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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-28-2002, 03:38 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 301

I can easily understand your frustration with the GSXR. I have ridden just about everything on two wheels at one time or another. The GSXRs are great bikes, but I can't ride one for more than a few miles without wishing I was back home. I think you jumped into the sportbike 'thing' without doing your homework first, and now your planning on making the same mistake again. The more aggressive sportbikes and the cruisers are both about as uncomfortable a bike as you can find. The GSXR has your chin on the gas tank and the cruiser has you sitting on the floor touching your toes. These are both exaggerations, but they do outline the basic problem.

For me, the cruisers are all about style and nothing else. Riding a cruiser is about the same thing as driving a school bus, except the school bus handles and performs a little better. You're overlooking a couple dozen bikes that would provide far more comfort and performance too. For example, my 170 hp ZX-11 has incredible power and I've ridden it over 121,000 miles. With just a few comfort changes, it is a comfortable as anything I've ever ridden. The magazines regularly downplay some of the best bikes, often for some very silly and easily correctable problem. At the same time, they rarely even look into any of the important servicing issues. Most of the cruisers appear to be easy to work on, but the truth is very different. For example, I just repaired a leaking valve cover gasket on a Vulcan and while this is a fairly simple job on any sportbike, it required complete removal of the engine, radiator, electrical and coolant connections, etc. Talk about pathetic engineering. Here again, it's style over function. An $8.50 gasket cost him $250.00.

I have many times seen people reject a particular machine because the seat was too hard or for some other minor thing. But when the bike is fundamentally uncomfortable, as nearly all cruisers are, you'll be stuck again. Many cruiser buyers are impressed with the showroom 'comfort', and sitting position but after riding one for a few hours at 70 mph, a different realization emerges. Riding the Mean Streak or any Harley, for that matter is like being in a parade, everyone will wave and give you the thumbs up, but personally I think there’s more to motorcycling than just that. So, look before you leap.

So many bikers these days rarely go ‘riding’ anyway. They just go ‘stopping’. I’ve tried riding with some of my Harley friends, but it’s frustrating beyond words. They stop for everything and then do everything possible to extend every stop. They routinely spend all day and barely get out of town. They are simply compensating for an incredibly uncomfortable ride, but none of them will ever admit it. You are one of the few that has been able and honest enough to critically evaluate his current ride.
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