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Old 09-05-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
Buck McCann OP
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Advice on a used cruiser?!

I'm seeing lots of well taken care of cruisers for sale in my area. Many with low miles and prices between $2000 and $5000. Half thinking of picking one up.

Any makes and models that should be avoided, or ones that you'd recommend?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:52 AM   #2
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I'm biased, only owned this one... but the Vulcan 900 Custom (or Classic) makes a great bike. You can grab them anywhere from $3500-5500.

Fuel injected, belt driven, valves and belt due at like 22k miles.

Very simple oil changes and even disassembly of the rear wheel wasn't tough for a tire change.

Their one and only flaw is they are known to eat the reg/rec every so often (like 30-40k miles give or take).

Couple guys on that forum have over 100k miles on theirs and report zero issues. Few of them with 70-80k have never even checked the valves.

I enjoy flogging mine. It takes the abuse well. On that particular forum you'll see guys with bigger bikes putting down the 900 for being underpowerd, but for its weight and the gearing, she gets up and moves really well. No complaints about power from me.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:01 PM   #3
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Tell us more about where and how u like to ride and the typical distances you plan to go and also your size. That will help us point u in the right direction, or at least tell u which direction not to take.

The VN is a fantastic little bike. But if you're a short fella, it might not fit well at all.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck McCann View Post

Any makes and models that should be avoided, or ones that you'd recommend?
None to avoid.. find one you like and can get the best deal on. i had a couple, rode many of them. Find the CC's you'd want and go from there.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:36 PM   #5
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$5k will buy you a nice Honda VTX1800 with a little shopping around. One of the best bang for the buck bikes out there and the power is amazing.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:57 PM   #6
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Cruisers are not a 'do it all' kind of bike so knowing the type of riding you intend on doing will help TREMENDOUSLY with making recommendations, as some will be better suited for certain types of riding than others.

Personally, I think the Roadstar (Yamaha) Warrior is about as good as cruiser come. Good power, great sound, great handling, good suspension/ride, great looking; it's got it all. It has VERY forward controls though so it is a bit ill suited for those with short legs.
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:23 PM   #7
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There are a couple years of the 1500 Vulcan with a plastic oil gear, and one of those years they also experimented with a single carb. Avoid those years. I think they were around 98-99??? Also, the V-Star 1100 is well known as a durable cruiser, but they located the oil filter so that you must remove the exhaust before changing the filter. Most annoying.
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:55 PM   #8
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There are a couple years of the 1500 Vulcan with a plastic oil gear, and one of those years they also experimented with a single carb. Avoid those years. I think they were around 98-99??? Also, the V-Star 1100 is well known as a durable cruiser, but they located the oil filter so that you must remove the exhaust before changing the filter. Most annoying.
The 1500 with the POG (plastic Oil gear) was late 90s, maybe just into the 2000's Search Vulcan sites for exact.

Best value / performer in my opinion is the Vulcan 1600. No adjust hydralic valves / shaft drive / fuel injection / plenty of power for a cruiser / comfortable ride. All the good stuff. Very reliable.

Two sometimes issues:
Some people had clutch springs being weak issues - vast majority don't. After 40K miles or so, some need valve chain tensioner extenders. They are cheap to buy and it is a DIY job. That's it. No other issues.

I had mine from 5K to 21K miles. Nothing but oil changes. 85mph all day if you want. Wife loved it - thought it was more comfortable than the old Road King. I only sold to go sport touring. Hope this helps
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck McCann View Post
I'm seeing lots of well taken care of cruisers for sale in my area. Many with low miles and prices between $2000 and $5000. Half thinking of picking one up.

Any makes and models that should be avoided, or ones that you'd recommend?

Thanks for your time!

I know there are those that love these bikes, but have you (OP) ridden one? I almost high sided a Vulcan in the first 90 degree left turn on a slow ride when the floor board hit the ground, and yes, easy, easy pace.

I'd recommend getting an hour or two on one just to be sure it suits you.
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
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I know there are those that love these bikes, but have you (OP) ridden one? I almost high sided a Vulcan in the first 90 degree left turn on a slow ride when the floor board hit the ground, and yes, easy, easy pace.

I'd recommend getting an hour or two on one just to be sure it suits you.
had a Vstar which is basically similar cornering clearance as many other cruisers. It's difficult to keep up with a dump truck in the twisties if the driver is pushing it at all.










And if the dump truck was empty... forget catching it...
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:23 PM   #11
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Skip the Honda Shadow 600. No power, and saddled with a crappy four speed transmission. My Mom had one, and I couldn't out accelerate a minivan from a stop light on it...

Other than that, find the one that floats your boat and have fun :)
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:28 PM   #12
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1200 f/i Sportsters - they are a blast, but over priced and tough on the back.
Triumph America/Speedmaster - comfy, fun and easy to throw around... but they could use a little more power.
Honda 1300vtx - great cruiser for the money, plenty of power, shaft driven and super comfy.

Those are the current ones the I have had experiences with, but like others have said.... depends on what type of riding you will be doing.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicRattlehead View Post

Personally, I think the Roadstar (Yamaha) Warrior is about as good as cruiser come. Good power, great sound, great handling, good suspension/ride, great looking; it's got it all. It has VERY forward controls though so it is a bit ill suited for those with short legs.
I'd agree with all that...except I found the controls to be not forward enough and added a kit to move them forward. But I'm 6'2".

They have modern radial tires, belt drive, 4 valves per cylinder (with dual downdraft throttle bodies) on a 102" pushrod twin, R1 style brakes, metal fenders, all sorts of things that make them a great performing cruiser. They also make a decent bike to travel on with some add-ons.

These bikes are an absolute bargain now. My 2003 with 29k miles isn't worth enough for me to want to sell it.

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Old 09-05-2014, 10:12 PM   #14
Buck McCann OP
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Just got back to a computer...I appreciate all the replies so far.

I should have given more details. I live in rural Montana. 6 foot tall with a 32 inseam and 185 pounds. I would be using it to commute to work, all of three miles. And hit the big city of Great Falls 35 miles away. Plus occasional longer jaunts of a couple of hundred miles.

I have an older Goldwing for long trips and this would be mostly a fun relaxing way to get from point A to B in a riding position that is familiar.

Thanks again...Brett
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Buck McCann View Post
I should have given more details. I live in rural Montana. 6 foot tall with a 32 inseam and 185 pounds. I would be using it to commute to work, all of three miles. And hit the big city of Great Falls 35 miles away. Plus occasional longer jaunts of a couple of hundred miles.
I have several friends with VS1400, and VS800 Suzuki Intruders that love them. They can be had for a song.



I've owned a couple of VL1500LC Intruders, they are nice bikes, and easy on the wallet as well.



I paid $3K for the one in the pic, and sold it for $3K...had I known we were going to move back to Florida I'd still have it.
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