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Thread: Motorcycle types & pricing

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    Motorcycle types & pricing

    I've been looking at the websites of motorcycle manufacturers lately and noticed a couple of things that I don't get.

    Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki all have two separate categories called "cruisers" and "touring bikes", but I can't tell what makes some of them fit into one group and others fit into the other group. Among Hondas and Yamahas, the touring bikes and sport-touring bikes (a blend of their touring and sport/racing styles) have large fairings and storage compartments. The cruisers have no fairings and less storage space or none at all, and their engine parts and teardrop gas tank are exposed and easily visible (the standard Harley Davidson look).

    But Kawasaki, despite mostly following that general trend, has exceptions to both rules, and lists some models in both categories but others in only one category or the other. Meanwhile, I see no sign of any difference between these categories at all in Suzuki, which makes just one of the two kinds I see (the naked kind that would usually be called "cruiser" by other companies) but puts them in two groups and calls one group "touring bikes" anyway.

    So what's the actual definition; what makes each group what it is? It must be something I'm not seeing yet.

    Also, can anyone explain why touring bikes, or at least motorcycles fitting the description I gave above that works for Honda & Yamaha and almost works for Kawasaki, are so much more expensive than the other types? (See the attached image.) I don't know what would make them that much more complex than other motorcycles. Do they just figure they can charge more because they expect the customers for that type of motorcycle to be wealthier than the customers for the other types?
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    Touring bikes tend to have lots of extra 'bits' like the intercoms, seats, fairings, panniers etc. Suspension, tyres and so on tend to be better quality
    Transmission is shaft drive rather than chain on some of them as well (although sports tyres can cost a fortune and only last about 500 miles, I payn about 400 each for mine.)

    Plus people who go touring tend to have the cash to spare.

    Cruisers look flash and have an 'easy' riding position but they tend to be less robust and the riding positions a, fairings and tank capacities aren't designed for a long trip at high speed on a motorway.
    Sports/Tourers are the closest to an 'everyday' bike Riding position and performance is more sporting.

    As a long time super sports rider I know little about cruisers and tourers.
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    I think you summed it up pretty well in your description Captain Swoop. The "touring" bikes tend to be equipped for long distance comfort riding and as you mentioned tend to have many extra accessories such as sat-nav, stereos, etc..
    The cruisers on the other hand are basically exactly what it says on the tin. They are designed for easy riding. A machine you can just jump on and have a stroll round the park, as they say. But really its down to each individual manufacturer's own definition of what they are trying to promote in each model they design and produce for sale.

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    Don't forget sports touring bikes - they tend to split the difference between sports bikes, i.e. lightweight powerful quick handling and touring bikes i.e. able to cross states in a single bound. Then there's what I have heard called GT or open class bikes - the Hayabusa and ZX-14. I've got one of each. The fourteen in particular is smooth and has a comfortable riding position - to me anyway. Except for the seat being a little hard riding a couple hundred miles isn't tough to do on these bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    Cruisers look flash and have an 'easy' riding position but they tend to be less robust and the riding positions a, fairings and tank capacities aren't designed for a long trip at high speed on a motorway.
    That sentence seems to be missing some words, but I think I still caught two things about the difference between tourers & cruisers: that cruisers are "less robust" and have smaller fuel tanks. But what do you mean by robustness? (It sounds like it means cruisers would get worn out more quickly and easily, but then, why do people buy them, especially the really expensive ones?)

    Since you mentioned highway speeds, I'm guessing that you might be bringing up something specific to speed, but I'm not sure what it is that you're saying about speed. Are touring bikes given different transmission gear ratios to keep RPM (and thus noise, vibration, and wear & tear) down at high speed, while cruisers use higher RPM?

    Also, if cruisers have an easy riding position, what's less easy about the position a touring bike puts you in?

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    The cruisers... are designed for easy riding. A machine you can just jump on and have a stroll round the park, as they say.
    There's that "easy riding" phrase again. What does it mean? And about "jumping on" for a "stroll": what about other kinds of motorcycles (particularly touring bikes) makes them not as good for that?

    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    intercoms, seats, fairings, panniers etc. Suspension, tyres and so on tend to be better quality
    Transmission is shaft drive rather than chain on some of them as well
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    extra accessories such as sat-nav, stereos, etc..
    By "intercoms", do you mean something for a rider and passenger to plug their helmets into so they can talk to each other? That can't be much more than a couple dozen dollars of electronics.

    Fairings are found on the cheapest sport bikes. They and panniers (storage things; I had to look up that word!) are just simply bulky shapes of metal, polymer, or fiberglass, plus some small light hinges and locks. At a stretch, that's a few hundred dollars. A navigation system and stereo add another couple hundred at most, and the same goes for tires. Whatever's different about the seats can't be very big either; they're still just seats.

    The price difference between any given company's cheapest touring or even sport-touring bike and their cheapest in other categories is from 6 to over 10 thousand dollars. So your lists leave almost all of that to be accounted for by suspension, transmission, and "etc". What's the rest of the "etc"? I'm still not seeing how this adds up, especially when sport bikes are the category that would place the most demand on engine and transmission performance and that class includes some of the cheapest motorcycles.

    * * *

    I also note something else about the price distributions. The sport and cruiser categories have wider price ranges than the touring category does, with each company's sport bikes spanning roughly a 5k-9k range and cruisers spanning a roughly 10k-16k range; the red bars are not only shifted to the right, but also shorter than the blue and green bars. (This would be easier to see at a glance in Honda's case if I hadn't merged the "touring" and "sport-touring" into one line for simplicity; their sport-touring bikes are under 16k and their only dedicated touring bike is over 22k.) What makes those other ranges so wide is another separate question, but the fact that the touring bike price ranges are narrower means maybe that's the question I should have asked in the first place.

    The difference between categories shrinks a lot if you compare the touring bikes to only the top half or so of another category. So what if the touring category would have had just as wide of a range, but the bottom half just is missing so all we can see is the top? That would explain a lot of the between-category difference as just a result of the same things that cause within-category variation, just with the cheaper potential touring examples (which could have completed the range) being absent.

    But that just leads to the questions of why prices vary so much within a group, and why the other half of the touring group, where the potential prices would have been lower, isn't there...

    Quote Originally Posted by eric_marsh View Post
    Then there's what I have heard called GT or open class bikes - the Hayabusa and ZX-14.
    Their manufacturers call them sport bikes, and they look like other sport bikes to me. What's the difference, why don't the manufacturers say they're different, and what does "GT" stand for?

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    I think, Delvo, you could explain the differences and causes of mosickle pricing yourself if you have any insight in that market, or is your above critique an analyst's breakdown of the statistics presented?

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    Sports bikes vary in price dependinmg on the technology and performance plus quality.
    I have a Yamaha YZF R6. It's a 'Supersports' It's not the latest model but the YZF has 'Fly by wire' throttle' lots of Carbon Fibre, Engine management systems and the tyres are over a 1000 a pair. I am getting rid of it this year and going back toa Ducati 996. It's a few years old but has single sided swing arm, carbon fibre parts, etc. There are sports bikes that don't have as much expensive technology and so they cost less but they perform less.
    As for 'cruisers' then tend to be low revving V twins with chrome trim to look 'cool' they are fairly low tech.
    'Proper' tourers have multi cylinder engines for smooth delivery and low vibration, they are set up for carrying a heavy load, some of the big tourers like the Honda 'Gold Wing' have 6 cylinder liquid cooled engines and can tow a trailer.
    Cruisers while they look comfortable I find they are only good for a couple of hundred miles. My Yamaha is only good for about 50 miles before my wrists, neck and legs ache because of the riding position. They are 'hard work' to ride properly as well. At high speed the headwind takes the weight off your wrists but you have to 'move about' on the bike to corner properly. Tourers sit you in a comfortable upright position and the fairing keeps all the wind off you so that you can maintain speeds of 70 plus in comfort and keep dry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    Their manufacturers call them sport bikes, and they look like other sport bikes to me. What's the difference, why don't the manufacturers say they're different, and what does "GT" stand for?
    The GT term is something that I've seen some magazines use, meaning Gran Tourismo.

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    OK, on the difference between a touring bike and a cruier... in terms of ride smoothness and comfort, you've made it sound as if touring bikes are just plain better than cruisers, so why do people buy the more expensive cruisers, whose prices are equivalent to touring bike prices? Is it just for looks, or do cruisers actually do something better than touring bikes? Do the more expensive cruisers have touring-like engines & suspension, and just lack fairings (and have smaller or no storage compartments)?

    And what are Kawasaki and Suzuki thinking with their categories? I know I can't see in a picture how the engines & suspensions work, but you've indicated that fairings and seating position are important to touring bikes' purpose, and I can see those. And Kawasaki has mixtures of motorcycles fitting both descriptions listed under both categorical names, whereas Suzuki seems to only make what looks like one of the two types (cruisers) but calls some of them touring bikes anyway. Why would they do that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Middenrat View Post
    I think, Delvo, you could explain the differences and causes of mosickle pricing yourself if you have any insight in that market, or is your above critique an analyst's breakdown of the statistics presented?
    I don't understand. I don't get what would make you think I have any particular insight (or that I've claimed to have it), and I don't know what "statistics" you're talking about (just the simple price ranges?) or who the "analyst" you're talking about would be (me?).

    I'm just saying I see these price differences between types of motorcycle according to the manufacturers' websites, and don't know how to explain them in terms of the mechanical, physical differences between the motorcycle types. I'm used to similar things making a much smaller difference in other contexts (for example, the difference between two engine & suspension package options in the same car or truck would usually be much smaller than this gap, and so would spoilers, cars' nearest equivalent to fairings). And there's not much price difference between the categories of "sportbike" and "cruiser", which do have working parts about as different from each other as theirs are from "touring" bikes'. So I ask because I don't know what's going on here and haven't seen others comment on it elsewhere. It might be just a matter of marketing and the relative wealth of the customer base, but I didn't want to conclude that it must be that before checking to make sure there wasn't some important engineering distinction that I was missing.

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    It's down to markets. In the UK for example cruisers are very much a minority style. They are seen as 'American' and have a reputation for vague handling, not cornering too sharply and having a soggy ride. Our tradition is one of sports riding in the summer and hiding behind a big fairing in the winter wearing gloves and suits heated from the bike electrics. Cruisers are seen as not being for a serious 'Biker', they tend to be seen being ridden by middle aged men in the summer on gentle runs to the coast.
    A Harley is OK as that comes with the 'Outlaw biker' mythos but is horribly expensive. Japanese copies of Harlerys are seen as not being quite right.
    I have always had sports bikes. Before I had my car license I had a 'summer' sports bike and a winter 'hack' Kawasaki GT 550. a low end 'tourer' much beloved of couriers in London as they have the same engine as the GPz sports and a built in carrier rack on the back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    (the standard Harley Davidson look).
    That look is very far from standard. It is very much a niche look, favoured by only one manufacturer, and which is only popular inly in one country.

    As to why people buy cruisers, it is genuinely a mystery to many of us bikers. I ride a BMW R1200GS for when I want to cross continents, a Husqvarna TE250 for when I want to cross deserts, and a Honda PS125 for when I want to cross London. Each is designed to do this job as well as it possibly can, whereas a cruiser is a bike designed around a look, or, to put it another way, it is a bike where fashion has dictated form almost entirely.

    Still, though, some people do flock to them. Harley have made some efforts in recent years to make better bikes, as they understand that fashion can change, and the product must stand on its own two wheels to ensure survival, but they do seem to be rather popular with middle aged office workers who want something to match their tasseled jacket and chaps that they wear for their ten mile sunday morning ride.

    Their manufacturers call them sport bikes, and they look like other sport bikes to me. What's the difference, why don't the manufacturers say they're different, and what does "GT" stand for?
    Bikes like the Hayabusa are sports-touring bikes. Before my BMW, I had a Honda Fireblade. Despite it being less powerful and "slower" than the Hayabusa, it was most definitely a sports bike, designed to circulate a racetrack as fast as it possibly could. The Hayabusa is heavier, longer, and with lazier steering geometry, which makes it excellent for crossing Germany at 150mph, but less good round the Nurburgring, where the more nimble sports bikes are better suited to the conditions.

    To answer your more general point about which classification of bike means what, the distinction is somewhat arbitrary for some models. The manufacturers will try to make a range of bikes to attract as many customers as possible, but the question of where to draw the line between sports, sports-touring, and touring is not clear, and that's before we even get into dual purpose, commuters, big trailies, enduro bikes, maxi scooters, and so on.

    Are you thinking of buying one, then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    I'm just saying I see these price differences between types of motorcycle according to the manufacturers' websites, and don't know how to explain them in terms of the mechanical, physical differences between the motorcycle types.
    On this specific point, it is the quality of the components, the development costs of the technology, and what the market will support which dictates the price more than the niche into which the bike is placed.

    Perhaps one reason that tourers go for more money is that they tend to be bought by older riders, who in turn tend to have more money than younger riders do.

    When I was at college I scraped what I could together for the fastest sports bike I could get my hands on (A Yamaha RD350 YPVS followed by a Honda VFR400). Comfort, practicality and longevity were simply not a consideration, all that mattered was what the bike could do when I wanted to go fast.

    Now, a few years later, I could not ride these bikes for fun. The riding position would hurt my wrists, I would get bored of the engine drone on my 300 mile ride to Newcastle, and there is not much space to put luggage (and that which I do have would have to be strapped on and removed at each stop). Instead, I want a bike that lets me ride all day long, has room for luggage (and which lets me continue when the road stops).

    BMW know that there are plenty of us in our thirties with ready cash and a desire for something like the above, and have brought to market a very expensive bike that ticks all of our boxes. I am pretty sure, if it was seventeen year olds that wanted a big enduro bike, that they would be coming in at a much cheaper level than they currently are.

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    I like an out and out sports bike. I like to 'scratch' arounf the smaller A roads across the Norht Yorks Moors and the Dales. We have some of the top biking roads in the country. I usualy ride with 3 or 4 others.
    At the moment I have as I have already posted a Yamaha YZF R6, it's a 600cc bike. I have had bigger but they aren't as fast round the roads I ride. I am going to trade back to a Ducati 996 I have had 2 o fthese in the past, I am looking at a 2001 model. It's a bigger engine than the Yamaha but the weight and handling is very similar, they are compact bikes compared to their rivals.

    I have never seen the point of 'Cruiser' I would feel far too frustrated being passed by all the sports bikes and not being able to do anything about it.
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    I do fancy an old Air Cooled Yamaha RD 250 twin though, 1970s vintage, they were mental 2 stroke screamers. I learned to ride on one, it had rear set pegs, clip on bars and a crazy tuned pipe.
    I traded that for an RD 350 YPVS like Northernboy. It was fast but not the same some how.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    I like an out and out sports bike. I like to 'scratch' arounf the smaller A roads across the Norht Yorks Moors and the Dales. We have some of the top biking roads in the country. I usualy ride with 3 or 4 others.
    As my brother lives just outside Northallerton, I'm often there on the bike, and always stop en route to Northumberland from London (although for Christmas I took the RS4. Heated seats, a roof and four wheel drive seemed a better choice than the bike for that trip). The roads up there are definitely far better than what I can easily reach from Canary Wharf.

    I definitely miss the performance of my 'Blade (although I purposely bought a slower bike to avoid jail), but managed some pretty respectable laps of the 'Ring on the GS last year. Its riding position inspires confidence, letting me push right up to its limits on every bend in a way that I rarely managed on a proper sportsbike.

    Perhaps one day I'll own a Harley, but I think that the transition to that decision will have to involve some form of major head trauma, as at the moment I genuinely cannot understand what people use them for.

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    I drink in the 'Station' in Redcar, a long time biker pub. There are a few Harly owners in there, it's something you are bortn to I think. They went from learner bikes to Chops and Harleys when we were all youngsters many moons ago.
    It's mainly the long time sports riders (as opposed tothose that come to biking in middle age) that are either dead or walking with a limp.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    I do fancy an old Air Cooled Yamaha RD 250 twin though, 1970s vintage, they were mental 2 stroke screamers. I learned to ride on one, it had rear set pegs, clip on bars and a crazy tuned pipe.
    I traded that for an RD 350 YPVS like Northernboy. It was fast but not the same some how.
    Yeah I had an old air cooled twin RD 250, when it became un-road worthy my uncle put some spud tyres on it and let his boys loose on the fields it went like stink! I then moved onto a RD-LC 350 which was a great bike at the time. I ported and polish the cylinder head stuck on a illegal exhaust and did some other bits of tunning. It was quite quick and good fun to ride. I then bought a Suzuki Gamma RG 250, this thing was rapid and would accelerate like a super bike! But man it was temperamental!
    Oh... the good old days!

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    RD aircooled and the LC are both collectors classics now, they go for a fortune.
    There is a company that will upgrade your old Yamaha LC with the forks from a Suzuki Gamma and the swingarm from an Yamaha FZR so you can put on some modern wheels with wide sticky' profile tyres. It turns it into a modern bike that can hold its own with a lot of the 600 class Sports Bikes on the twisty stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernBoy View Post
    That look is very far from standard.
    It's Harley Davidson's standard, which is all I was referring to with that phrase.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernBoy View Post
    Are you thinking of buying one, then?
    Not seriously, for the next few years, partially due to money... but the way I'm looking at this is based on what I would want if I were buying soon, or what I'll do if and when I decide to really get one in a few years.

    I have no interest in cruisers at all. In fact, I count that look as a negative. I only brought them up because of Suzuki calling some of them "tourers" for no apparent reason and Kawasaki mixing the two types of machine under both labels. It made me wonder which ones were which and why. Now I see that the definitions I had inferred from Honda and Yamaha, which Kawasaki also sorto follows, are correct, the common definitions in use by people... even though Kawasaki has exceptions and Suzuki completely ignores them.

    What would interest me most would be touring or sport-touring bikes: I would want fairings and storage boxes and a relatively relaxed upright position. The one type of motorcycle fitting that description with the least-insane price is the Honda NT700V. I'd be using it for routine transportation in my city, at least. I'm not sure about long highway trips, which I might rather us a car for anyway, but even just using it around town means it would be close to useless without some way to carry at least some small items with me. (I do shop, and go to school, and occasionally take things to and back from work.) For such local distances, maybe crouching forward to some extent wouldn't be bad, so getting a cheap sport bike like a Kawasaki Ninja 500R or 250R or Suzuki GS500F just for the cheapness would make sense, if they just has some storage! I've even thought of somehow customizing such a bike with added-on storage myself, but then I thought "What keeps Kawasaki or Suzuki from doing that themselves; why does adding some boxes and shifting the rider's position up and back a bit triple the price?".

    But my questions have been mostly semi-idle curiosity about how the system works, because I'm already fairly sure that my practical requirements and my desire not to waste money on pretentious image will both lead me, in real life, to a scooter. What people normally think of when they think of scooters (things like a Honda Metropolitan & Elite and Yamaha Vino) probably wouldn't handle some of the faster-moving, heavier-traffic streets around here very well, but if they can't, then there are bigger, beefier "scooters" that I think would, like Yamaha Majesty, Suzuki Burgman, and maybe Honda SH150i. If I could be sure that the "performance" of either type of scooters isn't just inadequate for my urban environment, then I'd just go straight to a scooter and never give any type of motorcycle another look.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernBoy View Post
    On this specific point, it is the quality of the components, the development costs of the technology, and what the market will support
    I'm curious how they concluded that there can be no market for cheap components and simple technology such as apparently characterize the cheaper sport bikes & cruisers, but in the shape of a motorcycle with an upright seating position, fairings, and storage boxes. Each of those features can be found, separately, on relatively cheap sport bikes or cruisers, so why not all three together and still for an equivalent price? It's the kind of motorcycle I would want, so I'm not getting what makes me so rare.

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    I would go for the Kawasaki 500 or the Suzuki GS

    Both are considered to be 'Commuter' bikes in the UK not Sports Bikes (whatever the manufacturers claim) although they take some of their styling from their 'proper' sports brothers they have a more relaxed riding position and the engine tune is more relaxed for steady riding rather than high revving. Wheels and tyres aren't as 'extreme' as on sports bikes so you don't have to spend a fortune every 1500 miles on expensive tyres, they don't need the stickyness and profile of out and out sports tyres so they last longer. and fuel consumption is a lot better. Don't go for a 250, you will have to rev it and dance on the gears to make any kind of progress, too small for a proper relaxed ride. I know someone with the Kawasaki, it's a good bike and the Suzuki GS is a fave of Riding Schools in the UK.

    I wouldn'y go for a V Twin, whatever the manufacturer says they vibrate and can be 'lumpy' Although it doesn't have a full fairing consider the Honda Hornet.It's what I would call a factory built 'Street fighter' You get the performance of a proper Sports Bike in a cheaper package with a more relaxed riding style.
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    I've owned half a dozen cruisers, and they all have a similar riding position - on your tailbone. They have chrome covering many parts. The cylinders are exposed, and the exhaust is covered by chrome.

    My current bikes include one cruiser, and two dual purpose bike. With luggage one of the latter becomes a "sport tourer" which is how I use it.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    I wouldn'y go for a V Twin, whatever the manufacturer says they vibrate and can be 'lumpy' Although it doesn't have a full fairing consider the Honda Hornet.It's what I would call a factory built 'Street fighter' You get the performance of a proper Sports Bike in a cheaper package with a more relaxed riding style.

    don't knock all v-twins! cruisers tend to have more vibrations, but many sport bikes and dual purpose bikes are v-twins. I find them just as comfortable as 4 cylinder bikes to ride for smoothness. They also have a distinct advantage in torque and thus low end acceleration.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    Sports bikes vary in price dependinmg on the technology and performance plus quality.
    I have a Yamaha YZF R6. It's a 'Supersports'

    in the states we consider sport bikes with more than 750cc. fewer than 750 is not
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    I have never seen the point of 'Cruiser' I would feel far too frustrated being passed by all the sports bikes and not being able to do anything about it.
    haha, maybe on the straight roads. you haven't ridden with many good cruiser riders. it's more about the person riding than the actual bike
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    I don't knock all V Tiwns, my fave bike is a Ducati, am thinking of swapping the Yamaha for another 996 this year,. It's 996cc but has the size and weight of a smaller bike.
    Engine size isn't a factor in classing 'Sports Bikes' in he UK, it's down to performance, riding position and handling. 600cc class is popular for insurance reasons here and for licensing reasons in Japan. Put together in means the 600 class is prob the most highly developed and 'sporty' class on the road. Around our twisty A roads they make faster progress than bigger bikes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    I would go for the Kawasaki 500 or the Suzuki GS
    Then what would you do about carrying small items with you? Wear a backpack?

    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    Don't go for a 250, you will have to rev it and dance on the gears to make any kind of progress, too small for a proper relaxed ride.
    Interesting note: some of the bigger "scooters" I've been looking at (the Suzuki and Yamaha's Majesty) have a bigger engine than that (about 400cc), and even Honda's SH150i is only about 40% less. Of course, the smaller, more normal scooters hang around just one or two fifths of that. But they are lighter and cheaper with more storage space...

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    Scooters have small wheels,they are less stable and more prone to 'tramlining' on road defects, bouncing over potholes and have less stability and will wander around in the wind. Small wheels and tyres also mean less grip than a bike.
    they are however easy to ride, keep your legs dry and don't use much fuel.
    If I have to carry anything I either use a rucksack, tank bag, cargo net on the rear or you can buy a removable 'top box' that fits onto the rear top of the bike. removable panniers are also available.
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  28. #28
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    Mar 2004
    Posts
    39
    You know, the terms given for bikes in the cruising and touring line are pretty much moot now a days. But the name explains it all.

    Touring = Bikes built for cross country touring. People that want to take their bikes on vacation. Primary extras, storage space, fairing, comfortable passenger seat, beefier motor.

    Cruising = Bikes built for short cruises. Maybe at most a few hour circle around the countryside or back and forth to work. Primary extras maybe a set of saddle bags and a small clear fairing, but usually neither of those.

    Keep this in mind. Know what you want before you buy a bike. If you're younger you'll probably change bikes at least once in the first 5 years of ownership. Most people find that they've made the wrong decision or grown bored with their bike after they've ridden for a while. (That and the fact that nearly 1/2 of new riders dump their bike within the first year is why I always suggest buying used) After their first few years most people move on to something more practical. Riding a chopper makes you look f**king cool, but most are hard tails (no rear suspension) and leave little to be desired in the butt and back area. Sport bikes are fast and fun, but not very good during long trips and pretty uncomfortable IMHO. Cruisers are awesome for riding to work or bar hopping but again are not optimal for riding long distances. Touring bike are VERY nice for long trips, but they're clunky and awkward when you just want to ride solo around town.

    My wife has been looking for a bike lately. It seems at least here in Milwaukee women have converted from passengers to drivers. I see more and more women on the road every year. But anyway... She's sick of sitting on the back of my cruiser. lol So I took her to a bunch of second hand bike shops and let her sit on all types of bike. After that she had a MUCH better grasp on what she wanted. Like I tell my wife... Ultimately comfort is going to be your #1 priority and finding a bike that fits you will be the best decision you ever make.

    Good Luck.

    -Al

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,064
    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    although sports tyres can cost a fortune and only last about 500 miles, I payn about 400 each for mine.)
    Hang on, you are paying 800 a set for road tyres, and getting through them in 500 miles? Which tyres cost so much, and what are you doing to wear them out at that pace.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,064
    Quote Originally Posted by crosscountry View Post
    don't knock all v-twins! cruisers tend to have more vibrations, but many sport bikes and dual purpose bikes are v-twins. I find them just as comfortable as 4 cylinder bikes to ride for smoothness. They also have a distinct advantage in torque and thus low end acceleration.
    There is no inherent feature of a twin's design over a four that gives it more torque. What you might find is that because large capacity twins are not easily made to rev highly (heavier pistons or longer stroke) their designers have to go a different route, and focus on getting more out at the bottom end of the range.

    My bike (R1200GS) does feel torquey, but in reality has less than a fireblade, despite the japanese bike having less capacity.

    haha, maybe on the straight roads. you haven't ridden with many good cruiser riders. it's more about the person riding than the actual bike
    Only within limits, though. A similar ability of rider is going to be faster on a sportsbike than on a cruiser in most situations. For one thing ground clearance limits cruiser riders to a very pedestrian rate of progress in the bends.

    They just feel that they are going fast because so many bits of the bike are dragging on the deck...

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