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Old 06-11-2010, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default Shootout: 2010 Honda Shadow RS vs. 2010 Harley-Davidson 883 Low


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Shootout: 2010 Honda Shadow RS vs. 2010 Harley-Davidson 883 Low

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article Shootout: 2010 Honda Shadow RS vs. 2010 Harley-Davidson 883 Low in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:30 PM   #2
sarnali2
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Harley's been obsessed with this Low sh*t for too long IMO. There's definitely a market out there for the vertically deficient and HD's tapped a rich vein in offering Low versions of various models but they go too far. One of the reasons I got a Batwing instead of a Road Glide was the seat height. I've found over the years that your hips need to be either higher or on a plane with your knees otherwise they flop out instead of naturally falling in to grip the tank.

All this emphasis on low seat heights may look cool (questionable..) but it makes for a bike that's uncomfortable to spend a lot of time on for anyone with normal sized legs. Uncomfortable bikes don't get ridden. Anyway whatever-there's a market for them albeit limited.

As far as the Shadow I predictably don't care for it however it's more looks than anything else. I think as with most Japanese cruisers it looks gawky. The tanks an odd shape and seamed and the pipes don't look right on this model, however with the superior ergo's it'll probably have a wider appeal than a Low Sporty despite the extra ching. A clever move on Honda's part to bring it here.
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:58 PM   #3
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On the other hand, one can buy the 883 and for the cost savings from the Honda bolt on 1200cc cylinders. There are thousands of things you can get for the 883 and many of them actually improve performance. While the Honda will always be the same slow Honda no matter how much chrome is bolted on.
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #4
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Great review, but I wish you had at least one female tester. Don't recall reading anything about vibes or over/under square engine dimensions. The counter balancer hidden away in my larger engined HD Softail does wonders.
When did spoke wheels become the high priced option? Cast wheels are much easier to take care of buyers. And go and see both bikes in person. HD engines are beautifully finished.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonM View Post
Great review, but I wish you had at least one female tester. Don't recall reading anything about vibes or over/under square engine dimensions. The counter balancer hidden away in my larger engined HD Softail does wonders.
When did spoke wheels become the high priced option? Cast wheels are much easier to take care of buyers. And go and see both bikes in person. HD engines are beautifully finished.
No females this time around. Short ones will like the 883L, although the Honda's seat isn't exactly tall.

Vibes on both bikes were well-subdued. The Harley's rubber mounts do a good job suppressing shake.

Spoked wheels are much more labor-intensive to put together, so they cost more.

The HD's finish quality is quite good, but not on all components. Note the rust comments in the article.

In summary, the HD is cooler but has fit and clearance issues. If you're a small person who rarely goes around corners, the 883 is the easy choice.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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I missed the part where the normal Sportster - not the Iron, not the Nightster, not the Forty-Eight or the Custom or the myriad other distractions from the main idea, but the standard 883cc, normal ride height, two-wheels-a-seat-and-a-good-motor Sportster - somehow became an undesired part of the lineup. Until someone can give a reasonable explanation for this action, I remain convinced that Harley's product planners have just completely lost the plot.

On the other hand, it's not perfect yet (a bit more classic Britbike in the recipe might help) but as a good everyday machine the RS is compelling. Whoever drew this up, and whoever decided to bring it over: nice job.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick-of-the-Hills View Post
I missed the part where the normal Sportster - not the Iron, not the Nightster, not the Forty-Eight or the Custom or the myriad other distractions from the main idea, but the standard 883cc, normal ride height, two-wheels-a-seat-and-a-good-motor Sportster - somehow became an undesired part of the lineup. Until someone can give a reasonable explanation for this action, I remain convinced that Harley's product planners have just completely lost the plot.
The explaination is simple. Many Americans are simply unable to determine substance because they are blinded by style. Kinda reminds me of the old kindergarten story The Emporer's New Clothes.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:41 AM   #8
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Even the "normal" Sportster is too low for my taste.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:48 AM   #9
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Interesting - the air cooled pushrod Harley has more power than the Honda. Geez. My single cylinder DRZ400 trail bike has more horsepower than the Honda, and the DRZ is not exactly a fire breather. 39 hp is pathetic.

I don't get this low thing either. Perhaps because of my 33" inseam, I have wanted every bike I have owned to be taller and have more legroom.

I have borrowed rides on a few big Harleys that are very low and they have legroom, but feel funny, so low to the ground and feet forward. I would not want to be confronted with a sudden need to maneuver on one of those sleds. Sportbikes can certainly maneuver, but they are too cramped. Best riding position ever is the old standards like the GS1000s and the like. The new XR1200X seems most akin to this mindset in the HD lineup. THat bike may not be perfect, but it is really growing on me. Maybe I will own an HD someday after all!
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:39 AM   #10
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I'm not a died in the wool HD devotee (I've owned and loved HD, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Moto Guzzi, and many BMWs) but since neither of these bikes is a performance machine, the target buyer is looking for the kind of bike that looks good and feels good to them. Considering that, I'd pay more (I know it's less) for the HD for the beautiful tank, paint, design, and finish alone. Why does Honda continue to have that terrible looking seam on the bottom of almost all of their cruiser gas tanks! The HD looks right in every aspect. The Honda looks almost right. Kind of right. Kind of the same. But it looks awkward compared to the HD. And since this is the smallest and lowest HD, I think it goes without saying that it's targeted to shorter, less experienced riders who want to own a Harley Davidson. I love many Hondas but between these two, even if they were the same exact price, even if the HD was up to $1,000 more, I'd choose to own and ride the Harley.
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