Honda Shadow Aero - Damaged Goods

The latest on our Honda Shadow Aero

If you've followed along with the print version of Motorcycle Cruiser, you may already have met our long-term Honda Shadow Aero. We've had it for several months and in the time its been in our custody, we've made a few key alterations to make it more fun to ride (Saddlemen seat, Progressive Suspension forks and shocks, and Jardine drag pipes), along with some stuff it came equipped with for our Baby Bagger Test (MC, April 2009).

While it falls to me to walk and feed it every month, we put it in our rookie rider test that's going in the October Print Edition. It seemed like a good idea at the time: introduce some new riders to customization via a lightly modified mid-size motorcycle. What could possibly go wrong?

A low speed, low-sider, that's what. One of our testers dropped the Honda at roughly 5 mph while going around a curve. What followed was a lesson in what not to do when you hit a puddle with the bike at lean: give it a rapid speed change by hitting the brakes. Luckily, the Shadow only suffered minor road rash. Unfortunately, said skin damage can be found throughout the pipe side, from the front fender to the saddlebag. She also took a slight bend on the handlebars and a not-so-slight bend on the rear brake lever.
Well, at least I didn't do it. That sad honor fell to tester Alfonso Freeman. He learned two important lessons that day: the value of a good motorcycle jacket, and the proper way to ride through water. Like the Honda, he had a few scrapes (elbow and knee). We were just glad he was all right.
"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology... Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster." Source Interlink Motorcycle Group shop doc Michael Candreia performed a little field surgery on the Aero so it could continue our test. Once we get it back from the folks at Honda, it'll be as good as new (and hopefully, better than that as we continue modifying it).