New riders buying cruisers - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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New riders buying cruisers

Is it just me, or do you know a lot of people that are new to the sport of motorcycle riding (young people 35 yrs old or younger) that make the decision to buy a motorcycle and then they go out and buy a cruiser (harley, Honda, whatever)? You find out a short time later that they are totally unsatisfied with their cruiser, or have already sold it and bought a sport bike.
I know quite a few people like this and I feel like they are just throwing their money away when they tell me how cool the new Honda Shadow is.
I can see why having a cruiser might have it's enjoyable times, but I can NEVER see myself having one as a replacement for my sport bike. I never had a doubt that one of the reasons I wanted to ride a motorcycle was because they were fast, high performance machines. The other ones were, love of the outdoors, feeling of freedom, wind in your hair, blah blah blah. Why can't everyone that makes these mistakes take a close look at what they want and realize that they can have 99% of the same things from a sport bike as you can from a cruiser + have the performance when you want to tear it up?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 08:48 AM
 
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My theory.

At first, cruisers are not intimidating, what with their low seat height and user-friendly power, so a newbie is attracted to them. Later, when their riding skills increase, they want more, thus they buy a sportbike. TAH DAH!!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 08:58 AM
 
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Thumbs up

I'm one of those people who started on a cruiser. I was intimidated by sport bikes.

Some people just like cruisers or tourers... personal taste I suppose. It's not a mistake. Same reasons you are sure you want a sport bike.

I wouldnt mind having a cruiser again as a second bike.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 02:50 PM
Rio
 
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I started out on a sportbike, and would never go without a sportbike. But I would consider a cruiser such as a the new Harly VRod as a second bike. The only reason I would ever want a cruiser though is the added comfort riding with a passenger. I love riding my R1, but when someone else wants to ride with me....I either find myself making an excuse to ride the Jeep or why they should drive separate *G*. I like my sportbike lightweight & nimble....
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 03:07 PM
 
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Recently spent a lot of time on a cruiser. I would have one as a second bike. I really enjoyed it. For certain things. Cruisers are also a lot easier to do certain things due to the stability etc. But I too would get bored with one if it was my only bike.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 03:33 PM
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As the token harley boy here, allow me to point out a couple things. Please don't lump all Harleys (or HD riders) into the cruiser wannabee box. I ride a Road King, it's superb. Certainly not a track bike or a cruiser, but I can comfortably go two-up for 300-400 miles (depending on passenger agreeability). It's got decent performance for a touring bike and is very comfortable.

As previously stated, cruisers aren't intimidating to new riders. It's also a great way for us to have a wonderful supply of used bikes

I'm of the opinion that one should have at least 4 motorcycles: A dirtbike or dual sport, a cruiser or touring bike, a sportbike, and a vintage bike (so you appreciate just how blessed we are). Now you just need to convince your better-half to accept that premise

Ride safe & Happy Holidays

Our greatest challenge in life is living up to our own potential.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 09:07 PM
 
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My first bike was a sportbike and I always wanted a cruiser, my wife rides a Harley and after riding that a few times I decided I didn't like it and bought a touring bike(concours) and love it.. If I could only have one bike it'd be a goldwing!!

I also believe in what Tahoe says, you can never have to many bikes!!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 11:31 PM
 
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It is no more than different tools for different tasks. The problem for entry level riders is defining their own personal needs. One challenge is those needs are often murky. Another is that they may very likely change, as experience changes. A third is the needs may be multiple.

In my opinion, a sport bike is a uniquely personal tool that doesn't translate very well into shared activities with a passenger... at least not as comfortably as a cruiser can.

As an example, last Sunday morning I went riding my 6R while my wife went to church. I enjoyed the hell out of it. My route was exploratory, but I lucked out and covered about 70 miles of some pretty quiet, attractive, empty ground. One of my thoughts was "I wish she could enjoy this too, from the back seat."

Then that afternoon, I got her on the back of the 6R for the first time. We just did some real sloooow 25 mph stuff, REALLY RELAXED, for about five minutes in front of the house. The purpose was to see if she felt, from that, that it would be worth buying her a helmet to expand on it. The results were not terribly encouraging. I am certain, though, that she would really like riding the back of a cruiser.

So I went right down and bought a $2 raffle ticket on a Fat Boy the local Sheriff Dept is doing a fund raiser with. We should pick it up right after the drawing.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-12-2001, 12:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tahoe
I'm of the opinion that one should have at least 4 motorcycles: A dirtbike or dual sport, a cruiser or touring bike, a sportbike, and a vintage bike (so you appreciate just how blessed we are).
I totally agree with you Tahoe!

A friend of mine (older guy but very cool) is solely a vintage bike collector. He occasionally lets me run the bikes around the block just cuz they should be ran to keep stuff fresh and boy does it make you appreciate what we have now! For instance, He has a old Royal Enfield that will wear you out! ~it shifts on the right and brakes on the left. (I skid alot, but thats partly because of all the oil dripping on the rear tire ) Also, he has a cooool little Mint Cushman with square tires and a suicide shifter! .... Fun fun fun
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-12-2001, 12:44 AM
 
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Re: New riders buying cruisers

Quote:
Originally posted by Wet Shrub
Is it just me, or do you know a lot of people that are new to the sport of motorcycle riding (young people 35 yrs old or younger) that make the decision to buy a motorcycle and then they go out and buy a cruiser (harley, Honda, whatever)? You find out a short time later that they are totally unsatisfied with their cruiser, or have already sold it and bought a sport bike.
A lot of folks don’t have any idea how they really plan on using their bikes when they buy ‘em. Everybody that comes to me for advice gets the following:
1. First and foremost, you need to decide how you plan to use your bike, both now and in the future! Are you just going to cruise ‘round town on Sundays, enjoy it for it’s performance (still close to home), or can you see yourself taking trips on it in the future?
2. Now that you think you’ve decided, look at the bikes designed/made for the type of use to which you (think you) plan to put your bike.

Most newbies I’ve encountered look at a cruiser and think that laid back position looks comfy. I used to do a lot of training and dabbled in racing (road) bicycles, and I tell ‘em I try to get my motorcycles to fit me kinda like my bicycles. While the laid back position may look comfy, if you plan to spend a lot of time on your bike (trips, etc), they may very well find that laid back position painful down the road. A bicycle may look uncomfortable (and when you first get on one it is) but are these guys in the Tour de France really gonna ride an uncomfortable bicycle 2500 miles?
My motorcycles/bicycles are set up to spread my weight (approximately) evenly between my legs, butt/back, and wrists/arms. As on a bicycle, if you fine-tune your seating position to spread the load among these 3 points, you’ll find you can travel longer/more comfortably. I point out to ‘em that on a cruiser, your arms/legs are going to be pretty much uselss, and unless you’re laying back on your sleeping bag, your back & butt are going to support most of your body weight. Every bit of road shock is going to travel through your lower back as it heads up your spine. As with my old original 750/4 Honda, after a while, it feels like someone has their thumb stuck in your lower back, and it really becomes irritating. If you have the load spread with a slightly forward seating position, you can use your arms and legs as springs, unlike a laid back cruiser.
Based on the above, bikes like the Concours (with original low bars), the 6R/CBR F4, etc fit me really well and allow me to cover long distances on back roads with relative comfort. Bikes like the GSXR (while nice for short/track use) place too much weight on the wrists for me to consider them, based on my intended use of the bike.
BTW, I once read that studies showed the first thing a person did in the showroom was give a bike’s seat the ‘finger test’ (we’ve all done it). They walk up to a bike, press on the seat with their fingers, and if it feels soft to the touch, they pronounce it ‘comfy’. Bike manufacturers reportedly used this info to design seats that felt good to the touch, only for the owner to later find that what passes the five-finger test flattens out and becomes really irritating 100 or so miles down the road, after you’ve planted your full bodyweight on it!

So…after my little primer on bikes/seating, they usually go out and buy what the hell they had planned to before our conversation! After all, most folks don’t spend their lives trying to learn, but rather trying to justify that which they already believe! Usually turns out they were coming to ya for affirmation of their pre-made choice, and don’t wanna be confused with facts!

I’ve found that as they really get into motorcycling, a lot of these folks that originally bought cruisers find they don’t work real well once they tire of riding ‘round town, and decide they want to stretch their legs a bit with some road trips. I think these are the ones you usually see ending up on something else shortly after their original purchase decision.
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