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Old 02-25-2013, 01:20 AM   #16
JerryH
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Obviously I love cruisers, and have for over 30 years. You really can't go wrong with any of todays cruisers as far as reliability, the V-Star 650 has more power than the KLR. It's also a lot more comfortable. On a cruiser, ANY type of drive is fine, a belt probably requires less maintenance, how efficient it is makes no difference. The vaunted BMWs have shaft drive, only theirs break, Japanese shaft drives do not. One way to go wrong is to buy a too big cruiser. It's not much fun muscling an 800 pound plus bike around. Many people buy huge cruisers to look macho, that's not what it's all about for me. My 750 has taken me everywhere I wanted to go, to the tune of nearly 80,000 miles. It accelerates hard uphill in 5th gear, most cruisers of it's size will require a downshift. Mine is a 1985 design, before the Japanese started copying Harley and building slow, poor handling cruises with the right sound and feel.

I'm going to go out on a limb, and recommend getting a cruiser, because I really don't think you will be disappointed with it. Make sure you fit on it, if you plan on carrying your wife, make sure she fits, don't go too big, and I see no way you can go wrong. Cruisers are great for commuting, and just plain riding. To me, they pretty much are the "new" standards, all other road bikes seem to be some kind of sport bike with an uncomfortable lean forward riding position that puts a lot of your upper body weight on your arms and shoulders. The KLR doesn't do that, and neither does your scooter. I have never been on a VStrom, so I don't know about them. They do seem ton have a narrow seat, and they sit up high. A cruiser has a nice wide seat, and sits low, with a low center of gravity. It's an extremely low effort ride.

I think the new EFI cruisers should come with an electronic cruise control. If they are going to have electronics, might as well get something useful out of them. Just hit the highway, engage the cruise control, kick back and drain the tank. My Vulcan 750 only has a 120 mile range before hitting reserve, I wish it had a bigger tank, but everything else is so perfect I deal with it. I have carried extra gas on some rides.


I would stay in the 650-950 range, any bigger and your just adding more size and weight I'm almost 230, and I would have no problem riding a V-Star 650. I put 20,000 highway miles on a Honda Rebel 250. Don't get sucked into the size game.

As for Harleys, I love Harleys, but do not own one, and never have. The reason, they are just to expensive. If you just want a cruiser, and not a Harley specifically, your better off with Japanese. The only Harley I can afford is a Sportster, and it is to small for me. The V-Star 650 fits me perfectly, it is a physically larger bike than a Sportster.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:35 AM   #17
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You can now purchase a great used BMW R1200R bike in the $6000 range and have a bike that can tour, cruise, do forest roads, and play with sport bikes, and is easy to maintain. They are one of the best bikes BMW makes but does not promote well. This is my old bike, a 2007 model that was a great bike. I routinely got 225 miles before I filled up the tank. This one had 27000 miles when traded and these engines routinely get above 100K miles.



With the full baggage onboard for touring:





It was traded on this:

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Old 02-25-2013, 04:56 AM   #18
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Sitting on a cruiser does feel comfy, until after you been on them for hours, with your feet on the foward controls, and your lower back taking all the bumps in the road. Thats why I'm putting my 750 shadow up for sale and buying something more of a standard, feet under me, and in more control.
I've had three cruisers and put over 75k over the years I had them. I rode a lot.
My biggest issue was with having all the weight on my lower back. They are comfortable for a while, but you might take into consideration the riding position and how it might affect you.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:02 AM   #19
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I never thought i would like a cruiser. I bought a Raider 1900 as a second bike to putt around on (used and CHEAP) and then i sold it to make a few dollars off of it and now i miss it. I want another cruiser of some type. I have a K1300GT that i barely rode last year. I think i took it on two trips (over 500 miles) and then it was parked the rest of the time. The Raider got used ALOT and it sure was a blast.
I would agree with the statement get the most CC's you can afford. You can just hold back and not use the power all the time but when you need it its great to have. There was a number of times on the highway the power on tap needed to be used to get out of a sketchy situation.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:03 AM   #20
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I didnt know an older r1200r can be had for $6k. I will have to look into one as a replacement for one of my cruisers. I think the r1200r is the best looking standard bike out there.

As far as big muscle cruisers go, the yamaha raider 1900 is hard to beat. That bike has a great engine, its geared well, and the ergos are very nice as well.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:09 AM   #21
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I would advise buying the most displacement you can afford. It is nice to have power on tap when you need it. If you buy a small displacement bike, you will want more later power later.
I second this, especially if you are going to do any 2 up.

Shaft/belt or whatever final drives are a matter of personal choice. You really can't beat a shaft for low maintenance, and you did mention something about less than ideal roads. Belts don't like sand & gravel.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:11 AM   #22
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Started off for the first year on a v-star 650 custom, great bike I liked it a lot. Although with my size it was a little too underpowered to do two-up. I sold that and got my self a B-King. The B-King is a great bike (way too much power for anyone) and I found myself missing the cruiser style after 3 years I've kept the B-King and now added a VTX1800C to the stable for two-up riding. The VTX also has way more power than is ever needed.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:53 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
Obviously I love cruisers, and have for over 30 years. You really can't go wrong with any of todays cruisers as far as reliability, the V-Star 650 has more power than the KLR. It's also a lot more comfortable.

I would stay in the 650-950 range, any bigger and your just adding more size and weight I'm almost 230, and I would have no problem riding a V-Star 650. I put 20,000 highway miles on a Honda Rebel 250. Don't get sucked into the size game.

The V-Star 650 fits me perfectly, it is a physically larger bike than a Sportster.
I like your style man! I am under 200 lbs with all the gear.
I think the Vstar has like 31 hp vs 33 from the KLR and the vstar weight more, about 80-100 lbs, right? and confort.. ok I have not riden the v-star but have seen many people enjoy it, and I really enjoy the KLR up to hour 10 then it gets to be too much, but after 10 hours on the bike, is there a bike that let's you ride better? and I am thinking being fit goes a lot longer than been a couch potato (like me)

Thanks for the info, I do appreciate it!

Wow a BMW for around $6K? that would be nice, but the seat would be an issue? would have to check.

I remember sitting on a 1800 vtx and it was not for me, to big, expensive and too heavy, it was wrong almost like a GSA...

Thanks

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Old 02-25-2013, 10:44 AM   #24
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Dont listen to anyone on here. Find what fits YOU, ride it and love it. I dont care what it is..... find what YOU like and ride it.

A safe cruiser to get might something like a Shadow. Dead reliable, smallish and they still look fantastic. Then decide where you want to go from there.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:50 PM   #25
Noobie Doobie
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Triumph America/Speedmaster.

I bought one new a couple of years ago for $7500, because it has many of the traits that you desire: not expensive to buy or maintain, fairly low curb weight of 550 pounds, one of the best handling cruisers available, chain drive (if that's considered desirable), 28 inch seat height, much more comfort than my BMW F650, it's not a Harley clone, and it has plenty of chrome!

YMMV
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:23 PM   #26
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Fly out to Michigan and bring 4 grand, and I will pick you up at the airport. You give me the 4 grand, and you can ride this back
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:12 PM   #27
JerryH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damasovi View Post
I like your style man! I am under 200 lbs with all the gear.
I think the Vstar has like 31 hp vs 33 from the KLR and the vstar weight more, about 80-100 lbs, right? and confort.. ok I have not riden the v-star but have seen many people enjoy it, and I really enjoy the KLR up to hour 10 then it gets to be too much, but after 10 hours on the bike, is there a bike that let's you ride better? and I am thinking being fit goes a lot longer than been a couch potato (like me)

Thanks for the info, I do appreciate it!

Wow a BMW for around $6K? that would be nice, but the seat would be an issue? would have to check.

I remember sitting on a 1800 vtx and it was not for me, to big, expensive and too heavy, it was wrong almost like a GSA...

Thanks

Damasovi
The VTX1800 is just too big and heavy, and does not have such great performance. If you are going to ride on nothing but long straight roads with a high speed limit all day, it's fine (other than the mileage) None of the big cruisers make nearly as much power as you would think. Used to be the top of the cruiser displacement scale was 1500cc, and my Vulcan 750 would outrun them all. The stock Suzuki Intruder 800 would easily outrun the 1400. Bigger does not always mean faster, at least not enough to matter. If you want a performance cruiser, consider the Honda Valkyrie. It's big, but has a 1500cc SIX cylinder engine instead of a huge lumbering v-twin. It is basically a cruiser version of the Goldwing. The 1500 Goldwing btw is a LOT faster, more comfortable, and handles better than any of the mega cruisers. Actually check out the specs and 1/4 mile times on some cruisers. You will be surprised at how little difference size makes. One place size (and weight) do show up is in a parking lot, or around town. Those beasts are just non fun at all in slow speed maneuvers. And they are definitely not for dirt or gravel roads. And belt drives, as nice as they are on the street, do get torn up fairly quickly by gravel.


I have sit on a cruiser (750cc) for over 1000 miles, only getting off a couple of times for a few minutes, without any real pain. I had a lot more gas stops, but I just pulled up to the pump, stuck my card in, and filled it up without getting off. I did have a riders backrest, which makes all the difference on long rides. You can also strap a duffle bag or sleeping bag to the passenger seat if riding solo for the same thing. Something for back support. On a cruiser, if your legs start to hurt after a while, switch to the passenger pegs for a change of position. That helps a lot, and is always something I do on long rides. I even left the passenger pegs on my XT225, which at my size is completely incapable of carrying a passenger, just so I could use them on longer road rides.

Sadly the new breed of cruisers are just not as good as the older ones comfortwise. My Vulcan 750 is a 1985 design. Other great older cruisers are the twin shock Virago 750 and 1100 models, the Suzuki Intruder 800 and 1400 (despite it's displacement, the original 1400 is not a huge heavy bike like the VTX1800) and the Honda Shadow 1100 Spirit. The Honda VLX600 is also very comfortable, though it may actually be too small. And as someone mentioned, the Triumph America and Speedmaster are decent cruisers. And while I don't like them as much as the older ones, I don't think I would have any issues with any of the modern cruisers up to 950cc. I always go for cruisers with higher bars. Some modern cruisers have what are called "beach" bars, which are too low and too wide to be comfortable. The whole concept of a cruiser as far as comfort goes is NOT having to lean forward. My Vulcan has the most comfortable bars of any cruiser I've ever had. Most cruisers have standard bars which can be changed, though that can involve changing hoses and cables and doing rewiring depending on how big the change is.

I am not exactly a couch potato, though I do spend to much time sitting at my desk on the computer, but I am absolutely not one of those fitness types that go to the gym every day. And I have fairly severe arthritis and fibromyalgia, and am still comfortable on a cruiser or scooter.

A cruiser should feel a lot like your scooter. You sit upright, feet in front like sitting in a chair, and you should be able to reach the bars while still having plenty of bend in your elbows. That's the basic cruiser riding position. From there it is just a matter of finding the one with the best fit for you.


Honda VTX1800:
1/4 mile 12.1 sec
top speed 134 mph
hp 95
weight 774 lbs


Kawasaki VN750:
1/4 mile 13.2 sec
top speed 120
hp 68
weight 483 lbs

Within a second in the 1/4 mile, top speed over 100 does not matter with a cruiser, neither does actual hp, it's performance that counts. But look at the big difference. VTX1800 is almost 300 pounds heavier. With me on it, thats almost exactly HALF A TON

Oh, and for those who like comfort, but not the cruiser look, check out the new Honda CTX700.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:57 AM   #28
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Fly out to Michigan and bring 4 grand, and I will pick you up at the airport. You give me the 4 grand, and you can ride this back
Kinda chilly up there, ain't it?

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Old 02-26-2013, 06:02 AM   #29
Tilter
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I would look at:

R1200r
Moto guzzi griso
Honda cb1100

I think those bikes will give you what you want from a cruiser but also satisfy you I. Other ways as well.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:05 AM   #30
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Dont listen to anyone on here. Find what fits YOU, ride it and love it.
No doubt that is what the OP wants, but it would be dumb to post here asking for opinions, then not consider them.
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