I bought this bike so long ago now I forget when me and the bank settled terms on her. In today’s world, her little 750cc engine and 24 inch high seat makes her a bit wanting in a sea of mega cc bikes with huge power. At 100mph, she screams for mercy and it takes a long time to get her there.
I walked into the sorriest of sorry Honda dealerships on a lunch break one day, seen this bike and told them I’d take it. Oh the painful bullshit they put me through to get this bike. Just sell me the bike already. I didn’t need a test ride or anything as I could tell by looking that this bike would work for what I needed. I needed a little recaptured youth, old school flared out fenders, and low – I like low. Low makes a slow bike seem faster.
What really drew me to her was the size. My friend has an old panhead and the Shadow was closer to size and performance than a real Harley was.
So I get it. Instantly, it’s youth recaptured. People are mad I bought it once I get it home. I don’t care. When people are upset, that’s generally a good sign that fun’s about to happen. This bike is my reprieve from cubicle hell.
I’ve taken this bike to a lot of places, some of which it didn’t belong, just because I can. Biker rallies, no problem. Dentists and lawyers on $35K special edition dream bikes weep when I pull in. I don’t need fancy patches, a hefty payment, and a 1000 pound rolling sofa to prove anything to anybody. Never had a bad word from anybody about my faux Harley. Unless you want 200+ pounds of ex-Infantry coming at you, best to keep comments about my little Honda out of earshot. Chances are I’ll have you laughing and shaking hands before anyone gets hurt anyhow.
This bikes been everywhere I’ve wanted it to go. The Mighty Mack Bridge in Michigan is the most memorable. I had a group of sofa riders back out on me due to scary weather, went alone despite that, and had a great time anyhow. A few 400 mile trips to Maryland to see old friends, every country 2 lane in Ohio and West Virginia, and more to come someday.
This Spring, at 8 years old, she fought me a little to get fired up, but finally sparked off and changed her mind. A full throttle ride on a cold morning through the countryside past the old churches and livestock in pastures seemed to remind her of what she’s here for though. Here’s to another season with her reluctantly running like a wounded banshee through he hills again. I’m not selling her yet.