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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well.... I've been looking for my first bike lately. I've scoured the Texas Coast area. All along I've REALLY been leaning toward the Honda Shadows based on their affordability in the 750cc range. Originally, I was thinking a 750, but after doing some research, as well as hearing you guys' opinions, I've settled on the 1100. But here's the problem: Now that I've stepped my expectation up to the 1100cc bike, I've only been able to find ones near the year model I'm comfortable with for around $4 grand, which is a bit above what I wanted to spend.

Whilst looking for the Shadow, I've come across a '01 V-Star 1100 Classic with only 6,100 miles for $3,450. That's about $200 bucks less than Kelley Blue Book, and it's at somewhat of a dealer, so I'm sure he has a little "wiggle room" on the price.... I've sat on both bikes, and they are both equally comfortable TO ME. (I know everyone else might not share the same opinion, I'm only speaking of personal comfort).
So here's my question: People in my area seem more "proud" of their Shadows (country slang meaning they price them higher for the same year models) than their V-Stars. What would be the reasoning? Why would one wish do go with the Shadow over the V-Star? Or stated differently: is there a reason for the premium price for the Shadows that translates to a tangible quality difference?
 

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I think you would do well with either bike. The only downside I am aware of with the Star line their hinky oil filter location for which there is a pricey retrofit from JP Cycle. I also seem to recall a drop-the-muffler requirement for tire changes but this might be wrong......see what other posters say on this question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks 3Mile. I greatly appreciate the help. I've seen that ad too. Almost 4 times the miles on the bike. That's a fairly good illustration of my point about my area though. Same year model, same size bike; $50 more, and 4 times the miles on the bike.... I'm trying to figure out what gives? Is it that the Hondas are liquid cooled and should hold up in the +104 degree South Texas, 180 day long, summer? That might make a bit of sense to me. Or is it something else? I'm wondering....
 

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Personal experience from when I was searching for mine? People here overvalue their bikes and try to sell them at (or higher than) BB values. I had a guy in Austin that wanted to sell me a gently used '08 Shadow with Cobra pipes being the only upgrade for $500 more than the BB, so basically the BB + the pipes retail.

It seems that generally people around here expect to get exactly what they paid back for the bike. They don't appreciate depreciation.
 

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My dad has that same VStar. The oil filter location is terrible, and adds either a lot of money in labor to have it done, or a lot of extra work to DIY it.

My dad did just have his tired changed out, and I recal him complaining about the cost of the labor, but I can't say if it was because they had to drop the muffler or not.

It has been pretty maintenance free, and he finds it to be very comfortable.

I guess his only other complaint is that a lot of the chrome on the bike isn't really chrome - its plastic.

My personal opinion about Shadows has been formed a bit by the fact that most of the ones I see for sale have really high mileage on them, and the people who are selling are doing so either because they've stoped riding completely, or to get a bigger bike. That tells me two things - they're comfortable for a majority of riders, and they're reliable (or are easy and inexpensive to maintain)
 

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I can't speak to the V-Star. However, I will say that car mileage and bike mileage are different animals. A high mileage Honda bike just means it's been loved (and Hondas NEED to be driven). I have just over 30K on my 1984 Shadow (they're not all my miles), with no major engine overhaul, just a moderate refurb to make it look shiny again. Because of the wild popularity of Shadows, parts are typically cheap (even for 27 year old bikes) and very available (either OEM, used on eBay, or aftermarket).

Personally I wouldn't ever pay over blue book for a used bike, even in excellent condition. Aftermarket mods are just that, aftermarket, meaning the factory didn't install them, and if they didn't and you didn't install the part, odds are good that it will, at some point, give you a headache.
 

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I have to pull the saddlebags, take off the mufflers and the rails that hold the bags and mufflers on my Tourer to change the rear tire. A pain in the a**? For sure. Hard? No. Enough to get rid of it? Heck no..My Shadow is reliable, comfy and good looking..so don't let a little extra on maintenance bother you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Personal experience from when I was searching for mine? People here overvalue their bikes and try to sell them at (or higher than) BB values. I had a guy in Austin that wanted to sell me a gently used '08 Shadow with Cobra pipes being the only upgrade for $500 more than the BB, so basically the BB + the pipes retail.

It seems that generally people around here expect to get exactly what they paid back for the bike. They don't appreciate depreciation.
Couldn't agree more.... People, in general, in Austin are just plain wierd... And when it comes to bike prices, it seems they are just plain batcrap crazy. In my experience searching, thus far, Austin>Victoria>Corpus>San Antonio>Houston in terms of average bike prices, bike for bike, model for model, in this area. Then again, they tend to be a higher paid, yuppy, more cerebral bunch as well, and might be more likely to have done proper maintenance on their bikes. Not a hard and fast rule, but I'm sure there's at least a correlation between income and frequency of bike maintenance....
 

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I have to agree with what was said about mileage. Higher miles /= bad. I went with a low mileage one because I was able to get it just below bb, it had been well maintained, and I plan too ride the crap out of it in the next 4-5 years. There was another available that I was considering with much higher mileage but after doing some lurking in various forums I learned that it was right at the point of possibly needing some major work. But 21k? would think you`ve pprobably got at least that much more before anything major pops up.

Best bet would be check the bikes out in person and give them a sit too see how they feel.
 

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No reason to shy away from a V-Star. I have friends that ride them and will stay loyal to the Yamaha/Star brand forever. Mechanically, you're not going to find enough of a difference between one brand of bike or another. If it feels good underneath you, go for it. Don’t worry about the brand badging. The bike mechs that I know like Honda's a bit better predominately because some are a bit easier to do maintenance on in some instances.
If I like my bike, it won't bother me one bit to spend and extra little effort to change the oil....... my .02 anyway. Good Luck either way.
 

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We have a friend who rides a 1100 VStar and the bike is very good. As Jessica pointed out, the location of the oil filter necessitates dropping the exhaust to change it. There is a filter relocation kit that runs around $250 and is probably worth the money to lessen the aggravation of changing the oil.

We trudge on.
 

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Uhhh...what about his question on water cooled engines vs. air cooled engines in the TX heat? What is everyone's thoughts on that?
I know you can sure tell it when my radiator fan kicks in, maybe the air cooled engines are that way all the time?
Dan
 

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Always liked this bike, great retro looks and very smooth compared to the Shadow. I have to agree about the plastic but that's true of most bikes now. The late 90's (98,99) Shadows the chrome is real and the fenders are metal, not sure about the early 2000's.




 

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Being overly brand loyal can cost you a better ride. Shadows are great bikes, but if you find something else that better meets your specific needs it would be rather silly to not buy it. I'm currently riding a Triumph, and couldn't be happier with my decision, and I say this as a true lover of Honda bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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I know this goes against many here on this forum and is not really what you are asking here, but I would definitly get a smaller, lighter weight bike than an 1100 for your first bike. A 750, 650, or 600 that has depriciated a few years will be just as reliable, will be way less expensive. You will learn to ride better and enjoy riding more. You will be able to get as much for the bike in a year or two if you decide it is not exactly what you want. (sometimes more than you paid if you take care of it and are patient). I know of nearly no one that keeps the very first bike they buy more than a couple of years. Till they do some riding, most people don't really know what type of riding they are really going to do. They buy a bike for the type of riding they imagine themselves doing.
 
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