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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever had the chance to compare the 900 Classic to the 900 custom on the open highway?

I am concerned whether or not the different front tires would make much difference in the stability at high speed. I know the Classic has a nice fat 130/90 16" and the Custom has the thinner and taller 80/90 21" front tire.
The thinner 21" tires can, on some models, get a bit squirlley at high spped.

I know the smaller fatter tire will have a small advantage at slower speeds in the city and turn a little tighter but the highway aspect concerns me the most.
 

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Has anyone ever had the chance to compare the 900 Classic to the 900 custom on the open highway?

I am concerned whether or not the different front tires would make much difference in the stability at high speed. I know the Classic has a nice fat 130/90 16" and the Custom has the thinner and taller 80/90 21" front tire.
The thinner 21" tires can, on some models, get a bit squirlley at high spped.

I know the smaller fatter tire will have a small advantage at slower speeds in the city and turn a little tighter but the highway aspect concerns me the most.
In theory the thinner tire size will be more sqirely at speed, but from what I've read about the custom is that the front end geometry is so good that it's pretty much a non-issue.
 

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MaNaMaNa DoDoDoDoDo
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The only thing I have heard about that 21" wheel is when you get in those stupid grooves when they are repaving a road. They don't like that.
 

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I've had my 900 custom up and down the I-26 in and out of Charleston, SC many times since I've had it. Speeds ranging from 55-85, haven't had any instability that I can think of. It's as stable and true as my '03 VN750, and lots of folks here probably know that the VN750 is probably one of the easiest bikes to ride as far as controlability and stability.

Now, one thing I have noticed is that the thin front tire dosen't absorb impact from bumps on the road at high speed like the fatter tires do. It seems to transfer more of the "shock" to the handlebars. At least that is my perception. But it is not bad enough that I wouldn't consider long trips with it.
 

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Missy Peregrym's #1 fan!
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The only thing I have heard about that 21" wheel is when you get in those stupid grooves when they are repaving a road. They don't like that.
+1 its a little more unfriendly in those grooves then a bike with a wider front tire.

thats the only problem that ive seen with the front tire being an issue
 

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The Traffic Guy
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78 Posts
21 inch front tire performance

I took it on rural section of interstate
107 mph topout x about 3 miles...:biggrin:
mostly windshield buffeting more than anything
smooth as larger tire is at this speed
at average 70 mph feels the same as wider tires also
corners the same , perhaps with a lighter feel at slower speed
It can catch grooves and steel bridge grates a little more like the 19 inchers ,but not drastic
certainly very stable both at slow and high speed
might transmit back to the bars a little more "feel" on the roadway bumps also
and off road in sand,plows more if the sand gets too deep
Its mostly a perception issue ,not an actual performance one.
I am 57 and I feel its comfortable at any speed
 

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Vintage bike addict
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Nope never compared them. Bring me both and I'll let ya know in a few months or years! LOL!
 

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900 Customer
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The contact patch on the Custom is the same size as on the Classic. The tire is narrower but taller. I've had no problems with the handling at any speed.
 

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Going off the 800s... The 21 front tire offers superior handling. Turns more readily, and I find it rut tracks LESS than the 16 incher on my 800B.

To the point that I'll straight swap my 2005 800B for an 800A. Or throw my double leading shoe drum brake 19 inch spare wheel on it and throw away the 16 incher. Losing the disc is not that big a deal compared to the current lousy handling.
-Scruffy
 

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I put 2200 miles in 4 days and at high speeds (sometimes) handles very well.

But I have noticed that the thinner tire doesn't like rough or gravely roads. Low sided it on a corner because a of a little bit of gravel I didn't see till it was to late. Of course I don't know if a fatter tire would have helped me any.

Between the two bikes you should just figure which one you like the looks better, or what fits you Style. They are both great bikes, with two different looks but with the same soul.
 

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Enjoy the journey!
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There is another issue of difference then just the tire width.

If I am not mistaken the Custom's shock tubes are exposed, while the Classic are covered. I used to ride a VN750 with the same kind of front shocks as the Custom, and always had a concern about dried bugs stuck to the surface messing with the seals... Easy enough to remedy though, I bought a pair of neoprene socks for about $15.00 (from a Harley store), that wrapped around the shock sheltering the first 5" of the shocks travel. I do like the look of the Custom's front end.

Two months ago I had the ah er opportunity :eek: to ride down the Lewiston Grade (7 miles)in Idaho, while they had the primary surface ground off in preparation to repave. I was sure glad for the Wide tire, but still limped down the hill at under 20 mph just like all the cages that were there. I just kept reminding myself to keep a loose grip on the bars and that the wheel would most likely find the best path down the hill.:sgrin:

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Madd Maxx
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I've had my 900 Custom up to 90 with no problems at all.. :)
I rode for about an hour @ 90 on an interstate no probs. The Custom really rocks. Awesome on the twisties - it'll out dance the Classic and is great on the highway. The advantage of the Classic is the floorboards. I upgraded my footpegs to some Kuryakyn flat ones and they do great. Plus you get the attitude look from the forward foot pegs.
 
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