Honda Shadow VLX Review

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Honda Shadow VLX Review

Dive into the world of cruisers, and one might stumble upon a gem that resonates with every biker’s heart. The allure? It has undeniable charm and power. Yet, if there’s a tiny hiccup, it’s the 4-speed transmission. Imagine the thrill if there was just one more gear, making those freeway adventures smoother!


  • A V-twin engine that’s just right, hovering around 600cc.
  • Affordability, thanks to its discontinuation.
  • A comfortably low seat height.
  • An auditory delight with its sound.


  • A longing for an additional gear in the transmission.
  • Potentially a tad weighty for the more petite riders.

Delving Deeper into the Honda Shadow VLX Review

Delving Deeper into the Honda Shadow VLX Review
Delving Deeper into the Honda Shadow VLX Review

Spanning two decades, from 1988 to 2008, the Honda Shadow VLX (or VT600c) graced the roads. A cruiser that’s perfect for those just starting their journey, it promises a highway experience that’s both relaxed and exhilarating. After all, isn’t that what cruisers swear? And this Shadow doesn’t disappoint. If cruisers are your thing, the VLX should be on your radar.

Under the Hood: Engine and Gearbox

At the heart of the VLX lies a 583cc V-twin engine. This engine size ensures you’re not unintentionally popping wheelies or leaving skid marks. The inspiration? The iconic Harley Davidson engines are evident in the semi-single pin crank. This translates to a motorcycle that sounds assertive yet not obnoxiously loud, even in its stock form.

However, a peculiar aspect is its 4-speed transmission. This Shadow stands apart in an era where 5 or 6 gears are commonplace. Cruising above 65mph might make it pant a bit, but it’s nothing it can’t handle. Yet, during those long rides, one might occasionally yearn for that elusive higher gear.

A Classic Worth Every Penny

Post-2008, the VLX bid adieu, making way for the beefier Shadow RS with a 750cc engine. While the newer Shadow RS is still a commendable choice for novices, the added power warrants caution. But why splurge on the latest when a superior starter bike awaits at a fraction of the cost?

For those feeling the Honda Rebel 250cc might be too diminutive yet are wary of anything above 650cc, the Shadow VLX is the Goldilocks of bikes. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it’s also a companion that’ll stay by your side for years to come.

Tailored for the Not-so-tall

Weighing in at 439 lbs, it might not be the featherweight champion, but sometimes, a bit of heft ensures freeway stability. A standout feature? Its seat height is 27.2 inches, making it a dream for shorter riders.

This low-slung seat ensures even those of average height can plant their feet firmly on the ground, balancing the bike’s weight. For those under 5’6″, while sportbikes might pose challenges, they’d find solace in the embrace of this Honda Shadow.

In Summation:

For cruiser aficionados, this motorcycle is nothing short of a dream. Is it only a shortcoming? The 4-speed transmission. Yet, even with this limitation, it promises high-speed cruising that’ll leave you yearning for more. So, why wait? Scour local listings and snag this beauty. It’s a decision you’ll cherish!


  • Ideal V-twin engine, close to 600cc.
  • Pocket-friendly due to its discontinuation.
  • A seat height that’s welcoming.
  • Sound that’s music to the ears.


  • The wish for an extra gear.
  • It might be hefty for those on the lighter side.

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