HONDA VT600 SHADOW (1992-2002) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"If the first true chops were all about bad boy, bristly individuality, the 600 Shadow is about as soft, unthreatening and unoriginal as it gets"

Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding

"If the first true chops were all about bad boy, bristly individuality, the 600 Shadow is about as soft, unthreatening and unoriginal as it gets"

  • At a glance
  • 583cc  -  54 bhp
  • 43 mpg  -  110 miles range
  • Low seat height (690mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Honda VT600 Shadow is pretty much the antithesis of the original chopper credo. If the first true chops were all about bad boy, bristly individuality, the 600 Shadow is about as soft, unthreatening and unoriginal as it gets. It’s bland, novice-friendly and safe and predictable, but you’;ve really got to ask yourself if you want that sort of thing. Neither is it anywhere near as versatile as Yamaha’s XV535 Virago.

Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5

More softness, but not to universal success. The Honda VT600 Shadow’s riding position is more laid-back than rivals such as the Yamaha Virago putting more weight on your backside and making it less comfortable over distance. Nor is it a handler with that short travel rear suspension, kicked out forks, skinny front tyre and weedy brakes. Good for shorties, though…

Engine 3 out of 5

The Honda VT600 Shadow's engine is soft, soft, soft. Detuned, three-valve, liquid-cooled shaft drive V-twin  is about as unthreatening as a 600cc motorcycle engine gets. That said it’s smooth, effective in a commutery sort of way and rock solid reliable. Just don’t expect adrenalin overload.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Being a Honda is a plus in terms of build quality. Being a budget one, knocks it down a peg or two (the suspension and brakes are strictly bargain bin, for example). Overall, however, the Honda VT600 Shadow, holds no fears under it’s metalflake paint and as its engineering is massively understressed, you shouldn’t fear any thrashed examples, either…

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

The Honda VT600 Shadow is one of the pricier bikes in the class (compared to rivals such as the Yamaha XV535) when launched and rarity keeps its value up, too. But unless you’re completely sold on the style, you’d be much better off with the better (and more plentiful) Yamaha XV535. Find a Honda VT600 for sale.

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

The Honda VT600 Shadow is fairly run of the mill. The Shadow’s been given what you’d expect from a middleweight, budget-priced cruiser, no more and no less, and being a custom, that doesn’t add up to much so don’t plan on taking pillions often or going far.

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their HONDA VT600 SHADOW (1992-2002) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Good to be back!

06 August 2007 by steveh46

Perfect 'starter' cruiser for born again biker. Will cruise happily at 80-90, very reliable, good fun and still turns a few heads. Just returned from 500 mile one day trip, no problems at all! Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
Read all 1 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1992
Year discontinued 2002
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 54 bhp
Max torque 38 ft-lb
Top speed 111 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.7 secs
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 110 miles
Specification
Engine size 583cc
Engine type 52-degree 6v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel tube double cradle
Fuel capacity 11 litres
Seat height 690mm
Bike weight 196kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Single 296m disc
Rear brake 160mm drum
Front tyre size 100/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 170/80 x 15

History & Versions

Model history

1992: Honda VT600 Shadow launched.
1993: New graphics, larger fuel tank, indicators now mounted on bottom yoke.
1997: New direct air injection system, new single carburettor.
2002: Honda VT600 Shadow discontinued.

Other versions

None

 

Photo Gallery

  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Side view