Kawasaki or Suzuki

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by NisAznMonk, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. NisAznMonk

    NisAznMonk New Member

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    I'm a n00b, with zero riding experience (except dirtbikes if that counts) and will be taking the MSF course at the end of the month. My local choices are:

    the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD or the Suzuki Boulevard S40

    I'm going to go bike shopping on tuesday, but I wanted some opinions. First of all the Vulcan 500 seems to have a bigger engine with liquid cooling vs. the S40's air-cooled 40 cubic inch engine. I would think the liquid cooling would be better, but would an air-cooled engine be ok? I'm looking at it from a maintenence standpoint. The less maintenece I have to do, the more I'll like it

    What about manufacturers reputation? From what I know both have a pretty good rep, but I'd like to hear some opinions.

    Final drive: The Vulcan 500 has an O-ring chain, while the S40 is a beltdrive. Does that mean the Vulcan has a chain, and the S40 uses a belt? Or am I completely off with this train of thought? Wouldn't a belt be more durable and quieter (aka less maintanence)?

    The Vulcan 500 is about $500 more than the S40 MSRP-wise, but how realistic is that price? Should the final purchase price generally be less than the MSRP? I've never had to go shopping for a motorcycle before.

    The place that I'm shopping at carries both brands, so that should help me compare the 2 side by side. Any suggestions?
     
  2. seven

    seven New Member

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    i'd say quit comparing these bikes and start comparing the EX650 or SV650 instead
     
  3. Frequency

    Frequency New Member

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    wtf the guy is obviously looking towards cruiser bikes and you go tell him stfu and look at these 2 geared more towards guys who wanna get into sports riding :slap:
     
  4. seven

    seven New Member

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    yeah, it's just my opinion that he should go the sports way. no harm in putting my 2 cents in, he'll make up his own mind. :)
     
  5. machine81

    machine81 New Member

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    40 cubic inches is about 655cc, so the Suzuki is actually the bigger engine.

    Nowadays liquid vs. air-cooled is more about personal preference of looks, but technically the air-cooled would involve less maintenance. It's one less part on the bike that you'll have to maintain.


    Both are great (depending on who you ask :))


    Yes, the Vulcan has a chain and the S40 a belt. There's a little less maintenance involved with a belt, but both are okay choices.




    You're overlooking some of the bigger details about the bikes though. They're not a true apples-to-apples comparison. The Suzuki is a single cylinder (a "thumper" because it tends to have a little more vibration, but probably more torque) and the Kawi is a parallel twin. The Suzuki is about 100 pounds less than the Kawi too. That's no small amount.

    On paper I'd choose the Suzuki because it has a bigger engine, more torque, less weight, and it's cheaper. But I'm also not a big fan of the looks of single cylinder cruisers. So really you should go ride both and decide which one fits you best.
     
  6. ChatChai

    ChatChai OT Supporter

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    Yeah I would imagine liquid cooled is something a beginner would lean towards though still a preference. I just had a buddy get a Suzuki GS500 and he just learned to ride and he was impatient about waiting ten minutes with an air cooled bike before riding.

    With that said I would get the Kawi but only because I am biased to the Kawi since I own one but as already stated its up to you.
     
  7. NisAznMonk

    NisAznMonk New Member

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    aircooled bikes require you to wait until it warms up?
     
  8. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    Personally i would go with the Kawi.

    The biggest reason being reliability. The paralel twin is the same from the EX500 Ninja. And has proven durable for THOUSANDS of miles, in the hands, of typically, less experienced riders, and more specificly new ridiers that dont fully understand the need for continuous maintenance that a bike requires. In other words, the engine gets continually thrashed and still comes back for more.

    Plus there are more performance options for the Kawi, becuase of the engine, and because of the chain drive offering some more gearing options then you can get with a belt.

    True the maintenance on a chain is higher, requireing regular lubing, and inspection, and does have some driveline lash from the bounce of the chain, but i think the look is better, and personally feel more comfortable with a chain.

    And, in my personal oppinion, the Kawi just looks better.
     
  9. machine81

    machine81 New Member

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    Isn't warm-up time more a function of carburetion rather than cooling system? Because during the whole warm-up process you're playing with the choke for the carburetor. I guess I've never really thought about that. Plus, I've never seen a fuel-injected single-cylinder bike.



    Yes, both bikes will require a warm-up. Nothing major, about 5 minutes. Even a modern sportbike should be let to idle about two minutes before you ride it.
     
  10. ChatChai

    ChatChai OT Supporter

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    I'm sorry I guess its not directly associated with liquid cooling versus air cooled bikes but even when the dealer told my friend to warm up the bike for ten minutes it always takes a bit longer. This is more directly related to the choke for the carburetor. I guess I would look at warm up requirement because I believe both bikes have a choke instead of EFI. Though through reading the comparisons it seems that the Kawi still is the better of the two.
     
  11. NisAznMonk

    NisAznMonk New Member

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    OK. I just got back from the local Kawasaki/Suzuki dealer. I was leaning towards the Suzuki GZ250 at first, but I ended up really liking the Vulcan 900. They also didn't have a Vulcan 500 in stock.

    Well the price of the bike was $7299 + $599 (some frieght and in house fee) + TTL. The total was almost $8600! Does that sound right?

    Also, since they didn't have the Vulcan 500 in stock do you think they would give me a better deal if I bought a bike they already had on the showroom floor? I figured buying a bike would be like buying a car...there would be an incentive for the dealership to give me a better prices for buying something thats already on the floor. Any opinions?
     
  12. NisAznMonk

    NisAznMonk New Member

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    For financing they said I could take the bike for 7.9% interest @ $79/month. That would be for the first 2 years, then the APR would go up to 10.9% and the payments would be adjusted for whatever the remaining balance. That doesn't sound too good of a deal, but can I get some opinions?

    Oh, and they also said they'd give me 20% off of all the gear I wanted to buy. I know that isn't a very big incentive at all so I didn't care.
     
  13. YodaHart

    YodaHart New Member

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    Try to find a used bike. You could probably save 2k and get one with under 5k miles. Also, I would recommend a liquid cooled bike unless you enjoy overheating while sitting in traffic.
     
  14. NisAznMonk

    NisAznMonk New Member

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    Is maintenence something I could take care of myself?
     
  15. ChatChai

    ChatChai OT Supporter

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    Most places will work with you. I would shop prices at other dealerships to give you a bit more leverage. Don't expect like a $1500 price difference though.

    That is common with these type of specials but is this financing or are you doing the Kawi Card? The Kawi Card is more like a credit card so it is best to go this route if you plan on paying off the bike in the two years. Otherwise finance it from an outside bank. The discount is common if you purchase a bike but they normally give about 10% for life also. It hardly gets used of course unless they have bangin deals.

    If you are pretty handy then you can do most minor maintenance requirements and even major depending on your expertise. It would be worthwhile learning considering most places charge a shit load.
     
  16. NisAznMonk

    NisAznMonk New Member

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    How much lower should I hope to buy the bike for? There is only 1 dealership in this small town so its a bit hard to price shop. I may still try and get a Vulcan 500 though (cheaper and I think it would be plenty of bike for me).

    They are financing it through a bank they deal with. I haven't had a chance to check out the Kawasaki website or my own bank yet.

    So I assume the monthly maintenence things like changing oil and adjusting the chain isn't too bad? I normally work on my own car when it comes to maintenece issues.
     
  17. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    Try contacting Honda East Toledo, and see if they can give you a better deal on the bike. They are a full Kawi, and Zuk dealer. and they dont bullshit you on price.

    So shoot to their website, fill out the request for a quote, and fire it off, and see what you get back. Chances are it will be alot cheaper then what you get in yoru home state.
    Then you can use that offer as a bargaining chip for your local dealers to get the bargain you want.

    Its worth a try.
     
  18. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    Working on your bike oes take a fairly adiquate amount of technicle experience. Oil changes are preaty easily done. But chain adjustment, depending on model, can be a bit tricky, if your not fully versed on proper wheel alignment, and chain tension.
    And of course dealing with carbs, is somthing all together different.
    And things like valve adjustments, and other psuedo internal work, are probibly best left for a shop.
     
  19. ChatChai

    ChatChai OT Supporter

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    Do what Buck-O suggested. Like I said don't a huge difference unless they are charging you freight/tax etc... plus a grip and wont budge. Ask for OTD (out the door) prices. That way there is no fuss on additions. I would honestly look at the 500 or even a used bike though.

    If they are financing it through a bank why is the interest going up after 2 years? I've never experienced such things on my bike or cars. Is this a 5 year loan? When will you have it paid off? I only mentioned the Kawi Card because I had the Card that had 4.9% for two years then it went up to something like 10% afterwards. I would get more details and get them to be very clear as to what you are getting yourself in to.

    Externals you will not have much problem assuming you have the right equipment. You may need stands if you plan on adjusting your own chain. Oil is a cinch and lubing is not a problem. I would still get the initial 600mi check up though for a dealer if you are just learning only because by the time you figure it all out you will most likely exceed the 600 mark and just say fuck it.
     

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