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Old 09-11-2014, 01:55 PM   #1
Dynasty OP
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The Truth About Japanese Cruisers

What's the truth about Japanese cruisers?

A few of my riding buddies keep saying when they are making the switch from sport bikes to cruisers, they will only go Harley. When I asked them why, they really didn't have a good explanation except that "it's a Harley"

Browsing the threads around here, I notice Kawasaki Vulcan, Honda VTX, and Yamaha V Star gets mentioned often. Are these bikes "better" than Harley Davidson?

Does the Harley Davidson name command the premium compared to comparable Japanese cruisers?
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dynasty View Post
Does the Harley Davidson name command the premium compared to comparable Japanese cruisers?
You bet your ass.

Going "metric" means paying 2/3 or less the price of HD and comparable in about every single aspect, whether you're shopping 883's or 1200's or more.
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:35 PM   #3
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I don't think they are better or worse than Harley, but they are different. You just have to decide if the name is worth that much more to you.

I really like my buddy's Ultra Glide, but at 6'3" it felt cramped to me. My Nomad 1600 had more legroom, and I got an '07 in showroom condition for under $7k. I like a bike with shaft drive and the Kaw has that as well.

Yamaha and Honda also make very nice Cruisers.

Choose what you like!
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:49 PM   #4
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Japanese just haven't figured out how to match the feel of a Harley. The cruisers look and feel flimsy and cheap. They have been getting better though, Yamaha is probably the closest with the Bolt.

I have to say it's rather frustrating to see Victory/Indian step up in such a short amount of time and start producing cruisers that have a better look and feel to them. Especially with the new Scout, Indian was able to come up with a water cooled metric style cruiser and hit it out of the park with the first swing.
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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Laugh

Try them out,non are perfect,(what is?) ive had quite a few cruiser style bikes, kawasaki, harley, suzuki, even a bmw, they were all great fun, critics will tell you there crap, dont handle etc, so what, if it makes you feel good and takes your fancy, go get one, but do try a few, they do have certain limitations, best way ive found is to have something else in the shed as well, makes you appreciate there virtues somewhat, and no you dont need chaps to ride one
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by hoax View Post
Japanese just haven't figured out how to match the feel of a Harley. The cruisers look and feel flimsy and cheap....


Nothing flimsy or cheap about my Nomad. Neither were the Yamahas or Hondas I looked at.

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Old 09-11-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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Spent 3 weeks in Newfoundland in Aug riding around on an 07 FJR1300. The place is just about all HD.
Saw only 3 sport bikes, a few adv bikes a fair amount of other cruisers, but could easily be 20/1 HDs to everything else for what I saw. Never did see another FJR.
Cousin and wife just got their licenses, she got a HD 1200 something and he got a CVO/EVO something or other costing 45k. I asked why he choose those bikes. He shrugged his shoulders and said that's what everyone else has around here.

He laughed when I said I'd never own one, and couldn't understand when I talked about the performance of the FJR...

I said we could ride somewhere for a beer, but we won't be together once the tach gets to 7k in first gear. He declined.
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:40 PM   #8
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My suggestion, try them all, and pick the one that suits you best, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Metric cruisers are great bikes, many of them can be had for a song used. Buying one new however (on actual comparable models) the price differential isn't nearly as far apart as they used to be.

In 2002 when I bought a VL1500LC Suzuki Intruder new it was substantially lower in price than a comparable HD. I really liked the ergos of the LC better, and the shaft drive as well. I lost my ass when I sold it however.

In 2011 I bought another LC, this time a well used 2003 model for $3K. I sold it the next year for $3K. Much better results.

Last year I inadvertently bought my first Harley in forty years of owning motorcycles. The jury is still out until I get more miles on it, but at 3,000 miles, and a rally in north Georgia behind me I can say this much about it.

Dealer network & COMPETENCY, demo seats/windshields, financing, aftermarket, and accessories are way better than any other brand than I have ever owned.

The new HD touring bikes handle, stop, and run so much better than they used to from my limited experience riding them. Hopefully the resale value trends stay the same when it comes time to trade, or sell it.

Not as good is the rear air shock that bleeds down, have to carry a small hand pump to keep it where it performs the best. Had to remove the cat in the head pipe because it was so freaking hot. It is much better now, but still contemplating other options.

Worst of all is I'm working 6000 miles away from it...

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Old 09-11-2014, 03:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoax View Post
Japanese just haven't figured out how to match the feel of a Harley. The cruisers look and feel flimsy and cheap. They have been getting better though, Yamaha is probably the closest with the Bolt.
I have VTX1800 and my co-workers road glide seems to me flimsy , cheap and cramped . I don't know what happened , but he had to rebuild the top end while the bike didn't even have 16K miles on it . Nah , I'll stick with Japs . I really like Indian , but Harley no way . Just personal opinion .
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoax View Post
Japanese just haven't figured out how to match the feel of a Harley. The cruisers look and feel flimsy and cheap. They have been getting better though, Yamaha is probably the closest with the Bolt.

I have to say it's rather frustrating to see Victory/Indian step up in such a short amount of time and start producing cruisers that have a better look and feel to them. Especially with the new Scout, Indian was able to come up with a water cooled metric style cruiser and hit it out of the park with the first swing.


it seems to me that the cruiser rider tends to be more image conscious than other riders. Take the statement above, saying Indian "hit it out of the park with the first swing". I suspect that Hoax has not even seen a scout yet, much less ridden one, but he's already formed an opinion and thinks it is better than the Japanese competition.

I think they are all good bikes. Find the one that suits you, and keep an open mind. Someone said that HD dealers are better, and I would have to agree with that. Harley takes care of their customers, and they seem to take care of their employees as well. Some of the Jap dealers around here have a new sales staff every time I walk in the door.

Personally, I like the Kawasaki cruisers...
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynasty View Post
What's the truth about Japanese cruisers?

When I asked them why, they really didn't have a good explanation except that "it's a Harley"
There are too many good bikes out there to be buying a Harley..


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Old 09-11-2014, 04:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hoax View Post
Japanese just haven't figured out how to match the feel of a Harley.
Thankfully!!

Why anyone would want to sit on a bike at a red light and have it shake like a wet epileptic dog is beyond me...


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Old 09-11-2014, 04:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by hoax View Post
I have to say it's rather frustrating to see Victory/Indian step up in such a short amount of time and start producing cruisers that have a better look and feel to them. Especially with the new Scout, Indian was able to come up with a water cooled metric style cruiser and hit it out of the park with the first swing.
Why are you frustrated to think a manufacturer makes a good product?
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:54 PM   #14
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Why are you frustrated to think a manufacturer makes a good product?
Harley makes a decently riding bike for what it is.

I'm just not a huge fan or what it is, much less some of the mongoloids that ride them.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:10 PM   #15
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Amazing the lemming effect. Makes one wonder, kinda like how could millions of Americans vote for Obama twice........





You take that pile of crap to CS&M this instant, n00b.
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