About the Shadow Shack
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Step into my Stable...
I have a passion for motorcycles, particularly the Honda VT-600 or as it's more commonly known as the VLX. To paraphrase William H. Bonney (aka Billy the Kid), "I never saw a VLX I didn't like." Actually I think his version would have been more like "I never stole a VLX from someone I didn't like," but you get the idea...Scroll down towards the bottom of this page and you'll find links to several Motorcycle Forum/Communities I host/co-host.

Here you can see how I managed to stuff FIVE of them into my garage. I switched the rebuild and my wife's bike around, so I now have the four registered ones in easy access positions, I can back any of them out without moving anything else around now.

Now for the skinny on my bikes:

I purchased my first street bike in May of 1997, a brand new black/yellow VLX Deluxe. I had been infatuated with the VLX's stylishly symetrical lines for many years (7 to be precise). I had been wanting a Rebel since they debuted while I was in high school (1985), so I finally ventured into a MC dealer for the first time in 1990 to check them out. Sadly they were no longer in production (they were made from 85 to 87, and later released again in 1996), but then I spied a pair of left-over 89 model VLX's on the floor nearby calling out to me. I threw a leg over a burgandy one and it felt perfect, I knew that if I were ever to buy a motorcycle it would have to stack up to this one.

After passing up a sweet purple/white one with custom tailored white leather seat with matching white Honda-line backrest and leather saddlebags in 1995, I just couldn't pass this black and yellow one by two years later...If someone was shopping for a first bike, they can't go wrong with a VLX.

The bike has a nice usable powerband. It handles and brakes well, in fact I enjoy "blasting" through the back road twisties on it, despite its otherwise excessive frame geometry it's a real crispy handler that's fun to flick around through the curves. The four speed tranny has nice tall gearing, top gear roll-ons at 45mph are quite responsive while puttering down residential streets at 25mph in said top gear doesn't produce the lagging you would find in 5 or 6 speed trannies. 

As for city commuting, I net 60 MPG regularly, tapping the reserve switch between 125-130 miles. That still leaves me another 0.9 gallons of go-go juice left, plenty enough to get home and find a gas station sometime during the next day's ride. I have also taken the bike out of state on quite a few occasions, it handles the freeways well enough at 65-70mph. Now this is the issue where most VLX owners start to complain: The bike does feel a bit "buzzy" at 75+mph on the long haul. Some will even say that they wish for a fifth gear (which as I laid out inthe next paragraph, does absolutely nothing). Two-up riding on an uphill grade is another downfall, although as long as the speed is maintained around 55mph or so it isn't an issue, drop below that and you'll be stirring the shifter.

Okay, so here's where a larger displacement motor has the advantage. Let's face the facts here, folks: the VT-600 was never intended as a touring machine, it's a boulevard cruiser. And a fifth gear wouldn't solve anything, it would only require more shifting around town. 600cc sport bikes have 6 speed trannies on them and their owners gripe about the same "buzzy" thing on the long haul. Here's the numbers if you don't believe it: the VLX revs at 4200RPM in top gear at 60mph, the new 800 Suzuki Intruder Volusia with a five speed revs at 3700RPM in fifth gear at 60mph. With the extra dispalcement and fifh gear, you can see that there's hardly a difference that can be made here worth mentioning. So with the ideal that a cruiser is intended for relaxed and lazy riding, having fewer gears to stir makes the VLX a better bike!

My initial complaint on the bike was a lacking aftermarket support. It seemed the dealership's catalogs carried very little in terms of accessories. But a year later, as I started researching via magazines and the wonderful worldwide web, many doors were opened. It turns out that the VLX is MEGA-popular over in Europe, as the high gas prices (4 to 5 dollars per gallon at the time) and insurance rates based upon engine size. There are many European companies offering great products, and the American suppliers are began to throw their hats in the ring as well.

My somewhat biased opinion? I liked the bike so much, I ended up buying a few more! The custom world left me with too many choices and too many directions to take, I couldn't possibly make all the mods I wanted to on one bike. I took a used 95 VLX deluxe and made a full one off custom chopper, 8" over tubes/50 degree rake and 10" ape hanger handlebars. Then I grabbed a used 92 VLX and made it into a hardtail featuring 25pounds of weight reduction (if only the rider could lose the weight so easily...), a Hypercharger and performance jet kit/exhaust system, and a drag bar. And of course I accessorized the original stocker, chrome plating as much of the stock OEM aluminum as possible, adding a Hondaline backrest and a set of saddlebags. I like riding the customs, they're definitely head turners.

But for everyday commuting, I stick to my first love, the 97 stock VLX. it's still the most comfortable. It's endured the test of time, over 26,000 miles to date with nothing replaced except for the consumable items(fuel, oil, filters, plugs, brake pads, etc...). The original battery and tires were only recently replaced 2,000 miles ago, the bike has been well cared for and has certainly returned the favor one hundred fold. So needless to say, I give the VLX a 5 out of 5 star rating based on what Honda's engineers designed it for: good looks, charm, and grace for an everyday transportation motorcycle.

SS License Plate designed by JOE0755 
from the VLX Riders Forum
(Thanks, and another thanks for your service to our country!)

The Bikes:

Bike #1 is a 1997 black/yellow VLX Deluxe with some of the factory OEM pieces recieving chrome plating. I've kept this one completely stock with very little bolt on stuff, hence the name "the Stocker."

Bike#2 is the chopper, which is anything BUT stock. It started as a 95 VLX Deluxe and recieved 10" over tubes and 50 degrees of sexy rake, along with 10" medium ape hangers on HD styled risers. Out back the rear suspension was lowered 1 3/4" and a host of aftermarket goodies adorns the bike. This bike goes by "the Dream," as several years ago building a Honda chopper wasn't very feasible.

Bike #3 ("VLX-Max") is a red 92 VLX that I did all the work on, my first custom! Like the chopper, it too doesn't retain too much stock VLX anymore: It recieved 4" over tubes on stock triple clamps, and a drag bar rests on pullback risers. The rear shock was originally replaced with a shorter solid strut that was fabricated out of steel tubing for a four inch drop. later replaced by a modified shock for a squatty 3" drop. I bobbed the fenders and made it into a solo ride, giving it some dragger styling. A hypercharger gulps down an extra helping of the atmosphere and a jet kit matches the fuel consumption, and when it's all said and done the left overs exit via a pair of DG Performance pipes leaving behind a loud rumble, the only indication I was ever there...

I picked up an 88 VLX in October 2001 for my wife, and another 88 VLX back in January 2000 that was terribly neglected. I learned all my wrenching on that beat but complete bike, someday I will even get it running and registered...

I also picked up a pair of 250 Rebels (a nice 96 and a functioning 85 partsbike) for my wife after she found out the VLX wasn't her ideal learning tool, besides she wanted a Reb from the get-go (one of man's flaws is not listening to their women...). She is much more comfortable on it and doing well with the lessons. She'll be riding that VLX before she knows it!

What Keeps Me Motivated:
I found the Lord back in January of 1999, and life has been moving "fast forward" ever since! Things just keep getting better, even when they seem to be at their worst I can look forward to each day and come out smiling.

My Testimony:

How I Found Salvation

My Motorcycle Forums

VLX Riders Forum
"If you had to chop, rake, stretch, and mold your bike's frame yourself to get that custom style, it might end up looking okay, but it would probably handle like an intoxicated pig on a frozen pond. That's where the Honda Shadow VLX stands apart from the rest."

A forum for the Honda Shadow VT-600 rider (or otherwise reknown as the VLX, unless in Southeast Asia where they call them "Steed"). Stop in and throw a leg over, start up the motor, and find out what the VLX is all about. Welcome to the largest VLX ride on the web!
Click here to check out VLX Riders: Cruzin' Carvin' & Conversin'

"Chop It & Drop It"

A forum for the chopper owners and enthusiasts, as well as the wild-eyed riders looking to take the plunge into a whole new world! We're not brand specific here, but we do share a commitment to a bit of extra rake and a little less ground clearance. Looking for that long, low, sleek look? Come on in, and discover a whole new world...

Click here to check out the way too cool Chopper Forum!


You gotta be just a little wild for a great cause on this one...

Light em' Up!



Episode I
"A new Bike: the Stocker"


Episode II
"The Shack Strikes Back: the Dream"


Episode III
"Return of the VLX-Max"


Episode IV
"the Rebuild Menace"

Episode V
"The Rebel Wars"


Episode VI


Click here for Jedi Riders!


Darth Shadow of Tatooine Jedi Rider

Click the Light Sabres for Jedi RidersClick the Light Sabres for Jedi Riders

J-VLX-R# 1