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I like my bike!

1308 Views 18 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  MrClean
! Vulcan 900 Classic Candy Caribbean Blue

OK, a little about me. Never rode before two weeks ago when I took the MSF course at the local HD dealer 10-30 thru 11-4 passed and took state M test 11-7 passed bought my Vulcan 11-8 at that time I had never rode on the street or in traffic so I was hesitant to ride my new bike home 10.6 mi from dealer so had my neighbor an experienced 25 yr rider bring my baby home on 11-9.
Geared up with new HJC FF helmet and J Rocket Ballistic jacket and began practicing everything I learned on the little Buell Blast.
Very glad I took my M test on the Buell still having problems on the U turns with the Vulcan.
11-10 was a Saturday and the industrial park adjacent to my sub division was nearly devoid of traffic, plenty of empty streets, turns, curves, stops all in all a relative safe area to become familiar with the 900. The dealers mechanic had said there was about two gals of fuel in the tank and despite what they say, when the low fuel light comes on don't trust it, head for a station. Well the light didn't come on but I knew I'd have to leave the sanctuary of the industrial park and enter REAL traffic sooner or later so after about 2 hrs I was feeling comfortable with the controls, friction zone, forward shifter, brake grab of the 900 so I headed out to the local BP station. I did take the back way on secondary feeder a little longer and Stop signs not lights and lower speed limit 30mph and not the main highway with stop lights and a 40mph limit which most drivers it seems view as a minimum not a maximum.
Well I filled up or so I thought, the nozzle shut off and I'd pumped 2.33 gals paid my $7.?? been a long time since I filled up for less than $8. Felt good about my accomplishment and decided to brave the highway on the return trip all of about a ½ mile jaunt and a nice turn lane with left turn arrow onto the local street to my subdivision.
Well all in all a good beginning but hey I didn't invest my time and money to ride around in empty industrial parks and it was only noon on a beautiful warm sunny November Saturday. I NEED TO RIDE but where? My brother lives about 10mi away and he thinks I'm nuts, might as well prove it and show him my new toy. I cut through the Industrial park to a road that would allow me to avoid the Saturday shoppers at the strip malls and would take me to another secondary which would take me through the central business district but one I knew I'd be comfortable with the stop and go of. Had a set of RR tracks to cross, my first, just backed off the throttle and aimed at the flattest area, raised off the seat a bit and held my breath.......piece of cake. Pulled up to my bros house his sil was out front playing with the dog. He didn't recognize me in my riding gear but he sure was interested in the Vulcan and as I removed my helmet he was full of Q's about it and how he'd love to get one. My bro came out shaking his head and said I was going to kill myself. I told him that was alright just make sure any usable parts of me get reused and to take care of my dog. He offered refreshments, I opted for the Dr. Pepper save the Corona for another time, a bit of chitchat and geared up and headed for home. Took my time and even enjoyed the ride back only needed 99% concentration on riding the bike. A most excellent day.
11-11 Veterans Day Windy rather cool and I was in a 5K run, walk, roll to benefit vets and their families. Didn't ride
11-12 Didn't ride
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11-13 Got home late. Geared up and rode around the subdivision and once through the IP
11-14 Got home early from work it was warn upper 40's I geared up but where to go, first I warmed myself up in the industrial park, a lot of semi truck traffic so I decided to ride out and visit a former neighbor that bought in a new subdivision about 5 mi away but the only way there is the second busiest primary around and the beginning of rush hour. Coming out of the industrial park is a double left turn lane onto the primary but a half block back is a service road intersection from the fast food joints 7-11 and other service businesses as I approached a semi pulled out from the service road turning the same direction as I was going and across my path, I wanted to stay in the right hand of the double left hand turn lanes to give myself more room in the turn I see too often drivers in the right hand side of a double
left cut to the inside cutting off those in the inside left hand position, I had stopped for the truck pulling out but he realized he could not make his turn so he stopped that's when the fun began. The traffic behind me all decided they weren't going to wait for traffic to clear for the trucker the left hand of the two turning lanes was only half full whereas if I filled in the right lane I be blocking the trucker the impatient CAGERS started going around me from both sides to fill in the left hand turn lane WTF! I just sat there till traffic cleared the trucker pulled clear and I moved up and what, I had to wait till the light cycled through again. I had my outside position I could swing a little wide I was a happy camper! Rest of the trip out and back was uneventful, just getting in some ride time in traffic.

11-15 Off work. Where to ride to? Decided to visit my old shop I was with them for 16 yrs till the old man retired and the kid took over. This is a nice ride about 17mi mixed traffic through some forest preserves over bridges and RR tracks and stop and go city traffic I'm very familiar with this road. The forecast was partly cloudy, a little windy and speed to increase as the day went on.
The section that runs through the forest preserve is a little twisty with uphill down hill and blind curves. I've been over this road hundreds of times in the car or truck it ain't the same on the bike plus I've had more than one deer pop out in front of me over the years. I've seen some of those bike and deer videos on U tube I took it nice and easy probably the first time I did the speed limit through there in years especially on the uphill blind turn I'm generally 5mph over the limit of 15. Made it through but had a line of traffic behind me I think they all just wanted a look at my sharp blue Vulcan.

Crossed the big bridge it's concrete with metal expansion joints no big deal nice view from the top if you like church steeples. Visited a while and caught up on what's happening they all thought it was Harley but they think all cruisers are. Headed back got a few miles down the road and thought, Hey I don't have to go home so I made a left at the next light which just happened to be a US highway and headed south. Well a few miles down I ran into a construction zone which was fun flaggers, lane closers, reduced speeds. Don't get me wrong I always slow down for road crews I think everyone caught speeding in one should have to stand out there for a day with two tons of steel or more flying by a few feet away, just changing a tire is more than I want to do under those conditions and I have.

Well I kept heading south till I got to the corn fields and yeah that wind started to pick up. I hadn't ridden in any wind yet so something new I turned west at the next crossroad I was familiar with it so I rode on. The speed limit was 50 it's single lane passing is permitted but not practical do to volume of traffic most times of day. I tried to do the limit but with the wind buffeting me I felt uncomfortable much over 45. Lucky for me the first guy behind me who was right on my tail turned off at the first stop signed crossroad and a heavy construction truck turned in behind me. I was able to get away from the stop signs quick and that big old rig was just catching up about the time we hit the next that went on for about six miles except when a Ups brown slipped in but he didn't stay long. Anyway we have to be nice to brown they bring us goodies. Well I hit the north south that would bring me back home and quartering to the wind wasn't to bad and being out of the corn fields a lot of structure to break it up. Home and a hot bowl of chile.
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11-16 Still no work! Overcast, light winds tempts low 40's Well I've had Carri home for a week and we've bonded. I had ordered her some trinkets to dress her up and provide me a little peace of mind. I have received notice of shipment of Carri's Memphis Shades 19” gradient black and quick disconnect and her MC engine guard expected arrival 11-20. Considering the time of year 160 miles in a week is a good start muscle memory is in good form actions are becoming automatic reaction time improving.

I have a buddy that had to take a disability retirement, according to google maps he's 46mi from herefter I rerouted off the Interstate to US highways. I think I'm going to head out there.
I put a turtle neck on and a sweat shirt over, under my riding gear and a pair of heavy boot socks, wish I had some long jons but I haven't worn any for years since I quit hunting. This isn't a bad ride and in nice weather it would be a lot of fun. Because of the temps I picked the most direct route that kept me off the Interstate a much more scenic route would put a few more miles on but I thought this enough challenge.

The starting leg is much the same as going to my brothers but with my weeks experience I'm skipping the secondary road and proceeding to the north south US highway and direct to the east west US highway. Well I'm back in the corn fields but the wind is only 6-10 and not bad however there are plenty of trucks both east and west bound many farmers hauling grain. (I think about gravel and the possibility of grain spills I imagine a bike acts the same on grain as gravel I mentally take note to watch for yellow roadway) I'm doing the limit 55 the truckers are in a hurry the road is strait and fairly smooth when I see one filling my rear view I just pull to the right 1/3 and let them pass I'm not getting any buffeting from them. The east bound trucks are a different story it seems that the shape of the oncoming trucks produce different air cushions, the big freight boxes are the worse the corn haulers and earth haulers the least.

My clutch hand starts to go numb not from the cold I have a pair of insulated Olympian gauntlet gloves they're XXL but still tight. I've come about 30mi I pull off at the next crossroad with a stop sign. I get the circulation going and adjust the gloves as best I can. I'm warm my feet are sweating my hands are sweating but my legs are cold and my neck chin between my turtle neck and helmet. I think Santa is going to bring me some AlterEgo pants and whatever that head gear is that goes down under your jacket but with an open face.

The truck traffic dropped off suddenly, I assume the scales were open on the Interstate and many were avoiding them. I have the road to myself nice long stretches of blacktop. I come to a stop sign no cross traffic no one behind me no one for as far as I can see. Well the dealers mechanic said don't baby it ride it in break like you will later. He said the worse problem they had was new owners babying their bikes for 600 mi bringing them in for their servicing then riding them like he!! and then complaining that they're falling apart on subsequent visits, on things that could have been taken care of at first servicing. Giddup go Carri. Nice smooth acceleration don't have to worry about falling off the back but I'm impressed. Glad none of the constabulary are around for a speed check I've been clean for the last 12 yrs lets keep it that way. I wind it up then let off, wind it up then let it off. I do that for the next 5-6 miles expect for a wide spot in the road with a name but not much else and speed reduction for RR.

I'm watching for my buddy's turnoff I always come from the other direction and the Interstate. Oops there it goes. Go down to the next gravel road turn around and come back make the right turn drive down a mile or so and there it is. Nobody home. Now you might ask why I didn't call first because I didn't care if they were home though it would have been nice if they were but I WANTED TO RIDE.
I needed nourishment so headed down to the Interstate and fast food heaven.
The one thing I found to be funny is how one part of you can be so cold and the rest so warm? My legs were COLD but I needed to peel my helmet gloves and jacket. Any answers to that?
Carri now has 268 miles on her 252 put on by me
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Sounds like you have the fever. :)
Hello :shock:

Congrats on the new ride. As I read your posts:shock: , that reminds me of my own experience on the very first day I took delivery of my 900. Ten minutes after I pulled out of the dealership, I find myself cruising on the interstate headed home. :shock:

Get to know your bike and best of all, have fun riding. Be safe. Regards.
Man it sounds like you have the fever, I do alot of those rides where im not sure where im going or who is going to be there. Take care and ride safe.:)
it has been a long long long time since I had that experience...but, I still have lots of I go and then figure out where
When I first got back into motorcycling an old shopping mall was being torn down to make way for a super Walmart and I would ride over to the parking lot. Only traffic was a few construction vehicles and I had this huge parking lot all to myself. Practiced turns, stopping, starting and all that good stuff. Only problem was I had several miles of well traveled roads between my house and the mall but, it was worth the inconvenience. Took the MSF course when I could find an open class but the mall practice was great.
Welcome ZP. NOW - Slowly step away from the coffee! ;-) It is great to read your post and have all those memories of my first bike and first rides return after 40 years or so. I am glad that you are having so much fun. I will tell you that although the experience isn't as intense as what you feel now, even after 40 years of riding, I still have that "I didn't call first because I didn't care if they were home though it would have been nice if they were but I WANTED TO RIDE" feeling when I head out on the 900. Another good thing is that the 900 seems to get better the more you ride her.

Again, welcome - glad you found this forum
Welcome ZP. NOW - Slowly step away from the coffee! ;-) It is great to read your post and have all those memories of my first bike and first rides return after 40 years or so. I am glad that you are having so much fun. I will tell you that although the experience isn't as intense as what you feel now, even after 40 years of riding, I still have that "I didn't call first because I didn't care if they were home though it would have been nice if they were but I WANTED TO RIDE" feeling when I head out on the 900. Another good thing is that the 900 seems to get better the more you ride her.

Again, welcome - glad you found this forum
This is the part that caught me. I think this is true about most of us.
Congrats on the bike and the enthusiam, Keep it up!
Nothing wrong with singing the praises of your bike. :D

Keep the rubber side down.
I'd bought mine, trailered it home (no license or experience), then looked at it sitting in the garage for two weeks until my MSF class, and then getting my license the next morning.
Yeah, what a difference from the little 125cc in the MSF class to the 900. Glad I hadn't gotten something bigger. I rode back to the range where I took my class and practiced "the box" once I was on my 900.

Welcome to the group, ride safe.
You know, when I started the only experience I had was dirt bikes! The road is actually a little easier on the back and knees. Good Luck, welcome, and pics please!
Thanks all for the encouragement. I've taken a few pictures but I'm having a time making them small enough that they're accepted. I keep getting file too large. I did manage one on my profile page. I guess I need to read the FAQ's

Carri Blue 900 Classic
Hiya Z_P - welcome to the forum.

Thanks for sharing, it brings back lots of good memories.
Even now, when I go for a ride, I will say to myself, "I can't believe I am actually doing this!!!"
Photobucket.com is a good place to store and post your pics, they are very user friendly.
Oh, for your cold weather, check into getting some textile overpants for the cold, and mesh overpants for when it gets warm.

Best Regards,
Sent you a PM on IRfanview and Putfile. You'll get them pictures up there in no time.

Remember, that rear tire is only good for 8-10 thousand miles. Count your smiles.
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