Honda Shadow 750 vs Yamaha V-Star 650: help to choose

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Honda Shadow 750 vs Yamaha V-Star 650: help to choose

Unread post by InvisibleRider » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:39 pm

Hello everybody,
I am considering to buy my first mid-size cruiser. Both bikes look very appealing to me. Tried both of them and really like them both (surprise, surprise!). I am really stuck now with my decision: which one.
:frusty:
I am 6'2 and 200 lb.
I understand that it's all personal, but...
Please, give your comments on the bikes: riding comfort, fuel economy, handling, maintains or whatever.
Appreciate your help.
Thanks, guys.
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Unread post by DivideOverflow » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:36 pm

The Shadow 750 is a much better bike in my opinion. The V-Star 650 is a real pig, my 250cc cruiser pulled away from the V-star.... it can barely get out of its own way.

I've ridden a Shadow Spirit 750, and I really liked it (for what it was, I'm more of a sportbike type guy now). It was comfortable enough, handled fine around town, I didn't get it on the highway (it was a test ride). I'm 6'0 and about 235lbs, for comparison. The fuel economy should be around 40mpg I believe.

Honda's have historically cheap maintenance, and great reliability. I just never liked the V-Star series for some reason... Part of that reason being that you can't even change the oil without an oil filter re-location kit on the 1100. The other reason being that the 650 was slower than my 250, and didn't handle as well either.

I'd definitely pick the honda. Also, if you haven't checked out the Vulcan 800 (or 900), you might want to. It is a good bike as well, and I would put that over the Yamaha on my list.
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Unread post by Scott58 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:23 am

I looked pretty hard at the Vstar 650 silverado last year and ended up getting the Suzuki S50 (the dealer sold both and they were parked next to each other). I didn't like the feel of the vstar after sitting on the S50 (plus it's heavier then what I like). It had everything I wanted already on it, but in the end I took the S50 and outfitted it the same way the vstar was. Glad i did. Got less money in it and it has alot more power for interstate riding (which I do alot of).

Don't know much about the Honda, but my Rebel is near bullet proof and the quality is equal to if not superior to my suzuki in fit and finish at 1/2 the cost. If I was faced with your decision I'd get the shadow based on the quality of the Rebel.
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Unread post by celt » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:31 am

I had a 750 ACE and have ridden my friend's Boulevard C50, and I'd take either of those over the V star.

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Unread post by MotoF150 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:38 am

I would pick the Yamaha 650 V Star over the Honda 750 cause of the weight and difference in power, the Yamaha is lower weight and has better 1/4 mile and HP numbers, the Yamaha is easiser to ride and handle, both bikes are not that fast and quick but the Yamaha is faster and it looks better too.
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Unread post by Tarheel365 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:13 am

MotoF150 wrote:I would pick the Yamaha 650 V Star over the Honda 750 cause of the weight and difference in power, the Yamaha is lower weight and has better 1/4 mile and HP numbers, the Yamaha is easiser to ride and handle, both bikes are not that fast and quick but the Yamaha is faster and it looks better too.
don't listen to this tool. he buys bikes w/o research at all.

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/roadte ... 0_classic/

http://www.thundermfg.com/store/downloa ... 0vstar.gif

PERFORMANCE
Fuel mileage: 37.2 to 45.0 mpg, 40.1 mpg average
Average range: 172 mi.
RPM at 60 mph, top gear: 4180
200 yard, top-gear-acceleration from 50 mph, terminal speed: 69.0 mph
Quarter-mile acceleration: 15.91 sec., 80.4 mph

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/roadte ... pirit_750/

http://www.thundermfg.com/store/downloa ... shadow.gif

PERFORMANCE
Fuel mileage: 36 to 41 mpg, 38.9 mpg avg.
Average range: 133 miles
Rpm at 60 mph, top-gear: 3400
200 yard, top-gear acceleration from 50 mph, terminal speed: 69.97 mph
Quarter-mile acceleration: 12.28 sec., 83.9 mph
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Unread post by Scott58 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:15 am

12.28 sec 1/4? Not without lots of additional money.
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Unread post by DivideOverflow » Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:32 pm

Shadow Spirit 750
Price: $5999 - Wet weight: 528 lbs. - Engine: 745cc liquid-cooled OHC 52-degree V-twin, 3 valves per cylinder - Fuel capacity: 3.6 gal. - Fuel mileage: 44.0 mpg - 1/4 mile acceleration: 14.83 sec., 86.7 mph

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/roadte ... omparison/

Yeah, the 12 sec 1/4 was likely a typo, or the dropped it 1/4 mile down a mountain. But it is definitely faster than the 650... and there is a MAJOR difference when riding them.

EDIT: ALTHOUGH, I just found a link on motorcyclist stating a 12 sec quarter on the shadow spirit in 01. Maybe we need to dig up their 2001 bike and see what the difference is!
Shadow Spirit 750 ('01) 41.4 @ 5750 43.2 @ 3500 11.98 @ 86.7 9.15 523 4/01
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/performancedata/
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Unread post by flynrider » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:02 pm

That's gotta be a typo. I've ridden several shadows and none of them were even close to being 12 second bikes. Also, the 86.7 mph terminal speed would lead me to believe the time was a typo.

To the OP, I also would also pick the Shadow. Ride is noticably zippier than the V-Star at the low end and the top end.
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Unread post by DivideOverflow » Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:02 pm

Yeah, but the 12.23 and 11.98 at two different places is very, very suspect. I dunno... The 14.83 sounds very believable, though. That is pretty quick, too. There are a lot of ricers dying to break the 15 second mark...haha.

I saw a head conversion kit with cams a few years ago for the Shadow 750... wasn't able to find it tonight though. But those mods costed about a grand for both, and brought the bike up to 70ish hp and 85 ft-lbs with aftermarket exhaust. I had considered getting a Spirit 750 and those mods when I was looking for my third bike... but I decided to get the VF700 instead. I still wouldn't mind one for tooling around town, though.
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Unread post by MotoF150 » Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:53 am

The V Star is lighter in weight, easiser to ride and handle, more comfortable on long rides, no vibration and it looks better than the Honda Shadow, most non biker people mistake the V Star for a Harley, also there are ten times more engine mods to increase the power and accessories and add ons are in an endless supply for the Yamaha V Star. its a bike you can custom and make it your own.
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Unread post by Tarheel365 » Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:54 am

:shock:
Depends on where you'll be taking the bike.....
on the highway the vstar will get blown around and maintaining higher speeds will make the bike buzzy.

the shadow won't fare much better but it'll be more resistant and have a bit more top end speed.

i suggest checking out the vstar and shadow forums and read what the little perks are for each bike. i wouldn't trust a guy who claims to be a pro yet doesn't do reseach in his own bike.

from what I've read even from shadow and vstar 1100 owners....their bikes get buzzy at around 80 mph as well. i'd check out the suzuki boulevards....they've been around for years as well and their fuel injected.
http://www.motorcycle-journal.com/forum/
or www.volusiariders.com

for comfort....its all up the rider. you'll prob end up having to upgrade the seat for long rides despite the bike you purchase. fuel economy should be about even for all bikes in this class. the 650 will prob have worse if you're doing more highway miles. handling, the vstar will prob win since its a lower center of gravity and its lighter. I went through this whole deal last year too.

I had it narrowed down to a vulcan 900 and an m50. I knew I wanted FI so I didnt have to deal w/ rejetting and I wanted a watercooled motor for commuting. I went to the dealer and sat on both. the 900 is a full sized bike. i think it has the same wheelbase as some of the big HDs. I sat on the m50 and I liked it, but I also looked at the c50(Volusia) and even though they have the same motor the c50 was physically as big as the 900. I didn't get to sit on the shadow but I know those were bigger than the shadow. for a 6'2" guy like yourself i'd go w/ something I can stretch my legs out on so as not to feel so cramped.
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Unread post by MotoF150 » Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:40 am

Yamaha has been making the V Stars for a long time and they have been proven to be reliable and everybody knows about the electrical problems with the Honda's, if you don't know read the reviews
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Unread post by Doogie » Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:45 pm

Both are good bikes that you would enjoy. How much experience do you have with motorcycle? Have you taken a Motorcycle Riding Course? Keep in mind that anyone can jump on a bike and go straight down the road. How you handle slow maneuvers under 10 mph should be a bigger indicator of how much bike you can handle. There is nothing like dropping a new bike in a slow turn!

I wouldn't look at quarter mile times as much as I would handling and comfort in the saddle. What type of riding do you plan on doing? Smaller bikes like these are great in town and on backroads, but tend to be more uncomfortable on long rides at 80 mph. As others have mentioned, anything under 800 cc will begin to peter out at 80 mph and will be a little buzzy.

If you think you can handle something in this range, personally I would recommend the Kawasaki Vulcan 900. Excellent reviews, fuel injection, and belt drive make this a great bike for the class.

I also used to Ride a Honda Sabre 1100 and really enjoyed it. You can pick up used Sabres and the Honda Spirit 1100 that are a couple of years old in the $5000-6000 range.

Good luck in your search! Just be honest about what your experience level is and pick out a bike that fits it.

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Unread post by DivideOverflow » Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:08 pm

MotoF150 wrote:Yamaha has been making the V Stars for a long time and they have been proven to be reliable and everybody knows about the electrical problems with the Honda's, if you don't know read the reviews
What the hell are you talking about? Honda has been making shadows since the 80s, the only electrical problems with honda are the rectifier/regulators, and those aren't really a problem on the shadows.

The V-Star is slow for a cruiser. It is the slowest bike above 250ccs.... Seriously, try and find a slower 650cc bike... they don't exist. They are a pain in the "O Ring" to maintain, where as Hondas have excellent maintenance records.

Like Doogie said, also check out the Vulcan 800s and 900s. They are a really good bike for the money as well.
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Unread post by big_ry_ry » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:49 pm

also something to look at is the seat height if you are a shorter rider, i was supried to see the honda seat height at 25.7". That is shorter than the kawa 125 or the rebel 250

vlx seat height 25.6" i belive the others were 26. something

I see you are taller just wondering if there are any leg issues with turning?on either bike.

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Unread post by InvisibleRider » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:57 pm

Hello, everybody!
Finally, it happened!!!!!
I got Honda Shadow 750!
Just a few days ago. Going carefully through the transition from a trail bike to the cruiser now. During the first couple of days I was scared of scraping my bum on the tarmac - the seat felt so low! But I'm getting used to it. I am really enjoying my new toy, but trying to stay reasonable with my excitement.

THANK YOU EVERYBODY FOR YOUR COMMENTS.
Talk to you soon.
Cheers.
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Unread post by Doogie » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:14 pm

Congrats on the new bike! Be safe and enjoy it!

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Unread post by celt » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:17 pm

which model of the shadow did you get?

any pics yet?


oh, and CONGRATS!

i'm a bit partial, but Shadows are wonderful bikes. :D

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Unread post by cherokeepati » Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:18 pm

:happybikeday: Congrats! I'm glad you got the Shadow. I think you'll find you made the right decision in your choice. May you have many safe and pleasurable rides this summer!! :D
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