Im 4'11 and 130lbs

I am 4'11 130lbs and just purchased a 1983 Honda Shadow.. A beginner is that a good bike for me

Comments for Im 4'11 and 130lbs

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Jun 18, 2012
Great bike
by: TammyT

You don't say what size engine your Shadow has, or how it fits you. I have a 2004 Shadow 600 and it fits me well. It has been an excellent bike to learn on because of it's low center of gravity, and good balance. Hondas are reliable and smooth rides. Even my hubby who is a Harley rider thinks my bike is fun and super easy to ride. I am 5'4" however. Can you reach the ground flat-footed? Maybe with a 1-2 inch heel? Can you reach the handlebars without leaning forward too much? Your bike can be modified if the answer to those questions is "no". Do make sure that you can reach the ground when learning. It will make you feel more secure, and hopefully you won't have the bad experience of dropping it if you've got both feet on the ground. If you haven't already, take the MSF course ASAP. Good luck and have fun!

Jun 05, 2012
My Honda Shadow Spirit
by: Heather

Hi I just purchased a Honda Shadow Spirit after taking Team Oregon's BRT. I love the bike and have been riding "ride like a pro obstacle courses on it to increase my confidence. I am 5' 3'' and the only thing I wish I had was controls that were directly below the seat like on a sportster or some of the other models. I can reach everything and I can put my feet on the ground but the forward position of the controls make feathering the rear brake more difficult when making tight turns left at very slow speeds. I might try to adjust this with a new seat and possibly a handle bar riser or different handle bar. The two accessories I am glad I added are a wind shield and a freeway bar.

Hope this helps,


May 29, 2012
Loved my Shadow!
by: Gypsy Spirit

Hi ...

I just sold my '83 Shadow 500 last summer ... after riding it for 20 years! I loved it! I'm just a touch shy of 5'3" and about 115#. It's a very forgiving bike when it comes to choosing the right gear ... and with the OD I was able to keep up with the flow of traffic on the interstates with enough power left to maneuver if I had to.

I know MSF advises against wearing heels, but a good riding boot with a STURDY heel helps with confidence levels about touching flat foot and with leverage bringing the bike off the stand. (I didn't need the heels with my Shadow, but have ridden higher bikes and figure you are enough shorter than me that you might like the little extra height).

Another thing I learned when riding tall bikes ... look at how you position the bike in the lane when you prepare to stop. Some roads have obvious dips where the car tires run ... if you position the bike in the tire track, your foot goes down on the "hump" in the center of the lane, whereas if the bike is on the "hump" there is extra distance to the ground in the tire track. Twice I put my foot out only to find "air" with my XL350 and over I went!

As old as my Shadow was, even with her head gaskets getting a little "weepy" (she didn't use any significant amount of oil, so I didn't get her rebuilt) the harder I pushed her, the better she ran!

She's also relatively easy to service. Just be sure to have a new compressable washer when you change her antifreeze and remember she has 4 plugs, even though she's a twin. If you're in an area where you put her away for the winter, turn your gas off and run her out, pull her battery (or put it on a tender) and be sure to check your air cleaner when you pull her out in the spring. Mice used to love to build nests in mine! If you can handle a screwdriver and turn a wrench, you can take care of all the above when it needs doing. No need to pull the seat, the tank, or any of that stuff like with some bikes!

This was my last significant ride with her ... Adirondack Park ... over 600 miles in 3 days. She loved it! Love yours ... and she'll love you back!

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