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Cruiser commuting?

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by jimmyjames182, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. A few of us ride to work doing a 100-150km round trip each day. The trip involves freeway and traffic conditions and we're wondering if cruisers would do the job well.

    Putting a wish list together we came up with the following:

    Midrange cruiser less than 10 years old
    Range of 300-400 kms getting say 5ltrs per 100km
    Shaft drive - no chains to maintain.
    Price tag less than $8000
    One of the 4 big jap brands.
    Handles freeway & traffic.

    Got any model suggestions? Anything else belong on that wishlist?

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. Yamaha XVS650
    Suzuki M50
    Suzuki C50
    Suzuki VX800 (bit over 10 years old but a very underrated bike)
  3. Forgot to ask - the cruiser seating position seems to put all the body weight on the backside. Does this cause backpain? Is 150km each day on a cruiser comfortable?
  4. Sorta why I suggested the VX800 - it's got the engine from a cruiser, but with an upright riding position.
  5. My experience

    Have commuted for the past 2 years on a cruiser.
    Only 25 klm each way, between FTG and Oakleigh. Takes 45 minutes in the car, 10-12 on the bike, best ever was just under 8.

    Bike is a Suzuki M109, and 1800, but narrow enough to filter, lane split etc etc. Powerful enough to win every traffic light GP, and noisy enough to make sure they know I am coming thru.

    Changed job roles 5 months ago, have to do it in the car now, but miss it.
    Get heated grips, and reasonable gear, and you are ready for anything.

    Wouldnt hesitate - Just do it!
  6. spent 6 months commuteing on an M50 and two trips to QLD and NSW on it. would agree that heated hand grips are very effective for winter and they add a little thicknes to the grips as well which improves touring. the M50 and its cousins were powerful enough for trips but light enough for traffic. M50 works a little better for twisties but we are talking cruisers here :grin:
  7. JimmyJames,

    I'm currently rebuilding an XJ900 (1983) for exactly this purpose (about 130km each way). It is a tourer more so than cruiser, but the maxim line of the XJ series is a cruiser generally using the same inline 4 shaft drive structure.

    You might also want to check out the XJ900 Diversion for a newer version.

    My thoughts are that I can put highway pegs on the XJ and lean back a little or stay more upright with the standard pegs. The motors are pretty bullet proof too.

    I haven't spent enough time on cruisers and in the end didn't buy a M50 cause I thought I might have trouble in traffic once I got off the freeway.

    Other consideration might be a 2nd hand BMW shafty. They have some very comfortable tourers and keep the caged beasts at bay by looking decidedly policelike....
  8. sorry to hijack, but I am curious how the M50's go in traffic?

    are they too big to filter in most conditions etc?
  9. M50's are a breeze to filter on.
  10. The M50 can filter, the fact that I don't says more about me than the bike. ;)
  11. It's all good - not for everyone :grin:

    Sorry for the n00b questions (dont know much about cruisers)... but I am assuming if the M50 can filter then the M90 would be fine too?
  12. filtering

    I filter every day on the 109, so a M90 would be about the same.

    But sometimes I choose to hang back - ute trays are a case in point - same height as the bars.

    Pick your fight - and you will win!
  13. i travel on my M50 everyday of the week, cant get me off it.
    Tasmania Roads are a bit narrower so when filtering it can get hairy sometime.

    But i usualy just hang back and then find a hole.
    Besides that i sometime get a dead right hand. But i get that on all bikes i ride :(

    Traveling that far to work would be nuts, but alot of fun it can be :)
  14. Re: My experience

    25km / 8 * 60 = 187.5km/h :shock:

    Even 12 minutes gives average speed of 125km/h... whoops!
  15. Your calcs scared me a bit, especially since I have had 2 visits this week from the boys in blue.
    I measured the distance on the way to work this morning, and it is 21klms.
    and yes - I do work on Sundays - car industry - gotta luv it.

    Maybe it would be wise for me to say that on reflection I should slow down somewhat.
  16. While I don’t want to rain on the cruiser parade (I used to own and love an M50), I’d be casting your net a little wider.

    On the freeway, cruisers are okay, but unless you have a tall screen, they offer little weather protection and you will get bashed by the wind (and rain), especially at freeway speeds. They’re also okay in traffic, but the low height and wide mirrors can make filtering a chore (if that’s important to you). Cruisers can also be slightly cumbersome in traffic at low speeds. As to comfort, you will get varying opinions depending on the person and the bike. You wouldn’t be the first cruiser-owner to stick an Air Hawk under his butt.

    Have you considered bikes like Honda’s CBF1000 or Suzuki’s Bandit 1250S? I don’t know either bike particularly, but they look like pretty compelling alternatives for the sort of riding you’ve described.

    I’m not saying a cruiser won’t do what you want it to do, and the M50 saw me through plenty of freeway time on weekends and Sydney CBD traffic on weekdays. For me though, a cruiser wouldn’t be my first choice for a daily commute like yours.
  17. but realy, if you cant take a bit of weather then drive a car :p
    i love the rain, it washes my gear :)
  18. Cruisers are hard on the back and hard work at freeway speeds. Also many have too wide bars for filtering.

    Their territory is trips to the coffee shop, beach or weekend rides on open roads (not freeways).
  19. Really? I wish you'd told me that before I spent weeks touring on mine. I didn't know my back was supposed to hurt and it would be hard work on a freeway :roll: I'll remember to experience that next time I ride it then.

    However they are certainly not as nimble or easy to filter on as other bikes, but this doesn't mean it can't be done either! You can filter on anything if you really want to.

    Whether you can fit will depend on the size of the gap. The same applies to a Triumph Daytona as it does a cruiser :p
  20. Personal opinion I hope. I have lower back problems and I rode Newcastle to Brisbane and return last year with no problems at all. Maybe it suits my size. I have talked to other M50 riders and they have said that after riding about 200ish k's their butt hurts. the seat on my M50 was modified by someone in Brisbane prior to buying it.