Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike?

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Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike?

#1 Unread post by gsus » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:10 am

I started off on an 83 Honda Shadow 750 in 2007, in May of 2008 I moved up to a 96 Honda Magna only to loose it in an accident a week later. After I got back on my feet a few months later I decided to try a different style bike, so I picked up a really low mileage 88 Honda Hawk GT NT650 (at a really low price) only to realize a month later that it didn't suit me or my family jewels very well! So I sold the NT650 and picked up a 97 Honda VFR750.

The VFR is much roomier and considerably more comfortable than the NT650... I still feel that I'm too leaned over. I've tried gripping the tank with my knees, using my back to support my upper body but for some reason it doesn't do much for me. Maybe my back muscles need some working out or maybe sport bikes aren't really made for me. I would love to go back to the Magna but there were several things that sort of made me not get another Magna after my accident.

During the time that I've owned these bikes I've realized a few things that I would like and not like on my future bike:
I like the upright positioning of the cruisers better
I prefer to have my feet below me rather than in front of me
I like disc brakes front and back (my cruisers had drum brakes in back!)
I like the extra distance that I get with 5.5gal tank in the VFR
I like the down low torque of the V-twins (but also the rush of HP in the VFR and Magna)
I don't like the vibration from the V-twins (the V4's win here for me)
I don't necessarily like or dislike fairings, so I'm indifferent here
I'd prefer to do away with carbs, but I can go either way.

Is there maybe a better bike that you guys can think of that would suit me a bit better? I'm 5'10" (30" inseam) and about 275lbs.

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Re: Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike

#2 Unread post by NewGuy » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:50 am

Sounds like you're looking for a standard like the Suzuki SV650.

Disc brakes. Upright seating. Pegs underneath you instead of out front like a cruiser. EFI.

Maybe the new Triumph Bonneville, also a standard. Disc brakes. Upright seating. Pegs underneath you. EFI. Not a V-twin, it's a parallel twin.

Maybe the Yamaha V-max, or the H-D XR1200.

Again, disc brakes, upright seating, pegs beneath you, and EFI.

None have the 5.5 gal tank you're looking for, and the H-D has the smallest tank of them all, but you can't have everything can you?

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#3 Unread post by RhadamYgg » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:20 am

B-King kind of fits your specification as well. Having just dropped mine twice I can say this for sure... It is a heavy bike.

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#4 Unread post by RhadamYgg » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:20 am

Also - Honda 919 would probably work well too.

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#5 Unread post by JC Viper » Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:21 am

The Kawasaki Vulcan 500 has a detuned Ninja 500 engine and it is cruiser. A little upgrading will get it into Ninja territory in terms of power but the chassis will hold it back big time unless you're like me and still drags a knee while on a cruiser...
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#6 Unread post by ofblong » Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:54 am

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#7 Unread post by Grey Thumper » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:10 am

Do you still want to keep the classic look of a cruiser? The are a few "retro standards" out there; Triumph Bonneville, Ducati 1000GT, Moto Guzzi V7. Some Harley Sportsters have a standard riding position. Plus you might be able to find a used Kawasaki W650 or the older Triumph Thunderbord. None of these are inline-4s though.

If you just want your feet directly below you, there are lots of standards that you can choose from. My favorite one at the moment is the Triumph Street Triple R.
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#8 Unread post by MZ33 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:08 am

There is the Suzuki V Strom, and the Kawasaki Versys. The 'Strom is very tall, and though it is a V-twin, I'm told it has a balancer in it so that vibration isn't an issue.

The Kawi Versys can be lowered more with a custom seat and/or aftermarket lowering kit, and has a parallel twin engine. It has a 5 gallon tank, and supposedly gets 50 mpg. Guy I'm buying mine from said it actually did better than 50 mpg. There are also footpeg-lowering blocks if you want your leg longer, but it is still underneath you. He's a Thruxton Cup Racer, and says the Versys is the most fun all-purpose bike he's ever ridden. The engine is tuned so that there is more lower-end torque, which, coming from a cruiser, I like. He was going to replace the sprockets to see if that would change the torque, except that his salesperson sold it to me instead. :twisted:

Either of these bikes should be good both in town and longer distances.
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#9 Unread post by paul246 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:32 am

RhadamYgg wrote:Also - Honda 919 would probably work well too.

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#10 Unread post by storysunfolding » Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:13 pm

MZEE is still suffering from newbikitis, the V-strom is way better.

Anyway- why not just add bar raisers or helibars to the VFR? It'll get you less in a sportbike position but keep you on a sweet bike.


Other than the lean it seems like it's your ideal bike so fix the bars and keep on riding.
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Re: Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike

#11 Unread post by ShawnKing » Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:07 pm

gsus wrote: Is there maybe a better bike that you guys can think of that would suit me a bit better? I'm 5'10" (30" inseam) and about 275lbs.
Tough to recommend a particular bike because we are all different but no one has yet mentioned the Sport Touring (ST) segment. Not as "hunched over" as a "true" sport bike but not as "leaned back as a cruiser, either.

ST's have *lots* of get up and go, are set up for touring distances but also have decent enough suspensions to have fun in the twisty bits too.

Take a look at the segment leaders: Yamaha FJR1300 (my bike), Honda ST1300, Kawasaki Concourse 1400 and the BMW K 1200 GT and BMW R 1200 RT. There's also a Triumph and a Ducati that can be thrown into the mix.

Good luck!
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#12 Unread post by desper » Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:11 pm

I've owned a cruiser, and a sportbike... now settled somewhere inbetween with the triumph...

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#13 Unread post by Big B » Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:45 pm

desper wrote:I've owned a cruiser, and a sportbike... now settled somewhere inbetween with the triumph...

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Re: Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike

#14 Unread post by gsus » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:49 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions! Unfortunately I'm biased towards the Japanese (& Ducati) bikes because I have several local dealers for them around me....

Suzuki B-King -
I got to sit on one of these bikes a few weeks ago while my friend was buying an 09 600 GSXR. It felt big and wide while still feeling somewhat comfy... unfortunately it's out of my $5-7K price range, plus insurance is $1500/yr for me. Not to mention that it may be more machine than I will ever need.
Ducati Monster 1100 -
I love the look of this bike, but the ducati price and insurance is what makes me say no once again!
Suzuki V-Strom (1000cc model) -
The ergos sure looks comfy, but I'm still trying to get over the look of the bike. One attractive feature that appeals to me is that (I believe) they are optional with ABS.
Yamaha V-Max (pre-09 model) -
Awesome performance on paper (haven't ridden one) and cheap to insure... only downside that I can think of is the carbs. The look is a bit wierd, but I'll have to wait until I see one in person.
Grey Thumper wrote:Do you still want to keep the classic look of a cruiser?
I like the look of the retro bikes, but I just can’t see myself buying one.
storysunfolding wrote:Anyway- why not just add bar raisers or helibars to the VFR? It'll get you less in a sportbike position but keep you on a sweet bike.
I did install some taller bars that raised them about 3/4”-1” from stock. In fact the bars have moved up so much they barely clear the fairing. The raise did help some, but more of a raise would be my preference. These cops look pretty comfortable on their VFR800’s:
500x375 Police VFR800 with tall risers | 800x600 Police VFR with tall risers | 800x545 VFR with tall risers

I've considered getting the LSL bars that spieglerusa.com offers, but they require modification to the fairing... Kind of a turn of and they don't say how much rise and pullback I'll get with those. Still trying to get info on them though.
ShawnKing wrote:Take a look at the segment leaders: Yamaha FJR1300 (my bike), Honda ST1300, Kawasaki Concourse 1400 and the BMW K 1200 GT and BMW R 1200 RT. There's also a Triumph and a Ducati that can be thrown into the mix.
My local dealer (Chicago Cycle) has a few of these on the floor, but I’ve only sat on the used models due to my fear of knocking them. Anyway, I absolutely liked the FJR that they had, but sport tourers seem like too much machine for my 2 mile commute to work, the occasional 20 miles cruise and my rare 50-100 mile weekend rides. If I rode a lot more, I would surely look into picking one of these up. Insurance for them seems to be cheaper if not equal to a lot of the bikes that were suggested to me here, with the exception of the Concours14 for some reason?

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Re: Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike

#15 Unread post by wrecks » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:55 pm

NewGuy wrote:Sounds like you're looking for a standard like the Suzuki SV650.
I 2nd this motion! Either a used SV650 Naked or the Suzuki Gladius which is basically the SV650.
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Re: Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike

#16 Unread post by RhadamYgg » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:50 am

wrecks wrote:
NewGuy wrote:Sounds like you're looking for a standard like the Suzuki SV650.
I 2nd this motion! Either a used SV650 Naked or the Suzuki Gladius which is basically the SV650.
If I had it to do over again... I'd probably opt for a SV650 with ABS, since the wind doesn't bother me too much... A lot smaller and lighter than my B-King. Oh, with a full complement of sliders...

Hehe. But I'm not leaving the B-King yet. I love the bike. And I'll love getting new parts and putting them on the bike. I just won't love paying for the parts... :)

Ah well.

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Re: Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike

#17 Unread post by ShawnKing » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:56 am

gsus wrote:Anyway, I absolutely liked the FJR that they had, but sport tourers seem like too much machine for my 2 mile commute to work, the occasional 20 miles cruise and my rare 50-100 mile weekend rides.
Understandable. But, if you got an FJR, you'd make your commute 40 miles, your occasional rides 100 and your weekends 500 mile trips! :)
Insurance for them seems to be cheaper if not equal to a lot of the bikes that were suggested to me here, with the exception of the Concours14 for some reason?
The vast majority of insurance folks have no clue about bikes and will only look at the class of bike (and what other customers have crashed on). So they see sport bikes as the segment that "hooligans" ride and sport tourers for "old men".

If only they knew that Sport tourers are often described as "triple digit sightseeing". :)
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Re: Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike

#18 Unread post by Grey Thumper » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:08 am

gsus wrote:I like the upright positioning of the cruisers better
I prefer to have my feet below me rather than in front of me
I like disc brakes front and back (my cruisers had drum brakes in back!)
I like the extra distance that I get with 5.5gal tank in the VFR
I like the down low torque of the V-twins (but also the rush of HP in the VFR and Magna)
I don't like the vibration from the V-twins (the V4's win here for me)
I don't necessarily like or dislike fairings, so I'm indifferent here
I'd prefer to do away with carbs, but I can go either way.
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Re: Is there a bike out with a mix of cruiser and sport bike

#19 Unread post by ceemes » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:59 am

ShawnKing wrote:
gsus wrote: Is there maybe a better bike that you guys can think of that would suit me a bit better? I'm 5'10" (30" inseam) and about 275lbs.
Tough to recommend a particular bike because we are all different but no one has yet mentioned the Sport Touring (ST) segment. Not as "hunched over" as a "true" sport bike but not as "leaned back as a cruiser, either.

ST's have *lots* of get up and go, are set up for touring distances but also have decent enough suspensions to have fun in the twisty bits too.

Take a look at the segment leaders: Yamaha FJR1300 (my bike), Honda ST1300, Kawasaki Concourse 1400 and the BMW K 1200 GT and BMW R 1200 RT. There's also a Triumph and a Ducati that can be thrown into the mix.

Good luck!
+1 and don't forget either the Triumph ST or the Suzuki 1250 Bandit SE. Both tilt more towards the sport end of the ST spectrum while maintaining an up-right riding position. And both are smaller and lighter then either the Honda ST1300 or the Kawasaki Concourse, even so my 6' 3" 275 lbs frame fitted very comfortably on both.
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#20 Unread post by MZ33 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:27 am

MZEE is still suffering from newbikitis
:laughing: :laughing: How could you say such a thing? :motorcyclelove: Just 'cuz I haven't even ridden it home yet?

Also brings us back to the fit thing--they can't lower the V Strom much, apparently.
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