Honda VT 1100 C3 Shadow Aero review
The latest edition of the 1100 Honda Shadow sails under the nickname “Aero”. There is still no talk of dynamism.
Take a deep breath, expand the front tire from 120 to 140 millimeters wide and stretch the wheelbase by two fingers, and the C2 Ace has become the C3 Aero.
A breath of fresh air is blowing around the new Shadow in terms of style. He blows from the front and gives the VT a blow-dryer hairstyle that is supposed to revive the style of the 30s (or what the designers think it is): fender ends curved back, fluffed fork tubes and – as the icing on the cake – a powerful puffed cigar with a fishtail end piece.
This leg-thick tube functions as a finite element of an imposing V2 that consistently fulfills the technical framework conditions of a rustic cruiser engine: the cylinders are arranged at a narrow 45-degree angle, and the crankshaft has a crank pin for both connecting rods.
Good vibrations are not only accepted approvingly, they are actually conjured up. But because the V2 is connected to the frame via decoupling rubber elements, the seismic effects of the engine layout on driving comfort are within tolerable limits: no annoying vibrations, no bloodcurdling pounding when the speed has dropped too much. You can feel in the handlebars and running boards that the machine is alive, but you don’t feel threatened in life or limb.
Unfortunately, the Shadow’s temperament is also limited. The 1100 engine delivers a mere 50 hp, and they bite their teeth from around six hundred pounds of live weight and an incredibly long final transmission. Even with all the necessary speed reserves and diligent use of the accurately shifting five-speed gearbox, the VT is far from deserving the nickname Aero-Flott. Hopefully the “open” version of the C3, which will be available soon, will bring a significant boost to liveliness with seven additional horsepower.
The undercarriage of the Shadow is equipped for this. Apart from a subtle sensitivity to longitudinal grooves as a result of the wide front tire, the machine runs well in a straight line. In view of the chassis design – a lot of wheelbase, a lot of caster, little steering head angle – is not really a surprise. This, on the other hand, is provided by the aerial walker: the machine can be angled down to the running boards in a relaxed, light and effortless manner.
And it’s nice that the C3 cruiser driving doesn’t interpret it as a willingness to self-mortify. Finally a road cruiser whose suspension elements respond appropriately to minor bumps. In combination with the relaxed seating position on swelling upholstery, this ensures above-average travel comfort.
The joy of the cuddly-soft driving experience device gives way to subtle uncertainty every now and then: In curves with an undulating surface, the wide front wheel flap dilutes the steering precision, at accelerated speeds the underdamped wheel control elements literally shake the course, and when it comes to the sausage, a shows Handle the front brake, so that a disc against the mass of motorcycle is pretty much lost. In such situations you have to take a deep breath – which has something to do with “Aero”.
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