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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys! Lord1e15 from the Boston, MA area here.

I was hoping to get some opinions from the community. I am in my late 20's, riding about 9 years. Started on a classic $300 used piece of ****, then moved on after a few years to a 2014 Honda CB500F (naked model), and now ride a 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 650 which is basically just a street fighter with a fairing. This year I am looking to trade in for a cruiser under $12k, but there are so many freaking options and with super brand bias (and the fact I really don't understand bike gearing so I cannot tell when its ok for my needs if a cruiser only has 5 gears sometimes) it can be hard to get a clear picture.

I am trying to find something reliable and low miles (so probably pretty new). I ride regularly on both back roads and highways where speeds on some interstates average 80+ to stay with traffic. I also do not regularly tour but it is not uncommon for me to take a couple trips in the summer averaging 300-500 miles in a day or two.
I really like the looks and what people have said about the Indian Scout Bobber (with mid-controls installed and some swept back mini-apes for ergo comfort). The HD Iron 1200 looks nice although some reviews say how the engine is too big for the brakes while also being under powered in its class. There is also the Yamaha Bolt R-spec which seems popular but possibly too under powered for high speed cruising for long periods of time?

So basically I am looking for a cruiser style bike that is fun to ride regularly around town but can comfortably ride and pass at highway speeds. Any help or opinions on the topic or those mentioned bikes would be great!
 

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I like the Triumph Bonnieville line. I've owned an older air cooled 865 cc bike and a newer 1200. They make a number of versions in both 900 and 1200 cc's

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I am trying to find something reliable and low miles (so probably pretty new). I ride regularly on both back roads and highways where speeds on some interstates average 80+ to stay with traffic. I also do not regularly tour but it is not uncommon for me to take a couple trips in the summer averaging 300-500 miles in a day or two.
To me, you are describing a Honda Goldwing. Great at carving corners, but also a good long-distance ride.
 

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There are many good options. Yeah, the Goldwing would be near the top of the list until time for maintenance. Then all that Tupperware gets old fast. The Scout Bobber would be fine but not without a windshield which then takes away from the bobber looks. And that's the problem with any cruiser type if you do highways, you need a windshield. A used Harley Road King or Street Glide or Indian Chieftain or Chief or a Goldwing would all fit the bill. But I know there are Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki that have some similar. I just don't know what they are. But you can get any of these in the price range you are looking at. You only have a few more weeks though before it's no longer a buyers market but a sellers. Everyone will be looking to buy in the spring. So you better pick something and get it before the spring prices start going back up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input!

I am in no rush to buy and could be a month or could be 15 months before I make any purchase.

Also should be noted, windshield is not important. I usually prefer no windshield and have only used clip on ones commuting in the past if I am riding in sub-40 degree weather, with my current bikes built in (tiny) windshield set at its lowest setting. I enjoy the wind.
 

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I guess it all depends on what your mean by “a cruiser…” – one of the most broadly defined categories. If the category includes a Goldwing (great bike, by any estimation, just not what I'd call a cruiser... ), then it is too broad – with the possible exception of the Valkyrie.

Usually (yah, I know, says who…) cruisers can have a windshield, maybe a fork fairing and possibly saddlebags… or no windshield, no bags, no Tupperware of any kind… what they almost universally have is lower revving engines, great low and mid-range torque and generally a relaxed riding position with a lower center of gravity that allows easy riding at walking speeds up through interstate/slab cruising. They may have foot-pegs or boards, but generally they will be a bit too far forward to stand on (but not always). Modern cruisers, while certainly not sport bikes, corner quite well down to the point they drag the boards. Fuel capacity – I like at least 150 miles before reserve, but some like more or less…

I rode British bikes for many years, but didn’t consider any of them a cruiser, too compact – cruiser to me are a Kawa Vulcan/Nomad (at least liter sized bike – cruisers don’t buzz), Harley Dyna to (maybe) bigger Glide, and a few others of large engine and stretched/relaxed frame – my last bikes before my Connies were both what I’d put in the long-range heavy-cruiser category and I commuted in them regularly and crossed half the continent many times over… comfortable in almost any weather, rain, shine, below freezing and 100-degree – some might put a Sportster in the cruiser category, but I don’t think I would – with a few exceptions…

But, it’ll depend on what your call a cruiser… In any case, $12K will certainly get you there (I've never paid over $10K for any bike, so your limit is quite generous...)
 

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Then all that Tupperware gets old fast.
Which is why I prefer, and ride, a Valkyrie - the classic one, not the slightly-different-from-'Wing model. Or even the Rune.
A cruiser tends to have a lot of rake and trail, so it rides steady at higher speeds, which usually means not as nimble at low speeds. Riding the Dragon on my Valk proves that; it's a lot of work bending it around some of those corners. So, I like my old CB450 on the Dragon, as it steers like a butterfly, and the Valk for over-the-road. Two competing requirements - maybe a Sport Tourer is what the OP wants?
 

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I rode cruisers for almost 20 years, now I ride an adventure bike and a naked bike. I could never go back to a cruiser. I my opinion these are the perfect balance of power, handling and comfort.
 

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yamaha 1100, sucks around town all the lights are red. on backroads is where it shines between 60 and 70 mph.on the highway over 75 and it gets buzzy and uncomfortable.a 1300 would be better but heavier. i would look lighter for around town and more power and a sixth speed for the highway.one of the triumphs or yamaha fj 1300, kawasaki z900.
 

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I ride a Suzuki s83 2007 it has 5 speeds and I am comfortable at 80mph(130kph to me). I think if you are looking for a vtwin bigger is mostly better and with the bikes you have owned you should look at a power cruiser you might be surprised at the leisurely pace of some cruisers. You said that you have time before you buy, look into dealer test rides they can help with the new bikes but can give insight into what a used or non-current might be like not all cruisers change radically year to year. I thought I wanted an XSR700 did a test ride and hated the on off throttle response love the look but hated the ride.
 

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The hardest part, is to make a decision then stop shopping. I'm still looking at bikes thinking maybe I'll get me one of those dual purpose on/off road bikes, or maybe I'll get one of those stupid loud choppers, and now I've been watching vids on Boss Hoss's with a big block Chevy 606. 9930 cc comapared my cruiser I thought was big at 1500 cc's
 

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Honda VTX. Comes in 1300 and 1800 cc's. Can still find them with fairly low miles for a good price. Lots of aftermarket goodies to make it just what you want.
 

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Hey Guys! Lord1e15 from the Boston, MA area here.

I really like the looks and what people have said about the Indian Scout Bobber (with mid-controls installed and some swept back mini-apes for ergo comfort).

So basically I am looking for a cruiser style bike that is fun to ride regularly around town but can comfortably ride and pass at highway speeds. Any help or opinions on the topic or those mentioned bikes would be great!
I liked the look of the Scout, then I rode it...NOPE! Not for me...it's a cross between a Harley and crotch rocket...killed my arms, hands and back in less than 15 minutes.

Anyway, one persons perfect bike is anothers nightmare..so, I'll just suggest a bike I would buy if I was looking to buy.

Suzuki Boulevard C90T (1495CC's)
Such a nice riding bike with tons of smooth power and right at the $12,000 price brand new...probably find 2019's for less too!

If you ride solo, and not facing huge hills and/or mountains, the C50T (815CC's) is plenty of bike to rip down highways and around the city and is ~$9,000 brand new!

Before you buy anything, try riding both of these bikes. I bought a used Harley, 3 months later I test road these Suzuki's, I almost traded in the Harley on the spot.

Edit: On my C90 test ride, I was doing 55mph in 3rd gear and the bike was cruising in that gear; not the least bit of strain to suggest it's time to go to 4th! It's a 5 speed, so only 80mph in 5th might need to drop to 4th to have some power if you needed to pass someone fast...LOL!...I'll bet that C90 would cruise at 100mph in 5th without breaking a sweat.

 

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The hardest part, is to make a decision then stop shopping...
Ain't that the truth -- only cure is to ride whatever ya bought. I've found that I "window-shop" all over the place when I'm in even a short a period of not riding (for a week/month or so), then I get on my current bike (whatever it is) and wonder, what was all that about as I try to remember why I was planning to stray...

Buy it and ride it...
 
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