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Hi everybody, I'm new to the board and I need some advice. I just passed the MSF course this past weekend and I'm looking at a Vulcan 500 LTD as a starter bike. It's a 2002 model in a local shop, new old stock. They want $3899.00 for it. I talked to my MSF instructor about it. He told me the price was too high and to try to get them down to $3200 and ask for new radial tires to be put on it because the stock tires are crap. He also told me to check the brake lines for cracks and get the shop to replace them if necessary. I've heard the 500 is very reliable and a good performer. If I get it, I'll have to finance it. I really can't afford to buy used because wifey and I just bought a house two months ago. It got a good review in Motorcycle Cruiser magazine, also. Can anyone give me any advice/info on their 500, any quirks about it, things to watch out for, etc. Also, is my instructor right about the tires? He later told me to get a Suzuki SV650 and avoid "that Vulcan piece of crap." I sat on the bike last week and it felt really good, reach was comfortable too. The only other bike I've sat on was a 2005 Suzuki S50. The reach on it felt a little stretched out, like the bars were a little too far away for me to be comfortable. Any info/advice you can give would be most appreciated.
Thanks for your time,
Mark
 

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Sounds like it might be a bit high. I got my Vulcan 800B with 1350mi for $3750 with a windshield and freeway bars from a private party. Had some minor damage from being dropped though.
 

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I think your instructor is the one full of crap. First you only have one break line in the front the rear is a drum. It's a new bike an the break line should be in good shape (my bike is an 02 with 14'000 mi. an my brake line is fine ) If anything you might inspect the fluid I've heard after sitting for a long while that the fluid sometimes jell's ? Second the tires are not the best but there not the worst either they will be fine until you wear them out. The five hundred is alot better than the suzuki 650 ( single cylinder),it's actually a detuned ninja 500 motor I think? (bikeaholic will be able to answer that question) There are no known issue's that I'm aware of as far as dependabilty. It's also a 6 speed. Quick an lively!! handles good an get's 54mi. to the gallon . It's a great bike for the beginner an the price may be a bit high but still a hell of a bike for the money. We've had the 500 for 2 years an no problems what so ever. It can even beat the vstar 650, the daughter's boyfriend's bike! after the 500 -650 race HE didn't want to try to take on my 800 haha. Like I started the post, your instructor is the one full of it!
 

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Kaw has been making these bikes for decades now. So the Vulcan is a refined bike with most quirks works out. I used to ride a '82 440 LTD. It worked great as a learner bike. Nimble bike for around town. I commuted down the interstate- although the bike would top out and these speeds. Hell I even used to take 'er off roading.

The only cons were that it didn't have much power if I had a passenger, it'd top out on the interstate, and those street tires weren't much for off roading. :twisted: Seriously though it is a reliable bike. I just changed the oil and tires and never had any problems.

MSRP new is $4849- so you're getting a grand off for an old show room bike. That's fine if you plan on riding it for a few years. If you just want to drive it for a year then get a bigger bike, you might want to hunt around for something used. I paid $1200 for my old LTD with only a couple thousand miles on it.

Hope this helps

Phatty
 

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Sounds like a decent deal to me. 2004 models are what 4650? If this is a new 2002, then it should be worth that or close to it deal with them if it has been around for a couple years then you have the upper hand. The Vulcan 500 is bullet proof, it is indeed a Ninja 500 motor tuned for cruiser riding, but It still zips right along. Excellent first bike, the Savage 650(S40) has a single cylindered air cooled motor, it won't be as smooth or as powerful. Not dissing the Savage (S40) but compared to a twin liquid cooled 500 a 650 single air-cooled is not going to be as nice. I Think the 500 Vulcan is one of the best deals in the begginer cruiser range. All you should have to do is buy it and ride, should need nothing but gas.
 

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I bought my 2003 Vulcan LTD for $3100 on ebay a few weeks ago. My sister has bought 2 bikes that way. It had 3616 miles and came with an OEM windshield. Near as I can tell it had never been dropped. I bought it because it just felt right. I just wasn't comfortable on other bikes yet. I am more comfortable on it then the Honda 250s used in MSF. I have put almost 600 miles on it in 16 days. I logged over 48 hours so far with about 1/3rd parking lot, 1/3rd quiet residential streets and 1/3rd main streets and highways.

It does accelerates nicely, and I haven't noticed any shortage of power on the interstate. I still have trouble telling when its in 5th or 6th gear. I drove 16 miles at 70mph in 5th thinking I was in 6th. I did get up to 80mph in 6th for a few minutes without realizing it this weekend and I had plenty of throttle left.

My 4000 mile service cost $132 including parts and tax. The service department said everything on the bike was in great shape.

The seat leaves a lot to be desired, can't believe how sore the hindend can get. But the more I read, the more it seems to be true of most stock seats. I have ordered an addon pad. I also installed a chain oiler, I am not crazy about the frequent cleaning and oiling of the chain. There are very few accessories for the bike for customizing.

Prices at dealers in my area for used bikes was high often approaching the cost of a new one.

I am glad I bought it because my confidence and skills are improving rapidly. I think a larger bike would have scared me and might be setting in the garage unused.

good luck
jo
 

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I run into the same trouble up here about the used bikes, some are 10 years old and they still want 2-3 thousand for them. As for the seat, yeah most people find the seats even on 12,000 bikes uncomfortable for any long driving. Me I like my seat on my 800 Classic, been 250 miles only stopping for gas and could have went other 250 miles.
 

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Rebel Rider
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I paid 4550 for my 2004 500LTD, new off the floor. It's a great bike. Plenty of power, can out accelerate most 800's, handles great, and the 6th gear makes it a nice cruiser. No vibration at highway speeds. I'm getting 58mpg. Aftermarket stuff is a little slim, but you can find some things for it.

bluestringer
 

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I paid $3000 for my 2000 with 4200 miles on it about 7 months ago. It came with luggage and I added a windshield (Factory windshield I got on eBay for $90 including shipping). It's been a great bike for around the city, easy to maneuver. Also small and light enough that it's easy to move around in the garage. I get around 50 mpg and insurance is cheap. I don't think that I got a "steal of a deal", but I think it was a fair price. The tires seem fine to me, but I have nothing to compare them to.

The fact that it's small and easy to move around is also the source of any negative feelings I'd have about it. Like I said, it's been a great bike, but now I'd like to have something bigger.
 

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Hi Roadbiker...You've probably already decided and done whatever you were going to do regarding the 500 LTD but I do feel your instructor might have been misinformed or simply have a special affinity for the Suzuki. I bought an '04 500 LTD in Aug. of '03, now have about 8300 miles on it and have had no problems whatsoever. I did break the green turn signal indicator lens while washing it once but that's it. I change the oil & filter every 2000 miles and lube the chain every third tank of gas and just ride it. Runs great, handles great and (IMHO) looks great. If you want an efficient and reliable cruiser and are not locked into the V-twin thing this is a very tough bike to beat.
 

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Hi Roadbiker...You've probably already decided and done whatever you were going to do regarding the 500 LTD but I do feel your instructor might have been misinformed or simply have a special affinity for the Suzuki. I bought an '04 500 LTD in Aug. of '03, now have about 8300 miles on it and have had no problems whatsoever. I did break the green turn signal indicator lens while washing it once but that's it. I change the oil & filter every 2000 miles and lube the chain every third tank of gas and just ride it. Runs great, handles great and (IMHO) looks great. If you want an efficient and reliable cruiser and are not locked into the V-twin thing this is a very tough bike to beat.
 

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I got a '04 Vulcan 500 in June. Great bike. A co-worker got a SV650 about the same time. He has a small tank, compared to the Vulcan's beautiful fat tank. 8) Some people don't like the stock seat, but I was comfortable long after the guy on the SV650 was hurting a few weekends ago.

Fatcat
 

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I bought a 2000 500 LTD in August with 3800 miles for $2200. One small dent on the tank, otherwise bike in great shape. First bike I have ridden in 20 years. Got my sealegs back in riding a bike again. Will give this bike to my wife and probably buy a 800A. Wife rides a Yamaha Virago 535, and cannot wait to get the 500. She says the difference between her bike and mine is like daylight and dark.
 

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Spooky when you get the 800 you'll enjoy it just a much as the 500, thats what my wife ride's an we have a pretty good time riding together. besides the A's are quicker than the B's. <BG> just kidding B owner's.
 

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500LTD

:p
You prolly decided on the bike by now, by here are my 2 cents.

I bought a new 2004 500LTD in May (I payed $4200 with windshield and saddlebags thrown in)...then blew my knee out at work in June.

So, I only have about 450 miles on it. I love the looks, and postition. I am only 5'6" and it is nice to be able to flat foot BOTH feet at a light. I traded in 250 Ninja for the Vulcan and will never look back.

The only downside, like someone else mentioned, is the top speeeds on highway. Other then that no problems....it has been stored for last coupla months and will most likely remain for winter. I hope to make up for lost time in the Spring.
 

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I guess I'm confused but for the life of me I don't understand criticism of the 500 LTD's hiway speed. I frequently ride mine on I-40 and have no problem keeping up with (and passing) the normal flow of traffic up to 85 MPH and more if needed. Yeah, the motor is wound-up pretty good at that speed but it's a high revving engine and LOVES to rev and gets its best fuel milage at hiway speeds. This bike is designed as a cruiser. If your cruising speed needs to more than where this bike will comfortably cruise, you don't want a cruiser
 

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Your right kawboy, When I ride the wife's 500 I take it out on the interstate an cruise 80 or 85 no problems it's a high reving engine that's just how its made. The 800 is like that to I'll go out an run 90 for a couple of hour's the power band is up top. I'll be down in your neck of the woods next June we'll have to hook up ?
 

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I had no problem with highway speeds on my 500 either. It did just fine, plenty of power and the vibration was minimal. Get a good windshield and lowers and you're good to go. I got the 800 because I wanted a V-twin with the v-twin sound and I was looking for more acessories that I couldn't find for the 500.

bluestringer
 
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