Thread: Good bike for a big guy?
10-16-2008, 05:36 AM #1
Good bike for a big guy?
Hey guys and gals. I know a lot of you ride and I've been waiting to pay off a few bills before I bought a bike. Well it looks like January might be the magic month. I'm a tall guy at 6'5" and just want some advice for a first bike. I want a cruiser and hope to avoid the pumpkin rides a peanut look. I'd like something with a big frame but I know I don't need a lot of cc's.
10-16-2008, 01:31 PM #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- Memphis Tn,USA-now
You might also ask at the local dealer.Sure they have a vested interest in selling you a bike but they also want you to come back for another or tell your friends what a great bike that you bought from them.
They can get you fitted and ready to go better than I can.What would work for a 5'9 180 lb guy probably wouldn't do for you.
Like you,I also know quite a few bikers and plan on ditching the cage soon.Good luck with it.
10-17-2008, 02:08 AM #3
Certain that you want a cruiser? Think about why. What are your reasons?
Question for you. Cruising, or touring? Believe me, they mean different things. Cruisers are the ones where you sit back with your feet out in front (shudder), tourers have you sitting bent a little forward from the hips, feet tucked down or beneath you, handle bars around hip/waist height.
Which is the best type? That's a wholly subjective decision. It's up to you. Personally I can't stand the 'cruiser' style. I ride a Triumph 900 sports tourer (three cylinders, just right). It's carried me around three of our States, and that's a big chunk of land! There've been some very long daily runs over the years... I'm not a 'boy racer', I like covering the distance at a reasonable (legal) speed.
Go to a bike shop. One that sells multiple brands is best. Sit on the different styles and makes, they're all different and one will suit you more than another. If you decide up-front that you only want a cruiser, I'd suggest trying the Japanese makes first. Then a Harley. The Japanese cruisers usually handle, brake and go better than the HD's, but many riders just want that Hog underneath them.
Size of motor? Don't go too small, you'll regret it. A 250cc is great to learn on, but you're a big guy, most of the 250's are a little small. It will really come down to frame size, motors available and cost of course. As I said, I ride a 900cc. It's got a lot of power and torque, and would easily carry a larger person than me (5'8'') and a pillion passanger, for a long way with no trouble.
When you do get out there remember, you're invisible!"Professional" means your attitude to the job...
Nullus Anxietas ..... (T Pratchett)
10-17-2008, 05:50 PM #4
Thanks guys. I'm sitting on a few bikes here to get a feel for what I want.
10-20-2008, 12:06 PM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
I have been on 3 Harleys in the past 5 years, and here is my opinion for what it's worth.
Sportster- OK bike, but for us bigger guys, it's not the most comfortable, especially for your passenger.
Heritage Softail- favorite of the 3. Good looking bike. Low center of gravity and large saddle style seat is comfortable on longer trips or around town. Must have screaming eagle pipe.
Ultra Classic- nice bike, but a little too much like a goldwing for me (personal preference). Would be better with the performance pipe, again, in my opinion, because I like the crisp performance sound. Higher center of gravity makes it a little more cumbersome through town.
10-20-2008, 03:44 PM #6
- Join Date
- May 2000
- SW MO
Out of curiosity, have you rode before? Either way, whatever bike you may buy, look into taking an MSF course. Best thing I ever did, and I hear a lot of guys that have rode for decades say the same thing.
As for my opinion (and it's just that). I'm a believer that you don't buy a bike under 750 cc. Being a bigger guy, you may want a bigger bike/motor. It all depends on what you're comfortable with.
I don't know whether you're looking at new or used, but if it's used I'd take a look at Honda's Valkyrie (I still don't understand why they discontinued this bike). It's set up more like a tourer, but has that cruiser look. It doesn't have the forward controls, rather they're just under you, much like a touring bike. I know several big guys who ride them and like the comfort level, especially when they add highway pegs.
Beyond that, I've known several big guys that have any variety of metric cruisers in the 1300-1800 cc range. My cousin just bought a new Yamaha (I think that's what it is, at least) that he loves. He's about 6'4", 240#. I know another guy about the same size that loves his Honda VTX 1800, even though he admits that the 1300 would have been plenty of power for him.
As far as Harley's, I have no idea. Never been on one and don't know anyone who rides one.
Your best bet's probably doing just what you are now. Get on them, including taking them for a test ride, and see what's comfortable. Just keep in mind how long your normal ride is and take it into consideration into that comfort level. I know personnally how bad it sucks to buy a bike that feels good after a 10-15 minute test ride and find out your legs start to go numb after the first hour of a 12-hour ride. Same thing with a passenger, if you're going to have one.
10-20-2008, 10:39 PM #7
I had the same thoughts when i was shopping for a bike. The Harleys all were too small unless they had a lot of stuff hanging off of them. (Bags, windsheild, etc.) I felt like a monkey screwing a football riding those little bikes.
The Triumph Rocket was a good sized bike and the VTX was nice as well.
Based on performance, dependability and looks i went with the VTX 1800C.
Go check out (sit on) the bikes that appeal to you and let your butt be your guide.
10-24-2008, 12:53 AM #8
Catch 22, I haven't ridden anything since I was a teenager. Then it was a dirt bike. Rocket Harley Davidson just down the road offers a riding course, it may be the one you mentioned.
Michfire, I love the Softail look. One of my buddies had one that I thought was a good fit for me.
Volfire, I love the cruisers but I'm not dead set.
I'm thinking an 1000+ would be plenty of power for what I want. I'd like it to ride to work, just about a 5 mile drive now, and to visit my family, about an hour and a half, four lanes almost the whole way.
Again thanks so much.
10-25-2008, 03:29 PM #9
Softtail gets my vote....I like the Ultra classic too but im going to wait till im much older for it. That way ill fit the bike better, they are old peoples bikesBuck
10-25-2008, 04:39 PM #10
Softtail for me!
Strong second is the Ultra Classic.Jason Knecht
Altoona Fire Dept.
IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!
10-27-2008, 03:17 PM #11
First of all larger displacement bikes do not automatically mean larger "size" bikes. I ride a 805cc Suzuki Volusia (predecessor to the C50's on the showroom floor now) and my father rides a Kawasaki Nomad (1600cc). We are within an inch on wheelbase & under 2 inches difference on OAL. Stock seat height is almost identical also. So don't get yourself into the mindset that you need more cc's to find something that fits you.
Second - remember that no bike ever fits everyone perfectly on the showroom floor - small touches like handlebar risers and foot control relocation kits may be needed to exactly tune your bike to fit you. I'm about 5' 11" & Dad's in the 6' 3" range. Both of us have put "pull back risers" on our bikes to put the handle bars a little higher & closer to us (eliminates the "reaching" feel & puts a little more bend in your elbows which makes your arms & back much more comfortable on the long haul).
I ride all over the foothills of the blue ridge mtns and I ride with a lot of larger displacement (more cc's) bikes. I still go everywhere they go and at the same speeds - I don't get "left behind" because I'm on a "smaller" bike. I may have to reach down and "get a gear" once in a while whereas the larger displacement bikes can lug / torque their way through. No big deal - it's just part of riding that you get used to.
I agree with Catch22 - Honda's single biggest mistake was dropping the Valkyrie from their line (and we're not talking about that short lived remake space bike they called the "Valkyrie Rune" they tried in 02 or 03 either). If you like the looks & concept of a full dress tourer like the HD Glides or the Valk - look at the new Kawasaki Vulcan "Voyager" for 2009. Newer 1700cc FI powerplant, trunk, hard bags, and full fairing.
Myself - I'm hoping that the appearance of the new "full dress" Kaw Voyager gives more substance to the rumor that Honda is bringing back the Valk for the 2010 model year.Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
10-27-2008, 05:21 PM #12
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
10-28-2008, 05:09 PM #13
Thanks! Good information. I'm looking at almost everything right now.
10-28-2008, 05:45 PM #14
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
Check out the Ducati SportClassic line. It's a lot lighter and more nimble than a big cruiser and there is a new touring version with a windshield. They're around $10-12K new. I haven't sat on one yet but I've seen them in the showroom and they look larger than the Monster, which I've spent some time on and enjoyed. I'm 5-10".
Last edited by SansMustache; 10-28-2008 at 05:47 PM.
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