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Noob - Which cruiser to get

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Cambo, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Hello people,

    Well last week I decided to get my Motor bike License and rang Andersons on Thursday to find out when their next learners training course was. Bugger, its tomorrow and if I dont go then, it will be another couple of weeks elsewhere.

    So, I go along and pass my learners. FANTASTIC!!. Well, over the last couple of weeks as I have been looking at bikes, I have been thinking about getting a cruiser type of bike as I dont want to be racing around the place. I want to enjoy my riding.

    I have folks that live in Bendigo & Shepparton, so there will be some longer riding. I also like going to Eildon and surrounds, so there will be some serious mountains to encounter. There are a fgew factors against a sports bike, but one of htem is I have seen the way many riders go through the black spur pasing cars towing boats, etc and most are statistics waiting to happen. I would be more than happy to cruise along with the traffic.

    I am 176cms tall and weigh in at 95kgs. The bike I am looking at is the Yamaha Virago. I have heard that there is not much grunt for handling the mountains and freeways, etc and my size may be a problem.

    Just hoping some of the more experienced riders out there would know.

    PS: All the stories of people coming off lately and being seriously hurt is a bit of a concern, but I just need to be careful.

    PSS: My Sister-in-law is a physio at Epworth looking after the road trauma victims, so she aint going to find out either....
  2. You aren't that big, I've ridden a Virago and they are fine, sure they aint as quick as the other 250's, but they are a nice bike.

    If you want more grunt out of a legal cruiser, get what Tim 650 has, a Hyosung Aprilla.
  3. Do not believe all that you are told.
    Admittedly the virago is not as powerful as a sports bike, but mine will get to 130 on the freeway no drama, and it will wind off the clock if I let it, I've been told by a fellow netrider that was riding with me that I was doing 150+ on the bolte bridge a few weeks back.
    I ride the hills regularly and when an incline approaches I just click it down a gear and off we go. If long rides are what you plan, the Virago is more than capable of handling a day of 600k's plus, I've done a few and never had a problem. :)
  4. Your problem is that you live in one of those less-enlightened states without LAMS, so you're stuck with a 250cc bike for your first year. Truth is, no 250cc cruiser (or any 250cc bike, really) will have that much grunt for hills and freeways, especially with your body type.
    Virago is a decent choice, but don't expect too much from it out in the country...

    So don't worry about your choice too much, just get whatever you can to get you started, with the view to upgrade to the one you actually want once your year on P's is up.
  5. Hey Cambo welcome.
    I also considered a cruiser when I was shopping for my first bike and have to say that I'm pretty glad I didn't go for one. Like yourself, in the beginning, thought I'd be happy to just cruise around and enjoy the open roads. But truthfully I'd get bored of the open road and much prefer some twisty tight corners now and then. It gets addictive.

    I sat on bike after bike and although the cruisers were comfy, the little hornet just felt like a perfect fit. It's a moment where you realize that the bike was made for you. If the virago feels a little small consider an Suzuki Intruder or Kawasaki Eliminator, or even have a sit on couple of naked bikes. you might like 'em.
  6. I'm just about your size Cambo, 175cm and 92kg. My Virago tops out at 120kph although it'll hold it all day and never struggles with the hills.
    I can't wait to move up to something bigger, but I'm very happy with it as my first bike.
  7. Hey Cambo.

    I'm an instructor down here in South Oz and I've ridden most of the cruisers over the years. As a rule I'm not fond of them - I prefer sports bikes.

    However - we've just added Suzuki Intruder 250's to the fleet. Big bikes for a 250. I expected to hate 'em, but you know what - I've really grown to like them. Solid, pokey, relaxed but no lack of power. Ceratinly feels like something I could settle into a day's riding on.

    I'm 6'3" and about 80 kilos just for the comparison.

    Nice bike. And, as I said, I really didn't expect to like it at all....I think you could do a lot worse.

  8. #8 thecptn, Nov 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  9. All I know is that according to the speedo on a 1700 warrior I was doing 150 coming off the bolte bridge, perfect conditions though, but in the wind I do struggle to get her to 125.
    And it does take a little while for her to wind out and reach top speed.
  10. Grab yourself a Hyosung GV 260. They're the biggest of the legal cruisers and it will surprise you with its handling and pace.
  11. Grab yourself a Hyosung GV 250. They're the biggest of the legal cruisers and it will surprise you with its handling and pace.
  12. Hey Cambo,
    I too liked the comfort and look of a cruiser and bought an older Virago 250 before I got my L's.
    It was a great bike too learn on with low seat height and easy to control.
    But as soon as I could, I upgraded to a Honda vt 750 for the longer cruise because, although the virago could keep the speed, you were still flogging the poor little thing.
    But on L's (and P's) you are (supposed to be) speed restricted! :grin:
    I don't regret my time on the virago as they are very popular, plenty of spares and hold their value for resale.
    After you get off restrictions, you will want to upgrade anyway.
  13. Great value nice engine at least have a good look at it.

    I also think the kawasaki is a nice looking and comfy 250.
  14. Here are some of your other options

    - Intruder
    - GN (old now)
    - dont seem to make a lams legal cruiser anymore
    - CB (old now)
    - Aquila (available in 250 and 650 lams)
    - Eliminator
    - Virago
    - XVS (dont know if you can get lams legal ones)
  15. Cambo....as others have said, the virago's a great learner bike. I've only been riding for 4 weeks but I've done 3000kms in that time and I'm beginning to get to know my little beast. :)

    One thing that's become obvious to me is that it doesn't like going up hills in windy conditions. The other day I had trouble getting up the final hill towards the Anderson roundabout (coming from Melb)...the wind was pretty strong and it was a
    s!!!fight...was in fifth gear - full throttle - doing a max of 90...dropped it back into fourth gear and got a little more speed up to 100 but that's as fast as it'd go.

    Today I was riding along the backroads of Phillip Island (great beginner roads btw - nice and long and straight and relatively quiet = good for practicing braking at speed)...anyway back on topic... :) ....trying to get up some of the hills (and they're not great big hills either) was a joke. Same strong windy conditions and the bike in fourth - full throttle again - with speedo hanging around 100kph.

  16. BTW, I should add that I'm 60kg. And the bike handles very well in less windy conditions - have had it up to 120kms an hr with room to spare ;)
  17. Hi
    You don't have to have a cruiser in order to not ride like an idiot!

    I initially got a 250 cruiser - Hysoung GV250 Aquila. And it is a lovely bike, with plenty of go for a 250. A bit like you, I didn't think I was a sports bike type, a cruiser seemed more sensible somehow. But after having a few lessons on the instructors bike, I realised I just wasn't enjoying the cruiser, I couldn't get used to the positioning, didn't like having my feet up and forward.

    So I went and bought a GPX. And I love it. Have more or less sold the cruiser and I don't regret it at all. I just have way much more fun on it, because I feel more comfortable. And I am taking things pretty easy, and cruising in my own way, until I am ready for more. The only thing I have found is that I struggled a little bit on the freeway trying to keep the speed between 100-110, but it was reeeaaaalllyy windy that day and I had to fight a bit. But I imagine that would be true of most 250s.

    You just need to get out on a few test rides if you can to find out what you are after (I didn't the first time :roll: )
  18. The Honda VT250C is good looking and a reasonable cruiser.

    However I'd recommend a VTR250 or other naked bike, cruisers aren't up for much and you might find their lack of cornering, braking or acceleration could get you in trouble. I found that out the hard way.
  19. I don't own a cruiser, I have a naked and a sports bike, but I did have the chance to spend the day with the bigger Hyo cruiser, and frankly it surprised me. I'm amazed this thread hasn't already been flooded with the uninformed "Hyo's are crap" drivel, but when and if it is, ignore it. The bike I rode was pokey as hell for it's size, had excellent brakes, (and I don't just mean for a cruiser), and it handled quite nimbly for a longish wheelbase. The build quality was also excellent in spite of what some may tell you. Do take note of what helent said though, a cruiser feels totally different to other bikes which suits many, but not all....
  20. Cambo: My first cruiser was a 04 virago and she performed perfectly. You can flog them all day with no worries. Great to learn on and look good. However I went up to a XVS 250 v-star. They can be pretty scarse second hand but do yourself a favour and sit on one. They appear & feel much bigger than the virago (only 10kg more). The uninitiated don't believe it's a 250.