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Old 11-18-2012, 05:40 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by scotty918 View Post
This is good advice. However, I will add something. The Vulcan 900 is capable of crossing the continent. That said, its engine really is working hard at speeds of 70+ mph. It has substantial vibration at those rpm's. Again, if you plan on riding on highways and interstates, I'd be weary of this model. I sold one because of this issue.
Easily fixed by swapping the front or the front and rear pulleys. Cuts the revs and vibrations. Although you tend to lose a little low end torque, the bike will still move quickly enough to out a smile on your face all day.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:48 PM   #47
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My sense of it is that most people who buy mid-size cruisers replace them with larger engined machines. If you buy new and then trade it you'll take a big hit.

Performance in this class is pretty limited. The Vulcan 900 has 50 HP and weighs 611 lbs.

I guess you have to decide whether that sort of power would satisfy you. On a Guzzi V7 at 150 lbs less, 50 HP might work for me.
I traded an 07 VN900 for a 996 V-Strom. I didn't trade it because of performance issues. I traded because I wanted to ride another style of bike.

Yes, the trade in value smarted a bit, but considering that mine needed a full service, two new tires and a brake calliper imported from Japan, I think I did OK.

As far as performance went, I rode with a pack of VFRs in North Carolina and they were surprised at how easily I could bend it around the twisties. Sometimes it's not the displacement of the bike but the size of the balls on the rider. My 900 only let me down once. I rode with a guy all over The Eastern Seaboard who was on a Concours 1400. Yeah, he could outrun me all day long, but by the end if it - we still did the same miles and obeyed the same speed limit signs. There are days when I wish I still had it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:16 PM   #48
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I have crossed the country many times on a Vulcan 750. In have owned 2 of them, both bought new, a '93 and an '02. I put over 80,000 miles on the '93, and it was still running fine when I sold it. I sold it because I wanted something else. The something else didn't work out, and I started looking for another bike. I looked at everything available, and came home with another new Vulcan 750. There was simply nothing else out there that worked as well. I now have over 74,000 miles on that bike. Despite the fact that I bought a Goldwing 1500 about 4 years ago, and a Goldwing 1200 2 years before that, the Vulcan 750 has been my main road bike since 2003. I have never had any issues riding long distances, or not enough power, or a problem with comfort. Neither one ever broke down and left me stranded. If it fell apart tomorrow, I would probably replace it with the Suzuki C50SE. BTW, the Goldwing is currently for sale. The reason? It's just plain too big.

A 950 is not a small bike. It is in fact a very large bike. The first Goldwing was 1000cc. Just because bikes have reached extreme displacements these days does not mean such large bikes are necessary. Remember the 1969 Honda CB750? Nobody had any issues crossing the country on one of those with a passenger and a huge Windjammer fairing. This bigger is better thing has gone way beyond the point of absurdity, out into la la land. Anybody who thinks they actually NEED more than 950cc has some other kind of problem.




And riding a bike that you can't fix a simple flat tire on is indeed something to be concerned about. It will leave you stranded just the same as a blown engine. There may not be anything you can do about a blown engine, but not being able to fix a simple flat tire is ridiculous. Manufacturers did not quit putting centerstands on street bikes because people didn't want them, it was a cost cutting and styling issue. And son are the tube type tires and wheels that cannot be used with tubeless tires. Wire spoke wheels are no excuse. There have been wire spoke motorcycle wheels that could use tubeless tires for decades. BMW used them on the R1200C. Honda used them on the '86 450 Rebel. Yeah that's right. A lowly Rebel. And while I do have a road service plan, I often ride where there is no cell phone service is available. And I ride in temperatures that could easily be lethal in just a short time if you were stranded with no shade and very little water. Again, while you average main street cruiser or bar hopper might not be concerned about a flat tire, an adventure rider needs to be self sufficient, because they DO ride in places where help is often not available. Many even carry extra tires with them, not just stuff to fix a flat.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:49 PM   #49
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JerryH, I have to agree with your sentiment. I can remember when a 650 Bonneville was considered a big bike and then the 750cc Honda appeared. We all thought it was HUGE!. Wow, who needed that much power? then that monster 1000cc Goldwing and BMW R100 appeared. Things just got out of hand after that. There are bikes being sold that have bigger engines than my car, that can haul 5 people fairly comfortably along with a full weeks of groceries and it can reach over 100MPH as well. Why would anyone need a bike with over 2000cc, or even over 1500cc? You can only go so fast. We ride on public streets and highways. We are not all racing on closed tracks. If people say that they need the big bike because they are 300+ poounds and need to take their equal sized partner with them and pack everything including the kitchen sink when they go touring, I think that they really are not making proper life style choices. But, that is just me. When I go touring, I take my clothes in my saddle bags and used to strap a small pup tent and sleeping bag on the back seat. Travelled all over Europe and North America that way.

I have "toured" on as small a bike as a 350 2 stroke Yamaha, back when they were the crotch rocket of the day. Buzzy as hell, but did a full loop around the USA and across Canada a few times. Did similar stuff on a Ducati 350 Desmo and an old Matchless.

Today, people think a 900cc bike is a starter bike. Well, that is their opinion. I have watched as many of these "starter bikes" wiggle and wobble around parking lots piloted by first time riders of all ages. I say, a starter bike is under 350cc. You can get into plenty of trouble with 90cc, let alone 900 or 2300. Nobody should be learning to ride on a 5-700 pound motorcycle that can do over 100MPH. Hell, most 1 vehicle accidents are well under 50MPH by inexperienced riders.

Anyway, now that I got that off my chest. Back to researching my next ride.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:25 PM   #50
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JerryH, I have to agree with your sentiment. I can remember when a 650 Bonneville was considered a big bike and then the 750cc Honda appeared. We all thought it was HUGE!. Wow, who needed that much power? then that monster 1000cc Goldwing and BMW R100 appeared. Things just got out of hand after that. There are bikes being sold that have bigger engines than my car, that can haul 5 people fairly comfortably along with a full weeks of groceries and it can reach over 100MPH as well. Why would anyone need a bike with over 2000cc, or even over 1500cc? You can only go so fast. We ride on public streets and highways. We are not all racing on closed tracks. If people say that they need the big bike because they are 300+ poounds and need to take their equal sized partner with them and pack everything including the kitchen sink when they go touring, I think that they really are not making proper life style choices. But, that is just me. When I go touring, I take my clothes in my saddle bags and used to strap a small pup tent and sleeping bag on the back seat. Travelled all over Europe and North America that way.

I have "toured" on as small a bike as a 350 2 stroke Yamaha, back when they were the crotch rocket of the day. Buzzy as hell, but did a full loop around the USA and across Canada a few times. Did similar stuff on a Ducati 350 Desmo and an old Matchless.

Today, people think a 900cc bike is a starter bike. Well, that is their opinion. I have watched as many of these "starter bikes" wiggle and wobble around parking lots piloted by first time riders of all ages. I say, a starter bike is under 350cc. You can get into plenty of trouble with 90cc, let alone 900 or 2300. Nobody should be learning to ride on a 5-700 pound motorcycle that can do over 100MPH. Hell, most 1 vehicle accidents are well under 50MPH by inexperienced riders.

Anyway, now that I got that off my chest. Back to researching my next ride.
One of my good friends sold a Yamaha V-Star 650 that struggled to do much of anything over 65mph. Now, I didn't consider it a starter bike, but it was still very limited. Try not to take offense to people suggesting you look at a little more displacement with respect to certain motorcycles. Remember, not all mid-sized bikes are created equal, that's all. Good luck with your search.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:11 PM   #51
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I went thru the same thing a few years ago, I had just blown up and rebuilt a KLR with 26,000 miles, replaced nearly the whole damn bike during 40,000 miles with a Buell and had a thrashed TE610 that needed a total rebuild from the hubs up...it was time for a reliable no fuss Jap bike again.

Completely soured on Kawi I turned to my old standby...Yamaha. I wanted a single front disc, big rear disc, low seat height for the wife to climb on, air cooled only..no oil cooler to crack and spray oil, belt drive and tubeless tires. 950 V Star was it. It's been great and I ride it a lot.




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Old 11-19-2012, 03:54 AM   #52
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True, when I returned to riding after some years away, I was amazed at how large in displacement terms bike had become. BUT don't confuse the power of a CB 750 with the power of a mid-size V-twin. Not saying they don't have enough power for you, but comparing ccs means very little.

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JerryH, I have to agree with your sentiment. I can remember when a 650 Bonneville was considered a big bike and then the 750cc Honda appeared. We all thought it was HUGE!. Wow, who needed that much power? then that monster 1000cc Goldwing and BMW R100 appeared. Things just got out of hand after that. There are bikes being sold that have bigger engines than my car, that can haul 5 people fairly comfortably along with a full weeks of groceries and it can reach over 100MPH as well. Why would anyone need a bike with over 2000cc, or even over 1500cc? You can only go so fast. We ride on public streets and highways. We are not all racing on closed tracks. If people say that they need the big bike because they are 300+ poounds and need to take their equal sized partner with them and pack everything including the kitchen sink when they go touring, I think that they really are not making proper life style choices. But, that is just me. When I go touring, I take my clothes in my saddle bags and used to strap a small pup tent and sleeping bag on the back seat. Travelled all over Europe and North America that way.

I have "toured" on as small a bike as a 350 2 stroke Yamaha, back when they were the crotch rocket of the day. Buzzy as hell, but did a full loop around the USA and across Canada a few times. Did similar stuff on a Ducati 350 Desmo and an old Matchless.

Today, people think a 900cc bike is a starter bike. Well, that is their opinion. I have watched as many of these "starter bikes" wiggle and wobble around parking lots piloted by first time riders of all ages. I say, a starter bike is under 350cc. You can get into plenty of trouble with 90cc, let alone 900 or 2300. Nobody should be learning to ride on a 5-700 pound motorcycle that can do over 100MPH. Hell, most 1 vehicle accidents are well under 50MPH by inexperienced riders.

Anyway, now that I got that off my chest. Back to researching my next ride.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:15 AM   #53
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True, when I returned to riding after some years away, I was amazed at how large in displacement terms bike had become. BUT don't confuse the power of a CB 750 with the power of a mid-size V-twin. Not saying they don't have enough power for you, but comparing ccs means very little.
Worth repeating, IMO. Air-cooled v-twin cruisers are different sort of animal; they simply don't put out a lot of power to pull 650lbs plus around. Will depend on your expectations, for sure, but I think a few test rides would be prudent.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:27 AM   #54
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Well, some make like the Goldwing, but I definitely am not in that catagory. They are way to heavy, too big, and too expensive for what I want and need. I want a bike that is pretty naked, that I can add a windshield to for when I want to go longer distances (bug protection). I must have hard saddle bags - which can be added to just about any bike.

So it comes down to what will fit my riding style and body. And it has to come in at under $10,000CDN. As I do a lot of back country paved roads and prefer not to hit the superslab, it has to be nimble enough for some twisty roads, but not a "sport" bike. But, also must be capable of sustained 120KPH (80MPH) without giving me major tingles in hands or feet. I can always change out or modify the seat if it doesn't fit my butt.

So, narrowing down the herd. I am still leaning towards a cruiser of some sort. I like the Vulcan 900, VStar 950 and Suzuki C50. I think the seating position on the CB1100 is very similar to my old BMW and that is a position I am trying to get away from. It looks pretty retro, which is nice, but still the old UJM style updated to modern mechanicals and electronics. I think that a lot of people will really like it.

I have been looking at brand new, but am not opposed to a good used bike with low milage. I was just checking out my "local" BMW shop (200 Km away), and they have what looks like a nice 2001 R1200C with windshield and hard bags for sale. Might take a run down there next weekend and have a look. They are asking around $6500 for it, which is well below what I am willing to spend on a new to me bike. It gives me another option. It looks like it is not quite as foot forward as the other cruisers, which may be a good compromise compared to what I presently ride.

some have recomended to the Triumphs and Moto-Guzzi, along with other brands. I just don't see those fitting me. Might have a look at the Triumphs, but not so sure about the big vertical twins. Never liked the buzzy feeling of my old 68 Bonneville from way back when, but I am sure they have changed over time.

Thanks for all the input people. It has helped and opened my eyes to some good possibilities.
As an owner of a C50, I can tell you right now that you will Not like it at 80mph. For any length of time. It's happiest at 55-60 mph.

Not to say it won't do 80, it will easily, but it isn't a happy 80. If you're looking at backroad poking around at 55-60ish it's wonderful. Over that and you begin to notice a distinct strain on your lower back from the windpressure(no shield on mine), as well as a lot of pressure on your inner thighs from wind trying to split you like a wishbone.

10 minutes? No problem. 2 hours? Ow.

*edit, that's with MY body. It may be like an angel is giving you a BJ.

don't neglect looking at victory. They seem to have some awfully nice rides.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:10 AM   #55
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As an owner of a C50, I can tell you right now that you will Not like it at 80mph. For any length of time. It's happiest at 55-60 mph.

Not to say it won't do 80, it will easily, but it isn't a happy 80. If you're looking at backroad poking around at 55-60ish it's wonderful. Over that and you begin to notice a distinct strain on your lower back from the windpressure(no shield on mine), as well as a lot of pressure on your inner thighs from wind trying to split you like a wishbone.

10 minutes? No problem. 2 hours? Ow.

*edit, that's with MY body. It may be like an angel is giving you a BJ.

don't neglect looking at victory. They seem to have some awfully nice rides.
I had the exact same experience with my Vulcan 900 (essentially Kawasaki's version of the C50). It was frustrating because it was such a wonderful machine at about 55 mph, but on the highway, it was just unpleasant to say the least.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:43 AM   #56
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Interesting....the 950 V Star loves to rev and is very happy over 80 mph. The CHP said I shouldn't do that anymore and my license agreed.

I've taken many loaded down two-up trips and it's great, plenty of power.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:55 AM   #57
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Interesting....the 950 V Star loves to rev and is very happy over 80 mph. The CHP said I shouldn't do that anymore and my license agreed.

I've taken many loaded down two-up trips and it's great, plenty of power.
Personally, I think the V-Star 950 is a hell of a bike. I wish I would have bought it instead of the Vulcan (which I sold). Live and learn.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:05 PM   #58
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Was just checking on line at my near by Yamaha dealers. Is there any real major differences between the 2010, 2012 and 2013 V-Star 950s? Dealer has a brand new 2010 and 2012 for reduced pricing compared to the new 2013. Just looking at them, I don't see a whole lot of differences. The 2010 is priced about $7500, the 2012 is $9899 and the new 2013 is also $9899. These are all brand new with full warranty.

If there are no major differences, the 2010 would probably be a good deal. But it is 3 years older, so depreciation is going to be more. Will it be more than on a new 2013? Don't know. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:20 PM   #59
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The only major difference that would really matter would be if it didn't have tubeless tires. I was thinking the first ones had wire spoke wheels. Might have been the Vulcan 900 Classic LT I was thinking about. Any of these bikes should get the job done with plenty left over.

It's true, displacement is not everything. Consider the Yamaha Royal Star, a 1300+ cc V4 (a detuned version of the V-Max engine) It can barely get out of it's own way. A Kawasaki Vulcan 500 twin easily outran it. There is certainly a difference between the Honda Shadow 750 and the late Nighthawk 750. The Nighthawk has twice the power. My Vulcan 750 is a v-twin, but it has more in common with Ducati than Harley. It has 4 cams, 4 cam chains, 8 valves, dual carbs, dual plug heads, a fairly high compression ratio, a highly tuned stock exhaust, and liquid cooling. It also has a 9500 redline, and will happily cruise at 80+ all day long without even breathing hard.

But having also owned a '66 Triumph Bonneville, It was certainly no powerhouse, and would shake your teeth out at higher speeds. Still, it would have been fully capable of cross country travel if it didn't have a propensity to break down all the time. There is a story in Motorcycle Cruiser magazine where Art Friedman rode one of the 900cc bikes (the Vulcan 900 LT if I remember correctly) cross country with no problems at all, and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #60
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Interesting....the 950 V Star loves to rev and is very happy over 80 mph. The CHP said I shouldn't do that anymore and my license agreed.

I've taken many loaded down two-up trips and it's great, plenty of power.

As an example from the C50 side of the fence, 70-80.... Gives you the feeling that you should have already been bouncing off the limiter. It really really really needs a 6th gear. 80-90.... Does thins thing Have a limiter? I should probably slow down before it explodes.

Since that wasn't going to happen, quite a few people adapter the final off of a C90 which gives you a few hundred RPMs. And from all accounts totally changes how the bikes feels.
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