I've been out and about the last couple of days, checking on various bikes. I've hit most of the local dealerships, just trying out different models.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to ride any of them, just sit on them in the show-rooms.
V-Star Midnight Custom - I duck-walked this bike around in the warehouse, and it seemed to be fairly well balanced. Quite comfortable, for the time I was on it. It seems heavy enough to be alright out on the road, and the salesman (so take it for what it's worth) told me it would be fine for the little bit of touring I want to do in the future.
The salesman didn't push me for a bigger bike, no pressure to buy at all. He emphasized that they are very customer oriented, and want to help out all they can. I enjoyed talking with him.
Shadow VLX - thought this was a sharp looking bike, but wish it had a bigger tank. Didn't get to sit on it, as that dealership always seems sort of... showish? I liked the last time I was there better, the saleswoman seemed more open/friendly than the man I had this time.
There is one of these used down the road from where I work, an '03 with 5500 miles, so I'd probably go used on this one. However, it's just a tad smaller than I'd prefer (a 600 as opposed to a 750). I know it's fine for just me, but I plan, in the future, to carry a passenger. Then again, who'd need a woman when I have a bike? (nice though, eh?)
This is looking like what I'll get. Can't beat the newness/miles/price ratio.
While I was at the Honda dealership, a man bought himself a new bike (cause his other two aren't enough, apparently). He and his friend left shortly before I headed out. I headed to the Suzuki dealership, and ran into them again. They asked what I was looking for and then steered me out of the showroom to the front of the building and tried to sell me on a bike sitting there. They are brothers who retired, started a trucking company, and were goofing off so they didn't have to go back to the office. Haha! Really nice guys, with some good advice.
Once they left, I headed into the showroom (out of the sun, whew!), with the saleswoman, and checked out what all they had there.
I thought that the M50 was decent looking, but the seat felt almost too wide. It almost seemed top-heavy, for some reason, sitting there in the show-room.
The S83 caught my attention as well. I'd prefer an S50, but they didn't have one sitting there. I believe that these are a bit taller than I want, after sitting on the other cruisers. I had no problem flat-footing it, though, but it just looks taller. I was surprised when I found out that it is only about 10 lbs lighter than the M50, since it has a higher CG.
The S50 really is more of the look that I am going for, though. Slimmer and lighter looking (IMO).
Of course, after all of that looking and browsing and everything, not that I plan on getting a new bike anytime soon... I was out and about today, just exploring, and I saw the most beautiful bike. I didn't stop to gawk (just slowed as I walked by) on my way to the ice-cream stand, but did stop on the way back. So, purely based on the look, I would have to go for the HD Softail. I don't know which one, just that this was a Softail, and really sharp looking. It's for sale, "Ask for Todd," but I didn't even go in and ask, because I know it's more than I am going to spend just about now.
Well, that has been my "touring the dealerships" experience. I enjoyed it, though I think I am still slightly dehydrated from all of the drool lost. I did find out which dealerships have the best service (at least on that day), even though I am not any closer to choosing a type of bike.