Riding with cruisers.. I want one!!

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by damasovi, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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I want one!!


    HI, well it has been 2 weekends straight, and 3 in this year that I have been riding with fellow cruiser guys, I ride a KLR 650 and love it, as always I am looking and comparing their bikes and mine.


    At the beginning (2002) I wanted a cruiser but at the end of the cost-benefit analysis I did for my bigger bike (I started on a 125 cc ) so my criteria was simple (or so I tough) 60-70 mph all day capable, big tank (dreaming of +200 miles per tank) some dirt capable and 2 up friendly, and yes not over $6,000, and new. So all cruisers were gone from the analysis except the vstar 650 that seen to fit me very well then I was told this cruiser was not for 2 up nor dirt.


    Now that I have been next to some cruisers I saw 2 v-star 650’s 2 up and they were not slow, nor did they had panic braking, and most important is I no longer need the cruiser to do 200+ miles on a tank. So that got me thinking… I am looking to add bike #3 (KLR + scooter at the moment) so I am missing a better 2 up bike and I do like all the chrome that comes with a cruiser. At first my ideal bike would be a DL650, this bike is what I call the offspring of a klr+cruiser.



    All that to ask you your input first on the small vstar, the 650, I saw my friends do very well on them but overall impressions that you may have, how is maintenance? Brakes? on so on.



    How about other options? V-star 950? The 750 hondas? suzuki’s c50 and yamahas Vulcan 900. As you can see they are all “middle weight” for cruisers since I do not think I need more and the price range is about the same.



    I want new because I will drive it to the ground and I don’t buy bikes for 1-2 seasons, more for until my economics set us apart.



    The only down side that I see on cruisers is their low clearance and here it’s tope land (speed bumps). Here is where I do notice the lack of clearance and it worries me, but I have only driven once a cruiser and except for the loud pipes it was nice. Also the other bad part of cruisers that I no longer care (as much) are the small range (still needs to be over 140 miles), so any info that you may have is welcome.


    Thanks
    Damasovi
    #1
  2. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Vstrom........., you'll regret the cruiser.
    #2
  3. satz

    satz Adventurer

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    The ONLY cruiser i had extensive time was my wife`s virago 535cc. it was small and in 5th will getup to 55 on a good day. We sold it when she got pregnant 5 yrs ago.

    so my other bikes included a vstrom[10k] , bandit 1200 [36k] and now a fz1 [33k]. I am considering a cruiser . I do not live near alot of dual sport ride. So a cruiser will be intresting addition to my fz1.

    it will be my commuter- 22 mile each way on a highway or 25 miles on dual lane. On the fz1 i am always doing a tonne or doing something to get to work . A cruiser will be perfect and some days i just ride around slow along the beech and cape code. the fz1 is such a bad bike in going slow.

    I have had slower bike which made 20hp and did not handle worth 2 cents and i suprising enough always seem to have an adventure and fun with them. More than my car anyday.

    i am 6 3 /250 and vstar 950 is a little tight , i rode the vulcan 900 Lt in the kawasaki demo truck for 20 miles. they getup to 90 easy enough and where a little scary around cornors for about 10 miles. I think it will fun.
    plus i rather find out that the cruiser does not work for me myself then some forum.
    #3
  4. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    I have driving the dl and it is as cool as the KLR but better for on road, I just have the curiosity of the chrome side!!

    Please comment more

    Damasovi
    #4
  5. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    I like the Vstar 950 tourer and the Vulcan 900 Tourer. They are both excellent choices.
    #5
  6. kokeneen

    kokeneen kokeneen

    Joined:
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    Sault Ste Marie


    Its all in what your comfortable with right. Personally i like the ability to haved an upright riding position availiable when i need it. I just purchased a new honda NC 700 X and couldn"t be happier with it.
    #6
  7. MariusD

    MariusD Been here awhile

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    That right there IMO is the funnest class of cruisers. They are small and agile enought to toss around for a fun spirited ride and are powerful and comfy enough for highway and for keeping up with bigger cruiser bikes.

    My vote would go for any of the ones you mention. They are all great bikes. You just need to get your butt on all of them and see which one feels right.

    The one that probably stands out in that group is the vulcan 900. Good luck :wink:
    #7
  8. MariusD

    MariusD Been here awhile

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    That statement makes no sense. You will regret not buing the bike you actually want. If it's a cruiser you're after, you'll regret buying anything else.
    #8
  9. theloop

    theloop Been here awhile

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    Feb 15, 2013
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    532
    Sitting on a cruiser does feel comfy, until after you been on them for hours, with your feet on the foward controls, and your lower back taking all the bumps in the road. Thats why I'm putting my 750 shadow up for sale and buying something more of a standard, feet under me, and in more control.
    #9
  10. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    I have the Shadow RS750.....more of a standard position.
    #10
  11. ParrotheadJeff

    ParrotheadJeff Class A CDL

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    [​IMG]

    I love the way my V-Star 650 rides! Yes, it can struggle at times on long uphill grades, but other than that it's great :1drink
    Now, the maintenance sounds daunting when it comes to valve checks. The manual recommends valve check/adjust every 4,000 miles. Valve checks mean yanking the seat, tank, and carburetors. I let mine go 15,000 miles as I didn't hear any difference and it was actually still on the loose side when they checked. I wouldn't worry too much unless you're bouncing the rpms off the rev limiter.
    I got a super steal of a deal on this bike for a few reasons. If I were buying new, I think I'd go with something like a V-Star 950 or an affordable Victory. Both are fuel injected which would be nice and the Victory has hydraulic lifters so there's no need to screw with carbs or valve adjustments :deal
    #11
  12. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Stay away from Shaft drive. It is a horrible way to transfer power to the rear wheel.

    The Vulcan 900, V-Star 950 / 1300 are Belt Drive and thus perform better than the V-Star 650/1100 and the shaft driven Boulevards and Honda's.

    Ride them... AND ride a few pre-owned Harleys as well.

    Lots of people try to save money by buying metric bikes but if you shop you can find a nice Harley-Davidson Dyna and it will generally ride better, get better fuel economy, have better fit and finish... It will also hold it's value better. :deal
    #12
  13. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Aspiring advrider

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    I would advise buying the most displacement you can afford. It is nice to have power on tap when you need it. If you buy a small displacement bike, you will want more later power later. :norton
    #13
  14. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    thanks guys!

    I will try to drive others people's bike, the problem with that is often they are short and a KLR scares the hell out of them! they even complain there vtx or similar bike has "a tall" seat! common! 28 in seat high is not tall! some say a Vstrom with it's 32-33 in is to tall! try a KLR of GSA and then you tell me something about tall bikes! (don't even go XRL650 of KTM Adventure)

    Any way I will try to do it, and if possible ride with a pillion even if it not wife.

    Big cc are not my focus, the biggest bike I have owned if the KLR and that is a 650, everything else has been smaller (103, 125 and a 250) so for me cc don't mean nothing. I want this next bike to be able to do 60-70 and have maybe 10-20 mph more, no need for 100 mph, if I wanted that the DL650 can do it and have cruiserish 2 up accommodations (I know I have done it, and I do not even notice the wife back there). And I think the 800-950 are the good balance between small and big. If only there was the nighthawk still been made! that was the bike I wanted!

    Damasovi
    #14
  15. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,696
    Location:
    Ensenada, Baja California
    HI yeah that Dyna can be a lot of fun and bigger engine, I don't think I need one but I am still in the research stage (will be for a long time $$) but I am not anti Harley nor anti Japan. But what ever I do end up with, I will just use until it is not possible to rebuild. Out of the 4 bikes I have ever owned, I have sold just 1, because of financial problems, and 1 other that was involved in a crash if It had not been for that, I would still ride it to work everyday (it got 70-75 mpg and did 55 mph). So resale is not a priority, but the Harley name it would be nice to have, maybe on a Sporter Iron...

    Cheers

    Damasovi
    #15
  16. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Obviously I love cruisers, and have for over 30 years. You really can't go wrong with any of todays cruisers as far as reliability, the V-Star 650 has more power than the KLR. It's also a lot more comfortable. On a cruiser, ANY type of drive is fine, a belt probably requires less maintenance, how efficient it is makes no difference. The vaunted BMWs have shaft drive, only theirs break, Japanese shaft drives do not. One way to go wrong is to buy a too big cruiser. It's not much fun muscling an 800 pound plus bike around. Many people buy huge cruisers to look macho, that's not what it's all about for me. My 750 has taken me everywhere I wanted to go, to the tune of nearly 80,000 miles. It accelerates hard uphill in 5th gear, most cruisers of it's size will require a downshift. Mine is a 1985 design, before the Japanese started copying Harley and building slow, poor handling cruises with the right sound and feel.

    I'm going to go out on a limb, and recommend getting a cruiser, because I really don't think you will be disappointed with it. Make sure you fit on it, if you plan on carrying your wife, make sure she fits, don't go too big, and I see no way you can go wrong. Cruisers are great for commuting, and just plain riding. To me, they pretty much are the "new" standards, all other road bikes seem to be some kind of sport bike with an uncomfortable lean forward riding position that puts a lot of your upper body weight on your arms and shoulders. The KLR doesn't do that, and neither does your scooter. I have never been on a VStrom, so I don't know about them. They do seem ton have a narrow seat, and they sit up high. A cruiser has a nice wide seat, and sits low, with a low center of gravity. It's an extremely low effort ride.

    I think the new EFI cruisers should come with an electronic cruise control. If they are going to have electronics, might as well get something useful out of them. Just hit the highway, engage the cruise control, kick back and drain the tank. My Vulcan 750 only has a 120 mile range before hitting reserve, I wish it had a bigger tank, but everything else is so perfect I deal with it. I have carried extra gas on some rides.


    I would stay in the 650-950 range, any bigger and your just adding more size and weight I'm almost 230, and I would have no problem riding a V-Star 650. I put 20,000 highway miles on a Honda Rebel 250. Don't get sucked into the size game.

    As for Harleys, I love Harleys, but do not own one, and never have. The reason, they are just to expensive. If you just want a cruiser, and not a Harley specifically, your better off with Japanese. The only Harley I can afford is a Sportster, and it is to small for me. The V-Star 650 fits me perfectly, it is a physically larger bike than a Sportster.
    #16
  17. ka5ysy

    ka5ysy Doug

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    830
    Location:
    Prairieville LA
    You can now purchase a great used BMW R1200R bike in the $6000 range and have a bike that can tour, cruise, do forest roads, and play with sport bikes, and is easy to maintain. They are one of the best bikes BMW makes but does not promote well. This is my old bike, a 2007 model that was a great bike. I routinely got 225 miles before I filled up the tank. This one had 27000 miles when traded and these engines routinely get above 100K miles.

    [​IMG]

    With the full baggage onboard for touring:

    [​IMG]



    It was traded on this:

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. crazyman

    crazyman Exiled to the swamp

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,151
    Location:
    Crystal Beach, FL
    I've had three cruisers and put over 75k over the years I had them. I rode a lot.
    My biggest issue was with having all the weight on my lower back. They are comfortable for a while, but you might take into consideration the riding position and how it might affect you.
    #18
  19. JakeS

    JakeS Yup

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    501
    Location:
    Sturbridge MA
    I never thought i would like a cruiser. I bought a Raider 1900 as a second bike to putt around on (used and CHEAP) and then i sold it to make a few dollars off of it and now i miss it. I want another cruiser of some type. I have a K1300GT that i barely rode last year. I think i took it on two trips (over 500 miles) and then it was parked the rest of the time. The Raider got used ALOT and it sure was a blast.
    I would agree with the statement get the most CC's you can afford. You can just hold back and not use the power all the time but when you need it its great to have. There was a number of times on the highway the power on tap needed to be used to get out of a sketchy situation.
    #19
  20. MariusD

    MariusD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    694
    Location:
    Metairie, near New Orleans
    I didnt know an older r1200r can be had for $6k. I will have to look into one as a replacement for one of my cruisers. I think the r1200r is the best looking standard bike out there.

    As far as big muscle cruisers go, the yamaha raider 1900 is hard to beat. That bike has a great engine, its geared well, and the ergos are very nice as well.
    #20