Happy Birthday to Me :) - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Western Massachusetts
Posts: 6
Happy Birthday to Me :)

I am one ridiculously happy Birthday Boy today. Turning 54 and this morning I went down to my local Kawasaki dealer to take ownership of my brand new 2014 Vulcan 900LT! Took the MSF course two weeks ago to refresh my skills after 30 years since last on a bike.

All I can say is that after my first ride on my new bike, I am SUPER PUMPED right now. Like, totally silly and a bit obnoxious, walking around the house hooting, hollering and fist-pumping. After my dealer spent a few minutes going over the features again, it was time to swing my leg over my new baby. I spent 20 minutes tooling around the dealer parking lot getting a hang of the friction zone doing quick stops and starts, and getting used to the weight. (I was nervous about handling her 600+ lbs. after only having ridden a Honda Nighthawk for the MSF class!) But she is balanced real nice and in no time I had it down pretty well. Then it was time to roll onto the busy street -- I'd be lying if I told you my heart wasn't flippity-flopping a bit.

Headed out of town a couple miles and turned into a bigger empty parking lot, which I'd scouted out earlier in the week. Then really hammered away on practicing starts, stops, swerves, clutch/downshift/brake, etc. - all the stuff I could remember from class. Eyes up. Hand flat on the throttle. I told myself if I could start from 1st for 20 times in a row without stalling, I'd be ready to head back onto the road and deal with traffic. And so I did, quite easily.

Then it was down the road a bit further, then back home, for a total of 26 miles. The weather was crystal clear & sunny, just a bit breezy. Lucky birthday boy.

First impressions:
  • I was anxious about using the heel-toe shifter, but was relieved when the sales guy told me I could ignore it while getting used to the bike. Heel-toe could get mastered later. I did play around with it to shift up a few times as I was approaching home. A matter of time and muscle memory.
  • After engine was warm, I found I had to roll on a bit more throttle when starting from first than when engine was cold.
  • In high gear I took her only up to about 55mph and was buffeted by the gusty wind. Will have to get used to that kinda scary feeling.
  • I enjoyed the fellowship of riders -- the wave as riders passed was something I'd forgotten. Comforting somehow.
I feel exhilarated to now be back in the saddle after such a long time away. But above all, I feel a keen sense of HUMILITY. Respect the road, respect the bike, respect the community, and always stay within my comfort zone. I have a feeling it will be a LONG time before I will no longer consider myself a novice. But oh - what a feeling!

Have fun and be safe, everybody!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 03:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Hartland, MI
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I felt the same way when I got mine a few weeks back.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 05:37 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: long island 5 miles from j.f.k.
Posts: 144
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Enjoy ride safe. Western Mass nice riding roads find the roads that go along rivers or golf clubs and state parks 116 and 17 look good on map, get out early when roads are clear, the more time in the seat the better you get. Good safe riding. nomad11 out.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 08:05 PM
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Happy Birthday! I get the same feelings every SPRING!

In God I Trust, all others, Bring Data!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 10:04 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Year/Make/Model: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic
Displacement/CC's: 903
Color: Silver
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,838
Happy Birthday pan. Enjoy the new ride. Let's see some pics of the new toy.

"As long as I have the voices in my head, I'll never ride alone."

2006 Vulcan 900 classic
Mustang Day Tripper seat
Cobra Light Bar
Cobra Air Scoop
Cobra short sissy bar
Cobra Lowers
Baron's front and rear pulley
Baron's Big and Nasty pipes
Leatherlyke hard bags
Blue Superbrites LED accent lights
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 01:22 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Denton, TX
Posts: 101
Love my 900 classic LT. I never had a heel-toe shifter before, but I became a big fan of it almost instantly. I don't think I could ever go back to a bike without one, quite honestly.

2012 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 39
Belated Happy Birthday to you! Enjoy your new ride. Keep safe.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 08:56 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 48
Did the same thing 2 years back. 900 Classic SE. Happy Birthday and ride safe and enjoy!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 03:07 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 65
Got my very first motorcycle EVER (94 Vulcan 1500) a week ago. And I've been like a giggly school girl whenever I look at it or ride it. So I know the feeling. Congrats!

1994 Vulcan V88 1500 (First bike, running project/fixer-upper)
2005 Volvo S60 2.5T (Daily driver)
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 33
Congrats on the birthday and the new bike!
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