I came across this, when looking for a used bike to get back into riding. I purchased it from its original lady owner. Maroon, pullback handlebars & one of the rare things - the snowflake cast alloy wheels. Since the used bike market was tight, I settled on this one & took the gamble on buying it on first impression & a test ride. 2 years & 10,000 miles later, it's a decision I don't regret.
V-twin engine has plenty of get up & go, very good low end take-off. It is cold blooded though. I do allow it to warm up before taking off, otherwise it's sluggish.
Nice handling & riding, Shaft drive is smooth.
I got rid of the factory seat, & put a Mustang Regal Duke on it. Mustang stated it would not fit my year, but if you have the model with the slightly higher factory back rest, (Mine, has the small luggage rack on it - maybe is why) it is a direct bolt-on. The only thing I had to alter, was to secure the back rest of this one piece seat to the toolbox front where it locks with heavy adhesive backed Velcro. I cut out around the toolbox lock cylinder, & also cut off the plastic pins of the toolbox front that the grommets of the original back rest would secure to. I bought an extra toolbox front, should I ever put the stock seat back on should I sell this bike, as my intention is to someday, upgrade to an 800 model, which this seat also will fit.
Having an exhaust with a pipe on each side, unlike some of the bikes equipped with stacked pipes on one side, allows for a nice pair of mid-sized saddlebags with no worry of getting burned from hot pipes - plenty of clearance. One thing I did do on this model, was find a plastic cap to put over the rear axle nut & wrap tape over it to secure, to prevent the exposed axle nut from rubbing through the saddlebag the side it's on.
Pretty easy to maintain - changing engine oil, rear gear oil. I'll find out about changing coolant, as I plan on replacing the hoses this year, also with changing the clutch & front brake fluids. Front & rear wheels are easily removed & installed. This is another bike that does not have a center stand - a motorcycle jack is a big help & a wise investment.
Personal dislikes - there are not too many:
Bike feels bulky when pushing backwards - weight is not well distributed. My wife bought a 2008 Yamaha 650 V-Star Classic, & even though 100 lbs. heavier, it does not feel heavier.
No tach - I have found aftermarket ones available for it, & they are reasonably priced.
Having to remove the radiator cover to check the coolant level.
5 Speed gearbox - 6th gear overdrive would have been nice to have had, like some of the others in its class. I'm usually in 5th gear between 35-40 mph. I'm pretty good at counting gears, but there are still times I think I'm in 4th, not 5th & I find myself searching to see if I have one left.