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EightyDeuce 27 August 2015 14:27

The SOCNET Motorcycle Thread
 
I'm in the beginning stages of looking at cruiser style motorcycles and looking for some advice. I know look fit and how it feels to sit on certain bikes is personal opinion and can differ between riders of different height and weight.

There is a guy who rides a very large Harley at my work and I started to ask him some questions about why he chose that bike and mentioned I liked the look of the Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883 and he immediately told me it was a bike for women and pussies who can't ride a real bike, whatever that means. So with that attitude I'm no longer interested in talking to him. I've owned three bikes since 2006, all of them being sportbikes so the cruiser world is new to me. So far though it looks like the Honda Shadow and Sportster 883 or SuperLow have the style I am drawn to but I'm open to any suggestions as to other makes that I should look at. I'm not buying new if that makes a difference.

I'm a novice mechanic at best and have only ever done oil changes and brakes on my bikes in the past but am willing to learn and can follow a youtube how-to video. I also don't need a ton of power but being able to pass at highway speeds without having to wring it's neck would be nice.

leopardprey 27 August 2015 14:34

Check out:

Indian
Victory
Triumph

http://www.triumphmotorcycles.com/bi...ories/cruisers

SOTB 27 August 2015 14:53

First HD I owned was a 883 Sportster, also the bike I most enjoyed. It has so many customizing opportunities, and you can take it in a bunch of directions without replicating anyone and without spending "too much" money. I don't presume to know what "too much" means, though.

I also did a lot of the work on my Sportster myself -- the carb/breather/exhaust mods being the easiest and the most fun.

I'll likely buy another Sportster if I stay in Mexico another year.

I currently have a somewhat heavily mod'd 2000 NightTrain, with my avatar on the rear fender -- I like it, but it still isn't as fun as my Sportster was....

namor 27 August 2015 14:53

I had three Sportsters - hardly a girly bike. But they are not your best bet if you're looking for a cruiser, as they tend to be very rough-edged. My last Harley was a Low Rider, and it was an infinitely better bike. Better engine, better ride, better handling, better everything. Not too big, or costly, and a very easy riding machine. I owned a GSXR-600 at the same time, and enjoyed them both.

paramedic68whiskey 27 August 2015 14:55

Don't go with a 883, you will regret it. If you want HD Heritage Softails are great, as well as Road and Street Glides. It really depends on your riding style and how many miles you put on. As stated above there are some other great companies to look at too.

If you get an 883 you won't be able to keep up with anyone and will be sore as hell after any miles. Fatboys are reliable too, but I would say Glide thru and thru, that's my next bike.

SOTB 27 August 2015 14:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by paramedic68whiskey
Don't go with a 883, you will regret it....If you get an 883 you won't be able to keep up with anyone and will be sore as hell after any miles....

I obviously disagree with this statement, especially as it doesn't take into consideration different riding styles and locations. If you are riding around in town, that is vastly different than on the open highway. And since everything except a bagger is likely going to mean your ass will be sore (especially if you go for the "low" look), the ass comment is irrelevant. If the easy mods at HP increases for your 883 don't do it for you, it is ridiculously simple to turn that ride into a 1200. Oh -- is "that" too slow? LOL.

FWIW, I don't ride with people -- largely because I don't like them. So "keeping up with people" has never been a high priority for me, especially on something that if I drop it at high speeds, is going to fucking hurt A LOT....

Xenonburnout 27 August 2015 15:02

Once you have decided on price range, I would go and sit on and test drive if possible. Comfort is a huge favor on bikes. I ride the 2010 Fatboy Lo. Low center of gravity for short legged fellas like me. I would let comfort be your primary guide so sitting on different bikes and test riding will help alot. The bikes already mentioned are good choices also. But how it feels underneath you will guide your decision

cspillk9 27 August 2015 15:22

I've had a Road King for many years and would not recommend anything other an a HD for a cruiser or "bagger". I think if you went with Indian or Triumph you would eventually want a Harley, just my opinion and no offense to lovers of those fine bikes. As for Victory, I just cannot get my head around a cruiser made by a snowmobile company. A trail bike maybe. Again, JMPO.

The Sportster is also an excellent choice regardless of what Whiskey says, because they are inexpensive (as HD's go) and versatile. Not to mention, today's 883 Iron is "not your father's 883". The Evolution engine is very good.

I would also recommend buying used.

Enjoy.

69harley 27 August 2015 15:22

The current sportster offeringd from Harley are pretty impressive bikes. Whoever it was that simply stated not to buy an 883 is leaving out a good deal of information. The 883 engine has been around along time, from the carburated four speed, carb'd five speed, injected five speed and the current injected and rubber mounted five speed. Huge variance.

Sportsters are quick bikes and are used allot in various motorsports. Definately not a chick bike although many women to ride them because of their smaller size.

The current sportsters are very rifined, ultra reliable and incredibly smooth. Their small gas tanks and sport gearing will limit their range on a tank of gas but will be allot of fun around town.

As for working on it. Aside form oil changes there is not much to do them. Like cars, they are computerized. Unlike the bikes of not tool long ago, the late model bikes are very oil tight and for the most part maintenance free.

Buying new vs used, there are plenty of used, low mileage sportsters available. Unless you just want to pay first year depreciation, dont be affraid to look at clean late model bikes.

SOTB 27 August 2015 15:30

Used is cool -- def a great option....

CAP MARINE 27 August 2015 15:39

Indian Dark Horse

Hotmike 27 August 2015 15:41

I found, that usually people that call a 883 a Chick Bike have never ridden one... They are a blast! and as others have said, economical, basic, and "Limitless" to customize on the cheap.

That being said - You will FIND things not to like about it as time goes by... (some of the things others stated - Smaller, Slower, rougher ride) and WANT to go 1200 to gofaster or a Bagger for comfort...

I've had Triumphs, BMWs and an Indian. I'm on my 7th HD - A '99 Road King (last year of the carburetor), and like every other HD I've had with the exception of one, I absolutely love it...

That being said - I rode a friends Victory Vision a month ago...

I want one!
HK

10thvet 27 August 2015 16:05

Had a HD 1200 custom I rode in Italy and the states. I loved that bike, best bike I ever had, but the wife couldn't handle the ride. So I bought a HD Softtail. I loved the bike also and wife could ride with me. We fell on hard times and the bike had to go. So if nothing else, research the resale value also. I ended up selling the HD Softtail for $900 more that what I paid for it.

CA SGT 27 August 2015 16:17

Have a 2005 CVO fat boy I love. Would really like a CVO street glide that has the newer additions like cruise control and bags and stereo etc, along with a six speed transmission.

EightyDeuce 27 August 2015 16:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by SOTB (Post 1058503280)
First HD I owned was a 883 Sportster, also the bike I most enjoyed. It has so many customizing opportunities, and you can take it in a bunch of directions without replicating anyone and without spending "too much" money. I don't presume to know what "too much" means, though.

I also did a lot of the work on my Sportster myself -- the carb/breather/exhaust mods being the easiest and the most fun.

I'll likely buy another Sportster if I stay in Mexico another year.

I currently have a somewhat heavily mod'd 2000 NightTrain, with my avatar on the rear fender -- I like it, but it still isn't as fun as my Sportster was....

I'm not looking at tearing the entire bike apart but the above listed "simple" mods will most likely be good enough along with some appearance mods to keep my inner wannabe mechanic satisfied.

Quote:

Originally Posted by namor (Post 1058503281)
I had three Sportsters - hardly a girly bike. But they are not your best bet if you're looking for a cruiser, as they tend to be very rough-edged. My last Harley was a Low Rider, and it was an infinitely better bike. Better engine, better ride, better handling, better everything. Not too big, or costly, and a very easy riding machine. I owned a GSXR-600 at the same time, and enjoyed them both.

I'll check out the Low Rider a little closer, thanks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by paramedic68whiskey (Post 1058503282)
Don't go with a 883, you will regret it. If you want HD Heritage Softails are great, as well as Road and Street Glides. It really depends on your riding style and how many miles you put on. As stated above there are some other great companies to look at too.

If you get an 883 you won't be able to keep up with anyone and will be sore as hell after any miles. Fatboys are reliable too, but I would say Glide thru and thru, that's my next bike.

I likely won't ride with anyone else as I only have one friend now who rides a vmax and rarely at that so I'll be riding solo and I'm down with that. I'll mostly use it as a way to change up driving my boring car everyday as I simply miss riding and I don't feel the need to race anyone anymore or go 150mph which is why I finally sold my R6. I just like the way it feels to be on two wheels on a nice day instead of a car.

Are you saying the 883 would make my ass sore because of ergonomics, the seat or suspension? A combination of multiple things?

Quote:

Originally Posted by xenonburnout (Post 1058503285)
Once you have decided on price range, I would go and sit on and test drive if possible. Comfort is a huge favor on bikes. I ride the 2010 Fatboy Lo. Low center of gravity for short legged fellas like me. I would let comfort be your primary guide so sitting on different bikes and test riding will help alot. The bikes already mentioned are good choices also. But how it feels underneath you will guide your decision

I'll be heading to a HD dealership this weekend to sit on some bikes and see how they really feel. I'm short at 5'7" with a 29" inseam :biggrin:

diverescue 27 August 2015 16:18

If you go with a Sportster, consider grabbing the 1200 instead of the 883. If you are an average to tall person, you will probably need forwards on it for any distance riding.

Take a look at the Dyna by HD. It is basically a Sportster front end on an Electra Glide frame. It handles nimbly like a sporty, is a little more stable at highway speeds, and is a shitload of fun!

I had a friend looking at a soft tail. He test drove that, and then my FXDX. He said he will never ride a soft tail again, and wanted me to ride the soft tail back to the dealership for him.

HKD 27 August 2015 16:18

If you are used to sport bikes you will find the 883 to not have the top end speed you had before. A friend I worked with had an 883 lowster. The gas tank was more than 4 gallons and she could travel on long way on a tank of fuel. Another coworker had a 883 and he weighed over 200lbs. He said it would bottom out on the bridge expansion joints but it was an older bike. If you can arrange a test ride I would advise that. I have not had or rode anything other than baggers in 15 years so I have no first hand experience. it was already mentioned that the 1200 sporty would be an option too. They are more expensive. Best of luck

paramedic68whiskey 27 August 2015 16:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by SOTB (Post 1058503284)
I obviously disagree with this statement, especially as it doesn't take into consideration different riding styles and locations. If you are riding around in town, that is vastly different than on the open highway. And since everything except a bagger is likely going to mean your ass will be sore (especially if you go for the "low" look), the ass comment is irrelevant. If the easy mods at HP increases for your 883 don't do it for you, it is ridiculously simple to turn that ride into a 1200. Oh -- is "that" too slow? LOL.

FWIW, I don't ride with people -- largely because I don't like them. So "keeping up with people" has never been a high priority for me, especially on something that if I drop it at high speeds, is going to fucking hurt A LOT....

I wasn't putting the 883 down, and I have owned a sporty 1200. Absolutely they can be modified cheaply. I said right in there that it depends on miles and riding style.

If he wants a cruiser, a sporty won't work and he will be trading up very quickly. We also don't know how big this dude is...if he is 6 five 300 lbs an 883 is way too small.

I am certainly biased, due to the miles I ride and how I ride. For a cruiser style bike, handling, speed, power my vote is Glides. A bike is a personal thing though, I just would hate to see someone buy something and a year later not like it.

HKD 27 August 2015 16:21

If money is not a limiting factor the switchback is a great bike. Dyna frame 103 motor and the saddlebags and windshield come off quick and clean. Fun bike but I would still see it as more of a bagger than a cruiser.

HKD 27 August 2015 16:25

One more thing with the sporty. HD used to offer an upgrade where you buy a sporty and if you trade up the next year you get your full purchase price back toward the next bike. Great deal if they still do it. It may have only been a local shop deal.

paramedic68whiskey 27 August 2015 16:35

With how you say you will be riding, a 1200 would be perfect. Like someone else said its all in your comfort. Riding becomes an addiction and if you go too small you will be disappointed with a HD. I'm am gonna throw up a bit, but Honda makes some pretty nice rides too man. The Goldwing is like a damn Caddy.

The Sportster is an awesome bike and I know plenty of brothers who have modified them for their Club bike for getting to point a to b in a hurry. If you are planning on dropping 500 mile plus at a time a cruiser is much more comfortable.

Again it's up to the individual, and what makes them comfortable and safe.

69harley 27 August 2015 18:17

IMO nobody is really being clear enough. Just saying 882 or 1200 is not enough. HUGE differences between the carb'd and injected models and the solid vs rubber mounted sportster models. A carb'd, solid mounted, 1200 is like a diesel powered tank compared to an injected, rubber mounted 1200.

To the OP; whatever you do, narrow your search to only harleys with rubber mounted drivetrains (this will exclude all version of the softail). Everything else will fall into place.

PACE 27 August 2015 18:23

After two (2) back surgeries I can't take the pounding any longer.
So I'm looking at one of these: http://campagnamotors.com/products/t.../configure-one
Yeah, yeah, I know it isn't a HD. And it's made in Canada.
You do what you have to do to have a modicum of enjoyment in your advancing years.
Besides, HH6 wouldn't consider getting astride a HD. In one of these, perhaps it would be a party.

leopardprey 27 August 2015 18:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by PACE (Post 1058503336)
After two (2) back surgeries I can't take the pounding any longer.
So I'm looking at one of these: http://campagnamotors.com/products/t.../configure-one
Yeah, yeah, I know it isn't a HD. And it's made in Canada.
You do what you have to do to have a modicum of enjoyment in your advancing years.
Besides, HH6 wouldn't consider getting astride a HD. In one of these, perhaps it would be a party.


Have you checked out this:

http://can-am.brp.com/spyder/spyder.html

I have an older neighbor, wit the same type of issues. He got rid of his HD and now has one of these. It is pretty bad ass actually! And according to him is a very smooth and controllable ride.

IronCross 27 August 2015 18:47

Folks who dick measure via cubic inches are as the OP said,generally not worth the time of day. The most fun I ever had on two wheels was on my old SV650, which most will say is woefully underpowered. Didn't feel that way on the Tail of the Dragon.

Just like the TSA-employed chick who told me that '9mm is for pussies' shortly before she demo'd her total lack of respect for gun safety rules by flagging me with her loaded, unsafed 911.

Fox33C1 27 August 2015 18:50

much like guns...any question about bikes has to start with...

what is your budget

With that said I grew up on dirt bikes and transitioned right to superbikes. I will tell you that for me I used to look down on someone dropping 25k on a Harley. Thats what Ducati R and S superbikes cost. 1950's tech in harley, can't get out of their own way, steer like a barge, slow, shit for brakes, etc etc

until I rode a newer street glide... Harley has come along way since 2000 but I've noticed a real jump quality in the last 5 years. I think that is because Victory has pushed them.

http://www.victorymotorcycles.com/en...ck-red-stripes

quite the bike for a cruiser and the cash point

Bravo_One_Three 27 August 2015 20:22

My wife has a 1200 Sportster SEII (Same frame and overall dimensions as an 883). It's stupid fast... think 0-60 GSXR/CBR kind of fast while accelerating. My only objection to it is that I can't stretch my legs on it. She's 5'4" and it fits her perfectly. She's ridden 300 or so mile trips at 70MPH on it without comfort issues. For me, it feels like I'm riding a sport bike (and the pegs are pushed all the way to the end of the frame). I'm only about 6' tall.

I've been riding a 2000 Dyna Wide Glide for a while, and it fits me like a glove. It's got great suspension and a nice Corbin seat, so long rides are a breeze. When you put my bike next to hers, the frame is easily a full foot longer, and it's mostly in front of the rider. I can stretch out and ride without the need for highway pegs.

A friend of mine has a Victory 8-Ball that's a lot of fun to ride. You also can't really go wrong with a Honda Shadow (dollar for dollar probably the best value in a bike), or one of the larger Vulcans. You might also be surprised at the pricing on a used Gold Wing too.

Bravo_One_Three 27 August 2015 20:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by cspillk9 (Post 1058503289)
I think if you went with Indian or Triumph you would eventually want a Harley, just my opinion.

I won't buy and Indian because I can't justify the cost and I don't like the looks, but that's one bike you can own and never consider owning anything else. FWIW though, Indian is -also- a subsidiary of Polaris.

Those big block Triumphs are also pretty bad-assed bikes. They are smooth as glass on the highway.

Xenonburnout 27 August 2015 20:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bravo_One_Three (Post 1058503373)
I won't buy and Indian because I can't justify the cost and I don't like the looks, but that's one bike you can own and never consider owning anything else. FWIW though, Indian is -also- a subsidiary of Polaris.

Those big block Triumphs are also pretty bad-assed bikes. They are smooth as glass on the highway.

To the OP...Agree on the Triumphs...The Thunderbird series, especially the Storm, was a serious contender when I was shopping around.
I still believe your budget and the feel while sitting/riding will greatly narrow your choices. Comfort and your style should be your primary focus... they all come with Mods and options that you can later add.

Xenonburnout 27 August 2015 21:10

Double tap

cspillk9 27 August 2015 21:14

If I wasn't a HD diehard I would probably get a Big Dog or go even deeper in to the private makers. Most of them use either a HD or S&S engine so it is the stuff around the engine that makes them comfortable (or not). The S&S Titan 117 (Mastiff) is a badass!

CAP MARINE 27 August 2015 21:43

If you ride an Indian you will sell your HD. You get more bang for the buck with an Indian. Don't have any problems with Polaris. A dealership is about to open in Norman,Ok,that will make 3 dealerships in OK.like the cruise, ABS.stock seat fits great. Went to KCMO in June, cruised the OK/KS turnpike,smooth as silk-the engine is a beast,

Whitebean54 27 August 2015 23:18

Victories are good bikes in my opinion. I have a High Ball and love it.

JoeArmyNCO 27 August 2015 23:41

Buy a bike from Wisconsin or somewhere that the riding season is really short. You can find GREAT deals on bikes with low miles. Buddy of mine bought a V-Rod with less than 3500 miles on it. Saved a shit ton of money.

RangerCharlie 28 August 2015 06:30

I have a Heritage Softtail and like it.
My BIL has a 883 and has no trouble keeping up with me over the Mountains. Only issue he has is adding a passenger. Just not a lot of room there and it's a tiny seat.

sarc88 28 August 2015 08:02

I currently own a HD Road King, and a Triumph Thruxton 900. I have owned 2 Honda Shadows in the past - one in the 80s when they 1st came out with the shaft drive, and another (1200) in 2008.

If you like the Shadow, and it fits your feet, knees, ass, back; your hands feel good on the grips - get it. That bike is 100% performance out of the box. No modifications or extra $$ necessary to sex it up, or juice up the rpm's. It's a hot bike, and it is relatively maintenance free. There is absolutely no cost of ownership comparison between that bike and the others you like - they're not even in the same league.

So why did I jump to the Road King? I wanted more oomph underneath my ass, and Harley's hold their value far better than Hondas. I also got a great deal on it.

Ask yourself, do you want the bike for transportation, or for a hobby? There are a metric shit-ton of aftermarket add-ons for Harleys, and that's part of the appeal. We all tweak our bikes to look a little different, to have it's own personality. You won't really get that with a Honda. What you will get is 20K mi/yr without ever seeing a mechanic.

sarc88 28 August 2015 08:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by leopardprey (Post 1058503343)
Have you checked out this:

http://can-am.brp.com/spyder/spyder.html

I have an older neighbor, wit the same type of issues. He got rid of his HD and now has one of these. It is pretty bad ass actually! And according to him is a very smooth and controllable ride.

I just did an all-day benefit ride for Habitat, and in my group of 20 was an old Swabbie who was a die-hard HD guy from the 60s. He's on a cane full time, but can't give up riding. He tried the HD trikes and hated them, one ride on the CanAm, and he was back in the saddle. When we had a battery prob in the group, he reached into his side bag and pulled out cables. When someone ran out of gas, he pulled out a gallon container. This guy had his tunes, his coffee, and his knees in the breeze.

Its not for me (yet), but seeing the smile on that old busted up brother's face cured my doubts . Very viable option IMHO.

EightyDeuce 28 August 2015 08:42

I'm hoping to stay around $5k for the bike but have a little extra I can throw at it if I find one I can't walk away from.

I definitely like the look of the Victory cruisers, the Vegas, Gunner and the Hammer. There is a victory dealer near me where I can sit on some and hopefully get a test ride if I find something that feels right.

Anyone have experience with the Yamaha Star Bolt? It has a similar look as the Sportster.

I've got quite a few to actually sit on and see how that goes, based solely on looks. I'm hoping this will narrow the field down to 1-2 and then I can shop in my $5k range.

HD: Sportster, Low Rider to give a dyna model a shot as recommended
Victory: Vegas, Gunner, Hammer
Triumph: Bonneville, Speedmaster, America
Honda: Shadow

Hot Mess 28 August 2015 10:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by RangerCharlie (Post 1058503430)
I have a Heritage Softtail and like it.

Same same here.

CPTAUSRET 28 August 2015 10:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarc88 (Post 1058503441)
I just did an all-day benefit ride for Habitat, and in my group of 20 was an old Swabbie who was a die-hard HD guy from the 60s. He's on a cane full time, but can't give up riding. He tried the HD trikes and hated them, one ride on the CanAm, and he was back in the saddle. When we had a battery prob in the group, he reached into his side bag and pulled out cables. When someone ran out of gas, he pulled out a gallon container. This guy had his tunes, his coffee, and his knees in the breeze.

Its not for me (yet), but seeing the smile on that old busted up brother's face cured my doubts . Very viable option IMHO.

Nice write-up. Made me smile.


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