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You should probably go with a bigger bike and one with the most comfortable seat you can find.......
Good advice. I would add good wind protection.

Though you can do big distances on almost any bike if you're determined enough, this is what tourers are built for.
 
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......I would still like to find a middle ground. I am considering the cb500s and the Honda 700s, ....
Honda Deauville/NT700. Perfect from a practical point of view and an often overlooked yet amazingly competent bike for long distances without being ridiculously heavy. Often bought by couriers, which says a lot about its comfort and reliability, plus it comes with factory luggage.

Fashion victims and the image conscious scorn them, which is an advantage to me, though there are sufficient numbers of bikers in the know to keep prices higher than you might expect for something derided as the "Dullsville". Nevertheless, you can safely buy a used Deauville (they often last well into six figure mileage) and most owners are 'mature' and so they have usually been cared for. They also have shaft-drive, an absolute must for an all-year-round bike that has to battle through bad weather, in my opinion, and a very effective screen. Finish is tough and build quality up to the usual Honda standards, probably higher than their crotch rockets. The only negative, IMO, is they are a bit heavy for a 700cc bike, but a LOT lighter than the big tourers. The weight does translate into excellent stability though, pretty useful for highway use, when you're mixing it with high-speed trucks!

Seriously. Try to see the bike for its intrinsic qualities rather than as an ego accessory and you won't go wrong for mile-munching. They even handle pretty well for those times when you're in a hurry.

I seriously considered buying one myself, but my arthritis forces me to ride something as light as possible these days.
 

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......a really cheap but reliable bike with just enough power to handle these kinds of trips. A late model Kawasaki 500 (a Ninja or maybe a Vulcan with a windshield) keeps coming to mind .......
Wow, those are two very different motorcycles. Personally, I find cruisers uncomfortable on long trips, because they put too much weight on your bum and lower back and, if the pegs are positioned well forward (as many are) it is hard or impossible to do the 'biker wriggle' while on the move, where you stand up on the pegs for a few seconds to re-establish blood flow into your nether regions. The Ninja would also be out for me, putting too much weight on your wrists and requiring that you crane your neck in order to look forwards, albeit not as bad as a full-on sports bike. You also need to look at the seat-to-pegs distance which, especially on sports bikes, is reduced and so your knees are bent more than on other bikes. This again inhibits blood flow and can induce cramp.

All of these issues have been addressed on bikes designed specifically for touring, with the useful addition in many cases, of shaft drive (no chain maintenance required en-route).

The plan to buy a cheap bike is sound though, and what I usually advise new bikers. This allows you to think about what you personally need in a bike before committing a wad of cash, and also makes the inevitable car-park topples (believe me, you will at first) cheaper too!
 
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On the subject of long-distance riding, I have in the past toyed with the idea of getting a Goldwing with cruise control and reverse gear, just about the best bike ever made for crossing continents (on asphalt). I would really struggle with the weight these days. It would be great to do a lap of Oz on one of those things.
 

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.....1. I actually had issues with the 300 F where my left hand and left foot would go numb after about 1.5 hours of riding. I wear alpine stars boots and a set of motorcycle gloves (with knuckles and such)......
Some advice for newbies regarding gloves:

You will hear conflicting reports about vibration on the same bike, some complaining and others saying it's not a problem. There can be differences between supposedly identical bikes, perhaps due to mileage or servicing quality, but gloves make a big difference in my experience, and in a counter-intuitive way.

Many riders think that the key to minimising the effects of vibration on the hands is thicker gloves, either on the palm or both palm and elsewhere. However, the thickness and quality of the leather, and the amount and design of any attached armour, can make a big difference to the force needed to distort the glove when wrapping the hands around the grips. If the gloves are stiff, due to quality/thickness of the leather, design (i.e. where the natural creases are, due to the stitching and panel layout, especially reinforcing) or the amount, positioning and shape of armour, more force is required to form a fist and this results in the rider having to grip the bars with more force. This in turn means that any vibration is felt more strongly.

I experimented with this over the years and eventually settled on just about the thinnest and most flexible gloves I could find. I wouldn't use something like that for racing or track days, but for normal road riding at moderate speeds, I think they provide enough protection. I barely notice I'm wearing them and the comfort, in Australian temperatures at least, is amazing.

The other thing to watch out for is the cuff design. Some gloves can be a little tight around the wrist, especially if fastened over the cuff of a jacket. Even apparently low pressure around the wrist, over an hour or more, can lead to reduced blood flow into the hands, leading to numbness, pain or tingling. Some care when fastening should be used, and the gloves fastened no tighter than they need to be in order to stay on should be used.

As you can see, purchasing riding gloves is a much more complicated and important task than might be assumed.
 

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.....whether I will prefer a cruiser style or sport bike style, I have no idea. I hope to sit on both and others soon........
The unfortunate fact is, you will often sit on your sports bike wishing it was a cruiser, or on your cruiser wishing it was a sports bike. On another day, you'll wish it was a tourer. A week later, on a ride between forests or mountains, you'll want a dual sport so that you can head up the fire trails.

We all suffer this. When we're rolling down an ocean-front boulevard past cafe crowds, a huge cruiser is perfect. But then you have to use the highway to get home and suddenly your arse is numb and your neck is being wrenched off. Time to get the tourer out. Great, but there's a really nice, twisty and well-surfaced long-way-home through the mountains. Now where did I stow the sportsbike? Aaaagh, the road is blocked and the best way home is using some farm tracks! Time for the R1200GS...... Whew, back onto tarmac, but now I'm in the city and my huge BMW is stuck behind a long queue of cars. CB300F, where are you?

:D
 

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NO, this will not reduce vibrations.

Source - I am a qualified Vibration Analyst
I reckon many women would claim to be one of those :devil:

"Oh no dear, I was just testing it....."
 
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altho all motorcycles have their purpose and place etc,
[check out even just the honda model lineup]
i for one admit to never having wished i was riding
a 'cruiser' or any other motorcycle, while passing thru
the cafe street area, just down from my place..
That's because you're missing the point. Cruisers are basically a fashion accessory, and an important part of achieving a certain 'badass' style. :D

That's why many cruiser riders put incredibly noisy straight pipes on them, otherwise people might not look at them as they ride past.

Oh, and don't forget the Ray Bans, open-face helmet and pretend gang patches on your jacket. It also helps achieve 'the look' if you don't shave that morning.
 

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I'm guessing MeeLee is 17 years old, based on his confident knowledge of everything. All his often dubious statements are delivered as though fact, with no "I think" or "Perhaps..."

Few of them pass the sniff test and some are downright ludicrous. That's OK, we all have our opinions, but on a site that is often visited by newbies on the lookout for solid help and advice, I believe it's important to distinguish between belief and fact.
 
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