Why does anyone buy a cruiser? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Why does anyone buy a cruiser?

So the guy who is staying in my spare room on a college co-op has a Honda Shadow 750 '08 and it's nice and shiny and all. After wings last night we went for a ride with another guy who has a Yamaha cruiser and me with my Versys. At the point the two of us headed to my place and split up we swapped bikes, so it was about 25km of riding the other persons bike.

The thing vibrated more than my versys does by a long shot and when I finally got off the damned thing my back felt like it was seized up and my ass had been hit with a cricket paddle. In only 25km. My back is still sore today and I've rode 500+km in a single trip on my versys and never had an issue.

All that ride did was solidify that I will never own a bike like that.
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post #2 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 01:30 PM
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"To look cool" is the answer I get when I ask friends and relatives who own them. Had a similar experience to yours on a '95 1200 Sportster. Couldn't feel my fingers and toes after 10 minutes. I ride because I enjoy riding, not because I'm trying to impress the local pedestrians.

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post #3 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Oh yeah I forgot about that part. The feet and fingers going numb wasn't all that awesome. And people complain about the vibration on a versys?
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post #4 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by hawkbox View Post
The thing vibrated more than my versys does by a long shot and when I finally got off the damned thing my back felt like it was seized up and my ass had been hit with a cricket paddle. In only 25km. My back is still sore today and I've rode 500+km in a single trip on my versys and never had an issue.

All that ride did was solidify that I will never own a bike like that.
My cruisers do not vibrate any more than my Versys. (which is hardly noticable BTW) There is something wrong with your friends bike. I prefer single cylinder and twin cyclinder engines. I like the low deep sound large V-twins make.

Cruisers have more leg room than most other styles of bikes.

Cruisers require more skill to navigate the curves than standards or sport bikes so they can give you a rush at lower safer speeds

Cruisers have the cool factor.

I have a Vulcan 1600 Mean Streak and a Vulcan 1700 Voyager touring bike.

The Mean Streak has sportbike wheels and tires, inverted front fork, huge brakes, mega torque, and is agile for a cruiser. It will surprise many a sport bike rider off the line. The torque will hurt your wrists if you are not ready for it.

The Voyager has ABS brakes, electronic cruise control, stereo with IPOD, rider backrest, etc.

A 750 cc cruiser is like having a 250cc street bike. It is a beginner machine for sure.
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post #5 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 02:43 PM
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My Fatboy is heavy harder to steer than my V but it gives me more pleasure don't know why is must be the laid back harley thing.

The V is good at all and a cracking machine but its not everything
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post #6 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not surprised they would be ranked as such but the other two guys who own cruisers thought it ran perfectly fine but the vibes bugged the **** out of me.

That and the riding posture was really uncomfortable, my legs were useless and it was all back muscle and arms holding me upright.
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post #7 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 02:58 PM
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You where riding in a position you are not use to.

It would be the same comming from a sports bike to a V or visa versa.
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post #8 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
Cruisers require more skill to navigate the curves than standards or sport bikes so they can give you a rush at lower safer speeds.
I don't think cruisers are designed for the curves...period.

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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
Cruisers have the cool factor.
Depends on who you ask! The sport & sport tourer crowd might disagree as well as the non-rider who thinks any bike is cool. I know I am starting to get sick of cruisers every which way I turn. They all look alike anymore... Same Chrome, Same novelty brain bucket, same stupid loud straight pipe that sounds like crap when you romp it....etc.

I rode cruisers for 23 years and saw the light when I bought my first sporty bike (The Versys). I wont say that this is the best or the last bike for me, but it has opened my eyes to a different style of machine and I can honestly say I will never own another cruiser but will stay in the sport touring family of motorcycles.
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post #9 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well do you have anything useful to interject as to how I may have missed something? Because otherwise why are you even here?
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post #10 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 04:21 PM
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I don't think cruisers are designed for the curves...period.
I think you have that wrong my friend. I think that most cruiser riders are not designed for the curves. They lower the bikes which hurts cornering. They put car tires on the back, etc.

You make a very generalized statement about cruisers but cruiser is such a broad category of motorcycling. The Honda V45 and V65 were considered cruisers with their powerful V4 engines. The Vmax falls into the Cruiser category as well. There are 'old man' cruisers like my Voyager, and there are performance cruisers like the Mean Streak, Vrod, and sportster XR1200X.

Mark Brelsford was the 1972 AMA Grand National Champion, riding for Harley-Davidson. During his short six-year racing career, the Californian won seven AMA nationals. On a cruiser!

I have seen skilled cruiser riders keep up with unskilled sport bike riders on the twisties in TN.

You all shouldn't limit yourselves to experiencing only one type of motorcycling. There can be fun had with all styles of bikes. A supersport is a blast on a tight twisty smooth road, but I wouldn't want to commute on it. A cruiser is great for a casual ride enjoying the sights. Sitting back against your lady and enjoying your day. A naked classic like a bonneville is a great way to experience the wind and road. A dual sport for exploring the back woods, etc.

sorry for the soapbox but I love all motorcycles and they all have their time and place.
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post #11 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by hawkbox View Post

The thing vibrated more than my versys does by a long shot and when I finally got off the damned thing my back felt like it was seized up and my ass had been hit with a cricket paddle. In only 25km. My back is still sore today and I've rode 500+km in a single trip on my versys and never had an issue.

All that ride did was solidify that I will never own a bike like that.
There is something wrong with that bike. My dad has a Shadow 750, that I ride quite frequently. With the exception of at idle, there is no vibrations from the bike at all. As for the seating position...I find it more comfortable than my V, but I feel much more in control on the V.

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post #12 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
The Honda V45 and V65 were considered cruisers with their powerful V4 engines.
I had a mid 80's Honda Magna 700. It was quite fast being a 4 cyl. It still did not handle the curves like the Versys. I have ridden a few styles of cruiser type bikes and they just don't have the fun factor of a sport/touring bike IMHO.

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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I have seen skilled cruiser riders keep up with unskilled sport bike riders on the twisties in TN.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
A naked classic like a bonneville is a great way to experience the wind and road.
I think of those type bikes as a "standard" not a cruiser (maybe I am wrong). I actually have been looking for a small cc version. I don't want 800cc of retro, I would love a 400-500cc retro. The only maker right now I am aware of is Royal Enfield. I wont go there because of the reliability. If I find a small cc standard retro, its going to be my errand runner and in town scoot.

Quote:
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I love all motorcycles and they all have their time and place.
That's great! Ride what you like! I'll do the same and give you a big wave if I see you coming!
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post #13 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Stumpifier View Post
"To look cool" is the answer I get when I ask friends and relatives who own them. Had a similar experience to yours on a '95 1200 Sportster. Couldn't feel my fingers and toes after 10 minutes. I ride because I enjoy riding, not because I'm trying to impress the local pedestrians.
Your friends and relatives who own a bike to look cool are POSERS not riders, the answers they gave you make that obvious. How many miles do they ride in a year? Here are a few of the bikes I've owned, all of them have been ridden at least 6k a year, some 22K. Cruisers are comfortable long haul machines ridden by people that like to travel on a bike. Don't confuse BAR BIKE riders for serious motorcyclists. My latest is a 2011 Versys and it is a great bike just like all the others I've owned. Don't think you know us by what we ride, I've had KLRs, for off road, cruisers for traveling and Versys for fun. I loved them all!
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post #14 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 05:09 PM
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In a word: Image. What twowheel said above is true, but irrelevant for the majority of riders. When I first went m/c shopping, I wrote off sportbikes completely since I didn't want to be associated with the people who rode them. (Primarily. I also hate the riding position.) Cruisers didn't have that problem for me, since that's what the vast majority of people in this part of the country ride. First bike became a Virago 250.

FF a year and a half, and the bike's too small, mostly physically; it was cramping me up after more than about 30 miles. Time to go bike shopping again. By this point I'd been doing a lot more research, reading forums and magazines and visiting dealers and all that, and learning a lot about both bikes and riders. What I discovered is that, for the most part as far as I can tell, serious motorcyclists don't ride cruisers. Why? Same reasons I ditched the Virago. Ridiculous feet-forward position that forces you into a slouch. Heavy, slow steering. Generally sub-par performance on anything but a straight road. 95% of these riders only own their machines to go out on Sunday and ride a few miles with their cruiser friends. If it's nice. The people you see riding weekdays or in less-than-perfect weather? Beat up UJMs, a few intrepid sportbike types, scooters, the odd cruiser. So for most of the cruiser riders, why do they care if their bike is uncomfortable long term or poor performing? It's just a toy-slash-fashion-statement anyway.

I realize there are exceptions re: both bikes and riders, a few of them on this forum. And cruisers do some things well; the Electra-Glide is often a runner-up to the Gold Wing in touring bike comparison tests, though the Vulcan Voyager seems to be closing the gap. But in my opinion, the positives simply don't justify the enormous popularity the segment enjoys in this country. Image may not be everything, but in the motorcycle world it comes distressingly close, and cruisers project an image of which people want to be a part.

And on a somewhat related note, if anyone to which this applies is listening, f*** your loud pipes. Seriously. All they're doing besides drawing attention is pissing off the non-riding public, which outnumbers us drastically and giving ammunition to the people that want to legislate more restrictions on bikes. Same goes for jackassery in traffic. Sorry for the mini-rant. I needed to get that out.

Jon
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post #15 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 05:39 PM
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You guys crack me up with your narrow view of motorcycles. I ride 20,000 miles a year and frequently travel over 400 miles away from home for work related trips on a bike. The vast majority of motorycles I see out on the roadways with luggage are cruisers. People travel all over the place on cruisers. I keep wondering where all the goldwings, and BMWs are?

There are a lot of sport bikes sold in my area, but I hardly see any out riding on a saturday. What do I see on the curvy backroads of TN? Cruisers.

I love my Versys and if I could only own one bike it would be the Versys. Yes, the Versys is a riders bike. It is not a bike you buy to impress your friends with how much horsepower you have. You don't extend the swingarm on it. You don't polish the chrome. But that doesn't mean that there aren't folks on all styles of bikes who are riders. Sure you will find more posers on cruisers and sportbikes, but you will also find riders.
Hey Jon, you know cruisers aren't the only ones with loud pipes. Read the exhaust section in this forum.
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post #16 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 05:51 PM
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"Why does anyone buy a cruiser?"
- DOH! -
.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
.

.
Some of you could complicate a Ham Sandwich
.
.
Let me add IMO!

"Respect the Ride if you don't you Won't"
"A man's got to know his limitations"

Last edited by cmoreride; 06-09-2011 at 06:36 PM.
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post #17 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cmoreride View Post
"Why does anyone buy a cruiser?"
- DOH! -
.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
.

.
Some of you could complicate a Ham Sandwich
.
.
Let my add IMO
says it all
along with
if you have to ask you would not understand

Ride em if ya got em!
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post #18 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
You guys crack me up with your narrow view of motorcycles. I ride 20,000 miles a year and frequently travel over 400 miles away from home for work related trips on a bike. The vast majority of motorycles I see out on the roadways with luggage are cruisers. People travel all over the place on cruisers. I keep wondering where all the goldwings, and BMWs are?

There are a lot of sport bikes sold in my area, but I hardly see any out riding on a saturday. What do I see on the curvy backroads of TN? Cruisers.

I love my Versys and if I could only own one bike it would be the Versys. Yes, the Versys is a riders bike. It is not a bike you buy to impress your friends with how much horsepower you have. You don't extend the swingarm on it. You don't polish the chrome. But that doesn't mean that there aren't folks on all styles of bikes who are riders. Sure you will find more posers on cruisers and sportbikes, but you will also find riders.
Hey Jon, you know cruisers aren't the only ones with loud pipes. Read the exhaust section in this forum.
Why are some people bashing other bikes. From your posts I get the impression you have owned and ridden quite a few and you know what you are talking about. As I've stated before I too have owned many bikes of various types, I loved them all for what they were made to do. I sometimes get the impression that alot of opinions are formed on very little real experience. Kind of like those college kids telling me how the world is all f*d up and yet they still live with mommy and daddy and haven't held a self supporting job in their lives.
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post #19 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 06:09 PM
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An ass for every seat!... you say Tomato I say Tumahto...that's the beauty of this here moto universe....poseurs on hogs, poseurs on vintage cafe bikes whose Moms and Dads were not even alive in the heyday of the Ace Cafe and the 59 Club and their not even British! Poseurs on sportbikes trying to be Valentino Rossi and Ben Spies. Hell, even dudes on 17 to 22 thousand dollar BMW PD Adventure bikes that have never seen and never will see a dirt road let alone a mountain pass or river crossing. It's just street theater folks..People enjoying themselves at whatever primal or evolved level you perceive. I would assume they are ALL enjoying themselves no matter what seat they choose to plop their buttocks on....O.K. I'll shut up now...I'd be riding instead of writing this schmaltz but it's raining and I don't want to go out and get wet. Am I a poseur? Probably on some level....Hell, we all are....Ride safe
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post #20 of 114 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 06:22 PM
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And on a somewhat related note, if anyone to which this applies is listening, f*** your loud pipes.
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