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Old 02-21-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
Dynasty OP
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From Sport to Cruiser?

What can I expect if I go from my sport bike (Yamaha FZ6) to a cruiser (Harley Road King)?

I find myself putting around country back roads (mostly straight roads) and simply enjoying the scenery. Although my FZ6 is not a true sport/track/race machine, but more of a sport touring bike, will I benefit from the cruiser style?

The Road King weights substantially more than the FZ6. Will this provide a more stable ride? I do not care about dragging knees and weaving in and out of traffic. I have never rode a cruiser, let alone a Road King.

Would I be making a mistake?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:44 PM   #2
Maggot12
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Like going from a Honda Civic to a crew cab dually truck.

Not sure you'll like the extra weight, poor performance, bad braking Compared to the FZ.

Only you can decide. Go fo a scoot and let us know.

Good luck
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynasty View Post
What can I expect if I go from my sport bike (Yamaha FZ6) to a cruiser (Harley Road King)?

I find myself putting around country back roads (mostly straight roads) and simply enjoying the scenery. Although my FZ6 is not a true sport/track/race machine, but more of a sport touring bike, will I benefit from the cruiser style?

The Road King weights substantially more than the FZ6. Will this provide a more stable ride? I do not care about dragging knees and weaving in and out of traffic. I have never rode a cruiser, let alone a Road King.

Would I be making a mistake?

Thanks for your input!
Rent one for a weekend or so first, then decide.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:27 PM   #4
ECN-ROL
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I've always been a sport bike, and sport tourer rider. I have only ridden 2 cruisers in my life. The first was a VTX1800 when I had a GSXR1000. It was a demo ride. I was amazed how heavy and slow it was. But what really put me off ever wanting to own one was the minimal lean angle achieved before the pegs were scraping. It seemed that I had barely gotten past fully upright before everything grounded.

The second cruiser was a Suzuki, wannabee Harley looking bike. It had big wide bars that curved back, much like the old cruiser bars you see on Harleys from the 1920's. It was gutless, slow, brakes nonexistent.

I have been riding bikes for over 40 years. I personally believe that the sheer weight and ill handling of a cruiser, makes them pretty unsafe. The two cruisers I rode, I did not feel as if I was in control of them. I was just along for the "cruise."

To sum up. I think you would pretty much dislike the majority of the cruisers you were to ride, compared to your present Yamaha with it's decent handling and power.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:02 PM   #5
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Not exactly sure where others are getting that cruisers have horrible brakes. If you look at stopping distances posted in road tests they are very close to sportbikes. I rode a Road King for two weeks at a HD sponsored Police Motor School. I came away impessed with the bike even though I was and am still a sport touring rider. (FJR now, Honda VTR1000F back then) The low speed handling on the RK was awesome, even though the boards would drag too early. One of the guys showed up on a BMW cop bike, an RT I think it was. It was faster but did not do so well in the cones, ended up with many broken pieces including clutch lever, shifter, and left footpeg bracket($$$). The Harleys broke an occasional brake or clutch lever, and were back on the tarmac in 15 minutes. The RK s had anti lock brakes and would stop very quickly, although if the instructors heard the anti lock chirp we were chastised sternly. Our Police Dept had E-Glides but I liked the RK much better. I had a Stratoliner for a while and really enjoyed the 110 lb/ft of torque but got sick of dragging floorboard on every ride so went back to ST bike. I still check Road King prices at local Harley Dealers regularly and may someday get one when I get older.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:42 PM   #6
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That's Right

DirtieRoadie has got it right. In the end you are on 2 wheels with an engine going down the road. Simply enjoy the ride! Whatever you are on should be something you like. Basically, that's the end of the story.

I am 65 years old, been riding for 45 of those years, and I have a few bikes including a Harley Wide Glide, a Kawasaki ZX-10R, and a Triumph Rocket 3. And a couple others, but the point is that I enjoy them all. And of the three named above the Harley is THE MOST stable and predictable on the highway. The ZX-10R is scary if there is a strong crosswind. Seriously! The Rocket 3 is like "over the top" anywhere, but that's why I like it! Plus it is my mile-eating machine. They all give me a smile for different reasons. In summation I will simply say, "It's YOUR life time. Enjoy your adventures on YOUR own terms."
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:52 PM   #7
TinyBear
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Well I have gone back and forth between cruisers and sportish touring mounts for a while. There completely different machines for different purposes. I like both myself. I think a fair automotive comparison would be comparing a modern sports car say like a corvette to say an 50s sedan. The old sedan by today's standards is slow has poor breaking handles like a truck and is pretty much bettered by the Vette in every way. But many would choose that old 50s sedan every time for it simplicity character and style.

I thought I had found the perfect all rounder when I bought a 2010 Honda CBF600sa (very similar to your FZ). And for 4 years it was all I could ask for. But with more recent substantial leg injuries I simply could not ride the bike for any real length of time and I'm only 31. So this past October I traded in "perfect" bike for one that I can now use. In my case I choose a Victory Vegas 8-ball. For me this is not something new as I have owned 4 cruisers now, I knew what to expect but what I can say is this particular bike handles far better than most cruisers I ridden, stops pretty strongly despite the spec sheet, and most of all pulls shocking hard.

Some things you can expect. The riding position depending on the bike takes getting used too. In past I found the position on my V-Stars to be comfy for about 200kms befor I'd need to stop and walk around a bit before continuing. Oppose to my CBF that initially may not have been as comfy but allowed easier on bike movement and repositioning witch in turn offered longer times in the sadle before rest stops.

Secondly cruisers do have far less lean angle (some more than others). So you will scrap eventually even if your not a very sporty rider. But it's no different than again driving a big sedan and not being able to take turns like a corvette. And in some ways it's more fun (at least to me). It's nice riding closer to a bikes limits while also staying closer to the speed limits. I found to ride some of my sportier bikes in the past and enjoy the turns my speed would have to far exceed the legal limits. So in my opinion for street riding (especially in majority of North American) cruisers ofer more LEGAL fun in the twisties.

And lastly being cruisers tend to have longer wheel bases, more rake, AND added weight. They tend to be very stable at speed. Add in the fact that most also have a very low centre of gravity and very torquey engines and you also tend to have many that work great at slow speeds.

There's obviously advantages to both and you would be wise to try many different biks as you can. Only you can tell for sure what suite your needs and wants better.

For myself though new physical limitations are what has me on my current cruiser I don't doubt for a second that it's not going to be a very rewarding machine to own and enjoy. I have many trips dreamed out for it all ready including crossing the country once again.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:12 PM   #8
alii1959
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Went from a GSX600r to a Road King. Changed the brake pads. Changed the shocks and added fork cartridges. Its still not a sport bike, but I find myself riding at nearly the same speeds..........in comfort. Those last words are the most important.

Why must we adapt ourselves to a bike. Why shouldn't it adapt itself to us easily? Too many sport bikes, sport tourers, and even many of the standards have few aftermarket options to really change them to suit you. That is where Harleys shine. Love my Road King.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:58 PM   #9
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Jesus... only you can make THAT decision. That's such a BIG and personal change that only you can know whether or not it will be a mistake.

Many cruiser fans cannot stand crotch rockets, and vise versa. Seating position and agility are the main things you will give up and will gain tons of comfort, so decide on your priority list, then you most likely won't have issues.

I personally MUST have a cruiserish or standard seating position, or at least close. Many on this board can't handle it. It's just a very personal thing....
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:04 PM   #10
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Personally before putting down $20k on a new Harley I would recommend getting an older mid sized cruiser in good nick. I wanted to know what the fuss was all about and did that. Had fun and now understand the appeal. I need to be able to go fast sometimes but and there just isn't room for another for me at the moment.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:20 PM   #11
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Hey Dynasty - just cruising around straight roads, enjoying the scenery, not caring about weaving in and out of traffic is EXACTLY in the wheel house of cruisers. As stated earlier, one of the things Harley does very well is demo rides and rentals! Rent one for a weekend. Say you kinda like it but want another riding position, rent a fat bob the next weekend. A few hundred miles will certainly answer your question!
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynasty View Post
What can I expect if I go from my sport bike (Yamaha FZ6) to a cruiser (Harley Road King)?

More weight, more comfort, different reaction from people you meet and other riders.

I find myself putting around country back roads (mostly straight roads) and simply enjoying the scenery. Although my FZ6 is not a true sport/track/race machine, but more of a sport touring bike, will I benefit from the cruiser style?

I dunno. That's up to you.

The Road King weights substantially more than the FZ6. Will this provide a more stable ride?

Yes. Considerably. You can ride a Road King hands-free with the cruise at 80 mph on bad pavement in a sidewind. I sometimes sit on the passenger seat and pass my sportier bike riding pals for a gag. (I think it's funny).


I do not care about dragging knees and weaving in and out of traffic. I have never rode a cruiser, let alone a Road King.

Would I be making a mistake?

As many others have said, it's easy to try. I'd recommend giving it a good long day to get used to the difference. The first time I rode a Harley touring bike I couldn't get used to the control position. I wanted a sportbike set. Then I finally got things figured out.


Thanks for your input!
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:59 PM   #13
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Keep your mind open. They're both fun. I've gone from BMW RS 100 to V Star 1100 to Sportster to Multistrada. Had some real comfort problems prior to having knees replaced. They were *all* great bikes, and would buy any of them back in a second. Particular fondness for the Sportster. Shoulda kept that one......
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:17 AM   #14
Chickenlegs
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Logged 75k on a roadking. I will say it's the most versatile of Harley's touring platform. Remove the windshield for the boulevard or add fairing lowers and a trunk for the long haul. More aftermarket support for this type bike than anything on the planet. 09 and newer handle far better than the older models. The expression it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow holds true. It's a different experience for a different type of riding.


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Old 02-22-2015, 05:53 AM   #15
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Talking not for me...

the limited ground clearance would certainly be a problem for me.... i'd end up like this guy.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYxU_lYBHpY
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