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125cc: Dragstar or Shadow?


lockheed
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Apparently, cruiser-wise there is nothing better than Honda VT Shadow 125 or Yamaha Dragstar XVS 125. The question is – which one to go for?

They are so similar that me, with now experience whatsoever, cannot decide just on the basis of respective reviews.

I am going to use it for commute (40 miles daily) on A-roads with occasional trips and round-town errands.

I will probably end up getting raisers for steering bar as I am 6’5” (but light). I sat on a Dragstar just yesterday and it wasn't as bad as I expected although my hands were quite lower than shoulders, hence the thought of risers. Also, moving pegs forward would probably be another good idea, if this is doable.

Anyway, I welcome any input form owners, ex-owners or opinionated people.

PS

Side question - does windshield decrease bike's top speed?

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im sure its the honda shadow V2 that isnt a V-Twin engine.......its only got a single cylender and the other one is a fake.......

where as the xvs 125 is a v-twin

iv never ridden a shadow so cant say. but the xvs 125 is a mint bike. :D

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As I said in you're introductory post, you would be far better served by a direct access course.

If you were to follow you're initial thoughts of a attending a CBT course then buying a 125 Dragstar you would have to spend.......

1. Average CBT cost £100.00

2. A 125 Dragstar worth having will set you back around £1500.00

Therefore your budget should be no less than £1600.00

If you were to do the dirct access course...........

1. Average cost £600.00 (CBT is included) once passed, gives you access to all sizes of machine.

2. Theory test £30.00

3. Which would leave you around £1000.00 to purchase various bikes including these......

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1997-Yamaha-XJ900-S-Diversion-/170638662841?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item27badb5cb9

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1996-YAMAHA-RED-/170641227612?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item27bb027f5c

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1981-HONDA-RED-/280676583764?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item4159a0c954

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HONDA-VF400R-1983-NICE-BIKE-/180665982468?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item2a10881e04

or if cruisers are more to you're liking.....

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1994-KAWASAKI-EN500-CUSTOM-CRUISER-LOW-RIDER-VGC-/280672813399?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item4159674157

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RUDE-REG-INC-1981-CLASSIC-KAWASAKI-750-LTD-CRUISER-Z-/230614403480?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item35b1b08998

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/YAMAHA-XJ650-MAXIM-1980-US-IMPORT-CUSTOM-CRUISER-/190532938356?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item2c5ca5ea74

Surely this route is far more sensible........don't you agree?

Oh, and as for the windshelid....... on a 125? yes it would slow the top speed, however on the 900 diversion........well, I'm sure you get the picture.

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As I said in you're introductory post, you would be far better served by a direct access course

Hmm, interesting perspective. I did not thing about it this way. Those ebay links do look interesting BUT these are not final prices. Could these bikes go well go for ~1500? It would take the entire ordeal in the neighborhood of 2000s.

Also, what is the fuel economy in larger bikes? From 125cc I can get 70+mpg.

Paulwhite, seriously? I though Shadows is even tad more powerful than Dragstar... Besides, this V2 is mounted also in Varadero which is one of the fastest 125cc bikes.

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I had the Yamaha XVS125 Dragstar and my brother had the Honda VT125 Shadow (which I used for over a year when he was abroad alternating between the two daily).

If you're talking performance, the VT125 has more power than the XVS125 - my bike would never keep up with the Shadow and the engine on the Shadow handles the hills much better too. I'd also say the Shadow is much easier to manouver at low speeds. That said, I much preferred the looks of the Dragstar to the Shadow and couldn't fault my 125 Dragstar.

Shadow

DSC00408.jpg

Dragstar

DSC00409.jpg

I did my test on a 125 and after a while got a bigger bike retricted to 33bhp until my license restriction was up. One good thing about going the 125 route is you get good experience of riding before the test and the experience before gaining the power of a bigger engine.

Graham

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As I said in you're introductory post, you would be far better served by a direct access course.

If you were to follow you're initial thoughts of a attending a CBT course then buying a 125 Dragstar you would have to spend.......

1. Average CBT cost £100.00

2. A 125 Dragstar worth having will set you back around £1500.00

Therefore your budget should be no less than £1600.00

If you were to do the dirct access course...........

1. Average cost £600.00 (CBT is included) once passed, gives you access to all sizes of machine.

2. Theory test £30.00

3. Which would leave you around £1000.00 to purchase various bikes including these......

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1997-Yamaha-XJ900-S-Diversion-/170638662841?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item27badb5cb9

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1996-YAMAHA-RED-/170641227612?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item27bb027f5c

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1981-HONDA-RED-/280676583764?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item4159a0c954

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HONDA-VF400R-1983-NICE-BIKE-/180665982468?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item2a10881e04

or if cruisers are more to you're liking.....

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1994-KAWASAKI-EN500-CUSTOM-CRUISER-LOW-RIDER-VGC-/280672813399?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item4159674157

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RUDE-REG-INC-1981-CLASSIC-KAWASAKI-750-LTD-CRUISER-Z-/230614403480?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item35b1b08998

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/YAMAHA-XJ650-MAXIM-1980-US-IMPORT-CUSTOM-CRUISER-/190532938356?pt=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item2c5ca5ea74

Surely this route is far more sensible........don't you agree?

Oh, and as for the windshelid....... on a 125? yes it would slow the top speed, however on the 900 diversion........well, I'm sure you get the picture.

It does indeed appear to make sound financial sense to take Leatherat's route.

However, taking Direct Acess, passing (and there are no guarentees of first time pass), then buying a medium to large bike and taking to the road with abolutely no experience save for test training is not something that I'd advise.

Buy your 125, ride it for a 6 months/a year on CBT, build up some roadcraft/confidence etc in different weather conditions, different traffic conditions, different quality roads, learn to observe/anticipate, then take the DA, youll have a better chance of passing with some road experience than without.

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clarkegray, I couldn't wish for a better comparison. Thanks!

youll have a better chance of passing with some road experience than without.

Is the training course not enough? Going straight for Kawasaki EN500 is definitely something I'd like to do as this bike has all I want, contrary to all three 125cc bikes.

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Hmm, interesting perspective. I did not thing about it this way. Those ebay links do look interesting BUT these are not final prices. Could these bikes go well go for ~1500? It would take the entire ordeal in the neighborhood of 2000s.

Also, what is the fuel economy in larger bikes? From 125cc I can get 70+mpg.

The bikes I have highlighted are mostly buy it now prices, so well within your budget. There are many more out there.

The Direct access course is perfectly acheivable, even by someone with no experience, and yes the training is perfectly adequate to enable you to ride safely on the road. In my opinion, larger machines are in many ways safer than the smaller 'learner' options.

Fuel economy is of course the casualty of the senario. I would expect between 45-60mph dependent on which machine you end up with, but believe me, the reduced mpg is well worth it as you get many more smiles per hour.

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Just re-read your 1st post, if I were doing a 40 mile commute on an A road, (as much as it pains me to say it) I would definitely pick the Shadow over the Dragstar.

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Well, I bought my baby drag for £1000 and it is definitely worth having. So you can get a good 125cc Dragstar for less than £1500, although certain element of luck is necessary.

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Yeah, you got me hooked on DAS and Vulcan 500. It does make more sense, especially with my size and some longer cruises.

Is the exam part of DAS training or do I need to worry about the exam separately?

You'll need to do (& pay for?) the theory test seperately... my instructor told me to book the theory test myself whereas my mate's instructor made out they had to book it and charged him £20 extra.

My instructor's prices included the practical test(s) but make sure you check as different instructors will break down their prices differently. You should also check insurance prices for the Vulcan 500 vs the 125s as it could add a lot of extra £££s

Good luck with whatever you go for :)

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Like many others, I will ALWAYS recommend spending 6 months to a year on a 125. I did DAS myself, but remained on the 125, partly for cash reasons but also because it forced me to learn skills you won't learn on a big bike.

The main one is using planning and observation to get your manoeuvres right. From overtakes to turnings, a 125 Drag doesn't have the power to blast away, so you have to ride as conditions allow. This then stands you in excellent stead when you get a big bike - You'll have power if you need it, but you'll not rely on it. That was a trick taught to me by my instructor, who teaches the same thing to the Police riders!

125 Drag will usually cost £1500 for a good one. You will have to scour the internet a bit, but they are out there. Average starting prices are between £2-3500 for good to mint condition.

Shadow is a good bike, but like it's larger counterparts, is considered reliable, hardy and very dull to ride.

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I sat on a Dragstar just yesterday and it wasn't as bad as I expected although my hands were quite lower than shoulders, hence the thought of risers.

That's all part of the relaxed riding position.

Even on the 650, my hands are about level with my elbows. I would need straight bars with a 6" rise to get them shoulder height... and I imagine it'd be bloody uncomfortable.

I always found my 125 Drag was fine straight out the box, as far as bars go. Leg room was kinda scrunched and noticable on long trips (4hr+), but that's any 125. Certainly the best mini-Cruiser on the market!

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Don't go listening to these doom mongering faggots! Get yourself on to a DAS course, pass the tests (you'll have to book your own theory test it costs £31.00) and get yourself a real bike. Insurance is slightly more expensive, but if saving money is that paramount, get the bus!

125cc learner legal machines are for children, girls and guys who like guys. (That ought to stir the pot a little!) :lol:

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I checked insurance and it would set me back roughly 170 quid pa. I realise 125 Drag would make for more seamless entrance into motorbiking but I also discovered there are many, many people whose first bike was EN 500. I am a very experienced cyclist and although it hardly translates into motorbiking I imagine it will help me with breaking, turning and keeping balance at low speed.

I calculated all DAS/test costs and all in all it would set be back around 492 quid. Also, there is a small chance I will be able to get my motorcycle course and exam in two weeks I gonna spend in my EU home country and it that case, I'd pay ~240 for a full license.

I still got some times to decide but I am definitely leaning towards full license and EN500

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I calculated all DAS/test costs and all in all it would set be back around 492 quid. Also, there is a small chance I will be able to get my motorcycle course and exam in two weeks I gonna spend in my EU home country and it that case, I'd pay ~240 for a full license.

I would go the bigger bike route myself and get it over and done with. You mention "my EU home country" but you didn't fill in your profile details so it is difficult to gauge any problems you might have.

I still got some times to decide but I am definitely leaning towards full license and EN500

I would tend to lean into the corner ;). There is a lot of video stuff on video sites which should help and add to the motivation (if you need any more). I remember not sleeping the night before I picked my first bike up and not sleeping after the first night of riding due to excitement. Mind you I brought the bike without having ridden one although I did have a full car licence. No pre test CBT's then. Just buy a bike up to 250cc, get on it and learn to ride as you go.

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Don't go listening to these doom mongering faggots! Get yourself on to a DAS course, pass the tests (you'll have to book your own theory test it costs £31.00) and get yourself a real bike. Insurance is slightly more expensive, but if saving money is that paramount, get the bus!

125cc learner legal machines are for children, girls and guys who like guys. (That ought to stir the pot a little!) :lol:

Bitch :lol:

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