$6k to buy a used mid-sized Cruiser - your choice?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by The PacRat, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,746
    Location:
    the Poison Oak Patch
    This is a follow up to my V-Star / Shadow thread. Since then I have added Vulcan and Suzuki C50 to the list, thanks to some good advice.

    I am now convinced that EFI is worth considering, as is Belt drive. Not interested in chain drive though. Not really sure if I should avoid spoked wheels either. Are tubes a hassle?

    I am 6'3" / 210#. I am leaning toward the Vulcan 900 LT, the C50, and the V-Stars. Gotta have big windshield and big saddlebags.

    So let's say you have $6000 to buy a used Cruiser, say 800cc to 1600cc. What would you buy and why?
    #1
  2. FR700

    FR700 Banned

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,512
    EFI is cool if you will see major altitude changes , I like my single carb'. Less crap to go wrong such as fuel pump ... gravity always works ... especially when I'm drunk :lol3
    Belt , personal choice. I went from belt to chain on my bike when the time came. Again personal choice , I ride a lot of dirt.

    Spokes , pain in the ass to keep really clean if you swing that way. Tubes , how good are you at fixing flats at the roadside ? ... more to the point , do you want the hassle ?. I like the ease of tubeless ... find the hole , plug it, smoke a cigarette , inflate the tire ... all without taking the wheel off the bike.

    As for the last bit , pick something with good torque numbers and that you can live with the looks of.




    .
    #2
  3. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,746
    Location:
    the Poison Oak Patch
    The consideration of EFI was due to a conversation I had with the dealer, who said the crappy gas we get these days makes it a bit harder on a Carb setup.

    I recently saw a '99 Road Star (1600) that was really nice, and under $5k, but had those damned spoke wheels. No I DO NOT want to screw with an inner tube on the side of a road...
    #3
  4. rs42sport

    rs42sport Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    glenview, il
    Honda vtx 1300 or 1800
    #4
  5. CajunRider

    CajunRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    314
    It's not so much the crappy gas... a carb can be set for the gas you use...

    The problem is that gas changes from summer to winter. Once the bike is set perfectly, the season changes which means the gas changes and it's no longer set perfectly. However, if you get it close, it's good enough.

    Elevation is the second biggest problem with carbs... you WILL lose power as the elevation changes.

    EFI doesn't make these issues disappear... but it does drastically reduce them. However, bikes are VERY lean from the factory. So if you like to modify things an EFI tune can get expensive where carb jets are about $10 a set.

    6 of one... 1/2 dozen of the other. That's the way I see it.

    My $0.02
    #5
  6. mtwillyman

    mtwillyman Lost and Cornfuzed

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    625
    Location:
    Port Ludlow, WA
    For the money you are budgeting, I suggest a lightly used California model Guzzi. I ride a 2003 Stone. It's my favorite bike out of the 45 bikes I've owned. Good luck. Check out wildguzzi.com for more info.
    #6
  7. bobobob

    bobobob badbadbad

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,627
    Location:
    On a hill
    05-07 Vulcan Nomad 1600.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. argentcorvid

    argentcorvid Some Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    513
    Location:
    Marshmellow-town, Iowa
    For $6k I'd buy 2 used Sportsters... :rofl(or maybe a Dyna)

    I put some bags on mine, and it came with the detachable windshield.

    the only other 'touring' modification I made was to put some Road King air shocks on the back.
    #8
  9. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,297
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio

    My friend has a V-Star 1100 classic that I think would be a good option. Good power, stupidly reliable. He has hard bags, windshield, and some highway pegs on it, rides it all over the place. Probably 40,000 or 50,000 miles by now.

    I think any of the metric cruisers are going to be a good choice, I haven't really heard too much bad things about any of them. I agree with your choice to avoid chain drive, belt or shaft is much easier to live with.

    Tube aren't a big deal in my opinion. Changing a tube is harder than plugging a tire for sure. However, depending on where and how big the hole is plugs don't always work. I currently have about 6 or 8 plugs in the same hole on my ATV trying to keep the air in.

    EFI vs. Carb is a consideration for sure. Where I live the biggest elevation change I see is from roughly 500 ft to about 2500 or 3000 ft, so I never have had to mess with jetting. Maybe guys blow this out of proportion, I don't know.
    #9
  10. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,746
    Location:
    the Poison Oak Patch
    Damn, that Nomad looks SWEET.
    #10
  11. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    535
    Location:
    Minnesota west central
    v-star 1300. my wife 08 has 44,000 trouble free miles . efi, belt drive,one piece wheels. very good power. seriously undervalued. only downside(imo is not too prettty to look at. esp the stock exhaust.
    #11
  12. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,173
    Location:
    Tennessee

    +1
    #12
  13. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,173
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I have a Nomad 1600, and I love it! [​IMG]

    having said that, I think the Vulcan 900 LT is drop dead gorgeous. If the Vulcan's were Kardashians, the 900 LT would be Kim, and the Nomad would be the, um, bigger one. :D and of course, probably a much better ride...

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,746
    Location:
    the Poison Oak Patch
    You might have to double or triple the width of those saddlebags if you want to compare that to KK... :D
    #14
  15. kingofZroad

    kingofZroad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    352
    Location:
    Montrose, CO
    [​IMG]
    I would buy this 1700cc beauty from me for $5500, leaving $500 for gas!!!
    #15
  16. Dismount

    Dismount Boring bastard

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,311
    Location:
    Beckley wv
    I'm really quite fond of my 05 C50.... but yes spoked wheels are a pain in the ass.

    Good points about the c50.
    I get about 50mpg, unless I'm on the highway.
    It doesn't look horrible, even though it suffers from plastichrome itis.
    It's not that loud stock.
    It loves 55mph with the stock final. The 1400cc final can be made to fit though and drops the rpm some for better highway use.
    Efi makes it a pleasure instead of a pain to start. Even if it's got ice hanging off it and has been sitting a week. And with EFI comes all the electronic goodies like power commanders etc.

    Bad points about the c50
    stock seat and forward boards lock you in position
    Invest in a windscreen.
    It's a big fat cruiser. You aren't going to win any races
    #16
  17. Dismount

    Dismount Boring bastard

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,311
    Location:
    Beckley wv
    Another thought...


    If you're planning on long distance, look at a place to stick some cheap mid-pegs in addition to the boards. Especially if you have giant clown feet like I do.

    It gets awfully old, awfully quick being splayed open like a chicken in 70-75mph wind and having no options on alternate places to hang the piggies from.
    #17
  18. davevv

    davevv One more old rider

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,415
    Location:
    Just north of Dallas
    [​IMG]

    2003 Moto Guzzi California Titanium.

    The Guzzi Californias are great mid size cruisers. 1100cc with loads of torque and they like to run in the 4-5krpm range. Fuel injected and shaft drive. Very smooth, reliable, maintenance is a snap, and they're probably the best handling cruiser ever built. They all have spoked wheels, but some versions are tubeless. They can also be bought for very reasonable dollars.

    I'm currently gathering up money for a heavyweight (Road King) tourer, so this one is for sale. ~20k miles, $4750. This bike does not have tubeless rims.

    The other side and naked.
    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,746
    Location:
    the Poison Oak Patch
    So if there is almost NO chance of EVER seeing a change in elevation, or temps of sub 30f, would you not worry so much about Carb vs EFI?

    I can see the value of EFI, and I can also imagine the cost of repairs.

    This has been a very helpful thread - thanks.
    #19
  20. davevv

    davevv One more old rider

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,415
    Location:
    Just north of Dallas
    EFI vs carbs, to me, is a wash. EFI works a little better. Carbs are simpler and easier to repair, which is a good thing because, in the long run, you will usually have to do more fiddling with the carb than EFI. When is the last time you actually had a failure of an EFI system other than maybe a fuel pump? I have and still do own both. It has never been a determining factor in whether or not I will buy a bike if everything else about the bike appeals to me. But, if I had the choice of either system on a bike I wanted to buy, I would take EFI every time.
    #20