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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I just picked up an 86 Shadow 700 for my first bike. I know I want/need to replace the battery, oil and air filters and the fluids. What other basic maintenance should I do? I'm looking into cleaning the carbs, but is there any other sort of standard maintenance? Right now the bike has to be jumped because of the bad battery, but it sounds great and rides good once it is started. This is my first bike so I am brand new to it and I don't know any other riders, so any advice or direction would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Justin
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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17,888 Posts
Get the new battery and if it starts and runs fine leave the cabs alone for now. You could run some Seafoam or other cleaner in the fuel and see if it always runs well.
You might drain any dirty fuel out of the bottom of the carb bowls by loosening the drain screw on each carb .
Check the air cleaner.
Change the oil and filter make sure it is a motorcycle wet clutch approved oil, so you don't have slipping problems.
Change the diff oil 80-90 weight.
Change the coolant.
If the tires are over 6 years old get new ones.
Those don't require valve adjustments so that help a lot.
Look for the 3 yellow wire connection for the charging system, it may be overheated, very common repair.
 

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2001 Shadow Spirit 750
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mrjustinvann. Welcome to the forum from West Chester, PA. We love pics. Enjoy your new bike. Have fun, stay alert and ride often.
 

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Nice! I have an 84 shadow 700 but I also have the clymer manual which has your year in it too so if you need to see something in it just reach out!
It sounds like you're on the right track for the most part with replacing things and swifty is setting you up with good advice.

These older hondas are excellent bikes and you'll love yours as I love mine! If you ever find yourself in Dallas, TX maybe we could ride together!
Stay safe and happy riding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone! Here are pics of the bike. I've got the new battery charging up now. I also went ahead and took off the stickers the previous owner stuck on the tank, and I uninstalled that after market stereo thing. I didn't trust the way it was rigged into the electric system, and I want tt get it set up really nice and clean and close as I can to stock. Though with the scratches it's got I am thinking of giving it a new blackout paint job, but I'll decide on that after it is running good and clean.
I've got another noob question: The space under the seat is full of dust and road grime. Can I go ahead and wash that out with regular car wash and a garden hose?
Wheel Fuel tank Tire Automotive tire Automotive lighting

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting

Fuel tank Tire Vehicle Wheel Helmet

Photograph Automotive lighting Automotive tire Light Hood

Tire Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle
 

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'83 VT750C
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You and @MerlesDoor should grab a download of the Honda Service manual from on here. Better than the Clymer’s, usually. I wouldn’t take a garden hose to that area because of the wiring looms. But you could take a rag or brush to it pretty easily. Also, looks like your reserve tank has been removed?
 

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@Troy Jollimore true, the clymer manual can be as helpful as a glass hammer sometimes. And double true on the wiring, unless you plan on not turning it on for a very long time, I would not risk getting the electonics wet
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I think I've already managed to mess something up. Not surprising being that I am totally new to bikes.

I have the new battery in and now it won't even try to start. The lights come on just fine, but nothing happens when I hit the start button. I made sure that I have the stand up, kill switch set to run, choke set, and clutch engaged, and there is no sound at all when I hit the ignition. Before I swapped the battery it at least tried to turn over. I'm wondering if I might've pulled loose a wire when I was taking out the stereo that was rigged in, but I was very careful when disentangling that mess. What do y'all think I should check/try?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I see no issue son a visual inspection of the wires and I have good contact. I am going to check the fuses next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I still have to give it a shot of starter fluid and rally crank it for a good while before it will start up. I'm thinking it could be an issue with the choke. The choke lever looks a bit out of position and feels a bit off. I guess I'll finish the fluids filters and new spark plugs, then look into the choke if she's still giving me trouble.
 

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I have that exact bike. It's a real gem if I have to say so. Go over it from top to bottom, do your maintenance and treat it right. You'll get many years of enjoyment from it. Congrats😀
 

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With the starter fluid, it should start fairly quickly unless it's REALLY cold... Do you have access to a compression tester with the right-sized fitting?
 

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I still have to give it a shot of starter fluid and rally crank it for a good while before it will start up. I'm thinking it could be an issue with the choke. The choke lever looks a bit out of position and feels a bit off. I guess I'll finish the fluids filters and new spark plugs, then look into the choke if she's still giving me trouble.
I'm thinking it could either be a dirty carb or your jetting is off. I just rejetted yesterday to a 45 pilot and a 132.5 main and it runs like a champ now although a tad rich.
I'd recommend cleaning out the carbs and while you have them apart, use this link to help find what jets would work best. I'd recommend going up 1 step from what they recommend, but to each their own.
 

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Hello,

I just picked up an 86 Shadow 700 for my first bike. I know I want/need to replace the battery, oil and air filters and the fluids. What other basic maintenance should I do? I'm looking into cleaning the carbs, but is there any other sort of standard maintenance? Right now the bike has to be jumped because of the bad battery, but it sounds great and rides good once it is started. This is my first bike so I am brand new to it and I don't know any other riders, so any advice or direction would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Justin
Ohio has a State sponsored riders program. I’m also a first timer and the new riders course was well worth the time and received my license on completion
 

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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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Run a half can of Seafoam for 1 st. near empty tank before going down all the technical stuff. 1 step at a time.
 

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'83 VT750C
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My father’s bike was like that ever since it was new. In fact, one morning when he was in a hurry, he sprayed way too much starting fluid into the intake and it all got inhaled and ignited at once. We think it ‘hurt’ the front cylinder somehow. He said it never ran quite the same after that. For my rebuild test, I used larger jets, and the bike was MUCH easier to start. I’m thinking TOO easy, and the jets are too big! 🤔
 

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Welcome, I have a 1985 Shadow VT700 that I picked up a few months ago that needed some work. I would leave the carbs alone for now as several people have said. I didn't mess with mine and it runs nice after I got it running, it sat unused for a few years. Maybe use a little Seafoam as mentioned. For a 700cc these bikes are pretty fast, I was surprised with the torque it has. Good luck with your new bike!
 
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