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86 Shadow 1100 for $1700? Or 2003 VTX 1800 basket case for $2600?

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Yea mine is the 5 speed 1100 Spirit that was basically unchanged from 1997-2007, so pretty much identical to your 2002.

I dont have a windscreen, I have seen some pretty mixed stuff on gas mpg, which I figure is a decent standin for aerodynamic efficency, and some people go up, some people go down, and many seem to remain about the same. But I am not against the idea of trying it.

I have ordered a phone mount so I can better track my actual speed, as I clearly dont want to be holding my phone at those speeds.

Going by the gauge my max practical speed I can reach is about 110 in 4th gear, or 105 in 5th gear, which included a minor tuck into the wind. Looking at the traffic around me, how fast everyone was going, the speedo does seem about 10% faster than actual. So my max speed was a pretty good, but not crazy fast left lane cruising, probably around 95ish. I was probably passing people in the right lane by about 10mph or so. There were people a ways in front of me and behind me in the left lane going about the same speed.

So yea, my max speed when tucking some into the wind with the throttle pinned wide open in 4th gear pushing for everything I am worth is about the same speed my wife normally sets her cruise control at on that road for 2 hours each way every time she drives to Houston in her dead stock 2014 Ford Edge to get her hair and nails done with her mom.
 

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Think I know the cause of the gas crisis now… 🙄 That’s nuts. I have no issues cruising for hours at 75-80mph, just because watching my fuel gauge drop at much more than that makes me cry… I did that once in my sports car. Did a 2.5 hour drive in 1.75 or so at speeds up to 135mph. Gas tank was almost empty on arrival. Did the drive back at 75mph and had over half a tank left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Keep in mind the speed limit on these roads is 75, and last time I was written a ticket in Texas the minimum ticketable offense checkbox was "Exceeding the speed limit by more than 10%" that means that technically 82.5mph or less out here isnt even a ticketable offense.

In reality out here I have watched my wife MANY times do 95mph past turnaround parked cops that I assume were checking speeds, and they didnt even look at her funny, because apparently that was small potatoes.

Dont get me wrong, there is the occasional person poking along at 75 or 80, and everyone piles up behind them until they can get around, but I feel like doing that on a motorcycle is just like playing a game of Russian Roulette to see how long it takes before someone who isnt paying attention runs you over.
 

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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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If you have 32" inseam, try a Valkyrie. Better balance than a VTX1800 at low speed,pretty much identical performance, easiest bike I've ever worked on, and very smooth. The VTX is FI thus could be more a challenge IF you have to deal with it. I suggest you ride both these HW's if you are staying with the brand but I would spend the $$$$ for a ready to go & running units. The excuse "lost interest" doesn't sound like a viable excuse to me.
 

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Hell if you want pull away power and if an 86 1100 is no biggie to you expand a little go a couple years older and and find a V65 Magna. Its very similar to the shadow you currently are looking at. It will flat leave the shadow in a cloud of dust in a hurry! Its probably quicker off the line than the 1800 VTX. Its light and nimble and fast as hell! But at a continuous 90 mph on any 1100 is gonna be buzzy and massage your hands. The V4 is smoother than the twin for sure.


Thats a hotrod!
 

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quick side-question: does it HAVE to be a cruiser?
Because from what you describe, you want a motorcycle for fun, for some quick trips, a bike that's comfy but also able to pull off the occasional highway stint, etc.

for that, a naked standard or a sports-tourer would be the optimum choice.

There's a reason why I have been riding VFRs for years before I bought a second bike, the Shadow 1100.

I totally understand if money is a factor (it was for me as a student and still is). But Honda made some great bikes. Like the VFR-line. I rode a modern fuel injected VFR 800 with Vtec that I got at the 1:1 price what I sold my Shadow 750 Ace for. Then I went on to a CBF 1000 (best bike Honda made. The perfect allrounder. Reliable, powerful, awesome torque, easy maintenance. It was my only means of transportation for 2 years).
But then I went with a VFR 750 and added a Honda Shadow to it. Trust me, good, superb VFRs can be had for very, very little money these days if you're willing to wait a bit and look for a good example. Most important thing when buying used is the previous owner, and doubly so with the VFR. If he maintained it well and the VFR is already at 60k miles or more, if there ever were much problems, most of them will have occured by now.

I bought my VFR with 110k km (like 70k miles) and it still runs like new. 100HP out of that V4 are awesome and the engine is so smooth and refined, the bike sits at 90mph all day long. When accelerating from 60 to 100 mph, I don't really notice any difference except the speedo-needle rising. The engine doesnt vibrate more, the wind doesnt get much worse. If you askl me, the VFR is the best bike Honda ever made, period.
 

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1) would you buy that project for $2400-$2600 if you were in the market for a cruiser you would ride around town and on long freeway trips at 90+?

2) it is just more of a concern with how much I may have to spend on stock parts to get it back to where it could ride and handle like it was supposed to when it came from the factory.

3) The 1800 VTX would be a much longer project, but it is also one I would probably keep for many years once I got it where I wanted it.
1) If I was a young man like you, and I already had a bike to ride while I completed the transformation on the 'project' bike, and storage and work space were not a factor, then yes, I would take it on. Then either keep or flip the Shadow to help cover cost when the project was finished.

2) I do understand that. Things start off simple enough, and then out of the blue, it cost more than expected to finish.

3) I agree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
quick side-question: does it HAVE to be a cruiser?
Because from what you describe, you want a motorcycle for fun, for some quick trips, a bike that's comfy but also able to pull off the occasional highway stint, etc.

for that, a naked standard or a sports-tourer would be the optimum choice.

There's a reason why I have been riding VFRs for years before I bought a second bike, the Shadow 1100.

I totally understand if money is a factor (it was for me as a student and still is). But Honda made some great bikes. Like the VFR-line. I rode a modern fuel injected VFR 800 with Vtec that I got at the 1:1 price what I sold my Shadow 750 Ace for. Then I went on to a CBF 1000 (best bike Honda made. The perfect allrounder. Reliable, powerful, awesome torque, easy maintenance. It was my only means of transportation for 2 years).
But then I went with a VFR 750 and added a Honda Shadow to it. Trust me, good, superb VFRs can be had for very, very little money these days if you're willing to wait a bit and look for a good example. Most important thing when buying used is the previous owner, and doubly so with the VFR. If he maintained it well and the VFR is already at 60k miles or more, if there ever were much problems, most of them will have occured by now.

I bought my VFR with 110k km (like 70k miles) and it still runs like new. 100HP out of that V4 are awesome and the engine is so smooth and refined, the bike sits at 90mph all day long. When accelerating from 60 to 100 mph, I don't really notice any difference except the speedo-needle rising. The engine doesnt vibrate more, the wind doesnt get much worse. If you askl me, the VFR is the best bike Honda ever made, period.
Id like to keep my legs forward, somewhere around 90 90 on hips and knees, because I feel like that most comfortable for me, but I am not super attached to a specific type, although I do like the more naked/cruiser look, full faring is not out of the question.

Somewhere between these 2 I feel like I could make a hilarious naked bike:

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire


 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Hell if you want pull away power and if an 86 1100 is no biggie to you expand a little go a couple years older and and find a V65 Magna. Its very similar to the shadow you currently are looking at. It will flat leave the shadow in a cloud of dust in a hurry! Its probably quicker off the line than the 1800 VTX. Its light and nimble and fast as hell! But at a continuous 90 mph on any 1100 is gonna be buzzy and massage your hands. The V4 is smoother than the twin for sure.


Thats a hotrod!
I have considered that, but they are kinda known to have soft cams, and it seems like they were bought by people who used them hard. Honestly if this one was closer I would go look at it, but it is like a 7 hour drive:

Automotive lighting Font Steering wheel Automotive design Screenshot


I shot this guy a message, but I havent heard back yet:

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Automotive lighting
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
1) If I was a young man like you, and I already had a bike to ride while I completed the transformation on the 'project' bike, and storage and work space were not a factor, then yes, I would take it on. Then either keep or flip the Shadow to help cover cost when the project was finished.
Hmmm, how negatively do you think that wheel and tire choice he made will effect handling? Could I ride it like a stock bike with that setup? Or would I have to track down the stock swingarm and wheels then convert it back?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I am actually kinda liking the idea of a 1994-2003 VF750C Magna, a slightly relaxed VFR engine in cruiser, and they seem relatively affordable, big downside I see is lack of fuel injection, but meh, cant have everything.

Anyone have any thoughts on how one would work for my needs? I know they can pull pretty hard, not sure how they do on the freeway for long periods.
 

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Hey Joel,

From your writings, it is apparent that you already have an inkling of an idea in which direction you want to take your next motorcycle purchase for interstate cruising, so, I bow out.

I could expand on the questions that you last asked of me but it would serve no purpose with you tipping your hat in the direction you want to go.

Peace out brother,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Hey Joel,

From your writings, it is apparent that you already have an inkling of an idea in which direction you want to take your next motorcycle purchase for interstate cruising, so, I bow out.

I could expand on the questions that you last asked of me but it would serve no purpose with you tipping your hat in the direction you want to go.

Peace out brother,
John
Honestly, I am still undecided. Just saving up and getting a VTX1800 is probably the best route, but at heart I am a cheepskate, and I keep looking around for deals near me. I was honestly considering just saying screw it, and picking up a $500-700 1300 VTX for now.

Not sure if that VTX 1800 project I linked will work well for me or not, I do know he DOESNT have the stock wheels or rear swingarm. I would still like your advice on that if you are willing to give it.

I know the VTX 1800 is a solid bike, and I am sure the weight is fine, I mean I am a HUGE guy, and it is a fuel injected Honda. It would doubtless be a great choice for me.

I think I am a bit bleh about it, because I have absoutely no attachment to VTwins, for me they are just a relic of days gone by for when you wanted to the most head separation you could get for air cooling reasons.

Dont get me wrong, there are companies that do an excellent job at them, and I quite firmly believe Honda could make just about any engine platform sit up and dance if they wanted to. Its just an outdated platform that is only used because people like they way they look and sound, neither which I care about in the least.

I think the problem is that what I want is just not one of the mainstream choices, and just might not even exist.

Id love a larger, comfortable, efficient, fuel injected, upright seating position standard/naked/cruiser that is capable of cruising all day at 90ish and quickly pulling up to about 110 or 120 when required, that doesnt scream "I AM A SUPERSPORT BIKE THAT IS PROBABLY DOING SOMETHING ILLEGAL". A Japaneese i4, ABS, and Honda would be a plus.

I dont care about sound, except I would like it quiet, chrome is just a pain, tassels, underlighting and fancy artwork are all just useles junk as far as I am concerned.

I think that is a part of my problem, the things that many other people think are the most important in motorcycles just seem of no importance to me.
 

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. . . my wife normally sets her cruise control at on that road for 2 hours each way every time she drives to Houston in her dead stock 2014 Ford Edge to get her hair and nails done with her mom.
Where’s that put you? Lake Jackson? El Campo? Columbus? Port O’Connor? I only ask because I moved from Houston 2-3 years ago.

The VTX1300 is a nice bike also. You say you are still relatively new to riding, so I don’t know if I’d go the VTX1800 route quite yet. JMHO

Have you considered a Kawasaki Vulcan? Or something comparable? Just throwing it out there.

 

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Think I know the cause of the gas crisis now… 🙄 That’s nuts. I have no issues cruising for hours at 75-80mph, just because watching my fuel gauge drop at much more than that makes me cry… I did that once in my sports car. Did a 2.5 hour drive in 1.75 or so at speeds up to 135mph. Gas tank was almost empty on arrival. Did the drive back at 75mph and had over half a tank left.
Yep, my Spirit 1100 gets about 42 mpg at up to 80 mph. At 85 mph the mpg starts dropping rapidly. I can only imagine going even faster would suck the little tank dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Where’s that put you? Lake Jackson? El Campo? Columbus? Port O’Connor? I only ask because I moved from Houston 2-3 years ago.
Victoria actually

The VTX1300 is a nice bike also. You say you are still relatively new to riding, so I don’t know if I’d go the VTX1800 route quite yet. JMHO

Have you considered a Kawasaki Vulcan? Or something comparable? Just throwing it out there.

In a nutshell out here around Victoria the actual freeway speed is often 85-90 in the slow lane. I have a 1100 Shadow Spirit that tops out at maybe 100MPH actual with me on it, but to get from 90-100 is super slow. The problem I have is this puts me in a bit of a dangerous bind, I am barely fast enough to cruise in the right lane even at near max speed, so if someone decides to change lanes into me, I have no acceleration potential to drop down a gear and scoot forward out of their way. That Vulcan you linked is almost the same HP as my Shadow, and more than 200lbs heavier, so it wouldnt be a good choice.

Basically my 1100 Shadow Spirit is simply to slow to safely keep up with traffic, so I need something different. The VTX 1300 would probably work, if just barely, but the 1800 would be more adequate for the job, is fuel injected (1300 is carbed), and they are often nearly the same price.
 

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Are you sure your 1100 is tuned right? Im not a big guy but my 1100 spirit still has plenty of pull even 2 up (together we are over 300 lbs) to keep up or pass anyone I need to on the highway. Its bone stock except for pipes, a K&N air filter and 1 step up on the pilot jets. It will never win a race against my wing but the wing has 4 more cylinders. The wing doesn't have much more "rideable" top end than the Shadow. Sure i can get the speedo well above 100 but is not a comfortable ride. It settles in nicely at about 90 which is a good open straight road cruise speed. Above that it feels a little choppy and I think its more due to road surface than the bikes capabilities. The shadow will cruise at 85(on the guage) all day and I can twist the throttle sleeve and she pulls pretty hard. Yeah its buzzy but so is my wing at that speed. If you have someone changing lanes into you then decelerating and falling in behind is a better and quicker move (in my experience). That person will just keep pushing you if you get in front of them. I've had my Shadow on several occasions 9 hours plus at 85-90 (speedo). Once fully loaded with camping gear. Never felt unsafe or under powered. Jus sayin
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Are you sure your 1100 is tuned right? Im not a big guy but my 1100 spirit still has plenty of pull even 2 up (together we are over 300 lbs) to keep up or pass anyone I need to on the highway. Its bone stock except for pipes, a K&N air filter and 1 step up on the pilot jets.
The bike runs great, K&N filter, stock exhaust, stock jets, well cleaned carb, good flowing gas. It just wasnt designed to do what I am asking of it. It was made when 55mph was a pretty normal speed limit, and designed for one or two normal sized people. However, I am trying to push it to 100-110 on the gauge just to keep up with traffic out here and I am 360lbs and have a torso like a barn door. Extra weight doesn't make much difference for max speed on flat ground, but extra frontal area does. Two normal sized people who equal my weight lined up would be significantly less frontal area, and significantly less drag at those speeds.

If you have someone changing lanes into you then decelerating and falling in behind is a better and quicker move (in my experience). That person will just keep pushing you if you get in front of them. I've had my Shadow on several occasions 9 hours plus at 85-90 (speedo). Once fully loaded with camping gear. Never felt unsafe or under powered. Jus sayin
Sure, braking is fine if no one is coming up behind you, but if someone is tailgating or rushing up behind you it can go terribly too. It is good to have multiple escape options. Also, I meant people who change lanes into you without looking, not people who are just being assholes and actively trying to kill you, but could work for both.

As I said before:

My max speed when tucking some into the wind with the throttle pinned wide open in 4th gear pushing for everything I am worth is about the same speed my wife normally sets her cruise control at on that road for 2 hours each way every time she drives to Houston in her dead stock 2014 Ford Edge to get her hair and nails done with her mom.
 

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No thanks, I have made it 41 years without once going to jail, I would like to continue that trend.

Although now that you say that a Hayabusa can cruise at 90 in the second of 6 gears with plenty of go left to accelerate quickly... And it does weigh about the same as a Shadow.....Hmmmmm....

Seriously though, I actually stopped by the one local motorsports dealer we have in town, and sat on a few bikes, and just out of curiosity I sat on a Hayabusa... I recently heard someone describe a Hayabusa as what Suzuki engineers in the 90s came up with to beat the CBRR while blasted on coke and pounding NIN songs on 11. Just sitting on it stationary in a showroom, I could believe that.
My Versys 1000 will cruise 90 at approx half throttle and has better ergonomics (more upright riding position) than the 'busa. Still might be a bit cramped for you, Go sit on the different ones. Mine has peg lowering blocks, Corbin seat and handlebar risers to spread me out more..

What I think you need is a Valkyrie :


Edit: Or the newer F6B naked Goldwing. Ridden my friend's a few times, for my skinny butt, it's sorta like climb on, wander around and find a place to sit. smooth as silk at highway speeds. (once you fix the windshield. not that hard.)
 
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