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So a little backstory, i work a moving job and a customer gave my friend a 86 shadow vt1100, he said it had sat for 6 years and needed a new battery and a tune up. The owner told my friend he would send him the title in the mail but ultimately it never came. He gave it to me since i still work the moving job and would have a better chance at getting in contact with the owner. Ive since put a new battery in there and it turned right on, it cranks but wont turn over. The gas tank wont close and is rusted pretty bad, as well as the exhaust. I checked the oil hoping it wouldnt have any but it did and it was pitch black. It shouldnt be too hard getting the title, the owner was considerably old though. Even with no title and its condition i think nothing beats free. This is my first bike so what all do i do now?
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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15,904 Posts
Probably clean the carbs since the gas was so bad in the tank.
If you spray some carb cleaner or starting fluid into the air filter inlet and it starts for a few seconds that rules out electrical at least. Make sure the kill switch is ON.
 

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2003 VT1100C Spirit
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342 Posts
Howdy FreeShadow1100!

Replace all fluids (including brake fluid). Probably replace the tires -- even though they may have decent tread, they have definitely aged out. Lube everything.

Download or buy a Honda shop repair manual and an owner's manual.

Have fun!
 

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I would work on getting the title first. Without that, it’s probably not worth the trouble to fix up. Replacing titles can get pricey.
 

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1983 VT500C
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646 Posts
The title thing also kinda depends on where you live...
If you live in certain states like Alabama...it's easier.
Mechanic's Lien's are also a good way to get a title...but you have to create a biz first.
My particular bit was a Motorcycle Towing biz with Salvage Yard...used a Ford Courier
with a motorcycle stop in the bed and a big ramp...and a shed in my backyard...
worked great in Florida back in the day for doing Mechanic's Liens & then title apps.
Took about 90 days to get one that way back then with the proper paperwork.

The other trick is to get the engine running, then find a bike with a dead engine
with a good title & swap engines. Used to do a lot of that in the 80's & 90's...lol
Not real hard to find an 1100 with a dead engine these days.
 
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