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Old 02-18-2013, 11:59 PM   #106
ParrotheadJeff
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Location: Price, UT
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I originally wanted a dual sport, but then financial reality set in and rather than try to save up for a year for a down payment, I jumped at the chance to buy this from a co-worker I got my 2004 V-Star 650 Classic with 8,500 miles for all of $1,400 with the windshield and saddle bags This bike has been spectacularly awesome as a first motorcycle. It's not light, doesn't have too much power (31 hp and 34 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel on the dyno), but it's got enough to get the job done


9 July 2011 - Out on the old highway south of Jean, NV


3 September 2011 - Stopped at the Hackberry General Store on Route 66 a ways north of Kingman, AZ


3 September 2011 - Heading eastbound on Route 66 just outside of Seligman, AZ


2 January 2012 - Evening on the Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas, NV


15 June 2012 - Out at the Wedge Overlook on the San Rafael Swell near Price, UT


15 June 2012 - Stopped at the east end of the Swinging Bridge near the Buckhorn Draw on the San Rafael Swell near Price, UT

These are just a few of my pics from my travels on two wheels. I put 13,000 miles on the odometer in the first 12 months I owned this bike which is quite a bit considering my daily commute was only four miles round trip. I started riding in June of 2011. I took my first really long ride (long to me - I'm not RTW Doug or Rollin' ) in September and went from Vegas down to Prescott and Jerome, AZ. That trip included some serious corners and thunderstorms! I went from Vegas to Anza, CA in November. The Cajon Pass was interesting on that trip with 55 MPH crosswinds gusting to 75 MPH and lots of big rigs

I've only taken one really long ride since then which was the day I moved from Las Vegas, NV to Price, UT. 420 miles, lots of uphill and headwinds with the throttle wide open to try to keep up with some of the traffic. I'm still riding as much as possible and I've found that while a V-Star isn't really a dirtbike or a dual sport, it'll do just fine on dirt roads as long as I keep the speed down Trust me when I say you don't want to hit deep loose sand at 40 MPH on this bike - it'll double your vocabulary and triple your prayer life

I managed to lose one of the saddle bags somewhere along one of the roads so I've been making due with a backpack for the time being. I also haven't been able to ride as much as I'd like due to weather (what's up with all this cold white stuff in the winter ) and due to a lack of excess gas money as that's going to my wonderful 6 month old daughter

Yes, I'd love to have an F700GS, a DR650, or a TW200, but until finances improve I'm happy to have a motorcycle that's easy to ride, versatile, and a hell of a lot of fun Even then, I'm pretty sure I'll keep this bike for around town and short distance street use and just add a dual sport for the dirt because this is just such a nice riding bike
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:54 PM   #107
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Another nice bike. When you get a dual sport, you are going to find the V-Star was a LOT more comfortable. I've had 4 dual sports, and never found any of them comfortable, though a whole lot better than any sport type bike. And at least with a cruiser on dirt roads, it's really easy to take your feet off the pegs and put them on the ground if necessary. Dual sport bikes are unrideable in deep sand as well, unless you have a rear sand tire, and you will still probably drop it a lot. You need 4 wheels, like a quad, for deep sand. I don't care for sand myself, but I live near Glamis, and many people around here have over $100,000 worth of sand toys, crew cab 4x4 1 ton pickups, toy haulers, bikes, quads, and sand rails. They go out almost every weekend. I just like to relax, cruise down the road in comfort, and rack up miles watching the scenery go by. I don't want to be fighting the bike and the road the whole way. And yes, I'm and old guy. And I'm not the only one out there.

I have been by that Hackberry General Store many times. I think I have probably ridden every back road in AZ.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:54 PM   #108
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Thanks, Jerry I can't begin to say just how awesome this bike's been for me and yes, comfort is part of that equation

I hope to get back to the Arizona back country sometime as it's gorgeous, but I've got quite a bit of Utah to explore in the mean time Have fun and thanks for the reply
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:10 AM   #109
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I think I have probably ridden every back road in AZ.

Man, your pictures make me homesick. I grew up in East Mesa, and learned to ride in the wide open deserts South of Broadway between Crisman Rd and Apache Jct. (this was the EARLY 70's) It was literally hundreds of miles of paradise for a kid on a 160 Honda with a 12 tooth front, and everything stripped down.

I left around 82 and haven't been back. They say all the open desert is fenced off now.

Best to ya.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #110
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Most of the desert and farmland is GONE now, replaced by millions of cookie cutter stucco houses and shopping malls. Even the Hunt Highway got paved, and is luxury homes and golf courses form one end to the other. I grew up in Queen Creek, on Sossaman Farms, back in the '60s and '70s. Everything has been wiped out now.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:38 PM   #111
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Question Cruiser Thread

So with all the posts and opinons in this thread...and some pretty awesome photos ...do the moderators feel compelled yet to add a ADV Cruiser section?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:10 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by RideWeaver View Post
So with all the posts and opinons in this thread...and some pretty awesome photos ...do the moderators feel compelled yet to add a ADV Cruiser section?

A Cruiser subforum would be pretty handy!
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #113
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A cruiser subforum would be a great idea!
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:41 PM   #114
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I grew up in Queen Creek,
I used to play guitar in Queen Creek in the late 70s at a bar called the "Cotten Ball". It was a nice place at the time as I recall. Had a large room for Bands.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #115
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The Cotton Ball is gone, just like most everything else old. The old brick school building where I went was taken over by some historical society and partially restored.

The way I see it most cruisers are far better adventure bikes than dual sports because they are more comfortable, have a MUCH better seat, have a lower center of gravity, and you don't need a ladder to get on them. Anything can be dropped, though my 11 year old 78,000 mile Vulcan 750 never has been.

IF you are strictly riding off road trails, then a cruiser is not the right bike. But if your travels are mostly on pavement and smooth graded dirt or gravel, you would be hard pressed to do better than a cruiser. A cruisers one weak point is a lack of ground clearance, and maybe weight on the really big ones. I have found 750 sized cruisers will go almost anywhere. The Vulcan makes about 60 hp, though it's motor is a bit high strung. A 45-50 hp motor in the same sized bike, with a lot more torque would be more useful. The Vulcan 750 is a 1985 design, which makes it more practical in a lot of ways than newer cruisers where they put style first.

I have ridden all over the country (not to Alaska) on cruisers. In 2001 I traded my 80,000 mile '93 Vulcan 750 for a new KLR650. The seat was so bad I gave it up in less than a year, and traded it for a brand new '02 Vulcan 750. Other issues with the KLR were a lack of any place to carry anything (yes, $1500 worth of panniers would have fixed that, but I didn't want to spend that much money on a bike with such a poor excuse for a seat) It also lacked power on the freeway where the Vulcan cruises effortlessly at 80 mph, and it was so tall it felt awkward in town.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:13 AM   #116
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Never was much of a cruiser guy until I bought my '10 Thunderbird. I got it used with under 2,000 miles and the entire accessory catalog thrown at it. What wasn't on the bike was still new in the box. It also has the 1700cc big bore kit installed. It's a 700+ lb freight train that always turns heads. I only use it locally and on day trips. It handles like a much lighter bike.

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Old 02-23-2013, 06:24 PM   #117
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I had a KLR 650 put lots of miles on it but because my wife wanted to go with me so I traded it for a 1999 Vulcan 88. I love it comfortable, good 2 up my only complaint is the small tank.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:34 PM   #118
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I've gone back and forth on how much I like my little cruiser. Loved it when I first got it, but went through a period of not appreciating it very much. Probably doesn't help that I'm kind of stuck with it at the moment, because even if I could sell it for something else I'd like to try-- I couldn't get enough out of it to get what I'd be after.

As of late, however, I've come back to liking the heck out of my '05 S40. A good little bike that doesn't complain about what I ask it to do. I've added some stuff to it to make it more to my liking and that's been an improvement over when I first bought it. What it needs most now is a better seat to help with better long term comfort. Also has some shortcomings that I can't really fix, but I'm just happy to have a motorcycle at all right now.

Come summertime I hope to take a long trip on it and see how it does over long distances. So far the furthest I've been on it was a 300 mile round trip which is when I realized how absolutely god awful the stock seat is. Way too soft. Only saving grace was the stuff I had packed on the pillion gave me something for back support. Probably won't be able to put a better seat on before my excursion, but since I'll be in no hurry to get anywhere I'll take lots of breaks to keep the pain to a minimum.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:41 PM   #119
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well I have 2 things,

I read the last 5 or 6 pages and I love your input on cruisers.

So the other day I rode with a bunch of cruisers (and tomorrow I will repeat) and I was surprise at the speed they were cruising on the straights, specially the guys that had vstars 650 who were 2 up! ok nothing above 80 but still I was impress at the acceleration they where putting on, maybe they wanted to keep up with the guys with 1300's and 1800's hondas. Of course came twisties time, the low clearance and cruisers show it's low side and I was going 20-30 mph slower than normal (for me on my KLR). So I was getting on the breaks TOO much, until I left them behind for safety reasons.

and this brings me to my second point, comfort is very personal, on past pages a couple or guys have mention that cruisers are better adventure bikes than dp bikes (such as the KLR) and I have to say NO WAY, of course everybody has their opinions, and I think everybody should look for what work best for him/her.
Here in the cruiser tread, I am guessing a more pro cruiser crow, at the same time in KLR tech days I have heard many guys say "there no amount of money that will get me back on a cruiser, they are so uncomfortable" I have also heard of people saying "my R1 is the most comfortable bike I have ever own or driven" So that means everybody has there likes and dislikes. A person here said the KLR was odd around town because it was too tall, I like it around town BECAUSE it is VERY tall! and that gives me a better view of the road and cars ahead, when I am on my scooter I really am looking for the extra tall view (even do I am just 5'7" with a 30 in inseam and the KLR seat is 35 inches tall) . About the seats? also is very personal, many people hate it, I have no problems until hour #7-8.

I have full hard bags and I did not spend $1500 maybe like 600 for 150 liters of storage and racks, if your cruiser has no luggage then you will be spending a lot of cash also (see this yamaha JUST hard bags over $700 http://www.starmotorcycles.com/star/.../0/detail.aspx)

I hope to ride a cruiser one day, I don't do much 2 up, and the KLR is not the bike for it, and yes I have done 300+ mile days, but I would like to add a better 2 up bike one day and I like the look of cruisers, and maybe if I get one I will have more 2 up days!

Ride your bikes!! that is what I like the most!! scooter, cruiser or DP!

Damasovi
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:28 AM   #120
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Never was much of a cruiser guy until I bought my '10 Thunderbird. I got it used with under 2,000 miles and the entire accessory catalog thrown at it. What wasn't on the bike was still new in the box. It also has the 1700cc big bore kit installed. It's a 700+ lb freight train that always turns heads. I only use it locally and on day trips. It handles like a much lighter bike.


WOW!

That's a gorgeous ride!
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