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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife currently has a Kawasaki 500 and is looking to upgrade to a little bigger bike. She is looking at the new Honda CTX700 DCT ABS and a Honda Sadow 750. The CTX is a Parallel Twin and the Shadow is a V-Twin. I was wanting to find out what the difference is and if anyone might prefer one over the other and why. I am looking forward to everyones opinion.

Thanks,
Brian
 

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SV-650?
My wife has one, and it was a great step-up. It's a very nimble performer. V-Twin.

Triumph Speedmaster / America is the more the forward-controls type cruiser. Parallel-twin.

As far as which ? Don't really have an opinion. Ducati does. :)
 

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I like the parallel twins because you have both in the wind . On the Vtwin the front cylinder heat goes right to the rear cylinder to warm it up .
That said many of the newer bikes have water cooling so the layout isnt so critical in the heating aspect.
 

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V-twin is narrower and it cools a little less evenly due to wind. As far as ridability goes about the same really. They have dirrent sounds and such.
 

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Both bikes are liquid cooled but I'd go for the new CTX700DCT. I sat on one last week at our local Honda dealer and was very impressed. I've always been partial to parallel twins. I prefer the even power pulses which vibrate less. The new bike's DCT system looks like a winner to me. If they put that on a GW I'd finally buy an new 'Wing. I don't mine shifting but after getting used to the twist and go on my Silverwing 600 I'm sold. The Silverwing engine was very smooth and it's a similar sized parallel twin. This new bike is considerably cheaper too than the Silverwing scooter.
I'm very interested in the bagger version. I'm hoping to get a chance to ride one before too long, if it's good on the slab I'm going to be very interested in this one.
 

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Do not know about the Honda CTX700 DCT..I sold my Honda 750 shadow ace a few years ago to get the 1800 ..Love the shadow it is such an easy bike to ride... water-cooled... low to the ground.. can do long trips ..did 7000 miles in 3 weeks although not the most comfortable bike ..needed an Air Hawk seat question for the big journey ..highly recomend the bike
 

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Get her one with ABS.
 

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I have to agree with the ABS. It is the best thing on bikes since sliced white bread.

The parallel twin will be a bit smoother (I do not care what anyone says, all V Twins vibrate - even if only a little bit - it is still vibration) Better cooling on the parallel, but as they are both liquid cooled, not enough better to make a difference in your decision. Have her sit on both and get her the one she likes best. If she is a long legged girl, it will be the CTX, if a shorter girl, I would bet on the Shadow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies, she is on the short side if things at 5'3. She has sat on both bike and like them both but is leaning toward the Shadow because it sits a little lower. One of the reasons I asked for the comparison is that she has carpel tunnel in her hands and I was concerned about the vibration from the v-twin. I was unsure about vibration from parallel twin. Although we both really like the CTX but like i said she feels a little more comfortable on the Shadow. One thing I did notice was how light the CTX felt due to the low COG not sure how it would handle the Kansas wind, the Shadow seems like it might be a little more stable in the wind.

Thanks,
Brian
 

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life is good
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My wife currently has a Kawasaki 500 and is looking to upgrade to a little bigger bike. She is looking at the new Honda CTX700 DCT ABS and a Honda Sadow 750. The CTX is a Parallel Twin and the Shadow is a V-Twin. I was wanting to find out what the difference is and if anyone might prefer one over the other and why. I am looking forward to everyones opinion.

Thanks,
Brian
i bought my wife a 08 Suzuki for mothers day in 2010 it had 720 miles on it she has a little over 31000 on it now she loves it . she is 5 foot 5 and she can sit and flat foot it at a light its very light in weight. check one out.we rode 2 up to Murphy NC in July with full gear bags loaded the back rest no problems 75 mph its water cooled its is a very very good bike! you can change the front brake lever for little fingers and the clutch lever also i bet there is not 2 inches between the grip and the lever on either one. fuel injected . side stand and clutch safety . killer head light. big seat that is very good.:claps::)
 

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I obviously don't like and can't recommend ABS. Unfortunately it is the only way to get a Honda CTX700DCT, a bike I otherwise highly recommend. I am considering it myself. I believe it may be possible to disconnect the ABS.

I would stay away from the Honda Shadow (any version of it) because it has wire spoke wheels and tube type tires. It also has no centerstand. That makes a flat tire a major issue that you cannot fix on the side of the road. To me that is simply unacceptable for a street bike in the 21st century.


As for the differences between a v-twin and a parallel twin, especially when talking about liquid cooled bikes, is that the look different. They also tend to have quite a few more parts, because a parallel twin can share many common parts, like cams and cam chains and heads and cylinders.

There are all kinds of ways to build both a v-twin and a parallel twin. Most people think of Harley when they think of a v-twin, and the offbeat idle and vibration a Harley makes. That is the way Harley chooses to build their engines. It is possible, using a different bore and stroke, and offset crankpins, to build a v-twin as smooth and quiet and powerful as any parallel twin.

Parallel twins can also be built in different configurations. Most are 180 degree designs, where the pistons go up and down opposite each other, like bicycle pedals. These are the smoothest. Many British bikes used 360 degree cranks, where the pistons go up and down together, firing on alternate revolutions. This basically amounts to a big single, and vibrates a lot more. But you can go farther than that. It is possible to build a parallel twin that sounds and vibrates just like a Harley. All you have to do is use a long stroke design (undersquare) and offset the crankpins 270 degrees. This is what causes the uneven idle and all the shaking from a Harley engine. The first cylinder fires, the second (rear) cylinder fires 315 degrees later, then there is a 405 degree gap until the first cylinder fires again, giving the engine its unique sound. This produces a lot of torque, but not much peak hp, and keeps the redline low. With such an uneven firing order, the engine is actually trying to tear itself apart.

Honda, being the engineering types they are, did not like this, so with the first v-twin Shadow, they used a short stroke and staggered crankpins, creating what was essentially a 180 degree parallel twin that LOOKED like a v-twin. It didn't go over to well with customers, because it did not have the "character" of the Harley engine. Since then the Japanese have built all kinds of v-twins, with varying V angles, some with single crankpins and some with staggered crankpins.

The Triumph Thunderbird, America, and Speedmaster use a parallel twin with a 270 degree crank, and sound and shake very much like a Harley.


But back to bikes, the CTX is the only non cruiser I can recommend. For a beginner or short person I definitely cannot recommend a sport bike or even a sporty bike. Compared to a cruiser (or the CTX) these bikes are top heavy, Have twitchy handling due to their lack of rake, are much harder to get your feet off the pegs and on the ground in a hurry, and they are just plain uncomfortable. They have low bars, which means you have to lean forward, placing a lot of your upper body weight on your wrists, arms, and shoulders, and because you are all bent over, you have to bend you neck way back to see where you are going. Another issue is the footpegs are way to far back, and way to high, scrunching your legs up underneath you, and making your feet almost vertical when they are on the pegs, with your toes pointing toward the ground. More than once I have got my foot caught between the shifter and peg, and almost dropped the bike. And if all that wasn't enough, they have the worst seats of any motorcycle, even worse than the narrow bricks on dual sport bikes. I gave up such bikes some time ago. They were always uncomfortable, but over the past few years the riding position has become so painful I can't even sit on one.


A decent bike should have a riding position just like the Goldwing, a completely upright position, with most of your weight on the seat, a 90 degree knee bend, and bars that come back far enough that you can hold the grips while still having a bend in your elbows. Some cruisers have a bit more of a feet forward position (my Vulcan 750 does) but I find that 100 times better than the rearsets on a sport type bike.
 

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I just recently went to test ride a Star Bolt which is an air cooled bobber style v-twin 900+cc bike. it's smooth (for a v-twin) and very simple as well as nimble. they designed it to be an urban cruiser, but I could see taking it on longer trips with the exception of it only having a range of just over 160 miles per tank. It weighs about 500 lbs and the center of gravity is really low so it feels like a feather when you move it side to side. well, a feather might have more wind resistance. :) The best thing is to let her choose which one she's comfortable with though.
 

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I just recently went to test ride a Star Bolt which is an air cooled bobber style v-twin 900+cc bike. it's smooth (for a v-twin) and very simple as well as nimble. they designed it to be an urban cruiser, but I could see taking it on longer trips with the exception of it only having a range of just over 160 miles per tank. It weighs about 500 lbs and the center of gravity is really low so it feels like a feather when you move it side to side. well, a feather might have more wind resistance. :) The best thing is to let her choose which one she's comfortable with though.
The Bolt should be a good bike. It is to small for me. I would go for the regular V-Star 950. But you have to get what fits and feels right. The Bolt has a proven engine. And it has tubeless tires. I still consider tube type tires to be unacceptable on a street bike. Not only can they not be repaired on the road, without some kind of lift, but when a tube type tire goes flat it usually does so suddenly. A tubeless tire usually loses air slowly enough that you know you have a problem and can get stopped before it goes completely flat. A front tire blowout at 75 mph is not a fun experience for even a highly experienced rider. I have found punctures in tubeless tires after getting home. Whatever punctured it had also temporarily plugged it. 160 miles per tank is not bad. At 35 mpg, my 1200 Goldwing is not much better than that.
 
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