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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody!

My name is Tim, and I'm new to the bike world. Ever since I was a kid, bikes have intrigued me, particularly cruisers-turned-bobbers. Unfortunately, I've never been able to get one for myself.

Fast-forward to present day, I've getting closer and closer to the reality of me getting a bike. Originally, I was looking at Rebels. Seeing that I'm 5'6", 150lbs, and have no riding experience; the Rebel seemed like a fitting choice. But everybody I talk to tells me that I'd grow out of the 250cc very quickly. Which leads me here...

The Shadow seems like the next step up from its little brother. It seems as though prices and parts availability is pretty well too. Add that to Honda reliability, and you have a solid pick.

So what are you guys' thoughts on the Shadow for my situation? Is it a good fit? Too big/little for a guy like me?

Thanks!
-tim
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Thread Revival!

Hi all! So after ~4 years of lurking on this website dreaming of bikes, I've finally acquired a Shadow today! But before I get there, I should tell you my journey prior to getting the Shadow.

So growing up, I've always wanted two kinds of bikes: 1.) an old school vintage bike turned cafe racer; and 2.) a Honda Shadow stripped down into a bobber. Well back in 2013, I stumbled upon a gem of a bike. A 1975 Honda CB550 that was owned by widow's late husband. It was sitting in their barn since 1997 untouched. I got it for a player price, trailered it home, popped in new spark plugs, new gas, a new battery, and BOOM - she fired right up!

Well over the years, life happened and I couldn't work on the bike as quickly as I wanted to. But over the years I've slowly been acquiring the parts I envisioned for the CB550 and I am determined to finish her within the next year or two! I should also note that while I've been excited and anxious to get my cafe racer project moving (albeit a snail-like pace), I've always had a yearning for a Shadow too..

So fast forward to March of 2017. The snow is gone in MN and Spring is in the air up here. The itch for a Shadow grew stronger to the point that I found myself lurking Craigslist, forums, ebay, and other sites for a Shadow. I find this red 1999 Shadow VLX Deluxe that catches my eye, but it's out of my price range. I'm an honest man though, so I was upfront with the seller on my situation and what I can afford. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a mutually agreed upon number. So I end up picking up a second job and kept the seller in the loop on my situation and how I'm trying to save up. Anyways, they lower the price to accommodate my hard work and persistence, and I drove a couple of hours out this morning and picked this red beauty up!

So as you can imagine, I am elated to have the two bikes I've always dreamed of as a kid. Now that my stable is full, it's time to begin grooming (read: modifying) my steeds. Stay tuned as things progress!

Cheers,
-Tim
 

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Nice looking bikes. Welcome back to the forum. Don't wait another 4 years to update us in your progress.


Sitting on my Shadow making vroom vroom noises.
 

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Welcome in Tim. I'm just across the river in St. Paul. Back to your original post, I'm a little bigger than you, but started with a 750 Shadow. If it weren't for my height & long legs, I would still have it. I went up to a Valkyrie fall of 2014, simply for comfort & power (in that order). Your CB is going to be a rocket once you're done! The Shadow will be slower, but just as enjoyable with a few changes.

First, expect you're going to hate the seat. It seems everybody does. There are good aftermarket seats available, sometimes through the forum. The best purchase I made for my Shadow was a brand new Corbin seat. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny.

Second, if you're going to ride on the side streets, you're all set. If you want to take it on the freeways or out of town, you're going to want to replace the rear sprocket with a slightly smaller one. I want to say the VLX sprocket of choice is a 39T? I think? Check with some of the other VLX owners before you buy something, though.

Since you're in Minneapolis, once you get riding, check out Bob's Java on Lyndale on weekend mornings. There's usually a good group of guys who launch rides from that spot and I've had good luck in the past jumping in with them to get some miles down on a nice Sunday with nothing else happening. Hoping to do the same over the next few months & maybe I'll see you there.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Welcome to the forum. Nice to have a balance between fast black and racing red.
 

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2001 Valkyrie I/S
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Welcome Tim.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the warm welcomes guys!

Welcome in Tim. I'm just across the river in St. Paul. Back to your original post, I'm a little bigger than you, but started with a 750 Shadow. If it weren't for my height & long legs, I would still have it. I went up to a Valkyrie fall of 2014, simply for comfort & power (in that order). Your CB is going to be a rocket once you're done! The Shadow will be slower, but just as enjoyable with a few changes.

First, expect you're going to hate the seat. It seems everybody does. There are good aftermarket seats available, sometimes through the forum. The best purchase I made for my Shadow was a brand new Corbin seat. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny.

Second, if you're going to ride on the side streets, you're all set. If you want to take it on the freeways or out of town, you're going to want to replace the rear sprocket with a slightly smaller one. I want to say the VLX sprocket of choice is a 39T? I think? Check with some of the other VLX owners before you buy something, though.

Since you're in Minneapolis, once you get riding, check out Bob's Java on Lyndale on weekend mornings. There's usually a good group of guys who launch rides from that spot and I've had good luck in the past jumping in with them to get some miles down on a nice Sunday with nothing else happening. Hoping to do the same over the next few months & maybe I'll see you there.

@jwinker, thanks for the kind words and awesome suggestions/recommendations! Yeah, the CB550 is a fun one. I love how it kickstarts and is just a coldblooded machine! Mid-controls are super comfortable for me too. The parts I've acquired include but are not limited to: AGM battery, regulator/rectifier, dyno electric ignition, clip on bars, tapered steering bearings, UNI pods, larger jets, 4-into-1 exhaust. I've installed half the stuff already, I just have to finish it now and clean her up!

With the Shadow seat, I'm still toying with how I'm going to make my "Phase 1" vision a reality. I'm wanting a rear short seat cowl that's welded to the frame and have it serve as the base of where a small solo seat would sit. I have a friend that does leatherwork, so she'd likely fabricate it up for me.

On the other hand, I have a "Phase 2" in mind as well, where there's no rear fender at all. The mid section of the bike (where the mono shock sits) would be cleaned up and fully exposed. This would require a seat attached only from the front by the tank side to give it a floating look. This requires more work and can wait awhile. I plan to just enjoy Phase 1 for now. :cool:

As for the smaller sprocket, I may very much have to look into that! While I do most of my riding zipping around the Twin Cities, I have a summer goal of riding up the North Shore and camping out there. A smaller sprocket would likely be beneficial there.

Bob's Java. Got it. Maybe I will see you there some time! :smile2:

-Tim
 

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Hi Tim,

Welcome to the forum.....again. Way back in the day, I had a CB550F. I picked it up used from someone to go with my CB350F Four, and a Sportster. I remember that bike was one of the ugliest I've ever owned or seen. It was Solid Orange! Everything was stock. I remember going out riding all day long with a date on the back, and we were riding along about 85mph, when a bunch of sport bikes whirred by us like we were standing still. I honestly liked that bike, but after being embarrassed like that, I sold that CB550F for more than I paid......if memory serves it was $450. Wow, I wish I had it back now. Oddly enough, I have another Orange Honda now, as well as last month's ride of the month.

Have fun with your Cafe Racer conversion, and the Shadow looks very nice!
 

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