Originally posted by crystal
Though not my preference I've tried out a couple cruisers as well. The Suzuki Boulevard S40 is a decent fit, about the same as the blast and the GZ250 I can touch flat foot on.
I cannot offer any advice on lowering, other than that I know a gal who had a Yamaha Royal Star lowered and was very happy with the results. She is in lower 5' range, I guesstimate. She is also an experienced rider.
My wife is about 5'8" and she rides a Suzuki Savage 650, which I believe is the same as Boulevard S40.
[side rant] WTF is this with Suzuki cruisers all of a sudden boasting their cubic inches? Are they fooling anyone that perhaps they are not a metric cruiser or something? I really, really don't get it![/side rant]
The best thing about the bike is its weight. Because it is a single cylinder engine, the bike is extremely light. I don't know how Blast fares in this department. The bad things about it are a) sounds like a big lawnmower; b) tops out at 80mph on the highway, unless you go downhill with a tail wind. I do know that my wife finds it very confidence inspiring for a beginner, though. She has been riding it since last fall, and she already sees a sport or sport-touring bike in her future.
Oh, another thing about the Savage, we both find it rather uncomfortable. If cruisers sometimes are described as providing more rider comfort than a sportbike, this would be a bad example. Too much weight on the lower back with very little support, then add a cramping leg position. My back starts hurting after 15 minutes of riding it. My Bandit's ergos are much more accomodating.
If one of the factors attracting you to sportbikes is performance, you should probably go with the Ninja. From what I read around this board, it sure knows how to haul ass, at least up to 100 mph. That should be OK, since most new riders take a few hundred miles before even 60 mph feels comfortable.
You definitely get the better brakes and suspension than what cruisers you looked at will offer.