Question about 2000 Honda VT 1100 C2 Shadow Sabre

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2000 Honda VT1100C2 SHADOW SABRE Was told that these bikes had an issue when manufactured that some would run fine, others would have a tick in the engine, while others would run and lock up. Something to do with the oil flow ports not being open enough...not completely sure. While not a common issue (reason there was never a recall) it did happen to a number of bikes. I bought one from a friend that locked up. He has taken it to the Honda dealership and they told him it was something in the upper part of the engine that is locked up. He said he would fix it himself if he had the time but bike has been sitting for a few years and he hasnt gotten the time yet so sold it to me to get it back out on the road. My question is, has anyone heard of or been through this? If so what all steps do I need to do to get this done. I want to do the repairs myself so I am more familiar with the bike. I have a service manual coming in the mail. I believe I am going to have to remove the engine to do this so any steps or walk through you could give would be helpful.

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Unless you have the print out from the dealer the information you are getting may not be accurate.
Usually ticks in these engines are related to cam chain tensioners ( more of a clatter) or valve adjustments in this case you would have a flat lifter that is not zero tolerancing itself. This is usually a very loud click not the usual tick you get from a standard adjustable valve that just needs tightening.
I have worked at a Honda dealership for 25 years and have never heard of a VT1100 locking up unless it had a seized piston in the cylinder (again very rare). The only lockups I have heard of were new Excelsior/Hendersons and Harley six speed conversion kits.
I locked up a Goldwing once while riding. A metal plate on a fly wheel magnet had come loose and jammed the stator to the flywheel. I dropped the motor changed out the flywheel and the stator and still drive the motorcycle today. You will have to do some exploring to find the problem!
If you use the spark plug wrench in the tool kit you can remove one spark plug in each cylinder, squirt some WD-40 or penetrating oil in each cylinder. Out the bike in gear and rotate the rear tire to see if the motor is free. If the motor will not turn try taking off the crankcase covers . Then a socket with breaker bar can be place on the flywheel bolt to try and rock the motor free. By now you should know if the problem is in the top end or the bottom end. You will need to loosen the the stuck piston before you can pull the cylinder off if this is the problem. If you can free the top end a compression test on the cylinders will tell you if the cylinders need work.
I would pull the engine crankcase covers off and disassemble the clutch. The clutch plates may be stuck together from years of sitting. Also carefully bleed the clutch master cylinder. If you can not get pressure loosen the banjo bolt and pump the master till it starts to push DOT3/4 brake fluid. Then tighten the bolt and finish bleeding the line to the slave cylinder. Now pull the clutch and see if the bike turns over.
After sitting for long time you will have to clean the varnish out of the tank, depending on how it was stored. You will also have to disassemble the carburetors and clean them to insure proper idling and acceleration. Depending on what has stopped the motor you may not have to remove the engine. With any luck you can repair , hopefully something minor , in the frame.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011

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