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I have been away from riding for about 25 years and I'm at a point where I've taken care of all the family things I need to take care of and I'm interested in getting a bike. A lot has changed in 25 years, especially the bikes. I've been thinking about Harleys but the cost is high and the performance is low. Can someone who has been there give me their opinion on which way to go? I'm thinking cruiser, not crotch rocket. Thanks in advance.
 

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Well Chuck, I was in a similar boat about 3 weeks ago. I was away from riding for about 35 years and finally said... enough, I need a bike. I did lots and lots of research. I wanted a cruiser, like you, yet not a big bike or a small one either. I narrowed my choices to 3. Suzuki C50T, Kawasaki 900lt, and the V Star 950. After looking at all three and reading lots of internet reviews, the choice was obvious... (that would be the 950 of course).

I did not test ride any of them because... I have been away from riding for 35 years. Even if the dealers would have let me ride, I would have been too focused on just staying upright to see what really fit. I made the right choice.
 

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Dbrock, thanks for the reply and congrats on your new ride. I'll let you know which bike I decide on. Thanks again.
 

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I HIGHLY recommend the 950. If you happened to read my reply to your other post, I also gave you some options to look at. I hope you find the perfect match. :)
 

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I was away from riding for 12 years when i came back too it, bought an 89 1100 Virago. Something to consider is when you have been away a while the skills are rusty, if you are gonna put something down is it notbetter to kill a cheap bike than a brand new machine. Besides they are comfortable and very tolerant of idiots as i found out, then replaced it 18 months later with a new v star1100 and since bought the new v star 1300.

As i said somethingto think about
 

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maybe a crazy question

Used 650 V-Stars are the best deal going. Many are available with very low miles, mainly because newbies or returners believe the hype that bigger is better. I have been licenced and riding for 35 years; 25 on a BMW R75/5, 6 on a Suzuki 650 Tempter and the last 4 on a 650 V-Star. I weigh 200lbs and average 3000 miles per trip multiple times per year and I have never found the 650 to be too small. If you are tall, the distance between the seat and the foot pegs is just as important as the size of the engine. Good luck and welcome back.
 

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i am also new to riding. i didnt want to spend a lot so i got a used, 2000 vstar 1100 custom, low mileage for about 3900.00 on craigs list, great bike, only 5100 miles on it. it is the right size and power for my limited experience, it gives me room to learn and grow. hope you find the bike you like, there are a lot of nice ones out there.
 

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Groundchuck, did you get a bike? I hate to disagree with everyone besides being a day late on this post but I would recommend a 1300 Tourer since I was able to buy a new 2009 for less than $400.00 more than my local Yammy dealer quoted me on a 2009 950. That is a lot more bike for $400.
 

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What new or used bike to get?

Motorcycles are partly emotional and they look different to each person. Proportions are important along with safety and ease of use. In particular, Yamaha pays close attention to all of the above. There are many other issues to review in deciding on a bike. The 950, and the 1100 are the best entry level and post entry level bikes out there. The 1300 is as well except that Yamaha did not pay close attention in the styling department on the 1300 and they are, in most areas, not brisk sellers as a result. That's why they can be had at pretty hefty discounts. Great bike though, if you don't count looks!
 

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I know the Stratoliner might not look like an entry level bike, but once you pull away from the stop light the extra weight of this bike dissapears. This is one of the best handling bikes of any size and it has smooth power. I would recommend at least a test drive. It is a lot of bike but really easy to drive.
 

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The Stratoliner and the Roadliner are both great motorcycles. I'm not sure that they are entry level machines from a number of standpoints, but there is no denying there torque and horsepower and the comfort that they offer. They can be heavy though under some conditions which most beginners would not be pleased struggling with, if for some reason the bike gets sideways or balance is lost at a stop. They both offer endless customization possibilities. But then so do the V-Star1100 and the 950.
 

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I assisted a friend of my son who is an Iraq War Vet in getting his first road bike after he had some dirt riding experience. He looked at all the Metrics, not wanting a Harley which still suffer from comfort issues among cost and other issues. After reviewing all the metrics, he decided upon a 950 Yamaha V-Star. He is not sorry. He got a blue stock one without anything and then loaded it up with the touring package, the dealer promising and delivering a discount on the new accessories. He is totally delighted. The power, stock, is like the 1100 V-Star, but the fuel economy is 47 miles per gallon. With a large 4.4 gallon fuel tank, 200 miles before a gas stop is no problem. The bike is smooth and the new wind screen is designed to keep wind off the rider, very well. The saddle bags are among the largest in class. A rack and sissy bar that are quick release, like the windshield are also available as accessories. The module will accept a couple of after market modules for any engine or pipe changes that is quick and easy to install and makes any after market pipes a breeze to install, should one choose to get such an offering.
 

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Add my name to the list of "been many years since I owned a bike"....started a year ago with an 87 wing and after chasing parts all summer decided to upgrade in years.. fell into an estate sale (sad) and ended up with a 2000 1600cc Silverado. Tons of chrome & upgrades and I am truly excited every time I fire it up ( Vance & Hines pipes).. My Harley owning neighbour and good friend says that I am louder than he is. I think I am in about 1/2 the price of a similar year Harley and the biggest thing that turns me on is the 100 + ft/lbs of tourgue at only 2500 rpm....versus almost the same torque at 3500 rpm on the Harley FLH . I rode his and liked the bottom end torque until I rode mine....now I'll never go Harley..
 

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I would recommend a Riders Safety Course. Very well worth the money. The one I took provided me with valuable skills like how to read the traffic and anticipate other peoples moves. Has kept me alive to 4 years and counting.

Some people I talk to take offence to me mentioning that, their reply is always "I have been riding for 25 years, why do I need to learn again?"

Well, I am not questioning the ability of the rider. I feel the biggest hazard on the road is OTHER PEOPLE, so to have the skills to read their actions to adjust your accordingly and stay alive, well the cost is worth it. A fraction of what I have spent on bikes.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.
 

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I'd like to echo Dave-Star's comments espoecially about the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's rider course. I had't ridden in many years and decided to start again this Summer. The first thing I did was take the course over a weekend in June. It gave me my "sea legs" back, gave me confidence to be back on 2 wheels, and most imprtantly taught me an awful lot about riding. The course is well worth it and in many states, completing the course entitles you to a significant discount on your bike's insurance.

In July, I bought an '03 Suzuki VS800 Intruder. It was an easy bike to ride and I had lots of fun with it. It was, in my opinion, a bit underpowered especially on the interstate. Two weeks ago, I traded it in for an '08 V Star1100 Midnight Custom. It also is an easy bike to ride, even easier than my old Intruder, even though the engine is 300 cc's larger and the bike weighs about 200 lbs more. I am extremely happy I made the change and love the new bike.
 

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With the absence of the V-Star 1100, the best entry level bike out there is the V-Star 950, if you like air cooled engines. The V-Star 1300 is a great bike if you don't mind a radiator and water cooling; such keeps the consistency of the engine temperature near-perfect but kind of messes up the looks as do the way certain guages are mounted.
 

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I would recommend a Riders Safety Course. Very well worth the money. The one I took provided me with valuable skills like how to read the traffic and anticipate other peoples moves. Has kept me alive to 4 years and counting.

Some people I talk to take offence to me mentioning that, their reply is always "I have been riding for 25 years, why do I need to learn again?"

Well, I am not questioning the ability of the rider. I feel the biggest hazard on the road is OTHER PEOPLE, so to have the skills to read their actions to adjust your accordingly and stay alive, well the cost is worth it. A fraction of what I have spent on bikes.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.
Well said Mr. Dave Star, I hope all newer(as well as vet) riders take heed. Ride safe.
 

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pawpawmike

I have been away from riding for about 25 years and I'm at a point where I've taken care of all the family things I need to take care of and I'm interested in getting a bike. A lot has changed in 25 years, especially the bikes. I've been thinking about Harleys but the cost is high and the performance is low. Can someone who has been there give me their opinion on which way to go? I'm thinking cruiser, not crotch rocket. Thanks in advance.
Dont feel alone I was off a bike for 28 years and your are right alot has changed when i quit ridding a 750 cc bike was pretty up there for me.But you owe it to yourself to ride again.a suggestion dont buy anything smaller than 1000 cc bike I made that mistake and withen 12 months i up graded to a 1100cc from a 650cc whichwas to small about 1100cc is all i need if your going to buy a new machine the Jap bikes are really the way to go.Dont get me wrong Harley makes a good machine but cost to much
 

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It's getting more difficult to find a V-Star 1100, the best looking Classic ever made by Yamaha, but they are still out there. You can ride 'em stock or put your choice on the bike with probably 500+ accessories out there. I've put a few of my own on. If you want, you can ride 'cross the country or put kits on that will double the horsepower. And the machine is easy to handle for any size person. Mileage is still in the mid-40's.
 
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