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i haven't ridden in years, just bought a new to me bike, its a 1986 Honda Shadow 700, over all the bike seems to be in fairly good shape, runs strong shift smooth, a few small rust spots on the take and fenders but nothing major. iv rode the bike twice now to work with it only being 5 miles away i haven't have a decent ride on it yet. anyone know on these bikes if there is anything i should look out for other than typical older bike stuff? i will try to post some pictures of the bike later. oh BTW i got the bike for $900 guy was asking $1500 and had it listed as a 98 model.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Nice find. Those are great bikes and Honda made maintenance easier with hydraulic lifters for the valve adjustments. Look for the famous 3 yellow wire connector near the battery. It comes form the alternator/stater to the regulator and is the charging system. The connector overheats and melts and looses connection so the charge rate goes down .
Also the date codes on the tires if over 5 or 6 years old . And fluid changes.
 

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Nice find. Those are great bikes and Honda made maintenance easier with hydraulic lifters for the valve adjustments. Look for the famous 3 yellow wire connector near the battery. It comes form the alternator/stater to the regulator and is the charging system. The connector overheats and melts and looses connection so the charge rate goes down .
Also the date codes on the tires if over 5 or 6 years old . And fluid changes.
thanks man. i love the bike, but i have fallen under that "its not big enough" spell already, do you know of any modifications for these bikes that might help me out of the spell? First is i would love for the bike to be louder! and maybe just a little bit more power, i am planing on doing a tune up within the next week even tho everything seems to be alright, i still would feel better after iv done it myself. and saddle bags for these older bikes? iv read a few post on here and it seems like im going to have to just get some bags and figure out how to make it work for me,
 

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sounds hauntingly familar..my first shadow was an 86 700 to. paid 1000$ for it..and rode it for 2 months..but the more power bug hit me..found my current shadow 86 1100 for 1900$ on craigs list..highpoint NC...and she's my beby..got rid of stock pipes..rejetted carbs..and been smiling ever since...oh it had 21k orginal miles..im second owner......so who needs a harley....not me....me n my shadow.....
 

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I own a 86 honda vt 700 also! Got the bike because my husband bought it for cheap thinking he would like it but hes partial to yamaha V Stars so its mine now lol. They were also called Tariff busters. The U.S issued tariffs on the 750 engines between certain years to protect Harley Davidson and Honda began making the 700cc to get around the tariffs. I did some research on the bike and found that pretty neat. The bike is pretty comfy for me but Im kinda short lol and im coming up from a 250 rebel and scooter lol. Seems like a solid bike for the year!
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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That story cracks me up too about the tariff. In Canada and other countries there still were 750s during 1984-1987 but here we got the 700s. Didn't slow the Japanese ingenuity from selling a lot of bikes here.
 

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2007 Honda Shadow Spirit VT750C2
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What struck me about the tariff situation was the audacity of H-D. They literally crafted (through lobbies) the act that Reagan signed, and it specifically focused on motorcycles. H-D's claim was that foreign manufacturers (Japanese) were "dumping inventory" in the US. Another way to state it is the Japanese were making better bikes for cheaper and killing H-D. On the verge of bankruptcy, they played dirty as hell and capitalized on the nervous fear of globalization coming. Another reason I'll never ride one.
 

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What struck me about the tariff situation was the audacity of H-D. They literally crafted (through lobbies) the act that Reagan signed, and it specifically focused on motorcycles. H-D's claim was that foreign manufacturers (Japanese) were "dumping inventory" in the US. Another way to state it is the Japanese were making better bikes for cheaper and killing H-D. On the verge of bankruptcy, they played dirty as hell and capitalized on the nervous fear of globalization coming. Another reason I'll never ride one.
Nor will I ever ride or own a HD..Just the whole HD owners have a mindset that basicaly is that HD are the only cycles that matter..other bikes are junk...sigh...but you see more breakdowns being HDs than other makes IMO. Then there's the money and comercial side...
I get more looks,comments on my 86 1100 shad than i can count. And overall owning/operating expenses and overall longetivy ratios is whar keeps me on my Honda vs. a HD....Hell even Honda automobiles are ok in my book.....just sayin....
 

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I actually do like H-D bikes, at least the Vrod lol. But I really don't care for the company's ways. Focus on making better bikes year over year, get creative, innovate. But no, same tired designs, few improvements, and marketing for brand loyalty instead of providing good value. You can buy HD branded baby diapers ffs, they've forgotten about making better motorcycles.

I'd buy an Indian if I want a murricah bike, I got a bad case of the Harley hate. But I've considered finding a crapped up Sportster as a project to try my hand at a rat bike. It can't be that hard to make them look like something out of Mad Max. Spray paint, wrap, barbed wire...
 

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ahhhh another Shadow thread that turned into a brand bashing thread,,,,,, some things never change.


To the OP. @Fat guy on a bike That bike is what it is. Sturdy and dependable ride that's fun to operate. Excellent 1st bike. Not much in the way of modifying though. Clip some highway pegs up front on the frame to be able to stretch out a bit. A good upholsterer can do some slight adjustments to the seat, but all in all there's not a lot of ergonomic changes to can do to the bike. A lot of people fall in to the category of @AllieW24 They kind of stumbled on to the bike and it works for them. Most outgrow the bikes after a couple of years and start looking at other brands, styles, or models. Again though, it should get you around until you find something bigger, but it sounds like you'll definitely need a bigger bike to be more comfortable.
 
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thanks man. i love the bike, but i have fallen under that "its not big enough" spell already, do you know of any modifications for these bikes that might help me out of the spell? First is i would love for the bike to be louder! and maybe just a little bit more power, i am planing on doing a tune up within the next week even tho everything seems to be alright, i still would feel better after iv done it myself. and saddle bags for these older bikes? iv read a few post on here and it seems like im going to have to just get some bags and figure out how to make it work for me,
Don't fall for the Bigger is Better. It usually ain't.
Gotta remember that bigger means more weight...
and the older ya get, the harder to pick up.

Besides, my little VT500C has 54 HP...it'll eat a H-D 883 for lunch,
then do a wheelie for fun...altho I gotta quit doing that...lol

The VT700 is more than enough bike. Revel in its simplicity.
It's got enough zoom, altho you can do a top-end rebuild and get
even more power out of it...


You can probably find a good used set of Viking bags for 150 or less.
Easy install. Locking tops.
 

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have to agree..my first shadow 700 was alot lighter than my 86 1100...i had to pick it up twice in the last month..first time didnt have side stand all way down..my ignorance..started climb off and there she went..grabbed bar..to late...no damage...other day after 2 days rain..stand sunk..my stand block in saddle bag...duh..im 63 yrs old..old lady had help lift...the bigger the heavier
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i have removed baffles from the exhaust pipes, cleaned and adjusted carbs and fixing to replace plugs and wires. i am happy with the bike and going to keep it but i am also going to find a bigger bike for when the ol lady whats to ride with. the 700 will pack the two of us but it is defiantly not liking it lol. on the other hand i did just see a 83 750 honda for sale locally for $900 and the guy rides it daily. if it checks out and i keep finding these bikes for that price i believe im going to have a few of them sitting around.
 
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