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Hey yall, Ive been riding scooters for about 5 yrs and am looking for something bigger. Looking for more of a cruiser style bike, not sporty and not a big café racer or bobber fan. I love the look and feel of Shadows, but will likely be buying from city auction and wont be able to sit on it first. The plan is if Im not comfortable with the bike to flip it and try again. Not set on shadows bc I want a good beginner bike, once Im more confidant I can always upgrade. Im on the smaller side, 5’7 125 lbs, and looking for more opinions from riders. Anyone had a shadow as their first bike? Thoughts? Feel free to throw around year for reference, but generally are they top heavy? Lightweight or not so much? I want a low center of gravity and enough weight that I don’t get blown around the highway but not so much that I cant get her up if (when) I drop it. Also looking at Yamaha Bolts and Indian Scouts, have eliminated Harley Sportster (for now..) Thanks in advice!
 

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2019 Honda Shadow 750 Aero
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I can't believe that you're going to be able to find any of those bikes at a city auction and even if you did, they'd be crap or wrecked. I for one would love to see what you come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can't believe that you're going to be able to find any of those bikes at a city auction and even if you did, they'd be crap or wrecked. I for one would love to see what you come up with.
I definitely understand why you would think that! We've bought a number of vehicles this way, but this will be the first bike. We always call to find out the story of the vehicle we're interested in, just recently my dad bought his service truck this way bc it had been stolen, paid off through insurance, and then found. Insurance companies have no use for them, so they send them to auction and get a couple hundred bucks for it. =)
 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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I think a Shadow for a first bike would be fine. These are very controllable bikes which react well to your input. They are a little heavy but not that much. I have a 200cc which weighs about 280lbs, a 600cc 434lbs, my 1100 Spirit around 560lbs. For an 1100cc I think it is relatively lite. To me the Spirit feels very well balanced, not high or low on the balance point. My Dad has a Vulcan 900 and to me it felt like you have to work the bars to get the bike to turn. The Spirit just seems to flow through turns effortlessly. Since you have been riding scooters you shouldn't have too much of an issue with more bike.
 

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Well, since you've ridden scooters, I'd not consider you a beginner. Just have to learn to use a clutch and shift. I'm sure there will be times you forget to pull the clutch in when stopping etc.

As for the Shadows, I'm partial to the 98-03 750 Ace for your situation. It's probably the all round easiest-to-ride motorcycle for you. New enough to still get most parts, decent fuel mileage. Not too heavy, Yet capable of week+ trips if you get the urge. Had mine for around 12 years and can't bring myself to sell it even though I have 2 other bikes and got my 1st "big" bike in 1975.

One of the VLX 600 Shadows may also be a choice given your height/weight.. Even easier to ride I imagine, never been on one.

Much older than 98 and there could be parts availability issues.

As always, bottom line is buy the bike YOU like. Not what someone else likes. Also, Note my signature line.

Nice VW btw,
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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I'd give a vote for the 750 ACE too, the pegs are not as far forward as some, reasonably low seat height, it is quite a versatile bike, anything it does there are bikes that do it better but the combinations it covers are very good.
It is quite predictable, no wheelies, but good enough acceleration, good enough brakes, good enough speed for highways, heavy enough not to get blown around, reasonable gas mileage, reliable and easy to find new or used parts for, and of course they look good too.
I'm coming up to year 7 on mine, it has provided good entertainment and while I've got the new bike itch, I'm not planning on getting rid of this one.
 

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Then again, you could look at it like a TV. If you don't have one, even a 13" black and white is better than none ;)

Just keep in mind though, throwing more than a few $$$ at a 13" black and white TV is not a sound financial decision.
 

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depending on where u live, this is a great time to buy a bike as it is the off season. You can find a great bike at excellent prices if you take ur time and look online at various sites. people buy bikes....then don't ride them....keep in mind that a bike that has just sat and sat is not a good thing. As well keep in mind, it could be difficult o find parts for older bikes and some dealership service areas wont work on old bikes.....points to keep in mind. With bikes, you def need to sit on them, as they do have different feels. Take ur time and do some online research and you may be suprised on what you can find. If ur heart is set on a shadow,,,,join some Shadow FB groups and post what ur looking for, you may be suprised.....craigslist...cycletrader....
 

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my ACE was my first bike, a 2001 model vt750cd. rode it for 7 years. pretty reliable machine as far as chain driven carbureted v-twins go.
took it on some long highway trips on the east coast. 750 had plenty of acceleration for just myself even after I dropped the sprocket tooth count in the rear but was lacking in power when riding 2 up. also not the best bike for high speed riding but great for around town cruising under 65. rpm's were comfortable around 3k if I remember correctly.
if I got another shadow it would probably be a shaft driven fuel injected so I don't have to worry about the idle jets clogging up
 

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I'm coming up to year 7 on mine, it has provided good entertainment and while I've got the new bike itch, I'm not planning on getting rid of this one.
A lot of good comments on this thread. When OP says start with a Shadow and then "upgrade" that was my thought as well when I purchased my first bike 4-5 years ago. I bought a 99 Shadow ACE 750. I've grown to love that bike and I know there are bigger and newer bikes It's hard for me to say "upgrade", instead maybe I'll have an addition to my garage :D. As CSRoad says "I'm not planning on getting rid of this one"

To the OP, good luck I hope you find great bike. Hopefully you'll add an update to your thread!
 

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2003 VT1100C Spirit
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Howdy sunflower7!

Our '03 VT1100C Spirit was my wife's first bike. (Hence, D's Spirit as in Dena's Spirit.) It's a bigger bike with a low center of gravity and a low seat height. She had never piloted a motorcycle before and took to riding the bike pretty quick.
Since last October, D's Spirit has become my son's first time road bike. He's been riding off road motorcycles since he was 9 years old, so he took to street riding like it was nothing. He loves the way the Spirit feels and is comfortable having his girlfriend ride pillion with him.

Also, pre-owned Shadows are quite the deal wether you find them through an auction or on Craig's list.

Happy shopping!

🛵
 

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I owed, rode, and toured/camped on a scooter for years. Great fun, but as I got the touring bug I needed something that could handle highways and longer distances.
That's why I switched to motorcycles.

So I've been there and done that.

My thoughts:

Yes, you bought trucks etc., from auctions before, but almost anyone can adjust a seat in any car or truck to fit them.
With motorcycles....It ain't necessarily so.
Scooters have step-through mounting. Bikes don't...Ya gotta throw a leg over. Bikes with higher saddle heights may be downright uncomfortable to ride and you might end up only being able to get your toes on the ground while sitting on them. I had to pass on the first two motorcycles I tried because of this.

Motorcycles (and scooters) have less of everything between you and trouble than a car: Less wheels, traction, brakes, etc.. Hell, I've seen a wheel roll of a car and the dude driving was still able to safely pull off the road because he had three more. If you're a fixer-upper, fine. Fix 'er up. But if you're not you may be purchasing a risk you don't want to accept.

The point I'm eventually getting around to...eventually :sneaky: ...Is that I'd be reluctant to buy a motorcycle until I had a chance to sit in the saddle first.

Even though I prefer used bikes, I also prefer to get them from a reputable dealer where I can try before I buy, have a good feeling that the bike has been well looked over, and have some security knowing that there's at least some sort of warranty. The first motorcycle I tried and purchased refused to start again the moment I got it home. I called the dealer, they trailered it back to the shop, found and fixed the issue all for free. That's not going to happen at an auction.
This forum and all the others are chock full of people who got great deals on someone's bike and are spending their riding days trying to get them to work.

The Shadow 600VLX is a great bike to transition to from a scooter.
Relatively light with a low saddle height and, with the exception of the easy "three yellow wire" fix, reliable as all get out.

And although it's considered by some "not me" as a beginner bike, you can take it anywhere and not outgrow it for years to come.
I put tens of thousands of commuting, joy riding, and touring miles on one and only gave it up, reluctantly, when I just plain wore it out. Sad. :cautious:
 

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^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^ What he said!
 
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What about a Honda Rebel? They are smaller and still look really cool. Especially the newer ones.
You could probably find some of these bikes used at a bike shop just to get a feel for how they fit you before you start throwing money around.
 

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A Honda Rebel is a cheap but great little cruiser if you have never ridden a motorcycle. Scooters dont count. I rode a Kymco people and a bike is another beast. To start you have gears and a clurch as well as more power. Now thats not to say that there are big boy scooters as well. But a motorcycle sits, rides and handles different.

Now a Honda Shadow is also a good pick and what I ride now. An 02 Shadow Spirit VT750DC with a lot of custom adjustments. But i took the class on a rebel. If you can get one in a size big enough for you, its a good start. Eventually you will want to keep up on the highway and go up to a bigger bike. I often wish my 750 was an 1100 but I cant afford an upgrade right now plus I love what I have. Visit some motorcycle shops and browse. Dont let a sales guy rope you into anything. Just get a feel for different styles. Laid back, feet in front up high or down low? Hunched forward or arms up high? Enjoy the search, take your time.
 

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Hey yall, Ive been riding scooters for about 5 yrs and am looking for something bigger. Looking for more of a cruiser style bike, not sporty and not a big café racer or bobber fan. I love the look and feel of Shadows, but will likely be buying from city auction and wont be able to sit on it first. The plan is if Im not comfortable with the bike to flip it and try again. Not set on shadows bc I want a good beginner bike, once Im more confidant I can always upgrade. Im on the smaller side, 5’7 125 lbs, and looking for more opinions from riders. Anyone had a shadow as their first bike? Thoughts? Feel free to throw around year for reference, but generally are they top heavy? Lightweight or not so much? I want a low center of gravity and enough weight that I don’t get blown around the highway but not so much that I cant get her up if (when) I drop it. Also looking at Yamaha Bolts and Indian Scouts, have eliminated Harley Sportster (for now..) Thanks in advice!
Get the shadow phantom 2015 or newer apprx. $4k.
low center gracity - CHECK
Wont get blown around like Japanese match box cars on highway - CHECK
Beginner rider/bike - CHECK
Looks “hip” & stylus for any age/rider - CHECK
Drop it & pick it up - CHECK
Plethora of Parts to modify - CHECK

Good Luck
5’7” 180lbs
2015 Honda Phantom
2005 Suzuki 250
 

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I'm 5'8 160lbs I got 2011 750 shadow spirit.I check a 750shadow aero same year both bikes had the feel hieght...... in what I wanted the only difference was the look the aero a really nice old school look nothing wrong with that but I wanted the sporty look of the spirit .I didn't get around to the ace the spirit got me.let the bike get you that's when you get the right one.
 

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I'm Bias, lol I'm 6'4" 250lbs and have my 1985 Honda Shadow VT500 set up for 1 rider The back Sissy bar bag points forward and it's great to lean my lower back against lol. Since your just coming off a scooter I'd suggest a 500cc or 750. But the 750 might be to powerful for you compared to your scooters. And even with the wet weight of my bike and my weight I still get blown around on the freeway every once in a while.
Honda Shadow.jpg
Honda 2.jpg
Honda 3.jpg


I picked this one up in Northern California for $1,400.00 with the Original 12,670 miles on it back in March 2020 off of Craigslist. The handlebars was bent, the shifter was bent, the left foot peg was bent, he had the wrong Front master brake on it took about $300.00 to get it right. So there out there just got to look everywhere for a good one.
 

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Hey Sunflower. I am 72 years old and retired. I sold both my dirt bike and road bikes when my daughter was born in 1980.

In 2005, I began to notice my neighbor going out on his bike each evening when he got off work. He said it helped him unwind. I missed those evening rides and was thinking about getting a bike again. I mentioned it to my wife and she suggested that I check on Craigslist and find a used bike and see if I still enjoyed riding. I found a 99 Shadow 600 VLX and I loved it. It was light for a cruiser, has the lowest seat height of any of the Shadows and was a blast to ride. It is probably not the best for long distance riding but if you are coming from a scooter then your are probably looking for something easy to ride that is bigger to commute on and they are great for that.

FWIW, I would recommend one if you can find one. They are reliable, trouble free and they were sold until 2007. I just got my 2007 this Fall for $2000 and it is $100 a year to insure.

This is my 99 VLX when I first got back to riding in 2005.
1999 Shadow VLX.jpg

This is a picture of my current VLX.
07 VLX.JPG
 

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The new ones are completely different beasts than the 80s Shadows, Nightrider. A friend of mine sold a bike identical to yours for a newer 750 Shadow. He was really disappointed! Found it down on power and way worse handling. I’d mentioned that to him, but neither of us thought the difference would be THAT pronounced.
 
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