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2010 Honda Shadow RS First Impressions


by Marc Cantin ,

Gentle, relaxing, non-menacing to ride – What a lot of riders look for!
We are not looking at wheelies and burnouts here, but rather a gentle shove from the engine, which peaked out on the RS at 122 kph on the track, in fourth as well as fifth gear, when the motor simply ran out of power to push me through the air.

Running around town on both machines brought out their true character, as well as their role(s) in life: an entry level cruiser for those on the way to more powerful and roomy models, or a permanent ride for solo-only riders who want to run around town or country on a relaxing bike, and maybe save some $$$ for other pursuits or a different bike, say a true off road model.

Compact, a clean look, to go with bullet-proof reliability and enough performance to deliver a great, relaxing ride. (Photo: Bill Petro)

In true cruiser/standard character, acceleration, cornering and braking were all a little above adequate for such a smaller engined machine. The good Savannah pavement produced a smooth, comfortable ride, one that should remain adequate on bumpy roads, assuming you add a little rear preload to prevent bottoming if you weight over 100kg, and maybe go to a thicker hydraulic fluid in the fork to stiffen up front damping a tad.

On the track, the RS held its own, the footpegs feelers dragging with relatively little lean, given that we were also riding sportier machines on the track that day, so that we were reaching maximum lean angle for the RS rather easily.

No surprises
The full range of VT750 models means that virtually everyone will find something to their liking and at the right price after recent cuts from Honda Canada. They have been around for more than a decade, and people keep buying them. There is a reason for that – they flat work well!

It gets better with the near-standard Shadow RS, which bring that reliability to riders who prefer a more “Standard” seating riding position and still enjoy the sound of the V-Twin.

Light and low - easy to handle at rest and moving
Friendly powertrain
Lots of rear suspension travel for a cruiser
Low price, especially this year

Would like a little more power to close the gap to the VT1300
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