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Getting opens, looking at cruisers

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Mickeym, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. g'day there in a few months time i have realised i can do q-ride and go for my open licence. And so am no longer looking at 250 bikes and setting my sights higher.

    Btw i have had no experence on a bike before and the course will be my first time riding.

    Right well after sitting on lots of bikes i am pretty sure i'm a cruiser person as i just feel at home on them. Now the Suzuki M50 has taken my eye, but i'm woundering a 800cc crusier for a first bike, is this wise? I know crusiers arn't nearly as powerfull as sport bikes, and in crusier terms bigger is better. however i will but the question out there, How big is too big for a first timer?
  2. From my own experience as a first bike, cruiser I got a XVS650 Yamaha, great ride and not to expensive.
  3. I don't think there is any right answer Mick. The m50 has only 50hp (my 250 has about 40) and even though it'd be a very usable 50hp, I don't think the power will be a problem. The issue is the weight of the bike, 245 kgs dry. I've never ridden a cruiser so I'm sure you'll get better feedback about handling such a heavy machine from cruiser riders, but it sounds like an unwieldly machine to me.

  4. im not too certain my self on the big ones that i too have my eyes set on, its important that you feel comfortable with the bike, I reckon an 90s model xv750 should be good, 55hp, 60nm torque, 13.6 seconds down the 1.4 mile pretty alright me thinks, some one told me that the power of a cruiser is more linear and predictable than that of a sports bike.
  5. It sure would be cap'n. The m50 makes its 50hp at 6,500 rpm, which definitely suggests that it would provide good power across the rev range, as opposed to a high revving sports bike giving you nothing until the revs start climbing.

    600 posts!

  6. For your own safety the wise thing to do is to get skilled, which of course is a combination of technique & experience.
    There are no limits here; all cruisers are capable of ‘cruising’ as cruising is about effortless riding & big grins, not sphincter clenching corners and sore joints.
    Hefty torque @ low RPM’s are what these beasts deliver, however the bigger you go the heavier & larger it gets and thus you must make relevant choices. Do you need it to have lane splitting ability?, will you do any interstate touring?, or you might just be a fair weather Sunday rider like many cruiser riders are. Whatever your style of riding will consist of is something that you may not yet know until you actually start riding and finding out how much or how little you want to do.
    IMO get anything around that’s cheap, and get those kilometres of experience under your belt, this will also give you time to assess and test ride many models and brands to find what really suits you and the type of riding you prefer to involve yourself with, before you spend up big, and who’s to say you will like a cruiser long term? Get started with something you can afford to bingle or sell easily without taking a financial bath.
  7. I might be a bit one eyed, but how can you go past a VMAX???? Sportsbike neck snapping, harley cornering, reasonably comfy riding position and a mad, giggiling, woohoo expression from mounting 'till bedtime. Mikeym forget the rest ride the baddest!
  8. Cruiser Boy here !

    Ok, I've got the earlier model, the VZ800 - Fantastic bike.... i came froma CBX-250 and tried a HEAP of cruisers, VT750 Shadow, HD Sportster, etc and the one that felt the most balanced and "right" was the Suzi !

    its a Long-Stroke V-Twin and makes a LOT of usable power, I've got Magnum pipes and slip ons on mine, but all i think that does is add noise !

    Ok, its not as quick in the twisties as the sports guys, but its a lot more relaxed and "easy" to ride, i dont feel as high-strung after a quick blat...

    Torque spread is almost linear, but there is some very usable power in the top end of the revs..

    Gearbox is only a 5 speed, and the stock gearing is quite low, so freeway work is a little strained - fixed mine by fitting a 43T rear sprocket - But if you are looking at an M50, they are Shaft Drive... may not have that option....

    One Big Hassle ..... Chrome and Black Paint....
    I Commute mine (150Klm / Day) and it gets Dirty.... real dirty real quick.... and Looks like crap ....

    the amount of "Bling" is phenomenal once you start ! - 2 hours is about right for me a week to get everything sparkling again (and being a Cruiser, you Gotta Bling !!)

    Good Luck, take one for a ride, and have fun !
  9. DuHast hit it, mickey. You need to assess carefully what type of riding will be the majority useage and buy to that template. Otherwise you'll be annoyed and frustrated most of the time.
    You also need to consider your physical size and ability because it's a bit embarrassing having a bike fall over in the supermarket car park and it being too heavy for you to pick up unaided! :D
  10. In the terms of cruisers, in my (limited) experience, I can give you this advice:

    1. In my opinion, a bike isn't a "cruiser" if you have to rev the tits off it to make it go anywhere. The motor should have a laid back, relaxed feel to it under normal riding conditions. Anything with its peak power band upwards of about 6K is not really going to have the low-rev cruiser feel to it. Doesn't mean its a bad bike, its just not the "classic" cruiser.

    2. ALL stock cruisers are SERIOUSLY under-aspirated (emissions tests fail otherwise). Budget in for real sports pipes, and either a hypercharger or performce rebreather kit & carbie re-jet. (Mine's on its way...)

    3. Cruisers are big, heavy bikes and are typically SERIOUSLY under-braked. Certain models (the bloody Honda VTX1300 I test rode comes to mind) still have single front disc and rear drum brakes. They stop about as well as a logging truck. If you have the misfortune to like one of these models, factor in a brake upgrade to the front in order to give you some real stopping power.

    4. Suspension can be dull and rough on models without a swingarm. Check this carefully for your body type (ie: Mini-Me, Joe Average or Fat Bastard size) when choosing your ride.


    A Cruiser is a lot more self expression than any other bike. You should ignore EVERYTHING I just said and get the bike that you just love, for whatever reason you fall for it.

    A few stats.

    Yamaha XV250 puts out around 20hp stock. Yamaha XV1600 puts out around 60hp stock. Not a huge gain for so many cubes difference, eh?

    A modified XV250 (sports pipes plus rebreather/rejet kit) puts out around 28hp. A reworked XV1600 with pipes and hypercharger puts out around 75hp - still WELL short of any decent 800cc sports/tourer. Numbers don't sound good... but factor in this:

    The cruiser will pull and pull HARD from idle. Peak power bands on the big boys are around 2500-3500 depending on the model. They stop revving at around 4500-6000 when they hit the limited. Its all about torque - on a decent cruiser, if you open up the throttle smoothly (but nice and wide), you'll get a slingshot effect right from the start. Linear power curve in general right to the top of the rev range.

    As for what sort of cruiser should you get? If its your FIRST bike, get somethings who's weight you can manage. 650-800cc range will be about 220-270kg in weight. Bigger models (1100-1800cc) are going to be about 300-325kg. Harleys will be around 10% heavier than that as a rule of thumb, and about 200% the price for a comparible bike.

    I've had a play on a number of cruisers, and I'm partial to the Yamaha's myself. They make 7 different ones (Australian Market - 9 in the USA) - 1 more if you count the V-Max.

    XV250 Virago (not recommended unless you're really small!)
    XVS250 V Star
    XVS650 (classic & custom)
    XVS1100 (classic & custom)
    (I always forget which of the 650 and 1100 is the Drag Star, and which is the Wild Star)
    XVZ1300 Royal Star (V4 tourer)
    XV1600L Road Star
    XV1700 Warrior

    Of this batch, the Warrior and the Royal are not your "typical" cruiser. One is a V4, designed for touring (NICE bike though!), and the other is supposed to be a "performance cruiser" - I don't really feel there is such a thing. You want performance, go get a 'Blade or the like. Each to their own though.

    Suzuki offer the M50, C50 and M80. I personally didn't like these - I found them uncomfortable as far as ergonomics went. You can get the rebadged VL1500 (M80) for 16K ride away brand new in Melbourne.

    Honda have the VT750C, VTX1300 & VTX1800. I test-rode the 1300 and wasn't impressed with the braking on it (literally didn't have any!). Other than that is was OK.

    Kawasaki's range I don't know well enough to comment, save that the old EL250 Eliminator was the bike I was originally looking for when I first got my licence, but couldn't find one available at a decent price.

    Triumph have the America (780cc), the Speedmaster (now 865cc) and the Rocket 3 (2.3L monster). I'm very fond of these - the America and Speedie are both STUNNING to look at, quite big for their capacity and VERY light (the America tips the scales at around 230kg) for a cruiser. The parallel twin I can't say inspires me as to a cruiser engine, but they put out around 60hp - its just a little high the rev range for my tastes. For my size (Fat Bastard), the suspension (twin spring) needed some work. Otherwise, love them to bits.

    End Line - Get the bike YOU like when it comes to a cruiser. Thats the whole point.

    Please note - most of this info. comes from my memory, which is known to be faulty. Do your own research!
  11. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  12. voyager: nice reply :)
  13. Well i'm a student with no job and the uni is 10 minutes walk. I'm looking at having a bike as main transport. So it'll be doing commuting work around town as well as travelling at least 300k's every month to brissy.

    I'm 6' 2" and weight 75kgs.


    I want something i can get on and head down the coast, when i get in my car (celica) i feel like she'll take me for a 10 minute spin, with scretching tires and burning rubber. Yet shes no highway driver, going to brissy is tuff when the poor grl just wants to be driven hard and fast all the time.

    The feel of a sports bike is kinda the same as my car, but the feel of a crusier is relaxed with a bring it on attitude.
  14. Just been looking at second hand bikes, and really theres not that huge difference in second hand to new is there?
  15. No... For some reason cruisers don't seem to drop much in price at all...

  16. I couldnt agree more...