The Cruiser Thread

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by JerryH, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    several years ago a buddy of mine bought a Drifter 1500. Beautiful bike. I told him he better not ever sell it. I told him it was going to go up in value and become a collectors item. He still has it, and it's still beautiful. :lol3
  2. Flyinace1

    Flyinace1 Been here awhile

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    Nice! I think we need more of those for all the people that think cruisers are only good for a straight line and hops around town. Maybe I'll get around to posting my trip to the grand canyon on a cruiser
  3. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

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    Cruiser on the Dalton Highway -

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  4. GDI

    GDI Adventurer

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    What happened to your other front brake caliper and rotor? You trying to save weight?

    I had an '86 for about 6 years, but I hardly ever rode it. I was the stereotypical cruiser rider that put on maybe 4,000 miles in that time? The carbs were gunked up by the time I sold it. My kids were small, and there "just wasn't time" to ride. :eek1 :huh

    I figured out later that there is plenty of time to ride. It's like anything else. It's all priorities. Once I started commuting to work on the bike, the miles began to pile on! :clap

    Personally, I was not *that* fond of the Vulcan. IMO, it has a rubbery feel to the front end. I thought those long, spindly forks weren't up to the task. The automatic cam chain adjuster on the left side failed somewhere between 12,000 and 16,000 miles, too. By the time I sold, I thought the right one was making a little too much noise. I never forgave Kaw for that, either. :eek1

    All-in-all it was the best bike that I'd had up to that time, coming from Suz 550T, Yam XS650, Harley 1000 Sportster, and Suz Savage. I wouldn't trade it for my current ride

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    In many ways the VT1100c Spirit is quite similar to the Kaw. It has all the things you like (tubeless tires, shaft-drive, hydraulic valves, great mpg, cheap to buy/own) The motor is more relaxed, though. It's maybe down a couple of Hp from the Kaw, and the gears are much taller.

    GDI
  5. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    Believe it or not, I removed the right front brake because the Vulcan 750 had way too much front brakes. Very hard to modulate. Either on of off, and VERY easy to lock up. Notice how the Shadow 1100 (larger bike) only has one front brake. I noticed that many larger bikes only had one front brake. So I decided to try it, and it works great. I did a lot of testing in a remote location to make sure it was safe, I can still lock the front wheel with 2 fingers. I now have over 55,000 miles on it like that, and have been very satisfied with it. And all that mileage definitely proves it is safe.


    Remember a cruiser does not have to look like a Harley to be a cruiser. Most of my favorites were '80s models, designed before the Japanese got the Harley look down. Many of these bikes were far more practical than newer cruisers, because the styling did not get in the way. Take something like the Yamaha Bolt. No matter how much you like it's looks, there is no way it will ever be as comfortable or as practical as bikes like the Vulcan 750, the Yamaha Viragos, or early Honda Shadows. People keep saying how the Vulcan 900 and the V-Star 950 lack power on the highway. That is not the case with the Vulcan 750, Virago 750 and 1100, or the early Shadow 750, 800, and 1100. They performed more like inline fours than most current v-twins.


    As for cruisers being limited as to where they can go, that is ridiculous. True they are not real dirt bikes, but neither is a V-Strom or Versys. You could easily ride most cruisers from Prudhoe Bay to Tierra del Fuego without problems, and in comfort as well.
  6. bdonley

    bdonley Been here awhile

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    Sold mine about a year ago. Great looking, super comfortable. always felt like I was "playing dress up" riding it, tho .......[​IMG]
  7. doggrell3000

    doggrell3000 Been here awhile

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    dear cruiser freeks

    here is a pic of my soon to be purchased harley street bob with mid controls and a sundowner seat . i am waiting until september so i can buy a 2014 model which probably will not be at all different from the 2013 except for the bragging rights . i will put a touring screen on it because i do not enjoy insects and wind blast . i will be touring the entire world and staying at five star hotels -- or sleeping on the side of the road .

    doggrell3000
    new york ny

    [​IMG]
  8. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    All Vulcan 750s and a few other Kawasakis have bad cam chain tensioners. Both mine had partly failed at around 15,000 miles. A company called TOC makes manual tensioners for it, and they totally solve the problem. They are better made than stock, and cost about the same.

    The Shadow Spirit 1100 is a great bike. I have no idea why Honda quit making it. A nice used one may wind up being a replacement for the Vulcan, IF it ever wears out. 81,000 miles and counting.
  9. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    Harley sure knows how to make a nice looking bike, just like the British did back in the old days. It needs a tall sissy bar and luggage rack, so you can install a T-Bag. It's amazing how much you can get into one of those.
  10. doggrell3000

    doggrell3000 Been here awhile

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    dear jerry h

    thanks for your positive feedback . i understand your great idea about using a tall sissy bar and luggage rack and t-bag . but i prefer the low profile look of the short and small passenger's back rest . i will be riding alone so my large waterproof bag will be strapped to the passenger's seat and also serve as the rider's back rest . if i run into a gorgeous twenty four year old blonde hitch hiker i will just toss the bag in a ditch and pick it up on the way back home the following year . the street bob is definitely a fine looking bike .

    doggrell3000
    new york ny
  11. Rambler550

    Rambler550 Adventurer

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    I don't know if my 82 Honda GL 500 qualifies as a "cruiser" but it works for me. 50 mpg, Pro-Link air adjustable suspension, direct shaft drive and liquid cooled. These tranverse twin 500cc engines are known for solid reliability. I added the trunk with the backrest, which came off a 83 GL650. Hard bags were from ebay. If I need to hit the dirt I turn to my 75 XL 250. [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
  12. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    The CX/GL 500/650 are great bikes, and have my favorite Honda engine. The CX500 Custom and the CX650 Custom were the cruisers, but all of them have a sane non sport bike riding position, and for me that is what counts.
  13. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

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    First street bike was a CX500. Great bike in a lot of contexts - except that low top gear. And with the shaft no option for changing gearing.

    Sold it for a KZ1000 :evil

    Got back to riding 5 years ago. First three with a vulcan 1600. Great bike for a cruiser. Did everything well and many miles on that bike. Only got out of it to go sport touring. Otherwise, a great bike that has a great buy in price in the used market.
  14. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    Bump
  15. ParrotheadJeff

    ParrotheadJeff Class A CDL

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    [​IMG]
    Here we have a V-Star 650 out of its normal habitat :lol3
    I was pleasantly surprised at how well she handled this rutted dirt road :thumb
  16. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    Cruisers actually do great off road as long as you don't need ground clearance. Their low center of gravity, low seat, and easy to reach bars make them easy to handle. They obviously don't have the suspension or ground clearance, but they are a lot better off road than a more sport oriented bike.
  17. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    I agree with off road ability. I recently went to a county fair and the parking lot (field) was a mess. There was a guy on a tractor pulling cars out, I made it through the whole lot on my road king. Couldn't back up so I had to go the long way. Spun the whole way and couldn't really steer, but made it ok. Lots of duck walking and helping the bike with my feet though. People were laughing.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
  18. ParrotheadJeff

    ParrotheadJeff Class A CDL

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    I've had this bike on dry, well maintained dirt roads and apart from the washboard and deep, loose sand, it was a walk in the park :wink:

    The important thing is that you made it without the tractor :deal
  19. vicmitch

    vicmitch Been here awhile

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    I'm with you Jerry

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  20. Byork

    Byork Novice

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    Well I finally stopped long enough to take some pictures. Went to the Tippecanoe River State Park this weekend for a picnic and ride. It's only 20 min from home, but we took 2 hours getting there.


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