Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles Reviews (88)
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2012-09-23 2001 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my bike new in the spring of 2001 and have put all but about 50 of the 82.6K miles on it. I have left it basically stock except for functional modifications. Stock pipes and carb jets, handlebars, etc. - all I can say for this bike is it is reliable as in all these years I have had to perform very few repairs. I replaced the plugs at 39K (checked at 49 and 82 and they still looked as good as new so I left them in), Stator at 39K, kill switch at 40k, diaphragms in the carbs at 60k. There was one front fork seal leaking at 70K. All together it cost less that $650 in these 11 yrs. The ride is great. I added a driver's backrest and although usually at about 100-130 miles I get a ache in my shoulders. I have the same problem no matter what I ride, including a Yamaha Venture I used to have. Riding with my wife is no problem as it has enough power for 2 up as well. It handles good and is very stable. I've done 400 miles a day on it and that's about all I want but know guys who can do more comfortably. I tried a Mustang Classic seat but it didn't agree with me so I went back to a stock one. It will cruise backroads at 40-50 mph. all day and hit the interstate at 75-85 just as well. It does lack a little in torque but once you learn to downshift and use 5th gear basically over 60-65, it's fine. Barring any major problems I am looking at over 100K on this bike as to be honest I haven't ridden anything I like better yet in its class.
- Jeff Oliver, Dresden, Tennessee

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2010-04-11 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought this bike new and loved it since then. I usually don't ride long distance and low miles speak for themselves. But whenever I get a chance I ride this bike at least 80 to 120 miles in one leg. Bike is very good looking, comfortable, easy to maintain and easy to handle in any road conditions. Highly recommended.
- Amjad, Fort Wayne, Indiana

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2009-09-03 1999 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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My girlfriend talked me into buying this bike last year. I didn't really want it, but now I am truly hooked. Only bad thing is now I NEED something bigger. don't get me wrong...it's an awesome bike. I added k&n air and oil filter, cobra pipes and jet kit and flame grips. After changing what I'm guessing was the original (clogged) fuel filter, it all came together. Scary fast and loud (no baffles). As for the guy who said weird gear ratios, the pipes and jet kit took care of that. It hits the rev limiter much quicker now if you want to, and much less downshifting and lugging. Now JUST WANT BIGGER AND BADDER! No disappointments. Ride long and safe!
- dave colombo, st ann, Missouri

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2009-07-26 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Great bike for country roads. Gas mileage from 60 to 65 mpg but fades to 50 to 55 on highway speeds over 55. Only abnormal problem was to replace regulator rectifier after 47,000 miles.
- BZ, Virginia Beach, Virginia

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2009-07-23 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought my VT1100 Spirit Oct of 08 and have put about 10,000 on it in the 8 months of ownership. Gas, Oil and plugs and of course tires are the only things neede to keep this bike running. What you don't need are valve adjustments since they are hydraulic. Good torque even with two up and fast enough to still get you in trouble but no 1/4 mile records are planned. Seat IMO is more comfy than the VTX1300 and shifting works smoother too. Is too bad 2007 was the last year for this bike.
- RJM, St Augustine, Florida

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2007-06-06 2001 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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This was my choice for my first bike after 20 years without a bike. As soon as my butt hit that seat I knew that it was the one I wanted. It sat good and low and had perfect balance. It's a great bike with plenty of snap, my only desire for more would be one more gear on the highway. The RPM's are pretty high at 70 mph. Other than that I love the bike!
- Gary Jenness, Garland, Texas

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2007-02-20 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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My wife and I purchased a new 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit VT1100 on October 31, 2002 and we are still riding it. We commute, take summer trips, and joy ride almost daily. Every summer we take long trips and our last one was to Nova Scotia. With over 50,000 miles we must say we are very happy with our purchase. We chose this bike because it is virtually maintenance free with hydraulic lifters, shaft drive, easy access to change the oil & filter, and the cost. We have our bike serviced every year just before our summer riding begins. The only real problem we found with this bike is the small fuel tank. Around town and commuting it is no problem. But, when we are touring and have to stop every 50 to 100 miles for gas it is very time consuming. And, if you ever get caught in 40 mph head winds in Wyoming going two up, your tank of gas can only take you about 60 miles before hitting the reserve. I can still remember counting down the miles to the next gas station and figuring out how long it would take me to push the bike that far when I ran out of gas, while my wife on the back, having no idea there is a problem, shouting out to pull over for her to take a picture. Luckily, we made it! That is why on a tour I know where the next stop is and never second guess. When in doubt, stop and fill it up! When my wife and I started putting on electrical upgrades, heated clothing and fog lights, the dealer said that the alternator will not accommodate these items. To help us manage this we added a volt meter. On long trips my wife and I run heated jacket liners. In the winter I run a complete set of heated clothing. Jacket liner, pant liner, gloves, and socks. At highway cruising speed, about 70 mph, our bike runs at a constant 13.9 volts and when using one full set of heated clothing the volt meter reads 13.7 volts. Even though the dealer said we could go as low as 12 volts, we have always kept it above 13 volts. Once, on June 29, 2005 I was just outside of Cleveland, OH I noticed it was not charging and the battery was getting low. I went to the nearest dealer and they replaced the rectifier, regulator, and gave me a new battery, all of which were covered by our extended warranty. They went out of their way and took the parts off a new show room model to get me back on the road in less than 3 hours. Not all dealers are the same. In late 2006 we took our bike to where we purchased it. This is our second bike to purchase from this dealer, the first was a new 2002 KLR650. We told them about an electrical and shifting problem we were having. The electrical problem turned out to be the stator which was covered by the extended warranty. The shifting problem was when we are cruising in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gears and want to pass, the rpm's would increase, but the bike would have up to a 3 second pause before the bike would move faster. Our dealer said it was the carburetor and charged us $338 to service it. When we got our bike back we still had the shifting problem. After telling our dealer that they didn't fix it they said to bring it in and they would take another look at it. I told them they had their chance. Well, we lived with the problem up until we were about to take our next trip. We took our bike out of town to a different dealership. We told the service manager what had happened to us and if he could help us. He said he hadn't heard of this problem on a Shadow before, but had seen it on other models. He said it sounds like the clutch is slipping. In a rainstorm, on February 9, 2007 I rode our bike to the dealer and left it to have a new clutch installed. It is nice to have the extended warranty. On February 16, 2007 I picked it up and drove to Monterey, CA the next day, a 760 mile round trip through the wine country, golden gate, and Hwy 1 coast route. I came home yesterday and still no problem shifting. It shifts like a new machine again.
- Paul & Patricia, Red Bluff, California

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2006-09-15 1999 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Ran up another 4000 and still love the bike. I have read that it would be better with a tac, or with gas gauge or with disk on the back wheel. Going back to the Honda dealer I found they make a bike with all of these just different bikes. They even make one with a different gearing!!! I'll take the bike I have. Back to basics motorcycle, you don't work on it, you ride it.
- Mac, Bevercreek, Ohio

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2006-05-19 2000 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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I was looking for a bike last year, and went into a Harley dealership. Nice bikes, but the 1200 was over $14K out the door. Insane!! A friend of mine recommended that I look at used bikes since I hadn't ridden before. Great advise. After taking the MSF class I started looking and found a used 2000 Spirit VT1100C in beautiful shape, and got it for $3,200. This is my first bike, and it's been great. Very forgiving, and an excellent bike to learn on. Not so big that it can't be handled, and not so small that it would be easy to outgrow. Since buying the bike I've replaced the tires with Metzlers, put on a Mustang seat and a National Cycle street shield. It's a confidence-building bike, and with every mile I ride it I get happier and happier. It's so much fun!! I'd do it all over again
- Steve, Phoenix, Arizona

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2004-12-18 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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I've found that no one produces a bike for someone my size. The Spirit offered a great canvas for the mods to fit my size and style. The performance out of the crate has been good all around. Once I had more time on the bike I found that the suspension was a little spongey for my riding style, and probably my weight.
- Ian, Springfield, New Jersey

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2004-09-27 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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BOUGHT THIS BIKE NEW AND I LOVE IT! THE ONLY COMPLAINT IS THE SEAT IS NOT VERY COMFY, ALTHOUGH WITH THE HIGHWAY BARS ON IT, I CAN STRETCH OUT. ALSO I LIKE THE FACT I GET 53 MILES PER GALLON WITH IT. I'M PLANNING A TRIP THRU THE U.P. OF MICHIGAN NEXT JULY.
- steve p, brown coty, Michigan

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2004-03-11 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my 2003 VT 1100 late last summer. After riding over just 2000 mile, I think I would like to put a more comfortable seat on it. Believe me, the after market seats can be found, but are really expensive. don't get me wrong, I love the bike, but, being a new bike owner, there are some things I'd do differently. So if you are reading this review, and thinking about getting the spirit VT 1100, I say go for it. Only one thing I wish someone would have told me. That is, to get all the accessories you want on it financed with the bike. It will be easier for you to come up with the bike payment, than to come up the $200.00 plus every time you want to add to your bike. Accessories ARE expensive.
- Larry Cominsky, Mineral Wells, Texas

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2004-02-26 1999 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Excellent quality and a lot of bike for the money. Getting dated (been around about 18 years), but still looks GREAT, especially if you like that softtail classic look. It's got an enduring cool look. Lots and lots of chrome in stock form, and lots of after-market accessory items available ... you can dress this bike to the nines. Most riders won't keep it more than 2-3 years as it's the ideal bike if you are working your way up the food chain to the heavy metal of the 1500cc+ range. But you'll love this bike while you have it. For those who want to stay in the mid-size cruiser group, you can keep it forever. You won't get this much bike for your dollar in any other bike I know of.
- Gerry McDonald, London, Ontario

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2004-02-17 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought an 1100 Shadow Spirit in July of 2003. This is the third bike I have ridden, and the first that I have owned. Logged just over 9200 miles this first summer. I only have two small complaints, and the rest is all positive. I wish that it had gauges, like tachometer, water temp, volts, and fuel. I like to know what is going on in the engine. I have added an LED voltmeter that is very small and useful. I also plan to add a tachometer this winter. The only other small negative, is that I get a small driveline shudder (no, I am not lugging it) under moderate acceleration. This is only intermittent, and if you roll on some power, it disappears instantly. I think it may be a small side affect of shaft drive. Now for the positive. Looks are fantastic, breaking is great, acceleration is very acceptable, fuel economy is great (50+, I am not a punishing rider, and not a grandpa either), no problems yet, starts great every time, choke is perfect, sounds ok but leaves a little to be desired, I could go on and on. I will be ready for a tire around 10-12K on the rear; the front will run twice that distance. I love this bike so much that I will drive 50 miles out of my way to get fuel. I have designed my own rider backrest because I can't see spending 500 to 700 bucks on a Corbin or Mustang for an 8000-dollar bike. I have taken some long rides, 400+, in a day. I can't say that my backside wasn't sore after 10-12 hours, but it is possible, and well worth it. My biggest problem is convincing myself to turn around and start heading home. Can't wait for spring, I am on the bike any time over 32 degrees. I would recommend this bike to any new rider (who is confident and properly trained) or any seasoned rider. The weight is not too heavy and not too light. Good all around bike! Feel free to email with any specific questions, comments or suggestions.
- Ben, Cambridge, Wisconsin

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2004-02-04 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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I have been riding for well over 20 years and have only owned three motorcycles during this time, the (03) Shadow Spirit 1100 is the last in the short line. The previous bike to the Shadow was an 84 Honda V65 Magna. I had to let it sit idle for several years, if I could have economically and confidently restored it I would have, but so it goes. So as I get into the review, the issues I have with the Shadow may come more from an unfair comparison with the Magna than any real problem with the Shadow. While I enjoy the bike for the most part, there are things I would change if I could. First, it has taken some time to get use to the acceleration of a V-twin relative to the V-4. The Magna would lift the front tire off the ground and hit 55 with little pause. Sadly the Shadow accelerates much more slowly. don't get me wrong, its not a dog, just not what I am use to. The next issue is handling, while the Shadow handles well, it does not allow for much lean into curves. I have scraped the front foot pegs and peg brackets more than I care to report. It is a little disconcerting to go into a curve, hit the foot peg, and thereby bumps the rear tire sideways. If anyone reading this has a fix for this I would be happy to listen. Maybe it's just the nature of the cruiser beast. Next is the sound, while the Magna was not ideal in this category, neither is the Shadow. The sound is too muffled for my taste. I don't want straight pipes with flames coming out them but a little more rumble would be nice. Again, anyone with a fix for this, short of buying new pipes, please feel free to advise. Lastly, and least importantly, is the seat. While comfortable on short rides the stiffness numbs my backside after 30 - 60 min. of riding. Maybe this will soften some over time. So, there's the list, there are some other minor things but I don't want to sound whiney. Bottom line, I really do like the motorcycle and would recommend anyone interested in this kind of bike, give it a spin, for the money you can't go wrong.
- Oban, Warrenton, Virginia

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2003-10-13 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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I've owned 17 bikes Including Gold Wings and Harleys. I don't do long trips anymore so I wanted something fun and a bit lighter. This 100 Spirit is one great fun bike. Rode it 6000 miles this summer with zero problems. I bought a new 03 650 Vstar last fall and traded it after the rear wheel bearing failed at 1700 miles. Should have bought the Honda first.
- Al, Shirland, Illinois

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2003-10-05 2001 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Please don't get upset ... but ... I've had smaller bikes that seemed a LOT more responsive. The bike is beautiful. Classic cruiser looks and feel. I own an old 81 Kawasaki 550 LTD with a Jardine 4 into 1 header and a GPZ cam stuck in it that will eat this bike alive though! that's half the cc's, lighter bike, and the same feel. The good sides of things however is that this is practically a maintenance free motorcycle. Shaft drive, hydraulic valves, heck .. change the plugs and the oil every so often and you are on you way! The torque is impressive! When my wife sits behind me, the bike feels like it is pulling exactly the same as with a solo rider. Guess it's time for me to slow down a little and "cruise", which is what this machine was intended for. This is my wife's bike, I now ride a VTX1300C. Same shortcomings, but I LOVE the way it handles.
- Wink, Bloomingdale, Georgia

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2003-08-12 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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I rode my 2001 to Sturgis and back this year (2003) - ZERO problems! Great bike - btw, I am 6'1" and 187 lbs - add the highway bars and pegs to stretch your legs. Bronco
- Michael Bailey, Independence, Missouri

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2003-08-08 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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After reading a very positive review in a magazine, and finding a lack of used models in my area, I decided to take the debt plunge (have paid cash on all previous used bikes) and get the 03 1100 Spirit. What a joy to ride! I was prepared to pay more, but I couldn't have asked for a better bike for the money. It'll keep up with the overpriced domestic cruisers, take my lovely bride and I anywhere we want to go, and the bike just looks great! I wish it were a little louder in the exhaust dept., but, all things considered, it's just vanity. I've added cobra freeway bars and rear fender rail extensions, mc enterprises tail rack, national cycle ranger windshield. Killer looks, ride, and cruise-a-bility! If your thinking about getting this bike, go for it! You won't be disappointed.
- Buck Bell, Roswell, New Mexico

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2003-08-05 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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This bike has stunning good looks. Has the appearance of a bike carrying a lot power. The handling is crisp and straight forward. Shifting is precise and has fairly good tactile feel so you know you've done something, The ride is comfortable and the balance of the bike leaves little to complain about. The only change I made was the addition of the Vance & Hine Straightshot pipes, plus porting the jets to accomodate the new pipes. With this system your ride is safer since they can hear you if you're in their blind spot etc. If you have the duckets get the Red or Purple Flame color scheme ... It doesn't get much better that this bike ... for the $$$$$
- Johnny, Fredericksburg, Virginia

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2003-08-01 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought the shadow spirit 750 on 6-25-03. First bike I ever bought, first bike I ever rode! Comparing it to nothing makes this a great ride. Surprising how many people comment on the great looks of the bike. More than one guy has aked what model harley it is? At fifty two years of age I may be a late bloomer, but what fun!! thanks for the time, Kev
- kevin bres, glenside, Pennsylvania

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2003-07-25 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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For dependability, power, style and comfort...for the money, dollar for dollar, this bike is superior. Eat your heart out Harley. There's no sense (or dollars) in paying 10 to 12 thousand dollars more for a similar bike just because the words: "Harley Davidson" are on it. This bike has outstanding features including the shaft drive...40+ MPG, passenger comfort, all for $7999!!! Go to your Honda Dealer today! No, I'm NOT being paid, but with a review (commerical) like this, I should ask...
- John Coy, Indpls, Indiana

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2003-07-21 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Got my Black 03 1100 Spirit in April 0f 03 and haven't looked back!! Looked around for 6 months(seriously) and KNOW I made the right decision!!! Great ride and feel!! Best bang for the buck. I've added sadlebags and a windshield. The ONLY PROBLEM I've had is staying off the thing!! Ride safe and Enjoy!!!
- John J., Spfld., Massachusetts

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2003-07-19 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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The bike is almost perfect, except for the slight crunch going into second gear. I was told that is the nature of the beast. Great ride, dependable, new tyres at 12000 miles. Metzler RE880 totally changed the handling for the good, recommend Metzler tyres
- Rich, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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2003-07-14 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit Motorcycles View Listings

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Just got back into riding after a long absence. I love this bike! The passenger seat is a joke, had to order a Mustang seat for my wife, also got a backrest. The exhaust could be a little louder, ordered a Cobra exhaust. But I still love this bike. I got the purple with flames. Bike gets a lot of thumbs-up.
- audie, bristow, Virginia

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