2007 Honda VT750C2 from United States of America
OK bike, but don't get it if you're just wanting a commuter
Battery was DOA when picked up the bike from dealer. They changed it within an hour.
Later, while trying to install a luggage rack, turns out the dealer had the wrong seat installed. They replaced the nice, cushy (incorrect) seat with the stock seat... which now makes my butt numb after 30 minutes of riding.
Other than the dealer being dumb, during the 4k service check, the front fork seals were starting to go bad. Dealer said it was just a fluke thing. Paid to have them fixed/replaced. Within a week of having the bike back, another shop doing an appraisal on my bike (was going to move to a sport bike) said the fork seals were leaking. Need to take it to the shop and see if they just did a poor job, or if there is a design flaw. Not a happy camper that something is going wrong on a bike with only 5k miles on it.
I bought this bike after my '07 Suzuki Burgman 400 had repair issues that would have cost more than the bike itself. Found the 750 at a local dealer, used, but it was a practically brand-new bike. Was used as a showroom demo model, had ~600 miles on it from test rides, and was kept in the back for a while until dealer decided to just sell it. Kelly Blue Book is ~$4500 for pristine condition on this bike, and I bought it for $5000 + extended, after-market warranty. I figured since it was a practically brand-new bike that had been only "owned" by a Honda dealer, it would be worth the extra money. It had already had its 600 mile checkup, and was ready to be ridden.
I need to also disclaim that I've never really been partial to the cruiser-style of bike. I'm not a fan of Harleys, and I didn't want to get a bike like this for fear of looking like some HD douche-bag. (No offense HD riders. I know lots of you are decent folks. But, I live in a part of town where a bunch of rich snobs like to buy HD's to play wanna-be biker gang on the weekends, and the noise of their engines really upsets me.)
With that said, what attracted me to this bike, aside from it being practically brand new, was that it wasn't a loud, brappy HD-wanna-be. It is a little loud, but loud enough to make you feel like you're riding something, not loud enough to get the cops called on you for noise ordinance violations.
The initial riding was smooth up to 70mph, but then got rough going up to 80mph. However, once I hit a good 1-2k miles, I noticed this bad boy really ran smooth at 80-90mph. Most of the miles on it are from commuting on a highway doing 90mph. This bike can do that all day long no problem.
Unfortunately, your butt nor the gas tank will be able to. Like some cruisers, there's no gas gauge. So, you're stuck using one of the trip odo to track how many miles you do. It has ~3 gal tank, and I get between 45-50mpg, which isn't as good as I was hoping for. When I've been doing lots of highway, I can get 50-55mpg. But, just around town riding I get 40-45mpg. To be safe, I fill up when the trip odo hits 100 miles. Then I reset the odo, and the countdown starts again.
The seat is also a literal pain in the ***. Initially, the dealer put the wrong seat on the bike. It was cushy and wonderful, and I could ride all day without problems. Then they realized they put the wrong one on when a luggage rack wouldn't fit. The actual stock seat they put on will make your butt sore in 30 minutes. This sometimes makes me cringe at the idea of riding out to see my girlfriend that lives 40 miles away.
The get-up-and-go on this bike seems insufficient if you're babying it. When I'm just riding normal, it seems like the bike isn't very powerful. But, the times I've gotten miffed at some idiot in front of me, I've jammed on the gas and this thing takes off. I usually shift gears every 10mph, but if you really want to get up to highway speed fast, then you can shift every 20-30mph. You should plan on staying in 3rd until you hit 50-60mph, then stay in 4th until you hit 70+mph that you're going to ride at... then shift to 5th to cruise at that speed.
5th gear on this bike is sort of a joke, because it's really meant to maintain the speed you've got, not to accelerate around things. And, being a Honda, it seems to be really high-revving, even when in the right gears. You can find yourself in 5th gear while only doing 40mph, but if you use 5th to get up to 75+mph on the highway, it'll sound as if the engine is doing a lot of spinning. It reminds me of cyclists... there's spinners and mashers. Spinners spin the pedals fast, but mashers just hammer down on the pedal with lots of slow strength. Hondas seem to be built as spinners.
But, as I said, I've been using it as a highway/commuter bike for ~4k miles (600-5000k), and it gets the job done and then some.
Coming from a Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter, though, I immediately missed a lot of the amenities the Burger had. The 750 doesn't have full digital gauges. It has a digital odo, but analog speedo. No clock, no special settings to remind you when to change your oil. No full-fairing to protect your legs from rain on the road. I'm a year-round rider except in snow/ice, and the rain performance of both bikes is comparable, but the scooter could take a steady rain and leave you half-way dry, while you will get soaking wet riding the 750.
Lack of storage capacity is also very annoying. A luggage rack and top "backpack" big enough to hold my helmet was my first upgrade. Buying storage for a cruiser can cost you an arm and a leg, and the options mostly suck. Cheap-o bags and top cases have no locks, and are usually fabric that fades in the sun. The Tourmaster top "case" I bought is looking ragged after just 6 months. I bought plastic ammo boxes $30/ea that I spray-painted black to mount with some easy brackets for side cases. This lets me lock them with padlocks instead of shelling out $1000+ for some lockable side cases.
While the bike has been OK, I'm mostly upset over things going wrong on it with under 10k on it. Cruisers are supposed to be work horses; they're designed to take a beating, be all-weather, etc, etc. To find out my fork seals were going bad after 4k miles upset me, especially since a) the dealer service check cost me $125 (included an oil change), and b) the fork seal replacement cost me +$225. So, not even 5k into my new bike, and I'm already popping $350 on maintenance. That's about as unreliable as a 150cc Chinese scooter I had as my beginner bike; I was popping $400 every 5k miles to maintain the stupid thing. I bought a Japanese bike, because I thought it would be reliable. But, if it has stuff like this going on with it, then I'll get rid of it. Maybe I got the exception bike that's just got gremlins. Who knows, but it's not cool and tarnishes my opinion of Hondas.
Likewise, as a commuter bike, I was hoping the mpg would be better. But, with only getting ~50mpg if I'm lucky (normally 45mpg), and then tossing my gas savings at repairs, I'm not really saving money by riding this bike. I decided to buy a 250cc sport bike, and I'll see how that works as a commuter.
Overall, it's an OK bike. If you want to ride a cruiser without paying HD prices, then go with a Shadow or Aero. But, be honest with yourself as to why you're getting it. If you're getting it to save gas and commute, then drop down to a 250 bike... a Rebel or Ninja or CBR250 or even a 400cc scooter (or 150cc scooter, but only if you don't have to take it on the highway). THOSE are good commuter bikes. A 750 bike is still too much of a gas hog and maintenance annoyance to justify commuting with. Especially since storage is so limited, accessories for it cost an arm and a leg, and the mpg is not that great.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 15th August, 2012