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Honda VT750C Shadow

2005-11-23 14:21

Brett Hamilton

Just like all small cruisers on our market, at first glance it is clear that it is an unashamed rip-off of Milwaukee metal.

This is not the only interesting model Honda has introduced to South Africa in recent times.

Earlier this year, they entered new territory with the Pan European long-distance tourer - a bike aimed directly at the dominance of BMW in this market segment.

I suppose the Shadow is aimed at brining down Harley. The thing is, will it?

A spokesperson for Harley said, "Ha, what's a Shadow?" Clearly they aren't worried. So what is this bike really about?

Going on the figures the Shadow doesn't come close to backing up its hard-ass looks with decent romp.

It pumps out 34kW at 5 500rpm and 65Nm at 3 000rpm. On the road this equates to a mellow ride.

You have to rev the motor to get any type of performance out of it - not really a thing you want to do on a cruiser.

Then, even with the engine spinning high, the exhaust note is quieter than a church mouse. More like a small vacuum cleaner.

People are quick to criticise the "potato-potato" rumble of a Harley, but you sure do miss it when it is not there.

The engine is in fact a 52degree V-twin and power is transferred to the shaft drive through a five-speed transmission.

Shifting up or down is "clunky", but thankfully you do get quite a bit of torque - so the bike doesn't require too much gear bashing.

Remaining hardware is credible with a 296mm, twin-piston floating calliper disc at the front and a 180mm drum brake slapped on the back.

As with most cruisers the rear brake is superb and can do most of the work. And it needs to because the front brake isn't very useful.

The bike has a 1 645mm wheelbase - very long, even for a cruiser. This gives it great looks, but makes cornering cumbersome.

I am very accustomed to cruisers, but the handlebars on this baby shakes a little too much.

The front wheel feels very flighty and requires a fair bit of counter steering.

Long, open roads are where this machine feels right at home. It is extremely comfortable.

The low seat stands at 660mm and should make the newcomer a perfect entry-level machine - the perfect step-up to bigger, more powerful machines.

A speedo sits on a 14-litre teardrop fuel tank with raked handlebars finishing the low-rider styling.

Despite the fact that the motor is liquid-cooled, it predictably features the trademark cooling fins. Form over function, right?

You also get classic-style mudguards with a tombstone rear light. Adding to the cool factor is the fact that the bike is only available in basic black.

R72 200 is all you need to take a Shadow off the showroom floor.


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