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Motorcycle History - The Honda VT750 Shadow Spirit

September 18, 2012 - San Diego, CA

Made by Honda since 1983, the Honda Shadow line of motorcycles features motorcycles with a liquid-cooled 52-degree V-twin engine ranging from 125 to 1,800 cc engine displacement.


Introduced in an attempt to address the needs of the American cruiser market, Honda's first in the Shadow series of motorcycles was the "VT500c" and "VT750c." However, because of tariff restrictions in the US at the time, the VT750c was reduced to 699 cc in 1984 and was sold as the Vt700c. In 1985, the tariff was lifted and the line soon expanded to the "VT1100c." In 1988 the VT750c was replaced by the VT800c. In 1989 the "VT600c" was launched.

The Honda Shadow line changed little after 1989 until the introduction of the 750 cc Honda Shadow Ace in 1997. From 2000 to 2007, the Honda Shadow Sabre replaced the VT1100cc until its replacement by the VTX1300. As of 2011, the Shadow brand has been limited to a single 750 cc cruiser available in Aero, Phantom, RS, and Spirit trims. All other offers are known under the Rebel or VTX brands.

Honda Shadow Models:

500 cc VT Class

Introduced in 1983, the 500cc "VT500C" featured chrome side covers and black engine covers. The engine was the Honda VT500, a 491 cc (30.0 cu in) OHC three-valve, liquid cooled V-Twin with a six-speed, shaft drive transmission. In 1985 a two-piece seat with an integrated backrest was incorporated.

600cc VT Class

In 1988 the "VLX" "Shadow 600" (aka "VT600C") was introduced as a new model. The engine is a 583 cc (35.6 cu in) SOHC three-valve liquid cooled 52-degree V-Twin with a four-speed transmission and chain drive. The "VT600C" was not made in 1990 but did make a comeback in 1991 offered only in black. The engine, body style, and motorcycle parts were retained from the '91 model year. A new deluxe version "VT600CD" was introduced in 1993, and by 1994 the Deluxe model was a standard offering for every year the VLX was made.

700-800 cc VT Class

In 1983, the "VT750C" was introduced with the VT500c. The engine is a 749 cc (45.7 cu in) SOHC 3-valve Liquid Cooled V-Twin with a six-speed shaft drive transmission. As a direct result of increased tariffs placed on Japanese imports of engine sizes above 701 cc (42.8 cu in), the "VT700C" was introduced in 1984. The engine size was reduced from a 750 cc (46 cu in) to 700 cc (43 cu in) to get the bikes into the U.S. The "VT750C" was available outside of the USA in Canada and Europe with a larger engine displacement.

1,100 cc VT Class

In 1985 the "VT1100C" model was introduced. The new engine is a 1,099 cc (67.1 cu in) SOHC Liquid Cooled V-twin with a five-speed, shaft drive transmission for 1985 and 1986. The "VT1100C" model was not manufactured in 1991, but returned in 1992 with the California option of an emissions control device mounted below the radiator. (This was also the year it became law to wear motorcycle helmets in many U.S. states.)

American Classic Edition (A.C.E.)
In 1995, the American Classic Edition. It featured more retro styling than the Standard with a full rear fender, induced vibrations and 'Harley-Davidson-like' sound from a single pin crank engine.


In 1997 an ACE Tourer was introduced based on the 1100 Spirit engine but the ACE styling.


In 1998 the Shadow 750 ACE (VT750C) and ACE Deluxe (VT750CD) were introduced in the U.S. The Shadow line remains one of the most complete lines of V-twin Cruisers on the market, and arguably the best engineered, making it extremely easy to find Honda OEM parts for the line.


In 2000 the Honda Shadow Sabre was introduced, based on the Honda VT1100 engine. The most notable feature was the front cast aluminum wheel on the motorcycle tires.

Whether shopping for Motorcycle Gear or getting parts for your Honda Shadow, has a wide vareity of Honda Shadow OEM parts, Aftermarket parts and accessories.

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