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Old 08-05-2014, 05:56 PM   #1
ArianaLocke
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88 honda shadow

So I'm going to look at an 88 Honda shadow tomorrow, and I am woefully ignorant of what to look for or what questions to ask. Anybody have any input for me?
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:24 PM   #2
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Hate to say it, but if you don't know what to look for, you probably shouldn't be going after a bike that old unless you've got money to burn.

Here are a few big ones:

1. Rust in tank
2. Does it run?
3. If not, how long has it been sitting and does the motor turn over (if not, is it battery, starter or seized motor)?
4. Visible leaks anywhere on the motor. Don't be scared to take a flashlight and look at every crack and crevice. (You'll need the flashlight for the tank, anyway)
5. It has dual carbs, so those will need some work if it isn't running.
6. Are the fork seals leaking? It'll be pretty obvious if they are.
7. Electrical gremlins. Do the lights, horn and blinkers work?
8. Is it less than $1500? If not, it had better be pristine.
9. Obvious signs of abuse (bent forks or pegs, dents/scratches).

Tires and brake pads are wear and tear, so I wouldn't worry too much about those.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #3
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From what I can see and what has been said, it's pretty near perfect. The owner said he has been riding it, just not often as he doesn't want to keep it. Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:07 PM   #4
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You're welcome. Make sure that it will idle without the choke when the engine is warm. If not, it'll probably need a carb cleaning, or at the least, adjustment.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:26 AM   #5
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Rusty or stiff chain. Worn sprockets. Can be replaced but cost money
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
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Post up some close up pics or video the MH detectives will analyze and judge your future bike for FREE.......
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:33 AM   #7
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Post up some close up pics or video the MH detectives will analyze and judge your future bike for FREE.......
Wait, you mean pics of the BIKE? Wow, that went in an unexpected direction.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:05 PM   #8
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Here are a few close up pics.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
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Bike seems to run fine. Had issues on initial start up, but I believe that was due to it having sat w/o running for awhile. Fluids probably need to be flushed through just to be safe. Needs new oil. After it was started and was riding for a few minutes, it seemed to start up fine without a problem; idled fine off choke. Shocks sound like they might need some looking at, but nothing that appears to be detrimental (sp); I think it's simply that they're old.

Some rust on the frame and the engine itself; no apparent rust on or in the tank. Forgot to check the drive chain and to ask if it had been previously laid down.

So some creaks and groans from age and it having sat, but all in all, seems to be in good working order.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:32 PM   #10
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The above post was provided by a friend who went with me to look at it.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:15 PM   #11
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Things like oil, chains and tires are consumables so not really a concern, IHMO. The only thing that concerns me from your friend's review was, the comment about creaks and groans.
If he was referring to the things like hard to start at first, in a joking way then cool. If he meant some kinda sounds the bike was making then that might be an issue.

One other thing you might want to look into is the price of a new seat cover. Duct tape will prove to be unsatisfactory in a short time.

Overall, for a bike that age it looks pretty clean. If the price is right and it makes you get all sweaty behind the ears then my vote is "go for it".
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:20 PM   #12
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One other thought...
If you DO decide to buy the bike, at an auto parts store they have a product called "Mothers Chrome and Aluminum Polish". It comes in a little tub about 3 inches in diameter and about 2 inches high.
It's a very fine paste polish and it will polish nearly ANY hard surface. You can even use it to polish the film off car headlight lenses, in about 60 seconds per light.
It will polish paint, chrome etc.

The reason I'm telling you all this is that much of what looks bad on an old bike will be made better with some elbow grease and a rag. Mothers Polish will help.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:42 PM   #13
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A spectacular design, Wow, amazing and I hope I can own a Honda like that
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:32 PM   #14
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I have a 95 and an 04 shadow 1100 great bikes
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:29 PM   #15
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:48 PM   #16
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Holy grave digger!
Wonder if she bought it
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"And so, this tiny metal deathtrap becomes known as the ultimate form of freedom. Like a steampunk cyborg, man and machine fuse to make a symbol of what you can become when style and speed matter more than safety and efficiency. Is it any wonder that some people just get mad every time they see a motorcycle go by? Because it challenges everything they have, while proving to them that they donít have enough."
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:13 PM   #17
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I did. Ran well for a while, then started having battery issues. Gonna be taking it in soon to get it diagnosed and fixed. Also probably going to get a full tune-up and hopefully get the seat re-covered at the same time. In the mean time, I also bought anew '06 cbr 600rr, and that's been fun, but I still want to get this one nice and shiny.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:14 PM   #18
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Wtf phone. How did a become anew....????? Stupid autocorrect.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:19 PM   #19
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Guess you need to update your "BIKES" Section to add the 600RR.. then again.. So do I. <3
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:24 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ArianaLocke View Post
I did. Ran well for a while, then started having battery issues. Gonna be taking it in soon to get it diagnosed and fixed. Also probably going to get a full tune-up and hopefully get the seat re-covered at the same time. In the mean time, I also bought anew '06 cbr 600rr, and that's been fun, but I still want to get this one nice and shiny.
I've seen some pretty decent bobber style Shadows. Great bikes btw! It takes a ton of beating and still survives. I'm hoping to get my chopper back together before the end of May.
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