1998 Shadow VLX as a first bike v. ineedhelp

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by btimp, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. btimp

    btimp i am my other half

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    So I might be getting my first bike soon!!!! My buddy's dad has a 98 Shadow VLX and "decked it out." Evidently it has low miles and runs awesome. Never been laid down or anything like that. A year ago he was asking 3k for it, but I think I can get it for under $2500. Is that a good price? Is that a decent bike to start on and keep for a few years?

    Also, in Georgia, is there a riding school that is suggest over the rest and what do I look for in a school?
     
  2. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    I would probably look towards either a Shadow 750 or a Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic.

    The VLX has a great motor, but Honda seems to think that a 4-speed tranny is all it needs. While its OK for beating around town, freeways really work that poor thing hard.
    It needs a 5th gear.

    Another choice to consider would be a Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic. I prefer the larger front tires of these machines. Just feels more stable over rough roads.
    The Kawi's, while not known for holding their value, last forever. The motors and frames are always overbuilt and that 800cc mill doesn't work hard at all to push that bike around.
     
  3. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    oh yeah, take the MSF course.

    You start out on small bikes, learn the basics and get your license all in a couple days.
    There are other schools that cost more, but why bother? MSF is great!
     
  4. btimp

    btimp i am my other half

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    is it possible to do a 5th gear conversion?

    i dont really want to go bigger than a 600, as i am a small guy.
     
  5. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    No 5th gear conversion possible unless you get into custom work (possibly importing a motor/tranny from Europe)
    The other bikes aren't much larger than the 600.

    The engine size of a cruiser isn't as critical as in a sportbike. A Yamaha V-Star 650 would be just as good with the Honda Shadow 750 or Vulcan 800 giving slightly more grunt.

    It wouldn't be a problem. I'm not a big guy either and the I've ridden bikes many times larger. The biggest being a Goldwing. Next up is a VTX1800. Thats a heavy SOB.
    The mid-sized Shadow is a pussycat. Ditto the Vulcan 800.
     
  6. machine81

    machine81 New Member

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    Do you plan on doing a lot of highway miles? If it's your first bike then I really doubt you're going to hit the "open road" that much. Most of the time you're going to be in the city. It should work fine for that. It looks like a GREAT starter bike.
     
  7. btimp

    btimp i am my other half

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    i will use it for small commutes. no road trips just yet. but, if i do want to run out about 100 miles.... will i still enjoy it?
     
  8. mrbill

    mrbill New Member

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    enjoyment is too subjective to say. it all depends on you and how you like to ride. just cruise it around town and worry about learning to ride. if you like that enough, go on a short ride(20 miles or so one way). if you enjoy that, then keep making trips just a little longer than the last. if you go on a ride with other ppl, remember to ride YOUR ride, not theirs. go at a pace you feel comfortable with. if they push you to go faster or won't wait at predetermined points(gas stations, intersections, restaraunts..etc), find new ppl to ride with. safety is the most important thing when riding and riding above your skills is not safe. once you have a decent amount of experience, go hit "The Dragon". in addition to the MSF course, find a local rider's group in your area and learn from them. if you don't know of any, go to a local dealership and ask around. you can also check sportbikes.net, cycleforums.com and sportbikes.ws they each have subforums for regional information. don't know if they're still around, but there used to be a group called..."The Georgia Sportbike Association". they were all pretty cool when i hung out with them at some races a few years ago. look them up, especially if you are thinking about switching to a sportbike in the future.
    and remember, google is your friend. a quick search pulled up...
    http://www.atlantabiker.com/
    http://209.82.178.148/forums/
     
  9. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    Only having 4 gears with a low revving engine will be a limitation.

    I'd really go with something that has a 5th gear to cruise in.
     
  10. Imagine

    Imagine New Member

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    IMO, it sounds like a decent first bike. Cheap, no plastics, useable power, low seat height. It will definately be a good bike to learn on and get you to and from.

    With that said, I've owned a couple cruisers. One was a Shadow Ace 1100, and the other was a VStar 650. The 650 was my first bike. It was an okay starter. However, the heavier weight and suspension goemetry made slow speed maneuvering a little more tricky. Eventually I got the hang of it though. It makes riding other stuff a lot easier.

    If I knew then what I knew know I would look into a standard or a naked bike. A Suzuki GS500, Ninja 500R, maybe even an SV650. Also, look into taking an MSF beginners course. Its a priceless tool to look into.
     
  11. btimp

    btimp i am my other half

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    i will most def. take the MSF course before hitting the streets. thanks for your input guys. I cant wait!!!!!!!
     
  12. btimp

    btimp i am my other half

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    just talked the guy who has the shadow. he says it has less than 4000 miles and is asking $2200. is this a good price? it has never been riden hard, never laid down or damaged in any way, comes with saddlebags, windshield, sissybar, and maybe a helmet.
     
  13. Imagine

    Imagine New Member

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    Sounds like a pretty good price. I just sold my '97 Honda Shadow Ace 1100 for $3400, it had 32K miles on it. You may want to check cycletrader, and see what others similar are going for but it sounds like a decent deal.
     
  14. machine81

    machine81 New Member

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    www.kbb.com says the trade in value is $2010. So, with all the extras he's throwing in, yeah, $2200 is a pretty good price.
     
  15. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    $2200 doesn't sound bad for such a low mileage machine. That motor is also dead reliable. Honda has been using it in various forms for years.
    I believe a slightly larger version of it is used in the immensely popular Honda Transalp in Europe.

    I wish we could get those here. American Honda is dropping the ball.
    They also have a competitor to the DL-1000 from Suzuki.
    The Honda Varadero XL1000V uses the motor from the Superhawk in fuel injected form.

    Again, we don't see these here...why???
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2005

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