Honda's VT750 Shadow A.C.E.
Many people don't realize that Honda has been making motorcycles for over 60 years! You don't stay in business that long without a strong product and a loyal customer base and Honda has some of the strongest products and most loyal customers in the world.
Honda has made so many models over the years that I can't even begin to cover them here, so I will just stick with a simple history on the bike that this website is meant for, the V-Twin 750cc Shadow A.C.E. line.
In 1995, Honda decided to take a run at the Harley-Davidson dominated motorcycle cruiser market with the introduction of the VT1100 A.C.E. (American Classic Edition). This beautifully made machine shamelessly took a lot of styling tips from HD, while retaining many of the stong points of classic Honda bikes. Combining classic retro styling, big V-twin torque and rumble (The ACE incorporated a new single pin crank on the standard Shadow V-twin to emulate Harley's patented "... Potato ... Potato ..." sound and vibration) and lower cost while keeping Honda's typical high quality made for a new cruiser that could ride with the best. And although many people at first sneered that this was just a Japanese rip-off of a Harley, it wasn't long before skyrocketing sales of this new line of cruisers proved that Honda had found a much needed niche in the cruiser market.
The 750 ACE line ran from 1998 up until 2003 with only minor changes and with great sales. Then in 2004, Honda made a big move and stopped production of the 750 ACE, instead introducing the 750 Aero. And while the 750 Aero looks a lot like the ACE and has many of the same features, it is most definitely NOT the same bike. Gone are the twin 36mm carbs, replaced instead by a single 34mm carb. Gone is the chain drive, replaced instead by a shaft drive. Dry weight of the Aero is 14 pounds heavier and the suspension and smaller rear tire on the Aero has less travel and a stiffer ride. Don't get me wrong, by all accounts, the Aero is a great machine, but in my eyes and the eyes of many ACE owners, it just isn't an ACE. We can only hope that sometime in the future, Honda will re-introduce the ACE line.
About the Stock Power of the A.C.E.
There's a lot of confusion and misinformation out there about the stock horsepower and torque of the whole VT750 line of Shadows. Much of this confusion is the result of Honda being very tight lipped about their power figures. They almost never give out detailed HP and Torque figures for their motorcycles but over the years, we have learned the true numbers and I have an excerpt from one of the first magazine reviews of the Shadow ACE that actually got a hold of the power graph. (see below).
In rough numbers, the VT750 motor used on the ACE and Spirit motorcycles of 1998-2003 produced about 45 ft.lbs of torque at 3,000 rpm and 36 HP at about 5500 rpm. Not very mind blowing numbers are they? However, Honda purposefully de-tuned these engines to be bulletproof! With even minor upgrades and mods, it's easy to squeeze another 10HP out of the stock motor (that's a 28% increase btw). But in stock form, this motor will last for well over a hundred thousand miles of pleasure with proper maintenance and care. You can't say that about a lot of other maker's bikes.