Honda’s Shadow line of cruisers was kind of falling behind the competition both in terms of performance and looks, so urgent measures were required to refresh the famous name and even add more salt and pepper to it. The solution comes with the all new 2010 Honda VT750C2A Shadow Phantom, a veritable midnight cruiser that not only brings a fresh new style next to Honda’s Shadow Aero and Shadow Spirit 750, but plenty more torque for very little money.
The whole idea behind this all new cruiser was to definitely look and feel like a Shadow, while also add a touch of modernity to the already potent powerplant. So the 745cc, liquid-cooled, 52-degree, V-Twin engine featuring a single cam acting on each cylinder’s three valves gets Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection system with automatic enrichment circuit and one 34mm throttle body. From our experience on previous generation models, this should deliver even more low-to-mid rpm torque and also keeps things lively down the open road. Throttle response should also be instant now and we expect the new engine to feel like it finally got what it deserved.
A veritable cruiser, the Shadow Phantom comes with a wide-ratio five-speed transmission and a shaft final drive, but this is no news considering Honda’s tradition of providing powerful, but also very reliable cruisers.
2010 Honda Shadow Phantom
Just looking at the 2010 Shadow Phantom you notice the 64.5-inch wheelbase and the fact is that engineers worked to provide a fairly long, low and highly maneuverable (for the class) motorcycle, so the center of gravity is very low too. You’ll find the seat positioned at only 25.7 inches from the ground and with all the controls at quick reach, the Shadow Phantom will be as comfortable as a Shadow Spirit, if not even more.
This thing meets the road with 17-inch front and 15-inch rear standard spoked wheels with Dunlop rubber on, while irregularities and bumps are absorbed by the 41mm fork offering 4.6 inches of travel and dual shocks with five-position spring preload adjustability capable of 3.5 inches of travel. For a midsized cruiser, this is more than acceptable. So are the brakes, which are composed from a single 296mm disc with twin-piston caliper up front and a rear drum.
All in all, the 2010 Honda Shadow Phantom weighs in at 549 pounds wet, but we trust in the now more modern engine to make it disappear once the rider opens up the throttle.
With the Shadow Phantom, Honda writes a fresh new page of history, which riders will decide if it’s worth reading or not. Meanwhile, check out the Honda Shadow history here.
Now that the Shadow got fuel injection it can be compared with bigger models such as the V Star 950, which is powered by also a fuel injected 942cc, air-cooled 4-stroke, V-Twin, SOHC, 4-valve engine. The Raven one looks the closest to the Phantom, but when we take in consideration the Star’s 612 pounds wet weight, we do realize how enthusiastic we got about the new Honda Shadow Phantom. Hmm, is the 2010 V Star Midnight Custom a more equitable contender? We’ll just have to say that our bike finds its place in between the two Star models.
Definitely a much more appropriate competitor is the Suzuki Boulevard M50. With a 584 pounds wet weight and a beefy 805cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, OHC, 45-degree V-Twin engine to move it around, this is precisely the kind of model that Honda goes against with their Shadow Phantom. The Suzuki engine is fuel injected as well and mates to a five-speed constant mesh tranny, so it’s hard to tip the scale on one side or the other because, quite frankly, both models look mean.
2010 Honda Shadow Phantom
Along the years, most Honda Shadow models were found as docile midsize cruisers staying truly faithful either to the classic or custom style, depending on model, but the 2010 Honda Shadow Phantom has come to change that and a look at it is all that it requires for you to realize that this is definitely the best looking standard Shadow out there.
The critics will say that this is nothing more than a blacked-out Shadow Spirit 750 and we tend to stand by their side although not totally. This thing was designed as a bobber and the fat wheels, thick fork arms, redesigned handlebar as well as the entire bodywork, blacked-out and matte finishes stand by the bobber (not custom) side of this very attractive motorcycle.
Everything from the small headlight and signal lights to the taillight looks like bought from an aftermarket parts catalog (including the engine) and this adds an expensive touch to the bike. If you’re planning to buy this thing and hate inquiring people, be prepared to deal with them more often.
The Honda Genuine Accessories list includes backrests, a boulevard screen and even synthetic leather saddlebags, but these units will make it more comfortable and practical, not necessarily better looking.
"Punch the starter and be surprised by the hearty noises emanating from the staggered exhaust. The Phantom’s fuel injection is a relief too, given its predeccessor’s propensity for stuttering cold starts on frosty mornings. This time, it’s just push and twist, and the staggered pipes come to life with far more authority than you ever thought a Shadow 750 capable of." – motorcyclecruiser
"The engine provides enough grunt for the 549-pound machine to leave a stop light in enough of a hurry to easily outpace most automotive traffic, and its wide-ratio five-speed transmission is long-legged enough to travel the interstate if you are so inclined." – motorcycle
“Whether crawling or hauling, the Phantom travels with ocean-liner stability thanks to a 64.5-inch wheelbase and laid-back steering geometry. With more than a half-foot of trail acting on the front tire’s massive contact patch, direction changes come slowly and require firm pressure on the bars.” – motorcyclistonline
"In the handling department the Phantom performs admirably for a cruiser, though has some shortcomings for larger riders. The single 296mm front rotor squeezed by a twin piston caliper has excellent feel and more than enough stopping power for a bike of this size. The rear drum works as well as anyone can ask for a unit designed decades ago." – motorcycle-usa
"Every manufacturer wants to court the ladies, and if you’re new to motorcycling or a small person, it’s really easy to stay in ground contact on the Phantom. In fact, it’s just a friendly little all-around puppy of a motorcycle that goes, turns and stops perfectly fine—better than most of its breed, even." – cycleworld
In order to be a completely competitive player in the midsize midnight cruisers category, the Honda Shadow Phantom needs to meet the affordability factor and with a $7,999 MSRP, we believe it does.
Honda launched this all new model to fill in a gap in their Shadow lineup and we’re expecting to actually get on it pretty soon and only then say if the Japanese manufacturer managed to do that entirely. Meanwhile, it looks tempting and powerful, just as expected from a Honda.
Minimal bodywork and extensive blacked-out and matte finishes.
New handlebar shape enhances bobber styling.
745cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine produces impressive power over a broad rpm range.
Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) incorporates a single 34mm-diameter throttle body.
Incredibly low 25.7-inch seat height.
Sturdy and responsive 41mm front fork features large-diameter matte-finished shrouds and large billet-aluminum triple-clamp for a distinctive look, neutral handling and a plush 4.6 inches of wheel travel.
Dual-shock rear suspension features five-position spring preload adjustability and 3.5 inches of wheel travel for a smooth ride.
Available in Black.
Honda Genuine Accessories
Backrest with Pad (two styles: Tall and Low), Rear Carrier, Backrest/Carrier, Boulevard Screen, Custom Leather Seat, Solo Rider Rear Carrier, Cycle Cover, Front Pouch, Synthetic Leather Saddlebags.