Today on the blog, we're discussing whether or not it's wise to attach a sissy bar to the swingarm of your Honda Shadow. Read on for ALL the advice and tips!
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We get this question a lot: "Can I mount a sissy bar kit to my Honda Shadow and keep the suspension?"
Can you? Yes. But should you? Keep reading for your answer…
The “Tuning Fork” Scenario
Before you install a sissy bar on your Honda Shadow’s live swing arm, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
First of all, if you do install a sissy bar on a swingarm where the suspension is still intact, what you’re essentially doing is creating a fancy “tuning fork” that’ll eventually drive you crazy!
Wait, what? Think about it this way: your Honda Shadow’s swingarm is going to move up and down as your bike hits bumps in the road and if it’s connected to your sissy bar, it’ll create a seriously annoying vibration on the sissy bar – an annoying rattle that only gets worse as you ride (thus, the “tuning fork”).
That vibration is sent all the way down through the sissy bar to the swingarm and through all the welded joints, to the fender… and the whole thing will eventually rattle itself to death.
The longer the sissy bar, the more it’ll wiggle and vibrate. The shorter the swingarm, the less issues you’ll have.
Mounting a Fender
So what if you want to mount a fender to your Honda Shadow’s swingarm? If that’s the case, you should NOT use a sissy bar if the swingarm suspension is intact.
You’ll want to go with either a set of struts to hold the fender or a small grab bar-style sissy bar where the top piece will come up over the seat but loop back pretty close to the fender. It’s a much more practical option with a less exaggerated top than a stereotypical sissy bar.
If you decide to modify your frame into a rigid style frame, you can absolutely run a sissy bar and fender from it because this part of the frame is no longer bouncing up and down (it’s now rigid).
To see how this process works on both a Honda Shadow VT600 and a VT750, watch this video:
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