Honda Shadow 750


Been Around the Block
So kind of starting in the middle here, but this is where I started:


...and this is the final stance:


^Apparently with this forum software if you don't catch a mistake like this then too bad, you can't fix it you just have to add it again and live with that red x from the first try...

...and this is the final stance (take 2):


To catch all the way up you can [URL='http://[URL']]click here[/url]

This bike has also been probably the luckiest fork swap in the world. Stem pressed out of the Honda triples and directly into the Triumph triples haha

Fork swap video (not live probably until about 6:45am CST)

My new tank, seat, bar controls, and a few other small bits should be here over the next week.
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I assume the top mount of the shock is not yet in place. With that, by eyeball measurement, the fork has too much rake and the swingarm is too flat. If you place the top shock mount so the swingarm has about 10 - 12 degrees of down angle, you will end up with a steeper steering head and more ground clearance. I think that frame has too much rake built into it so you can help it some with the rear end. I suspect it will end up pretty stable with slightly heavy steering feel but loving gentle sweeping turns at speed.
Just a little mocking up, nothing is braced, going to try and find a way to get it a teeny bit lower. Seat height here is 32 inches, which is completely doable, but I'd like 30~31 more.

I was was wondering about that shock, so I printed out a picture and plotted the arc of the swingarm and of the shock where it mounts and as far as I can tell, the shock will basically not be ideal. For a simple motion it should be mounted tangential to the arc of the mount end and that's about 90 degrees from where it is now.

To get rising or falling rate, the frame end of the shock can be moved slightly from the tangential position.

Maybe the builder can take it off that lift and show us what happens to the rear of the bike. I suspect it will just drop in the middle almost as if there is no shock, but he needs to know for sure.

In his other thread, the OP says that the geometry was fully thought out and he shows the bike sitting on its wheels but it needs a much stronger spring because of the geometry and the fact that the shock is designed to wrok with a lever arrangement.
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Oh My, I hadn't seen that the top mount of the shock was actually bolted in there!!! That is so totally wrong, that it will not work, at all!!! You have to mount the top of the shock higher on the frame so the shock compresses not pivots.
man after all these years this forum still can't send people a reply notification....

The shock has been tested. Full stroke exceeds wheel travel, it's linear progression, it works just fine, though would probably be better with another 1~1.5kg/mm on the spring for my weight. Rake can't be helped. You can't try and make the rake more aggressive by just raising the back of the bike, I already have the engine tilted as far forward as I'm comfortable doing. The lift is there for balance, it's not support thing the bike in the pictures above, or this one below. Ride height is higher now, putting it on the side stand leans it dangerously far.

Tank mounts and seat rails in place. Still a long road but it's nice to see the seat line finalized. There will be an additional brace underneath curving away from the arch of frame's backbone but it won't disrupt that wheel-seat gap very much.

FINALLY got my R1 wheel! Much to my consternation, though, running a 190 is very tight in the swingarm. I have less than half an inch on either side...might be okay though...I'll get to play with it more after Christmas, I only had time to slap a makeshift "axle" through the thing to check it out. Still have to get a cush, carrier, and spacers to make sure it all fits between the spars. If it all lines up then it's custom axle time!


Okay so I finally had time to go and mess around with this and see how far off I'm going to be....and I hate it. That fat 190mm tire was exactly what I had in mind from the beginning, but getting it to line up and clear everything doesn't look like it's in the cards. I'm roughly 9±1 mm difference between the sprockets and even if I decided to go ham and just shift the wheel to the right to sort it out the tire hits the frame. A 180 on this 6" wheel would probably give me the clearance to run offset, but it's not "right".

Wheel centered...

Wheel pushed all the way right...

My options are:

1. Swap it out for a 5.0 or 5.5 rear wheel and run a 170 or 180. Both will look fine and honestly the 170 is a little more suited for the engine. So I will be on the prowl for an R6/FZ6 rear wheel assembly...or maybe even an Enkei/Honda 6-spoker from an F3 or a 900RR.

2. Offset front sprocket...if I can even find one. The retaining clip means I'll probably have to have a sprocket custom made...which I don't care much for. Sprockets are wear items and I want to be able to buy replacements. Not only that, but the way the shift shaft is positioned...which makes me think Honda really didn't have this kind of build in mind when they designed this bike...means that if I actually can find an offset sprocket it'll be very close to the shift assembly. I think the wheel is the better place to resolve the issue.


There is a crazy third option, though, that I picked up today...


Now, I am crazy partial to single side swingarms...and normally I'd be all over this idea...but I'm not 100% certain here that it's the best fit for my Shadow. First, I would either have to mill the middle out of the pivot tube on this one and get crazy with reinforcing itand who knows how the hell I'd get a shock on it (pro-link would not be an option unfortunately), or I would have to find a 650GT swingarm...which isn't impossible and would itself fit the project wonderfully AND it's shock mount would not only allow me to run a more conventional rear suspension..but it'd likely force me to do it.

I'm mulling this over for a while...I think the single side swingarm can solve some of my issues but introduces a few others and the added effort and expense probably means pushing the shadow back late spring and building my GL500 instead (which will be a more traditional build that will be sold). We'll see.

I do want to say, though, that this VFR is easily one of my favorite finds EVER. I go around and buy no title/no key/doesn't run beaters cheap because everyone thinks they're stolen...and I get a lot of interesting bikes and interesting stories. This one is literally at the top of my "nah it wasn't wrecked" list and comes with the explanation that it "only needs a battery and the carburetors cleaned" to run. Yeah you bet lol










...the adventure continues...
I wonder if you could just fit the Shadow motor into the VFR Chassis? That would make for a cool ride.
I wonder if you could just fit the Shadow motor into the VFR Chassis? That would make for a cool ride.

That did actually cross my mind But it won’t fit. The Shadow engine is dimensionally HUGE. I have no idea how inside it’s only a 750cc engine. The jugs and heads are considerably larger than what was on my TL1000. It’d also have the same problem I’m struggling with in the existing frame...the shift rode is behind the drive sprocket which pushes the sprocket further away from the swingarm pivot...if i gotthe engine into the chassis it’d have to be shifted so far forward that almost any travel In the swingarm would run the chain into the pivot
So I swapped the tire out for a 180 and made an incredible difference. It doesn't look as awesome with that fat tire back there but:

...the wheel now centers with the frame neatly...


...the sprockets now actually line up really nice. The driven is actually about 3mm outboard of the drive but I can have that milled off the carrier...


...there's now a HUGE amount of room to play with all around the brace...


...the tire still looks plenty fat but I can't believe there's that big a difference between a 180 and a 190! I absolutely cannot believe how much of a paint in the ass it was to remove the tire, though. I have been manually changing tires for 25 years and have never once had one be this hard to pull off the tire. We're talking even tires that have been on wheels out in the sun for 40 years have not fought me this much. And I can't believe how much difference the 180 made physically. Because...oh....



WOW! I just came across this thread. Even your beginning picture of the Shadow looked great. I never thought of the Shadow as a good start, but my mind is changed. That VFR is an awesome find. You're going to have fun with it. Keep up the good work!
Cut the ends off of my R1 axle and had my machinist push some bushings in to I could use it as a sleeve for the Shadow's axle.


A real hangup on this has been finding a left side axle spacer for the R1. The few I could find were being sold for the cost of a small child...I just couldn't bring myself to pay more than $10 for the part. Eventually my brain said "hey I bet Craftsman mades a spacer!" No way, I thought, but went over to check my supply of Craftsman spacers and sure enough I had one sitting right there.


A little cutting and a little trimming and the stock shadow spacer plus a couple 20mm washers on both sides and the wheel actually sits center. I'm pretty sure the chain is lined up good, too...I'll know for sure tomorrow when my sprocket gets here.

I feel like I've been looking at this bike for months without making much progress, and suddenly making up for it over a couple days haha.

I got the seat hoop done. It could be prettier but most of the "rough" is going to be hidden. There's a couple of braces that need to be added but I ran out of wire...will have to finish that stuff up in a couple weeks.

I got the rearsets set up as well...they'll look better when they're not blue. I really like the positioning but I don't think the shifter is going to work well. I'll have to tinker with that quite a bit.

I got my new sprocket in...I hope to get that on and a little of the wiring sorted out tomorrow then it'll be parked for a while as work interferes.







Very nice, does that Craftsman socket fit snug with no play? Stuff like that I usually spend the money and get the right part, even though some Ebay prices are very high, I reckon its people who do not care if thier ad keeps refreshing every 30 days for 8 years because they are asking $30 for a washer and a spring... something i need for my Nighthawk.
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