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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums and have a quick question.

I purchased my vulcan 900 classic last year and have enjoyed it so far. I havent' done a lot of highway riding, mostly stayed around town, back-roads etc. I've been out of town on the bike a few times and to tell you the truth, the RPM's over 65 make me a bit nervous. I've been reading up on some threads here in the forums on the subject and have learned quit a bit, but I'd like to address a few specifics.

It seems as though there isn't really a lot of options to improve this. I've read of a new sprocket out there that reduces the rpm's by about 200rpm, which doesnt' seem that significant. I'm not sure what else I could do. I want to take my bike from here in California to Utah, which is approx. 700mi. That seems quite a ways and I'm not sure if cruising at speeds of 75-80mph is all that practical on this bike. Are the rpm's at these speeds good for the bike? The other thing is at those speeds, since the bike is lighter from the larger models, it feels a little squirly, meaning if there are grooves in the road etc., it seems to move a little, which makes me a little nervous. I'm afraid I'm trying to get the bike to do something it wasn't designed for.

I could use some advise on these things. I'm not really an experienced road biker, but am enjoying myself so far and want to make sure I do every bit of research I can before going out on a long road trip like this. Another option I am considering if the feedback I get warrents, is trading the bike in for a 1500, which is an option. But if I could, I'd like to upgrade the bike with whatever would improve what I have just mentioned.

Also, looking for a good helmet with some bluetooth/speaker tech. inside. I looked into some Nolan helmets, which seem like the best choice at the price so far.

Thanks and I look forward to the feedback!

Josh
 

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Millenium Vulcan Pilot
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It should be ok, the smaller motors are going to rev higher. My wife has run her 900 LT at 80mph indicated (72mph) for extended periods of time on a 400 mile round trip with no problems.

Sometimes a tire change will help the way a tire tracks in the hwy rain grooves.
Heck, my heavy V2K follows grooves in the road at times too.

But the 900 isn't a super heavy bike and it will get moved around a bit by strong winds and such.

I'd do 700 miles on the 900 without any worries.
 

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Ford, february this year I did a 9 day, 3 and a 1/2 thousand kilometre round trip on my 900, as you can see from where I am that is the height of summer, I had rain, wind, highway, dirt roads, big trucks, dogs landing on my face (not really), bugs, burgers, coffees, camping, hotels, good and not so good fuel, a creek crossing, a river crossing (vehicle ferry), mountains, valleys and plains.
The bike sweetheart that she is did everything I asked of her! 160klm (100mph) runs, cruising at 120klm all day, never missed a beat, not even a flat tyre, sometimes in the high winds I have to hold on a bit tighter, be a bit more careful in the rain, get used to the sound and feel of my footboards scraping when I really crank it into a corner or sweeping bend.
Now I've been riding bikes for over 30 years, I don't suffer from any crisis of confidence when on the back of a 2 wheeled contrivance, matter of fact I have confidence to spare, but the way I achieved that confidence on the back of a motorcycle was to ride it.
Now granted I got my first 500/4 from the honda dealer when I was 17, and I was 10 foot tall and bulletproof, I haven't just started riding in later life. But you can get that confidence and stop looking for excuses from your bike, by just getting on the bugger, and asking it to do what you know in your heart it can.
 
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Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums and have a quick question.

I purchased my vulcan 900 classic last year and have enjoyed it so far. I havent' done a lot of highway riding, mostly stayed around town, back-roads etc. I've been out of town on the bike a few times and to tell you the truth, the RPM's over 65 make me a bit nervous. I've been reading up on some threads here in the forums on the subject and have learned quit a bit, but I'd like to address a few specifics.

It seems as though there isn't really a lot of options to improve this. I've read of a new sprocket out there that reduces the rpm's by about 200rpm, which doesnt' seem that significant. I'm not sure what else I could do. I want to take my bike from here in California to Utah, which is approx. 700mi. That seems quite a ways and I'm not sure if cruising at speeds of 75-80mph is all that practical on this bike. Are the rpm's at these speeds good for the bike? The other thing is at those speeds, since the bike is lighter from the larger models, it feels a little squirly, meaning if there are grooves in the road etc., it seems to move a little, which makes me a little nervous. I'm afraid I'm trying to get the bike to do something it wasn't designed for.

I could use some advise on these things. I'm not really an experienced road biker, but am enjoying myself so far and want to make sure I do every bit of research I can before going out on a long road trip like this. Another option I am considering if the feedback I get warrents, is trading the bike in for a 1500, which is an option. But if I could, I'd like to upgrade the bike with whatever would improve what I have just mentioned.

Also, looking for a good helmet with some bluetooth/speaker tech. inside. I looked into some Nolan helmets, which seem like the best choice at the price so far.

Thanks and I look forward to the feedback!

Josh
Ride the two lanes and stay under 65. You will enjoy the ride much more and see the countryside. What's the hurry. Wherever there is an interstate there is a two lane that is a much better ride. If you don't have time to enjoy, stay around home and ride.

JOHNDEERE
Self appointed president of the Vulcan old Geezers club.
 

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Ahhh Crap
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The 900 will run highway speeds and better all day long. It will run higher rpm's doing it but the engine is designed for that. It will be affected by crosswinds from nature and trucks but so are all other bikes to some degree. You'll get used to it and eventually you won't even notice it...much. You will have to work on your butt endurance before taking on a 700 mile trip. and you might want to look into a throttle lock and a set of Kuryakin grips. For longer trips don't be afraid of the highway as it's some of the nicest and safest riding you'l ever do. There's no oncoming traffic, no traffic lights and stop sign intersections. Everyone is going the same direction at about the same speed and the scenery is just as nice.
 

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Got my bigger bike
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Like was mentioned before, the 900 is made to rev higher than the bigger engines. It's got a shorter stroke that can handle it. If it couldn't handle those speeds or rpms then Kawasaki would have put a limit on it which wouldn't have been good.
 

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IBA#34418
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I just got back from a trip. And after doing 75 to 80 for 116 miles I burned 3.43 gallons. All Interstate. Giving me a 33.82MPG. To me that is the biggest thing when on the interstate. The bike really sucks the gas! But over my entire 1500 mile trip with very little interstate I averaged 45mpg for the whole trip. Probably about 200lbs on the bike with me and my gear.

And on a long trip, I just learned this the hard way, dont plan to ride too many miles per day! I was pretty beat after low 400 mile days on my 900LT with a Mustang seat and risers. If you can just ride til you're tired and stop for the day. That is how I am doing my next trip. Whether its 200 miles or 600 that day.
 

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Matt
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Your 900 should do fine on the highways. I ride mine several times at 75 and now 80+ with Cobras on. As far as grooves and crosswinds go thats just something you have to get used to with highway riding in general on most every cruiser. Trading for a 1500 may be a little drastic unless you plan on doing mostly highway speeds with a passenger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Right on guys!! Thank you all for the responses! I'm in quite a few forums due to my business and this kind of response always gets me inspired!! I especially like the speech from christo! Very inspiring.

I figured it would take someone telling me to quit being a nancy and just get on the thing and get used to it. I come from a dirt bike background, so it's a little different. The road bike thing will just take a little getting used to. No rubbing elbows and flying through the air!

Great, well I'm really glad to hear I don't need to upgrade, although the meanstreak was kind of peaking my interest....good lookin'.:p

So if I were to get some accessories for the bike, what would be the first things to buy to gear up for something like this...keep in mind Utah is my home state so I will probably try to take the trip maybe 2 times a year, not to mention California has plenty of highway to ride...

Someone mentioned some grips, a throttle stick etc.? What about the tires, which ones are good all around for something like this? Bags, backrest etc. I'm not sure if Kawasaki is the best place to go for some of these things or if there are some good aftermarket accessories out there. Like I said, I really have no clue but am finding out more and more as I research.

Anyone have an opinion on the helmet I mentioned....Nolan? I have a decent one now, but having the speaker and mp3 function would be nice...but again, no experience with them.

Thanks again guys! Really good responses and much appreciated!

Josh
 

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Matt
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455 Posts
Right on guys!! Thank you all for the responses! I'm in quite a few forums due to my business and this kind of response always gets me inspired!! I especially like the speech from christo! Very inspiring.

I figured it would take someone telling me to quit being a nancy and just get on the thing and get used to it. I come from a dirt bike background, so it's a little different. The road bike thing will just take a little getting used to. No rubbing elbows and flying through the air!

Great, well I'm really glad to hear I don't need to upgrade, although the meanstreak was kind of peaking my interest....good lookin'.:p

So if I were to get some accessories for the bike, what would be the first things to buy to gear up for something like this...keep in mind Utah is my home state so I will probably try to take the trip maybe 2 times a year, not to mention California has plenty of highway to ride...

Someone mentioned some grips, a throttle stick etc.? What about the tires, which ones are good all around for something like this? Bags, backrest etc. I'm not sure if Kawasaki is the best place to go for some of these things or if there are some good aftermarket accessories out there. Like I said, I really have no clue but am finding out more and more as I research.

Anyone have an opinion on the helmet I mentioned....Nolan? I have a decent one now, but having the speaker and mp3 function would be nice...but again, no experience with them.

Thanks again guys! Really good responses and much appreciated!

Josh
Must have's in my opinion are definatly a Mustang seat and a windshield. (I have the Kawasaki windshield and it does a good job but I wonder if the large amount of wind buffering/terbulence isn't because of its large size.). Then if you plan on taking any more long highway trips I would look into getting some Performance pipes and a set risers (I have PhatRiser II's on and they definatly improve ride comfort and handling control). I Rarly wear a helmet though so your guess is as good as mine there. Good Luck!
 

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Plan your accessories carefully. Some windshields wont fit right if you have a lightbar, which is another important accessory for lighting the road, but also helping other drivers see you sooner.

Good luck, and keep the shiney side up!
 

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Am I the only one wondering about putting up with the vibration these things make at 80 mph? Seems like that would be my biggest problem on a long trip, other than the seat...
 

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Am I the only one wondering about putting up with the vibration these things make at 80 mph? Seems like that would be my biggest problem on a long trip, other than the seat...
The biggest issue is comfort.....handling a lighter weight bike at higher speeds and the vibration from the higher RPMs will wear you out quickly on a long trip. I was especially uncomfortable on an 1100 cc bike when doing 75 or 80 MPH on the interstate. Take lots of rest stops. I would suggest 300 miles per day maximum.....if you have a comfortable seat/handlebar set-up.
ED
 

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The biggest issue is comfort.....handling a lighter weight bike at higher speeds and the vibration from the higher RPMs will wear you out quickly on a long trip. I was especially uncomfortable on an 1100 cc bike when doing 75 or 80 MPH on the interstate. Take lots of rest stops. I would suggest 300 miles per day maximum.....if you have a comfortable seat/handlebar set-up.
ED
I agree. The most I've done at a clip is 150 and I was pooped at the end of it. Pearl was bone stock at the time; no risers, sheild, nuttin' but my fists in the 40 degree wind.
 

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Recycled Rider
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I take my bike on a 256 mile trip on a very regular basis-an hour and 20 minutes of it on interstate.
During that trip I ride across a bridge that has a mile or so of metal grate that I invariably end up ridding on.
The bike, including tires, does well.
It does suck gas above 70 mph though.

Additions that might help are:windshield, lowers, crash bar and pegs, adding padding to the seat, risers, sissy bar bag (or backpack), something to help keep the bike at speed, and saddlebags. None are absolutely needed, but these would make a noticable difference.
Also, plan to take breaks every hour or so since you aren't used to traveling much. If you are on the interstate (75-80 mph), you'll want to stop and get gas every 150 miles or so anyway.
 

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I did a 400 mile-1way trip recently and with the stock seat had to stop every hour or so. I am 6'2 and my lower spine gave me fits, me being in a carwreck in 89' probably helped the discomfort.
My 900 averaged 70-75mph easy @ 270 lbs. On the interstate I especially watch the left mirror to see what the cages are doing.
 

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IBA#34418
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MUSTANG SEAT NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. IF you want to do long trips. I bought the one with the back rest and love that! Depending on your build the risers might me another good option. Maybe even highway pegs. And a set of engine guards.
 
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