1983 Honda VT500
Bullet-proof, an amazing ownership experience!
Trace amounts of rust in the gas tank (not bad for a 25 year old bike, though)
This Shadow VT500 was my first V-Twin, and the day I sold her I wept bitter tears. If I had my way, it would still be in my garage today, but we moved from Oregon to Oahu, and I just couldn't justify the shipping cost.
It's a Honda, not much more needs to be said. Their near bullet-proof build quality and legendary reliability are what drew me to the Shadow to begin with. I can happily say I was not let down in either category.
This bike started right up without much fuss with the choke (even on colder days). It never broke down on me, and ran like a champ every day I was on it, which was just about every day for two years.
I thought for sure, because it was an older bike, that I would have to replace something on it before too long. But a trip to my regular mechanic gave it a clean bill of health.
The 500cc engine was more than adequate for me. I am not an adrenaline junkie, so I never took it over 80mph (and even then that was rare). It is nimble enough to handle city traffic and comfortable enough for long trips.
If what you are looking for is an incredibly durable and reliable bike, then get yourself a Shadow VT500. If you want break the sound barrier on your bike, you'll need to look elsewhere.
If I find one here on Oahu, I will DEFINITELY buy it.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd September, 2007
I had a VT500C shadow for 5 years in the late 90's, and put 67K trouble free miles on it before selling, still in perfect condition to get a 750 Kawasaki Vulcan, which I put 66K miles on before selling it, also in perfect condition to retire from motorcycling.
Now, 5 years later I miss the bikes and need a commuter to beat traffic and save gas. I decided to purchase an 83 VT500C on eBay.
Bulletproof is the best word to describe this model's essence. It's fast enough, topping out at just around a ton (100mph), and at that speed it feels rock solid.
That front suspension is... robust. Better gas mileage than the Kawi, say 53-56mph. A hidden gem. Best low cost reliable commuter I know of, and I've logged a quarter of a million (accident free) motorcycle miles in 35 years on 6 bikes.
Buy it today, buy it NOW.