First Time Rider - Shadow Questions
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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    4

    First Time Rider - Shadow Questions

    I have been on and off looking at a lot of bikes in the sub $4K price range as my first bike. I am 5' 10" and about 220lbs. I have always wanted a Cruiser, so that is pretty much where I stand. Favorite bikes on the road (looks wise at least) are Indian Scouts and HD Forty-Eights. Obviously, I know those are out of my price range and also would be a bad investment as a bike to learn with haha. Anyways, I have been looking at Shadows, which I find attractive and somewhat forgiving for learning. I have also been looking at V Star 1100's and Vulcan 900's although there seems to be less of them with lower mileage near where I live.

    To my point though, I was wondering about mileage and years and whatnot in a bike. All the bikes I am looking at are sub-15K mileage, which I assume would be considered low to low-mid. Most are sub-10. The two bikes I have found and am checking out this weekend that I like are a 2006 Shadow Spirit 750 (grey/flame) look, has 15,000 miles on it, V&H pipes and a few other small custom stuff. Based on the ad, looks mint. The other is a 2010 Shadow RS 750 (dark grey), all OEM except seat. This is in perfect condition, has about 7,000 miles on it. My questions are around whether newer is always better if in the same ball park of prices? The '06 is listed at $3,600 but since BlueBook is $2,500, I feel I can get it under $3K. The '10 is $3500 final price (listed at $3750). I don't think I have a preference of more cruiser vs more sportster, I tend to like both styles a lot.

    Guess I am looking at opinions on the bikes themselves. The Spirit has been around for a long time, the RS was only made for a few years and not sure why? Will I love each? Are both good starter bikes? Any concerns I would have in either? One of my friends worked for Honda and recommended the '06 over the '10 (he worked for them from '04-'10) but I doubt either are bad quality...

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    11,094
    Welcome to the forum.

    Almost EVERY new rider asks questions like you have asked and there almost NEVER is a really good answer.......because about half of what you want to know is impossible to tell, like which bike situation is the best bet......and the other half is personal preference.

    ALL of the bikes you listed have good general reputations.
    I think anything over about 900 CC's is too much for a rookie.
    Many riders find the Shadow 750's to be excellent first bikes but trade up later.
    If you start on something like a Vstar 950 or a Vulcan 800/900 then you might keep it a long time.

    I warn you to stay away from bikes that have had modifications done to the engine/exhaust/intake because they sometimes have problems that are hard to track down.
    And really LOUD pipes are obnoxious, illegal in most places and just give bikers in general a bad reputation.
    Also avoid any seller who says "It only needs......(anything)" because if it really is that simple he should have done it already.

    A seller who offers the original manual(s) and service records is always preferred over one who offers.....NOTHING, because he likely neglected the bike from day one.

    It really does come down to what fits you the best. Don't be swayed too much by "the look".

    Oh, and brush up on your bicycle riding skills AND take a new rider course BEFORE you get that first new bike. You will be glad that you did.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  4. #3
    Newbie
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy Rider View Post
    Welcome to the forum.

    Almost EVERY new rider asks questions like you have asked and there almost NEVER is a really good answer.......because about half of what you want to know is impossible to tell, like which bike situation is the best bet......and the other half is personal preference.

    ALL of the bikes you listed have good general reputations.
    I think anything over about 900 CC's is too much for a rookie.
    Many riders find the Shadow 750's to be excellent first bikes but trade up later.
    If you start on something like a Vstar 950 or a Vulcan 800/900 then you might keep it a long time.

    I warn you to stay away from bikes that have had modifications done to the engine/exhaust/intake because they sometimes have problems that are hard to track down.
    And really LOUD pipes are obnoxious, illegal in most places and just give bikers in general a bad reputation.
    Also avoid any seller who says "It only needs......(anything)" because if it really is that simple he should have done it already.

    A seller who offers the original manual(s) and service records is always preferred over one who offers.....NOTHING, because he likely neglected the bike from day one.

    It really does come down to what fits you the best. Don't be swayed too much by "the look".

    Oh, and brush up on your bicycle riding skills AND take a new rider course BEFORE you get that first new bike. You will be glad that you did.
    Thanks for the info, most seems common knowledge, just good to hear it from someone. I've "bought" a bike 2 days ago, handshake deal and found the title to be suspect and walked, so I agree, the more details and information on the bike the better. I ride bicycles about 100 miles a week, so I am good on that front. Have my permit and my course is beginning of April. I have been staying clear of everything except exhaust, mainly because it's hard to find bikes without exhaust work it appears haha, but definitely good to know.

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  6. #4
    Found second gear by accident
    My Bike(s)
    2014 Honda Valkyrie
    Location
    atlanta, ga
    Posts
    336
    You should have no problem finding a solid bike in your budget. I'd actually recommend spending a bit less and keeping it under $3k. It's your first bike, and you're gonna beat it up a little. Everyone does.

    I'm not familiar with those bikes but before settling on a brand/model, I always google for common/known issues and customer complaints on the bike. Also join and read model specific bike forums ie, I was interested in the suzuki m109 so went to the m109riders forum and read a lot. Learned about what year models to avoid, what common issues they had and got a better idea of street value of those bikes. Watch craiglist and cycletrader for a while and see how long a bike sits at a certain price, you'll get a better feel for real market value.

    FWIW, In 2014, I bought a 2005 suzuki m50 for my first bike for $2800. Rode it for a year and a half and it only needed the usual maintenance in that time, oil/tires/brakes. If I could do it over again, I'd probably have preferred a shadow 1100 or the vulcan 900 for a first bike but I didn't know enough to know what I wanted out of a bike then.

  7. #5
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    11,094
    Quote Originally Posted by wickedathletes View Post
    I have been staying clear of everything except exhaust, mainly because it's hard to find bikes without exhaust work it appears haha,
    Yes and no. Some dealers don't want any part of a trade-in that has been heavily modified, including straight drag pipes, so the owner has no choice but to sell privately.
    Some are being sold because the mod's caused performance problems that the owner couldn't or wouldn't take the time to fix.

    I encourage you to take your time and get something that you are SURE is in good condition.
    And don't automatically rule out dealers and independent shops. They need to make a living but very few really are crooks. I think the odds of getting screwed are higher with a private seller.

    Good luck !!
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  8. #6
    Found second gear by accident
    My Bike(s)
    2014 Honda Valkyrie
    Location
    atlanta, ga
    Posts
    336
    Dealers necessarily have to charge higher prices for the same bike. Their costs are higher so their profit margin has to be also. However, go armed with good research and you will minimize your cost.
    Also, don't buy from any dealer that doesn't allow you to test ride a used bike. Regardless of what they tell you, there really is no good reason to not allow test rides, if the bike is used. I've signed waivers that basically say "you drop it, you bought it" and have no problem with that. But any dealer not willing to let you try before you buy is a butthole. They don't deserve your business.

  9. #7
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    11,094
    Quote Originally Posted by turboyoshi View Post
    Dealers necessarily have to charge higher prices for the same bike.
    Higher than what.......the inflated price that an individual seller thinks "his baby" is worth ??
    That is not necessarily always true. And a dealer usually will have some kind of warranty. Even if it's only 30 days that can be worth a lot.

    Point is: You should not be biased against or pre-judge any category of seller. Check them ALL out.

    I do absolutely agree with the rest of your post though.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  10. #8
    Found second gear by accident
    My Bike(s)
    2014 Honda Valkyrie
    Location
    atlanta, ga
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy Rider View Post
    Higher than what.......the inflated price that an individual seller thinks "his baby" is worth ??
    Education, as usual, is your best defense. If your go in as an informed buyer it won't really matter who you buy from.

    I generally wouldn't bother to even correspond with sellers who are priced way above market and I agree, there are a lot of those types, but there are plenty enough examples of private sellers who realize the market value of their product and price accordingly. I usually sell items within a month of listing, probably because I don't get emotionally attached to them. The way I look at it, I've already spent the money so if I get back any reasonable amount, I'm happy. I'd rather destroy an item than let someone get it for a steal though.

  11. #9
    Newbie
    Posts
    4
    thanks everyone, definitely helpful information. I am looking at 3 shadows tomorrow at a dealer as well, hoping one if the one haha. Slow and steady will win this race. So far 0-2 on Craigslist, one fell through because of a shady title, the other because well, "it was his baby" and he wanted $1100 over blue book value, even $400 over dealer value lol.

  12. #10
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    11,094
    Quote Originally Posted by wickedathletes View Post
    Have my permit and my course is beginning of April.
    Quote Originally Posted by wickedathletes View Post
    I am looking at 3 shadows tomorrow at a dealer as well, hoping one if the one haha. Slow and steady will win this race.
    Well you seem to be determined not to follow our advice, even though it appears that you agree with it.

    Without a full motorcycle endorsement on your license, it is highly likely that a dealer will NOT allow you to test ride even a used bike.
    Buying anything from anybody if you can't test ride it is a BAD IDEA.

    But it's your money and your time and your skin so I guess you have to do what you have made up your mind to do.
    Good luck. I hope it turns out OK. Keep us informed.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  13. #11
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    2009 Suzuki VZ800Z Boulevard M50 Limited ,2015 Honda CBR 500R
    Location
    Ipswich , Australia
    Posts
    4
    Personally I would go with a Honda , then Yamaha then either Kawasaki or Suzuki , Honda make great bikes , always have , reliable as reliable can get , Comfort is a big factor too , make sure you have a Comfy saddle , Also Suspension is a BIG deal ,, Some have Mono Shock while some have rear springs / shocks ,, Its easier and cheaper to upgrade rear duel spring / shocks than trying to upgrade a Center Mono Shock , Brakes .. A rear disc brake is far better than a rear Brake Drum , some Rear brake Drums on Jap bikes are terrible , BTW I own a 2009 M50 Suzuki Boulevard with 13,000 miles on it , I like it and it rides good , but you get what you pay for , Yes my seat could be more comfy , rear brakes are crap and it feels like it has No suspension lol


 

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