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2002 Honda 600 Shadow VLX Review: Great Starter Bike!

Review Summary: 

I have a 2002 Honda Shadow 600 Deluxe that I bought used last year with 15K miles on it.  I've owned it just over a year and have put over 20,000 miles on it (Yes Odometer is 36K+) all on back roads and city streets. Its my first bike, I got my MC endorsement last October. 

My Shadow and I have been through it all and its been a blast! She's treated me well, I've done most of the maintenance on it myself.  If I'm trying to put something together and it requires force, she's usually telling me I'm doing it wrong.  I used her so often, my car wouldn't start and sat on the curb for 10 months.

Maintenance:  I'm on my 2nd replacement chain (Just replaced sprokets), 2 sets of tires, fork seal was cracked and leaking so replaced both sets of seals, new clutch,  replaced engine bar, new turn signal relay. 

She's a little fussy starting when its real cold out (Yes I ride when its 30) 

We've been through a lot together and I would highly recommend her to anyone just starting.  I'm looking to upgrade to a larger bike for some cross country sight-seeing but might just keep her around because she is so fun to ride. Smile

Best Features: 
Low seat height allows me to put both feet down comfortably when I stop. She's very forgiving of new rider experiences Get over 60mpg most of the time. She is fun on the twisty-turneys. Light enough to man-handle when I make a mistake.
I keep looking for 5th gear at highway speeds. Needs a much louder horn.
My Overall Rating: 
Power : 
Buy Again?:
Your Height: 
Years Ridden (This Motorcycle): 
Miles Ridden (This Motorcycle): 
currently own
Riding Style: 
around town, commute, short trips
some accessories

Engine guard, New Mirrors, Light Bar, Louder Horn, Brighter Headlight, Sissy Bar and of course a Gremlin Bell!


do you have a shop manual for it?
Honda says to use 90wt gear oil on the chain,i used to use all kinds of spray lubes,they hold the dirt on the chain
then I cleaned it real good with kerosene,and the sprockets too,have to adj it just right,not too tight or too loose,a little more slack if 2 up rideing
or if you have bad shocks
they make different quality chains and sprockets,you schouldnt have went throught 2 chains,honda parts last the best,but you have to make sure the chain is running straight,i like to see people do all the work on their bikes,i made a lot of mistakes on my bikes,and like to share,to try to help some one else!
and my sister in law lives in Burlington nc,close to you,right,ha
if I can help you in any way,i will.
good luck with your ride and be safe!

I do have the shop manual for it, the generic Honda manual and the Haynes manual. I use DuPont Teflon on it which does not hold dirt, its more of a wax. Part of my problem is I am not real good at keeping the chain tight. I also use the motor to do most of my braking which pulls hard on the chain. I think I am on my third chain: I've been getting about 12,000 miles on a chain. Not sure what you are supposed to get.

I still think the 90wt gear oil works the best,if you have the Honda manual,tells you how much slack you need
and when you adj it you need someone to sit on the bike,to adj it right
I think stock Honda chain and sprockets should last 20,000 miles,if you keep it lubed and cleaned and adj right
a lot of aftermarket chains and gears wear more, if you drive aggressive all the time,ha
I do a lot,but I use both brakes and the motor together,works good for me
makes all the parts wear even,the clutch the brakes ,chain, and tires
and tire pressure important too,i know the feel of my bike,and know if the tires are a little low,ha
do you have a o ring chain? some lubes are no good on them

It is an O-Ring chain but the lube I use is rated for O-Rings. I have not been riding much this year although I am planning on a ride with a new group on Sunday. Weather has been uncooperative this year: lots of afternoon t-storms.

ha,me either,today was 98 deg,the other day was 30 mph winds
the wind is the worst if you have a light bike like mine and yours
I love 45 to 80 deg,no wind or rain,ha
I like to wear a full helmet,boots,gloves,and jacket,and their is always so much traffic around here,think im gonna have to move soon,ha

It was 98 Sunday and I had a Leather Jacket on. Then it started to rain... Fortunately I got home before the real storm hit.