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Help me pick my first cruiser

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Old 02-20-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
JWaldz [OP] JWaldz is offline
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Cool Help me pick my first cruiser

With gas prices on the rise and not wanting to get rid of the gas hog runner, I'm looking to buy a used bike. I don't really have any friends that ride bikes so I wouldn't even begin to ask them for suggestions. Here's what I'm wanting....
  • Small/Medium Size Cruiser (needs to fit me at 5'10, 160lbs)
  • Around 800cc
  • Price Limit $2500 (or little more depending on deal)

Mileage isn't too much of a concern but I don't want something older than dirt. Maybe something after 2004 with decent mileage. So, what should I look for? I know Honda and Suzuki make real good cruisers. I've been slowly prowling craigslist for different models of them.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:52 PM   #2
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First off, if this is your first street bike, I highly recommend a beginners riding course such as the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation). Not sure about your state, but if you pass the class, you get your M1 endorsement, which means no DMV. That course will help to prevent bad habits from forming.

Depending on the type of riding you will be doing, I would recommend a Honda Shadow, such as Spirit 750 or 1100, Ace 750, or Sabre 1100. If your commute is just city driving, I would recommend the 750's. If you plan on highway cruising, get the 1100.

I am your size, and I have a Shadow Sabre 1100. Great bike and virtually maintenance free since it has a drive shaft.

I bought my 2002 Sabre in 2004 for $3,200. They hold their value really well, I could probably sell my bike for around $2,800-3,000.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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Another thing to consider, since you are buying used, you don't want a bike with little to no mileage. Bikes like to be ridden, and will actually stay more reliable if used once in a while. Bikes, especially Hondas have no problem going 100k miles.

As far as age of bike and mileage, ideally getting a bike that is 3-4 years old with 10k-20k miles would be great.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
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For that price range you can easily find a good used Honda Magna 750. Don't let the engine size fool you. It will outrun most 1100's. Avoid the earlier 80's models. Any model from 94 to 03 is good.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
JWaldz [OP] JWaldz is offline
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Thank you for your input.. This is my first legal street bike sort of speak. I had a roommate back about 4 years ago that had a couple small old cruisers (550cc I think) and we rode around neighborhoods and nearby streets on Sundays. I didn't have a license, dumb I know, but doing it taught me a lot. I wouldn't mind taking a coarse though just as a refresher and definitely If I don't have to deal with DMV!

The bike will mostly be for city riding but my daily less than 10 mile commute to work (what I'm really wanting it for) is mostly on highway, 65mph limit. Every now and then I may want to take it 25 miles or so on highway, with 70mph limit, to where my gf's parents live but it wont be often. I'm 26, so I'm just old enough to know how the idiots on the road will kill me before I kill myself.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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Took the MSF class - 1st ride current ride Softail Deluxe.....
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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Since your riding will be mostly highway, I would recommend the Spirit 1100. The gearing is higher and tailored for more highway riding. My Sabre 1100 is geared lower, so it is quick off the line, but a little buzzy at highway speeds.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
JWaldz [OP] JWaldz is offline
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I wouldn't mind an 1100 but I bet it would take a little bit to find one in my price range..
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:24 PM   #9
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Have you looked at the kawasaki vn900 classic or vn900 custom? 5 speed, liquid cooled with a belt drive, great reliable mid sized bike.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:46 AM   #10
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Whatever you get, I'd look for either belt drive or shaft drive. Liquid cooling is good but if you want as low maintenance as possible go with an air-cooled. I don't think anybody has mentioned them but the Yamaha/Star mid-sized are good bikes, same with the mid size Suzuki's.

If you do any highway riding I'd also recommend getting some type of wind protection so you could look for a bike that already has a wind screen or else add that to your buying budget.
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