cruiser motorcycles

Honda Shadow Spirit 750 Vs Suzuki Intruder 800

Honda Shadow Spirit 750 Vs Suzuki Intruder 800

Honda has always remained the talk of the town with its superior-class manufacturing capabilities and branding strategies. In the cruiser domain, this top Japanese brand acquires a notable market share with its Shadow series. Meanwhile, Suzuki is no less when it comes to durability and performance and has always provided firm competition to other brands, especially Honda. If there is a contender from Suzuki that can compete with the Honda Shadow 750, it is none other than the Suzuki Intruder. These two bikes have quite a long history with several models and upgrades to ensure they sell well in the worldwide motorcycle market. The two most prestigious bikes from the 2010s that we are going to compare in this article are the Honda Shadow Spirit 750 and the Suzuki Intruder 800. Continue reading this article to know which is a better used bike option between the chain-driven 2003 Shadow Spirit 750 and the Cardan shaft-driven 2004 Suzuki Intruder 800.

2003 Honda VT750DC Shadow Spirit 750
Photo Credit: Auto Evolution
2004 Suzuki VS800GL Intruder 800
Photo Credit: Motorcycle Specs

1. Detailed Specs Comparison: Honda Shadow 750 Vs Suzuki Intruder 800

Detailed Specs Comparison: Honda Shadow Spirit 750 Vs Suzuki Intruder 800
2003 Honda VT750DC Shadow Spirit 750
2004 Suzuki VS800GL Intruder 800
General Info
Honda Maker Suzuki
VT750DC Shadow Spirit Model Intruder 800
Custom / Cruiser Motorcycle Type Custom / Cruiser
2003 Year Model 2004
2003 (The chain-driven model was discontinued in favor of the shaft-driven model) Discontinued in 2004 (The Intruder series was replaced with the Boulevard series)
VT750DC Model ID VS800GL
$6,449 Base Price $6,449
$2,400 to $3,299 Used Bike Price (Estimated) Around $3,000

Candy Dark Red Flame

Pearl Purple Flame





745 cc / 45.46 cu in Displacement 805 cc / 49.12 cu in
52° V-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine Engine Type V-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine
Two No. of Cylinders Two
Liquid-Cooled Cooling System Liquid-Cooled
Three Valves Per Cylinder; SOHC Valve Train Four Valves Per Cylinder; SOHC
76 mm Stroke 74.4 mm
79 mm Bore 83 mm
9:1 Compression Ratio 10:1
Twin 36 mm, Diaphragm-Type CV Carburetor Fuel Delivery System Mikuni 36 mm Dual Carburetors
Electric Starter Electric
Separate Chrome Dual Exhaust Pipes Exhaust System Separate Chrome Dual Exhaust Pipes (One on Both Sides)
43 hp at 5,500 rpm Peak Horsepower 55 hp at 7,000 rpm
45 lb-ft / 61 Nm at 3,000 rpm Peak Torque 64 Nm at 5,000 rpm
100 mph Top Speed 102 mph (Estimated)
44.3 mpg Average Fuel Mileage 46.87 mpg (Estimated)
Wide-Ratio, Five-Speed Gearbox Five-Speed Gearbox
O-Ring Chain Drive Final Drive Cardan Shaft Drive
Wet Multi-Disc Clutch Clutch Wet, Multi-Plate, Hydraulic Operated
Steel Frame Frame Steel Frame
Twin-Sided Swing Arm Swingarm Twin-Sided Swing Arm

296 mm Single-Disc Brake with Dual-Piston Caliper Front 310 mm Single-Disc Brake with Twin-Piston Caliper
Rear Mechanical Drum Brake Rear Rear Mechanical Drum Brake
41 mm Telescopic Front Fork Front Oil-Damped; Coil Spring Telescopic Front Fork
130 mm / 5.1 in Wheel Travel (Front) 130 mm / 5.1 in
Five-Position Spring Preload Adjustable Dual Shock Absorbers Rear Spring Preload Five-Way Adjustable; Oil Damped Dual Shocks
81.28 mm / 3.2 in Wheel Travel (Rear) 90 mm / 3.5 in
110/80H-19 Front 100/90-H19
160/80H-15 Rear 140/90-M15
Wire-Spoked Steel Wheel Front Aluminum Wire-Spoked Wheel
Wire-Spoked Steel Wheel Rear Aluminum Wire-Spoked Wheel
675 mm / 26.6 in Seat Height 700 mm / 27.6 in
225 kg / 496 lbs Dry Weight 201 kg / 443.1 lbs
64.8 in / 1,646 mm Wheelbase 61.4 in / 1,560 mm
5.5 in / 140 mm Ground Clearance 4.9 in / 125 mm
152 mm / 6.0 in Trail 138 mm / 5.43 in
34° Rake N/A
13.6 L / 3.6 US gal Fuel Tank Capacity 12 L / 3.2 US gal

2. Overview

2.1 Honda Shadow Spirit 750

In the used motorcycle market, the Honda Shadow 750 series is one of the most dominant entities with several advantages. The Shadow 750 platform, even today, is still relevant due to being one of the most user-friendly bikes. For beginners, it is one of the best bikes available in the market, even the old models from the 2000s.

The fact that the Honda Shadow 750 is still being produced in 2024, which includes the Shadow Aero and Shadow Phantom bikes, is an indicator of how successful this bike is. The Shadow Spirit 750 can still outshine and overshadow if you compare it with the modern-day Shadow series due to its lustrous chrome and incredible cruiser attitude. If you find a used Shadow Spirit 750 model, make it look good, and maintain it well, you can confidently take this bike on the road and for long-haul trips.

Note: The 2003 Honda VT750DC Shadow Spirit 750 model was discontinued in 2003. There was a halt in production for the year 2004 and then the production continued again in 2005 only for the North American market. In 2007, the company announced the shaft-driven Shadow Spirit VT750C2 for a quieter and smoother riding experience, alongside the chain-driven original Spirit. The new Shadow Spirit VT750C2 received Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) in 2012 in North America and the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) in 2013 in the whole U.S. The Shadow Spirit legacy came to an end in 2014.

2.2 Suzuki Intruder 800

The Intruder series in the Suzuki motorcycle range holds a decent reputation worldwide with a production run of around 20 years. This is the main reason why Intruders still have a good demand in the used bike market. The aftermarket parts are easily available and you do not find any issue with maintaining this bike.

The Suzuki Intruder 800 is a flagship model in the series and it has successfully earned the title of being a highly durable brand thanks to the superior Suzuki craftsmanship. It is one of those bikes that can easily withstand almost 50,000 miles of use or even more if regularly maintained and kept in good condition.

3. Design & Looks Comparison: Honda Shadow Spirit 750 Vs Suzuki Intruder 800

3.1 2003 Honda VT750DC Shadow Spirit 750

Talking about the looks of the 2003 Honda VT750DC Shadow Spirit 750, this bike boasts a stripped-down cruiser vibe. Though simple, it carries a bold attitude. This bike features a trimmed rear fender, a narrow-style front fender, a chrome round headlamp bezel, cross wire-spoked wheels, and a front-end look of a chopper. The 2003 Shadow Spirit 750 is a more planted bike with a comparatively longer distance between the two wheels. From the side profile, this bike looks quite balanced. Despite being built with the 750 cc platform, the Shadow Spirit 750 gives a dominating vibe with its incredibly smart and superior looks.

The front wheel is quite larger than the rear. However, it is wrapped by a slim and narrower tire which helps ensure a dominant linear performance. On the contrary, the small rear wheel is wrapped by a chubby tire for smooth overall performance and stability. The lustrous chrome finish on this bike enhances its persona on the road. This bike also came with shotgun-style chrome mufflers on the right side.

3.2 2004 Suzuki VS800GL Intruder 800

Contrarily, the other bike to compare with the Honda Shadow Spirit 750 is the well-known Suzuki Intruder 800. Look-wise, it is a taller bike with long-stroke front forks, providing a taller front-end look. This bike has an exposed steering head and frame look due to a smaller gas tank mounted on top of the backbone. The front wheel section is almost similar to the Shadow Spirit 750 as it also has a stylish large wire-spoked front wheel slim profile tire, and a narrow bobber-style front fender. Towards the rear, there is a trimmed and elevated lightweight rear mudguard and a small wire-spoked rear wheel wrapped by a fat rear tire. This bike has an almost similar headlamp to the Shadow Spirit 750. The Suzuki Intruder 800 also boasts a gloss chrome finish and slash-cut chrome mufflers, originating from both cylinders, one on each side.

4. Engine & Performance Comparison: Honda Shadow Spirit 750 Vs Suzuki Intruder 800

4.1 2003 Honda VT750DC Shadow Spirit 750

The Honda Shadow series is a flagbearer of Honda’s success in the cruiser domain. The 745 cc V-Twin engine, makes it a perfect platform for both novice and intermediate riders. A 745 cc engine may sound low-powered but this bike has enough grunt and attitude of a bigger bike.

The Shadow Spirit’s engine delivers a reasonable horsepower of 43 hp and a torque of 45 lb-ft. The 745 cc V-Twin powerplant installed on this bike is not just a simple piece of equipment, it features dual carburetors for better responsiveness, three valves per cylinder, and twin spark plugs per cylinder for greater power delivery. The engine stayed unchanged for many years due to being highly functional and user-friendly.

Despite being older and classic, the engine is coupled with an aluminum radiator and liquid-cooled system for better engine output and heat dissipation.

4.2 2004 Suzuki VS800GL Intruder 800

The Suzuki Intruder has a slightly distinguished cruiser style and performance. This bike houses a comparatively bigger powerplant but performs almost similarly to the Shadow Spirit 750. The 805 cc V-Twin powerplant produces a peak horsepower of 55 hp and a reasonable torque of 64 Nm. The engine generates a good amount of torque for versatile use. The displacement size of 805 cc makes the bike move with good speed. The crisp throttle response also ensures that this bike accelerates quickly. The Suzuki Intruder 800 holds a good reputation in the base-level cruiser market, giving tough competition to the Harley Sportster series and the Honda Shadow lineup.

5. Comfort & Ergonomics Comparison: Honda Shadow Spirit 750 Vs Suzuki Intruder 800

5.1 2003 Honda VT750DC Shadow Spirit 750

Regarding the comfort level, the Honda Shadow Spirit 750 is a preferred option due to its planted design and low seat height. This is what you love the most about cruisers as they are quite low to the ground and you can easily sit on them with both your feet touching the ground when parked. The low overall build of this bike allows riders to ride and turn corners confidently at high speeds. Besides a low seat height of 675 mm (26.6 in), the Shadow Spirit also features low-mounted semi-sweptback bars to promote comfortable riding. The rider can ride this bike comfortably for hours without getting fatigued and back pain thanks to the upright riding position this bike offers. The dragster seat also ensures that the rider feels relaxed during the ride. The seat gets narrowed from the side where it fixes with the gas tank to provide better command and control. The gauges on the Shadow Spirit 750 are also mounted to the fuel tank for a better view. The handlebars use rubber mounts to help reduce the buzz as the rider picks up the pace. The foot controls on this bike are positioned adequately forward to make sure the rider can comfortably stretch their legs while cruising and stay comfortable on long-haul journeys. The ample order triangle and ergonomics make it a good fit for taller riders as well.

5.2 2004 Suzuki VS800GL Intruder 800

The 2004 Suzuki VS800GL Intruder 800 may look a bit difficult to ride due to its taller front end. However, as you sit and start riding this bike, you feel quite stable. Despite the taller front end, the buckhorn handlebars are adequately swept toward the rider to make them easily approachable. Riders can ride comfortably and sit on it while keeping their back straight and relaxed. The rough-looking rider and passenger seats on the Intruder 800 are adequately cushioned which makes them quite comfortable to sit on.

The passenger seat on this bike sits quite higher compared to the rider’s seat. Firstly it is installed at a good height and secondly, it is well padded which also allows the rider to use it for back support. The Intruder 800 also features a stock sissy bar with a supreme-quality passenger backrest.

One thing that you may dislike about the Intruder 800 is its footrests’ position. Unlike most classic cruisers, this bike doesn’t allow riders to adjust their legs comfortably on longer rides as the foot controls are only a little forward from the mid-mount position.

6. Pros & Cons

6.1 Pros & Cons: 2003 Honda VT750DC Shadow Spirit 750


  • Highly affordable used bike
  • Offers a good value for the money
  • Top-notch Honda’s reliability
  • Low-slung design
  • Low saddle height
  • Good-looking classic cruiser
  • Highly comfortable cruiser ergonomics
  • Good for novice riders
  • Good for learning motorcycle riding
  • Ideal bike for vertically challenged riders
  • Offers stable rides and perfect handling
  • Feels quite responsive


  • Low powered
  • Basic performance capabilities
  • Slightly heavier than the Intruder 800
  • Battery and starting issues can arise due to being an old model
  • Lacks the sixth-gear

6.2 Pros & Cons: 2004 Suzuki VS800GL Intruder 800


  • Proven reliability
  • Comparatively more powerful
  • An exciting bike for beginners
  • Well-known for reliability
  • Comfortable and well-padded stock ridder and passenger seat with backrest
  • Shaft-driven bike
  • Distinctive cruiser styling
  • Reputable bikes in the used motorcycle market
  • Ensures quick performance
  • Comes with a stock passenger backrest with backrest


  • Low ground clearance
  • Small fuel tank size
  • Sometimes difficult to handle for beginners
  • Lacks the sixth-gear

7. Final Verdict

Two of the King Japanese motorcycle producers, Honda and Suzuki, have one of the greatest market share in the used motorcycle market. Both brands offer a good value for the money and the bikes are also quite affordable which turns out to be a hot-selling point for beginners. The two of the best-used bikes currently available in the market include the Honda Shadow Spirit 750 and the Suzuki Intruder 800.

Choosing the best bike between these two is a tough job as both provide neck-to-neck competition to each other and also the rest of the beginner-friendly cruisers in the used motorcycle market. However, the Honda Shadow Spirit 750 takes the lead with a marginal difference in performance, aesthetics, and reliability. The Spirit 750 may possess a slightly smaller displacement engine, but it completely outperforms the other performance departments. The Shadow Spirit 750 is a more approachable and adaptable bike with great handling characteristics and agility. On the contrary, the Suzuki Intruder is no less a competitor when it comes to quick acceleration and engine responsiveness.

8. Aftermarket Parts and Customization Options

You can make your used motorbike look new and amazing by keeping it clean and free from problems. Likewise, you can also work on these bikes to improve their capabilities and performance by modifying them with premium-quality aftermarket markets. Viking Bags is a premium motorcycle luggage bag and parts manufacturing brand. offering best-fit parts for your motorcycle. The company offers stylish saddlebags for your used Shadow Spirit 750, along with backrests for Honda and Suzuki models. For the cruiser category, Viking Bags offers Tank BagsBackpacks, Tool Bags, Tour PacksTail Bags, and much more.

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