By John Burns
When was the first MO bike review written? So far back in the mists of time, no one is certain. But this Riding Impression of the 1995 Honda ACE, written in April of that year, is getting back there. At the time, there was a waiting list for Harley-Davidsons, so Honda thought it might be a good time to get in on the action with its own American-built cruiser. Rumble back in time with us, won’t you?
Riding Impression: 1995 Honda Shadow American Classic Edition
Honda: Made In USA. These words, printed on the passenger seat of Honda’s Shadow 1100 American Classic Edition (ACE), tell the whole story behind Honda’s newest entry into the Harley-Davidson controlled cruiser bike market: It’s made in America, it looks American, it sounds American, heck, it even feels American. Feel free to substitute “Harley-Davidson” for “American” anywhere above — the ACE, as you can see, is the boldest Harley ripoff ever produced.A little back ground here: Harley-Davidson is in the enviable position of selling more bikes than they can make, thus, at the dealer level, customers have to wait for a year or more for their preferred bike.
Making a bad situation worse, dealers typically “price gouge,” consumers, often charging thousands of dollars over suggested retail. Honda is hoping to cash in on this in two ways. First, they’re hoping that a few of the more impatient, and cost-conscious customers, will turn to Honda showrooms for their slow-ride fix.
Second, in an attempt to lure Harley-haters into the booming cruiser market, Honda has attempted to make the coolest cruiser that doesn’t bear the H-D name. It seems to be working, as Honda also is having a hard time filling …read more