Vstar 650 vs Vulcan 500 - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Vstar 650 vs Vulcan 500

Which bike do you think would be the better first bike, Keep in mind i am 6'4-6'5 and weigh 240. Ive got looking at the vulcans and you can get a nice used one for 2000 on craigslist with 5000 miles. what do you all think?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 01:26 PM
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I can't speak to the 650 but a Vulcan 500 was my first bike It was AWESOME. I put over 24,000 miles on her it the 4 years I owned her and never had any problems that I didn't directly cause through my own stupidity or bullheadedness (riding during a snow storm in Colorado caused a fork seal to blow amongst other things). It also kept it's value pretty well when I was forced to sell. I don't quite top 5'1" and I weigh significantly less than you but I rode that thing fully loaded with everything I owned in the saddlebags, strapped to the rear seat and on the luggage rack and had no issues on freeways or twisties (Dragon Tail anyone ). I also loaned it to a family friend one day and he took both his sister and mother out and the Vulcan handled beautifully.

That being said, my 1100 is fabulous and I bet the 650 would be a great first bike also. You can't go too badly wrong with either bike as long as it's mechanically sound and been looked after...

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 04:29 PM
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Hi Shawn. I own an 07' 650 classic with minor mods and get a consistent 52-55 mpg. It handles well and does what i want it to do, yet it's not a high speed highway/interstate cruiser. You have to determine what you want out of your bike. I can do 2up riding ok, yet if your passenger is a decent sized person, and taking into consideration your size, it might be a bit of a strain on your motor if you're running 70mph or more. This is just my thoughts only. Others may say differently, yet I can only go by my experience. I'm 5'-11"tall and weigh 215. If I have a passenger over 150lbs, my bike starts straining around 65-70. I've never ridden a Vulcan so I honestly can't give an opinion on them. I hope this helps in some small way, and good luck on whatever you decide. Just make sure you send us some pics if you get a "yammy". Ride safe!

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 08:55 PM
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Shawn you are too big both both bikes. You will be uncomfortable and look like grape ape humping a mouse. I'm 6'5" and 270 and my dad had a vstar 650 that i ride occasionally. If you want a cheap beginner bike what about a shadow 750?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 07:57 AM
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The Vulcan 500 is a great bike, but I also agree it is small for you.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 08:43 AM
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I am 5'9" and about 220 lbs and I ride a 09 Vstar 650 Silverado. It handled great for me in the Texas hill country. It will not have the power of the 950s and 1100s, but it cruises fine for me on the highway. 4th gear has plenty of pep in the city. I really like my bike right now and I am not having that craving desire to upgrade to a bigger one (maybe some years later )

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 10:58 AM
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I bought my 650 because I'm 10" shorter than you are. I think you need a taller bike (not necessarily larger). If I were your height, I think I would look for a standard bike rather than a cruiser but in the same engine size range (650-750). I would buy an older but reliable older bike since you will drop it a few times (usually stopped or almost stopped). Once you learn to ride, you can upgrade to a better bike and you will know more of what kind of bike you want. It doesn't hurt as much to scratch a previously scratched than it is to put the first scratch on a spotless bike.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 02:33 AM
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Take it from the owner of a 650 who's ridden everything from 450cc (1st bike) to 1500cc - two, four, and 6-cylinder bikes. With your size and weight, the *least* you should be looking at is ~900cc engine or larger. I would recommend you test-ride multiple 1100-1200cc bikes if you want to keep the cost down, but you might be able to get away with an 800.

If you don't have quite all the money yet, start saving like mad until spring or so. Trust me, you'll be happier with more oomph in the engine. The only reason I bought the 650 was it looked great and I was able to pay cash for it (and I REAAAALLY wanted to get back on two wheels; plus I found a great dealer.) It's a little buzzy ~70-75mph on the highway. I'm currently saving up for either a Royal Star or an 1800 Wing, whichever I can afford first
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 09:42 AM
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The 650 has low power but it will still move you ok at hwy speeds. It's not the power that's the issue it's the frame size. The 650 will hit 100 give or take if you wind it out...I've done it a couple of times to get my dad's bike cleaned out from putting around town. The bike should fit your body type so you can learn good form and technique.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 10:17 AM
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i bought my wife a 11 650 about 2 years ago she is tall at 5'11" and was uncomfortable on the bike so i put a scootmad 4" extension and that did help but we also ride with a lot of groups that do alot of touring and the 650 had trouble getting up to speed and struggled on long hwy trips, after replacing the air cleaner with a kuryakan high 5 and jetting the carbs it did better but was still lacking, we just traded it in on a 12 950t . i agree the 650 might be small for you.
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