General Question

futurelaker88's avatar

Will a sports bike or a cruiser ride smoother on the highway?

Asked by futurelaker88 (1595 points ) July 20th, 2010 from iPhone

which bike would provide a more FUN experience at speeds around 50–70mph? i don’t want to be shaking and vibrating. I’m torn between Kawasaki Vulcan 800 or a Suzuki GSXR 600. i want a cruiser to be more relaxed, but if the ride isn’t as smooth or enjoyable I’d sacrifice comfort for the ride. any suggestions…even another bike? thanks!!

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13 Answers

ipso's avatar

It depends on suspension settings, but sport bikes are generally set much stiffer and can be very uncomfortable on the highway. Cruiser are made for just that! Try some out and see what you like best.

futurelaker88's avatar

@ipso is it possible to test drive a bike at a dealership if im not planning on buying one there? I’m looking to get one on craigslist.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@futurelaker88 You would probably be better off asking to rent each bike for a day or two. Or at least tell the dealer you are looking at a bike on Craigslist when you ask to test drive the bike. Remember the dealer you are test driving from may be the only authorized parts distributor/mechanic for the bike you end up buying anywhere close. You won’t want him to hold a grudge against you.

ipso's avatar

Do you have your motorcycle license? I hear the bigger the dealer, the better chance for a test ride of a used bike. It’s hit or miss depending on their inventory and how serious they take you.

Convention shows and large rallies often provide test rides services (e.g. Daytona week, Sturgis, the annual Los Angeles International Motorcycle Show, etc.).

Set your local dealers up against each other. Let them know you ARE going to buy a bike, you just don’t know from who yet.

If you’re anywhere near Monterey California later this week, the US MotoGP event is happening at Laguna Seca. I’ll bet you can find test rides there, but you’ll need a ticket to get into the fair area to talk to them.

You can rent motorcycles too. Maybe you can talk a rental shop into signing you up (so you’re insured) and then trying different bikes under the same agreement. That’s a long shot though.

judochop's avatar

I can’t believe you would purchase a bike from anyone, dealer or not without first running it at highway speeds and seeing how it handles in the city.
You don’t have to tell the dealership anything, you can buy parts almost anywhere. Go, check out the bike, ride it and ask questions.
A cruiser is going to ride better at speed 50–70mph. Another to consider greatly is stance. One reason you don’t see crotch rockets on cross country trips is because you would wreck the shit out of your back trying to do it. Cruiser. Cruiser. Cruiser. Plus they just look a whole hell of a lot cooler if you ask me.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Highways are what cruiser bikes are made for. I’d rather ride my 70 year old Haley on a highway that some new hotrod rice burner.

aniisback's avatar

i believe you should go for a cruiser. Because highway rides are the reason why cruiser gets such acclaim. personally out of the choices you have given better go for GSXR 600. it is better for highway rides.

judochop's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Really, rice burner? Rice burner?
Kawasaki, built in the USA
Chevy and Buick, made in Canada
Honda Goldwings, made in Ohio
Other Honda’s are built and assembled in either Milwaukee or York, PA
Vulcans, made in the USA

HD Dyna, VRod and Sportsters are made in Kansas City. My former CBX was made in Marysville, My ex KZ400 was made in Lincoln. One of my Mitsubishis is from Illinois.

Hyundai, the Korean car company makes things in Alabama.
Toyota in Tennessee.

The term “rice burner” means nothing now’ a days. If you’d like to blame someone for that then point the finger at Reagen who took all the American steel business overseas. Foreign companies build and assemble here because we are cheap. Almost like getting things made in China in the 70’s and 80’s.

I grew up in the Rust Belt. From my front yard I could see two steel mills and a refinery. I watched it all go to hell in a hand basket.
Harley Davidson may build nice bikes but their reliability is questionable. There also is a stigma that surrounds Harley riders. They often point the finger and laugh at other riders just for not riding a Harley. These days that is just viewed as ignorance.

ipso's avatar

I worked for a while in Tokyo. At lunch I would go to this Honda corporate “welcome center” in Aoyama Itchome and sit on the 2003 Titanium CBR954. It was told to me that Japanese citizens who order that bike, receive it from the US.

It’s not necessarily made in the US, but insurance and inventory costs in Japan are so high, that many liter bikes are imported back into Japan from the states. I found that dumfounding.

I ended up getting the exact same one when I came home. That was such a great bike. I have a Gixxer now – all loaded up. We’re off to Laguna Seca in minutes!

Go Ben Spies, Nicky Hayden, and Colin Edwards!!!

judochop's avatar

@ipso I have a ton of friends that just took off yesterday for Laguna. Man, I wish I was taking that ride also. Have fun.

mrrich724's avatar

I’ve had a Honda Shadow, a Harley Sportster, and a Honda CBR.

BY FAR, the CBR ran the smoothest on highway AND local. Those sport bikes are precision machines. Any vibration takes away from power going forward. They don’t vibe at all that you can perceive(unlike any cruiser I’ve driven). And because they are so aerodynamic, they cut the wind that you normally feel on a cruiser down ALOT. So the smootheness of the ride is far superior to a cruiser. However, you have to consider your riding position. The cruiser beats the Gixxer or CBR when it comes to sitting upright and chilling compared to sportin’ it all hunched over with your weight on your wrists.

If that’s the metric you want to use (vibration) to decide what bike to get, go with the Gixxer. But I’ve driven a Gixxer, and I wasn’t impressed. To me it vibrated more than it should, ironically enough for your question.

I would say ride both and see which feels more comfy for you. And trust me, which ever you choose, you’ll still want another one of a differnent type ;)

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