I'm looking for input on bigger cruisers. Four in particular, Yamaha Raider, Suzuki M109, Honda vtx 1800,and Kawasaki Vulcan 2000. I have narrowed it down to these four based on seat height. Since I am only 5'8" tall, a 28 inch seat height is about all I can handle without buying platform boots.
As for riding background on myself, I have been riding for about 14 years. I have been on my 950 now for going on 4 years, and had two 650's previously. The only reason I haven't gotten a bigger bike before now is my wife's paranoia. Now that I have taught her to ride, and she loves it, she understands the need for the larger platform. I want something that can do cross country if the need arises. The 950 is a great bike, but doesn't have the legs for my heavy butt on the interstate.
Most would say to consider the weight of the bigger bike, but this doesn't concern me much. Before I met my wife, I was a competing power lifter. I used to squat almost 600 lbs so my legs are quite strong. They are just short, and very thick, causing another problem with the width of the saddle/bike.
As for the power jump, I always ride responsibly. I don't have to go everywhere with my hair on fire like when I was a kid.
I am wanting to hear from people with these bikes, how comfortable are they on long trips, any problems with day to day use, ect. Which would/did you choose and why?
These are my concerns. I'm afraid the M109 is too wide to be comfortable for a long time. The Raiders pegs may be too far forward for me for comfort. The vtx 1800 is everywhere, meaning its a good bike, but I like bikes that aren't around every corner. The Vulcan seems to be stacking up as my favorite, but I do have to admit that 123 cubic inches is a bit daunting. I have at least sat on every one of these bikes, but can not seem to make up my mind.
Other bikes I have considered are the Road Star 1700, almost anything from Victory (except the v92, too tall), and the Roadliner. The 1700 on the used market is about the same price as the vtx 1800, so why not go with the extra power and fuel injection. I absolutely love the Roadliner, but its seat is 29 inches which is the same as my inseam. I also love the look of the Victory Vegas, Jackpot and Hammer, but they all lose something when you add bags. Any other suggestions would be appreciated, but as stated earlier I am looking for less than 28 inch seat height with plenty of power.
I apologize for the long windedness of this post, but there is a lot to consider.