Honda has announced its 2013 lineup of light-to-mid weight cruisers, the Shadow and the Rebel. All of the 2012 models return for 2013. There are four unique Shadow models and a standard Rebel. These are some of the best selling entry and mid-range bikes, and some of the longest in continuous production. When you don’t need the power of 1,000 cc or more, don’t want to worry about handling a bike that’s pushing a wet weight of 700 pounds, or don’t want to spend more than $10k, Honda has a full line of cruisers to choose from.
2013 Honda Shadow Models
Introduced in 1983 to more directly target theU.S.cruiser market, the Shadow was first offered with two different engine sizes, 500 cc and 750 cc V-Twins. Through the years Honda tweaked the displacements available on the Shadow, equipping models in the lineup with everything from 600 cc to 1,100 cc engines. Since the 2008 model year the Shadow line has been powered exclusively by a 750 cc powerplant. Honda has sold over a quarter of a million of the 750 cc Shadows since its introduction in 1983.
There are four distinct models in the 2013 Honda Shadow lineup, but they all share a number of elements. Honda equips each of the Shadow models with a 745 cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 52 degree V-Twin engine. The fuel injection system has automatic enrichment circuitry and a single 34 mm throttle body. The shared engine is SOHC with three valves per cylinder. The ignition on all Shadows is electronic, and the compression ratio is standard throughout the line, 9.6:1. Braking on all four models is the same, a single 296 mm disc with twin-piston caliper up front and a 180 mm drum in the rear. The Shadow Aero and Spirit 750 do have an anti-lock brake option.
Suspension on the entire line is provided by a 41 mm front fork and dual rear shocks with five-position adjustability. The entire Shadow lineup is rated to get 56 MPG combined highway and city. Each model except for the RS has a 3.7 gallon fuel tank. And Honda gives each model a one year transferable, unlimited mileage warranty and offers the option of purchasing extended coverage with a Honda Protection Plan. Honda has not yet announced the 2013 base MSRP for any of the Shadow models, but all of the 2012 models had the same base price tag of $8,240.
Combining classic cruiser styling with a little roadster cool, the Shadow RS stands out from the rest of the lineup. The bike’s ergonomics are more like those on a standard motorcycle, with a flatter seat and more neutral positioning of the footpegs, the rider sits in a more upright than he would on a typical on a cruiser. And those footpegs are set up higher to improve ground clearance, especially in the twisties. Flat-track racing is the inspiration behind the shape of the seat, and the peanut fuel tank, holding only 2.6 gallons with a reserve of .7 gallons; it’s the smallest tank in the Shadow line.
Setting the Shadow RS even further apart from its brother Shadow models is the chain final drive. Like the rest of the lineup the RS does have a five-speed transmission. The RS is the only Shadow with a 19 inch front tire and 16 inch rear tire. This model has the highest seat, 29.4 inches; shortest wheelbase, 61.4 inches; and lightest wet weight, 503 pounds, of any of the models in the Shadow line.
Accessories available for the 2013 Honda Shadow RS include a tall or low backrest, rear carrier, saddlebags, fluted V-Design neo-retro master cylinder caps and billet license plate frame, and plain, studded or fringed touring bag and front pouch. The Shadow RS is available in Black and should be in dealerships in December 2012.
The darkest of the Shadow models, the Phantom combines a minimalist look and blacked-out styling cues. Engine, frame, handlebars, rims. They’re all blacked-out. And that’s combined with lots of matte silver highlights that give the Phantom a certain sinister appeal. The shorty front fender and bobbed rear fender, spoked wheels, bullet style two-into-two exhaust and gunfighter style saddle complete the picture of what Honda calls one of the wickedest customs on pavement.
Like all of the Shadow models, save the RS, the Phantom has a five-speed transmission with shaft final drive. The seat height on the Shadow Phantom is a comfortable 25.8 inches. Wheelbase is 64.6 inches and the bike’s wet weight is 549 pounds.
In addition to accepting most of the accessories for the RS, you can customize your Phantom with a smoked Boulevard windscreen and a custom rider’s seat. For 2013 the Honda Shadow Phantom is available in Matte Black Metallic. It should be available in November 2012.
The 2013 Honda Aero is a classically styled cruiser. From its full front and rear fenders, tank mounted instrument panel, two-piece seat and chrome highlights, the Aero looks like a true retro cruiser. And it feels like one, with the heaviest wet weight of the group, coming in at 560 pounds ready to ride. Seat height is 25.9 inches and wheelbase is 64.5 inches.
Honda has announced more accessories for the 2013 Shadow Aero than for any of the other models in the group. They include chrome windscreen, chrome lightbar, chrome spotlight visors, chrome backrest (low or tall), chrome rear carrier and a chrome rear carrier that takes the place of the separate passenger’s seat. Oh, did we mention there’s a little bit of chrome involved? Other accessories include (all of these are preceded by the word “chrome”) master cylinder caps, swingarm pivot cover, front and rear fender guard rails and trim and driveshaft cover. Honda also offers a digital audio system, leather saddlebags, touring bag, tank belt and front pouch. Heated grips are also available for the Shadow Aero.
For 2013 the Honda Shadow Aero is available in Black or Metallic Silver and Pearl White. If you go for the anti-lock brake model you can only get it in Black. The Aero is due out in December 2012.
Shadow Spirit 750
With its 21 inch front tire, spoked wheels and the longest wheelbase of all the Shadow models, 65.2 inches, the 2013 Shadow Spirit 750 has a sporty attitude. The Spirit 750 also has the lowest seat height of the bunch, just 25.7 inches.
The Shadow Spirit 750 can be outfitted with any of a number of accessories. Touring accessories include synthetic leather saddlebags or leather studded, fringed or plain saddlebags, front pouch or touring back, and a plain or studded leather tank belt. Chrome accessories include a lightbar, spotlight visors, tall or low backrest, rear carrier, passenger grab rails, radiator guard and driveshaft cover. Billet accessories offered are a fluted V-Design neo-retro master cylinder cap and license plate frame and a swingarm pivot cover. Honda also offers a digital audio system for the Spirit 750.
You can choose between two color options, Black (which is the only option on the anti-lock brake equipped Spirit 750) or Ultra Blue Metallic Flame. The 2013 Honda Shadow Spirit 750 will be available in December 2012.
2013 Honda Rebel
If you’ve ever taken a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Riders Course chances are you’ve ridden or seen a Honda Rebel. The Rebel is one of the most highly recommended motorcycles for beginners. Honda introduced the Rebel for the 1986 model year and has sold over 140,000 of them since then. Not bad for a little 250 cc, carbureted beginner’s bike.
Sure, the Rebel’s size is confidence inspiring, but it’s also fun. Powering the Honda Rebel is a 234 cc, air-cooled, parallel twin-cylinder, SOHC with two valves per cylinder engine with a 26 mm diaphragm-type CV carburetor. It has a five-speed transmission and chain final drive. There’s a 33 mm front fork and adjustable dual rear shocks providing the suspension. The Rebel has a front single disc brake with twin-piston caliper and a drum type rear brake. Wheelbase is 57.1 inches, seat height is 26.6 inches and the Rebel’s wet weight is an almost bench-pressable 331 pounds. The fuel tank holds 2.6 gallons including a .7 gallon reserve. So with its EPA estimated 84 MPG you get a range of just under 220 miles on the Rebel.
Honda gives the Rebel the same warranty as the Shadow lineup. The 2013 Honda Rebel is available in two color options, Black or Candy Red. Honda hasn’t announced a 2013 MSRP yet, but in 2012 the base sticker on the Rebel was $4,190. The Rebel should be in dealerships in January 2013.
More On The 2013 Honda Cruiser Lineup
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