VA Guy with a Project - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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VA Guy with a Project

Hey All! I bought an '86 Shadow off of a guy that was desperately looking for a good home for his old bike. I'll just say this, it hasn't started in THREE YEARS. My first hurdle is going to be getting a key made in order to get it un locked. I have a basic idea of what to do but I am going to be relying on this community heavily.
If I was to ask three questions to start they would be.
1) Once I get my key, where the hell do I go next? Battery to see if electrics are good? Flush the systems oil/radiator/brakes?
2) Where am I going to see the most value out of my work?
3) What are the biggest things to avoid when working on this project? I have minimal experience working on motorcycles, however I have access to a few people that for a minimal price I can tap for limited amount of knowledge.


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 09:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Central Virginia, USA
Posts: 561
where in VA are you?
If you're close I'd try to help you
I had an 85 500 Shadow for a few years so I'm familiar with them.

2001 ACE

-My Octane explanation-

Last edited by Shadzilla; 12-04-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Chicagoland Illinois
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Projects are fun, sometimes frustrating, always a learning experience. The first rule of a 'project' (bike, car, whatever) is to determine the objective - is it a flip for profit? Is it a 'keeper'? Is it a 'quick and dirty' or a full blown nut and bolt frame off restoration (like Luis did)? Is it going to be stock in the end or some sort of customized end product?

From there, set a budget - ON PAPER - This is the key to staying out of (or quantifying the depth) of 'project financial black hole'. There's not much sense in putting 2 grand into a $1500.00 bike unless (Like Luis again) its some sort of labor of love and money doesn't matter in the scope of the project's objective. This is particularly important in a flip project.

As far as ROI goes -
1: YOUR Labor is 'free' - elbow grease is your best investment with the highest ROI.
2: Appearance matters a LOT for resale, and 'custom' is almost always a black hole financially.
3:Sourcing parts is the next ROI area to focus on - depending on the scope of your project, and as an example, there's little value in putting a $200 AGM battery into a 'flip' bike when a $60 wet cell will do the trick. Used parts can be a money saver, but they come with some risk...OEM NOS can be the 'safe' route, but nothing blows the budget faster.
4: A gallon of Simple Green, a bale of shop towels, and a gallon of Go-Jo Fast Orange hand cleaner from Costco - you're going to need a LOT of this stuff, so buy it in bulk cheaply early on!
5: Specialty tools are expensive - make friends with Harbor Freight early on for anything that makes sense - some of their stuff is pure crap, but a lot of it is a great value for occasional casual use.

There's a start....enjoy your project and participate here on the forum as much as you can...we all love to watch projects and help out.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Jammit View Post
Projects are fun, sometimes frustrating, always a learning experience. The first rule of a 'project' (bike, car, whatever) is to determine the objective...
EXCELLENT advice. All of it.

Originally Posted by Dante_Delvegas View Post
1) Once I get my key, where the hell do I go next? Battery to see if electrics are good? Flush the systems oil/radiator/brakes?
Yes. Drain and flush the fluids BEFORE spending on a battery -- you won't be starting the bike before you know what might be lurking in there.

I'm reluctant to post anything about the carbs -- folks are all too willing to tear them apart for no good reason -- but unless the previous owner drained them before storing the bike then they are very likely going to need cleaning. You'll have to go with your judgement of the guy on this one if he did anything more than park the bike. Given the age of the bike, I'd be very much inclined to open the carbs just to be sure all the rubber inside was up to standard. This, too. comes before replacing the battery.

Get the battery load tested before replacing it. Just because it sat for three years does not mean it went dead.

All the above is based on the assumption that the engine is not seized.

Art's 1999 Shadow 1100 ACE

Ride bell by Dr. Bob's Patient
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