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Well, this is a thread for me to type out what I do to my bike. Most of this is just for me. Kind of an online journal for my bike. This first post will mostly be a rehash of some of my previous posts.
I like doing these on forums because it lets me keep track of what I did and lets others see it all in one place, not that I am doing anything special to my bike, just getting it and hopefully keeping it running well.
Nothing really exciting past this point in the first post, so unless you are bored, quit reading here.

So, I just bought a 1994 VT1100 Shadow 2 weeks ago. Showed 7100 miles on the speedo when I got it.
The guy I bought it from buys, fixes and sells bikes from his garage. I can say he did a great job with the carbs on this bike, starts great with just a little choke, idles fine and drives well overall.
As I started looking at the bike, I was wary of the $2250 asking price. Tires had great tread, but 7 years old. And then it is a 23 year old bike. Bike looks amazing, while not showroom new, it does not look like a bike made 23 years ago.
I did have a lot going for it though for me. It had a windscreen (I would add one to whatever I got, so $150 or so in value for that), had a Mustang seat (although from a '95 VT1100, so not a perfect fit, but good enough, around $400 value), it had a light bar, another plus of something I would get (another $150 saved), as well as a rear back rest and rack (both things I would add, and would cost another $200). So $900 in accessories that I would want already on the bike. This does not count the passenger floor board, highway pegs and mini crash bar (all of which I would not have bought).
Took it for a test ride, looked it all over (wish I had looked better, more later), and offered $1800. Seller balked initially, saying that is what he got the bike for, and it was not running when he got it. As I was turning around to leave, he said OK.
This is what it looked like in my driveway that afternoon:


Once I got it home, I started doing a much better inspection of it and figuring out what I need to do. Thanks to this forum, I got a lot of that figured out.
I found what appears to be a new, corrct sized AGM "T" battery made by MotoBatt (MB16A battery).
Supposidly the oil had been recently changed, but I changed it anyway, for 2 reasons. I alwasy change all fluids on vehicles I get used, and it had a huge dent in the oil filter:


Looks like it may have come from the bike being loaded into the back of a truck or into a trailer?
Regardless, it was coming off. Another thing I found was that the bike was overfilled. I drained 4 qts of oil, plus what was in the filter.
Put in some Supertech 15w-40 and a Supertech oil filter. This is a short run oil change (like 500 miles) just to give me an idea what the oil looks like when drained out. I did notice the shifting improved (mainly the ability to find neutral from both 1-2 and 2-1).
Next oil change will be with more of the Supertech 15w-40 (maybe some Rotella T4, have not decided) and a Fram Tough guard filter (don't start on Fram, I know what I am doing, I don't want or need your opinion).

I also changed the shaft drive fluid. I use Supertech 80w90 in there. The old fluid was not too bad looking, but as I said, I change all fluids when I get a vehicle.
Clutch and front brake fluid were changed, looked pretty good coming out, but it needed to come out.
Still have not done the coolant, but that will be in the next week or so.
I pulled the plugs (well one on each cylinder) and they look new. Air filter looked new as well.

So I start checking everything else out since I need to get it inspected before I can do a title transfer, and while double checking all the bulbs, I find that the high beam is not working (why I did not check it before hand I don't know, just did not think about it). I also find there is a 3 way switch on the upper right side that is connected to the aux lights. The lights are always on, no matter where the switch is? Odd I think. So I first go check the fuse. It is blown. Put a new 10a fuse in, and as soon as the key is turned on, it blows. Hmm. I go to check the bulb, and when I pull it out, I find a wire tapped into the low beam light, that runs to the middle pole of the 3 way switch for the aux lights. OK, I can see what they were thinking, but way too much power to pull off the headlight, but wait, the low beam works with a blown fuse??? Looking at the 3 way switch, the bottom pole has 3 wires, 2 going to the lights, 1 going under the gas tank? Why? Well, before I pulled the tank off, I finished checking the lights, and found that when the left turn signal was turned on, the low beam and aux lights turn off? What?
I go pull the tank and start following wires. Turns out that whoever wired the lights ran a "+" wire from the left side running light "+" to the lower pole on the switch. This is what shorted out the fuse. So I end up pulling all the wiring out for the Aux lights (with no fuse or relay on them) and decide to fix just the headlight for inspection. I end up taking the hi/lo switch apart to find a small metal contact missing. Guess the PO took it out due to the headlight blowing? No idea. Anyway, after trying to make a contact, and going through 4 more fuses, I decided to say screw it and hard wired the low beam for now, so I am in search of a new switch (hope to have fixed very soon).
Once that was done, I wired up the Aux lights correctly with a fused line and relay. I found out they have a hi and low option, hence the 3 way switch. They work properly now and I have much better lighting since I got them aimed correctly.

As I looked over the bike more, I have found that I have Progressive shocks (forget which model), a shaft drive chrome cover, as well as a chrome radiator cover. I know the progressive shocks alone are a $400+ purchase, which makes me feel even better about the price I paid.

I have been looking around here for ideas of things I can do to the bike, as well as searching e-bay and amazon for ideas. Have a few things coming that I will post here later about.

I finally got it 100% legal to ride today. I got the inspection done yesterday, the title switched, and vehicle registered/new plates today. Oddly enough, today is the first day since I got it that I have not ridden it.

I have tinkered with little things to make it more to my liking (adjusted the shifter more to my liking, as well as the parking brake). I pulled off the "cruise" thing it had, it was not working properly and was in the way of my thumb (I was taught to ride with your right thumb resting on the right side control, just above the start switch).

I am getting used to the 4 speed transmission though. It was odd a first with it, I kept shifting too early. I guess I was used to my brothers 883 that you needed to shift as lower RPM's. Reading here about those with the 4 speed showed me that these engines like to be rev'ed. I am liking it since 1st gear is good up to ~30 mph. I don't have to shift at all getting out of my subdivision, and only see 4th gear above 70.

Well, if you got to the bottom of this, you really need to get a life. :wink2:
Thanks for reading and I will post up as I do more.
 

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Your bike sounds like mine. I got her for a good price but found so many hidden problems.
 

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Curious as to the brand of tires that came on it. It sounds like the previous owner might have been a member way back then.
 

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Curious as to the brand of tires that came on it. It sounds like the previous owner might have been a member way back then.
Maybe @Scared would know.....as he mentions it was in a trailer.....those trailer folk tend to run in the same crowd!!
 

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Well, this is a thread for me to type out what I do to my bike. Most of this is just for me. Kind of an online journal for my bike. This first post will mostly be a rehash of some of my previous posts.
I like doing these on forums because it lets me keep track of what I did and lets others see it all in one place, not that I am doing anything special to my bike, just getting it and hopefully keeping it running well.
Nothing really exciting past this point in the first post, so unless you are bored, quit reading here.

So, I just bought a 1994 VT1100 Shadow 2 weeks ago. Showed 7100 miles on the speedo when I got it.
The guy I bought it from buys, fixes and sells bikes from his garage. I can say he did a great job with the carbs on this bike, starts great with just a little choke, idles fine and drives well overall.
As I started looking at the bike, I was wary of the $2250 asking price. Tires had great tread, but 7 years old. And then it is a 23 year old bike. Bike looks amazing, while not showroom new, it does not look like a bike made 23 years ago.
I did have a lot going for it though for me. It had a windscreen (I would add one to whatever I got, so $150 or so in value for that), had a Mustang seat (although from a '95 VT1100, so not a perfect fit, but good enough, around $400 value), it had a light bar, another plus of something I would get (another $150 saved), as well as a rear back rest and rack (both things I would add, and would cost another $200). So $900 in accessories that I would want already on the bike. This does not count the passenger floor board, highway pegs and mini crash bar (all of which I would not have bought).
Took it for a test ride, looked it all over (wish I had looked better, more later), and offered $1800. Seller balked initially, saying that is what he got the bike for, and it was not running when he got it. As I was turning around to leave, he said OK.
This is what it looked like in my driveway that afternoon:


Once I got it home, I started doing a much better inspection of it and figuring out what I need to do. Thanks to this forum, I got a lot of that figured out.
I found what appears to be a new, corrct sized AGM "T" battery made by MotoBatt (MB16A battery).
Supposidly the oil had been recently changed, but I changed it anyway, for 2 reasons. I alwasy change all fluids on vehicles I get used, and it had a huge dent in the oil filter:


Looks like it may have come from the bike being loaded into the back of a truck or into a trailer?
Regardless, it was coming off. Another thing I found was that the bike was overfilled. I drained 4 qts of oil, plus what was in the filter.
Put in some Supertech 15w-40 and a Supertech oil filter. This is a short run oil change (like 500 miles) just to give me an idea what the oil looks like when drained out. I did notice the shifting improved (mainly the ability to find neutral from both 1-2 and 2-1).
Next oil change will be with more of the Supertech 15w-40 (maybe some Rotella T4, have not decided) and a Fram Tough guard filter (don't start on Fram, I know what I am doing, I don't want or need your opinion).

I also changed the shaft drive fluid. I use Supertech 80w90 in there. The old fluid was not too bad looking, but as I said, I change all fluids when I get a vehicle.
Clutch and front brake fluid were changed, looked pretty good coming out, but it needed to come out.
Still have not done the coolant, but that will be in the next week or so.
I pulled the plugs (well one on each cylinder) and they look new. Air filter looked new as well.

So I start checking everything else out since I need to get it inspected before I can do a title transfer, and while double checking all the bulbs, I find that the high beam is not working (why I did not check it before hand I don't know, just did not think about it). I also find there is a 3 way switch on the upper right side that is connected to the aux lights. The lights are always on, no matter where the switch is? Odd I think. So I first go check the fuse. It is blown. Put a new 10a fuse in, and as soon as the key is turned on, it blows. Hmm. I go to check the bulb, and when I pull it out, I find a wire tapped into the low beam light, that runs to the middle pole of the 3 way switch for the aux lights. OK, I can see what they were thinking, but way too much power to pull off the headlight, but wait, the low beam works with a blown fuse??? Looking at the 3 way switch, the bottom pole has 3 wires, 2 going to the lights, 1 going under the gas tank? Why? Well, before I pulled the tank off, I finished checking the lights, and found that when the left turn signal was turned on, the low beam and aux lights turn off? What?
I go pull the tank and start following wires. Turns out that whoever wired the lights ran a "+" wire from the left side running light "+" to the lower pole on the switch. This is what shorted out the fuse. So I end up pulling all the wiring out for the Aux lights (with no fuse or relay on them) and decide to fix just the headlight for inspection. I end up taking the hi/lo switch apart to find a small metal contact missing. Guess the PO took it out due to the headlight blowing? No idea. Anyway, after trying to make a contact, and going through 4 more fuses, I decided to say screw it and hard wired the low beam for now, so I am in search of a new switch (hope to have fixed very soon).
Once that was done, I wired up the Aux lights correctly with a fused line and relay. I found out they have a hi and low option, hence the 3 way switch. They work properly now and I have much better lighting since I got them aimed correctly.

As I looked over the bike more, I have found that I have Progressive shocks (forget which model), a shaft drive chrome cover, as well as a chrome radiator cover. I know the progressive shocks alone are a $400+ purchase, which makes me feel even better about the price I paid.

I have been looking around here for ideas of things I can do to the bike, as well as searching e-bay and amazon for ideas. Have a few things coming that I will post here later about.

I finally got it 100% legal to ride today. I got the inspection done yesterday, the title switched, and vehicle registered/new plates today. Oddly enough, today is the first day since I got it that I have not ridden it.

I have tinkered with little things to make it more to my liking (adjusted the shifter more to my liking, as well as the parking brake). I pulled off the "cruise" thing it had, it was not working properly and was in the way of my thumb (I was taught to ride with your right thumb resting on the right side control, just above the start switch).

I am getting used to the 4 speed transmission though. It was odd a first with it, I kept shifting too early. I guess I was used to my brothers 883 that you needed to shift as lower RPM's. Reading here about those with the 4 speed showed me that these engines like to be rev'ed. I am liking it since 1st gear is good up to ~30 mph. I don't have to shift at all getting out of my subdivision, and only see 4th gear above 70.

Well, if you got to the bottom of this, you really need to get a life. :wink2:
Thanks for reading and I will post up as I do more.
Solid post to read through, sounds like you are quite handy at working on things. I've just started on bikes but I aspire to be the same sooner than later.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice rundown, and a sharp looking bike!
Thanks!

Your bike sounds like mine. I got her for a good price but found so many hidden problems.
Yeah, one of the "fun" things about buying used, especially when it is old.

Curious as to the brand of tires that came on it. It sounds like the previous owner might have been a member way back then.
It has Dunlop 404 front and rear. I have no complaints about them, but have nothing to compare them to.

Solid post to read through, sounds like you are quite handy at working on things. I've just started on bikes but I aspire to be the same sooner than later.
I like to tinker. It is how you learn a lot (as well a little formal education, I took a few basic automotive courses to help my knowledge, the electrical course was the best thing I have done).

I got my Honda Service manual in the other day, forgot to add that to the post. Lots of good information in it.
.
I would highly recomend it if you plan on doing any work on the bike yourself. It was $30 on e-bay.

Today I removed the windshield. I was having something vibrate at higher RPM in the front, and this morning found that one of the mount bolts had slipped a little, and the spacer was what was rattling. From what it looks like, this is a generic windshield, because it had some of the brackets bent to make it fit properly. It does not look bad, but if you look close, you can tell.

I also had to wash my bike for the first time. Not because it was dirty, but because I was stupid when filling with gas.
I was filling with a gas can, and looked up at my son for a second, and of course that was when it was full and spilled over onto the tank and the ground. :surprise:
I was going to wax it, but found I was out of wax, so I need to grab some when I go to the store next.

I have found that the side covers do not stay in place when I sit on the bike. Both the front upper "pins" pop out of the grommets. Anyone else have this problem? Any solution to it?

I also adjusted the tire pressure. Was at 30 front/34 rear, set to 34 front, 42 rear (manual says 33/41 for over 200 lbs). Not crazy about firming up my ride, but I need correct pressure.
And speaking of ride, since I am fat, I have turned the rear Progressive shocks to max, which firms up the ride, but keeps me from bottoming out all the time. Besides loosing weight (which I am in the process doing, I was actually over the 362 max weight of the bike 6 months ago, now 22 lbs under) anything else I can do to help the ride?
 

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If you're as weighty as you say, your problem may be you're overtaxing the rubber grommets for the side covers when you sit on the seat, but it sounds like you're working on it.:wink2: You might also try ordering new rubber grommets. Honda Motorcycle OEM Parts, Babbitts Honda Partshouse) Nice choice of bikes BTW. My son has the same bike.
 

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I kept hearing of guys loosing their side covers and some are very hard to find replacements. So I put a 6 inch piece of heavy fishing line on mine so if it does come off it stays close to the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@smilie, yes that is probably a big part of it, I also think it is the Mustang seat. As I said, the seat is actually for a '95 model, so does not fit perfectly on the bike (or maybe it just fits that way on all models, not sure) so the back of my legs are pushing down right on the front cover mount point when I put my feet on the ground. When riding it is not an issue at all.

@Swifty, the battery side is held on with a bolt on the bottom, so not worried about loosing that one, but the right side has the key lock on it, not really sure how secure that is. I may look into adding some type of tether for that, thanks.
 

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I don't own a trailer, but I do rent one when I go extremely long distance. So I think I'm still in the club @Scared.

I have learned so much about my bike, solely because there wa so much wrong with her. The previous owner left her in his yard sitting for 4 years @blupupher. I think I fixed the last problem two weeks ago.
 

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Great concept for a thread! Mind if I steal it? :wink2:
Sounds like you got a real bargain on your ride with all the accessories that had been added.

I hate working on other peoples screw-ups, especially electrical related, even though electrical/electronics is what I do for a living! I just cringe when I see what folks can do when they don't understand what they are doing. Good work figuring out all the mess.

I was fortunate in that my bike was completely unmolested when I took over her upkeep!
 

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Great concept for a thread! Mind if I steal it? :wink2:
Sounds like you got a real bargain on your ride with all the accessories that had been added.

I hate working on other peoples screw-ups, especially electrical related, even though electrical/electronics is what I do for a living! I just cringe when I see what folks can do when they don't understand what they are doing. Good work figuring out all the mess.

I was fortunate in that my bike was completely unmolested when I took over her upkeep!
Steal away.
Like I said, I find it kind of like a journal of what happens, and is an easy way for me to go back and see when and what I did.
And if somebody else learns from it, all the better.
Here is an example that I did for my F150.

I luckily took an automotive electronics course 2 semesters ago as an elective to get me enough credits for my degree, and it has been a very helpful course.
I don't think I would have been able to figure out as quickly as I did what the problem was.
Looking at how it was wired I just had to shake my head and ask why?

I have a few things coming in today from Amazon, so I will probably be posting some pics up tonight.
 

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So I got my packages last night.

I got this handlebar clock and thermometer. For $13, I was not expecting much, and it is about what I was expecting.
I really wanted some kind of clock since I don't wear a watch and can't pull my phone out while riding. I was riding in a school zone the other day and was not sure if it had started or not. I saw this and figured why not. I have seen what looks to be the same thing (just the clock) on e-bay for around $4, but takes 3 or more weeks for delivery.
The thermometer, not sure if I will keep it. Numbers are small and sitting in the sun, will not be an accurate temperature. Seems accurate though last night. Install is simple, just put over the bar where you want it and tighten down the set screw. You can pull the thermometer part out and turn it to face how you want.
The clock mounts the same way, and is easy to set. It is easy to read and get a quick idea as to what time it is in the daylight. It does have a second hand, but is too small to be seen while riding. It is also impossible to see the clock at night with no street lights. Another member posted this in another thread, and even with the glow in the dark dial, unable to see it. Not a huge deal for me, but may be for others.
If I take the thermometer off, I will move the clock to the center of the handle bar.



In this pic you also see the new phone mount I got. I was looking for a bar mounted mount, and somehow I ended up ordering this one. It has a built in usb power plug, and I apparently overlooked that it was not a bar mount phone. When I got it I had planned on returning it, but after bringing out to the bike and trying to figure out if I could use it (thought about on the speedo bolt) I saw that I could mount it to the windscreen mount. I have to say it works very well there. I may move it to the left side though. I have not wired in the USB yet, will wait till I decided where exactly it will go before I do that.

The third item I bought was a set of 4.5" LED driving lights. These were the cheapest on Amazon that included both ends of the plug. At $35, still pretty cheap. Installation was not too bad. It took me a bit on the first light to get it mounted right. There is a trim ring with the halogen light that I did not realize was removable, and it was keeping the LED light from seating completely. Once I removed the trim ring and bent the little tabs that held the trim ring on, the LED unit slid right in. It was a little tight with all the wiring in there, but it did fit. While the LED lights are brighter and whiter than the old halogen, it is not "amazing" as some describe. It gives way to much foreground light (which gives the impression of more light but is actually the opposite). It does have a good cutoff, and adjusting the beam is easy on my lights. I have them set so their center "hotspot" is just on each side of the regular headlight at 25 feet (so right side light is shining just to the right of main, and left just to the left of main). I did this to give me a little better side lighting, which these LED's do a much better job of compared to the halogen. One thing I do miss is the old halogen had a hi and lo beam, these are just lo beam.
I do beleive the whiter light is much more visible in the daytime, so that is one of the main reasons I got them, to be seen better, and me seeing better at night is just a plus.

On the bike:


Comparison with just one changed:


In my excitement to get these mounted, I did not take any pics of the actual install, but it is pretty straight forward, especially since I already had the housings mounted and wired. Just had to cut the old wires and then solder the new ones on. Already have a relay in place with a switch to turn them off and on if I want to.

I will try to get some pics of how they work tonight, but it is hard to capture on digital camera what it really looks like.

I do know I need to get a new headlight bulb though, the "yellow" looking halogen looks dingy compared to the LED. I don't see it though, so not a huge priority, but is something that is now on my list to look into.
I don't want to do a H4 LED bulb, the tech is just not there yet and in these old housings it just does not work as well. I need to start researching light buckets that will "bolt on" to my bike and will accept the LED headlight housing units, not just the bulb (something like this).
 

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I would also tell you to wait until you can get the proper LED headlight for your bike. I just am not impressed with the HI beam of the LED replacement bulb in the stock housing. However if you want to be more visible then go for it. It IS more visible during the day than your stock halogen bulb. Like I said in my post about it, I would buy it again. I am going to eventually replace the halogen bulbs in the driving lights with LED. My test this morning in the fog, proved to me that the yellow light from the halogens is NOT any better for seeing through fog.
The driving lights are an H3 bulb so there are several kits available.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Took a nice ride to La Grange yesterday. About 80 miles each way. Great day for a ride too, but was getting a little warm near the end. I took the back way when I went there, a few fun little roads, not any traffic. I took the main highway coming home (see below as to why).
Way to many love bugs out though. Had to clean my windscreen 3 times during the trip, and spent an hour once I got home getting them off everything else.

I learned a few things on this trip.
  • First, I need a new helmet. Even though I have an XXL helmet (this one) that seemed to fit me fine, after about 45 minutes of riding, I started having a pain in the forehead from the helmet.
    It got really bad near the end of the trip; I had to stop every 30 minutes to take it off and rest my head. I also found at speeds around 80 MPH my faceshield would pop open, really annoying.
    Stopped by the local Honda dealer and tried a few on, found the LS2 Strobe Solid Modular fits me well (in a xxxl). Found one on Amazon for $65 shipped vs the $180 in store price. Should be here Monday.
    For local riding the old helmet has been just fine, I like it a lot and will probably be my regular helmet to and from work and such, but need something that fits better for longer rides.
  • Second, I found I really want some floorboards. The forward position of the pegs started making my knees ache near the end of the ride. I like a little more upright position, and floor boards would help with that a lot. Now I just need to find some for a '94, seems that they may be different than '97+, which is all I can find.
  • Third, the Mustang seat is pretty comfortable. I have read many complaints about the stock seat and how it starts to hurt after about an hour or so of riding, but in over 3 hours on the bike, no problem with it.
  • Fourth, I found that this bike loves to cruise around 75mph in 4th gear. Being a 4 speed I am finding I really don't use 4th much at all for most of my riding (under 55 mph), and that 4th gear really is a high speed highway gear for cruising.
  • Finally, I found I am getting around 42 MPG. 100 miles and 2.4 gallons first fill up, 80 miles and 1.9 gallons on second.
    Not bad, not great, but a good part of the trip was at 75+mph (it is great being in Texas with a lot of 75mph roads) and my 340 lb butt and the windscreen does not help any either.
While in La Grange, I met up with member @magimerlin to get a signal switch assembly so I can fix my headlight switch. Really nice guy and I got a great deal on the part. Thanks again.
Hopefully Monday I can get the switch wired up and have a highbeam.
 

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Was good to meet you aswell.. glad you had a good ride, but for the love bugs of course.... sorry I was so short conversation wise... would have liked to talk longer but people where waiting on me to get their cars done.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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I received my Halogen 1156 bulbs for the rear turn signals:


I must say it is quite a bit brighter than stock bulbs.
I also checked the temperature after 60 seconds, the halogen bulb fixture had a max temp of 103°F, the regular bulb was 99°F, not much difference a all.


$10 for both bulbs was a decent price overall I think. I had debated LED, but don't want to have to mess with diodes, resistors, hyper-flash and such.
This is a link to the ones I got. Ordered it Tuesday evening, was in my mailbox Thursday afternooon.

Still waiting on the 2357 bulbs to come in for the front turn signals and tail light (same filament as stock for running light, higher wattage for turn/brake light).
 

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I got the 2357 bulbs in today (e-bay link). I am using them in both the front turn signals as well as the rear run/brake light.



As said, these bulbs are the the same for running light, but brighter on turn/brake.
In the brake light, it is a little brighter. It is hard to see in the picture, but it is (the left side is the 2357 bulb). I have seen a few videos on youtube showing with a light meter that it is a few lux brighter than a 1157 bulb.



I am still deciding what I really want to do for the brake light. I am not against LED's for them since I don't have to worry about hyperflash and such like the turn signals. Looking into a license plate brake light addition.

Here is another video, this time of the front turn signals, with one side changed.


And if you can't tell, it is the signal on the right that is the 2357 bulb.

Overall, not real impressed, but it is brighter, and only cost me ~$6 for 4 bulbs.
 

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