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Hi everyone, I am thinking real hard about getting back into riding, I rode 40 yrs ago and loved every minute, now that the family is all raised and I'm semi-retired (still drive a school bus part time. I really like the looks of the Kawasaki 900 and the Suzuki c50t and the4 Yamaha Vstars, I've read a lot of forums about the Kaw 900 having problems with the stator and how much it costs to fix it, now I'm reading about the Suzuki's having similar problems, I guess they must use the same supplier. I don't want to buy something that will not let me enjoy it. Any ideas, I haven't researched the Yamahas yet. A friend has a 05 Honda VTX 1300 and swears by it and it must be good because not many are listed for sale. Thanks for any help you may give.
 

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The only Suzuki I have heard of stator problems is the C90( not sure which years). Easy Rider can clue you in on the Kawi 900. I have a '08 M50 and it is a great bike.A friend of mine bought a '06 VTX 1300 last year and he loves it. It is a pretty bike.:cool:
 

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Hi everyone, I am thinking real hard about getting back into riding, I rode 40 yrs ago and loved every minute, now that the family is all raised and I'm semi-retired (still drive a school bus part time. I really like the looks of the Kawasaki 900 and the Suzuki c50t and the4 Yamaha Vstars, I've read a lot of forums about the Kaw 900 having problems with the stator and how much it costs to fix it, now I'm reading about the Suzuki's having similar problems, I guess they must use the same supplier. I don't want to buy something that will not let me enjoy it. Any ideas, I haven't researched the Yamahas yet. A friend has a 05 Honda VTX 1300 and swears by it and it must be good because not many are listed for sale. Thanks for any help you may give.
Welcome to the forum from Oregon!

I've not heard a word about the Kawi or Suzuki C50 having stator problems. I own a 2011 C50T and can tell you first hand the stator lasts just as long as anyone elses. I suspect that is the case with Kawi too if one looks closer. I'd bet if one looked at the true data of charging system failure, they'd find the stator was really a symptom, not the cause. All too often cheesy quick disconnects corrode causing resistance, and/or the rectifier/regulator goes bad...both causing excessive heat to the stator (thus failure). It wouldn't be the first time I've heard a bike get a bad wrap for something that's easily fixable (long term), but dealers refusing to do it because it's 'Not in the service manual.' After all, dealers are in business to make a profit. Can't do that if you aren't selling parts & service.

The Honda VTX's (all of them) are good bikes. But I'd hardly call them problem free. If one looks closely you'll find something I'm sure. Friend of mine had a VTX1300 and liked it okay but seems I remember him telling me aftermarket goodies weren't all that available for it. I think that can be said about allot of the metric bikes though...with the exception of the Star / Yamahas. If it's not a charging system complaint, it's something else like final drive belt, or inaccessibility of service parts, or something that's not perfect. If you plan on taking it to a dealer for all work, no matter how good or bad it's designed you will be paying more. If you end up buying a bike with a suspected charging problem design, simply ask the dealer to install a volt meter for you and mount it where you can see it. You'll have a heads up there is a problem before you are stranded. They don't have to be expensive either.

Honestly, I think you should go check them all out in person. I can tell you after owning a C50 it's a very light weight and extremely nimble bike. BUT, it's final drive is geared too low (in my opinion) making it feel constantly like you need 6th gear on the highway. Around town it's perfect though. In fact, I dropped a modified VL1500 final drive in my C50 to change the gearing some which was the ticket. The 805cc has allot of guts and a pretty darn good bike. But so are the others you've mentioned. I'd bet a dollar to doughnuts any bike held up to a microscope will have some fault or another...so go buy what YOU like and want to own.

Best of luck in whatever you decide.

Larry
 

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Honestly, I think you should go check them all out in person.
:plus1:

I don't think you will go wrong, in general, with any of the bikes you have listed.
I just LOVE my Vulcan 900 Custom (the custom is a different model).
Handles good, rides good and thinks it is a race bike. :mrgreen:
The stator problems usually didn't show up until 25K miles or so and were fixed with the '10 model, I think.

So, tell us, how big a person are you and what kind of riding do you intend to do ?
Having been "off" for 40 years, you probably should be looking for a small bike to start with because you really ARE a rookie again.
Consider taking the MSF course too.

P.S. After seeing the "stock" hard bags on a couple of Vstar 950's I put some on my Vulcan.
They look OK and work good but aren't nearly as sharp as the ones built to fit the Vstar.
 

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Whatever bike you get take some courses....to refresh and sharpen your riding skills and ALWAYS ride to your limitations....no matter what others are doing....much better to be late in this world than early in the next...Oh and enjoy!!
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum. My experience with the Honda's I've owned over the years makes me think their bullet proof. The Kawasaki 1500 I rode was great for 69k miles but it ended there after the over extended cam chains tore the motor up. My son rides an 1100 Vstar and his only complaint is the difficulty of a simple oil change. Another son rides the 1100 Honda shadow and has had no issues with it. All good bikes, all good manufacturers.
 

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The truth is most modern bikes are far more reliable than anything you rode 40 years ago but all have their issues like any machine.
The Honda VTX is a solid platform,I'm not a big fan of the styling or sound but that's not taking anything away from the bike if you like it.
I'm probably a li'l bias some because I like Harleys,I have my reasons and one is the serviceability of the H-D and the strong dealer network since I tend to take long trips.
I've had to replace the stator twice, it's a common issue with many bikes,the bigger issue it how hard is it to get too.
Some bikes require dismantling a lot more than others,the H-D is pretty simple and the parts are always available and they tend to last pretty long.
I got 60,000 miles out of the first one and 100,000 miles on the second so I can't really complain since a lot of bikes don't have engines last much longer than my first stator.
If you are shopping metric bikes used go late model and low miles,many are great bikes but there comes a point where it's no longer economically feasible to have them repaired if you have to have it done by someone else or even if you can do it yourself sometimes.
I know there are many Suzuki fans here but of the bikes you listed I'd recommend the VTX.
 

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I agree. I recommend taking a safety course and make friends that are also avid and responsible bikers with experience and ride with them. Definitely nice to ride with a group of responsible riders.
 
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