Thanks for all the warm welcomes guys!
Welcome in Tim. I'm just across the river in St. Paul. Back to your original post, I'm a little bigger than you, but started with a 750 Shadow. If it weren't for my height & long legs, I would still have it. I went up to a Valkyrie fall of 2014, simply for comfort & power (in that order). Your CB is going to be a rocket once you're done! The Shadow will be slower, but just as enjoyable with a few changes.
First, expect you're going to hate the seat. It seems everybody does. There are good aftermarket seats available, sometimes through the forum. The best purchase I made for my Shadow was a brand new Corbin seat. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny.
Second, if you're going to ride on the side streets, you're all set. If you want to take it on the freeways or out of town, you're going to want to replace the rear sprocket with a slightly smaller one. I want to say the VLX sprocket of choice is a 39T? I think? Check with some of the other VLX owners before you buy something, though.
Since you're in Minneapolis, once you get riding, check out Bob's Java on Lyndale on weekend mornings. There's usually a good group of guys who launch rides from that spot and I've had good luck in the past jumping in with them to get some miles down on a nice Sunday with nothing else happening. Hoping to do the same over the next few months & maybe I'll see you there.
, thanks for the kind words and awesome suggestions/recommendations! Yeah, the CB550 is a fun one. I love how it kickstarts and is just a coldblooded machine! Mid-controls are super comfortable for me too. The parts I've acquired include but are not limited to: AGM battery, regulator/rectifier, dyno electric ignition, clip on bars, tapered steering bearings, UNI pods, larger jets, 4-into-1 exhaust. I've installed half the stuff already, I just have to finish it now and clean her up!
With the Shadow seat, I'm still toying with how I'm going to make my "Phase 1" vision a reality. I'm wanting a rear short seat cowl that's welded to the frame and have it serve as the base of where a small solo seat would sit. I have a friend that does leatherwork, so she'd likely fabricate it up for me.
On the other hand, I have a "Phase 2" in mind as well, where there's no rear fender at all. The mid section of the bike (where the mono shock sits) would be cleaned up and fully exposed. This would require a seat attached only from the front by the tank side to give it a floating look. This requires more work and can wait awhile. I plan to just enjoy Phase 1 for now.
As for the smaller sprocket, I may very much have to look into that! While I do most of my riding zipping around the Twin Cities, I have a summer goal of riding up the North Shore and camping out there. A smaller sprocket would likely be beneficial there.
Bob's Java. Got it. Maybe I will see you there some time!