Payback 800 Shadow
Dunstall Tribute Bike
1988 Honda VT800
When Jason took his fathers Honda Shadow VT800 in late 2010 the plan was to do some slight custom work. Maybe add some modified FLH cruiser style fenders, new bars, paint-work and some other basic modifications. In the end though, the result was to be a comfortable cruiser his father could pilot around town in a relaxed posture.
What was produced over a year later was quite the opposite...
"Payback" the name given to this wild Honda Shadow VT800 is admittedly a joke of a name that Jason's father would appreciate. Most likely something along the lines of - "payment for all the fatherly due's John paid to keep Jason both alive and out of jail in his youth." The whole story though, we'll never actually know.
The bike wasn't actually touched until the weekend after Thanksgiving in 2011. Jason's mother, had asked if he thought he could have Dad's bike done as a Christmas Present. Mother, not knowing Jason hadn't touched it yet, thought it wouldn't be a problem at all and so began the problem for Jason. How on Earth could he and The Crew build a full custom bike in 30 days for delivery x-mas morning.
After returning to DCC The Crew immediately tore the Shadow apart to nothing and decided there was only one way this machine was leaving the premises- as a full-on Dunstall tribute bike that Jason's Dad could proudly ride bearing the mark of The Wing'd Piston.
The long stance and hunkered down look given to the bike by the slightly raked out front end reminded Jason of the older Norton's that were raced in the 70's. Longer bodywork a bit taller than their Honda rivals, they played host to some of the most revered racers in time. Granted, this was a Shadow VT800 and no Norton, but Jason believed they could turn it into something that not only looked the part, but went like "snot" as the UK gents say.
After rebuilding 75% of the frame from chromoly tubing to allow for the new aggressive stance, fitting of the Dunstall tank and custom sheet metal rear seat (thanks Frankie!) you could see it coming together. From the side, it looked like a tank of a machine willing to take on anything that approached it for pink slips, from the front or rear, a razor blade just aching to cut through the lines on the street.
All the electronics were hidden underneath the seat section and use of an Anti-Gravity AG-800 battery ensures that Payback will always have plenty of juice to turn the starter. (No kick-start.)
Given the Shadow has a 15" rear wheel and there wasn't time to fit a set of custom spokes Jason searched far and wide and finally came up with a set of Kenda Challengers that would fit the bill and size requirements that Payback needed. The 150 rear, although not too big by modern standards, looks absolutely massive while the 100/90 looks slim and sleek and hugs the modified stock front fender for a perfect balanced look in Jason's opinion.
The forward controls were removed, mounts lopped off the frame and use of the rear passenger peg mounts with some re-machining and additional 1/4" aluminum serve as the landing pad for the Loaded Gun rearsets which are more than comfortable in their position. A tad lower than traditional rear-sets they offer the rider a more relaxed ride which is great for long distances and aging backs..
The feeling of power and torque when piloting the finished machine is quite indescribable. The 800cc V-Twin growls with a deep roar through the Commando mufflers and shifts with ease, pulling through every gear like a lion. Power is transmitted to the ground via the shaft drive unit for a quiet and refined ride. And the rake on the front end acts as an integrated steering stabilizer and as a result, at high speeds Payback doesn't give an inch.
As for what Jasons' father thought of the bike on X-mas morning, once he was able to convince him that it actually was his original bike the tears started to flow but were blown dry shortly there-after with a nice long ride through the country side.
Not a canyon carver due to it's height, Payback is still a blast to ride for hours on end due to it's comfortable posture and setup. If you live in North Florida and see a black flash of paint blow by you on the highway with a distinct sound chances are it's Payback..