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Used Motorcycle Finds Honda Shadow Aero

Cruisers are one of the most popular styles of motorcycles in the United States. The style can be traced to Harley-Davidson, Indian and other American motorcycles of the 1930s to the 1960s. Generally, they include a low seat, long front end, and a feet forward riding position. The popularity of the American genre is such that pretty much every major motorcycle manufacturer in the world has or has had a cruiser in their line-up. For Honda, their factory cruisers began in 1983 with the VT500C & VT750C or "Shadow" motorcycles.

1983 Honda Shadow 750The 1983 Honda Shadow was the result of years of work by Honda to develop a motorcycle that would address to needs and demands of the North American marketplace. In 1984 Honda introduced the 700cc Shadow as a result of the tariffs placed on Japanese imported motorcycles of larger displacement. In 1985 the 1100cc Shadow was debuted. 1988 saw more displacement changes with the 600cc VLX Shadow coming out.

1986 Honda Shadow 1100             Honda Shadow VLX 600

The Cruiser market really got going in 1995 and the Honda Shadow continued toHonda Shadow ACE gain market share with models like the "American Classic Edition" or ACE. The evolution continued through 2000 on onward with larger displacements like the Shadow 1800cc and now custom cruisers like the Honda Fury.

Honda Shadow 1800          2010 Honda Fury

As pretty much anybody who rides one will tell you, a cruiser motorcycle is something that one either "gets" or doesn't. Having owned a number of cruisers (including Honda Shadows), I know that they have a lot of positive attributes. The low seat height makes for easy handling and the generous torque of a V-Twin engine is just plain fun. The cruiser configuration lends itself to customization and I find the look very appealing. 

With a history stretching back 27 years, there are plenty of good used Honda Shadows in the marketplace. Honda has a deserved reputation for quality, and a well maintained Honda will last for many years. With a new Honda Shadow 750cc motorcycle priced at about $7,000, many shoppers will be looking for a less expensive alternative. Those shoppers will be in luck. We found a 2004 Honda Shadow Aero at Mill City Motorcycles in Minneapolis for about $3,500 - half the cost of a comparable new model. This bike had 8,000 miles on it and was in very good condition.

2004 Honda Shadow Aero 750cc

When new, this bike had an MSRP of $6,199. The 2 cylinder engine is in the V-Twin configuration displaces 745cc with liquid cooling, a single overhead cam with three valves per cylinder and is fed via carburetor. The five-speed transmission gets power to the rear wheel by means of shaft drive. The front disc and rear drum brakes slow the bike. This Shadow rides on a 120/90 17 inch tire in the front and a 160/80 15 inch tire in the rear. The fuel tank holds 3.7 gallons. The seat height is a low 26 inches, the wheelbase is 65.5 inches and the Aero weighs in at 519 pounds.

I had not been on a cruiser motorcycle for a while and when I picked the Shadow up from Mill City Motorcycles it only took a couple of minutes for two things to become obvious - Honda builds a nice bike and cruisers are a wonderful parkway machine. For a bike that is six model-years old, the 2004 Shadow Aero feels as competent as a new machine. It started easily, requiring a little choke for a minute when cold. Everything worked flawlessly and in the space of a few blocks a big smile was creeping onto my face. The last Shadow I owned was a late 1990s ACE 1100. For the life of me, I can't remember why I sold it. I THINK it was to get a Valkyrie, but I'm not sure. I took the long way home via parkways and was thoroughly enjoying myself the whole way.

2004 Honda Shadow

The speedometer was close to accurate reading about 5% optimistic (GPS verified) and I got 45 miles-per-gallon during my mixed (city & highway) riding. Low and mid-range acceleration was brisk with plenty of torque from the 750 V-Twin. It just loves to pull from low RPMs, so downshifting was optional in most situations. The brakes were easy to modulate and strong enough for normal riding. Handling was about what I expected which is to say "unhurried". This motorcycle is meant to be ridden in a relatively relaxed manner and will not surprise you. Push it too hard and you'll run out of ground clearance and start to feel some wallowing.

David Harrington riding Honda Shadow Aero 750ccMy just under 5' 9" frame fit perfectly on the Shadow. The controls are forward mounted but not so much so that I was uncomfortable. A two-hour Grand Rounds parkway ride left me feeling fine. On the highway, I felt the wind-blast and would have tired on a long ride. Luckily there are lots of accessories readily available for the Shadow. If it were my bike, I would put a windshield and some saddlebags on it. With good wind protection, I wouldn't have any issue doing some lite touring on this machine.

I was a little sad to have to take the Shadow back to Mill City Motorcycles. For some reason, dealers seem to want to actually sell their inventory as opposed to letting me ride around for on it for extended periods of time. Go figure. A quick search yielded several Shadows very similar to this one being offered for sale in the $2,750 - $3,750 range. If you're looking for a high quality middle-weight cruiser at a great price, Check out Honda Shadows.    

David Harrington

Mill City Motorcycles Hyosung Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota

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