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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm (obviously) new to riding. I rode a Ninja 500 for a few months back in 2011, until I totaled it.
I took the BRC and got my license again in April of this year.
I just bought a 1986 Honda Shadow 1100VT, and need some advice.
First off, it didn't come with any manuals or anything. Where can I get an original Honda manual, and what other manuals would you recommend?
I'm relatively savvy with working on my truck, but have never worked on a bike before. On that note, the clutch lever is stuck, and I can't get it to move. When I try to start the engine, it'll crank, putter for a few seconds, and then die. If I try to roll on the throttle at all, it dies quicker. I'm assuming it needs to be choked, and was wondering if anyone had tips on how to get the choke lever to move again. I tried taking apart the assembly on the handlebars this evening, and couldn't get it off.
Also, the previous owner said it sat in his garage for about a year since the last time he rode it.
I plan to change plugs and plug wires, and all fluids. Anything else I should check or replace before riding it?
 

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So on that bike the choke control is on the handlebar? You need to figure out if it's the handlebar control, the cable itself, or the choke assembly at the carburetor that is stuck..

Take off the air cleaner & look at the choke plate. Give it a wiggle to see if it moves OK. Maybe disconnect the choke cable & operate the choke manually to see if the bike starts/runs OK.

Honda should be able to provide you a manual?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Air cleaner

Yes, the choke switch is on the handlebar.

Where is the air cleaner, in relation to something a noob could identify?
 

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If it's a carbed V-twin, the air cleaner should be in the upper-middle of the engines "V" shape, it's usually round. It's on the right side of the bike (same side as the rear brake pedal)

Oh wait, is this your bike?



If that's your bike then the air cleaner is under the gas tank. Please verify
 

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Don't worry about your choke location too much. You need to learn where all of the major components of your bike are located. Have you found the air cleaner, the carbs, the exhaust pipe connection point, the plugs and similar things? If not take a good hard look. Without knowing the basic layout nobody will be able to help you with much.
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the bike's layout, have a close look at the choke, it is a part of the carburetor, while you operate the choke lever. At full choke it should almost shut off the air flow passage on that carburetor. When it is off it should allow full air flow through the carb with no restriction. If it does both your choke is working right.
A week ago I would have told you to go to the manufacturer's web site to get an electronic version of the owner's manual but Suzuki proved to me that is not always the case. They seem to only have a paper copy and want $20 for it. I have no idea if Honda is also pulling that crap.
 

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That Shadow does have v-carbs, and the choke cables should go into the side of each one, probably the outside. Each entry has a plastic threaded retainer that holds in the cable, a spring, and a small drum. If you get into there you would be able to tell pretty quick if they are sticking because they would stick just trying to pull them out.

Your choke cable is probably the shortest one on the bike, a single cable that splits into a T under the gas tank. As far as the knob on the handle bars, I would have my doubt that is the issue, rather it is probably the cable or the drums in the carbs. You should be able to pull the choke lines from the carbs without any gas issues.

If you find the small drums are deized, try to disconnect the cable from them and work out the drum itself. Be super careful because where the drum connects to thecable is fragile. If they absolutly refuse to come out, you may need to clean your carbs of everything including rubber peices and boil them, that should cause everything to expand and contract enough for them to pop off, just be sure to remove everything from the carbs if you do this.

I can make a small video if you like. I have the VT500FT which has that same engine...
 

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Welcome from the Hills of East Tennessee!
Sounds like you are well on your way to solving the bikes issues, lots of savvy, knowledgeable folks on here!
Ed
 
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