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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After owning my VFR750 for a year, both my girlfriend and I didn't enjoy rides 2-up as much as I thought we would. She didn't like the narrow seat and poor seating position, and I didn't like the way the bike handled with a passenger. I was in the market for a 2-up bike, preferably with hard bags. I looked at ST1100's, Concours, a BMW, and a bunch of cruisers.

I ended up buying a '98 Honda Shadow ACE Tourer (VT1100T) for $4500 about a week ago. I was extrememly concerned about the 626 dry weight (I weigh 145lbs), and having enough power to move 2 riders and gear.



The first time I rode it, I was amazed. At low speeds, this thing is damn near nimble compared to my VFR, passenger or no passenger. Although it is a hundred lbs heavier, it is a breeze to move around, and parking lots are easy to get around in.

On the road, it is rock solid. Suspension is smooth; it handles bumps like a caddy. I can lean it all the way to the pegs - which isn't a whole lot (it's a cruiser, after all), but even so I have no problem staying way above the speed limit. The riding position is very comfortable, but the pegs-forward, leaned back position puts some strain on my lower back (history of problems). I've already bought a used driver backrest, which can be had from Pro-Tac for $120 new. The windshield is awesome - I'm so much warmer than on the VFR, and I rode in the rain the other day; the only thing that got wet was my helmet and legs from the knee down. I'm also getting windshield lowers to get the wind/rain off my legs all together.

The engine is awesome. I love the glug-glug-glug, even with the stock pipes. It's got a bit of vibration at low RPMs, but once you get up to highway speeds, it smooths out. I don't know off the top of my head how much power it has, but it definently rocks. It's not the top-end scream of a sportbike, but this thing is no slouch.

I don't know how I rode w/o hard bags. They lock, and now I have my bike cover, three pairs of gloves, jacket liner, cell phone, backpack, and whatever else I need with me at all times. I can also throw anything I need to bring to or from work in there.

Needless to say, I really love this bike. Aside from the regular "is that a Harley?", I don't have any regrets. In fact, I haven't riden my VFR in nearly a week. It's got power, looks, storage, and enough comfort for two people to really travel. Factory hard bags, factory passenger backrest. I'm already planning a weekend trip for me and my girl, which wouldn't have happened on the VFR.
 

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I'm in a similar situation that you are in. My wife didn't like to do very long trips on the Z1000, so I decided to get a cheaper cruiser that we could ride two up comfortably on. Our local Yamaha dealer had a 1997 Honda Shadow Ace 1100 (non-touring model) sitting there. It had 30K mile on it, so I was able to get it for $3700 out the door.

I love the Shadow. It has great power, looks very nice, and rides great. As was mentioned earlier its very nimble for a bigger cruiser. I had a VStar 650, and the Shadow puts it to shame in the handling department. The VStar wasn't near as stable at slower speeds like the Shadow is, and it got even worse when you had a passenger. The Shadow doesn't have that problem. You can hardly tell a passenger is back there.

The Shadow Ace is basically a wanna be Harley. The who bike was made in the USA. Honda of American Manufacturing (also known as HAM) produced this bike to take advantage of Harley's lack of ability to keep up with production numbers in the mid to late 90s. Honda decided to produce a bike that has a similar sound, feel, and look of Harley Davidson. The engine has a shared crank-pin design that helps give it that potatoe-potatoe sound similar to a Harley. At idle the bike vibrates, and vibrates well. At cruising speed the vibrations fade for the most part and the ride really smoothes out. The power delivery is very torquey. I don't know what kind of HP/Torque numbers the bike puts out either, but between the power and the great gearing the bike has plenty getup and go even at Highway speeds. My bike has been jetted and has Vance and Hines pipes on it. They are pretty loud, but they sound really good. I actually get complements from Harley owners on how good the bike sounds!

The ergos on the bike are great! The seating position is a lot more comfortable then my VStar use to be. The bars have just about perfect sweep back for me which really helps eliminate upper shoulder and back pains after longer rides. There is ample room for my wife on the passenger pillion.

There are a few things on my Shadow Ace that could be improved or I dont care for. First of all is the feeling of the brakes. When you squeeze the lever there is very little brake feel and very little bite. Maybe I'm spoiled by the brakes on the Z1000, but I don't remember the brakes on the VStar feeling this bad. The bike stops, but not near as well as I would like. I am going to explore some options later to see if I can improve the brakes any. Most stock seats aren't up to par and the Shadows in no exception. I installed a Corbin seat which greatly improve the comfort of the bike no more tailbone aches. Lastly, the fact that its carbuerated! Again, I'm spoiled by my Z. The bike takes for ever to warm up, being water cooled doesn't speed this process up either. The bike spits, sputters, and stall until it is warmed up. I definately can't be in a hurry to get going when the bike is cold. My carbs my need adjusting, I'm not sure if that would help any though. My air-cooled VStar wasn't near as bad. Of course, it was newer and only had about 5000 miles on it when I got rid of it.

Over all though, I am very pleased with the Shadow. Its a great bike, unfortunately honda doesn't make the ACE any more. You'll have to settle for the Sabre, which has a different engine design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just a few comments on your review...

Racing Rice said:
There are a few things on my Shadow Ace that could be improved or I dont care for. First of all is the feeling of the brakes. When you squeeze the lever there is very little brake feel and very little bite. Maybe I'm spoiled by the brakes on the Z1000, but I don't remember the brakes on the VStar feeling this bad. The bike stops, but not near as well as I would like.
I completely agree. I've heard that new brake lines and pads such as EBC do wonders. I'm looking into that as well.
Racing Rice said:
The bike spits, sputters, and stall until it is warmed up. I definately can't be in a hurry to get going when the bike is cold. My carbs my need adjusting, I'm not sure if that would help any though.
The carbs may be your problem. Mine starts right up with a full choke, and I can back off the choke completely within a minute or two.
 

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A couple of years ago I bought a new "T" shaped battery for my 1998 ACE Vt-1100-T Tourer from Amazon. So, I need a new battery and when i went to Amazon, there was no "T" shaped battery available. It was a Yuasa YUAM22H6B HYB16A-AB Battery. Anyone know where I can get one? Thanks
 
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