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Metric Cruisers

  1. #1
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Metric Cruisers


    So I sold my VFR about a year and a half ago and I want a bike again. Also with a 3 mile commute, I would almost stop driving my car.

    My best friend wants to get "cheap harleys" to basically fuck around on, as with family obligations this would really be used that much. (but in the back of my mind i would like to do a weekend trip or do with my friends that still have sporty touring bikes.

    All the harleys under 4-5k basically suck, and i really dont want a sportster thaaaat much, I would like something more comfortable/bigger. But also in this price range i can get another sport tourer (vfr, sprint), that i feel at least if i dont take many trips on it i can still do:

    1. Put the wife on the back, and maybe get away for a small trip, breakfast
    2. She can actually still ride it here and there

    but this possibly would rule out something like a concours14 or fjr, as it might be too big for the wife.

    If i had more money to blow, I'd love to snag up a road/street glide, goldwing bagger and ride that bitch into the sunset. but im too cheap.

    Ive seen V-rods popping up lately and despite the Harley faithful hating them I always thought they were cool as fuck.

    So in this price range im seeing a bunch of metric cruisers that could work, but know nothing about them. and theses the whole stigma of it being a "fake harley" look alike. and im worried that i would hate it anyway and regret not getting the sporty touring bike that ive had all along.

    so what do yall think.

    previous bikes were SV650s, SV1000s, VFR1200F, VFR800 (clearly i get a bike and stick within the family.)

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  2. #2
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    In that price range you should be able to find some decent Dynas out there, maybe even a few Softtails.

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  3. #3
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    My road king wasnt much more than what your budget is. Your welcome to take it out for a few hours and see if its for you.

    IMO metric cruisers are all pretty bland and.boring until you get up into the touring class.

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    Last edited by 01xj; 01-21-21 at 10:22 AM.

  4. #4
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    I bought a Harley Road King police (FLHP) a couple years ago. I adore it. It wasn't $4-5k though. It was about double that. Most expensive motorcycle I've ever bought.
    I spent a few years looking at everything else on the market. I was waffling all over similar territory as you. Some of the top contenders were a newer FJR, BMW RT, 'wing.

    I borrowed a GL1800 for a weekend. Hated it for the first few miles but LOVED IT by the end of the weekend. Great motorcycle.

    I have a friend that is a massive BMW guy and has had several RTs. I rode his R1150RT and found it to be nice too. Hold back for me there was no cruise control. I was hung up on getting something with electronic cruise control as I had a long interstate commute. I believe the older RTs are more reliable than some of the newer ones as they are simpler. Just really well put together motorbikes. Newer RTs are space-ships and price accordingly.

    I test rode the FJR several times. Once with my wife. That would have worked nicely. Catch was, again, the electronic cruise. That was a late model thing and everything I could find was priced pretty high. New price on the FJR is not IMO reasonable given the age of the design.

    That same day we test rode the Guzi California (Road King wanabee). It was terrible. Cramped ergonomics. Terrible power. Sound was okay. Wife was comfortable on the pillion. But otherwise I hated it.

    I'd test rode the Indian and Victorys. They are okay, but not great. Loved the motors and chassis. Hated the switch gear and touch surfaces. Lots of plastic in the wrong spots. Prices were in many cases higher than Harley anyway. Much smaller used market.

    I've tested a lot of the metrics. Vulcan. Star. Shadow. I didn't like any of them. The smaller metric cruisers are often really underpowered. Great from 0-45. Dogs beyond that.
    The Star Bolt was one of the worst motorcycles I've ever ridden. Terrible fit and finish. Awful, cheap digital dash. Terrible cornering clearance. I understand this motorcycle not at all.
    Rode a buddys Shadow Phantom. Great look, okay sound. Rotten fueling. (And this is a HONDA!) Oh, and heavy. At least the ergonomics were cool on this one. Really ran out of steam past 50.
    The larger (liter plus) Star and Vulcans were very comparable. A theme with these of recent is these factory "stage" upgrade options. The base factory bikes seem pretty stopped up and boring. At one Star demo event there were two of their larger baggers, one in stock trim and one with a "stage" 1 or 2 kit. I rode both back to back and was blown away at the difference. The "stage" kit opened the bike up, made it ridable and sounded good. I do not understand why that isn't the base factory trim. I believe it is so they can gouge customers.

    My biggest beef with most of the larger metric "cruiser" touring bikes is that they all seem to have terrible control and touch surface. Everything just feels cheap. Lots of chrome painted plastic and chintz. Buttons that are loose. Etc. The Star baggers were available with an optional electronic cruise. It looked like the tackiest aftermarket bold on crap you've ever seen. Just horrible. To a lesser extent Victory and Indian are guilty of this too.

    Worth noting is that the BMW RT, FJR, Concourse and Gold Wing all have quality bits and ride great. These brands definitely know how to put together a great bike. I do not understand why they make such terrible "cruiser" styled bikes.

    The Harley seems a bit understated styling wise. Growing my my father had an FLHS Electraglide Sport. This was the grandaddy to the modern Road King. My RK is better in almost every respect (chassis, motor, suspension, fueling, electronics, luggage, ergonomics, comfort...) but is so obviously recognizable as the same basic bike. To a large degree it hits me in the feels. But then it is also a stupid reliable every day rider. Reliable motor. Silky smooth fueling. Easy ergonomics. Crazy comfortable. Great wind protection. Endless aftermarket. And switchgear that doesn't flex when you use it.

    Save up, buy the Harley. ... Or go for a Wing, FJR or RT.

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  5. #5

    Re: Metric Cruisers

    I always liked these... old school but still cool.. https://maine.craigslist.org/mcy/d/e...251942623.html

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  6. #6
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    I have to say, Harley baggers are awesome bikes for 'round town utility. The cases are awesome, have great capacity and are really usable. My cop bike still has the bolted on steel rear rack (unlike the chrome detachable aftermarket racks) that is durable as hell. Small grocery "milk and bread" runs. Hardware store run. Picking up takeout. Work commute. Almost anything I can do without the kids works with the Harley. Which means I get to ride it a lot more.

    Some of the dynas may be like that too. Although I think their luggage is smaller? I don't know very much about the dynas.

    Also in terms of sporty riding, you can ride a harley bagger fast on the street. They go, turn and stop better than most people give them credit for. Good 'nuf for "spirited" street riding. Way, way better than a lot of the smaller metric cruisers (looking at you Bolt).
    I would (and have) tag along with my friends riding Ninja 1ks, RTs and the like without issue.

    Biggest place they suck is dirt roads. Mine hates washboard and is a handful on anything loose.

    Gold Wing is pretty much the same across the board here except the 'Wing is way more competent on dirt and gravel.

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  7. #7
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by MUZ720 View Post
    I always liked these... old school but still cool.. https://maine.craigslist.org/mcy/d/e...251942623.html
    I was going to say, the only cruisers I personally have any interest in is the Kawi Vulcan 650 that uses the Ninja650 motor, or a Gen1 Vmax. This one does look nice...

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    -Matt

  8. #8
    Posting Freak OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    I inherited my dad's VTX1300 which I've been riding since it was new in 2006. Sentimental attachment aside, it's a decent bike for what it is. Has been very reliable, easy to work on, and is comfortable for short cruises with the lady friend (after upgrading the stock seat). I've seen solid low-mileage examples pop up in the $3k range. With that said, I wish he had gotten the VTX1800 for more power and fuel injection. The 1300 is very fuel efficient though and I'm in no rush when I'm on it solo or 2-up. Since I don't ride it often, I ALWAYs scrape the pegs on the first few turns when I take it out.

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  9. #9

    Re: Metric Cruisers

    I have to say, Harley baggers are awesome bikes for 'round town utility. The cases are awesome, have great capacity and are really usable.
    I have a 2000 Road King that I've had since 2004, have the rear detachable tour Pak that makes the wife happy and can handle a grocery run plus the side bags.
    Its slow as crap but a very comfy ride. Maintence free for the most part.. besides oil changes, and other normal wear items, also like the detachable wind screen...

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    Last edited by MUZ720; 01-21-21 at 03:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    I bought my wife a Suzuki Boulevard S40 for her to learn to ride on, but she had no interest. It was definitely more comfortable to ride with her on that than my SV, except it was underpowered and undersized for two-up.

    I was looking at its bigger brother, the Boulevard M50 as something capable of a Sunday morning cruise two-up and early spring/late fall commuting. I don't really care that it has about half the power my SV does. It's fuel injected, water cooled, and shaft drive. Not much heavier than an SV also. Sounded like a perfect second bike. Easy to leave in the corner for a month or more and just pull it out, fire up, and ride off.

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  11. #11
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by MUZ720 View Post
    I have a 2000 Road King that I've had since 2004, have the rear detachable tour Pak that makes the wife happy and can handle a grocery run plus the side bags.
    Its slow as crap but a very comfy ride. Maintence free for the most part.. besides oil changes, and other normal wear items, also like the detachable wind screen...
    Same. I can fit 3 weeks worth of groceries in my tour pack. Holds a lot of beer too.

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  12. #12
    \_(ツ)_/ Yev's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    Get a grom, dweeb!

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  13. #13
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    I've ridden matts grom and the kawi, abeit for for about 10 mins. its a blast then the novelty wears off.

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  14. #14
    \_(ツ)_/ Yev's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by jhawley View Post
    I've ridden matts grom and the kawi, abeit for for about 10 mins. its a blast then the novelty wears off.
    Ok. Fair enough. How about a Vespa?

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  15. #15
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by jhawley View Post
    I've ridden matts grom and the kawi, abeit for for about 10 mins. its a blast then the novelty wears off.
    Lucky for you - Google Maps says your commute is only 9 minutes...

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    -Matt

  16. #16
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Yev View Post
    Ok. Fair enough. How about a Vespa?
    Absolutely not.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR302 View Post
    Lucky for you - Google Maps says your commute is only 9 minutes...
    smartass.

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  17. #17
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    In that price range you should be able to find some decent Dynas out there, maybe even a few Softtails.
    One of the main reasons I went with the Dyna last year while I was making the move to a cruiser was so I wouldn't lose a lot of money if I didn't like it, wanted to upgrade/update, etc. It didn't take long to realize I wanted something else and I only "lost out" on $500. Although I wouldn't really say I lost out.

    If you go metric and decide you don't like/want it, you may have a tough time getting rid of it. The used market is still pretty soft for them while Harley, Indian and even Victory still have strong resale markets. Just a thought.

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  18. #18
    Senior Member ducatirdr's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    I would find a Dyna that is 2006 or newer. These motors are better than earlier twin cam motors and fixed the issues with the earlier released models plus got the 6 speed transmission.

    Like this... BTW The Dyna Lowrider or StreetBob are really fun in the corner bikes better than softail framed or touring framed bikes.

    https://nh.craigslist.org/mcy/d/bath...265023968.html

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  19. #19
    no can kneedown feralchimp's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    The new Rebel 1100 sounds like a great value, especially the DCT. Super-fug stock pipe, but the AT motor can be made to sound very good.

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  20. #20
    Member Crconnor18's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    A little on the sporty side but have you considered a 2nd gen FZ-1? They can be had cheap and can be suited up well with a tall screen & some luggage.

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  21. #21
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    i have a couple fz1 saved in a fb search. We've have both gens of FZ6s in the past and they were great all around bikes, for not much money. I wanted a fz1 back in the day and fell into the vfr1200.

    as much as i keep looking at these i dont know if id like the cruiser life on a budget, Only cruisers that im finding appealing are full on baggers and im not spending that kind of money, until i hit the lotto.

    right now the list has been
    2nd gen fz1
    vfr800
    2nd gen sprint 1050
    buell xb12
    fjr1300
    concours14

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  22. #22
    Member PurplePackage's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/mc...270376871.html

    considering one of these for myself, but not until we can travel and not worry about getting "the covid"

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  23. #23
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    ST1300? SteveM here just picked one up for very reasonable $. Should be considered in the same breath as the FRJ and Connie I think.

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  24. #24
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Metric Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    ST1300? SteveM here just picked one up for very reasonable $. Should be considered in the same breath as the FRJ and Connie I think.
    I knew I was missing something. Yep one of those too. Def of the 3 legit sport tourers on the list the st is 3rd. Not winning any beauty contests there.

    And FZ/FJ09
    Speed triple
    Street triple


    Also I was on and old iPad today and found pics of my SV1000s. I realllllllyyyyyt miss that bike.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Last edited by jhawley; 02-05-21 at 09:21 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ducatirdr's Avatar
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    Re: Metric Cruisers

    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePackage View Post
    https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/mc...270376871.html

    considering one of these for myself, but not until we can travel and not worry about getting "the covid"
    Have you ridden one of the f800 BMW's? What a snooze-fest motor. The most unexciting motorcycle I have ever ridden. Yes, I said that and I own a Honda SuperCub C125. Heck I own a DCT Goldwing, LOL

    But hey some people want pure utilitarian, teutonic appliance like bikes. It does look great. But ride one and let me know what you think. The motor lets it down.

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