I purchased my 1998 Shadow ACE new and have been in love with it ever since. The bike has been amazingly reliable and inexpensive to run. The ride is comfortable and the bike handles quite easily with it's beautiful wide handlebars. It has a good amount of low end grunt for it's class to has moved me around town and up winding, hilly roads, but not so much that I'm tempted to over do it.
The stock pipe has such a nice rumble, due in part to the large exhaust chambers and the single-pin crank, but does not annoy. If you want a bit more sound it's fairly easy to poke a couple holes in the back of each baffle. It blats a bit louder but still purrs like a kitten at idle and at speed. There's also plenty of aftermarket options that build on the stock sound.
The stock seat was ok for around town but would make my butt sore on long rides- I've found the Mustang seat (and Pillion) to be amazingly comfortable.
I also purchased the Hondaline windshield that maintains the wind-in-your-face attitude but deflects most of the uncomfortable pressure from the chest and body.
With the stock sprocket I could cruize no problem up to 75 but the engine would start to run out breath and get buzzy going much faster. Top speed was around 90-94. Fuel mileage is around 50 mpg around town and at expressway speeds, up to 60-65 mpg on those relaxed 45-60 mph country road trips.
Last year I had to replace the chain (2nd time) and replaced the sprockets as well, though they weren't terribly worn. I went from the stock 42 tooth sprocket to a 39 tooth sprocket. It's made a very nice difference for me! Normal high way speeds are even more comfortable, and it will cruise easily at 80-85. Top speed is now 100 mph or so.
The only maintenance I've had to do is:
0) Had the break-in checkup-tuneup.
1) Regular oil changes every 8000-10000 miles. (Mobil 1 for v-twins is awesome oil)
2) Chain cleaning/lubing (recommend Chain wax)-- has been made much easier with a Scootworks foldup bike lift.
3) Had the valves checked/adjusted at 26000 miles. Didn't really need it.
4) The alternator went after 35000 miles. Not too bad a bill.
5) The rear brakes were replaced at 35000. Still on the original front pads with plenty of wear left. (And yes- I mostly use the front brake!)
This bike has been such a pleasure- it's smooth, great looking, nice riding on all but the roughest of roads, handles easily and smoothly, and just exudes such a happy, relaxed vibe that makes you want to ride it all the time.
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Amount Paid (US$): 6400
Model Year: 1998