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Old 05-24-2007, 11:14 PM   #21
MagnaMan
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Welcome.

You want to talk cruisers? I'm your man. OK. Well I haven't owned that many, but I know a fair amount about buying starter bikes. Here's my recommendations.

Go used
For a starter bike, I would go with a used bike so you won't lose a ton of money on resale value in a year or so. Also, if you're practicing, or getting your skills back after a long time off, chances are good that you may drop the bike. If you have a used bike you won't care near as much as if you dropped a new one. On a related note I would suggest engine guards. Can save you a ton of trouble and $$.

Once you have your license, it's easier to test drive used bikes. You generally can not test ride new bikes unless you want to rent a Harley.

Good starter bikes:
Honda Rebel 250. The classic starter. Not intimidating to anyone. There's a guy that commutes in the 290 HOV lane with one. It'll get you up to freeway speeds and sips gas at about 60 mpg I believe. Easy to find used ones.

Kawasaki Vulcan 500. It's a 6 speed bike based on the Ninja engine and will do highway speeds. It just won't get there very fast. But set on one and you'll find it has great balance and weight distribution. They are harder to find used.

Suzuki Intruder. I hear these things run like a tank... and kinda shake like one. I believe they're 1 cylinder.

Yamaha Virago 750. This was my first bike. It has a little bit longer rake on the forks than I like but it's tough. With the engine guards you will not damage the bike if you drop it. This one has some nice grunt in the low end right off the line, but that's the nature of the v-tsin engine.


Not-so-good starter bikes:
The Honda Shadow 600 (I think that's the model). The problem I have with this bike is that it's only a 4 speed bike. It was originally designed when the speed limit was 55. And that's what it's best at cruising. You're pushing it to get to freeway speeds of 70 to 80, so I hear.

VStar 650.
Not a bad bike by any means... Just a little underpowered. I know a guy who owned one as a second bike. It didn't take long for him to sell it. He was sorely disappointed.

Starter bike and possible keeper:

Magna VF750. This is the bike I currently have. It is no slouch. The reason why I suggest this bike is that it could be your first and last cruiser for a while. The Magna's power comes in the higher rpms (from 5 to 10K). So as a beginner if you ride in the lower rpms you will find this bike very tame. In fact it will be tamer than the V-twins in the low rpms.

When you're ready to move up, you can ride in the higher rpms. You'll find the bike really comes alive then and it will easily outrun all the bikes I listed above... not to mention 1300 and 1500cc cruisers.

The engine is bullet-proof reliable. I have heard of little going wrong on them. And I get about 43 mpg. You can pick these bikes up for about $3,000. If you need me to help you find one, just let me know.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnaMan

Suzuki Intruder. I hear these things run like a tank... and kinda shake like one. I believe they're 1 cylinder.
not ONE cylinder, it's v-twin, and don't shake like a tank.

come get my 95 intruder vs800. i will make you a motohouston deal.

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Old 05-24-2007, 11:44 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandeLatte
not ONE cylinder, it's v-twin, and don't shake like a tank.

come get my 95 intruder vs800. i will make you a motohouston deal.

Thanks for the clarification. What cruiser is it that's a 600 or 650cc one cylinder? It's either a Kawi or a Suzuki but I can't remember which.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnaMan
Thanks for the clarification. What cruiser is it that's a 600 or 650cc one cylinder? It's either a Kawi or a Suzuki but I can't remember which.
i believe the suzuki s40 is a single cylinder 650cc. belt driven. its also kind of smallish, but not as bad as the shadow 600. the s40 also has a classic kind of look. not a bad bike either.

if you had the $ though, id get one of the slightly bigger boulevards, or a shadow 750.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:56 PM   #25
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...then on down the road get something like

vtx1300 or vtx1800
or
m109r
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:51 AM   #26
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I would get something a little bigger. imo
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:50 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnaMan
Thanks for the clarification. What cruiser is it that's a 600 or 650cc one cylinder? It's either a Kawi or a Suzuki but I can't remember which.
chris24 has it right. the name of the single cylinder cruiser is "savage", but now called s40. there are three engine sizes for the intruders, 800cc, 1400cc, 1500cc now called s50, s83, and c90 (or is it lc1500? i can't remember).

my intruder vs800 aka s50 is really easy to ride. isoplus, i bet you can re-learn on it. and it is still for sale $$$$$. pm me. :icon_smil
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #28
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Thank you guys very much.

I've just signed up for this forum yesterday and already I feel a whole lot more prepared than I did two days ago.

I'm scheduled to take BRC tomorrow, after the course is completed then I'll be shopping for the cruiser.

I gotta say though, that I'm leaning towards 700+cc after your input.

Thanks agin, :notworthy
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:47 PM   #29
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might be a good deal if you can bargin the price down a lil.
http://houston.craigslist.org/mcy/338190081.html

yea i am biased towards kawasaki =p.
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:07 PM   #30
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I rented a v-star 650 in San Francisco to ride through the hills. I thought it was an 1100 and didn't realize it was a 650 until the end of the ride. It handled fine at freeway speeds.

I would still recommend the 1100 shadow or v-star. The shaft drive makes them maint. free. Also, an 1100 v-twin cruiser is less powerful than 600 in line four.
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:33 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isoplus

I'm scheduled to take BRC tomorrow, after the course is completed then I'll be shopping for the cruiser.
What the... today is only Friday!? :BangHead:

My class is on Sunday... the day after tomorrow...

Err... I guess I'm looking foward to it a lil' too much
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:44 PM   #32
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My first bike after I took the class was a Honda Shadow A.C.E. 750. Keep in mind, prior to taking the class I had only been a passenger on a motorcycle, never having ridden solo. Also, I was 43 when I got my motorcycle license. When hubby bought his Custom Fatboy, I had the choice between keeping the 750 or taking his Honda Shadow Spirit 1100 and selling the 750. I chose the 1100 because on the highway, going 70 or better, I always felt like the 750 needed to shift up one more gear. I rode the 1100 for two plus years and loved the heck out of it.

I feel that if you buy anything smaller than a 750, you are going to be disappointed with your highway performance. Your in-town won't be affected. However, any trip you take, you will feel "bogged down" for want of a better description.
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:05 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isoplus
What the... today is only Friday!? :BangHead:

My class is on Sunday... the day after tomorrow...

Err... I guess I'm looking foward to it a lil' too much

How many days is your BRC class & which school are you taking this class at?
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:19 PM   #34
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How many days is your BRC class & which school are you taking this class at?
It's Sunday~Monday class @ AwesomeCycles.
One of my friend refered me to it.
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:26 PM   #35
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You sound like you know what you want. 700+cc is good for a cruiser to start on. My first bike(also my current bike) is a 1200cc. It was pretty mild when i got it. it was nice getting familar with riding on this bike. I did a few upgrades to kick up the HP by 20. Now it sits at 73hp, and that is plenty for me. It keeps up with the 600cc sport bikes on the highways and in the city.

let us know when you get your bike and want to go on a ride. We can set one up.
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Old 05-26-2007, 08:11 AM   #36
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My first bike was 600 vlx I liked the bike. Kept it just over a year it was small for me I am 6'4" but a good l learner for me. I moved to the VTX 1300. I think a boulavared is a good bike for you since you have experence. I agree to get your feet wet use the MSF bikes to do that and that will also help with your MC Lic.
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:40 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isoplus
It's Sunday~Monday class @ AwesomeCycles.
One of my friend refered me to it.
I took my class a few months ago at awesomecycles. Good group I suppose. I was bored as 99% of the time and it gets REAL REAL hot out there. You spend a lot of time sitting on the bike with it running on black pavement. You have to have full finger gloves, a helmet, long sleves, and ankle high boots. They will supply the gloves and helmet. I highly recommend wearing a very thin long sleve shirt because of how hot it gets. We spent the mornings in class and afternoon on the "course" (parking lot of that country bar over there). All the bikes are 250s and dont bother trying to pop a wheelie .. it doesnt work. Best part of the class was the quick stops. The lot was wet because it had been raining and slamming the brakes doing 25 mph on those tiny bikes was a blast. Only 1 person dropped their bike and he had never ridden before plus they put him on the 1 dirt bike they had. He missed a gear (you never leave second gear in the course), got scared, hit the gas and laid her down. No injuries.

As far as a starter bike. Get 750 at least man. 750 is a lot of power on a sport bike but on a cruiser it aint much. I rode a sportster for awhile and was sick of it after 50 miles. Thats just me ... i know many love sportsters but it was just to small for me. For a starter bike in your price range I would recommend a used sportster. Can't go wrong starting on a Harley!
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Old 05-29-2007, 12:18 PM   #38
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Well, just finished BRC yesterday.

It was fun, I even got a 'gremlin bell (a lucky charm)' as a souvenir
It rained hard during the classes so it was cool and wet (better than hot and sweatin' wet, I guess).

I'm sure there are a whole lot more I need to learn (or get used to) before I can consider myself a 'rider'.

Anyways, after your inputs and few searches on internet I'm thinking about purchasing a used Honda Magna (2003) or Suzuki VL800 (2006).
I'll let you know once it is finalized. :notworthy
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:22 PM   #39
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Err... ok,

It looks like I'll be getting '07 Honda Shadow Spirit VT750C2.
I was looking for 03 Magna, but those are hard to find in low mile and right color (black).
06 Intruder VL800 (low mile) was alomost high as brand new... (owner was asking $5,900).

Anyone tried Shadow Spirit?
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:30 PM   #40
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Congrats on passing the BRC!!! Who were your instructors?
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