Shadow Spirit 1100 performance - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Model: Spirit
Year: 2002
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 553
Shadow Spirit 1100 performance

I have a 2002 Honda Shadow Spirit 1100. This I consider my first Honda since my other one was a very short term project which was sold as quick as I got it running. I have now had this bike a little over a year. The first thing I noticed is that the transmissions seem a little clunky. It seems to make a big clunk as you put it in gear especially if you had it in neutral. Is this normal for these transmissions? Since I bought this bike 2nd hand as far as I know I'm not sure what mods it has. It has a [email protected] filter, I believe Cobra slash cut exhausts and I'm not sure what else. I seem to average about 36mpg around town. I have gotten up to about 44mpg on the freeway. The bike seems to run great. I have lots low end torque and it takes off great. I finally got used to the gearing since it is so different than my other bikes, much higher gearing. I am surprised the gear I am in sometimes. I can do 65 in 4th with no problem then I remember to shift into 5th. In the 40mph zones I am usually in 3rd gear and sometimes only 2nd. I have been happy not to have to do anything to the bike other than replace fluids, clean rust off the chrome, brakes and tires. I would appreciate any replies, responses, or comparisons to others bikes as to this being the norm for the 1100.

Last edited by kesanders; 06-18-2019 at 10:19 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 11:08 PM
blupupher's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2017
Model: VT1100C
Year: 1994
Location: Katy, Republic of Texas
Posts: 879
Normal for the 1100.

I get a solid clunk when going from N-1, and a decent clunk strait from 2-1, especially if I am not firm in pressing on the shifter.
1-2 is pretty solid as well. 2-3 and 3-4 are not near as bad.

Yes, a v-twin has a lot of low end torque, and the shifting is much different than 4 cylinder bikes.
Try it on a '87-96 with the 4 speed. Before I got a slightly smaller rear tire, 1st gear was to 25 mph, 2nd to 55 , 3rd to 75, and I did not even think about going into 4th till at least 60.

Your mileage sounds similar to mine.

1994 VT1100C
Starfire 185/65/15 rear tire (Darkside)
Perilli MT66 Route 110/90/19 front tire
Progressive 430HD Rear Shocks
Mustang Seat
National Cycle Windscreen

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 11:45 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Model: 1100 spirit
Year: 2002
Location: Midvale Utah
Posts: 4,420
It a shaft drive thing. The clunk is normal. My 02 1100 spirit is like that and my Wing is clunky too. Bonus to the shaft drive is it's damn near bullet proof!

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 06:32 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2017
Model: Shadow Spirit VT1100C A
Year: 2000
Location: Milford, Michigan
Posts: 2,428
Ditto the remarks on the clunky transmission. It's not a fault of the tranny, it's just how they are. My son's 1300 VTXS is even clunkier.

Mileage for me is right around 48-50 if I recall, but I am a very conservative rider.

On the gearing. I never can tell what gear I'm in on the 1100, so bought a tach for it, and now all I need to do is glance at the speedometer and tach to know what gear I'm in.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 7,939
Put a 180/70 on the back and it will make the tranny more civil but still a little clunky shifting.

06' 1100 Spirit (sold 6/23/13)
71' CL 100 "Lil' Sista"
99' Valkyrie "Adele"
05' 1600 Vulcan "Ludabelle"

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:44 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Model: VT1100C2 Sabre
Year: 2002
Posts: 147
The first couple of times I shifted mine I thought I had broke something - just a quirk of the Honda transmission I suppose. With a chain, most of the initial vibration is taken up by the chain and sprocket so you don't really feel it. The drive shaft is a much more direct connection to the transmission, hence feeling it go into gear that much more.

Just wait until you have to rock it back and forth a bit to get into N - that's fun, especially when you're getting frustrated.

Even within the Shadow lineup, Honda geared the transmissions differently, so if you're looking for more oomph you could check out going with the Sabre gearing, but that would probably be a lot of work for very little benefit.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Model: Spirit
Year: 2002
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 553
Thanks for the input. My favorite thing about this bike is I ride this one not working on it all the time. My muffler chrome is rusted beyond repair in a few spots so I am going to flat black paint the whole muffler and leave a chrome edge that matches the slash cut since it is not rusted there.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:32 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: St. Michael, Minnesota
Posts: 5,141
Normal to clunk but you might want to check your idle, if it's high the clunk will be worse.

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