Adjusting Your Ride Height

Raising or Lowering the Front Suspension and Lowering the Rear Suspension

The Honda Shadow VLX looks good from the factory with its nicely raked front end, attractive tail light, and soft tail rear suspension but as with any bike often a more aggressive look is sought after over stock such as a lowered front or rear end, longer fork tubes for a more aggressive raked look, and even converting to a rigid rear end.

Lowering the Front End

Kits

Lowering the front end is as easy as purchasing and installing a lowering kit purchased from Hellriser Customs or direct from Scootworks. Progressive Suspension also makes spring kit that will lower your ride and also improve the front suspension as well, it is not a drop it kit and requires disassembling the front suspension.

DIY

You can make your own fork tube spacers out of PVC pipe to replace the metal space inside the fork tubes.

You will need to raise the bike to take the load off of the front suspension. Remove the fork tube caps being careful of the large spring inside that is under tension. Remove the metal spacer. Cut your PVC pipe length an inch to 1.5 inches shorter (or any desired lowering amount) than the metal spacer being sure to clean all shavings. Insert the new PVC spacer in place of the metal spacer and then re install the fork caps being careful not to cross thread them.  

 

Raising the Front End

If you are looking for a raked front end appearance without spending the money on an aftermarket raked triple tree the easiest way to achieve it is to raise the front end while lowering the rear end of the motorcycle to cause a more raked appearance without actually changing the rake. There are two ways to raise the front end.

Longer Fork Tubes

The first option is to install longer 39mm fork tubes. Fork tube kits can be purchased from AME Chopper Products or from Mean Cycles who also carrys +4" VLX tubes. You will either need to install longer fork springs, or you can build your own extended spacer out of properly sized PVC Pipe to make up for the longer tube length. Be sure that both spacers are identical in length. The longer tubes will require a longer brake line and possibly speedo wire, be sure to measure. 

Fork Extensions

The second and easier option is to purchase fork tube extensions for the VLX (39mm fork tubes) directly from eBay or BIkerCom. You might be able to re route the stock cables and use them otherwise you will need to at least a longer brake line. Be sure to measure. Great instructions for installing the Billski fork tube extensions (no longer made) on a VT750 (the procedure is the same on VLX) can be found here: Fishman's VT750DC or in PDF format for a different bike Here.

Raked Triple Trees

If you install raked trees on your VLX you will either need fork tube extensions or longer fork tubes (some kits include this) to maintain the same ride height. You will also need a longer brake line to match the longer trees. Raked Triple Trees can be purchased from: BikerComMotorcycle Accessories, AME Chopper Products, or for the highest quality and stability Mortons Custom Cycle (scroll to bottom of page).

 

Lowering the Rear End

One of the most sought after mods for any cruiser motorcycle is to lower the rear end of your bike, this may be for cosmetics or it may be because you are short and feel more comfortable reaching the ground on a lowered bike. No matter the reason there are a few options lower your bike. 

Lowering Kit

Installing a lowering kit noting any warnings about clearance from the manufacturer is the fastest way to lower your bike from 1.5 to 2.5 inches. Kits are available directly from the originator of lowering brackets: Scootworks. LA Choppers also makes a lowering kit. 

Shocks

Unfortunately we do not know of any aftermarket bolt on lowering shock made for the VLX at this time. There is always the option of chopping the spring and the shock stem to create a lower shock, however, this must be done by a qualified professional and at your own risk.

Strut Bar / Rigid Hard Tail Kit

If you don't mind riding rigid you can purchase Hard Tail Kit made by Scootworks.com for a very affordable price which locks the rear soft tail swing arm in place ultimately making your VLX a rigid rear end. Ebay is another great source for a rigid strut bar.

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