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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Back to the Vulcan 900...

So I got a job in 2015 selling Harleys for the local dealer. I got to ride them all as one of the perks of the job. Another perk of the job was buying a Harley at employee pricing which is about 40% off retail. So when a HD-1 custom Street Bob (FXDB) came in and was pretty much exactly what I would want, I traded in my Vulcan 900 at the time and picked it up. Absolutely beautiful, traditional and authentically retro, a joy to look at in the garage...

Unfortunately that's about where it's usefulness ended. It was too small, handled like crap, was unbalanced, had a poor weight distribution, was extremely uncomfortable to ride more than 10 miles, the wife hated riding on it, vibrated like hell, was difficult to work on (like a 1960's car,) got 30mpgs, got 120 miles per 4.3 gallon tank, and cost $400 quid a year to insure with minimal coverage. (There's much more I didn't like about it, but you get the picture.) The last 18 months I owned it I rode 249 miles! I normally do 4000 a year at least. When I went to do the oil change for this season is when I realized how little I've been riding and something had to change.

SO I traded it in on Saturday for a nice new 2016 Vulcan 900 LT, what a night and day difference which I appreciated immediately. Handling and smoothness right off the lot were 100% better. The seats super comfy, and my sig other wasn't on my shoulders anymore, much more room. Add to that 180 miles between fill ups. 1 hole to put oil in instead of 3. Real fenders and $99 for 1 year of 4 times more coverage insurance. I love the leather bags and windshield the LT is the complete package. My other 900's were classics that I added a Memphis Fats to and saddlebags. The Memphis Fats was no problem but the aftermarket bags were a pain to install and remove when I needed to. The fun's back in motorcycling for me. The Harley was a real buzz kill. After owning a Dyna Harley for over 2 years I would NEVER EVER buy another one. 40% off or otherwise.

I get that Harleys are like religion, but just like most religions, at the end of the day your better off just going with what works for you...

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwntm View Post
So I got a job in 2015 selling Harleys for the local dealer. I got to ride them all as one of the perks of the job. Another perk of the job was buying a Harley at employee pricing which is about 40% off retail. So when a HD-1 custom Street Bob (FXDB) came in and was pretty much exactly what I would want, I traded in my Vulcan 900 at the time and picked it up. Absolutely beautiful, traditional and authentically retro, a joy to look at in the garage...

Unfortunately that's about where it's usefulness ended. It was too small, handled like crap, was unbalanced, had a poor weight distribution, was extremely uncomfortable to ride more than 10 miles, the wife hated riding on it, vibrated like hell, was difficult to work on (like a 1960's car,) got 30mpgs, got 120 miles per 4.3 gallon tank, and cost $400 quid a year to insure with minimal coverage. (There's much more I didn't like about it, but you get the picture.) The last 18 months I owned it I rode 249 miles! I normally do 4000 a year at least. When I went to do the oil change for this season is when I realized how little I've been riding and something had to change.

SO I traded it in on Saturday for a nice new 2016 Vulcan 900 LT, what a night and day difference which I appreciated immediately. Handling and smoothness right off the lot were 100% better. The seats super comfy, and my sig other wasn't on my shoulders anymore, much more room. Add to that 180 miles between fill ups. 1 hole to put oil in instead of 3. Real fenders and $99 for 1 year of 4 times more coverage insurance. I love the leather bags and windshield the LT is the complete package. My other 900's were classics that I added a Memphis Fats to and saddlebags. The Memphis Fats was no problem but the aftermarket bags were a pain to install and remove when I needed to. The fun's back in motorcycling for me. The Harley was a real buzz kill. After owning a Dyna Harley for over 2 years I would NEVER EVER buy another one. 40% off or otherwise.

I get that Harleys are like religion, but just like most religions, at the end of the day your better off just going with what works for you...
It's crazy because everyone at work has a Harley and they love it. I went with a co-worker to the shop and meh. He was all geeked out about them and I did not find them all that amazing. Either way, it's nice to hear your opinion on the difference

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:38 PM
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Nearly all of my friends who have motorcycles where I live have Harleys. Seems that they are popular because there is some sort of popular groupie mystique about them. But one friend tried out my VN900 and commented about how much less vibration the 900 had than his Harley. Yet the local H.O.G club is strong here.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 04:54 PM
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And get this, Harley's new Milwaukee 8 motor now has 8 valves! Wow! It took them over 100 years to finally start catching up to everyone else. Heck, the early 1900 Indian bikes had 8 valves.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe it's because I'm a first gen American, or because I lived in Europe for a while. I don't know. I do know I have a real strong sense that something has to actual perform well to be good. From an authentic retro standpoint the Harley can't be beat. It's the real deal. From a "I need to go down the road and enjoy it" standpoint, not so much. Take away the blue smoke coming out of your shorts and there's not much left in Harley land. Now if Kawasaki sold the W800 in the USA, I'm not sure I'd actually have a Vulcan lol. I do enjoy retro, it's why I tried the Harley in the first place. But I've never seen a W800 or W650 in the flesh. Might be too small. (I'm 6'2" and 230 lbs.

I know if I had paid the $18,000.00 msrp on that thing I'd be telling everyone how great it was because I'd have been stuck with it! Trading it in for what I paid for it was a no brainer.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 05:33 PM
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I have had four Harley's myself although they were just the bottom of the barrel Sportsters.Looked great parked at the curb but like you I also found that was where it ended.Spent thousands on those bikes trying to make them something they would never be.Welcome back to the Vulcan 900!!
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 06:51 PM
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Several in our local cruiser group are HD owners, and swear by them. And, we metrics like to tease them. All and all my opinion is, what I get for what I have to pay puts a smile on my face. And, there's money left for gas and cool mods.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 06:54 PM
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Well I went from an Kawasaki kz1100 to intruder 1400 to Vulcan 900 (good bike for what it is) It just wasn't enough torque for me 2 up riding to nomad 1700 which drove me to an Electra glide classic. In which I grin ear to ear on. The problem for me on the 1700 was all the plastic (speaking and ratting) and when my cruise went out had to buy the whole assembly at $400 could not just buy the cruise switch. So I did not fix it. Bought a different bike.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pah View Post
It's crazy because everyone at work has a Harley and they love it. I went with a co-worker to the shop and meh. He was all geeked out about them and I did not find them all that amazing. Either way, it's nice to hear your opinion on the difference

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Do you think they are all going to admit that they all pissed their money away ...

As i flipped into 5th, i couldnt remember a damn thing she said
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mes882 View Post
Well I went from an Kawasaki kz1100 to intruder 1400 to Vulcan 900 (good bike for what it is) It just wasn't enough torque for me 2 up riding to nomad 1700 which drove me to an Electra glide classic. In which I grin ear to ear on. The problem for me on the 1700 was all the plastic (speaking and ratting) and when my cruise went out had to buy the whole assembly at $400 could not just buy the cruise switch. So I did not fix it. Bought a different bike.
2017 Electra Glide Ultra Classic is $26,000.00 and change. A 2017 Voyager 1700 is $17,000 with a 1000 off sale. For $10,000.00 you save, you can buy a lot of cruise assemblies. Just sayin'

I'm not into touring bikes with fairings and hard cases, radios, etc, and the only ones I've ridden were the Harleys when I was working there. I don't know if I didn't like them because they were touring bikes, Harleys or both Harleys AND touring bikes.

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