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Discussion Starter #1
I am shopping to purchase my first bike in 15 years. I really like the look of the Drifter but I have been repeatedly told by dealers that I will probably not be able to sell it in the future—I live in Southern California. The last dealer stated that Kawasaki only sold 4000 800’s and 1000 1500’s in the last few years. I have no way to verify what these dealers are telling me.

I found this site and it appears that you are all very knowledgeable. I am asking for any advice or recommendations. Am I being given correct information by the dealers? Should I consider a different cruiser line?

Thanks in advance for all helpful comments.

Michael
 

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Welcome Michael. I am sure someone will reply to your post that is more knowledgeable about Vulcan sales that me. Those numbers can't be right? I wonder if he was trying to sell you another brand that he has a hard time moving. I had a dealer try to sell me something I didn't want before.
I also like the looks of the Drifter. I have never ridden one and dont 't know much about them. Hang on some one will post some info here soon.
 

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I've never seen a drifter in a dealers showroom. When I ask about them I've been told that they can't get any...is this due to the fact that they are hard to come by or that they sell so fast, I don't know. Seems all the review I've read on the drifter give it raves for its old Indian Chief look, and that look is still very popular. I'd say if you like it, want one then go buy one.
 

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I'm with Spok ,if you want one buy one. As far as resale theres a buyer for everything. But you won't be in any hurry to sell it, you'll get to many compilments to want to sell it! Enjoy it there a nice looking ride.
 

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Resell value? If the numbers you gave were right then you might be buying a future collectors item with the Drifter. The #'s might very well just reflect sales in CA. Only 1000 1500s?? VROC is a club for vulcan owners and they have over 15,000 members.

The Kaw's run forever. If ya like the fenders and overall look of the Drifter- go for it. I don't see any Drifters on the floor of the dealerships around here either. I personally like the look of the 1600 better, but to each their own.

David
Vroc 14268
 

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spsurfin said:
I am shopping to purchase my first bike in 15 years. I really like the look of the Drifter but I have been repeatedly told by dealers that I will probably not be able to sell it in the future—I live in Southern California. The last dealer stated that Kawasaki only sold 4000 800’s and 1000 1500’s in the last few years. I have no way to verify what these dealers are telling me.

I found this site and it appears that you are all very knowledgeable. I am asking for any advice or recommendations. Am I being given correct information by the dealers? Should I consider a different cruiser line?

Thanks in advance for all helpful comments.

Michael
Are you buying a bike to ride or to resell it ? Life is too short to worry about a resale value. Buy what you like, enjoy and live the moment.
Also, if you are ready to sell, there will be someone willing to buy. This is the basic law of material continum (I think I heard this on one of the Start Trek series).
 

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I've seen several Drifters in the showrooms. I really like their look, too. I agree with the other posters. This bike will last you for years and years, and you probably won't ever have any desire to move up. I'd go for it! You'll get many years of enjoyment out of your investment, whether or not you can resell it for a fabulous price.
 

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This is a toy

Try to keep in mind that, generally speaking, you are buying a toy. If you are looking for a return on an investment there are much better choices than about 99.9% of motorcycle purchases.
Find a bike you like and enjoy riding it.
 

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I doubt that few of those models were sold. Especially considerig the 800 and 1500 seem to be a couple of the more popular cruiser models from Kawasaki. I once had a car salesman tell me that SUV's are hard to resell, this was 3 years ago when SUV's were flying off dealer lots. I wanted to trade my Pathfinder in. Salesman will flat out lie to sell something. Was there a Drifter on the floor? Maybe he was trying to sell you something that was right there. Get the Drifter, it is a hot looking bike, If I did not need to ride double, I would have gotten a Drifter. They should have the same resale that any Kawasaki would.
 

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just my thoughts, but maybe you should re-evaluate your need or desire to ride a bike, Most folks buy a bike to ride. if your worried about money
down the road, then you will not enjoy the benefit of owning
any motorcycle.


Dave
 

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I like to just look at motorcycles. Kind of keep an eye on all the various cruiser types. When I read the newspaper I always look at the motorcycle classifieds. Thinking back, I can say that I don't know if I ever saw a Vulcan for sale in the paper. The dealer I go to has a fair number of used bikes. Not now but in the spring and early to mid summer. I can't remember seeing a vulcan there either. Basically, I think the Vulcans (sepecially the 800's, 1500/1600's) are a very desirable bike. That's why I never see them for sale. I would bet if you put one on the market it wouldn't last long. I've had many bike's in my short (3-4 years) of motorcycling. I've had Honda, Yamaha, HD Sportster and Kaw's. I came back to a Kaw after going through the others because I thought it was the best MC out there, from every point of view. Go buy it and ride it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I want to thank everyone for nice welcome and for replying. Based on some of the replies, I want to clarify a few things to ensure I have painted an accurate picture of what I want, and the information I am getting from my search.

I want the 1500 so my wife can ride on the back with me. Corbin offers a dual seat for the Drifters. I figured the 1500 would give us the power we need for freeway/highway driving.

Each dealer I have called within 50 miles of my home tells me they do not stock the Drifters because they can not sell them. Each dealer has warned me that should I buy one and ever need or want to sell it, good luck because no one wants them. I am not looking for an investment, but it seems prudent to consider resale value “just in case.”

I did a search on Cycle Trader and found only 9 Drifters for sale in California. I even called Kawasaki Consumer Services Department direct and explained my experiences. The gentlemen I spoke with was a bit puzzled and advised I pick a dealer and ask the sales department to contact the District Manager to see if I could even order a Drifter.

I am feeling really gun shy at this point. I am having to work hard to buy this Drifter. Do I stick with it or consider a different model? Grrrrrrr

If I go with a different model, what would you suggest? It will be my wife and I so we want a comfortable ride.

Thanks again,

Michael
 

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the 1600 is a great bike for two up as well as the 1500, both are "affordable" too. If I were faced with the choice, I'd go with the 1600.
 

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spsurfin said:
I want to thank everyone for nice welcome and for replying. Based on some of the replies, I want to clarify a few things to ensure I have painted an accurate picture of what I want, and the information I am getting from my search.

I want the 1500 so my wife can ride on the back with me. Corbin offers a dual seat for the Drifters. I figured the 1500 would give us the power we need for freeway/highway driving.

Each dealer I have called within 50 miles of my home tells me they do not stock the Drifters because they can not sell them. Each dealer has warned me that should I buy one and ever need or want to sell it, good luck because no one wants them. I am not looking for an investment, but it seems prudent to consider resale value “just in case.”

I did a search on Cycle Trader and found only 9 Drifters for sale in California. I even called Kawasaki Consumer Services Department direct and explained my experiences. The gentlemen I spoke with was a bit puzzled and advised I pick a dealer and ask the sales department to contact the District Manager to see if I could even order a Drifter.

I am feeling really gun shy at this point. I am having to work hard to buy this Drifter. Do I stick with it or consider a different model? Grrrrrrr

If I go with a different model, what would you suggest? It will be my wife and I so we want a comfortable ride.

Thanks again,

Michael
For me, it is difficult to answer you question because I don’t know why you want to buy a motorcycle. Are you buying a motorcycle as your primary transportation? Are you buying it so you can enjoy riding on a bike that you really like?

I bought my Mean Streak so I can enjoy riding on a bike I really like. What is the price of happiness? Is it more or less than the resale price?

If you want some suggestion for a different model, any Vulcan cruisers (>=1500 CC for you case) will do although I don’t know what the resale values are for these bikes.

One final note: A bike with a high resale valued today may not have the same resale value down the road. If you are making your decision based on the resale value, you are participating in a future market which is always a guessing game in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am purchasing the bike for two primary purposes. First is for pleasure rides with my wife, and second, I will anticipate using it for 50% of my daily transportation.

Again, I am not looking for an investment with regards to resale. The reason I brought it up was that seven dealers told me I would not be able to resell it if I ever needed to.

I hope that clarifies your questions.

Michael
 

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spsurfin said:
I am purchasing the bike for two primary purposes. First is for pleasure rides with my wife, and second, I will anticipate using it for 50% of my daily transportation.

Again, I am not looking for an investment with regards to resale. The reason I brought it up was that seven dealers told me I would not be able to resell it if I ever needed to.

I hope that clarifies your questions.

Michael
I was going to suggest Harley for higher resale value. But it looks like you need a reliable transportation since it will be one of your main transportation, so Harley is out and Vulcan is in. Vulcan 1500-1600 Classics seem to be always popular and good for two up riding so it will satisfy both of your pruposes.
 

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Cruiser Drifter Resale

SPsurfin,

Several good points have been made. If you like (love) the bike, and if you can afford it, then get it. If you're worried about resale (and it sounds like you're really not) then you're into the wrong gig.

I know someone who rides a 1500 Drifter - loves it - puts about 12k miles on it annually. I put about 6-8k on my Nomad. The Kawis DO run pretty well over the long term. But so do other bikes - like the Yamaha Stars, the Honda VTX's, etc. So get what turns you on - the one that reaches out and grabs you. For some it's the Softail. For some it's the Nomad (it IS the best IMHO....), for some the Meanie. or the VTX or the Ninja or whatever. You already know which one you should be riding regardless of the accountants' opinions.

You're like me in a way - looking for a reason to justify the purchase. Forget it. You can't justify the purchase (even with the "I'm saving money on gas, honey" argument - I tried that one). So look, test, and buy the one you love - 'cause if you don't, you'll always wonder.....

Cheers!
 

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Buy the thing

spsurfin,
Hello I have a 1500 Drifter bought it almost a year ago. I moved up from a smaller bike. My needs where very similar to yours. I have the 2 up seat with a small rack. This is so my wife can enjoy the ride and we have plenty of power to attack the highways. She fell in love with it and authorized the purchase on sight. We love it, it os different and a big bike. If I can answer any questions about it drop a line would be glad to do so. 3000 miles last summer it's seems close to 50° today maybe this weekend it will find itself on the road....
 

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I have a 2002 Drifter 1500, but don't have a lot of concern about the resale value. I'm just going to ride it until the wheels fall off and then buy another Vulcan! A couple of things to consider: Some model years don't have passenger footpegs. If you get a model without them, your conversion to a two-up seat (footpegs included) could run you close to $1,000. You'll have great stock power to ride two-up. However, the addition of aftermarket pipes, intake, and fuel management module will really open up the power for you. I have noticed a source of untapped power above 75mph (4th and 5th gear) that simply wasn't there before. Nice for passing cars two-up.

I love my Drifter (I only ride solo), and wouldn't trade it for the world. However, if you're looking for a good two-up option right off the floor, it is impossible to beat the Nomad, which now is a 1600. My two cents, buy any Vulcan. You'll be very happy you did.

Cheers,
John
 

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If you go with your heart you'll never see a rider pass and and yourself you wishing you'd bought something else. Go with your wallet and you'll be second guessing up to the day you sell it and buy your dream.
 
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