Honda Shadow Review & Ratings
- 11 October 2015
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
The Honda Shadow is made up of a series of cruiser-style motorcycles which have been manufactured and produced by Honda since 1983. This line of motorcycles use a liquid-cooled 45 or 52-degree V-twin engine that ranges from 125 to 1,100 cc engine displacement. The 250 cc Honda Rebel is a part of the Shadow line in various markets throughout the world. Honda first introduced their Shadow series of motorcycles in 1983 to meet the needs of the American cruiser market in the form of the VT500c as well as the VT750c. Because of certain tariff laws and restrictions in the United States on imported Japanese bikes over 701 cc though, the VT750c was ultimately reduced to 700 cc and sold as the Vt700c.
In 1988, the VT600c was introduced to a variety of markets as the entry level Shadow, though at the time it was still slotted just above the Honda Rebel. This line didn’t change a lot until the 750 cc Honda Shadow Ace was introduced in 1997. The Honda Show Sabre took the place of the VT1100 until the 1,110 cc class was ultimately discontinued and replaced with the new VTX line, including the 1,300 cc which is also known as the VTX1300. The Shadow brand was limited to just the 750 cc cruiser in 2011 in a number of different trims, including the Phantom, Aero, and RS. Every other model of these bikes are branded with either the VTX or Rebel brand name.
Both the RS and the Phantom are two of the latest additions to the 750 cc lineup from 2010 and on. These bikes are both fuel injected and the Shadow RS resembles that of a flat track racing bike with its chain drive as well as a peanut style tank and a seat height that is a bit raised for a total of 29” with foot pegs that are designed to be more forward than most traditional cruisers.
The Honda 125 was primarily sold in the UK and European markets and conforms to the needs of learner drivers in the UK as well as the light motorcycle license in various countries throughout Europe. This particular bike has a chain drive as opposed to a shaft drive which is commonly seen on the larger engine bikes, and sales of this bike ended in 2008.
The 500cc or VT500C bike was introduced in 1983 and came with side covers as well as black engine covers. The headlight on this bike was designed with a chrome material and a rectangular shape as well as a single horn. This engine this bike uses is a Honda VT500, which is a 491 cc OHC three-valve liquid-cooled V-Twin with a 6-speed shaft drive transmission. The VT500 underwent some changes in 1984, though the fuel tank as well as the rear fenders remained the same. The front fender on this bike is made of chrome and the side covers as well as the engine covers were painted black.
The 1985 version of the VT500C featured round chrome headlamps as well as dual horns and a 2-piece seat with an integrated backrest. Starting in 1985, the engine covers were all made with polished chrome and the fins were slightly larger. The “Honda” decal still appeared on the tank, though it was designed with a curve as oppose to being completely straight like with its predecessors. The more recent Honda Shadow Sabre was introduced in 2000 with a design that was based on the Honda VT1100 engine. This bike features a front case aluminum wheel and some of these models use chain drive, though the shaft drive made a reappearance in 2004 until 2007.