Honda Shadow 600 VS. Suzuki Savage LS650
February 28, 2009 at 5:16 pm #2570jbederParticipant
Ok so I’m looking at two bikes and I need some advice…
1995 Honda Shadow VLX 600. Come with bags, wind shield. US$2500
1996 Suzuki Savage LS 650. No bags No shield. US$2300
And for arguing sake lets assume they’ve both been taken care of.
Thanks for all your input!!!
– JohnFebruary 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm #16799MattParticipant
Shadow is a physically big bike.
Savage is similar size and weight to a 250.
Shadow is a much smoother bike. If you’re going to be on the highway a lot, the shadow is the nicer bike imo.
As a first bike, neither produce too much power, but the shadow weighs considerably more. I personally recommend the shadow as a first bike only if you’ve taken the MSF and are comfortable doing the slow speed stuff on a Rebel. Everything that is hard at low speed is much harder on the shadow.
Savage is, to my understanding (I HAVE NOT ridden one) much lighter and thus much closer in effort to the Rebel.
Belt drive is easier to take care of, and windshields are cheap (as are bag for a cruiser).
Personally, I’d say the Savage because it is easier to ride, easier to maintain, and has lower mileage. But I am a huge fan of the Shadow, it is a good bike imo. So if you feel up to the effort of the heavier bike, you aren’t going wrong with it.March 1, 2009 at 5:18 am #16818Jon D.Participant
First and foremost , are you a beginner or have some riding experience. Have you taken the msf course. I haven’t checked on your intro. ,so I am unaware of your experience. I would say that you need to have a seat on both to see which fits you best. You also didn’t say what your primary riding style would be ( recreational, to and from work, weekends, touring, etc.). If you are new to riding, I would say that the Savage is a great choice. It is forgiving, easy to ride, a very low center of gravity, and has a power band that is predictable. You will easily get a good season out of it before wishing for more, but it will also prepare you for the move up to a larger cruiser. If you are planning to advance to a sport bike ,I would lean more toward the ninja 250 or equivalent. I have owned a Savage in the past and it will adequately do local and some weekend touring. I don’t really know much about the Honda so can’t say yes or no to it. Honda has a great reputation for their bikes so I am inclined to say it will be as capable as the Suzuki in all respects. Keep checking back, the Honda guys will have a better take on the Shadow. Ride safe and God Bless. Jon D.March 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm #16839Clay DowlingParticipant
I’m a huge Honda fan, principally for the bullet-proof nature of their engines. Most metric bikes are like that though, so I wouldn’t let that sway you too much.
My starter bike was a Honda Magna, on the recommendation of a friend. It’s heavier than the Shadow 600, and heavier than really recommended for starting. What I found was that I needed to go out to parking lots and quiet side streets to practice my low-speed maneuvers. You’ll want to do that anyway, with any new bike, but I found it was very necessary to learn what to do about the increased weight.
The weight isn’t impossible to learn, and I found that I adapted to it pretty easily. But definitely dedicate time to learning how the bike handles. I found that I could get my Magna around in the same tight circle that the MSF classes use for their figure eights, once I adapted to it and developed my confidence in the machine. In fact, I think that tight circle is easier on my bike than on theirs.
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