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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I took my 96 vt1100c out for the first time today since buying it last week. I did not realize the bike was a 4 speed and not 5. price and size was important as I'm 6'0 230 and the shadow's seem to fit me well. I got a good deal on this bike also.

anyway's what gear are you guys using between 30-40MPH I find in 3rd the bike revs wants to go into 4th but then 4th sounds like the bike is dying and a loss of power if you need it. I keep switching between them both trying to decide which better for the bike and my safety.

I did not even consider finding out how many gears the bike had just assumed they all have 5. Why in the heck did Honda make such a powerful bike from the late 80's though 96(go figure I bought a 96) with only a speed.

Thanks

Evan
 

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30-45 is good for 3rd. 4 speed will not do 4th at less than 45, even there it'll be on the verge of bogging. Does your speedo have hash marks or scaled markings by some of the numbers, those are shift points.
 

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FWI redline is (rev limiter)40-1st, 65-2nd, 85-3rd, 4th not sure yet.... Have had mine to 135 MPH, still pulling. I shift into 2nd @ 15-25, 3rd @ 35-45 and into 4th @ 50+. Once in 3rd I'll stay there between 25-45, 45-55 is a grey zone between 3rd and 4th.
 

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There is a larger ratio gap between 3rd and 4th on the '96 4-speed tranny. You have to keep it in third longer than the other two gears before shifting into 4th gear. It's probably why the added another gear there on the later models. The 4th gear is about the same ratio as the 5th gear in the newer models so your not gaining anything with the 5-speed except more shifting.
I usually keep mine in 3rd up to 55 before going into 4th. The engine may sound a bit busy, but you won't hurt anything. It's just the nature of the beast. Your better of running higher RPMs instead of lugging it with the dual-pin crank anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a lot guys for your help exactly what i needed to know. I did check the spedo and yep I do have the rev lines also did not notice it the other day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I went out today, practiced some u turns, turning right and left from a stop and just counter weight shifting while turning below 10 mph. The bike is one heavy sucker forsure I'm going to start upper body strength training at 56 I've lost a bit.

I also just took a ride and found that 1st gear around 20-25 seems to be the sweet spot going into 2nd, 2nd though i so want to shift into 3rd at 30-35 just sounds like she working hard but 40 is a bit much I think in 2nd.

ok, so how to you guys handle turns while moving. Usually in my car on clear left turn and right turns I'll brake to the turn clutch going in coasting downshift in the turn and throttle out..
On the bike, if you go into the turn in 2nd clutch and keep it in 2nd seems it bogs down come out with throttle. if I down shift into 1st there can be a surge forward as 1st gear causes the rpm's to increase.

what are you guys doing? I think this is where a 5 speed really is nice.
 

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City driving and racing through twisties is the ONLY time I want a 5 speed.
Leave it in second, DO NOT pull in the clutch OR shift especially down while turning. That can cause a bike to laydown on you. 2nd gear can handle 15mph to 60 MPH with no issues. If you wanted to you could ride in the city in 2nd all the time, never even shifting down for stops or starts. Not a good idea, just possible.

DO NOT fear reving your Shadow, it is NOT a Harley. The shadow actually prefers Higher rpms to Lower reving. PUSH IT it will be happy, baby it and it will bog and complain. If it is bogging you are going too slow or not twisting enough.
 
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