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Old 11-17-2012, 01:32 PM   #16
DAKEZ
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If you are going to buy a feet forward bike it is just plain silly to not consider Harley-Davidson. The ride is better, the fit and finish is better, the dealer network is better, the reliability is on par, the resale value is head and shoulders above the offerings from Japan....

"Just not into Harleys" <<< What does that even mean?

You don't have to be an image sheep to own and ride a Harley-Davidson.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:38 PM   #17
Mrmerlin
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SRSLY go ride a Rocket 3 ,
they make a few different models,
I like the blacked out version,
Its pretty cool.
Make sure your holding on when you crack the throttle
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #18
2tallnwide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
If you are going to buy a feet forward bike it is just plain silly to not consider Harley-Davidson.
What's even more silly is you thinking you know more about what he might like than he does.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:01 PM   #19
mrbreeze
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I think the Honda CB1100 deservess consideration, but since you are in Canada, dont you also get the Honda CBF600 and CBF1000 there? In my opinion either of those would be outstanding choices. If you can find a low mileage Yamaha FZ6, you may want to take a look at that. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Suzuki dl650 V-strom. If it seems a bit tall, ask them if they can lower it.

I also like the Vulcan 900, especially the LT version. A friend of mine has one, and he has ridden it over most of the lower 48 states. The Yamaha 950 would also be a good choice.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:09 PM   #20
mrbreeze
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oh yeah - Honda NC700X

or BMW F800GT
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:11 PM   #21
JerryH
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I won't suggest that you buy something you already said you don't want. I have been riding Japanese cruisers since the early 80s. The first ones were more comfortable and performed better than the ones of today, because todays Japanese cruisers are all designed to look like Harleys. I like Harleys, and have ridden a couple of Sportsters, but have never owned one. I have also owned and ridden sportbikes and standards. I can no longer ride even semi sporty bikes because my arms, shoulders, and neck just can't handle the "lean forward" position. I need all my weight to be supported by the seat. I have toured all over the U.S. and parts of Canada on cruisers. I have put almost 160,000 miles on just two Kawasaki Vulcan 750s, which have a lot more power than any 750 cruiser made today. Not only have I not found cruisers to be uncomfortable, I have in fact found them to be the most comfortable bikes I have ever ridden by far. They do not put any of your weight on your arms. And for those with bad backs, which now includes me, the secret to that is a riders backrest. It makes riding a cruiser like riding a recliner.

All of the cruisers you mentioned are great bikes, they are reliable and will probably last forever. They are easy to maintain, other than the chain drive models, but even those are a lot easier than chain drive bikes used to be since the advent of 0-ring and X-ring chains.

There is one big issue with some of these bikes. Many have tube type tires and no centerstand, so a flat will stop you on the spot. With no way to get the wheels off, you cannot fix a flat on the road. Since you have been riding BMWs forever, I'm sure you have experienced more than one flat with tube type tires. The difference is, every old BMW I have ever seen had a centerstand. I will not ride a bike that you cannot fix a flat on, even my dual sport has a centerstand.

Since you are a BMW rider, you might want to have a look at the R1200C. Unfortunately it is no longer in production (I guess it did not look enough like a Harley) It is an oilhead, but it is a solid reliable bike that is super easy to maintain. Most models had wire spoke wheels, but they were designed for tubeless tires. If you can find one in great condition I think it would be a viable option.

But other than the tube tire/no centerstand issue, I have nothing bad to say about any of the Japanese cruisers. I believe you can get a V-Star 1300 with cast wheels and tubeless tires. There is also the Honda VTX1300. It's too bad Yamaha no longer makes the Virago 1100, I think you would have loved that.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:38 PM   #22
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Find a good used rocket III. This is the right time of year to find a good deal.
Make sure your holding on when you crack the throttle.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:58 PM   #23
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Or, for a GREAT mid size cruiser demo a Triumph America or Speedmaster. The 865 motor is a real gem and the bike will do 80 ALL DAY. I rode 14000 miles one riding season with all H-D mega this and Ultra that and rode every mile they did and then more when I wanted. Not to mention they can't stay with the bike in the good twisties. Those Triumph machines are way under-rated and really work well. Stupid cheap to maintain and own, everything is easy to get to for maintainence, and oil and filter take all of 3 minutes to do. Any ATV jack with lift them and they use tubeless tires to boot.

Lots of good suggestions here-but look at these also. They shoot way past their weight. BTW-I also owned a R3 and did 12000 mikes on that over one season. Now THAT is a totally different ride-and wonderful!
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:02 PM   #24
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Hmmmm, now you all got me thinking. Hurts the old brain.

I had forgotten about the no centre stand issue. That can definitely be a problem with a flat tire. I have had more than a few flats on the old Beemers. Not that big a deal to pop it up on the cetre stand and remove a wheel and either patch the tube or throw a new tube in. I usually would bring a couple of spare tubes with me when travelling, plus a patch kit. Hmmm, have to think that thru. Tubeless tires are easier to patch, but, a lot of the cruisers don't have them. Will look into that further.

As to those that tell me the cruisers don't have enough power, you obviously haven't toured 2 up on an old BMW. My present one is the most powerful I have had, and it was rated, when new, to have a whopping 70HP at the crank. You definitely loose some thru the tranny and rear end. So probably around 50 at the rear wheel, if that. I think that is pretty close to the Vulcan 900, which is also a little more fuel efficient. Might be geared differently. On my present 1981 R100RT, I was clocked on radar on I-5 near Tacoma doing over 120MPH. That was back in 1983 with my wife on the back, on our honeymoon. I think 50-70 horsies will do me fine. If you really want a slow bike, my wife is keeping her 1980 R45 that she bought brand new. Runs like a charm, but with only 27 HP, it is extremely slow to accelerate compared to most 250s today. But, once it gets up to speed, it handles like it is stuck to the road.

I will have another look at the Triumphs. I do like the retro look, but not sure about the seating position. I am looking for a more relaxed position due to upper back and carpal tunnel issues.

The R1200C is also an interesting bike. Again, some love the look and others wonder why it was even built. I have not seen too many of them come available around here, but will keep an eye out. Never have ridden one.

There are way to many options and not enough money or garage space. At least I have until early spring to figure it out. maybe, I hope.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:18 PM   #25
C-Stain
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I put 42000Km on a Vulcan 900 Classic LT in just over 3 seasons.

I changed the seat, added risers and swapped out the stock pulley for one slightly larger. All I did to that bike was oil changes, a valve check and tires.

I did my first Iron Butt ride on it and took it all the way to North Carolina. It had enough power to keep me happy, had lots of torque and I could live with the limited lean angle.

The 900 definitely needs an OD Pulley. You will continually be searching for a sixth gear if you don't have one. But for the price, you get Fuel Injection, Liquid Cooling and a two year warranty - you really can't go wrong.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:32 PM   #26
Barnone
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I like a center stand on a bike but not just because of a potential flat tire. Last flat I had on a bike was in 1968.
(Knock on wood ). I keep good tires on my bikes. There is usually some way around not having a c/s if you have a flat tire.

The c/s is handy for chain maintenance, cleaning rear wheel, taking the weight off the suspension and tires, etc
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:06 AM   #27
John Bentall
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I will have another look at the Triumphs. I do like the retro look, but not sure about the seating position. I am looking for a more relaxed position due to upper back and carpal tunnel issues.
The Kawasaki W800 is another machine in the Triumph Bonneville mold.

I don't think a Rocket 3 will help you
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:19 AM   #28
Vertical C
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If its tubeless you can fix a flat without removing the tyre so no need for centrestand.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:56 AM   #29
gus
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Ride the Suzuki 650 V Strom. Not too big, not too small like an airhead, FI, ABS, $8300 new, cheaper used. big aftermarket, large dealer network, a little better power than an airhead, reputation for reliability, good gas mileage, neutral riding position that can be adjusted with seats, bars, and suspension, not a cruiser but everytime I ride one I have to ask myself "why did I spend $18,000 on my GS Adventure"?
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:06 AM   #30
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[QUOTE=Barnone; Last flat I had on a bike was in 1968.
(Knock on wood ). I keep good tires on my bikes. There is usually some way around not having a c/s if you have a flat tire.

The c/s is handy for chain maintenance, cleaning rear wheel, taking the weight off the suspension and tires, etc[/QUOTE]

You need to buy lottery tickets. I bought a new 1974 Sportster a few months ago with new tires and picked up a nail after riding less than 50 miles. I have had other flats on new tires One on a new tire on my ex 1150 GSA and had to replace the tire after 100 miles because it was so bad It would not hold air after multiple tries to plug it. I have had to buy another bag of plugs for my stop and go plug kit.
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