Why is the 600 VLX shadow a 4 speed? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 05-11-2011, 10:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why is the 600 VLX shadow a 4 speed?

Not that I have any problems so far, but what possessed Honda to make it a four speed bike? Just doesn't seem smart. Anyone have any problems with extended riding at 100km/h-120km/h?
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the final drive ratio is similar, just different spacing between. All the Shadows seem to need an extra gear in my opinion.

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Old 05-11-2011, 11:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have had no problems at those speeds.
An extra gear would be nice, but not necessary.

PS: I'm not sure what you mean by extended. My commute is mostly highway, and like I said...no problems.
I had a concern when I first bought my VLX about the highway speeds, but other than the oft-mentioned "buzz", there were no bad reports.
Incidentally, I don't get any buzz...although I find it rides smoother after I hit 65mph.

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Old 05-12-2011, 12:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Because it's a cruiser.. They only had to add gears in later models to satisfy former standard and rocket riders and cagers. Final gear ratio is basically the same on the newer 5 speeds. Means you don't have to shift so much. Performance wise, yes the 4 speeds could use a 5th and the 5 speeds need a 6th, but it's a cruiser.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Agreed with the others, when you compare the VLX with other bikes in its class (i.e. V Star 650, Shadow 750, Suzuki S40, Suzuki S50/C50, etc) the final gear ratio is pretty much the same. You're not missing much, except extra shifting.

VLX's are fine on the freeway for extended amounts of time. It's just getting over the buzzy feeling (at 70mph, they are only just over half way to redline from what I understand). I've done 70-75mph (about 112-120kph) on the freeway several times, traveling to my sister's house. Three hours of high speed riding in a day each time I go, and I've never seen any ill effects from it except increased fuel consumption. Keep an eye on your oil as well.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've done extended riding on the 5+overdrive vt500 and the 4 speed VLX and have to say that the VT500 is by far more enjoyable in most riding situations.


Also, just because you have more gears doesn't mean you have to shift more on hills etc.

The VT500 will ride all day on the highway in overdrive. No need to downshift at all unless maybe passing.

Just have to rock your toe a couple more times when stopping and starting.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I enjoy the 4 gears in the VLX, I like having a larger range to play with when I'm city-riding.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacealraid View Post
I enjoy the 4 gears in the VLX, I like having a larger range to play with when I'm city-riding.


Please explain this?
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It is also cheaper for Honda to make a 4 speed than a 5 speed & they didn't make many changes in the 600 - 1100 engines in quite a while. I have a 5 speed & wish it was 6.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazman9 View Post
It is also cheaper for Honda to make a 4 speed than a 5 speed & they didn't make many changes in the 600 - 1100 engines in quite a while. I have a 5 speed & wish it was 6.
Precisely, because Honda is CHEAP
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