It displaces “only” 745cc, but even with that low seat, Honda’s Shadow Phantom just looks bigger than it is. Blacked-out components, fat tires on wire-spoked wheels and a generally lean aesthetic are Honda’s subtle nods to “bobber-inspired style” but the liquid-cooled, fuel-injected V-twin is also smooth-running and reliable which explains why the low-profile Shadow Phantom has remained a popular option in Honda’s lineup over the years. It hasn’t changed much in that time either, with the 745cc engine delivering good power over a broad rpm range, and a wide-ratio five-speed transmission making for easy gear changes. The minimalist styling extends to plenty of blacked-out and matte finishes and a low gunfighter-style seat with a shrouded 41mm fork to soak up the bumps up front, and dual-shock rear suspension with five-position spring preload adjustability to manage the rear. You get single brake discs, front and rear.
Our past experiences with the Phantom have highlighted its easy-handling and comfortable manners, especially for shorter pilots. The Phantom often gets lumped into the same class as Harley’s Sportster, but besides the similar displacement and curb weight, it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. The Phantom is longer and lower and has a shaft final drive along with different ergonomics; the slightly bigger but also liquid-cooled and shaft-driven Suzuki C50 probably has more in common with the Honda than the Harley.
If you’re looking for upgrades or any changes to the Shadow Phantom in 2020, you won’t find any this time around. Honda is even offering it for the same price as 2019—a suggested $7,899—with the same color options as well, Black, or Matte Pearl White.