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Old 05-10-2015, 08:11 AM   #1
rezultz OP
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Help choosing a first cruiser

So after 3 years with my Ninja 500 (first bike), I'm ready to sell and upgrade. Having a limited budget, I've been going back and forth on a number of used bikes - ninja 650, versys, bmw f800st...but part of me is lured by the look, sound, and riding position of cruisers. Is it realistic to find a used cruiser that is:
- under 5 or $6k
- fuel injected
- sporty with decent lean angles (for a cruiser)
- adequate power for weekend trips and long highway runs
- relatively lightweight and maneuverable
- reliable and easy to DIY maintenance
- a tach would be a big plus

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:12 AM   #2
LuciferMutt
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Vulcan 650s? New it's over your budget, but not by much. You might be able to find a low mileage trade in at a dealer soon.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:44 AM   #3
kraven
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Yes.
Yes.
Not really
Totally. But it's a different kind of power. It's torquey power low in the revs, not at the mid/top end of the range like your 5 hunnit.

Yes
Yes

Tach doesn't matter. You ride it like a tractor and let the torque pull you around. You don't even need to know where it's revving. So, a tach is moot. If you need one, you can add it pretty easily.

You can get a lot of cruisers in the 5-6k range with most of the features you've outlined.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:46 AM   #4
Jimmy the Heater
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Harley Sportster. Unlimited aftermarket so you can change whatever you don't like about it. Try to find the Roadster versions so you have dual front discs and cornering clearance. But even if you get one of the slammed versions you can remedy that pretty easy with different shocks and some fork work.

Probably the easiest streetbike ever to work on, requires very little maintenance anyway. Fuel injected on 07+. Ton of them out there in the used market.

Also you just might be able to find a Yamaha Bolt in your price range, if not just a tiny bit above.
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
Harley Sportster. Unlimited aftermarket so you can change whatever you don't like about it. Try to find the Roadster versions so you have dual front discs and cornering clearance. But even if you get one of the slammed versions you can remedy that pretty easy with different shocks and some fork work.
.
Really? If he's any taller than 5'9" he can forget about that. Aside from that, they're "bare bone" bikes, and once you start dressing them up for touring, they start to look all weird and disproportionate, imo. Besides, new shocks might be easy, but not cheap, take 1000 dollar. That's a fifth of his budget he could be spending elsewhere (ci, bags, ...)

He didn't say new, and if he wants decent highway pulling power and long distance comfort, he should look into older low mileage jap cruisers, imo.

I'm talking europe here, but I've seen very decent v-star 1300s in that price range. I think they look great. Decent power, long, good on highways. Or vulcan 1500-1600? And last but not least, suzuki boulevard. 90ci, 1500cc, shaft drive, maintenance free, and you're set for the next 100000km.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:58 PM   #6
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Interesting comment about the Sportster. I'm not particularly a fan of the whole Harley marketing machine but I find the Sportsters an interesting and attractive bike. All that said, I'd take a close look at a Honda Shadow RS. Looks like a nice Sportster to this Harley neophyte, but a lot of nice Honda features.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:10 PM   #7
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Triumph Speedmaster ( but has carbs for the ones in your price range)or even a Yamaha Bolt if you can dish out the extra cash.

For the price you want for what you want is a tough one.

Maybe a Guzzi v11 Jackal? But even with a Guzzi they aren't light however the weight is low.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:16 PM   #8
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Triumph. Speedmaster or America. Same basic bike with slightly different ergos. Bulletproof motor (790 or 865cc), classic looks and different enough to be cool. Earlier models are carbed, but not problematic. Newer ones are FI. In my opinion, not that it really matters, the older (pre-'08), carbed models with the classic tanks and wire spoke wheels are just beautiful. 100K mile bikes and plenty of aftermarket support. 3-4 years or older are easily in your price range.

But, then I do have one in the garage.

Here's one in L.A. http://www.cycletrader.com/listing/2...RICA-114299978

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Old 05-10-2015, 03:51 PM   #9
rezultz OP
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Thanks for your suggestions.
The new Kawi Vulcan S is an oddball. Almost looks like they took the Ninja and changed the egros for a cruiser-ish position. Definately not your traditional cruiser.
TBH I never liked the Sportster. It's more of a standard than a cruiser in my eyes. If I were going for another standard, the Sportster would be lower on that list of bikes.
I actually like some of the Jap cruisers and really like the Triumph's.
Maybe I'm paranoid, but the thought of scraping the floorboards or pegs scares the crap out of me.
Also been looking at the Suzuki M90, but they're usually a lot more...and they're heavy.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:41 PM   #10
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try the CTX 700.
The six speed is fun to ride, torquey and nimble.
Fuel injected and great mileage. Naked or with fairings and factory or aftermarket bags .
Get a demo ride-you will be surprised.
And '14's can be had new for 6k or less and used for near 5.
visit http://www.ctx700forum.com/
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:44 PM   #11
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Check out the Kawi Mean Streak. You get all the goodies, more lean angle (for a cruiser), and it's a bulletproof package.

Well within your budget and full of the stuff you want.
http://www.cycleworld.com/2012/12/14...st-used-bikes/
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:35 PM   #12
rezultz OP
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Kraven, thanks for the suggestion. The Mean Streak actually looks really good. Everything I'm looking for minus the weight. Now I wait for a decent example to show up on Craigslist...and continue to watch videos of it on YouTube. :)
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:59 PM   #13
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Ditto's on the sportster; look for a 1200 Custom. It has the larger 4.5g tank and fat front and rear tires(beginning 2011). Also it has the mid glide forks and IMHO has the best ride of the current crop of rubber mount sporty's. It also will meet all of your criteria; including price if you buy used. The suspension can be easily upgraded for around $300 if you need more ground clearance and it can be had in either forward or mid controls. If I ever buy another late model Sportster, it will be this one.

Here is a link to the 2015 model for reference.

http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US....html#!gallery

Regards

Rod
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rezultz View Post
Kraven, thanks for the suggestion. The Mean Streak actually looks really good. Everything I'm looking for minus the weight. Now I wait for a decent example to show up on Craigslist...and continue to watch videos of it on YouTube. :)
Kawi sold a bunch of them, so there are a lot on the market. You can usually find one around June that someone bought and festooned with scary skulls and lightning bolts and other "ooooh! I'm so evil! Look at my peel and stick evil claptrap!" type accessories. A heat gun can restore the dignity of these bikes and the oft-quoted "you don't get money for accessories back" mantra prepares the seller for a lower asking price. So, the ball may be in your court.

I like the 1200 sportster too. But the Vulcan is roomier, if that matters.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:04 AM   #15
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As another option, there's the Yamaha Road Star Warrior. They made it from 02-09 as their "power cruiser".

Claimed 40* lean angle, has a tach, FI, reasonably powerful (77-80 hp and 100-104 ft-lbs of torque at the rear wheel)... not exactly light, unless compared to other big cruisers - 650 lbs wet weight. Which, now that I think of it, is still only like 85 lbs more than a 2004+ Sportster.

List most late model Yamahas, they're pretty reliable. There's no unusual quirks or problems, though there are a few recalls that may need doing depending on the year and whether the previous owner bothered to take it in.

There's a lot of dedicated owners at rswarrior.com that have done everything imaginable to the bike over the years.

It's the not the most comfortable highway option, but I took mine from N Florida to Iowa to visit family a couple years ago and had no issues on the interstate. I put 20k miles on it in the 1st year I owned it, then traded it on something more comfortable for SWMBO... we both lament that trade still. Nothing I did ever made it comfortable for her for more than a couple hours, but she just plain liked it a lot more than either of us realized.
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