10 cruiser bikes you’ll regret buying
Cruiser bikes have been a popular style of motorcycle in America since the 1930s. Popular American cruiser brands include Indian, Croker, Excelsior, and Harley-Davidson – the latter having dominated the North American market with its V-Twin cruisers at large caliber.
But why are cruisers so popular? There are many factors including pop culture, Harley and Indian history, and a host of great motorcycle events. Many have fallen in love with the cruiser after seeing the Terminator ride a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy or the FXR chopper in Pulp Fiction.
That said, not all cruisers will give you days of happy and satisfying driving. Some will be a nightmare to own and operate for a variety of reasons, or they simply won’t meet your expectations. Here are some bikes you will regret buying.
ten 2014 Honda CTX1300
The CTX1300 was powered by the iconic V-four of the excellent ST1300, so expectations were pretty high. Add the dual exhaust and you could buy the CTX1300, hoping to get the muscular response of a powerful cruiser similar to the Yamaha V-Max. Instead, the engine received a lower camshaft, valves, throttle bodies, compression ratio and rev range than the ST1300 with a red line of 7,000 rpm.
Once you get on the bike, you realize that the CTX1300 is an expensive but docile bike that lacks the ST charisma factor across the power band. Plus, the windshield is low and gusty, and there’s no cruise control on board.
9 Vision of victory
Victory Motorcycles did a commendable job when it came to luxury touring bikes, and the Vision was no exception. It offered top-level performance, came with cutting-edge technological advantages, and was ideal for long trips. But the Vision isn’t a bike for everyone, and it’s easy to buy it and regret it later.
The bike is a mammoth, weighing up to 891 wet pounds. You’ll get car-like comfort, but if you’re not used to a big bike, that will be a lot to deal with. Additionally, there have been reports of cooling issues resulting from its futuristic styling.
8 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000
The Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 is far from a bad motorcycle. Appearance, function and engineering were all right, but the problem was its inflated weight. Fill the five-and-a-half gallon tank and you’ll be piloting an 820-pound monster. Simply lifting the object off the side stand will save you the trouble of going to the gym.
The big 2053 V-twin was the biggest at the time, and 121 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm was all the rage. But then you had to constantly shift gears to avoid the 5200 RPM rev limiter. While the seat was only 27 inches off the ground, smaller people still had a hard time keeping their feet on the ground thanks to its massive width.
seven 1998 Victory V92C
Victory has a reputation for building well-refined and designed bikes, but the V92C is pretty rough around the edges, especially the gear changes, which all feel forced. Even the optional shift paddle automatic transmission takes a few seconds to register a shift request, although it is much better than the manual.
The engine of the first V92C model had reliability issues, and the bikes were quite loud and shaky at highway speeds. Also, note that the 99-00 and 2001 models have been the subject of recalls due to a transmission failure.
6 Harley-Davidson Street 750
The Harley-Davidson Street was the American automaker’s unsuccessful attempt to make a naked / sporty cruiser. The result is one of the least manufactured bikes of decades. The horsepower of the 750cc engines is decent enough to get the job done, but that’s about where the good things end.
The mix of cruiser and cafe style doesn’t seem to work with this bike. Owners have complained about the power of the front brakes and their lack of feel. You’re better off with better sporty roadsters like the Yamaha Bolt R Spec.
5 Honda fury
Honda’s decision to mass-produce the Fury angered custom helicopter builders, who argued that helicopters should be individualistic and reflect the pilot’s personality. Either way, the Fury has sold itself as one of the most affordable chopper bikes you can buy. The problem is, the Honda Fury looks better than it is comfortable.
No bike in the Honda lineup has a wheelbase as long as the Fury’s, with 71 inches between the axles. The result is poor handling and a lack of practicality, which goes against Honda’s philosophy. Either way, it’s a reliable bike that’s easy to work on.
4 BMW R1200C
Although the BMW R1200C was featured in a chase sequence in the James Bond film Tomorrow never dies, this was not enough to ensure the survival of the motorcycles and suffered an untimely death. The US market just wasn’t ready to buy a boxer-engined cruiser.
The R1200C performed well but was not the fastest cruiser you can buy. It’s a solid bike, but it’s relatively ugly and tasteful. You are going to love it or hate it. However, BMW’s latest attempt at a cruiser in the form of the R18 looks promising.
3 2005 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe
The Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe is a great touring bike and is comfortable for long trips. It’s also more agile and sportier than a real touring bike, which is a good character for those who want to throw their big bikes around the bends to spice up their trip. The problem with the bike, however, is its dual cam motor.
The engine’s cam chain system uses plastic shoes that wear out over time and, if not detected early, can damage the engine. The problem with the bike is the lack of a lasting solution, unless you do a complete drivetrain change.
2 Boss Hoss Big Block Limited SS
If you thought the six cylinders in a Honda Goldwing or Horex V6 were a bit too much, then you haven’t heard of Boss Hoss and their motorcycles. Precisely the Big Block Limited SS, equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine. These are numbers that you would feel right at home in a muscle car.
With an absurd 445 hp to play with, this bike is just useless. You’ll probably never get a straight section of road long enough to take advantage of a fraction of the power. Either way, it’s nice on a bike to work your muscles and earn you that extra street credit.
1 Hyosung GV650 Aquila Sport EFI
The Hyosung GV650 is quite reasonable if you are learning to ride a motorcycle. They are cheap to buy compared to Japanese or American cruisers. But, once you gain the skill, you’ll still want to hop on a bike with a little more oomph. Also, previous models had reliability issues, and after fixing too many parts, you’ll want to spend more money on a high-end bike.
The bike has little or no resale value. You will probably get more back from a used Japanese bicycle for less than after using it for a year.
These sport bikes might look cool at first glance, but you will quickly tire of them and wish you had ever bought one.
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