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Hi all

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by mischiefmaka, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. My name is SJ im the new girl ;)
    I'm probably in the wrong section but i wanted some advice on cruisers...

    Ive just got my learners * yay for me* and im looking for a ride...
    Havent done much riding at all, in fact thats an understatement ive only ridden once and that was last week when i got my learners lol I took to it really well, instructor said i was a natural ...
    Anyhoo I wanted to know what people's thoughts were on a few bikes that might be best for me....Im stuck atm, i love the 650 yamaha custom but is that too much bike for a very new learner? I also like the 250 Suzuki Intruder but will that keep me happy for 15 months until i can get a bigger bike?

    Another very large contributing factor for me is where i live..Im rural and live 2kms up a dirt road, im not moving any time soon i adore my property so how well do these cruisers handle on a dirt road? id go extremely slow and my road isnt busy at all so no problem with other cars ...Would a heavier bike be better suited or a lighter 250?

    Any other hints u can give would be hugely appreciated as my knowledge in this area is almost nil
  2. Hi SJ and welcome,

    You're in the right spot for cruiser advice.

    I don't know if the 650 is too much for a new learner, but I've got the classic and it's not overpowered or even a handful. The weight is pretty low so it doesn't feel as heavy as it is. I'm a "returning rider" after a 20 year break so I'm 'almost' a learner and the 650 is treating me very well so far.

    Handling and suspension is pretty good for a cruiser, I ride on some reasonably dodgy country roads and it is very well behaved.

    Dirt road: depends. If it is hard packed dirt with a reasonable surface a learner will be OK on the 650 as long as you take it easy. Slow speed is extremely stable, I can do a slow U-turn without the cruiser waddle you sometimes see.

    But if your dirt road includes deep-ish gravel and strange cambers I would think twice. An experienced rider could handle it though. Then again if you're a natural and you are cautious it could be OK.

    The 650 is the kind of bike that once you're off your restrictions, you won't necessarily be looking to upgrade to a bigger bike. It has the torque to comfortably cruise up hill down dale in top all day. It's an extremely popular bike and if you look after it and do want to upgrade later you don't lose much when selling.

    And BTW it's popular with the ladies who ride them, haven't heard a bad word spoken about them by any owners, except for one owner who didn't like the rumble. They have a very definite V-Twin rumble, don't need a tacho because you can feel it through the seat!

    Short answer: definitely not too much bike for a learner, and plenty of bike for the long run.

    And, check out: The Yamaha 650 custom, classic and dragstar site. Some pretty nice examples of what you can do to make your ride your own.

    (edit) - just noticed you're in Bendigo. I work there, quite a few 650s getting around Benders at the moment. It's getting to the point we could form an owners' group.

  3. Hi Kreuzer...

    Im looking at buying new, im not a trusting person by nature lol so if i spend say 7k on a 250 ( was looking at a 2010 Intruder) the changes are im going to want to upgrade when im off restrictions and that will equate to a 3k loss of coin ( from my research) Not a massive loss when i think of my piece of mind at having a full 2 years warranty and a bike i know has never been dropped etc
    Now if i was to buy a 650 ( love the look of the 2010 custom!! ) then im sure that would keep me happy for a few more years ...* always had my heart set on a HD but who knows where i will end up bike wise in a few years time )
    Thanks for the link im going to have a browse...
    Oh and id definitely be interested in some sort of riding group where id be able to get some hours under my belt with the guidance of some experienced riders
  4. Hi SJ,
    I too had little experience before getting my L's - I went for an XVS650 Classic.
    Very much same ideas as you that the 650 will last me longer before needing an upgrade.
    Weight of the bike isnt an issue with these bikes and I would say your resale value on a 650 in a few years will be much better than a 250.
  5. Now listen SJ, we'll have no mischief made round here, me lass!!!! :LOL:

    Welcome to Netrider; lots of crusier riders here, and all I hear from Yamaha 650 owners is that the bike is nice to ride in LAMS format, and even nicer when it's de-restricted later..
  6. Thanks for the replies guys..
    Hornet im sorry but your request is DENIED!! haha Im Mischief by name and Mischief by nature :p
    * I breed American Staffords and Mischiefmaka is my kennel name ;)

    So everyone thinks a 650 is manageable for a very novice rider? and I shouldnt expect any prob on the dirt road?
    Im so very torn between these two bikes ARGGG i hate being so indecisive..Is there any scheme set up where you can hire a 250 to get some more practice on b4 lashing out and purchasing a 650?
    I guess the other thing i need to take into account is that a lot of the riding i do will be via the Calder hwy so will a 250 be doable for the trips to melb on a hwy?
  7. @ hornet - Nah mate the Yamaha 650 doesn't need to be restricted for LAMS because its power/weight ratio is OK as it comes from the factory.

    @ SJ - I just came back from a ride out to Avoca and Talbot and back via many detours, and ended up on a section of roadworks with deep, loose gravel and irregular surface for quite a while. I kept to a modest speed and the bike stayed upright, a slight shake of the head every now and then but it never felt like I was in danger. So I think common sense will see you right on your dirt road. You'll only have to do it once or twice and before you know it you will be so familiar with the road you'll wonder why you ever worried.

    For the trips to melbourne, the issues I've had with a 250 in the past is if it's windy. Wind really knocks about lighter bikes, and it can be really tiring keeping the thing running straight. Fuelled up the 650 is over 240 kg and the wind doesn't push it about.

    For hiring, not sure if learners can easily hire a 250, but places such as DECA training have a $250 "familiarisation" day, where you don't do a test but get to ride around on a bike for a day off of public roads. Could be useful for getting your confidence up.

    I can understand the initial hesitation, despite having ridden before I was nervous when picking up my 650 (bought it new). Even had the dealer park it over the road for me so I wouldn't have to do a right turn across traffic. It's sensible to be cautious at first on an unfamiliar bike but since you passed the test to get your L plates you are up to the 650 if you take it easy at first. Check with the dealer perhaps they can even deliver it home for you.

    Thing to remember is, the 650 wouldn't be LAMS approved if it was going to be too difficult for you. Oh and the Yamaha finance is actually a damn attractive rate at the moment.
  8. Another XVS 650 Classic learner here.

    No problem.
  9. 650 all the way...

    Go for the 650, especially if you need to do the highway run to Melb.

    I started on the Intruder 250, and it is a great bike to learn on. But I soon found it lacking. Highway/freeway could do 110, 120 downhill, but that was flat out. And as Kruezer says, wind blows you around easily, passing trucks was sometimes interesting.

    I moved up the the M50 (800) as soon as I could. I found it much more stable, just as easy to ride, but I did notice the weight increase - definately is heavier. Getting it off the side stand takes more effort, not hard, but noticable.

    I still have the 250, use it around town sometimes. Now it feels super-light, which is good in city traffic, out your way I think a 650 would be better.

    I have had both bikes on a bit of dirt roads (riding unknown roads sometimes does that!). Cruisers are probably not as stable as other types of bikes on dirt, but it was easily manageable, when I got used to it.

    If you intend to trade up to a HD anyway, you might find the 650 holds its resale better, if only for the number of people wanting a bigger bike rather than a 250. Check bikesales.com.au or similar to see.

    A few reasons to ponder......

    Good luck, any bike is better than none.
  10. Hi Mischief, I would definitely go with the 650, you will get longevity out of it. Once your skill level improves (and if you are a natural like you say you are, it will improve quickly), I think you will tire of the 250 quickly.

    I ride mine from the dandenongs to the city and down to Rye/Sorrento and it sits comfortably on 110. I have ridden faster and it is stable, even in crosswinds.

    I weigh 63kg and due to the low centre of gravity you won't find it heavy either. The 650 Custom is 234kg fully fueled.

    As for try before you buy, you could rent at garners in melbourne but think they have the virago 250 and a xvs650 classic...not the custom.

    Good luck.
  11. Thanks everyone...A few things i hadn't thought of there ie: wind resistance etc...

    I have found a well looked after 08 Intruder i think i can get him down to $4000 its got 15,000 on the clock but looks brand new so if that turns out to be a good ride ( getting my dad to look at it as he knows bikes and its 3 hours from me ) then perhaps ill buy that to begin with, id only drop a grand on that if i kept it for 6 months or so to get a feel of things and sort my phobia out with my dirty road lol then i could upgrade to the 650 custom that i really want...
    My dad has pretty much said what you guys have, a 250 will get me around but its gutless,he is my dad so i think he would be happier to see me on a 250 as my first bike ( he rides a massive Triumph that is wider than my car haha) but he thinks a 650 is manageable for me too , Its just the dirt road that worries me, if i dropped a 650 on the dirt road , lets say it hit the side where the gravel builds up and the bike slides out and tips on me ...will i be able to lift it off me? It gets bloody hot out here i have this visual of me laying under a heap of metal in the baking 48 degree heat with brown snakes for 5 hours until someone finds me lol
  12. I don't want to worry you, but I once was riding a 250 through the snow down the calder - yes stupid me - and the bike eventually lost all grip and went down so quick I didn't know it until I was on the ground. With the bike on top of my leg.

    I couldn't get the thing off me, the position I was in made it impossible. I thought I was a goner - cars coming behind - but two guys in the car following jumped out, one guy lifted the bike and the other dragged me out.

    So my experience is that even a relatively light bike can trap you. So carry a mobile always.

    If you feel better getting the intruder as your first ride and don't mind dropping a bit of dough for the extra confidence you'll build first then that's a good plan. Caution is the main thing to surviving as a learner.

    Intruder -> 650 -> HD sounds like a fair progression to me !
  13. I rode a 250 for a year to build up my skill level before going up to an 1100, but your 650 is a good mid-size bike with enough power to see you through without getting bored. As for the gravel road, (and riding in general, particulary so when you are starting out) just ride your own ride, go your own pace.
  14. Are bikes gender specific deemed by the bike community? what i mean is, can guys ride XVS 650's or is it seen as a girl bike? just curious as with cars you generally dont see guys driving a suzuki swift based upon the fear of society judging them ?

    because i seriously am in love with the yamaha cruisers - more specificially the 950 midnight star in black - but obviously need to get the LAMS first so 650 classic in white im thinking .. everyone keeps saying white looks fail - but i like it :)

    and hi mischief welcome
  15. #15 Hoppielimp, Nov 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Sounds like a good progression plan especially if you can get a good deal on the Intruder.

    As for bikes being too heavy if they fall on you...unfortunately bike are heavy and i think if one is really ontop of you, you aren't going to get it off easily...that goes for any bike, but I think thats a less likely, as usually on a slow fall...you hop off or the bike tends to slide away.

    Irrespective you will then need to pick the bike back up, especially if you are on your own on a road not frequented by many....

    I have found this clip useful as it relies on technique rather than brute strength.

  16. If money is less of a concern and you can get a good 250, go for it - especially if it make your dad happy!

    You can always trade up to the 650 at anytime should you tire of the 250.

    If you are worried about trapped legs, look at fitting highway/crash bars for a bit more protection.
  17. Mate plenty of blokes on the XVS 650s, not aware of it being seen as a girl bike. And every single time I go out on mine I get at least one admiring comment about the bike, usually from blokes. I haven't seen a girl on the 650 yet in RL, only on the net. Looks like SJ isn't going to oblige us either :(

    In fact to a non rider or casual observer it's hard to tell between the 650 and the 1100, basically same length and width.
  18. LOL @ the replies in that Link Hoppielimp.

    Im going to Meet the guy and his Intruder on Thursday..A lil excited now, i may only end up having it for 6 months or so but i think its probably the best stepping stone option for me...

    Just as a side note with the HD's, had a lot of people tell me that after i ride a Yamaha i wont want to trade up to a HD as HD are nowhere near as comfortable to ride is this true? ive only ever been a passenger on the HD's and never for long rides as back seat riding inst something i enjoy doing .
  19. One of my best mates rides an 09 xvs 650 classic * (im not a fan of the classics myself but i do like the customs ) She is a fair deal bigger than i am tho and she doesnt live on a dirt road lol
  20. Lolly, is that you?