How long Do Honda Shadows Last? (With 3 Examples)

Honda has built a reputation for manufacturing solid and reliable vehicles at affordable prices. The Honda Shadow is one of these vehicles that has seen very few changes through its existence.

Though it hasn’t changed much since its premiere, it continues to be Honda’s most popular cruiser.

How Long Does the Honda Shadow 750 Last?

A well-maintained Honda Shadow can last 15 years, on average. 50,000 miles is considered high mileage for these models, but it’s not uncommon to see models that go over 70,000 miles when the machine has been stored indoors over the winters.

Honda debuted the Shadow 750 (VT750) is 1998 but unfortunately few of these original bikes are still on the road today. However, models from 2005 and up are more common to find on the used market with mid to high mileage.

It can be expected that the older a vehicle gets, the more things may break on it. Gaskets break, nuts and bolts strip out or go missing and parts break. When a part breaks on an older vehicle, the availability of the part becomes more and more limited as the vehicle ages.

Since manufacturers are obligated to make parts for up to 10 years, if the wrong part breaks, this can leave a bike owner with an otherwise useless paperweight.

Learn more about common Honda Shadow 750 problems here.

Don’t fret too much of your bike is over 10 years old. One of the reasons Hondas are known for their reliability is because Honda sticks with what works. This means that even if your vehicle is over 10 years old, numerous parts are probably being used on newer models, thus extending the manufacturing time of certain parts.

What is considered high mileage for these models?

Honda Shadows with more than 50,000 miles could be considered high mileage for these models.

This may seem low compared to big touring models like the Honda’s touring staple, the Goldwing but for an entry level cruisers like the Shadow 750, 15k is a notable amount of miles.

However, this doesn’t mean that 50,000 is the maximum mileage for this bike.

You can find used Honda Shadows on the market with 20-30,000 miles.

If you happen to be looking to purchase a Shadow 750 with high miles you be aware that this is high and a Shadow 750 with this many miles may be susceptible to more maintenance and quirks throughout the bike.

How many miles do you get on a Honda Shadow?

In the few years that a Shadow 750 rider may own their bike, they’re likely to put around 2,000 miles on it before trading up.

After or year or two of commuting and taking a handful of road trips a Shadow rider would have a pretty good idea about the things they like or dislike about the bike.

That’s why many riders opt for a new bike after this time.

As previously stated,  Shadows are capable of reaching much higher mileage. Whether you’re a first, second, or even third owner of Honda Shadow 750, you can still get more miles out of it.

How many years does a Honda Shadow typically last?

Most owners will keep the bike for a couple of years, passing it on to another new rider.

If you’re shopping for a Shadow 750, you may see a few originals listed but this is a rarety. The oldest, most common, Shadow 750 you may encounter are 2005 or 2006 models.

This is a good indicator that the Honda’s typically last for about 15 years before they start being taken off the road.

Is the Honda Shadow 750 Reliable?

Yes, the Honda Shadow 750 is a very reliable motorcycle. It has very few problems and embodies Honda’s reputation for building reliable and innovative vehicles.

One of the reasons the Shadow 750 is such a popular choice for new riders is because of the renowned reliability of Honda.

As a new rider, it can be intimidating to own a bike that required a lot of maintenance and riddled with quirks that could affect the rideability and reliability of the bike. The Shadow 750 is beginner-friendly as it requires simple maintenance and easily starts after every ride.

Does a Honda Shadow Last Longer Than Other Motorcycles?

Shadows have an average life span of 15 years, with a few exceptions of course.  This is a respectable lifespan for an entry-level cruiser.

Other entry-level bikes, like sportbikes, have a shorter life span as they experience more abuse as they are passed from different owners. Many new owners drop their bikes, make rough gear changes, and neglect or fall behind on maintenance.

All of this plays a role in the longevity of a motorcycle.

However, Shadow 750 who reach the 10 or 15 year mark is quite common. Thanks to Honda’s excellent engineering, this bike endures the varying levels of abuse and maintenance schedules of newbie riders.

Quickly scan our article that talks about 3 Most-Common Problems With Honda VT 1100 Spirit Shadow

What typically breaks first on a Honda Shadow?

The Honda Shadow 750 is a solid bike but not without a few flaws.

The most notorious part of the Shadow 750 to break is the petcock. It has been known to leak out fuel and even become a fire hazard. 

Inside the petcock is a fuel valve diaphragm that can become defective and cause fuel to leak out. In 2008 Honda issued a safety recall of all 2007 and 2008 models that required new fuel valves to be installed.

You can also purchase rebuild kits for the Shadow 750 fuel valve if your Shadow is not listed as a recall model.

The starter buttons have also been known to stick and may require complete replacement of the control assembly. This mostly happens when the vehicle was left outside, exposed to the elements.

4 Great Tips to Make Sure Your Honda Shadow Will Last Long

1. Keep up with the maintenance schedule

If you want your bike to stay in peak condition, follow the maintenance schedule. Skipping an oil change, running the bike on old fluids, and not inspecting your bike periodically can cause a snowball effect of problems with the bike.

The owner’s manual is a perfect source for finding out what parts of your bike to be serviced and at what intervals. Most of the maintenance needed for the Shadow 750 can easily be done at home but if you’re not mechanically inclined nearly any motorcycle service shop can service the bike for you.

2. Store the bike in a garage or with a cover

When you’re not riding the bike, it’s always best to store the bike under covered parking or in a garage if possible.

Storing the bike under shelter, or a cover if you don’t have access to a garage, can keep the bike out of sight of wandering eyes. Keeping it in a garage will also protect the bike from being exposed to elements that can be a catalyst to bike deterioration.

3. Drain the bowl! (carbureted models)

To reduce chances of carburetor issue and ease startups drain the float bowl of your carburetor after every ride. The old fuel that sits in the bowl will break down and can hinder the bikes start up on your next ride. The fuel can also create build-up in the carb or break down gaskets quicker.

To drain the bowl, leave your bike running and turn your fuel valve to the off position.

Never run a gas-powered vehicle inside of a closed garage.

4. Ride it!

Bikes were meant to be ridden, not sitting in a garage. The best way prevent your bike from collecting dust, build up in the engine and dry, flat tires is to ride it! It may seem counterintuitive but riding it is the best way to keep it in peak condition.

The Honda Shadow 750 is a versatile bike suitable for novice and advanced riders alike. However, this bike isn’t for everyone and that’s ok! The more bikes you ride, the more experience you’ll gain. Over time you’ll begin to understand what riding style works best for you, what bikes fit your riding style, and most importantly, what feels right.

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