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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently switched work locations and instead of walking to work I now make a 54 mile round trip commute. With gas prices this encouraged me go back to being a daily rider. The last time I was a daily rider was about 15 years, two kids, 1 wife, and 50 pounds ago. For the last few years I have been weekend cruiser, the occasional ride for work related stuff.

Some things I noticed right off is that my handling skills had badly deteriorated. I was having all kinds of issue handling my V2000 Classic cornering, sway and so forth. That brings me to the first issue:

- Check Your Tire Pressure. The V2000 calls for 36# in the front and 42# in the rear on my bike. When I checked they were 10# and 21# respectively. Wow, what a difference properly inflated tires make! They have probably been low for over a year, I just never noticed until I started riding every day again.

Does anyone have any other suggestions on making the transition back into the saddle a little easier? I mean I know how to ride, and all my courses and so forth are current within the last couple of years.

Just things that are a good idea for daily riding?

I should add that my daily rider is a 2006 V2K. I purchased it new and it is 100% stock. It has about 8,000 miles on it.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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depending on where your commute takes you, I'd suggest a smaller more nimble bike. Not sure that's in your budget or plans though. Dealiing with traffic is my biggest commute problem. Otherwise, I just work on being extra attentive to idiots in cages trying to kill me.
 

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Tip 1 and 2

I ride 365 days a year 76 miles round trip. Your right about tire pressure I have to adjust mine about once a week. Start saving now because it does not take long as a daily driver to wear out tires and oil change time sneaks up on you.

I think that the best advice that I can give is no matter how comfortable you get keep you head on a swivel because there is always that one person driving an SUV talking on a cell phone that will swear they did not see you!!!

Tip #2 ROAD HAZARDS!!! Look faaaar ahead and keep in mind that the truck in front of you with the mattress strapped you don't think that they really tied it down good do you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
depending on where your commute takes you, I'd suggest a smaller more nimble bike.
That is a good suggestion. But my commute is 24 miles of highway and 3 miles of city each way. My wife's bike is a V900 but I don't like riding it on I-95 (It struggles to keep up with the 75MPH++ traffic and crazy interstate cross winds). For interstate/ Highway riding the power and weight of the V2K is great and allows me to do what I need to while still getting much better mileage than my SUV. I go against the traffic every day so that is kind of nice.

I think that the best advice that I can give is no matter how comfortable you get keep you head on a swivel because there is always that one person driving an SUV talking on a cell phone that will swear they did not see you!!!
Ain't that the truth! I dealt with that as regular commuter. 10 miles over (or under) the speed limit, looking straight ahead and weaving in and out of traffic. I wish I had a cell phone jammer I could flip on and make them lose their signal.
 

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Recycled Rider
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My 900 has done fine for thousands of miles @75-80.
I don't think I'd keep it faster than that for an extended distance.
It does take a little getting used to the vibration.
Of course it will never be like a V2k at those speeds.
But then, the V2k will never be like the 900 in town.
And the mpg and tire wear is pretty nice too.
 

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Well I have a vn 900 and have right at 20K on it. I am in central Fl and have rode it up 95 to Va, over I4 to Daytona, down to Miami the mountians of NC 2 up and just about all over the sate of Fl. I have the front scootworks overdrive pulley installed because I do so much highway driving. I average about 45-46 mpg on the highway. I think you V2k is fine for what your doing and more. Yea a bit smaller bike may be nimbler but a little les visable too.
1-Being as you have been out of riding for awhile you may consider going to a brush up course. Or find a large parking lot like an old grocery store, some place that is empty. Just kind of plan out a small course of turns, stops and slow rides to get back into the feel of it. Practice Practice Practice is what it takes. I had not been on a bike for like 15yr when I bought my 900. I rode it home and parked it. A day or so later when I had time I took it out in the back of our subdivision where it is pretty much empty, very few houses and lots of empty streets. I just practiced start, stops and turns.
2- Get a good loud horn. I recomend a Stebel. There are a few others around very simular. I think WOLO $45(jc whitney)makes one and someone else. Small self contained and can be conceled under the tank if you wish.

Heck just found this one for $40 in black. You cant go wrong there folks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to make it clear I am not disrespecting the V900 at all. It is a great bike. I am a large dude (250+) and enjoy the extra power and stability that the V2K provides. My wife is about half my weight and it does great by her.
Get a good loud horn.
Will do. The factory stock horn has started to sound really sad as of late. That looks like a great bargain for $40.

I have the front scootworks overdrive pulley installed because I do so much highway driving.
I have heard these help a lot on the highway. This spring/ summer the plan is to lower the 900 a couple of inches and put in a new pulley. Hopefully this will make things more manageable for the wife.
 

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2007 Vulcan 900 Classic
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The whole thing is a matter of time. Before I retired, I had not ridden in 33 years before getting the bug to ride again. I bought a 2007 Vulcan 900 and started riding to work 3 to 5 times a week. My commute was 25 miles one way (22 highway and 3 local roads). It took a little time for the bike to get used to running at 75 - 80 mph, but in no time it was as if that's what the bike expected. That's how I broke it in.
You'll also get used to the ride and your skills will come back in no time. Just be alert and give yourself plenty of time.
 

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Switch up your route from time-to-time. Complacency will get you killed and changing helps keep the ride fresh. Don't get complacent about gear either. The surface road commute is the most dangerous place in the world to ride. Don't let other drivers determine how you're going to ride. Keep enough spacing that you can see the road between the front wheels of the vehicle in front of you. If the folks behind you don't like it - screw 'em.

And don't be afraid to use the power that beast's got to get out of situations. Brakes aren't always the right answer.
 

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Vulcansowner, nah I get it on the size thing. I have looked off and on for over a year for a bigger bike. I really like the Victory, but cant afford even a used one as of now. I also like the new 1700 Vulcans, the voyager and Nomad, but dont se one of those in my future either.
Time will be your best friend on gaining skills back. My commute if you want to call it that is 85 miles one way to the airport. Mostly sort of back roads, so there is time to set the cruise, put your feet up and watch the sceenery such as it is. Orange groves, flat land & cows. lol
One thing on your wifes bike. Depending on the rear tire wear you could jump up to a 200/70-15 from the stock tire. This would lower some of that gearing and make it a little better on the highway. Its kind of a push though, the pulley is about $150 and a new 200 tire is over $200 so your not really saving anything unless your due a tire change at that time. Lots of posts on it just look if your interested.
 

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If I knew how much time I'd spend at 75 I would have gotten a V2K. The mpg for the 900 gos way down at those speeds and higher where the 2000 is just strolling.

Keeping your tires inflated correctly should be a natural part of maintenance, but along those means, keep up on your maintenance.

Get the RLAP V DVD, watch it and go practice in the parking lot. Low speed practice will increase your high speed handling.

For that many miles you will start wearing your rear tire out soon. Consider going Darkside many V2K riders have done so, you may actually enjoy getting 20k out of a tire instead of 4-6.

I swapped to using the bike to come to work for improved gas mileage and the fact that I WAS going to sleep in the van. Worse, I'd zone out and be going over 100 in the van without even realizing it. I don't have that problem on the motorcycle, it is an enjoyable albeit too much upright and straight ride to work. Kinda hard falling asleep on the back of a bike at 20 degrees anyways.

Keep us updated.
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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Low speed practice will increase your high speed handling.
I'd be careful saying that. As I know you are aware of, much of the stuff you do at low speeds does not apply at high speeds:

Counterleaning
Turning into the corner (rather than countersteering)
Primarily using the rear brake
etc

Some does certainly apply (in particular throttle control)...but we don't want some newbie to read this thread to think that he can take a corner at 60 mph doing the same stuff he does at 5 mph ;)

Anyway, all the suggestions at parking lot practice are really good...unless you're riding quickly through corners (very quickly), slow speeds are where handling a bike are most difficult. Besides that though...riding time is really whats needed.

Keep up on the maintenance...as a daily rider it can be difficult to fit it in, but you've GOT to do it.

Other than that...enjoy having an excuse to hop on the bike every day. :biggrin:
 

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Workin' to ride
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If I knew how much time I'd spend at 75 I would have gotten a V2K. The mpg for the 900 gos way down at those speeds and higher where the 2000 is just strolling.

Keeping your tires inflated correctly should be a natural part of maintenance, but along those means, keep up on your maintenance.

Get the RLAP V DVD, watch it and go practice in the parking lot. Low speed practice will increase your high speed handling.

For that many miles you will start wearing your rear tire out soon. Consider going Darkside many V2K riders have done so, you may actually enjoy getting 20k out of a tire instead of 4-6.

I swapped to using the bike to come to work for improved gas mileage and the fact that I WAS going to sleep in the van. Worse, I'd zone out and be going over 100 in the van without even realizing it. I don't have that problem on the motorcycle, it is an enjoyable albeit too much upright and straight ride to work. Kinda hard falling asleep on the back of a bike at 20 degrees anyways.

Keep us updated.
I was going to tell him to shout at you about the CT for the miles he's going to racking up...
 

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Former Vulcan Lady
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Tip #2 ROAD HAZARDS!!! Look faaaar ahead and keep in mind that the truck in front of you with the mattress strapped you don't think that they really tied it down good do you?
A guy I ride with was on his way to meet us for a ride and he was behind a truck with a mattress. It flew off and hit him and he was very hurt. Still hasn't been able to ride due to hand damage.
 

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Lost but making good time
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"2- Get a good loud horn."

+1 on the wolo bad boy. Picked one up from northern tool about a month ago. It was on sale for around $30. There was an earlier thread on mounting the horns in the space in front of the rear tire on a 900 and that is where I stuck mine. Well hidden and plenty loud.
 

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I had one of the Wolo Bad Boy horns in my hand and was headed to check out when I decided to check its decibel rating. The rating is not listed on the packaging. I grabbed my cell phone and checked out Wolo's web site and found that they list their horn at 118 dbs. (if I remember correctly).

Well I figured if I was spending the money, I wanted the loud one. The Stebel Nautilus has an advertised 139 db rating. I went ahead and ordered the Stebel.

Now, am I gonna notice the difference between 118 dbs and 139 dbs? I don't know. I just mounted the horn yesterday and that sucker is noisy. I feel confident that the next brain dead soccer mom who tries to kill me, as she yacks on her cell phone, will hear me. Sure could have used one last year when one of these clueless zombies nearly turned me into road pizza.

Ride safe.
 

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Lumpy, you know you got their attention when they wander into your lane and you give that theng a blas and then you see the the Starbucks go flyin. I get a big ole grin as I go by and wave.
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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I had one of the Wolo Bad Boy horns in my hand and was headed to check out when I decided to check its decibel rating. The rating is not listed on the packaging. I grabbed my cell phone and checked out Wolo's web site and found that they list their horn at 118 dbs. (if I remember correctly).

Well I figured if I was spending the money, I wanted the loud one. The Stebel Nautilus has an advertised 139 db rating. I went ahead and ordered the Stebel.

Now, am I gonna notice the difference between 118 dbs and 139 dbs? I don't know. I just mounted the horn yesterday and that sucker is noisy. I feel confident that the next brain dead soccer mom who tries to kill me, as she yacks on her cell phone, will hear me. Sure could have used one last year when one of these clueless zombies nearly turned me into road pizza.

Ride safe.
The Decibel is on a logrithmic scale...there's a BIG difference for what seem like small changes...as you found ;)
 
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