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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So looking for help. Deciding on a first bike. Test rode a couple of Shadows so far. I really liked the 2002 Shadow ACE 750 a lot. Just had a 2003 Shadow Sabre 1100 pop onto my radar . Just wondering if as a new rider I should stay away from the bigger bike or with price being very close what are the main differences from some more knowledgeable and experienced perspectives. I am 5’7 and the 750 fit well not sure how different the 1100 would be….help please
 

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'83 VT750C
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The difference in those bikes is really not that much. The bigger engine will be heavier, but that weight is down low on a cruiser anyway. It’ll also be more powerful, but not THAT much more powerful. Translates more to easier passing at highway speeds if you had a passenger on as well.

Almost any bike can be a beginner bike, if you have the discipline not to twist your wrist very far until you‘re ready. If you buy the Sabre, and they‘re both in good condition, you might have it longer. Some people get bored of the 750, or find it not to accelerate snappily enough for them under load. If you can get the 750, and you feel confident of being able to flip it in a few years for about what you paid for it, if that happens, then that would be the better route to take.

But my concept of a ‘non-beginners’ bike would be something like my brother’s MV Agusta Brutale 1090R. While I survived (hadn’t ridden in two decades at that point), that monster would blow through 120MPH in around seven seconds. Quick trip to the grave for those with little experience and even less restraint!
 

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1998 750 ACE
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FEEL it...
IF it FEELS Good, DO IT!!!
I RIDE my 750 & I RIDE John`s 1300...
I FEEL More comfortable on my Baby because I RIDE it all the time and the fact that I am still a ROOKIE on John`s VTX...
However the more time I spend on it the better acquainted I`m becoming to it...

Learning curve,
Dennis

Feel it...
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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The 750 is a bit lower, a bit lighter. a bit better on fuel and has a smooth power band so I would recommend it as a 1st bike.

Update: I see a few posts about VT750 additional maintenance due to chain, however that maintenance using a spray lube takes about 2 minutes and although I check adjustments it has always been within spec. Valves are 8k miles clearance check but again have always been in spec so I wait for sound or other indication they need adjusting.
 

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Either will take you any where in the country you want to go, I regularly ride my 750 2-up on week+ trips while the 1100 and the Versys sit in the garage. (And it's not all that much more maintenance,,,)

Bottom line, buy the bike YOU like, Either will be fine.
 

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1994 VT1100C
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I have to agree with RUNNER69 and recommend getting the Sabre 1100 just for the ease of maintenance alone. Shaft drives are incredibly easy to service yourself and not having to adjust valves is extremely helpful (and cost effective). Plus as a new rider you may find that you like having the extra cc's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The difference in those bikes is really not that much. The bigger engine will be heavier, but that weight is down low on a cruiser anyway. It’ll also be more powerful, but not THAT much more powerful. Translates more to easier passing at highway speeds if you had a passenger on as well.

Almost any bike can be a beginner bike, if you have the discipline not to twist your wrist very far until you‘re ready. If you buy the Sabre, and they‘re both in good condition, you might have it longer. Some people get bored of the 750, or find it not to accelerate snappily enough for them under load. If you can get the 750, and you feel confident of being able to flip it in a few years for about what you paid for it, if that happens, then that would be the better route to take.

But my concept of a ‘non-beginners’ bike would be something like my brother’s MV Agusta Brutale 1090R. While I survived (hadn’t ridden in two decades at that point), that monster would blow through 120MPH in around seven seconds. Quick trip to the grave for those with little experience and even less restraint!
 

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2004 Honda Shadow Spirit VT1100
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I think the 750 Shadows are the perfect "right in between size" for a starter bike, and a lot of people like them as their permanent bike too. If you started off with anything smaller you'd be wanting something more powerful in 2 weeks, but I've heard the 750's are pretty decent. But the thing you gotta keep in mind is what you want from the bike. Do you want to buy one bike and keep it for a long time or buy one and then be open to upgrading after a year or two if you decide you want more. IF you want to buy ONE bike i'd get the 1100, and to me it wasnt that heavy of a bike but im biased, i worked my way up from a 300 to an 800 and now at an 1100. I can say that when you work your way up you appreciate every extra bit of power and the added weight wont bother you as much. Last thing id say without asking is think about your weight, im a 220lb dude and id imagine anyone over 200 would prolly lean toward the bigger bike. That being said I've definitely seen a 300lb dude on a Ninja 300 before, dunno what his top speed was tho
 
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750: Weight wise at 5'7'' is more ideal for the height, new rider, etc.
1100: Added weight, same stance different look and power, but the 750 more caught your eye.

750: New rider is going to adapt to the speed if started out with a 350 and jumped on a 750.
1100: So it's how fast did you learn, you'd like more power, can deal with speed, should have jumped on the big one for the same price.

750: That early a year says most parts will be available. Tin and all, without searching to find out.
1100: The old models should point you away from those years due to age and parts availability. The more worn out, long in the tooth bike(s) to avoid.

750: Has to be stock at all costs. Mods are posts filled [here] with driveability problems and mpg issues; due to a change from stock air cleaners to exhausts; plus the service and aptitude applied to a used bike. You need to concentrate on riding it, not here writing about it getting it to run right.
1100: Same. Has to be stock. Wait for that one as is the other one, if not stock meaning.

750: Think of it like this. If you jumped on an old CB750 back in the day, that was a fast jump from one cc to the next. But now you look at that bike, a current 600cc would leave it in the dust.
1100: Speed is relative, so starting out on either is that you still have to coordinate the hands to clutch and throttle, or you'll flip it going backwards no matter if it's a moped you started out with. It's all about the hands and wrist to make the most powerful bike-run at moped speeds.
 

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750: That early a year says most parts will be available. Tin and all, without searching to find out.
1100: The old models should point you away from those years due to age and parts availability. The more worn out, long in the tooth bike(s) to avoid.
Sure you read that right? The 750 is a 2002, and the 1100 is a 2003… Though the ACE should be more common than the Magna. 😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sure you read that right? The 750 is a 2002, and the 1100 is a 2003… Though the ACE should be more common than the Magna. 😉
You are correct sir. Ace 750 is a 2002 with about 17,000 miles. All stock, just some bags, a windscreen and some foot boards added.
the Sabre1100 is 2003 and has just under 7,000 miles. New seat, new tires. Everything else is factory. The asking price on the ACE is 2500, the asking on the Sabre is 2700. Have riden the ACE. Nice and smooth, only issue I saw was dent in fuel tank. Have not riden the Sabre yet, the guy is about 90 miles away and not available until evening time and I start work at 2 am so I’m hoping he still has it when I get a chance to get there this weekend.
 

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It sounds weird, but I’d be wary of the low miles on that Sabre. We’ve had a few pristine bikes with next to no miles on them come through here lately, and they’ve needed a bit of attention due to sitting around for so long. That ACE sounds like it was lightly used, but enough to keep it in shape.
 

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2013 Honda Shadow Phantom 750
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I have been riding my 750 for seven years now and if I never got a bigger bike that would be ok. The bike has plenty of power and will cruise the interstate all day.

To be truthful I am looking at getting a Gold Wing trike in a few years. But the main reasons are for the third wheel, more cargo space and trailer towing ability.

Eric


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The Sabre 1100 will give more of everything including acceleration due to its gearbox isn't as "tall" as the 1100 Spirit plus being a smoother engine design. You're looking at 52 hp./64 ftlb. of torque at the rear wheel. It comes down to what fits/feels good to YOU and whether or not a passenger decides to be on it more than you intended :) thus the 1100 has a slight edge in ergonomics and power to do so. Have fun deciding.
 

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Id say 200 bucks is worth 10K miles less, you're buying more life for the bike for another 200 bucks
 
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