Getting Started

Getting Started

GET STARTED Modifying your Shadow 750

The following list is a great way to get started modding your bike, beginning with simple cosmetic changes following through to more advanced performance and cosmetic modifications that will bring your VT750 to life. Shop for specific parts for your bike at VT750DC Spirit , VT750C2 Spirit , VT750C Aero , VT750C2B Phantom , and the new VT750RS

Although their low seat height and old school sporty or retro styling is attractive there are many things that can easily be changed to give each model of the Honda Shadow 750 line its own personality and a much better look. Please find us on Facebook to make suggestions, ask questions, and share info.


1. On most stock VT750 models the brake light is pretty hideous, often resembling a glowing lunch box with a large unsightly license plate assembly. Before the company was sold, a great first mod for the VT750DC specifically is the Original Billski Mod - taillight (Billski tail light installation instructions can be found at Fishman's VT750DC). Billski tail lights may be able to be found used on eBay, otherwise, check out Motorcycle Mods which offers various solutions for both the VT750DC and VT750C2 tail lights (they sell for the VLX as well). If you have a C2 Spirit or Phantom Extreme Discount Cycle has a unique LED option. On the models with a fender integrated tail light such as the Aero and Ace JP Cycles and Kuryakyn make a universal replacement Tombstone style tail light.

2. Replacing the stock turn signals can drastically change the appearance of your bike giving your ride a cleaner custom look. Extreme Discount Cycle has a unique option to eliminate bulky front turn signals on the C2 Spirit and Phantom. Chris Products makes a 4 light turn signal kit that can give your VT750 a Harley turn signal look. Kuryakyn has single filament options that look good. The options are vast with universal turn signals of varying brands to meet your cosmetic and functional needs. Consider eliminating your tail light completely by converting your rear turn signals to dual run/turn/brake lights by using a Kuryakyn Universal Controller or a universal trailer light wiring converter modified to work form a local auto parts store.

3. Remove your stock license plate holder and relocate your license plate with a universal license plate mount or side mount bracket and inspection sticker holder if applicable. There are many options with or without a brake light, just make sure you have a license plate light. And check the legality in your state for vertical verses horizontal license plates.

4. Relocate your rear turn signals by drilling a new mounting hole in the fender struts, by fabricating mounting brackets on your rear fender strut bars or somewhere else on your bike such as your shock mounts. Also there are universal turn signal relocation kits available from Kuryakyn and Saddlemen. The front signals can be relocated to the fork tubes or handlebars utilizing clamps or a custom mounting bracket.

See our Electrical and Lighting Page for more information on the above mentioned lighting options including: LED lighting and potential problems, Tail light elimination, Side Mounts, Driving Lights, Mounting and Signal Relocation, etc.

5. The stock rear suspension often resembles that of a dirt bike, ridiculously high with unsightly springs/shocks and nothing but space between the fender and tire. There are a plethora of options to lower the rear your ride, you could install shorter Shocks such as custom length socks from MB Store, shorter Progressive shocks, a Scootworks lowering kit, or a LA choppers 1.5" lowering kit (DC Spirit / Ace on left, C2 Spirit / Aero on right).


6. Raise the front end using Fork Extensions: 2", 3", or 4" (installation instruction for billski extensions can be found at Fishman's VT750DC), be sure to check for compatibility with your model bike. offers fork tube extensions for the DC and the ACE/C2

See our Adjusting Ride Height page for more ideas and information.

7. When its time to replace the stock tires going to fatter rear tire can really add a custom look to your ride. By doing the VTX rear Rim Relace to your stock rear hub you can better accommodate a wider than stock tire without the pinched tire balloon affect (a tire too big for the rim becomes resembles a balloon). This is compatible with all Shadow 750 models that have a 15" rear spoke rim. (The VTX rim is 1 inch wider than stock allowing for up to a 200 width tire).

8. If you have a VT750 with a 19" from wheel and want a taller skinnier front wheel then you can re-lace the front rim to a VT750C2 21" front rim on your hub. Other Shadow models can do this with any of the modern VT750 lines with the same style spoke wheels such as swapping to a 17", 19" or 21" front rim from an ACE, DC Spriit , or C2 Spirit for example.

9. For a serious custom look replace stock triple tree with a raked 6* or 7* tree from BikerCom, Motorcycle Accessories, or AME Chopper Products.

10. Make a choice between comfort or looks, or try to compromise with both and then replace the stock seat with a custom or aftermarket seat from Corbin, Granucci, DIY, Custom, or Mustang. Such as the Daytripper available for both the VT750DC (#76189 on left) and the VT750C2 (#76166 on right). There are many options to choose from that are far more comfortable and attracive than stock.

11. Replace stock handlebars with aftermarket Fatty T bars, Ape Hangers, Beach Bars, a Broom Stick Drag Bar, etc.

12. Completely customize your rear end a bolt on hard tail kit from Ardcore Choppers for the chain driven Spirit and ACE. 

13. Convert your bike to a bobber with a kit from Blue Collar Bobbers taking away the stock look and drastically changing your bike! Kits available for the ACE, DC Spirit, C2 Spirit, Aeror, and Phatom.

14. Replace your stock mirrors with a custom option. Note that many smaller mirrors limit your ability to see and cheaper options vibrate much more than the stock mirrors.

15. Replace your stock foot pegs with floorboards or aftermarket pegs such as kuryakyn, arlen ness, etc.

16. Replace your stock handlebar grips with Kuryakyn ISO grips or another decorative or comfortable option.

17. Last but not least, if you haven't already done so, carefully remove reflectors and stock stickers/badges. Head their warning and then remove them they are an eye sore (Do this at your own risk of course).



Due to EPA restrictions the VT750 motor, used in all Shadow models falls short on the horsepower meter. For example the dual carb VT750 motor was orignally designed to put out 43HP (54HP beginning in 2003) but was engineered down to an approximate 39HP allowing it to meet demanding environmental restriction. In order to meet these restrictions Honda installed smaller header pipes, retarded the engines timing, and used smaller jets in the carbs creating a lean condition. Modifications can help to regain this lost power originally intended for this engine by performing any number of the performance mods listed below and beyond. Honda made significant improvements to the newer single CV carbed and Fuel Injected VT750 engines used in the current VT750 models (C2, Aero, RS, Phantom), however, all of the theory mentioned here still applies.

1. Add some sound to the bike with the  by drilling and removing stock baffles (instructions are for VT750DC but this applies to the C2) or by punching your single exhaust with the Exhaust Punch Mod (Aero). This can be applied to other Shadow 750 models as well. The VT750C2 will require a Dremel tool to grind down a spot weld so the 2" hole saw will fit.

2. Drop in a stock K&N factory replacement air filter to increase breathability. DC Spirit/ACE (#HA7500 on left) and C2 Spirit/Aero/Phantom/RS (#HA7504 on right).


3. Adjust air/fuel mixture screws to get your engine running tip top.

4. Install a Jet Kit (Factory Pro, Dynojet, etc.). See Carburetors page for additional info.

5. Remove stock air box Snorkel (requires jetting to match increase airflow)

6. Bean Box Mod  or similar modification of your model bikes stock air box inlet for more air flow (requires a rejet). When done properly this mod allows your stock airbox to perform as good as many aftermarket intakes.

7. If you are lucky enough to have a chain driven VT750 one of the best mods available to you is to change out the rear sprocket to a lower tooth count giving the bike a better gear ratio and an entirely different feel.

8. Install stiffer clutch springs such as EBC or Barnett (these springs fit all the VT750 models: DC,CD,C2,C).

9. 4 degree timing advance mod (Applies to all Shadow 750 models and is best done when changing the clutch springs as the engine cover will be off). Instructions for the VT750DC/CD can be found here however the procedure is very similar for all VT750 models.

10. After market pipes from Cobra, DG Hard Krome, or even Vance and Hines such as their straight shots: (DC Spirt/Ace on left, Aero / C2 Spirit in center, C/C2/Phantom on right).


11. Aftermarket Thunder MFG Air Kit and a stage 3 jeting from Factory Pro. There are many performance air kits from a multitude of manufactures as well.

12. Aftermarket Baffles for your aftermarket pipes such as those from Big City Thunder.

More Serious performance:

1. Air filter pods attached directly to carbs (requires rejet) or Velocity Stack(s) from TJ Brutal Customs.

2. Install AFT Customs Performance kit available at Hellriser Customs (11:1 pistons and cams) - Please check for compatibility, this may work with all VT750 models.

3. Port and polish the heads and install larger exhaust valves.

4. install stock early 90's Hawk GT NT650 inner valve springs (VT750DC Shadow Spirit is single spring while the Hawk is dual spring, they fit the same seat).

5. install used stock early 90's Honda Hawk GT NT650 36.5mm CV carbs (bigger) or aftermarket carbs for the NT650. (VT750DC)

6. Have custom pistons forged from WiseCo Performance Products.

7. Have your stock cams ground to match 90's Honda Hawk GT NT650 or another pattern from Megacycle Cams or your local shop.

The rest is up to your imagination or ideas found exploring the links of this site.

For your motivation:

A bone stock VT750DC usually dyno's around 38HP and 46ft/lb torque.

With nothing but aftermarket exhaust, airbox snorkel removed , and proper jetting a documented 43.1HP has been reached on the dyno.

With the Advanced Timing Mod, Performance Intake, Aftermarket Exhaust, and Stage 3 Jetting a documented 47.39HP and 50.64ft/lb torque has been reached.

Reversing Honda's detuning can yield a fair increases in power (the above mentioned bikes case was a 21% increase). Going into the deep end with Pistons, Cams, Larger Carbs, and other serious modifications can yield even more power and torque.

Check out our list of Online Communities and Forums as well as our Recommended Stores for ideas, parts, and more.