Tag Archives: Shadow

Vintage Honda CX500 Brings Memories

The Bulletproof 500cc Hondas

I came home for a weekend when I was an 18 year old soldier. I found a 1982 Honda Silverwing for $1500 at the motorcycle shop in my hometown. I took out a loan and bought it.

That was the start of my appreciation for motorcycles. The bike took massive abuse. Lack of maintenance, crashes, sitting outside for a long while I was in the field, etc.

Left Side Of A 500cc Motorcycle Engine
A 500cc Honda Motorcycle Engine

I sold it chasing bigger and better things and immediately regretted that. In later years though, I’ve stuck close to the Honda brand because of that motorcycle. I’ve owned 3 more since then, including their most luxurious model, the Goldwing.

Honda Shadow750, Goldwing F6B, and CX500 Custom.
A Honda Shadow, Goldwing, and vintage CX500 Custom.

The Honda CX500 Custom is just a stripped down version of that Silverwing, so it brought back memories of that motorcycle. The old 500 Honda that I had was actually was a better performer than the Honda Shadow 750. The Shadow is nice, but it’s trying to be something it’s not. The fake plastic parts, the V-Twin configuration, and the cruiser style are wasted on what could be a better motorcycle. The Silverwing was an original  that couldn’t be compared to other motorcycles.

Top view of a Honda CX500 Custom.
Top View Of A Honda CX500 Custom.

At about 40 horsepower, I don’t remember any thrilling races. The bike was manageable for a new rider. I passed the motorcycle license exam with no training. I caught the bug for motorcycle travel and it’s brought a lot of pleasure to my life.

Side view of Honda CX500 Custom.
Honda CX500 next to newer Honda motorcycles.

The Rarely Clean Motorcycles

Motorcycles Should Rarely Be Clean

Clean Honda motorcycles.
A rare sight of 2 of my Hondas clean. Rare as it should be.

I bought these 2 bikes about 10 years apart. They’ve made me a fan of Honda motorcycles.

About The Honda Shadow Aero

The 2006 Shadow is a proven reliable machine. This cruiser is dependable on daily drives to work, evening and weekend rides, and long hauls. Much of the maintenance is done at home. Parts are reasonable. The design of the motorcycle does make luggage and farkles difficult to add. Attempts to make it look like a Harley incorporates the use of useless plastic garbage. Good and bad considered, I like it’s character and value.

About The Goldwing F6B

I’ve written about the Goldwing F6B many times. What a machine of many characteristics, quirks, and nuances! On this evening, it did it’s job fine as a comfort bike on old country roads in Knox County, Ohio.

The Rural Sights In Spring

A lone tree stands as a sole survivor on a hill.
Lonely Tree On A Hill.

The fields are changing over to green or being plowed. The leaves on the trees are coming back to life. You never know if it will rain in the next few minutes or not. You never know what coat to were or if one should brought. On this night, it 2a 87 degrees and the next day the temps dropped below 60.

This is just how Spring weather is in Ohio. If you want to ride a motorcycle in Ohio, the weather has to be a secondary consideration or you’re not going to get much riding in. You’ll miss the exciting change to summer if you don’t put on that rain gear. Realize that a clean bike in these conditions is a sad bike too. Motorcycles are meant to be dirty this time of year.

Challenges Of Night Photography.

Lights And Shadow At Night

A lit doorway at night.
A lit doorway at night.

Finding different subjects with light and shadow at night is a challenge of night photography. Choices are limited by what is illuminated. The shadows accent the subjects with whatever angle the light is cast. Natural light takes on far less importance. Artificial light that’s out of the photographer’s control takes prominence.

There is no “correct” exposure at night. The only correct exposure is whatever the photographer chooses. Auto settings rarely give desired results. This is where the elusive terminology for “art” comes into photography.

It’s been a large learning curve. I spend many nights out trying to learn. There are some great tips that help, but practice has proved to be the most fruitful learning too. Second to that are good books like Night Photography: Finding Your Way In The Dark. There are some tips on the net, but they are lacking.

Color In Night Photography

Black and white was my preference, but I’m learning to like color more in night photos. Color is an added element to the night composition and it increase the complexity.

Just as sometimes the full photo does not need proper exposure, it’s ok to reduce or ad color where required in night photos too. I reduce saturation here and there.

Night Photography Subjects

The mundane becomes more interesting in different light. Still, finding more interesting is a challenge in my area. The people leave our downtown. I have to capitalize on the still and quiet of the night rather than the large city nightlife excitement.

Happy To Have My Shadow On The Motorcycle Lift

I’ve written about my old Honda Shadow before. The bike has been around and has yet to leave me stranded, so I like the bike a lot despite it’s faults. Last night it went on the lift for repair and it was a happy moment.

2006 Honda Shadow On A Motorcycle Lift
Honda Shadow On The Motorcycle Lift

This repair is different from all of the others because it doesn’t need to be done. There was just a small leak in the tire that only required attention about once a month. I had taken it back to the shop that installed it and they claimed that I needed a new tire even thought it was just the tube leaking as it wasn’t safe to mount and remount a motorcycle tire. Bullshit!!!

I hated to hear that bullshit from a place I’d liked and patronized since I was 18 years old. They used to be just a small parts shop on the corner and they had treated me well over the years. They’ve grown into a massive motorcycle superstore and as they’ve grown, their level of service and honesty has declined. To make matters worse, the other dealers and shops in my area aren’t much better. As the old saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”. Turns out that if I want my motorcycle worked on at all, I’d better do it myself.

The bright side to all of this is that I’ve always wanted a vehicle that I could just work on without the stress of a deadline. I’ve worked on the family cars and the Semi-trucks I drove out of necessity at times when the situation didn’t allow for a leisurely repair or hired help. It takes the fun right out of it.

I’ve only done one major job on a motorcycle and that was a valve adjustment to this Shadow. The second time will be a walk in the park, but the first was horrific. I broke bolts, lost parts, etc. I swore if I ever did that job again, I’d have my garage set up right for it and a lift so I didn’t have to crawl around to work on it.

After a bunch of research into the topic of motorcycle repair, I have a good minimal setup, even a tire changer. Never again will I pay some lame shop $80+ dollars for a 15 minute job that they can’t even get done right. No more leaving the bike for days and days for minor repairs. I’ve got the shop manual and tools so I can do it myself.

Not only can I just fix the bikes myself, but the Shadow is my spare. It’s going to get some modifications. It’s going to be fun.