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Honda VT600 SHADOW Custom Motorbike Review

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Honda VT600 Shadow motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

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.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

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…


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 2

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.

Honda VT600 Shadow (1992-2002)

Detail Value
Used price range View Honda VT600 SHADOW bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 583 cc
Power 54 bhp
Top speed 111 mph
Insurance group 11 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3
Engine rating is 3 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 2 rating is 3
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 2
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

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…


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

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

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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




Top speed 111 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.7 secs
Max power 54 bhp
Max torque 38 ft-lb
Weight 196 kg
Seat height 690 mm
Fuel capacity 11 litres
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 110 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 11 of 17
Engine size 583 cc
Engine specification 52-degree 6v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame Steel tube double cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Single 296m disc
Rear brake 160mm drum
Front tyre size 100/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 170/80 x 15

See all Honda VT600 SHADOW motorcycles for sale


18210 miles



5750 miles



9038 miles



5074 miles


Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3(1 review)

  • Good to be back!


    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    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!

    06 August 2007


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