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Hi All,

I've really enjoyed exploring this forum over the past week and finally decided to join and stop lurking.

I'm in my 40's and got my motorcycle license on my 16th birthday. I've ridden since I was 9 years old when I built my first minibike. I've had a motorcycle all my life till 10 years ago when my wife and I had two kids. She said "I'd never ask you to quit riding because I know you love it so much ... but can you take a break until these critters can feed themselves?" I agreed, and not reluctantly. I like to deprive myself from time to time to know I don't need 'stuff' to be content - its strength-training the Stoic in me :)

This summer, without my asking, I had four friends lend me motorcycles: Suzuki M50 and a C50, a Star 1300 Tourer and a 900 Vulcan. I've ridden over 2000km on them. Surprisingly these folks are still my friends, even after they gape open mouthed at their odometers and freshly washed bikes when I return them two days later.

The end result: the Beast has awoken, and he's freakin' STARVING.

On a recent prowl through a local dealership I fell in love with the Vulcan Vaquero. I was sitting on it and tapping all the plastic and looking at all the goo-gaws that would make my riding so civilized ... and across the room I saw a visage of pure beauty. I walked over holding my breath ... my first glimpse of what I soon learned was something called a Raven Star Stryker. I spend the next hour sitting on it just to see how comfortable it was (that 900 Vulcan is horrible to sit on after 20 minutes ...) and was astounded. The thing was shockingly gorgeous, blackly muscular, aggressive and as comfortable as my side of the bed.

I've been back three times to feel it up, sniff the gas tank, see how easy it would be to remove the chrome and paint it matte black... and dream, dream, dream...

Here's my issue: I'm a cheapskate. I could buy it tomorrow (might spend a night on the couch until my wife mellowed out, but hey...) yet it annoys the living crap out of me that they want $12,300 Canadian dollars for it. I've seen them for $8900 in Seattle, just across the border. The dealer wants $550 for freight/pdi/papers and then there's 12% federal sales tax which would put me in the 15 large range.

I called the dealer in Seattle. He told me no problem... we'll do all the paperwork. We'll charge $260 for freight/papers and you'll pay $195 at the border. Done deal. When I mentioned that to the dealer up here, he hummed and hawed and swore there would be "big discounts" once the 2012's were released, but he had no idea when that is. I'm assuming the Spring of 2012. (anyone on here know?)

I love riding. I ride in the dark, in the rain, in the cold, in the sun. I don't care. Its the greatest thing on the planet to ride. And I'm disciplined enough to wait. Or so I tell myself. :D

Thanks to this forum, I've decided that the Stryker is definitely the bike for me. I want a bike I can keep for many years, modify and ride in all weather.

I'm 6'2", 200lb and the only question I had was the comfort on long rides. I have the odd lower back pain from too much martial arts and lifting weights over the years. I like to take long multi day trips, and after reading this very helpful forum I've learned some great stuff: The Mustang seat pics with the rider backrest one of the members installed looks like the perfect comfort solution for long treks; and the current discussion on control extensions for longer legs has been brilliant. Some of you guys and girls have beautiful saddlebags and great windscreens. I know that I can make this bike fit me like a glove, even though it feels like it does already.

So thank you all for the great info on this forum!

For now, I'll be on here all the time, reading and learning from you all. And the day I get my bike you can be assured I'll post some pics.

Thank you all for keeping my dream alive. (And the Beast inside thanks you for feeding him a daily dose of Stryker pictures)

Best wishes,
Draeger

PS: Can anyone tell me if the US Strykers have both miles and kilometers on the speedo? Some pics look like they do, others like they don't. I'd probably have to get a KM speedo reading for legal reasons here in Canada.

PPS: Even though I have a perfect driving record (no accidents, no tickets) and a motorcycle license for 25 years, the yearly insurance in British Columbia on this bike is going to cost me around $1500 because they scale insurance on the engine size. Stupid bureaucrats don't see that a guy on a cruiser with a half of century of experience isn't in the same 'risk category' as a 16 year old on a 600cc rocket. I met a guy today at a gas station riding a 1000cc Honda. He pays $440 a MONTH for insurance after getting a couple of tickets. You lucky Americans should pray you never get the 'benefits' of a government run socialist utopian insurance scheme.
 

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Wow that is long lol. The sooner you get the Stryker the sooner you start modding. I say get it now. The speedo does show both. The ones you might see without it might be the gauge covers.
 

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Welcome and I think you will be fine on the Stryker. I'm sure you could add some forward controls if you wanna stretch out. I have done some weekend trips on mine without any complaints. Even the stock seat is more comfy than any other stock seat I've had 8)
 

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Welcome Draeger!!
 

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I'm really thinking that if you are expecting any leftovers from 2011....... there won't probably be many. This bike is selling like hotcakes and the raven is definitely the popular one......I'm still waiting on some to start adding some color to one. Blue and black, purple and black, red and black....any would look awesome.
 

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Welcome! I'm pretty sure the US models only have the speedo in MPH. You can however order another faceplate from Low and Mean in KPH. Several on here have done this (not for that reason). Just do a quick search for faceplate.
 
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