My Chief Dark Horse now has 12,000+ miles of awesome riding and it is time for new tires!
I LOVE this bike. from the electric windscreen to the detachable hard bags and bitch box. This thing is like riding a sewing machine and is seemingly almost boring to ride until, you actually get on it. The balance is great, adjustable seat height is good, handling is great and revving does not throw the bike off gravity center at all. The adjustable rear mono shock is absolutely wonderful. Although this bike weighs in around 700lbs, my 5’7″ 185lb frame can throw this bike around without issue. You can pull up the front wheel smooth as butter and hold it or pop it up without noticing any “jerkyness”. It rides like it wants to be ridden. I have ridden many touring and sport touring bikes that do fight a little especially with balance. I have only miniscule gripes and it may just be a set up issue but, kick it in neutral around 30MPH and go hands free, I have to lean to the left just a little to keep her straight ATW to a stop. No, I did not have some junk in my right trunk either. I also wish it had a sixth gear really, really badly.
I added 2″ helibar risers, the Givi rear bitch box, the rain, debris, heat deflectors in front of my legs and a Sargent seat. Law enforcement agencies all over the world use this bike as well. I often get a thumbs up or a “nice bike” shout out from the more seasoned cops which is better than when I am riding my Sabre when all cops only seem to notice is my long hair streaming behind me.
|Make Model||Honda ST 1300|
|Engine||Four stroke, longitudinally 90°V-four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder.|
|Capacity||77CI / 1261cc|
|Bore x Stroke||78 x 66 mm|
|Cooling System||Liquid cooled|
|Engine Oil||Semi-Synthetic, 10W/40|
|Induction||PGM-FI electronic fuel injection, 36 mm throttle bodies|
|Ignition||Computer-controlled digital transistorized|
|Spark Plug||NGK, CR7EH-9|
|Max Power||118 hp / 87 kW @ 8000 rpm|
|Max Torque||117 Nm / 11.93 kg-m @ 6500 rpm|
|Clutch||Wet, multiple discs, cable operated|
|Frame||Aluminum-alloy triple-box-section pressure cast dual-spar with cast aluminum-alloy swingarm|
|Front Suspension||45mm air-assist telescopic fork,|
|Front Wheel Travel||117 mm / 4.3 in|
|Rear Suspension||Single-side conventional damper with adjustable preload and rebound damping|
|Rear Wheel Travel||133 mm / 4.8 in|
|Front Brakes||2x 310mm discs 3 piston calipers|
|Rear Brakes||Single 316mm disc 3 piston caliper (ABS option available)|
|Front Tire||120/70 ZR18|
|Rear Tire||170/60 ZR17|
|Trail||98 mm / 3.9 in|
|Length||2282 mm / 89.8 in|
|Width||935 mm / 36.8 in) including panniers|
|Height||1332 mm / 52.4 in|
|Wheelbase||1491 mm / 58.7 in|
|Seat Height||790 mm / 31.1 in|
|Dry Weight||286 kg / 631 lbs – ABS 289 kg / 637 lbs|
|Wet Weight||331 kg / 730 lbs|
|Fuel Capacity||29 Liters / 7.7 gal|
|Consumption average||19.8 km/lit / 46.7 mp/g|
|Standing 1/4 Mile||11.6 sec|
|Top Speed||225 km/h / 139.8 mph|
Man oh man is this bike a great ride. This baby just screams (and cruises!). One second you can be cruising along smoothly and quietly at 70 in sixth, then drop her down three, look up, glance down to see you are at well over a hundred and there is still a sixth gear. It happens that fast. I have shocked many new school bikes and riders from the light with this retro beast. It’s incorrectly in the Guinness book of world records as the fastest production bike of the ’80’s but, it was the fastest in ’85, not the entire decade. It’s the Kawasaki ZX-10 in ’88 that ACTUALLY holds that tile and that was a blast to ride. That said, my Sabre…. still on the road. Some said it would not go the claimed 177mph unless you rode it off a cliff but, I can attest to the top end speed as I have pegged the speedo more than once and the bike was 25 years old then! Handling has much to be desired as far as really throwing her around a track but, if you want to blow some doors from a stop or blast that on ramp, you better hang on because this bike delivers. The specs say 11’s in the quarter but, I have gone low 10’s four times now. Reminder, I did this when this bike was 25 years old with 60k miles (totally stock). As a cruiser, that mono shock and shaft drive, low rpm at (high) highway speed with a plethora of position options to accommodate your ass shifts makes this bike quite nice on cross country rides, for me anyhow.
|Make Model||Honda VF1100S Sabre|
|Engine||Liquid cooled, four stroke, 90°V-four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder.|
|Capacity||67CI / 1098cc|
|Bore x Stroke||79.5 x 55.3 mm|
|Induction||4x 36mm Keihin carbs.|
|Ignition / Starting||Digital transistorized / electric|
|Lubrication system||Wet sump|
|Max Power||121 hp 88.3 kW @ 9500 rpm|
|Max Torque||101.70 Nm 10.4 kg-fm 75.0 ft.lb @ 7500 rpm|
|Transmission / Drive||6 Speed / shaft|
|Gear Ratio||6th 4.31 5th 5.16 4th 6.18 3rd 7.43 2nd 9.31 1st 13.19|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic fork, 41mm air-adjustable leading-axle forks with 3-way adjustable rebound damping and TRAC. 145mm wheel travel|
|Rear Suspension||Single shock swing arm, air-adjustable Pro-Link with remote 3-way adjustable rebound damping. 119mm wheel travel|
|Front Brakes||2x 274mm disc 2 piston calipers|
|Rear Brakes||Single 279mm disc 2-piston caliper|
|Front Tire||110/90 -18|
|Rear Tire||130/90 -17|
|Wheelbase||1,590 mm / 62.6 in/td>|
|Rake / Trail||30.5° / 94 mm – 3.7 in|
|Seat Height||831 mm / 32.7 in|
|Dry Weight||241.5 kg / 532.5 lb|
|Fuel Capacity||21.9 liters / 5.8 gal|
|Standing 1/4 Mile||11.38 sec. / 120.36 mph|
|Consumption Best||44 mpg|
|Top Speed||177 mph|
That’s right, American made. From the steel for the frame and gas tank, to the fasteners used to hold the bike together. Right down to the paint. In all, there are more than a hundred suppliers from all over the United States that supply the ingredients delivered to the Honda of American Manufacturing (affectionately known as ‘HAM’) plant in Marysville, Ohio, to make the “new” (’95) Shadow American Classic Edition. (I don’t know if I can say that about all my add-ons, my bad.) But, the styling and sound come straight out of Milwaukee.
I addded Vance & Hines Straightshots and had the work professionally done. (Installed, re-jettted and all set up.)
So, add a little more horsepower and a lot more cage drivers on cell phone cancelling power!
The single pin is like the Harley Davidson, both connecting rods hanging off the same crankshaft pin position. They fire at approximately 315 degrees instead of 360 degrees like a twin pin. This offset firing sequence gives that especially great HD sound. Basically, it is a Japanese copy/replica of that HD engine and made in the U.S. too.
There are some trade off’s for having a great sound and one is less horse power and another is vibration. You can see objects in the mirrors but, you would not be able to recognize anyone! Surprisingly, this shaky mirror syndrome almost goes away at highway speeds (80-90 mph) 😉 .
In the case of the VT1100 ACE the single pin engine produces around 50 HP and the twin pin produces around 60 HP. The twin pin is solid mounted and the single pin is rubber mounted.
I’ll tell you what though, this thing s#its and gets and I know some gettin’!
The guys at St Pete Motorbike did my exhaust and carb enhancements a solid.
|Make Model||Honda VT 1100C2 Shadow Ace American Classic Edition (American Made)|
|Engine||Liquid cooled, four stroke, 45°V-Twin, SOHC, 3 valve per cylinder.|
|Capacity||68CI / 1099cc|
|Bore x Stroke||87.5 x 91.4 mm|
|Induction||2x 36mm Keihin carbs.|
|Ignition / Starting||CDI / electric|
|Max Power||68 hp @ 5000 rpm|
|Max Torque||102 Nm @ 3000 rpm|
|Transmission / Drive||5 Speed / shaft|
|Front Suspension||41mm Telescopic forks, 150mm wheel travel|
|Rear Suspension||Dual shocks, spring preload adjustable, 100mm wheel travel|
|Front Brakes||Single 316mm disc 2 piston caliper|
|Rear Brakes||Single 276mm disc 1 piston caliper|
|Dry Weight||575LBS (261 kg)|
|Fuel Capacity||4 Gallons (15 Litres)|
|Consumption average||Claims 40mpg (14.2 km/lit) I get 120 miles per tank so, around 30mpg.|
|Braking 60 – 0 / 100 – 0||15.3 m / 41.8 m|
|Standing 1/4 Mile||15.2 sec / 85MPH (137.4 km/h) Mine hits around 100MPH|
|Top Speed||102MPH (163.9 km/h) Mine does 120 (so far)|
Ranting and Raving
“So, Jim” you ask… “Why all Hondas?”
Well, these are the ones that still run. I did acquire a couple Harley’s in the early ’70s too. My 2-Kawasaki’s, 1-Suzuki’s, 1-Yamaha, 1-Hodaka, 1-Huskvarna, & 2 H.D’s (xs127 & 175) have all gone to the sad but, not lonely two wheel graveyard. So far in my 40 years of abusing the hell out of motorcycles the Honda’s lasted almost twice as long but, did have some shortcomings over the other big manufacturers.
For instance, the chain tensioners on the 1974(ish) (if memory serves) Honda XL 125. I carried them in my pocket because I would continually snap them when landing from jumps.
I could go on and on.. The Honda engines have been great, some of the stuff they slapped them into had room for improvement for sure which is the opposite of my Harley experiences except for welds breaking on them. That said, I rode my XL125 4 stroke from Sebring Florida to right outside of Dayton Ohio with only gas stops. I used, abused and rode this thing TO DEATH. That said, I traded it outright for a ’66 VW bug back in ’78 or ’79 and for all I know, they are both still going.
I lived rurally for three decades. I rode HARD all day long, most every day and into the night. Nothing else to do, we lived for it! We rode em, fixed em, had others fix ’em when we couldn’t and that’s pretty much it. I actually raced one with vicegrips for a shifter, no clutch and throttle cable tied to the gas tank cap.. and won.
I rode the heck out of that Sabre too… My last dead Honda was the CB650SC I talked about in the front page here on my site.
But, just to be clear on one item, the VT1100 American Classic Edition is not really a “riceburner” just owned by the company that makes them.
Yeah, it is a Harley rip off but, it is a damn good engine, it is fun as hell to ride and very reliable except, I don’t like the fuel pump (infamous) and replaced it with a super reliable 1-2 PSI free flow solenoid pump which uses a piston actuated by an electromagnetic coil to generate fuel pressure and flow. A LOT CHEAPER THAN STOCK PUMP TOO (even with extra hoses and connectors to retrofit)!
So, the next chapter being My new Indian Scout (Polaris) Indaris©™? Polindian©™?
Hopefully, it won’t prove to be a Poindian©™ …
I will coin those now thank you! 😉