First bike cruiser recommendations - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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First bike cruiser recommendations

A friend of mine (well, my friend's ex-girlfriend actually) wants to get into motorcycling and has expressed interest in a new Yamaha V star or V star classic and has asked me for advice on choosing a bike.

The V star doesn't look like a terrible choice (650 cc, 540 lbs.), however I suggested that she buy a used bike first, and perhaps something a bit lighter. I'm not really familiar with the cruiser segment (this is CLSB, after all), so I couldn't recommend any specific models other than the Rebel, which she stated she is not interested in.

I think a cruiser in the 500-750 cc range would have enough power for the highway while not being overpowering.

I did suggest the Kaw EX500 and the Suz GS500, but I really think she wants a cruiser.

Of course, I told her to take the MSF course before she does anything.

So what else is out there that fits the bill? Savage 650? Tell me what you think.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 04:14 PM
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Sportster is a good girls starter bike...

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 04:15 PM
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A buddy of mine has the Vstar 650 as his first motorcycle. It's good for him, but he's 5 ft. 10 inches and around 250 pounds. Easy for him to control.

The VLX line from Honda has been around forever, but I've heard from several different folks that it sucks on highway cruising and horribly underpowered. It does have probably the lowest seat height out there though.

Pretty much any of the models you list should be okay. They haven't changed in years so you can pick on up used pretty cheap and not be missing anything other than a certain color scheme.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 04:18 PM
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Stay away from the Rebel...POS

I think any of the 600 cruisers would be fine for her. Shadow,V-Star 650, Boulevard's


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 04:19 PM
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What about the suzuki boulevard line? A variety of sizes and colors, just goto a large dealer sit on them all and find one that fits. IMHO much better looking than the rebel, and more engine options.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 05:52 PM
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Vstar 650 is a nice bike. Little low on power but its nice.. 1100 is only 100 lbs heavier.. not a bike deal in cruiser talk

Honda has the shadow line. Decent bikes. Priced a little high in my opinion.

Suzuki. Good price.. nice bikes..

Kawasaki line.. just started to carry them at my work. I dont know to much about them but I had bad experience with Kawasaki.

I am a Yamaha fan when it comes to some cruisers. My vstar 1100 has lasted a long time and runs strong. My wife has pretty much taken over that bike.

Stay away from Rebels. Its a good starter but people trade them in the next year.. dont loose the money.

Like Kegger said.. stop at a large dealership.. sit on them all. She will want something that fits her and looks nice.. Its how i get my customers to figure out what one they like

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 06:19 PM
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I started on a Savage 650. All I can say it is a very nice one. A lot of people who tried riding it had the same impression - this is as good first bike (cruiser!) as it gets. Low seat height, light, easy to handle, cheap and easy to fix, easy to maintain. The engine displacement is simply enough to go faster than cars and it has some off the line grunt (1 cylinder), but it's nothing crazy that a beginner cannot handle.

Overall - highly recommended from me.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 06:20 PM
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1200 or 883 sportster.




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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 08:55 AM
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Sportsters are the only Harleys with little or NO resale value.

Before this gets into a Harley bitch-fest go with the Yamaha.

My cousin just did this process last summer and she got the VStar 650. (Big fenders and floor boards but I don't know if that's a Classic or a Custom.) She's like 5 foot 2 and about 120 pounds. She never had a bike before but is athletic. She followed me up to Road America and we went back and fourth to Madison a dozen or so times on seperate bikes of course! She gave me a ride across town and has driven a drunk 200 pound boyfriend home more than once!

For your dollar the Yamaha Star line of bikes looks the most Harley like and have the most aftermarket options (from Yamaha and non-OEM) available. She hasn't done any but they have there own Star Riders Group (kind of like the Harley Owners Group or H.O.G.) and from what I've seen in magazines, it's huge! Speaking of magazines the VStars always seem to get highest marks when I stumble across an article.

Hondas are great but don't have the head turning look. Kawasaki doesn't really offer much for a starter and the Suzuki's are dated. From the little I know get the Yamaha.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kegger
What about the suzuki boulevard line? A variety of sizes and colors, just goto a large dealer sit on them all and find one that fits. IMHO much better looking than the rebel, and more engine options.
+1

the M50's are neat little inexpensive bikes.



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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 09:11 AM
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Actually, Sportsters DO tend to have resale value from what I've seen (well, what they are asking, not sure what they get).

For the current crop of metric cruisers, I like the Yamaha cruiser line best. They have the 650, 1100, 1700 and that new Roadliner engine. Cover a lot of bases to keep everybody happy. I do, however, like the Suzuki M109R and am interested in what they do with that line over the next couple years. The biggest dealer complaint on Suzuki's is that they don't make their own mark, they look like the others. M109R is definately a head turner and if it goes well, the rest of the line will probably follow.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 09:22 AM
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Honda Magna. My friend bought one for his first bike. It's a 750cc V-4. Has good power and handling. It's also a very sharp looking bike. Bright yellow paint with a black streak like design on the tank and is chromed out straight from the factory. Good luck on your choice.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grover
Actually, Sportsters DO tend to have resale value from what I've seen (well, what they are asking, not sure what they get).
+1...especially starting with a used model to begin with. In the last 3 or 4 years H-D has really made a point of changing the Sportsters to better fit a female rider. Ride height has been lowered, clutch pull lightened and the rubber mounts have all but eliminated the engine vibrations while in motion (i actually like the vibrations on the old Sporties) They're a really good choice for this role, and a hulluva lot cooler than the comparable metric cruisers if you ask me.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down_on_monday
Honda Magna. My friend bought one for his first bike. It's a 750cc V-4. Has good power and handling. It's also a very sharp looking bike. Bright yellow paint with a black streak like design on the tank and is chromed out straight from the factory. Good luck on your choice.
+1
This is a great motorcycle, and not too big for a beginner.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down_on_monday
Honda Magna. My friend bought one for his first bike. It's a 750cc V-4. Has good power and handling. It's also a very sharp looking bike. Bright yellow paint with a black streak like design on the tank and is chromed out straight from the factory. Good luck on your choice.

I would tend to shy away from the magna as a beginner bike, it's a power cruiser (or was at one time) I would think she should look at the VLX, and the Kawi Vulcan 500 (ninja 500 motor, cruiser frame) the vulcan 800 isn't a terrible choice either. The 50 series from suzuki, and the vstar 650 from yammie all make excellent starter cruiser choices.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. Thanks guys. I will pass this info on.
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