cruiser motorcycles

Honda 600 Shadow VLX: Detailed Specs, Background, Performance, and More

Honda 600 Shadow VLX Detailed Specs, Background, Performance, and More

Motorcycle riding are more than just the fastest mean of transportation, it’s a lifestyle. Not all the riders ride to deliver pizza around the blocks, some take it as a passion. And to air the fire of their passion, the motorcycle companies have been running their production lines perpetually. Well, Honda is no exception.

You might have gone through the bike profile series of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. After putting down all the models of H-D, we are now presenting a bike profile series for Honda as well. Being said that, we are showcasing our aim to give the riders all the details about the motorcycles they adore and help them to decide, what motorcycle could be the best choice for them.

So, let’s get started with the Honda 600 Shadow VLX. The Honda Shadow is a motorcycle that has been around for decades and still serves in the cruiser motorcycle section to provide the enthusiasts an affordable yet best motorcycles.

The Honda VLX 600 is a great introductory cruiser with enough power to make highway riding comfortable and easy. After all, that's what cruisers are known for, and this shadow looks quite at home on the highway! Read on to find out the detailed specifications, background, performance, and much more of the Honda 600 Shadow VLX.

1. A Brief History of the Honda 600 Shadow VLX

Honda started manufacturing the VLX in 1988. Therefore, in 2007, around the 25th anniversary of the Honda Shadow range, the production of the VLX shadow was stopped without any explanation.

However, the 600 Honda Shadow VLX has faced many transitions phases throughout its lifetime. There were always some large and small changes being occurred but one thing that remained the same was the 583cc SOHC liquid-cooled 52-degree v-Twin Engine, which remained the same till the end.

There are two generations of the VLX, the first generation was narrower, had dual carburetors and a fuel pump, and a single rear fender seat cowl with the tail light mounted on top. Whereas, the second generation was wider, and had a single carburetor with a gravity-fed fuel system, a lower seat height, side covers, and a different rear fender with an underside tail light.

By the end of the first generation, several changes such as the handlebar changes and fuel tank size created a grey area but the core of each bike remains true to its generation.

The production started in November 1987, and 1988 was the year when the first model was launched. It had a frame color-matched paint with the aluminum engine case and valve covers.

In 1989, the Honda signature “Shadow” tank logo was replaced with a script style. The exceeding production of the VLX caused a surplus, due to which no VLX bikes were produced in 1990.

In 1993 Honda Shadow VLX 600, the company decided to give the motorcycle enthusiasts something innovative. Following that, they ended up with the launch of the Deluxe version VT600D, which was introduced in a limited edition. This bike came with chrome engine case covers, valve covers, and an air cleaner. Two-tone paint Pearl Coral Reef Blue with oral Black tank inserts, soft seat, and button tucked.

In 1994 Honda Shadow VLX 600, a significant change was made by Honda to replace the old low-capacity fuel tank with a widened tank that accommodates an additional 5-gallons of fuel. The VLX Shadow was now offered in two variants: VT600C Standard and VT600CD Deluxe. The Deluxe model had the same features as it had at the time of its birth.

In 1995, the handlebars changed to wider bars with separate risers. Next year, the fork oil drain screw was removed from the fork lowers.

From 1996 to 1998, the Deluxe model became the main attraction of the motorcycle riders and the company kept making innovative changes to attract the riders around the globe.

The VLX became the best-selling motorcycle model worldwide based on a survey, held in 2000.

In 2000, there were some significant changes occurred in the VLX Shadow as they switched to a Single 34mm Carburetor with a large main jet, a smaller air cleaner element, and a coolant line to reduce fuel vaporization. The rear fender changed to a ducktail style fender with separate side covers and chrome side rails. The tail light moved under the fender. The solo seat changed to a two-piece seat and the seat height was lowered to 25.6 inches.

Moreover, the frame was narrowed down reducing space leading to the removal of the fuel pump in favor of a gravity-fed vacuum-fed fuel line. The metal grill was changed to a plastic grill. The air cleaner changed to a chrome plastic cover. The VT600CD2 is a new trim package that features two-tone Magma Red with Black Tank inserts and a rear fender stripe.

From the year 2000 to 2007, no major changes were made to the Honda VLX Shadow except for the attractive color schemes.

2. Honda 600 Shadow VLX at First Glance

Honda 600 Shadow VLX at First Glance

Here we are talking about a perfect beginner cruiser motorcycle from Honda. The VLX Shadow is powered by a 583cc V-twin engine which is a sweet spot in the engine size that allows beginners to learn riding easily.

This bike also resembles the Harley-Davidson motorcycles, right down to the semi single pin crank. That means you’ll have a great-sounding motorcycle to ride around the blocks by putting out an aggressive exhaust note but not overly loud. Even the stock engine produces a soul-satisfying sound.

Although most bikes have a 6-speed or 5-speed transmission, the 600 Honda Shadow VLX comes with a 4-speed transmission, though it contains a smaller engine. This means that if you're doing 65 mph or faster, it'll have to work a little harder, but that's nothing this bike can't manage. Still, it leave you wishing sometimes had a higher gear when you are riding for more than a few hours at a stretch.

The bike weighs 439 pounds, which isn't the lightest bike on the market, but that weight can improve stability on the interstate. The seat height on this little monster is also quite short, 25.6 inches which is awesome for shorter riders. That short seat also helps you to flat foot the bike if you are average height to help manage the weight.

The 600 Shadow VLX is a badass motorcycle that you will love if you are a fan of cruisers. The one that makes it less than ideal is that 4-speed transmission. It would be easier to ride on the freeway if it had one more gear. Despite the limited transmission, this vehicle will travel at high speeds all day. See if you can find one at a fair price at your local motorbike traders or auctions. You won’t regret it!

3. Honda 600 Shadow VLX: Buyer’s Guide

3.1 What are the Known Issues with the Honda 600 Shadow VLX?

Following are the most common problems with Honda 600 Shadow VLX:

  1. Faulty Fuel Control Valve Diaphragm
  2. Rattling Sound from Engine
  3. Starter Relay Wears Early
  4. Coolant/Radiator Leak

3.2 How to Lower a 600 Honda Shadow VLX Rear Shock?

Follow these steps to lower a Honda Shadow 600 VLX rear shock:

  1. Remove the seat.
  2. You will see the preload with numbers there.
  3. Take a spanner wrench out of your tool kit and tighten it to the desired preload.
  4. Fix the seat back and you are good to ride.

3.3 Can a Honda Shadow VLX600 Take the Fifth Gear?

The Honda 600 Shadow VLX comes with a 4-speed transmission, even though most bikes have a 6-speed or 5-speed transmission. Though this bike contains a smaller engine. This means it'll have to work a little harder if you're doing 65 mph or faster, but that's nothing this bike can't handle. Even so, when you're riding for more than a few hours at a time, you'll wish you had a higher gear.

4. Honda 600 Shadow VLX Specifications

4.1 Engine and Transmission

Displacement 35.57 cubic inches
Engine Type V2, 4-stroke
Compression 9.2:1
Bore x Stroke 75.0 x 66.0 mm (3.0 x 2.6 inches)
Valves Per Cylinder 3
Fuel System Carburetor, single 34mm diaphragm-type CV
Fuel Control Single Overhead Cams (SOHC)
Ignition CD with electronic advance, two spark plugs per cylinder
Cooling System Liquid
Gearbox 4-Speed
Transmission Type Chain (final drive)

4.2 Chassis, Suspension, Brakes, and Wheels

Rake (fork angle) 35.0°
Trail 161 mm (6.3 inches)
Front Suspension 39 mm fork
Front Wheel Travel 145 mm (5.7 inches)
Rear Suspension Single-shock with seven-position spring-preload adjustability
Rear Wheel Travel 89 mm (3.5 inches)
Front Tire 100/90 – 19
Rear Tire 170/80 – 15
Front Brakes Single disc
Rear Brakes Drum brake (expanding brake)

4.3 Physical Measure and Capacities

Seat Height 650 mm (25.6 inches) if adjustable, lowest setting.
Wheelbase 1600 mm (63.0 inches)
Dry Weight 205.0 kg (452.0 pounds)
Fuel Capacity 10.97 liters (2.90 US gallons)

4.4 Miscellaneous Specs

Color Options Black
Comments Model ID: VT600C

5. Aftermarket Parts and Luggage Options for Honda 600 Shadow VLX

It has been a while since Honda stopped the production of the VLX model, but some Honda lovers are keeping and taking care of the 600 Honda Shadow as their child. However, the model has become old and the modern motorcycles are taking place with additional features and improved technology.

But, if you want to keep the spirit alive of your Honda 600 Shadow VLX, you can make some modifications to give the bike a fresh look. Or if you still ride this beauty and take it to the long tours, nothing could be more convenient than installing a sissy bar to keep your back relaxed and you can always carry a sissy bar bag easily while setting it on the bar.

Moreover, there are many motorcycle modification options, that will give your bike a crazy different look. But if you are a vintage style lover and want to keep your bike stock, only by adding a pair of high-quality motorcycle saddlebags you’ll get a fresh and customized look.

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