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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm sure you get these posts all the time, but I'm torn between 3 cruisers and won't be able to sit on them for a week or 2 when I head to San Diego. I took the MSF basic rider course about a year ago and have prior dirt bike experience. I had money saved up, then the car went caput so that had to be replaced prior to getting a motorcycle (2 dogs need a car). I completed the MSF course on a little Suzuki 250 and solidified my love for cruisers.

Now, I'm 5'3" 175lb (but a lot of muscle/athletic build). I want the bike to mainly function as a commuter bike to and from work and also around town. I do however go home to San Diego fairly often and want a bike capable of the 3 hour drive when the mutts don't come with (mainly flat and straight with a few mountain passes) once I'm more comfortable with my skill level. The main three bikes I'm looking at are the V-Star classic which I was immediately drawn to, the Suzuki Boulevard S40, and the Triumph America. I was also looking at the Sportster 883L, but have heard Harleys don't last as long as the foreign bands. Like I said, I won't be able to physically sit on the bikes until I head home in a few weeks where there are multiple bike warehouses. Any advice on reliability, comfort of a ride, or if one would be better travelling through a windy mountain pass at freeway speeds would be appreciated. I want this bike to last a while, so reliability is a must. I'm fairly handy with cars and will learn basic maintenance for my bike, but until then, repair bills will factor in.

Thanks guys!
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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STRONGLY suggest you look at / test drive the newer 1200 Sportster. Helped a friend get on one and EVERYONE who rides it absolutely LOVES it. (Newer one has a reasonable sized gas tank, better tranny)
 

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The Kawasaki Vulcan S with adjustable seat, bars and pegs might be worth a look. Surely, you can find a position that fits you.
 

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Female Rider
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Welcome to the Forum. All of the bikes you mention are good bikes. Even if we recommend a bike you really need to sit on many bikes to find the one that fits you best. Non riders don't understand how different bikes "feel" when you sit on them. Once you sit on a few you will know what I'm talking about.

Good Luck in what bike you choose. Just remember to have fun searching for your bike. Go sit on as many bikes as you can, even if you don't think you are interested in them. You may just find the bike you want next. ;)
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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There aren't any bike shops in Yuma with the Marine Air Station there?

Where are my manners, welcome aboard.
 

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Welcome from Seattle :) Pick the bike you love best, that fits you well. A bike l have fallen in love with is the Indian Scout. I am on the opposite end of the height spectrum and have trouble being too tall for some bikes. From what l read the Scout is designed for riders between 5'6" and 6'0", but can be adjusted up to 4" smaller or bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice! I guess I didn't mention that I'm a female rider, not that that makes too much difference. There are 3 shops in Yuma, including Harley and the other 2 are smaller shops without much inventory. TONS of bikers around from marines to the snowbirds, so you'd think there'd be more bike shops, but no. I plan on looking like a kid in a candy shop when I go check out the bikes, jumping on and off as many as I can, but want to at lease have the search narrowed a bit. I appreciate any and all input and can't wait to post pics of the bike I end up with!
 

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Gone.
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" but have heard Harleys don't last as long as the foreign bands."

All of the major brands produce well made, reliable products that will last a long time and give you many miles of enjoyable riding. Harley's call for slightly less routine maintenance, but that's not really a factor in making your choice. (Especially if you learn to do basic stuff yourself.) Take care of your bike, of whatever brand, and it will likely last as long as you want it to.

The biggest difference is that the OEM and aftermarket support for Harley is larger then for any other brand. I've had to scrounge and search for parts for metric bikes that are only 20 years old, but I can use one catalog and order every part I would need for one of my Harley's which is almost 60 years old.

The best thing you can do, as was already suggested, is go sit on as many bikes as you can. Check 'em out, see how they feel, see which one calls your name the loudest. :)
 

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Here's a pretty good video review of some cruiser bikes. It's a 2010 review, but still shows interesting details, & is probably a good age of bike for you to consider.

 

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Oh by the way, when you are in San Diego, there is a Victory/Indian dealer on Kettner Blvd. There is an older guy there named Frank that was very cool. He didn't care that l wasn't buying a bike, he chatted with me and answered my questions, and they were super cool about us having Halle, our service dog, with us.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm pretty handy with basic maintenance on my car and plan to learn the basic ins and outs of whatever bike I get. My uncle has ridden a Harley since I can remember, so he's pushing for the sportster that he has in his garage (in Boston that's been sitting for 5 years...). I knew there was an Indian dealer in the Phoenix area, but good to know about the one in San Diego. I looked at the Scout you mentioned hawkaholic, and that looks like a sweet bike. I'll have to keep that on the list of future bikes. For now, I'm looking around 2010's or so. Has anyone had experience with the Triumph America? I like the look of the fatter front tire and feel like it would have more grip on the freeway, but what about maneuverability?
 
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