Honda’s Shadow arm extends all the way to the Spirit 750 which is still a classic cruiser only that a bit more muscular and more into street-rod. They use the same V-Twin engine, making the bike perfect for cruising down the boulevards as well as exploring back-country roads, all at an affordable price. So the competition would better be beware of the Spirit!
The 2009 Shadow Spirit 750 is the kind of bike that adds the salt and pepper to an already existing model and practically achieving the amazing goal of doubling the sells of virtually the same product. Simple recipe equals great results: the fenders were cut down to their minimum possible dimensions for a custom-like appearance. And while the front fender covers a 21-inch wheel, the one-piece seat follows the rear fender’s lines further enhancing the sportier design.
Having proved efficient on the Aero, the liquid-cooled, 745cc, 52-degree V-Twin, SOHC, three valves per cylinder motor responds in matters of power and torque on the Spirit as well. This, of course, works best when mated to the wide-ratio five-speed gearbox which drives the shaft final drive with great benefits such as still and smooth operation and long life.
What the 2009 model year needed was a set of shiny new colors and stylish new 3-D emblems on a few of these.
Honda has been producing the Shadow ever since 1983, but the Spirit model was to came into being in 1997 as a replacement bike for the Standard Shadow and be produced in parallel with the ACE and, starting 1998, with the Aero model.
From its very first year of manufacturing, the engine on the Honda VT750C2 Shadow Spirit would have been the carbureted and liquid-cooled 745cc V-Twin with SOHC fuel control system and three valves per cylinder. The same thing applies to the chassis, the most conclusive features being the 25.7 inches low seat and that 21-inch front wheel.
For more than 10 decades, the Honda Shadow Spirit has carried on being produced with no changes whatsoever despite the different color schemes that were changed or added between 1997 and 2009.
2009 V Star 650 Custom
Star Motorcycles seems to have an alternative for all of Honda’s models and the most adequate one in this case is the 2009 V Star Custom, a machine that follows Honda’s recipe by taking the Classic model and redesigning it into a custom motorcycle while also fitting it with a bigger front wheel (19 inches in this case). Still, the engine is the same 649cc, air-cooled, 70-degree V-Twin, SOHC, two valves per cylinder and the seat height is 27.4 inches from the ground. Like on the Spirit, the Star features a front disc brake and drum at the rear and despite the fact that bigger Stars feature belt final drive, this model gets shaft. Any V Star’s key for success is a low asking price and the $6,290 MSRP for the Raven – Midnight Custom seems the perfect choice in this case.
2009 Suzuki Boulevard S50
Suzuki offers even more aggressive custom motorcycles, the 2009 Boulevard S40 and S50 models, but because the first is powered by a single-cylinder motor, we’ll have to focus on the bigger and more potent V-Twin powered Boulevard S50 model. This features an 805 cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, OHC, 45-degree V-Twin engine that, unlike other Suzi models of the same displacement, isn’t fuel-injected, but fitted with two Mikuni BDS36 carburetors. This also features a bigger front wheel (19-inches) and drum rear brake despite the $6,699 MSRP.
Kawasaki’s Vulcan 900 Custom seems just too big for this battle so we’ll simply skip that.