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Discussion Starter #1
So I am looking to buy a larger cruiser to replace my Rebel, I have posted this question on a Facebook motorcycle group as well.
I am looking for a cruiser type motorcycle, 600 or larger cc'c, low seat height to fit someone with a 28-29 inch inseam. Yes I am short.
I want a low center of gravity and a bike that easy easy to handle.
Primary use of this bike will be commuting to and from work and some camping, mostly a few days a few times a year.
Looking for a used bike, between $2000 and $3000.
 

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The Shadow VLX fits that bill. Like the Rebel it was available in two generations, Gen-1 had dual carbs and a 27.2" seat height and Gen-2 was a single carb with a lower-than-the-Rebel 25.6" seat. Naturally the Gen-1 with the extra carb was faster, the single offers similar performance in town but you notice the (lacking) single carb difference at freeway speeds.
 
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I know you specified 600 CCs or more, but have you considered the Vulcan 500 (EN500)? Top speed 100 mph, does the 1/4 mile in just under 15 seconds, seat height 28 inches and dry weight of 440 lbs. Usually common on craigslist, and well within your desired budget.
 

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Vulcan 500 (EN500)?
One word of warning...first gen EN500 Vulcans had a belt drive. While that may be desirable
over chain maintenance, Kawasaki stopped making those pre-96 belts long ago. Since the Gen-1 wheels are different, you'll need a Gen-2 rear wheel for the sprocket swap.

Back to the 600 Shadow VLX...like the 250 Rebel pretty much 95% of the Gen-1 to Gen-2 bits are compatible. The 500 Vulcan pretty much carried only the engine over to the Gen-2 bike. The upside is Kawi made more Gen-2 models than Gen-1 bikes. The Shadow on the other hand saw a generous 20 year production run and is still readily available on the market. It was named best worldwide model in 2000...Honda belted out a lot of them.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I know you specified 600 CCs or more, but have you considered the Vulcan 500 (EN500)? Top speed 100 mph, does the 1/4 mile in just under 15 seconds, seat height 28 inches and dry weight of 440 lbs. Usually common on craigslist, and well within your desired budget.
Well I guess if it were in nice condition and the price was right I might go for a 500, but on the other hand I don't really want to upgrade in size again anytime soon. I do want to be able to cruise on the interstates with camping gear loaded onto what ever I choose, so I am really leaning toward a 600+ bike. Right now I am leaning toward a member of the Shadow line of bikes, or a VStar.
 

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One word of warning...first gen EN500 Vulcans had a belt drive. While that may be desirable
over chain maintenance, Kawasaki stopped making those pre-96 belts long ago. Since the Gen-1 wheels are different, you'll need a Gen-2 rear wheel for the sprocket swap.

Back to the 600 Shadow VLX...like the 250 Rebel pretty much 95% of the Gen-1 to Gen-2 bits are compatible. The 500 Vulcan pretty much carried only the engine over to the Gen-2 bike. The upside is Kawi made more Gen-2 models than Gen-1 bikes. The Shadow on the other hand saw a generous 20 year production run and is still readily available on the market. It was named best worldwide model in 2000...Honda belted out a lot of them.
I ran into a guy working behind the counter of a local auto parts store that had a 600 VLX, he seemed to really like it and said if I ever had the chance to buy 1 I would definitely like it coming from my Rebel.
 

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I ran into a guy working behind the counter of a local auto parts store that had a 600 VLX, he seemed to really like it and said if I ever had the chance to buy 1 I would definitely like it coming from my Rebel.
One thing is for sure, you won't find a lower seat than the Gen-2 model. Personally I'd go for a Gen-1 dual carb and a rear lowering kit though. Try both on (88-98 and 99-07 respectively) and see how the peg reach is as that seat-to-peg distance can make a difference regardless of lowering kits.
 
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One thing is for sure, you won't find a lower seat than the Gen-2 model. Personally I'd go for a Gen-1 dual carb and a rear lowering kit though. Try both on (88-98 and 99-07 respectively) and see how the peg reach is as that seat-to-peg distance can make a difference regardless of lowering kits.
Well seat height is only important to a certain point, I want to be able to "flat foot" my bike, which is one thing I prefer about cruiser vs sport bikes. my first bike was a Kawi Ninja, I was on my tip toes and backing it out of a parking spot was difficult. I can flat foot my Rebel with a significant bend in my knees. As long as can flat foot and back out of parking spots I'm good and wouldn't need to lower whatever bike I decide to buy.
 

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Lowering kit was just a suggestion for the slightly taller Gen-1 seat height if it proved too much in stock form.
 
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Lowering kit was just a suggestion for the slightly taller Gen-1 seat height if it proved too much in stock form.
Ok, so for the last couple of days I have been looking at different brands of bikes, it seems like the European manufacturers don't make cruisers, although Triumph seems to be building a BIG cruiser, the Rocket 3 which is a huge cruiser. Are cruisers more of an American thing?
 

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Have you seen the BMW R18 prototype? WOW! Another huge European cruiser to be built for the American market. Save your money for next year.
 

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Have you seen the BMW R18 prototype? WOW! Another huge European cruiser to be built for the American market. Save your money for next year.
No I hadn't seen it until just now. I'm not much of a fan of the "bobber" look. But on the other hand I guess if the seat height was low enough for me, and I won the lotto, I might buy one to say I've got a "bobber" at home in the garage.
 

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Ok, so for the last couple of days I have been looking at different brands of bikes, it seems like the European manufacturers don't make cruisers, although Triumph seems to be building a BIG cruiser, the Rocket 3 which is a huge cruiser. Are cruisers more of an American thing?
Check out the Bonneville America, it's about 1/3 the displacement of the Rocket III. There are other Bonnevilles that fit the bill as well. The Thunderbird is another, albeit in 1500+cc guise.

Bonneville America:


RE: the BMW throwback --- it hints at WW2 styling but at 1800cc you can count on WW2 era vehicle weight. See that exposed driveshaft? Not gonna happen in today's litigious society, add a few more pounds for the cover. ;)

Speaking of BMW, look up their former R1200C, that was their first attempt at an "Americanized cruiser" in the late 90's and IIRC the first bike sporting their patented Telelever Front Suspension.

 

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Check out the Bonneville America, it's about 1/3 the displacement of the Rocket III. There are other Bonnevilles that fit the bill as well. The Thunderbird is another, albeit in 1500+cc guise.

Bonneville America:
I just searched cycle trade, there is a Triumph America for sale just a little outside my probable price range. It's another option I will add to my list of possibilities. So I guess my next question is, are European built bikes more or less reliable than Japanese built bikes? Reliability is a must have for me. 
 

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So I guess my next question is, are European built bikes more or less reliable than Japanese built bikes? Reliability is a must have for me. 
I've never owned any but will say this much: the Germans really know how to make a durable design so it wouldn't surprise me if the BMW bikes echoed the durability of their respective automotive branch. Triumph had a lackluster reliability record that was on par with Harley Davidson back in the day, and much like HD they too have seen improvements in that timeframe.
 

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Best cruiser I ever owned was a 2007 Suzuki Bandit 650 They call them naked bikes. I have a 27-28 inseam and I lowered it with dog bones. Good all around bike. Comes out of the hole quick, good around town and on interstate . did not get blown around on the highway when trucks pass you. i am 85 yrs old and have gone down to an 85 rebel 250.
 
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