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First Cruiser Ride Tonight

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by OU818, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    So... my riding career to date has consisted of dirt bikes, trail bikes and nakeds however tonight I am taking a Honda VLX600 Shadow out for a spin.

    My question to you experienced cruiser types is; Is there anything I need to know about riding a cruiser that is going to help me adjust to the different riding style faster? Also, is there anything I should avoid doing?

    This is probably a fairly redundant question as I am sure that the best way to learn is to just hop on and take it easy for the first few minutes however I am still kind of nervous. :eek:hno:
  2. Leave your nerves at home.
    Power delivery will occur at lower revs than you are used to, you should be able to slowly release the clutch with only 1mm of throttle twist and take off gently if that is your wish.
    You'll need to move up the gears at what seems like absurdly low revs, my M50 redlines at like 7K rpm.
    Due to the extended rake (compared to trail and sports styled bikes) the counter steering works a little different. I find myself pulling on the outside bar more than pushing on the inside. Coming from trail bikes (on dirt I assume) you shouldn't find this a problem to adapt to.
    Take the weight of the bike into account when thinking stopping distances. Most cruisers have fantasticly low centre of gravity which makes them seem much lighter than they are. Remember this when it comes time to slam on the anchors or slam into the back of a car.
    Other than that; take it slow and relax. A cruiser can go fast (even through the twisties), but that's achieved in-spite of the style, that's not what they are made for.
  3. Don't be nervous, the 600 won't intimidate you with too much power.

    I suppose you will need to think a bit more about U-turns and other slow speed maneuvering. Cornering is not the same as other bikes either but you know that already.

    Things to avoid? Hmm, I can't remember the brakes on the 600 (single front disc? Rear drum?) but you might find it doesn't stop as quickly as some of the bikes you've ridden.

    Are you going for a ride with the intention of buying it?

    You dirt bike riders usually have such skills that I think if you relax and take it easy you'll be fine. Hope you enjoy the cruise!
  4. It is a mates bike and yes, I think he is trying to make me want to buy it off of him :LOL:

    From the quick glance I gave it the other day I think it is a rear drum. The only experience I have had with it so far is sitting on it and that is why I am nervous. The foot forward position just felt so alien to me. Also the fact that it is front heavy (compared with what I am used to) made me think that turning was going to be a whole nother kettle of fish.
  5. Yeah it can feel strange taking off and having to swing your feet so far forward. My bike has a heel-toe shifter and I have to be careful not to knock the bike into neutral as I swing my left foot forward.

    I'll be interested to hear what you thought afterwards.
  6. Ride has been put off until tomorrow as it clashed with beer.

    Update to come :LOL:
  7. Use a bit more rear brake then usual. It will take about 20 minutes to get used to the different position, I have to do this in reverse when I pick up loan bikes when service is being done, but then you can relax and just go.
  8. You probably won't notice this above 10kph
  9. Well here is the update.

    It took me about 1 minute to get used to the weight and riding position. After that I loved it.
    Went from South Melbourne down to St Kilda then straight up Beach Rd to a few K's past South Road (no idea where I was tbh). All up it was a 2 hour round trip.

    The only problem is that now I am far more tempted to buy the Shadow as I really must say that I got a whole lot more poser attention on the cruiser than I ever had on a sports or naked :LOL:

    The only downfall was that the custom pipes that were on the bike had no heat guards so now I am having to find the best way to remove melted boot from the pipes :LOL:

  10. No wonder you are tempted to buy the Shadow, thats a cool looking bike!
  11. Woah you must have no boot heel left at all now! And by the looks of those pipes probably no hearing left either unless you had hearing protection.

    Glad you enjoyed the ride. Come to the dark side.....

    Now if you liked the shadow just make sure you check out the wide range of other cruisers out there before spending your hard-earned.
  12. The pipes are pretty loud however the baffles really cut down on the dB's.
    I had to cut the boot off my foot as it had melted over the zip, still wearable though (StarRider really know how to make a quality boot).

    I would usually do some 'market research/test riding' when buying a bike, the price on this Shadow is hard to pass up (mates rates).

    Also the ease that you can covnert the 600 Shadow into a Bobber make future project mods an easy option as well.

    That and it was kind of love at first twist. :LOL:
  13. Buy the Shadow
    Ditch those pipes.
  14. buy it mate it looks good... iv had my vt600 for a few months now and i love it mines a 97mdl not sure what year that 1 is as it has a few very small differences than mine.. long trips are brilliant starts first time every time and the sound of a twin through straight pipes is awsome...