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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
My wife is currently riding a 250 Rebel and we both feel she is ready to move up.

We're currently looking at cruisers in the 500-650 size range. She tried a HD 883 sportster but didn't like the way it rode, too stiff for her. I did tell her that there are things that can be done about the stiff ride but she doesn't want to spend thousands on a bike and then several hundred on top of that to make it ride like she wants.

I'm looking for suggestions and opinions on cruisers in this cc range? We've looked at the Honda shodow VLX, but I don't like the fact that it only had a 4psd tranny. the Vulcan 500, the Suzuki 650 thumper and the V star 650. We haven't seen any of these in person yet, just specs and writeups online.

We're going to look at an 03 vstar tomorrow that is for sale on Ebay and is only a few miles from us. Mostly just to sit on it and get a feel for the size difference between it and her Rebel.

thanks for any feedback
 

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I know you mentioned 600cc range, but I will throw out the 750 Shadow Spirit. The wife loves hers ('03 model). She actually came off a Rebel before we moved her up to the SS750. It isn't an over powering bike even though it is a 750. Performance wise, it is in the 883 range. It has a low seating position, I think in the 25" area, so if she is a little shorter, flat-footing wil not be a problem. The low ride height also makes the bike fairly easy to maneuver (low center of gravity). IMHO it is the best looking of the mid-sized cruisers; kind of a muscle cruiser style. The last gen ones don't have geat resale, so you can get a very good one for a decent deal. I don't know alot about the new one other then it is shaft drive and maybe FI.
 

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if the spirit isnt exacly what she wants, look at the honda shadow aero. i love mine. pretty much the same exact as the spirit with diff fenders and seat, and its shaft drive instead of chain. although i think their both shaft for 08. 24" seat hight. runs pretty much exacly like a vstar 650 since the vstar has dual carbs. my friend had a 650 and its a dead even race except aero got better mpg.
my girlfriend just took the MSF last year and started on the aero. shes only bout 5'4" and had no problems. she dropped it a coupla times but hay thats gonna happen. she just had forks turned a little when she stopped.
if you go to hondas website you can find dealers in your area that allow testrides. there is a little icon next to the dealer that offer them. i think after you search for dealer in your area. youll just have to look around.
good luck.
 

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I know you mentioned 600cc range, but I will throw out the 750 Shadow Spirit. The wife loves hers ('03 model). She actually came off a Rebel before we moved her up to the SS750. It isn't an over powering bike even though it is a 750. Performance wise, it is in the 883 range. It has a low seating position, I think in the 25" area, so if she is a little shorter, flat-footing wil not be a problem. The low ride height also makes the bike fairly easy to maneuver (low center of gravity). IMHO it is the best looking of the mid-sized cruisers; kind of a muscle cruiser style. The last gen ones don't have geat resale, so you can get a very good one for a decent deal. I don't know alot about the new one other then it is shaft drive and maybe FI.

+1 for the Shadow 750. I ride with a couple of women with the 750, both of them on the petite side. They don't find it overpowering and the seat is low enough for them to ride without modifications. I also know a woman who had the Shadow 750 as her first bike and after one season she was comfortable enough to upgrade to an 1100.
 

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the yamahas are air cooled. just depends on which side of the fence you are on.
 

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...but I don't like the fact that it only had a 4psd tranny.
Check out the Suzuki Marauder 800, I don't know if they make them anymore but it sure was a sweet bike
I'm not sure, but I think the Marauders are 4-speeds, aren't they?

I have a friend with a V-Star 650. Nice looking bike. He rides quite a bit and even tackles some twisty roads once in awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We looked at the vstar last night and of course she now loves and wants it. Don't know if it's gonna come in for our price range.

She is scared to death of the thought of a 750 at this point. When we bought her Rebel the woman who was selling it had moved up to a 750 Shadow, so while we were there she got on it to show us and to my wife this woman really seemed to struggle with the bike. So that has her really scared about 750's, plus the bigger bikes are a little more $$ than we want to spend right now.

thanks for all the tips, maybe i just need to get her into a dealer to look at the 750's. I think she's leaning towards the vstar 650 but we'll see if we can find others to sit on and feel. i do like very much that the vstar is a shaft, I had a Yamaha Seca 750 with shaft years ago and boy do I miss shaft.

My bike is in the shop right now so I've been riding her Rebel to work, let me just say "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee". It is tiny but it's still a bike and with my truck getting 20mpg and the Rebel getting about 75 who am I to complain. And it sure is easy to handle in the parking lot.
 

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Just going from memory, I don't recall the V-star and Shadow series being that much different, bulk wise. Did you mean that the extra cc were a "struggle"? If you are willing to buy used, the shadow series can be had for a song; nobody is really interested in a mid-sized cruiser.
 

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getting off one and onto another, one dont feel any larger or run any harder than the other. just different.
 

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Vulcan 500 hands down It will toast all of those Vtwins. My sister has one and my dad has a 800 volusia. The 500 vulcan leaves it for dead.
 

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vulcan 500?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, she found a vstar custom that she liked so that's what's coming home with us tomorrow. She did get to test ride a classic and loved it so I think she'll be happy with this.

Thanks for all the ideas.
 

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Well, she found a vstar custom that she liked so that's what's coming home with us tomorrow. She did get to test ride a classic and loved it so I think she'll be happy with this.

Thanks for all the ideas.
Glad to hear that you are getting another bike to add to the garage. I like that my wife rides; it is fun to get out and ride places together.
 

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The Vulcan 800 is also a great little starter bike and is also one of the lower models out there for those who are not a long limbed.
 
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