I'm an older rider, and I went with a Royal Enfield 500, which has a nice tall frame and traditional layout. I don't consider it a highway cruiser, but it will get up to around 75 and cruise at 65 for the half hour or so that I require. My C5 get's very good gas mileage too.
I had an S40 years ago. Light weight, great low-end torque, belt drive & inexpensive. I always liked thumpers. It was quick off the line. Very easy to get in & out of the garage. But not nimble. My Vstrom is about 110 pounds heavier but more nimble & much better handling because of the rider position & much steeper forks. 26.5 degrees vs 35. Same with my NC700X. I never got comfortable on the S40 but it's really for someone with a 26-27" inseam. My 30" legs got tired of holding my knees in & cramped a lot so I'd let them just stick out in the wind. Pegs felt about 18" forward of normal & the seat felt about 4" too low. No upper thigh support if your legs are 30" or more. The seat's good for about 45 minutes max if you have long legs. Tail bone gets really sore an hour in. Mine topped out at 85 but felt like it could pull another gear, revving pretty high. Not something I'd want to cruise on all day at 75 or take on a twisty road, which pretty much limits it to a short commute bike, what mine was for. Check the new Kawasaki Z400.
Don't be completely turned off on the idea of an S40. They're good little bikes, just probably not the best "do-it-all" bike out there. Personally, I have been keeping my eyes open for a deal on a good one for the past year or so with the idea of "bobber-izing" it for an around-town fun ride.
Around here, the S40s are relatively scarce used, and seem to hold their value better than some bikes. They come up 2nd hand for $2-3K. I think I could easily find a Yamaha VStar 650 for less, as those are far more common. Not a single, of course, although it is air cooled. Not many singles to choose from really, ... how about one of those Beull Blasts?
They are making some cool looking bobbers out of old (and new) RE Bullets. Hitchcocks even makes a bolt on hardtail, if you got the $$ laying around.
Given how many older riders are trying to reenter the riding pastime – or perhaps get started for the first time – there ought to be a book or something published online about criteria and considerations. In the aviation world there is a cottage industry retraining older pilots (collectively known as rusty pilots) who have time to reenter recreational aviation, now that their careers and familial responsibilities are winding down… There ought to be some rules of thumb, if for no other reason, just to stimulate thoughts for those who are staying active in the sport…
I’ll go first -- I’m thinking that for returning riders, whatever I rode as my second bike, might be a good general place to be…
I'd say below 400 lbs, wet, would be a max for me....At 83, that's about it in slow going...….For younger "oldsters" 500 lbs might be great, and my first vote would be for the Kawasaki 500, six speed which weighs in around 450 lbs, give or take a few pounds...For me, the Vulcan 500 is just a bit too heavy....From mid-1996 until the end of production, the Vlucan 500 is my idea of the best all around small bike available..I don';t say that to start a fight, it is just my opinion.
A buddy of mine rode his VLX all over Maryland and Virginia down into the Carolinas well into his upper 70s -- five heart attacks, and cancer survivor and still kickin' but I think his VLX is finally parked... Probably close to 500#, but the CG is so low I gather it was quite manageable, yet had enough oomph to run at highway speeds...
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.