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These Are the 5 Best Open-Face Motorcycle Helmets for 2021
I haven’t used the bike to bike intercom feature yet, but I plan on buying my wife one in the next few months, so I’ll try it then. As far as windnoise causing you problems hearing, I think that would depend on you’re helmet more than your bike. I don’t use a windshield either, and my HJC full-faced helmet does fine as long as I position the speakers in the correct place… like I mentioned, it takes a couple of times using it to find that “sweet spot” where they are positioned right over your ears. I also have a modular full face helmet that has alot more wind noise and so it does make it harder to hear. If you’re talking about windnoise affecting your mic, I have been very suprised that windnoise hasn’t been a problem at all. When talking to someone and riding at 50+ mph, they say they can hear a little windnoise, but that it’s faint and that the voice is very clear.
It’s not quite what you’re looking for, but I use the Scala Rider Q2 bluetooth unit with my helmet(http://www.cardowireless.com/Q2) . In addition to bluetooth phone, intercom, and gps integration, it has a FM radio built into it, if you can stand the radio instead of your ipod. I doesn’t use earbuds, but flat speakers that velcro to the inside of your helmet lining. It takes a few tries to get them positioned perfectly, but once you have, everything sounds great. Large buttons make the controls easy, and the phone part of it is amazing. I have been on the freeway talking on the phone and the person on the other end couIdn’t tell I was on my bike. (Not that I recommend talking in traffic on the freeway. Had to get the disclaimer in.) Now, I’m on a Vulcan 500 which, relatively speaking, isn’t a loud bike. I can’t comment on how well it works if you’re on a bike with loud pipes.
I suppose there might be a way to program the voice functions on an iPhone to control the ipod part of it, but I’m not sure.
You might take a look at the Hyosung GV250 (or the United Motors 250T, same bike). My wife has one and it’s a little larger than most of the other 250’s (such as the rebel, nighthawk, vstar, etc). She’s had this one for getting close to a year and has had no problems with it at all. However, since they’re relatively new to the US market, I’d personally only recommend getting a new one if you have a reputable dealer & service center in your area. And that being said, being 6’3″, you might sitll be cramped on it. Would something like a Vulcan 500 be out of your price range?August 7, 2008 at 3:42 pm in reply to: You must have heard it all before: a complete newbie unsure which motorcycle to buy… #10030
I would disagree somewhat with the comment that a cruiser isn’t a commuter bike. I use my Vulcan 500 every day for commuting 100+ miles (broken up into 4 or 5 smaller trips as I go from site to site) in freeway and city traffic and have no problems manuvering around or accelerating through when needed. Personally, I went with the Vulcan over the Ninja because in my case, I could carry more of my work gear on the vulcan once I mounted my saddlebags and rally pack.
I’m not disagreeing that the ninja (or any small displacement sport bike) isn’t a great commuter bike. And if you’re talking about larger displacement cruisers, I would agree more with your statement, but the 500cc or less cruisers make fine commuting bikes in my opinion.
Just my 2 cents worth (which is probably more than it’s actually worth)August 7, 2008 at 3:27 pm in reply to: You must have heard it all before: a complete newbie unsure which motorcycle to buy… #10028
I have a Vulcan 500 and would highly recommend it. If you want to go with a cruiser, in my mind, it’s a great bike for a new rider in that it is not so large or heavy that it’s hard to control or learn on, but at the same time, it has plenty of power that you won’t outgrow it as quickly as you would a 250 cruiser. Freeway power is no problem. It also probably has the most comfortable stock seat of any of the smaller cruiser. My wife had no problems riding my Vulcan, and this was after she had only been riding for a week. In fact, she commented how much smoother it was to ride than her 250 cruiser.
If you look at various reviews of the 500, it’s hard to find anything negative about them. I usually get around 55-58 mpg on it. My only concern would be leg room with you being 6’2″ (I’m 5’10”), but I’m not sure that it wouldn’t be a problem on the Ninja either. Just find one at the dealership and sit on it to see what you think. I don’t think you’ll be dissapointed if you go with the Vulcan. Good luck with whatever you choose!
Function was my main reason for choosing a cruiser. By the time I mounted saddlebags and a sissy bar bag, I can carry a ton of stuff which I carry back and forth to work. That combined with the fact that I knew I’d be riding 2-up some made the cruiser the practical choice, even though I love the look of the streetbikes..
Try to find a Vulcan 500 and sit on it to see what you think. Like you, I didn’t like the feel of the Rebel (and the Nighthawk felt a little cramped for me too), but the 500 was by far the most comfortable of the entry level crusiers that I tried, and has plenty of power as well.
If you’re going to be riding 2-up alot (especially for any 1+ hour rides), then a cruiser with a passenger backrest would be much more comfortable for your rider.
Thinking about either a Suzuki C50, M50, or the Vulcan 900 custom… of course my 7 year old son wants me to get a Goldwing trike. Lol, I’m not that old yet… no offense to any Goldwing owners out there
If you’re interested in a cruiser, you might consider the Kawasaki Vulcan 500. There’s a good review here on the site. I’m commuting on my Vulcan 500 about 100 mile per day… I’ve been very happy with it. It has plenty of power for freeway riding and one of the most comfortable stock seats of any bike in it’s range. I was initally looking at the the Ninja 250, but I often carry alot of equipment to work, so a cruiser with mounted saddlebags and a large rally pack really made more sense for me. I started with a 250 cruiser (a United Motors 250), and while it did fine, the 500 is much more comfortable and less “buzzy” at freeway speeds. I get around 55 -58 mpg on my 500 (versus 65 mpg on my wife’s 250).
I read an article that mentioned that the number of motorcycle accidents were rising because of the growing number of riders, but I’m not sure that statistically it’s increasing at the same rate (as far as accidents per motorcycle). But that being said, I’ve found that since I’ve started riding, I now notice every motorcycle accident reported, whereas before, I probably wouldn’t have paid attention. So to answer your question, it’s probably a little bit of both.
My first bike was United Motors 250T (the same bike as a Hyosung GV250). I rode it a couple of months until my wife discovered she enjoyed riding, so I gave it to her an purchased a Vulcan 500 for me.
My first attempt at riding a bike was on my brother-in-law’s Vulcan Nomad 1600… DON’T start on a bike that large, or it may scare you into not riding.
I purchased an new 08 Vulcan 500 for right at $5000 a couple of months ago. The 09’s are out now and are listed at $5500. However, if you purchase new, you’re also going to pay “prep” fees to the dealer, plus tax, so your total is going to be considerably higher. 1800 miles is pretty good for a four year old bike… I’ve already got 1300 on mine in less than two months. That being said, $4200 does seem a little high to me, but every thing is relative to the supply and demand in your area… around here, anything 500cc & under has been moving pretty quickly because of the gas prices, and sellers have been getting premium prices on them. Just as a point of reference, Kelly Blue Books lists the 04 Vulcan 500 at a value of $3350.
I looked at both the VLX & the 500 when I was purchasing another bike a couple of months ago and decided on the the Vulcan… while I actually liked the looks of the VLX better (they had an “ice blue” model that was sharp), but for me personally, there was NO comparison to the Vulcan on how comfortable the bike felt. Since I’ve had the bike, I can honestly say that I’ve been extremely pleased with it and am so glad I went with the Vulcan. It has plently of power for freeway riding and is really smooth through the 6 gears. However, like you said, it doesn’t have that v-twin look, so if you’re if that’s the style you’re wanting, the VLX may suit you better. Just sit on both before you buy. I think you’ll be happy with whichever you decide.
I think most everyone has summed it up pretty well… if you are going to drive in the rain, slow down, and be sure to have rain gear… You’ll be amazed how wet your shins get just riding after the rain, not to mention in the rain.
Good choice on the Vulcan 500. I have been thrilled with mine!
The 08 Vulcan 500 only comes in black. Apparently on Kawasaki’s website, it looks like the 09 models are only going to be available in red, although I haven’t seen any 09 models around here yet. I bought an 08 Vulcan 500 and can say that love everything about it. Good power, good handling, bulletproof engine, smooth shifting, and a pretty comfortable seat for a stock seat. I travel the freeway just about everyday with it and have no problems keeping up.
I don’t have any experience with the S40 or S50, but there’s a good writeup by Bernie here on the site at https://www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/suzuki-boulevard-s40-vs-suzuki-boulevard-s50. Also a good Vulcan review here as well at https://www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/kawasaki-vulcan-500-ltd-review.