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Review of the 2005 Honda Shadow VLX:
Basic training on the VLX deluxe
Author: John Delfino, 2006-12-14|
I owned a Honda VLX deluxe for about six weeks. I purchased it a week after finishing an MSF course. I bought it used from a Honda dealer with about 5304 miles on it. They delivered it, via a trailer, to my house in Hunterdon county, a great place to ride!
I did plenty of research on the bike, including sitting on one, before purchasing it. Being of smaller size, 5 feet, 4 inches tall, the low seat height of the VLX seemed ideal. Because the bike was used, I didn´t pay the 5799.00 price of a new one, but I still think I was slightly over charged. |
I rode the bike the same day it was delivered, I rode it around my caulder sac in 1st gear to get the ´feel´ of the bike. It felt enormous compared to the Honda 250 rebel I rode at the MSF course. 458 pounds is the dry weight of the VLX deluxe.
Unfortunatly it rained a few hours before my initial ride and on my 2nd or 3rd turn around the caulder sac I hit the brake before the turn and went down on my left side at about 2.5 miles per hour. I foolishly tried to muscle the bike from going over but the angle was already past the point of no return. Instead of stepping back and taking a deep breath as I was instructed to do (by the sales rep at Honda) before attempting to upright the bike, I just tried to lift it up. I did manage to get the bike up with considerable effort, but I hurt my back in the process. I immediatley hopped on the bike again, restared it and attemped my practice for another 10 or 15 minutes before surrendering to the wet pavement.
If nothing else I was glad to know I could stand the bike back up if needed. However, I told myself I would lift the bike properly next time (my back was sore for days).
As the days and weeks went by I got more comfortable riding while getting the feel for the bike. about six days after receiving the bike I spent a sunday afternoon in a jr highschool parking lot getting used to the brakes, excelaration and cornering of the bike. within a few days I had the bike on a 55 mph high way where the typical speed was more like 65. I was scared due to the unexpected wind, but felt like I accomplished a feat as well.
Honda´s VLX deluxe is a good bike to learn to ride on due its comparatively low weight and seat height. However, inspite of what many write and say of the smaller VLX, it is a full size cruiser, that should not be underestimated in terms of power. It can easily intimidate an inexperienced rider lacking confidence.
On the other hand, many newbies would find the size ideal to learn on and the four wide speed gear ration easier to manipulate than other bikes. As for dependability, reliability, and quality craftsmanship, the VLX is unsurpassed.
Hondas are wonderfully made motorcycles.
I spent about 6 weeks learning how to ride around my town and beyound on the VLX. For a new rider, with confidence, I think the VLX offers the chance to ride a high quality bike with enough power and size to give most people a realistic feel of street and mild highway riding beyond what the bikes at the MSF course offer.
My 2005 Honda VLX deluxe was a great higher end, entry level introduction to motorcycling.
I recently upgraded or laterally shifted to the Yamaha V star custom 650. The size is comparable but the newer, more stylish design of the V star was more appealling to me. Also more appealing are the star´s shaft drive, extra 5th gear and larger engine of the star. I enjoy riding the V star more than the VLX, but if wasn´t for the initial six weeks of basic training I had on the reliable and forgiving VLX I wouldn´t be riding at all.
The VLX is a great bike!
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