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Help picking an upright naked/basic cruiser

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by zicksivbinm, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Hey crew,

    I've just sold my CB250 after riding it for 4 years. Now it's time for something a bit more fun.

    • I'll use the bike mostly for commuting, but would also love to take it on a few 1-hr long rides on occasion
    • I'd be happy with anything between 400cc and 800cc
    • I like the look of some of the cruisers (Honda VT400, Yamaha XVS650, Suzuki Boulevard C50/M50, Kawasaki Vulcan 800, etc), BUT considering I'm using the bike mostly for commuting, I'm worried cruisers aren't ideal.
    • I am quite short - 5"5, so need something that's not gigantic.
    • $6-8000 budget, new or used (but must be newer than 2005)

    * I do NOT want anything sporty (the GS500 is too sporty, for example).
    * I do NOT want a cruiser that's going to be difficult for commuting traffic (see list above)
    * I DO like the look/feel of the Triumph Bonneville, for example, but that's a bit at the upper end of my budget

    What I love the look of is the Suzuki Boulevard S50, which I can't find in Australia.

    So does anyone have any ideas of what might suit?? I can't handle the wait any longer!

    • Like Like x 1
  2. A well-kept five- or six-year-old Kawasaki Z750 would be ideal. Commute or days out. There's an '05 in Bikesales with just 11,500km on it for $6500. Buy one with a good service history and you're laughing. The earlier model will do just as well as the current one. Much under-rated bike. Just my two cents' worth.
  3. AWESOME recommendation AzzA68! That's exactly the type of thing I'm looking for. I'll take one of those for a test ride and see how it feels.

    In the meantime, anyone else have any thoughts on something similar to the Kawasaki W650? (the Z750 recommended above is too sporty)

  4. [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Glad you found that so amusing :)
  6. There's also a 2004 model on bikesales, in a Homebush dealer... it's $500 over your budget, but I'm sure if you went in and sat on the bike they'd budge on the price. http://www.bikesales.com.au/dealer/details/kawasaki-w650-ej650-2004-12082845

    Looks nice and stock too.

    It might be an import, but I might be reading too much into the add, but I can't see that being an issue for parts or servicing (given that the same model was available here). Check with your insurer first, if an import is an issue for them.

    Is your 2005 limit something to do with insurance or finance, or just a preference?
  7. That is another good one - cheers. I'll have to sit on one of these and check the seat height at 800cm isn't too high for me.

    The 2005 limit isn't fixed - it's just that I don't want an older bike that's going to need heaps of maintenance (brake disks, clutch, chain & sprockets, etc). I'm flexible with the year.

    This W650 is obviously a very classic 60s look. Can you think of anything that has a similar riding style but not necessarily to "vintage"?
  8. A friend of mine has a W650. They are a good bike - especially if you like the look of them. It would make a good commuter.

    They tend to be a little underpowered. It's essentially within LAMS specs for Power/Weight but just creeps out of LAMS because of engine size (about 16 cc too big, it's bigger than 650). That can be a benefit to you since they aren't in demand as a LAMS bike.

    They are also a bit soft in the front forks but that is easily fixed if an issue for you.
  9. Do you mean sporty as in riding position? You can always get risers to raise the handlebars of just about any bike.
  10. They're probably a bit lacking in style for you, but have you considered any of the mid-size motards/adventure bikes? Such as the DR650, Yamaha Tenere, Suzuki V-Strom etc? They generally have a comfy upright position, can be quite cheap second hand, have plenty of luggage options available (awesome for work) and are generally bullet proof. Seats are awful, but I threw a $150 Airhawk cussion on my G650GS and can now go 1000+ km.
    And if you want to go for a spin on some dodgier roads, no problem. Also not the sort of bike you'd care about dropping too much. Awesomely capable bikes.
    They're hideous bikes, they'd fit the bill.

    But if you want a bit more style, you'll have an absolute blast with the Kawawsaki W650, and when it comes time to sell it you'll make most of what you paid back. Very reliable, too.
  11. No, not so much the riding position as the look (although the riding position is not particularly comfortable over longer distances). I especially don't like the back fender on the "sporty" bikes.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Thanks for the comments Fronk, but you're right - it's not quite what I'm looking for. One day when I'm looking to go cross country, I'll take your tips :)

    Why does the W650 in particularl hold its value so well? I imagine not being LAMS it's not as easily sellable to the whole market...?
  13. I think they hold their value because to a lot of people, including me, they are a better interpretation of the late 1960s Triumph Bonneville than the bike Triumph makes.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. There are far too few W650s in Australia for demand. There's probably more demand now than when they were in production.

    Thanks to Deus and the like, many of them are ripped apart and turned into a fashion racer with the standard clip on bars, poor quality rear sets, worse seat, and given a price tag double what they're worth.

    They're damn stylish machines, too. It does sh!t me that so many of them are turned into 'cafe racers' when they're perfectly awesome machines stock.

    So they hold their value pretty well.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Limited production run; classic styling; modelled on an earlier classic but with modern engineering; easy to ride; cheap and easy to maintain; easy to live with; holds the road well without taxing the rider; gets the looks and people will come up and say "g'day, that's a classic" whenever you park somewhere/anywhere; will practically go forever because the engine and gearbox is not working too hard, so it will live long enough to become even more of a classic.

    In a nutshell; it's a classic for all of the classical reasons.

    It's a balance of style and practicality that is built on an historical lineage.

    Some will say "yeah but... no but... yeah but..." but at the end of the day , and the next decade or two, the likes of the W650 will still be sought after because of the emotive reasons and the practical reasons. While the "sportier" bikes of today may tick the emotive boxes of some people, they tend to move farther from practical as time and wear increase. The hare and the tortoise story all over again.

    Bugger me!!! I should be selling them.:rolleyes:
  16. You should be mate - great commentary :)

    If it fits me in height, I'll seriously consider it. Maybe look into a paint job too (all black) as I'm not a massive fan of the stock blue/white!
  17. OP definitely sounds like a W650 kinda person.
    Except for the paint job, I'd be going for this ZR750 http://tinyurl.com/7ymxbe3
    It'd be easily ok for your height. The paint job is a crime.
  18. Agree - that is a truly hideous paint job :)

    That particular ZR750 you showed me isn't bad, but it looks like the newer models (which I'd want) are a bit too sporty, like this one: http://tinyurl.com/c37ua9j
  19. Yeah, they refer to that model as a ZR750 and also as ZR-7. I'd call it a ZR-7 to distnguish it. Earlier ones retained much the same styling from model to model.