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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone :)
I've decided recently that having a bike as an occasional ride to work is a pretty decent idea. Especially in this economy. I have never ridden before except once. Dad had a Nighthawk 650 (I swore it was a 750 but second guessing myself) he let me try it out one day - rode down the street and turned it around (with my feet) and came back. Had a great time though :)

Anyway because of dad's nighthawk I'm shopping beginner Honda's. I like the shadows. My question for you guys is do you believe the shadow 1100 is too heavy for a neon green rider? I prefer the shadow rs 750 honestly. Seems more beginner friendly... but I can find 1100's for much less locally.

For what it's worth I'm 6'0 in boots and 250 dressed.
 

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1997 Honda Shadow ACE VT1100C2
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I am 58 years old. 6'2" and 235lbs. I started riding about 4 years ago on a '97 Shadow ACE VT1100. It's my first and only motorcycle. You should be fine on an 1100. Just take it easy and practice.
 

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2003 VT1100C Spirit
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Howdy rampersandall!

I think you'll be good learning on a Shadow VT1100. My wife did...

Be sure to practice the slow turns and stuff.

Riding a motorcycle into work has it's perks. First...well...you're riding a motorcycle! Great fuel mileage and easy parking figure in as well.

In Austin, Texas, motorcycles and scooters park for free on the streets downtown.

Good luck!
 

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Hello everyone :)
I've decided recently that having a bike as an occasional ride to work is a pretty decent idea. Especially in this economy. I have never ridden before except once. Dad had a Nighthawk 650 (I swore it was a 750 but second guessing myself) he let me try it out one day - rode down the street and turned it around (with my feet) and came back. Had a great time though :)

Anyway because of dad's nighthawk I'm shopping beginner Honda's. I like the shadows. My question for you guys is do you believe the shadow 1100 is too heavy for a neon green rider? I prefer the shadow rs 750 honestly. Seems more beginner friendly... but I can find 1100's for much less locally.

For what it's worth I'm 6'0 in boots and 250 dressed.
To be honest, they all weigh pretty much the same one you get going. The question to you is will it feel intimidating to you? Have you taken a riders course? Have to highly recommend doing that as a first step.

Something to think about. Riding a motorcycle won't save you one red cent. What do I mean by that? Do the math:
Cost of bike.
Annual registration.
Insurance.
Have you seen the price of bike tires? They don't last that long either.
And lastly, when on a bike you'll tend to stretch a ten mile trip out to a thirty mile trip. It's just the nature of the beast.

Buy a bike because you want one and you think it'll be fun.

My .02 cents anyway. Let us know what you decide on.
 
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As a commuter bike I would prefer something smaller ie I do prefer the VT750 (although my favorite all time was CB450). I really enjoy the smooth powerband of the VT750 and with lower seat, lower weight etc its a good all round bike. Plus a bit less operating cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To be honest, they all weigh pretty much the same one you get going. The question to you is will it feel intimidating to you? Have you taken a riders course? Have to highly recommend doing that as a first step.

Something to think about. Riding a motorcycle won't save you one red cent. What do I mean by that? Do the math:
Cost of bike.
Annual registration.
Insurance.
Have you seen the price of bike tires? They don't last that long either.
And lastly, when on a bike you'll tend to stretch a ten mile trip out to a thirty mile trip. It's just the nature of the beast.

Buy a bike because you want one and you think it'll be fun.

My .02 cents anyway. Let us know what you decide on.
I do want one because I think it'll be fun. Most definitely. And I've always wanted to ride. I have not taken a riders course, but I definitely will. My wife and I talked about this. She wants to learn as well. (She likes the shadow phantom, and the rebel 500 caught her eye) One other idea I've had was to buy her bike first. As it will be smaller than what I'm shopping for and less intimidating, I believe learning to trust the lean, down-shifting, and accelerating out of a turn and such would be a bit more accessible. However we go about this, we definitely want to set ourselves up to ride confidently and safely, and we'll take every course we can.

I disagree with the idea that adding a bike to my modes of travel lineup won't save me some money. I say that knowing full well you are probably right because I do not have any experience here. I'm referring to cost of operating/maintenance. Let me explain.

Yes, there's a considerable cost to entry. The more I drive my car... the more I spend keeping it on the road. For starters I own our vehicles. We're currently not paying any car notes, which is really really nice. I haven't shopped for insurance yet. I couldn't even ballpark what that the difference on my insurance will be. Replacing the tires on my car costs about a grand. They last about 2-3 years. I should change them more frequently, but I can get away with that on a car, not a bike. Oil changes cost me about 20-30 depending on the cost of oil and I do them myself - roughly every 3-4 months. Maybe even more frequently. I spend a hundred dollars a month on gas at a minimum. Double all these figures to account for my wife's car. Adding a bike will not change the cost of anything I already pay, but it will change the frequency. If I only rode to work on nice days (or when I don't have plans to run errands), i could only drive my car once or twice a week. I would kind of have to for any of this to be true. If I do 6 oil changes a year instead of 8, I save almost 60 dollars. I know fuel efficiency and range will very from bike to bike... but for an example, I have a buddy at work with an Indian Springfield. Absolutely beautiful bike. He daily drives it and fills his tank every other week. That's roughly 10 bucks a week - whereas 10 bucks in my Scion will last me 2 days. Tops. Gas and Oil prices alone are my main argument really for "savings". Tires? I don't know how long they last on a bike. I did check out prices for the bikes I am looking at. I prefer the look of white walls on spoked wheels - a new set is a touch under 400 on revzilla. Unless I'm replacing them more than twice in a year there's some room to save still. Also of note - I'm a DIYer. I will spend even MORE buying the tools to handle our maintenance. But again, paying a tech generally costs quite a bit. While buying in is expensive... I joined this forum to give myself as much information as I can find to ensure my initial purchases are wise ones. I'd like to avoid financing a Rebel 250, outgrowing it and rolling the debt over to a "proper" bike.

I will grant you my savings are minimal. And again, I'm well aware I could be completely wrong. but that is how I see it.

Also, we could just forget all that, because - like you suggested, I'm interested because I think it'll be fun. Fun costs money.

I am a bit blessed on registration. I'm a disabled veteran and Texas gives rebates. Considering a move to Arizona (another of my incentives to buy a bike) where I won't pay anything at all to register my vehicles. May or may not happen, work related.

I didn't really get sticker shock until I added up the cost of a full set of starter riding gear. I lost a family member and a good friend to bike accidents, so I am gearing up for all out war with the road. Always always always, wear a helmet at LEAST. Please. The family member was riding at night and didn't see a median. The friend had been drinking and nobody witnessed the accident. I believe gear would have saved their lives. That said, gear or not - I told myself I'd never ride at night. I don't drink and drive and my friend was an absolute idiot for trying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
As a commuter bike I would prefer something smaller ie I do prefer the VT750 (although my favorite all time was CB450). I really enjoy the smooth powerband of the VT750 and with lower seat, lower weight etc its a good all round bike. Plus a bit less operating cost.
How do you like it on the highway? I am interested in the 750's also. I named the Shadow RS in my OP, but I also like the Phantom and Aero 750. I give the 1100 preference because I believe the little bit of added weight would be beneficial on the very tall, very windy bridge on my way to work - and the random 18 wheeler flying past me. I'd like to be thrown around as little as possible. Also being a heavier person I think the 1100 may be more comfortable seat-cushion and suspension wise for me (stock, at least). I weigh 250 clothed, closer to 280 also wearing a layer of gear and packing a lunch or whatever I may be carrying. One day I may have my wife on the back. Who knows.

But yes I'd DEFINITELY prefer the 750 if it's just as capable. Considering they can be purchased for almost the same price I'll most likely go with what I can get for less, at the time. SRK Cycles on YouTube proved the Phantom 750 can carry two grown men just fine. It's not carry capacity I'm considering so much as the effect of the environment on me.

You have excellent taste! Those CB450's are beautiful. I believe the CB77 Superhawk may be a second bike for me one day in the distant future. I just love the look of them.

I mentioned my Dad had a Nighthawk. He rode that thing for 40 years and I've only ever seen him charge the battery (I'm sure he's changed his oil). I am a Honda fan-boy that's never owned one. Dad's CB is the reason I shop Honda's. I like the idea of low and slow so I'm favoring the Shadows. But if he still had his bike I'd probably just take his.
 

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As first bikes I recommend buying pre-owned and a few years older. That way if you dont enjoy riding or the bike is not "right" for you you do not have a lot of depreciation. For instance KBB list price for a 2015 VT750 Phantom is $5,500 whereas the 2014 is $4,800 so if you keep one for a year and decide its not the right one it cost you just $700.

As far as wind, The bike weight is not as much a factor as total mass (or is it volume?) On a VT1100 you are sitting higher so the wind effect on both bikes may be similar. In either case the wind hitting you has a much greater effect that the bike,

VT750 is fine on the highway but 2 up may be a bit cramped. It has a much smoother powerband than the 1100 or 1300. If you are 2 up a lot I would go with the bigger bike.

Tires: How much mileage do you estimate you will do a year? Typically MC tires last between 10,000 and 15,000 miles depending on riding style. I dont know anyone who replaces tires twice a year. I am typically 5 years (lower mileage).

8 oil changes a year? The manual indicates oil/filter change at 8,000 miles or yearly. I change my oil once a year as long as I am under 10,000 miles.

Save some money by DIY and by following the recommended service intervals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Two cars, every three months. That's how I figure 8 per year. I am a little excessive with the changes. Also my scion burns through it like crazy.

I put about 12k a year on my car. Wife a bit more. 2019 was a record for me, I was commuting to the LA border everyday for most of the year. I think I put almost 40k on it that year. These days I work for the usps and have used my own vehicle many MANY times. I get a stipend for vehicle maintenance if I do so.

I definitely intend to do my own oil and tire changes :)
 

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2013 Honda Shadow Phantom 750
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I have a 2013 Phantom 750 and the bike is more than adequate in my opinion for about anything. With that said I am looking at getting a Gold Wing in the future.

My ride to work is around 45 miles one way. My bike averages around 49 MPG so I stop for gas every day and 3/4. My ride has almost all riding conditions from in town to highway speeds.

When pleasure riding on the back roads the bike will get upwards of 60 MPG. MPG on a bike has a lot to do with your wrist than anything else.

I am 5’10” @ 215lbs, and the bike performs well. I have had a passenger once or twice, my girlfriend has her own 2014 Aero 750, and the bike did ok but I prefer 1 up riding. I do not feel like I get blown around on the hi-way, well at least not as bad as I did with my 450 Suzuki, especially when big trucks go by. But there are ways to minimize this that I learned riding the smaller bike years ago. One is to move to the side of your lane furthest from the truck and the other is to add a bit of throttle, the latter works best when you are passing the truck.

There are things out there that you will see others comment on that bother them, referring to the road itself, like road snakes, bridge grating, and where the road surface has been ground to prepare for resurfacing. Keep in mind that once a motorcycle reaches a certain speed it inherently wants to stay upright. Do not let the road conditions bother you, just keep a light grip on the bars and guide the bike where you want it to go. Don’t fight the bike through the condition because you will most likely over correct and make the situation worse.

I have added a windshield that was gifted to me, at first just to try it out. Then I found that it cut the wind noise down and I no longer needed to wear ear plugs, I have tinnitus, but it is also helps with the cold and to some extent with the rain. It is still a windy ride but the wind comes from below and the sides. Wind has never bothered me and I actually prefer no windshield because I like the wind.

For comfort I have added hi-way bars and mounted hi-way pegs to them. I also added a Mustang seat with backrest. And finally I added handlebar riser extensions to bring the handlebars closer to me.

My advise is to try to sit on as many different bikes as you can to find what you feel the most comfortable on, the more comfortable it is to start with the less you will need to do to make it comfortable. My bike was comfortable at first on shorter rides but once the rides got longer the modifications started. This may be the case with any bike especially if you are new to riding.

I have put a bit over 30k miles on my bike since buying it new in 2015. The stock tires lasted just over 10k miles. I then installed a Bridgestone Batlax rear tire on the front and a Kenda Cruz on the rear. The Kenda lasted about 18k and I replaced it with a Shinko 777. The Bridgestone is still on the bike with a bit over 20k and still plenty of tread but it looks like it is starting to cup, so it will be changed soon. There is a lot that figures into tire mileage, the bike itself, riding style, and tire compound. I change my own tires so that helps keep the cost down. I also use balance beads and I feel that they help with reducing tire wear.

Good luck with your search,,,

Eric


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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I'd say either is fine, really anything from 500 to 1300 should be OK. Do be aware they quit making the 1100's in 2007 so the future for parts could be an issue IF you needed something. That said, I have a 2000 model 1100T and a 2003 750 Ace. still ride both on week+ trips riding 2-up. The 750 gets about 20% better fuel mileage. The 1100 is better for the interstate, but who wants to ride there? If you've seen 50 miles of interstate, you've pretty much seen it all.
 
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I have a 2001 VT750 ACE and I absolutely love it. I am learning on that bike but I don't do the interstate unless I have to. Here in NH it more about the backroad highways and the scenery.
 

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I agree with many that buying used is the way to go for a first time rider. With that said, that 1100 Rebel sure looks like it could fill the niche Honda has left open by only making 750 Shadows. Moving away from the V-twin is a a smart move. That bike looks much more capable on the open road that any 750.
Anyone test rode one yet?
 

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I would shy away from buying anything that is no longer manufactured. I owned an older Shadow. Loved it... but hated trying to find parts for it. One can talk about Honda reliability all day long but after awhile, anything man made starts to break down and need parts.
I'd rather ride than wrench.
 

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I'm late to this post but thought I'd add my thoughts for anyone researching the Shadow RS.
On the highway it will happily do over the speed limit all day long. I added a windscreen to reduce bufetting. It is heavy enough to not be blown around. Fuel economy is stellar. That being said, passing power is adequate when not in windy conditions, and less than adequate when in a headwind. That is my only complaint with the bike.

How do you like it on the highway? I am interested in the 750's also. I named the Shadow RS in my OP, but I also like the Phantom and Aero 750. I give the 1100 preference because I believe the little bit of added weight would be beneficial on the very tall, very windy bridge on my way to work - and the random 18 wheeler flying past me. I'd like to be thrown around as little as possible. Also being a heavier person I think the 1100 may be more comfortable seat-cushion and suspension wise for me (stock, at least). I weigh 250 clothed, closer to 280 also wearing a layer of gear and packing a lunch or whatever I may be carrying. One day I may have my wife on the back. Who knows.
 

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Hello everyone :)
I've decided recently that having a bike as an occasional ride to work is a pretty decent idea. Especially in this economy. I have never ridden before except once. Dad had a Nighthawk 650 (I swore it was a 750 but second guessing myself) he let me try it out one day - rode down the street and turned it around (with my feet) and came back. Had a great time though :)

Anyway because of dad's nighthawk I'm shopping beginner Honda's. I like the shadows. My question for you guys is do you believe the shadow 1100 is too heavy for a neon green rider? I prefer the shadow rs 750 honestly. Seems more beginner friendly... but I can find 1100's for much less locally.

For what it's worth I'm 6'0 in boots and 250 dressed.
I started a year ago with an 1100. The only time I notice the weight is when I’m walking it backwards out of the garage, careful to keep it balanced. Comfortable ride plenty of power.
 

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One more thing to consider is that if you are going to be using the bike for anything other than riding for fun, like commuting or errands, you might want to factor in the cost of a nice set of saddle bags. That can run a few hundred at minimum, assuming the bike you buy doesn't already have them. And for the record, I have a 2002 VT1100C and it is just fine for me at 200lbs. I don't "need" anything bigger, but I'm thinking of going up to a VTX1800 or other brand with a larger engine at some point.
 
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