" CTC to drop it, so I guess 11" of 1" square steel tubing would be about right and will take the stock shock bolts. This is definately within my price range! I know I will swap it out for the shock on occasion, how often will tell on how it rides, and added wear and tear*. The cost, looks, and ease of swapping it out makes it something worth trying for me.

I am also thinking about using a larger piece of steel and drilling holes (same CTC) large enough to accept the stock shock bushings. That should help out on frame stress?

*thanks litnin for reminding me that physics still apply!
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