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Old 12-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #61
Gillus
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I had a Vulcan 750, it ran, rode fine and did its job just fine. Yes there are better and worse bikes out there. They can be had cheap and run and ride fine.

But I believe: Friends don't let friends ride cruisers
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:13 AM   #62
kraven
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I think they're a shitbox.

The newest ones are going on 10 years old. When new, they're questionable. Now, they're a sure bet.

If you have to do your own work, and you don't have a lot of experience wrenching, really small nimble hands, and a good shop to work in, you're better served with something else.

Any bike you buy with carbs should be assessed pre-purchase with the notion that at some point you'll be pulling and cleaning them at night in the yellow light of a stop-n-rob parking lot in Lawrence Kansas (unless you're from Lawrence, then change it to Gauley Bridge West bygod VA or Moosecock Saskatchewan ).

Screw that.
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:52 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
I think Jerry has a point.

It seems to me there is some change to Japanese designs over time that, for lack of a better term, I will call the "pussification of the Japanese motorcycle". What Japan has done in the cruiser market is a glaring example. The old "specials" and "customs" did make significantly more power than the modern v-twins. Has anyone ridden a cruiser faster than a Magna V-65 lately? Maybe an M109R, perhaps a V-Rod, IDK - but mostly the modern bikes are slower, and often worse handling, than the old ones.
Dude, don't EVEN get me started!

It's not just the power. It's what comes on the bike. Japanese bikes in the early to mid 80's had full instruments (often including a fuel gauge and in some cases even a gear indicator), almost all had center stands, shaft drive was common, and more than a few even had 6 speed transmissions. I had a fantastic little 1983 Honda 550 Nighthawk with a 6 speed, it was amazing! (Unfortunately, less than 3 months after I got it I was rear-ended by a drunk driver at a stoplight and the bike went to the junkyard. )

One of my favorite cruisers from this period was the Honda CB900 custom. It had a 10 speed transmission, which ought to be some kind of record (basically it was a 5 speed with a dual high/low range. Two shifters on the left side of the bike.)

Then, in about the mid 90's, the Japanese realized that no, most cruiser riders DIDN'T want a "superior" bike, they wanted a clone of the Harley. So the Japanese started de-contenting their bikes and aping Harley's looks and even the sound (with the Honda ACE.)



I think that in many ways, Japanese cruiser bikes "peaked" in the 1980s and they've been sliding back ever since. I'll admit that the modern Japanese cruisers look more "authentic" (Translation: they are copies of HD) than the sometimes awkward 80's designs, but in terms of the technology and the features, they've really gone backwards since the days of the V65 Magna and the Eliminator 900 and 1000 (anybody remember that? Kawasaki put a de-tuned Ninja motor into a shaft-driven cruiser chassis.)

Quote:
I used to lust after the Virago 1100 all the time, but the 1100 V-Star that replaced was very much inferior in my opinion.
Uh, well I owned a 92 Virago 1100 and it wasn't all that great. The starter and the alternator were known weaknesses, both went out on mine with < 20,000 miles. The seat was pretty uncomfortable for long rides - a fact that I did not discover until midway through day 2 of a 4 day trip, unfortunately.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:14 AM   #64
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80's bikes...

Actually, if you can find one, one of my favorites from this era would not be the Vulcan but the Kawasaki 750 LTD or Spectre.

The stock "buckhorn" handlebars are hideous - they should have been outlawed as a form of torture. But they're easy to swap.

I bought an 82 Spectre 750 in 2007 for $800 and rode it for a couple of years. Shaft drive, more power than my 900 Scrambler, and after I replaced the awful stock handlebar with a flatter, "superbike" bar, one of the best seating positions on any bike I've ever ridden (never needed a windshield, which was a first for me.)

The engine was smooth and powerful, air-cooled unlike the Vulcan, and as bulletproof as the Kawasaki 4 cylinders were known to be.





The only real problem with these old bikes is related to age. They tend to have problems with electrical systems (mine had an intermittent short that kept frying the main fuse!), leaky fork seals, dry-rotted carb boots, etc. Most have not been well cared for and were parked outside, unattended, often for years. It's kind of sad, really.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:38 AM   #65
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There's a mobile home I often pass by on my home from work (scenic route), and out in front of this mobile home is a great big cedar tree. Under the tree is what appears to be a Suzuki G bike of early 80's vintage. It's got a windjammer fairing on it. It's been sitting there for years, regardless of the weather.

I keep thinking I should stop and ask about it, but I don't need a project, and I don't have any money I would want to put into it. It's a crying shame, though. Great bike. Some dumbass doesn't know what he's got.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #66
Hank.SD
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I had an early 80s 650 CSR in the mid 80s. First thing I did was pitch the buckhorns and put on a flat bar, and yup it was then comfortable and a very capable little bike. It took me on my first trip, about 2000 miles over 5 days. I think I was 17 years old. Fond memories! Not too long after I crashed it into a tractor.. Oops.

I also had a buddy with a 750 Spectre which I was in awe of.

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Old 12-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #67
AlanCT
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I didn't find my well-used VN 750 to be a shitbox. The problems I had with mine were minor and neglect-related. It was a decent ride for a middleweight cruiser. I actually dig the '80's techno-cruiser Japanese style as opposed to the "me too" Harley clones.

My main problem was that I was at a stage in my riding life where I was wanting to go longer and farther. The Vulcan was hard to pack with gear and I felt like I was always looking for a gas stop. Wrong bike at the wrong time.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #68
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The buckhorn handlebars, forward pegs, and big cushy seats are what made those '80s cruisers so comfortable. The current "beach bars" that are so common on cruisers today are absolutely miserable. Not much better than sportbike bars. The most comfortable bars out there are the ones that let you sit straight upright, and be able to reach them with a good bend in your elbows, so no weight gets put on your arms/shoulders. Despite some of the Vulcan 750's other issues, it does have a perfect riding position. That's a big part of the reason why I bought two.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:25 PM   #69
studad OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraven View Post
I think they're a shitbox.

The newest ones are going on 10 years old. When new, they're questionable. Now, they're a sure bet.

If you have to do your own work, and you don't have a lot of experience wrenching, really small nimble hands, and a good shop to work in, you're better served with something else.

Any bike you buy with carbs should be assessed pre-purchase with the notion that at some point you'll be pulling and cleaning them at night in the yellow light of a stop-n-rob parking lot in Lawrence Kansas (unless you're from Lawrence, then change it to Gauley Bridge West bygod VA or Moosecock Saskatchewan ).

Screw that.
Quality review right here. Im starting to wonder if the sit on your tailbone bolt upright in the wind riding position is really a reasonable riding position. No real riders seem to pick bikes that have this. What gives?
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:44 PM   #70
Hank.SD
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
The buckhorn handlebars, forward pegs, and big cushy seats are what made those '80s cruisers so comfortable. The current "beach bars" that are so common on cruisers today are absolutely miserable. Not much better than sportbike bars. The most comfortable bars out there are the ones that let you sit straight upright, and be able to reach them with a good bend in your elbows, so no weight gets put on your arms/shoulders. Despite some of the Vulcan 750's other issues, it does have a perfect riding position. That's a big part of the reason why I bought two.
Buckhorn bars and forward controls completely suck monkey balls. That is a statement of fact. That is my version of JerryH. But the real JerryH would say:

I've put 160,000 miles on two vulcans and I'm a mechanic and I really want a Harley but they cost too much and Harley is selling out because they are making a cheaper bike for the masses and Motus is stupid and I can't afford one and only an idiot ever pays more than MSRP for anything and it should be illegal for a dealership to charge more than MSRP and sportbikes are uncomfortable for everyone in the world and that includes C14s and Indian sucks and Polaris is just making a lousy imitation of a Harley and they have no right to the name because the heritage is fake and overhead valves are stupid and I have to take my vulcan shaft drive apart every 10,000 miles and the carb is hard to put back in.

There, that summarizes 3000 posts in about 100 words.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:52 PM   #71
kraven
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Quality review right here. Im starting to wonder if the sit on your tailbone bolt upright in the wind riding position is really a reasonable riding position. No real riders seem to pick bikes that have this. What gives?
Some people do fine sitting in that position, feet forward, etc.

Sitting upright is great if you ride in town and need to shoulder-check a lane, keep your head on a swivel, etc.

Feet forward seems to agree with people who like to ride that way for whatever reason. I think it's mostly just fashion, but some claim they like it.

Ride a bunch of stuff and see what works for you.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:56 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank.SD View Post
Buckhorn bars and forward controls completely suck monkey balls. That is a statement of fact. That is my version of JerryH. But the real JerryH would say:

I've put 160,000 miles on two vulcans and I'm a mechanic and I really want a Harley but they cost too much and Harley is selling out because they are making a cheaper bike for the masses and Motus is stupid and I can't afford one and only an idiot ever pays more than MSRP for anything and it should be illegal for a dealership to charge more than MSRP and sportbikes are uncomfortable for everyone in the world and that includes C14s and Indian sucks and Polaris is just making a lousy imitation of a Harley and they have no right to the name because the heritage is fake and overhead valves are stupid and I have to take my vulcan shaft drive apart every 10,000 miles and the carb is hard to put back in.

There, that summarizes 3000 posts in about 100 words.

You missed the part about the many, many flat tires every year.
Otherwise you nailed it.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:04 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Hank.SD View Post
Buckhorn bars and forward controls completely suck monkey balls. That is a statement of fact. That is my version of JerryH. But the real JerryH would say:

I've put 160,000 miles on two vulcans and I'm a mechanic and I really want a Harley but they cost too much and Harley is selling out because they are making a cheaper bike for the masses and Motus is stupid and I can't afford one and only an idiot ever pays more than MSRP for anything and it should be illegal for a dealership to charge more than MSRP and sportbikes are uncomfortable for everyone in the world and that includes C14s and Indian sucks and Polaris is just making a lousy imitation of a Harley and they have no right to the name because the heritage is fake and overhead valves are stupid and I have to take my vulcan shaft drive apart every 10,000 miles and the carb is hard to put back in.

There, that summarizes 3000 posts in about 100 words.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:06 AM   #74
Hank.SD
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Originally Posted by waveydavey View Post
You missed the part about the many, many flat tires every year.
Otherwise you nailed it.
I also forgot that no one in the world should ever need dual front disk brakes because they are overly complex and dangerous. As is ABS.

And Jerry, don't take it personally, but when you repeat the same things ad nauseam it makes some of us tired and crabby. I've seen "160,000" in your posts 100 times if I've seen it once. You need to come up with some new material.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:13 AM   #75
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The fact that ol' man JerryH thinks the Vulcan 750 is a good bike, is more than reason enough for me to not get one.
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