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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









READER MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2008 Honda Shadow Spirit C2 750

By Sherry Brody, Litchfield Park, Arizona

Sherry's height: 5 feet 2 inches
10/12/2009

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I purchased my Honda Shadow Spirit with only 400 miles on it. I love this bike! The bike is approximately 600 pounds but is weighted very well. Before I purchased this bike, I was riding a Honda Shadow VLX 600, which was very top-heavy. I bought the Spirit with the red windshield, engine guard and saddlebags already on it. I don't like the look of saddlebags in general, so I removed them and use a hip pouch and/or a backpack.

??The day I purchased the bike, I ordered a custom Corbin seat. I asked Corbin to design the seat according to my height and inseam (27 inches) so the seat would move me slightly forward and closer to the ground. After my husband installed the Corbin seat, I decided that even with the new seat, I still wanted to have my handlebars come in a bit and back farther. Honda does not offer any other handlebar or riser with this bike. The risers the bike comes with are about 9 inches, and the bar is a "drag bar," meaning it is almost straight across. My arms did not have enough bend and my shoulders would ache.

This photo was taken with the original Honda Shadow Spirit handlebars. In order to be more comfortable, Sherry installed aftermarket Harley-Davidson handlebars.
This photo was taken with the original Honda Shadow Spirit handlebars. In order to be more comfortable, Sherry installed aftermarket Harley-Davidson handlebars.

I purchased a pair of Harley-Davidson handlebars. I rode the bike to a Harley-Davidson dealership, and their service guy brought a couple pairs out into the parking lot and laid them on top of my bars so I could see the difference in the bars they carried. The Honda dealer installed the new bars, which are fantastic. Because these bars were completely different than the ones the bike comes with, all of the cables had to be changed out (the turn signals, horn, clutch, brake lever, throttle, etc.). The cables had to be routed under the tank to have a clean look, and it took two weeks for all of the cables to come in and to change everything out. I knew this would be an expense, as I had read reviews on the Internet before I purchased the bike. Many women loved the bike as I do, but the handlebars seemed too far of a reach for them as well. The cost for the work was $1,000, and I think it was a fantastic investment.

My second-choice bike was the Harley-Davidson 1200L Sportster. If I had bought the Sportster, it would have needed a kickstand extension, windshield, engine guard, a new seat and handlebars, and the back end would have had to be lowered an additional inch. The cost for the six items I would have needed on the Harley-Davidson verses the seat and handlebars I needed on the Honda was higher, and in my opinion, the Shadow is a meatier and prettier-looking bike.

It took a couple hundred miles to get used to the drum brakes. My rear disc brakes on my old bike would grab quicker. The drum brakes need to be depressed a bit more, but I no longer notice since I've just put 1,000 miles on the bike in just four weeks.

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