close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Which low-cost Japanese cruiser would you choose?

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by SVTNate, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. SVTNate

    SVTNate Packers fan

    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    What is your preference on cruisers with an MSRP around 5-8k? I'd be buying a used bike, probably a few years old, but I'm looking at the new models just to get an idea of what I'd like.

    Here's what I have looked up so far -

    Honda Shadow Aero
    Suzuki Boulevard M50
    Yamaha V-Star Classic and Classic Custom
    Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic

    The Kawasaki has EFI and a rear disc brake, but MSRP on a new bike is $7,299. The rest are around $5,800-$6,800 new, have carbs, and rear drum brakes. Otherwise, you're looking at 40ci-50ci, 750-900cc V-Twin motors. That gives you an idea of the type of bike I'm interested in. I'd buy one used. Not right now, but later this year, and would probably spend $3,500-$5,000, depending on how much money I set aside for one.

    This will be the first bike I own, but I'm going to take the MSF course and get some experience first. I have several friends (who mostly ride H-D) that take trips out to Laughlin, Vegas, etc. on their bikes regularly. I'd like to be able to join them on a bike that's comfortable to ride long distance. I don't care about speed, really, or corner carving.

    I found several Honda Shadow Aeros in my area from '02-'03, clean and low mileage, that are right in my price range. So, I know these bikes can be had for the price I'm willing to pay. I know very little about bikes, but I'm trying to learn. I just know that this is the style, and price that I'm looking for. Any advice?
     
  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Messages:
    54,485
    Likes Received:
    8,130
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2000
    Location:
    California & New Mexico, US
    Wait until after you take the MSF course and then decide on which bike. The course usually changes people's conceptions of what they think is a easy-to-ride bike.
     

  3. Compy

    Compy CompensateWhat?

    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000
    Location:
    Neither here nor there
    The EFI and better brakes are worth the extra money on the Kawasaki.
     
  4. Elmstreet

    Elmstreet

    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Location:
    Upper Corner of Lower Alabama
    All four are great bikes. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them.

    I think the new M50s come with EFI although the older models are carburated.
     
  5. VWglocker

    VWglocker

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    i always thought my cruiser was comfortable 'till i got the FZ1. i can ride twice as far on it as i could my shadow. i never realized how a slightly forward seating position would help my lower back.

    not saying the FZ1 would be a good first bike (it wouldn't) i'm just saying don't think that cruisers are the only comfortable bikes.

    also, if you start riding a lot, you will probably be ready to upgrade/change bikes after a year or so. so its not like you will be stuck with this bike forever. put some thought and research into, but don't lose sleep over it.
     
  6. WellArmedSheep

    WellArmedSheep NRA Member

    Messages:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Location:
    Ala-freakin'-bama
    I started out on a Yamaha V-Star 650 and it was a great bike, but I outgrew it quickly. It had way to much bulk for the little motor to push. If I'd have bought the 1100 V-Star I probably would have kept it longer than 10 months.

    That's my own personal experience, though. Like others have said, take the MSF course then decide. If you go with a cruiser from one of the big four Japanese companies, the only deciding factors are gonna be what fits you better and which features you want/need. None is gonna be any less reliable than the others.
     
  7. klmmicro

    klmmicro

    Messages:
    991
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    South End of the Left Coast
    VwGlocker makes a good point. Of all my riding buddies, only 2 had their first bike after 1 year and those were Harley owners (read investors). Most bought new and sold low after getting the chance to try out a host of different machines. They found out what worked for them and then "upgraded" on short order.

    For your first, I would suggest looking at the good condition used market. You can usually find some nice deals on low mileage machines (2500-5000 miles). Stay clear of anything that has been obviously dropped. You can have a bike that will get you through the initial rush of riding and not break the bank.

    For brand? All that you listed are good. I am a huge fan of Honda, but for a "knock off cruiser" my hat would tip towards the Yamahas. Two friends have them and SWEAR by them. I have to admit that they are very smooth runners and pretty plush. Much more civilized than my XR650.
     
  8. SVTNate

    SVTNate Packers fan

    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I will most likely be looking at good condition used bikes, but this one will have to last me more than a year. I'm a full time law student and work part time, so I do not have a steady income at this point. I make enough to spend 5-8k on a bike, but I can only do it once, and won't be able to spend more on a bike until I'm a practicing attorney.

    I won't be buying right this second, likely later this year, but when I do, it'll have to last me at least another 2 years.
     
  9. klmmicro

    klmmicro

    Messages:
    991
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    South End of the Left Coast
    Being in Orange County, you have a wide selection of used and a year round riding season. I am just to the south of you. I will keep my eyes open for models you mentioned. There is a group of us that always seem to be looking at prices in the paper, even though we have no intention of getting new bikes.

    Bike shops and newspapers around Camp Pendelton are a good place to watch. Marines buy and sell all manner of bikes quite often. Summer time is not the best season to purchase in as MC's are in peak demand then. When things cool off, the deals start becoming common.
     
  10. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

    Messages:
    11,263
    Likes Received:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Location:
    NY
    Myself I would look into an inline four cruiser before a V-twin. I have had and/or road a bunch of bikes from all the major players and to me Honda and Yamaha are for the money as good as they get. The inline four bikes are just so much smoother.
     
  11. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Messages:
    54,485
    Likes Received:
    8,130
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2000
    Location:
    California & New Mexico, US
    SVTNate,

    How are you suppose to pick up chicks on a cruiser?:clown:

    For $8K, you can get quite a few brand stanking new and very nice standards.

    If you're in Orange County then come to Frisco's Bike Night in City of Industry every Thursday night and chat up with me. We can walk around and look at all the types of bikes. Not to mention checking out the honeys too.
    http://www.friscos.com/industry.htm
     
  12. Buelligan

    Buelligan

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    The Beautiful South
    Not a fan of cruiser bikes at all, but at one point or another, I've had all the Japanese brands. I was always most impressed with Honda's build quality.
     
  13. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    Messages:
    6,902
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    I'd take the M50 in blue if I had the money. Shaft drive (low maintenence), EFI, good power, 800cc engine. Can't go wrong with that.
     
  14. spchprof

    spchprof

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Location:
    Longview, Texas
    Kinda' weird that my first post on Glock Talk is actually about my motorcycle, but here goes...
    I went through the same selection process nearly two years ago and settled on the Suzuki. Mine is the Boulevard C50, formerly known as the Volusia. Classic cruiser looks, 805cc V-twin, stock with EFI, floorboards, and heel-toe shifter. This is my first bike, and 22 months after purchase I'm totally pleased with it. Great ride, super fuel efficiency, and nothing but compliments!
    One of the posts mentioned doing the MSF course first. DO IT! You'll never be sorry, and it's a great way to spend a weekend. I think most states allow the course to replace the road portion of the license exam. That's how it is here in Texas, anyway.
    Ride safe... the road is populated by idiots.

    spchprof
     
  15. Cryptoboy

    Cryptoboy Sr. Sr. Member!

    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    VERY easily! LOL

    A friend of mine has a V-Star, and she likes it a lot. So much that even though she doesn't ride as often as when she first got it, she still can't part with it (put it up for sale a few times, and got good offers, but couldn't do it).

    If you're looking at used, after you get your endorsement, maybe you could test ride a few locally.