New member just got my first Shadow. More motorcycle, more problems? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 8
New member just got my first Shadow. More motorcycle, more problems?

Hi, I'm new to the cruiser game but Honda's the best and I've always said I wanted a Shadow for a cruiser. This bike is so freaking cool but since I've gotten it home it has done nothing but made me miss my Hornet.

So I purchased this 1986 Shadow VT1100c running from a guy in GA. It was lovely and for a good price. Maybe too good? But it was just what I was looking for.

I bought the bike and rode it home with minimal issues. It made an enjoyable ~300 mile trek that got me home in the evening. I was so excited to show my SO in the morning, so our first time stepping outside I had to start it for her. Owner stated it takes a couple starts in the cold to get it going. A couple starts is all it took before the battery died. Great. Added that moment to the long list of running jokes my SO gives me **** for. Got me one of those snazzy Lithium Ion batteries to get the engine turning. But not without issues, now.. and the battery isn't the source of the problems.

But I feel like I screwed myself on this whole thing. I ignored red flags that I may should've walked away from. Number one being the bike was freshly warmed up when I got there. I think my excitement stifled my prudence. The other red flag was that it did this thing where when snapping the throttle wide open it bogged. You could gradually get on it and get power, but if you opened it too fast it fell on its face pretty much. His story on that was it all went away after warming up completely because it didnt like running cold. Everything else checked out, so I left with it. Proper temp or not, that thing never went away. I figured it was something I could get to over time. Research showed a possible main jet improperly sized.

Well ever since getting it battery power, it hasnt ran right. When I finally did get it started, it was spitting and sputtering. Didnt want to ride right at any throttle position now. I put 87 octane in the whole way up. apparently this bike requires 91+ which is all the previous owner put in it as well. Oops. I figured that had to be all that was causing this issue. Drained the carbs and as much of the tank as i could, topped off with 93 and a swig of octane booster to hopefully sort that out. Still sputtering, but not as bad, but still sputtering. I changed out the plugs hoping that maybe the improper gas caused improper combustion which could've gapped or charred them. Things seemed cleared up at this point on the short ride around the block. I was ecstatic. The bike was at least running and riding at this point, similar to how it was running when i got it. So I figured i'd try a 25 minute ride out to test her. Road fine at first but progressively started sputtering again till about 10 minutes out when it just died. :/

Thankfully a motorcycle dude I know came and picked it up with his trailer and it sits in his garage to this day (this happened around easter). We have both been tinkering and have been absolutely stumped

SO THATS MY STORY! Hi Shadownet! I bought a Shadow that got me home and croaked. I was hoping for some technical discussion but apparently I have to post first, so heres #1.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 02:41 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Model: Vt750
Year: 1983
Location: Washington State
Posts: 10,907
Welcome. When it acts up, stop and drain the fuel from the float bowls to see how much comes out. If not an ounce or so it may be staving from a bad fuel pump. Add some Seafoam to see if that helps at all.

Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.
1983 750 Shadow
From the past=
1951 Cushman scooter
1962 Honda 305 Dream
1965 Honda 305 Dream
1971 Honda 175 scrambler
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 03:32 PM
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Location: Vancouver BC
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First the starting procedure cold engine is FULL choke; NO throttle. Warm engine is no choke slight throttle. Don't "blip".

Second the engine requires 87 octane and that's all. If there is a problem the using a higher octane will just disguise the problem.

Third the bike may have sat for a year at some point with no fuel stabilizer. This typically gums up the carb jets and will cause your bogging and also may cause poor stating depending on which jets are gummed. The quick solution is Seafoam but if really plugged then carb disassembly and cleaning,

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:52 PM
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Location: St. Michael, Minnesota
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More than likely stale old fuel but I would also check and make sure the battery is being charged. If the voltage drops enough it can cause the same symptoms

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 11:31 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Model: VT700
Year: 1985
Location: West Coast Florida
Posts: 276
Welcome. My guess is that the 300 mile ride home required refueling, so that might rule out stale gas unless the station(s) has some issues. The 87/91 octane is discussed thoroughly on the Fuelology thread. 87 US is same as 91 RON. But all 3 are, indeed, possibilities, fuel pump, bad battery, bad fuel. If the battery is more than a couple years old might be a good idea to have it load tested at your local parts store. Hope you find the problem. Keep posting updates, ther's plenty of help here.

If it jams, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 09:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Model: Non Shadow 1982 Honda GL500I SilverWing Interstate, two cyl. transversive "twisted"twin
Year: 1996 VT1100C2 ACE Shadow
Location: Shenandoah Valley near Waynesboro Va.
Posts: 1,845
If you need a new battery get one here for about $40 shipped .

1996 VT1100C2 ACE Shadow,1982 Honda GL500I SilverWing,1980 AMF Roadmaster w/Minarelli V1 moped.."It's the journey not the destination" Ravens Roost Overlook milepost 10 Blue Ridge Parkway,Virginia
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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trying to reply... i reckon my last response is still waiting on mods to approve? ¬¬
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kouji View Post
trying to reply... i reckon my last response is still waiting on mods to approve? ¬¬
Not quite, your post was moved to its own thread
Different issue and you need to get your three threads in

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