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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey friends,
I don't (yet) own a cruiser or a Kawasaki for that matter, but from the reviews, pics, specs, and sitting on one in a parking lot, I think the Mean Streak is THE cruiser for me. I ride a Ducati Monster 800 which also happens to be heavily re-geared, so it's, um, fast. Scary sometimes because it's wheelie-happy in third gear so you gotta be real careful with it. That said, I like it a lot but being more of a sport stance, it is a little painful to ride at times. It all boils down to how much energy I have. I have ridden a few cruisers and have enjoyed how much less intense they are when I am not 100%. They make for an enjoyable experience in a different way.

So anyways, I prefaced this with the Ducati because I wanted to give you guys/gals an idea of what I'm used to handling and power-wise. And that I like V-twins :) Given these traits, what comments can you folks make about the mean streak? Do you think I'd enjoy it (I know only I can answer this, so I am asking for assumptions here... more information is better but I will make the decision for myself ultimately).

I'm sure I'll have more questions as you provide answers so I'll finish here for now.

thanks!!
-Alt
 

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Not a total apples and apples comparison...but I went from a 2002 Yamaha FZ1 to a Vulcan 1500. The sport bike was fun for a while. The speed and handling is a rush. But, for me, the novelty wore off. I was too nervous about cops, kids that wanted to race me at every intersection, and my own urge to push the envelope further than I felt comfortable with.

I've never once regretted trading it in on a cruiser. It's more comfortable, more relaxing, has more personality, and is more in line with the riding crowd I enjoy being around (which is not a shot at sport bike riders, it's just that they are mostly younger than me). And I'm now able to go for longer rides than ever before, which is a real bonus. I never saw myself as a touring type of rider, but that is what I am becoming.

So, good luck in your decision. You'll know what feels right, and your brain (and your wallet) will follow your heart. 8)

Oh, and by the way, welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the warm welcome, Ken. It's a tough call for me- I'm such a dual personality kinda guy.

Then again, I don't consider the Ducati a sportbike... more of a streetfighter, and being a v-twin it does like to cruise too, albeit more intensely. And then there's the similarity with cruisers: the awesome crowd. Ducs have an amazing fan base... very different from japanese sportbikes on average.

But that mean streak looks so beautiful, and I am really fond of the suspension and brake bits. What about weight? How crazy is it to deal with coming from a 390lb, 75HP bike? I am 5'8", have short-ish legs and weigh 180.

thanks!
-Alt
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh yeah, does anyone have vids of their m/s running, moving, etc? Modded and stock, all are welcome...

thanks,
-Alt
 

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Altersys said:
What about weight? How crazy is it to deal with coming from a 390lb, 75HP bike? I am 5'8", have short-ish legs and weigh 180.
The weight took a little getting used to -- some parking lot slow speed practice took care it for me.

I went from 141 HP to a v-twin :lol: 460 pounds to 700. And the power to weight ratio on the FZ1 was 1 to 4.10. Totally different bikes. Different worlds, different purpose.

I have a 34' inseam and stand about 5'9" on 185 pounds. On my frame, the Vulcan is MUCH more comfortable. The seat height dropped nearly 5" between the two bikes.

There are many MS pics in the Show off your ride forum. You can also find TONS of pics of modded Meanies at http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/
 

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Altersys said:
Hey friends,
I don't (yet) own a cruiser or a Kawasaki for that matter, but from the reviews, pics, specs, and sitting on one in a parking lot, I think the Mean Streak is THE cruiser for me. I ride a Ducati Monster 800 which also happens to be heavily re-geared, so it's, um, fast. Scary sometimes because it's wheelie-happy in third gear so you gotta be real careful with it. That said, I like it a lot but being more of a sport stance, it is a little painful to ride at times. It all boils down to how much energy I have. I have ridden a few cruisers and have enjoyed how much less intense they are when I am not 100%. They make for an enjoyable experience in a different way.

So anyways, I prefaced this with the Ducati because I wanted to give you guys/gals an idea of what I'm used to handling and power-wise. And that I like V-twins :) Given these traits, what comments can you folks make about the mean streak? Do you think I'd enjoy it (I know only I can answer this, so I am asking for assumptions here... more information is better but I will make the decision for myself ultimately).

I'm sure I'll have more questions as you provide answers so I'll finish here for now.

thanks!!
-Alt
You and I are cut from the same cloth...I recently purchased a new 2004 Mean Streak and I love it. My other bike is a 200+rwhp Hayabusa that is an absolute animal. It loves nothing more than to gobble up miles of pavement at 3+times the posted limit. I love her, but I felt I needed balance. I am getting tired of always fuggin off on her, so one day I was in a dealership and I saw the Mean Streak and had to have her...The rest is history as they say. I love my "Meanie". I've got her looking and performaning the the way that I want and now we just ride together. No worries about cops, traction, wheelies, speed, etc. When I ride it I feel like I'm transformed into a mature seasoned rider...When I ride the Hayabusa I get transformed into Mr. Hyde...A totally irresponsible speed junky.

I think you'll love the mean streak...You and I are the same size and weight roughly...I'm 5'8 and weigh about 190lbs and the bike fits me perfectly. Get one and don't look back, but you might wanna keep that Monster for those days when you just have to blow off some serious steam.
 

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alt
sounds to me like you would be very happy on the streak. i am only 5'7", 170lbs, and i ride a nomad and i wouldn't trade it for anything. obviously, it will be quite a bit different from what you are used to, but it seems to me that you will settle right in to it. you have the right mindset going in, so i have no doubt that you will be happy with your decision.
 

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Mean Streak

This is my third cruiser. Went from a Yamaha V-Star 650, Honda Shadow ACE 750, and now the Mean Streak. There isn't anything I don't like about this bike. My wife told me I needed a bigger bike (I know I'm blessed), but even better, she said get the bike that you have always wanted. My short list was: HD V-Rod, Victory Kingpin, and the Mean Streak. I rode them all and *for me* the Mean Streak is the best. The only complaint I have (and it's minor), is that the mirrors are too short, I need to tilt my head to see what's behind me. We did the California / Oregon coast this summer and had a blast. This bike is definitely fun to ride and was comfortable enough for long days droning as well. Now it's my daily commuter and handles that just fine as well.
The V-Rod definitely has more power, at 5000RPM you literally have to push your feet back onto the pegs! The Kingpin also feels stronger but is way too "in your face", if you love loud pipes this is the bike for you. The Mean Streak was also my first Kawasaki and so far the reliability is excellent. I have just over 12,000kms on it now. I also prefer working on the Mean Streak over our Honda's (we have 3 Honda's, a Suzuki quad and a KTM). The Mean Streak is just better engineered. I know that will sound heretical to a Honda fan, but it's true. Oil changes, adjustments etc. are all easier on the Mean Streak, things are just easier to access. Anyway, love my Mean Streak, buy one, you won't regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey all, First of all jsut wanted to say THANK YOU for all the awesome replies! I would have responded earlier today but our network was down at work ALL DAY. Bastards. That's a long story for another time though :)

So I fugged off and went to a local dealership today to sit in the meanie again and I'm a little concerned. I have short legs as I think I already said, and I feel like I have to contort my legs a little to get around the gas tank and onto the footpegs. What's more, I have to really twist my feet to actuate the controls (rear brake and shifter). Now, this might be normal for cruisers but I'm not used to it. For the two guys that posted that are the same height as me, do you have the same issue, and is it a valid concern?

I have not yet ridden a meanie, and the local dealers aren't willing to allow it. I do think now that it would be a second bike, as I do love the Duc! So I'm not in a rush... but I do like being informed and hey, talking to bikers rules anyway :)

thanks all,
-Alt
 

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Altersys, I'm kinda new to the forum and haven't participated too much, but 3 weeks ago I got an 04 Mean Streak and I've only had one day on the bike. I am very impressed with all aspects of the Streak. I'm 5'8", 160, 30" inseam and very comfortable with the fit. Of course being bow legged I fit around the tank like a glove. I'm used to riding a bit more stretched so I'll probably add an engine guard with highway pegs.

Personally, I think you'll be pleased with the Streak. Remember, in analysis there is often paralysis.
 

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I am 5' 7" and weigh 180 dressed with boots. I have found the Meanie to be real comfortable and a joy to ride. I was dumb the way I bought the bike. I bought it, then I did the research. The research I did showed me I did not make any mistake at all, everyone seems to love this bike as much as I do. My advice................BUY THE BIKE!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A couple questions if ya don;t mind...

1) I know that from 03 to 04 there were some changes that included the obvious engine displacement increase and valve adjustments.... was the ECU remapped for smoother delivery? The other changes (please correct me if Im wrong) were a stronger swingarm and different mirrors. What I would like to know is if there is a noticeable difference in the way the bike puts the power down, how the controls feel, clutch, etc. I read a review that said the clutch feels different... smoother?

2) Is the only difference between the 04 and 05 the switch from 6 piston floating calipers to 4 piston radial calipers?

3) Is the 04 worth paying a little more than the 03 from a pure ease of use perspective? Im more interested in smoother operation than added power and torque here.

thanks!!!
-Alt
 

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just wanted to respond. my inseam is 32 which i think is a tad longer than yours but i have never had a problem with the controls on any cruiser, so i don't really see that being a problem.
one more thing. if the dealership won't let you take out a new streak, try to find a dealer that has a used one for sale, they will usually let you take them out, at least that is what i have found.
as for the questions you just asked, i'll leave them to the streak guys that are on here, they are usually right on top of things.
good luck.
 

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re

meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeanie 8)

sweet ride - buy it :wink:
 

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Meanie

My advice:
1. Hang onto the Duc. It'll be worth what you paid for it, maybe even more, in ten years.
2. If you fit the Meanie, buy it. I could not think of a bike that has a better balance of EVERYTHING than the Meanie. Unfortunately, I am not able to look at new bikes in the showroom with the same enthusiasm I had before owning the Meanie. That is the only downside.
Ride safely.
Steve Andriks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Steve,
Thanks for the very thoughtful reply! It's funny, I called my mom and bugged her for an opinion and she said something very similar. I still like the meanie the most out of the cruisers I've seen, but now I need to wait until it is financially reasonable to get it (I could buy it, but it's not a good idea right now).

I hate waiting...

That said, I'm modding my Duc more to make it a bit more cruiseworthy in the meantime... hehe

-Alt
 

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Ya gotta follow your gut. At least you're able to ride.
I'll be putting the babies to bed this weekend. Mount Washington had hurricane force winds & -22 degrees F wind chill temps today. Winter isn't far behind.
Ride safely.
 
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