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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post here. I had a Vulcan 500 about 10 years ago. I absolutely loved everything about it except getting whipped about in high winds or at highway speeds. I loved that it was smaller and more nimble than all the big bruisers.

I'm 6' and 185lbs. It wasn't terribly impressive with a passenger, but it would still outrun anything on 4 wheels, so I didn't see a problem. I'm ready to get another bike now, so I've been doing some research.

I started out thinking I'd like to get a 750 or 800. Only problem is... I've completely fallen in love with the Mean Streak. I've never ridden anything nearly that heavy, though... and it's been so long since I've ridden I've honestly forgotten how (not that it would take long to come back to me.)

I've read a number of comments about the backlash (or whatever it's called.) Is that the same basic principle as on my old 500? Are we talking about the jolt if you let go of the throtle? Is it worse on the meanstreak?

I got to be quite comfortable and a helluva rider on the old bike. Am I in for a rude awakening or a slice of heaven with the meanstreak? (Or maybe the Suzuki version)

I don't ever see myself taking a long trip on it. In fact, if I was on the highway, it would be for only small amounts of time.
 

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You are correct about the backlash. I believe its common in most shaft driven bikes. I don't believe its excessive on the Mean Streak. Maybe I'm just different but I don't mind it at all. You can control most of it by the way you use the clutch. As for the weight, I believe in a few miles you won't think of it at all. Its funny because the primary reason I sold my HD and purchased the Mean Streak is it felt so light compared to the HD. For me, I would not have another bike for the type of driving I do. Like you, I do not take any long trips. I have driven it on a couple 250 mile rides and could have kept going. I do have the Mustang seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah... the weight's a funny thing. I tried out a fully dressed yamaha 650 cruiser, and it felt at least as big and cumbersome as the ms with less than half the displacement. I'm sure the weight is a lot less too.

I think that's what gets me about the ms. I know it's a big bike, and I know it ain't light... but sitting on it, it just seems to FEEL like it's no bigger than, say the 800 classic. I haven't had a chance to ride one yet, though.

Here's a stupid question, but when I got my first bike, I knew nothing about bikes and had someone else pick it out for me since I wouldn't have known what to look for.

How does the test-drive situation work? Will a new dealership let you test-ride? Do you need the motorcycle endorsement on your license to do so?
 

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my local dealership has a nice preowned red 1500 fi meanie for 8k. It didn't have the year
 

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ithinktherefore said:
How does the test-drive situation work? Will a new dealership let you test-ride? Do you need the motorcycle endorsement on your license to do so?
You need the "M" endorsement on your license, and the dealer will likely have you sign a waiver that makes you responsible for damages.

When you are trying to gauge the feel of the bike, consider the seat height too. Some bikes feel "heavy" because they have a higher center of gravity. Keep trying them out until you find one that feels comfortable. Most of all, have fun! :)
 

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re

wow-mean streak is the shiznit - go get it :wink:

backlash is not excessive and as mentioned can be virtually eliminated
with the correct throttle response
 

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I have the Suzuki version (1600 Marauder). It's great. I traded in an 800A on it and while it is heavier, it's not a problem. The difference in power and handling is striking. The 800 had V&H Cruzers , jetting and K&N filter, but it can't compare. Maybe it's a torque thing.

I haven't noticed backlash as a problem. Coming from chain to shaft drive you might think I would, but I have really noticed it. There have been a few times where my hand slipped on the clutch lever and she bucked pretty good, but that was my fault. Normal riding is no problem.

I have the Mustang seat and it makes me feel a little more one with the bike. The stock seat makes me feel more like I am perched on top of the bike. It must sit a tad lower or the tilt is different. It has been the best money spent on the bike. I do have risers and bars on order as the reach for the bars is too much for me, but others find it OK. They are OK for me around town, but longer trips it kinda gets to me.

This bike does fine on long trips, it's hardly working at 65 MPH, and is great around town.

Go for it. You won't be sorry.

Remember also that the Suzuki IS BUILT BY KAWASAKI. Says so right on the sticker. I got $2K off list on a 2004 in May. Maybe there is a deal out there for you. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ken said:
ithinktherefore said:
How does the test-drive situation work? Will a new dealership let you test-ride? Do you need the motorcycle endorsement on your license to do so?
You need the "M" endorsement on your license, and the dealer will likely have you sign a waiver that makes you responsible for damages.
I never got the endorsement last time. I don't know anybody else very well that rides these days. Should I go rent a little 125 or something to take the test?
 

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ithinktherefore said:
I never got the endorsement last time. I don't know anybody else very well that rides these days. Should I go rent a little 125 or something to take the test?
I doubt that I could get a dealer to give me a test ride around here. Maybe be different in your area.

You probably should take an MSF course. Most states recognize passing that as good to get your M endorsement. Even though you rode before you may have trouble passing the state test without some practice. MSF provides bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just called around and found a few places to take the skills test. I'm reading up on some of the basics (never did last time.) Even though I've probably logged over 30k miles, it's been so long I've nearly forgotten how a bike works.
 

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ipcsshooter and JeffQ mentioned swapping the stock seat for the Mustang seat. Do you find that the Mustang seat places you any closer to the tank? Does it sit lower or higher?

I've only got a couple of hundred miles on my bike so far, but I've found that sliding up close to the tank gives me a more comfortable riding position. Pegs not so far forward, and not so much of a reach to the bars. Unfortunately, it's not easy to hold myself in that position over an extended period of time! A seat that would not allow me to slide back so far is what I need.

I realize that there are other solutions for the bars, but the foot peg position is pretty well fixed. Sitting closer to the tank allows me to have a more comfortable bend at the knee.
 

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crossrider said:
ipcsshooter and JeffQ mentioned swapping the stock seat for the Mustang seat. Do you find that the Mustang seat places you any closer to the tank? Does it sit lower or higher?
I haven't measured it, but I belive it is the same height. If I remember right Mustang claims on that it is the same height. I think it may put you a bit closer to the tank, but the stock seat doesn't have real well defined saddle scoop, as the Mustang does, so it's hard to tell for sure if I was putting my butt in the same spot all the time. I can't really tell it by my reach for the bars. For some reason the Mustang makes me feel like I am more connected to the bike. I think the seat tilts you a little and the well defined scoop probably helps. In any case it is very comfortable. The stock seat hurt my rear in half hour or so. With the Mustang I have gone well over an hour at a time and felt like I could still go on.

Compared to stock it is a real well made seat. High quality all the way. One thing is it doesn't come up as far on the tank as stock, so if you change you may have to use some elbow grease and wax to brighten up the area on the tank that is now uncovered. I had to on mine.

I tried the sliding forward route, but it just seemed strange to me. As I said before I'm going with risers and new bars.

I have had them on order since mid June. By the time I get them I will be ready to get a new bike. :roll:
 
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