Does your bike fit you? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NorthCentral Florida
Posts: 814
Does your bike fit you?

As an older individual, but a relatively new rider, my recent experience is limited to only two motorcycles. I purchased an 03 Vulcan 500 a few years ago and have been riding it steadily for the past couple years. Thinking back to my teenage years, I rode an old Harley 165 for about a year. I'd always pined for a Triumph, but never actually rode one. So I bought a brand new Triumph America cruiser last year. So far, I've put about 15,000 miles on the Vulcan but only 2,700 on the Triumph. Why? Because the Triumph cruiser just doesn't fit!

The Triumph's bars are too wide & at the wrong angle, the suspension is too harsh, and the seat is terrible and torture after 30 minutes. And the sound of the engine! What in blue blazes was I thinking? None of these stood out in my 10 minute test ride prior to purchase. I just had to have a Triumph!

After riding both bikes for the last year, one thing stands out more than any other. At higher speeds, I have more confidence riding the Vulcan even though it's almost a hundred pounds lighter. When I first purchased the Vulcan, slow speed maneuvers were very difficult, but I felt right at home and comfortable at 80 mph. I felt "in control". Exactly opposite with the Triumph. Slow speed maneuvers are actually easier, but high speeds are downright scary. It tracks well and displays no weird manners, but I don't feel in control, or part of the bike like I do on the Vulcan.

I spent good money correcting the seat and suspension on the Triumph, none on the bars yet, but any correction is a figment of my imagination. Seat's still terrible and the ride too harsh. But more importantly, I don't feel "secure and in control" above 50 or 60. It's up for sale.

The point of all this, at least for you new riders over 50, (you young'uns are not included; you can ride anything and be happy!) the bike you choose can make all the difference in your riding comfort and confidence. I was lucky and stumbled on a bike that fit, and really enjoy riding despite little age related aches and pains.

So if you find yourself riding less & less, it may be you are just on the wrong bike. I suspect that's why there's so many older, low mileage bikes on the market. The bike didn't "fit".

I hope you are as fortunate as I.
redfish is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 03:36 PM
Lifetime Premium
 
MVA-Voyager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Year/Make/Model: 2011 Voyager
Displacement/CC's: 1700
Color: Blue/Silver
Gender: Male
Posts: 330
Garage
+1 that RedFish

Randy A.
Mechanicsville, VA
2011 Voyager - Blue/Silver - "Addie"
MVA-Voyager is offline  
post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 03:46 PM
Top Contributor
 
Romans5.8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Missouri
Year/Make/Model: 2014 Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero ABS SE
Displacement/CC's: 1700
Color: Orange SE
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,620
Garage
Sounds like a few aftermarket tweaks may help you out. My 900 didn't 'fit' me when I first got it. I needed highway pegs to let me stretch my long legs out, a different seat was mandatory and if I'm honest; I could probably use some risers if I ever get around to buying some and putting them on. I don't know I've ever sat on a bike and said "Wow, that fits!", though Vulcans seem to come close.

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
Romans5.8 is offline  
 
post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 05:01 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Gainesville, Fl.
Posts: 415
I think you are right redfish, when i went to buy my last bike i was open to almost anything that was a cruiser, not too heavy, and atleast a 900. I came close to the yammy 950, but it is air cooled and someone who has one says their floorboards drag on the ground when cornering, that was out for me. I sat on a few vulcans, the nomad to me is one of the finest looking cruisers around, did not like the weight and the seat felt i was sitting on the gas tank. Then i met my 9, 'sweet pea', and i knew just like we did years ago when we would meet that lady friend and want to ask her out, the right fit.So keep on riding brother, that vulcan and you are sharing this road through life together!!
wally segap is offline  
post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NorthCentral Florida
Posts: 814
Well Romans, the ergonomics of the Triumph could probably eventually be straightened out but I doubt the ride-ability issue ever could be. I've ridden it enough to know we'll most likely never be in tune. It's a garage queen now but I'm still riding. How bout that.

M-Voyager and Wally, glad you know where I'm coming from. Sitting on a bike and riding that bike are completely separate experiences, and if they're both a good fit then that's great, and can be enjoyable. I rode a few horses as a kid, some I preferred, some not so much. But they were all horses, all good looking steeds at that. Motorcycles aren't much different.

Just saying, folks who are inclined toward motorcycles may initially choose the wrong machine and quit prematurely. That's too bad. I guess that's one more reason to start out on a used, less expensive bike.
redfish is offline  
post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 03:32 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 165
I too must agree with most of you said. I have had ample seat time on 6 different bikes ( Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and harley ). Never any experienc on a Yamaha though so I cannot comment on that brand.

Now with that being said, I have to say that all but one would need mods to fit me perfectly. My nomad in stock configuration would have to leave my possession. No way could I tolerate the ergonomics of the machine, although someone else might find it well suited to them. The only bike I have ever traveled on in stock configuration that was entirely suited to my needs and ergonomic preferences was a 99 Honda shadow ace tour. These bikes come similarly equipped as my nomad ie...hard bags, front and rear crash bars, windshield and dual exhaust. The 1100 engine is buttery smooth. The handle bars and seating position as well as the softness of the seat and leg room fit me with perfection as if honda built the machine just for me and me only. A bike that fits us from the factory like that Honda does me is RARE and uncommon. I would suggest that anyone looking to purchase their first bike, buy used and cheap. Try it out and if you don't like it , get rid of it and try another one. Beg, borrow and steal to get your rear on as many different brands and styles of bikes that you can until you find the one that fits you best. I would never stop riding because my first ride didn't feel right. Not all bike are the same.

How many different style of blue jeans did you buy over the years before you found just the right pair? That pair that you wore out in a hurry while another pair hung there in closet for years in like new condition just because they didn't feel right when ya slid into them so you didn't want to wear em' right?
Kawboysix is offline  
post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 04:47 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by redfish View Post
As an older individual, but a relatively new rider, my recent experience is limited to only two motorcycles. I purchased an 03 Vulcan 500 a few years ago and have been riding it steadily for the past couple years. Thinking back to my teenage years, I rode an old Harley 165 for about a year. I'd always pined for a Triumph, but never actually rode one. So I bought a brand new Triumph America cruiser last year. So far, I've put about 15,000 miles on the Vulcan but only 2,700 on the Triumph. Why? Because the Triumph cruiser just doesn't fit!

The Triumph's bars are too wide & at the wrong angle, the suspension is too harsh, and the seat is terrible and torture after 30 minutes. And the sound of the engine! What in blue blazes was I thinking? None of these stood out in my 10 minute test ride prior to purchase. I just had to have a Triumph!

After riding both bikes for the last year, one thing stands out more than any other. At higher speeds, I have more confidence riding the Vulcan even though it's almost a hundred pounds lighter. When I first purchased the Vulcan, slow speed maneuvers were very difficult, but I felt right at home and comfortable at 80 mph. I felt "in control". Exactly opposite with the Triumph. Slow speed maneuvers are actually easier, but high speeds are downright scary. It tracks well and displays no weird manners, but I don't feel in control, or part of the bike like I do on the Vulcan.

I spent good money correcting the seat and suspension on the Triumph, none on the bars yet, but any correction is a figment of my imagination. Seat's still terrible and the ride too harsh. But more importantly, I don't feel "secure and in control" above 50 or 60. It's up for sale.

The point of all this, at least for you new riders over 50, (you young'uns are not included; you can ride anything and be happy!) the bike you choose can make all the difference in your riding comfort and confidence. I was lucky and stumbled on a bike that fit, and really enjoy riding despite little age related aches and pains.

So if you find yourself riding less & less, it may be you are just on the wrong bike. I suspect that's why there's so many older, low mileage bikes on the market. The bike didn't "fit".

I hope you are as fortunate as I.

My wife has a 2012 Triump America and she loves it. I ride it at times, but I am used to the larger cc V twins. My sons owns bikes also, one has a Kantana which I really like to ride around town only. My other son owns a bobber which I like to ride very short distances like riding to the store for a pack of smokes only for it is raked out too far for me.

I look at it this way. A bike is a very personal choice. I try to find a bike that fits me, meets my personality and the ride quality I am looking for. It all depends on how comfortable you are on a bike. I ride to work almost everyday, until it reaches into the low 40's. I take about two long rode trips per month on my bike. So I have two bikes, one for work and one for my rode trips. My wife has two bikes, one for bobbing around town and one for the highway. I think at times it is hard to have the "perfect" all around bike if you ride all the time.

Last edited by ohio rider; 08-14-2014 at 04:49 AM.
ohio rider is offline  
post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 05:09 AM
Lifetime Premium

Bike Of The Fall Winner 2017

 
GFISH's Avatar
 
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
Garage
I bought a 2006 900 and for the price I got it at I couldn't pass it up. I wasn't even looking to buy a bike. But it fit's real well and I don't get tired of riding even with the stock seat. My son in law's dad rides an HD but every time he comes over he has to sit on my 9 cause it's so comfortable.

"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
Chrome Woo Loo Air Horn
Avon Grips
GFISH is offline  
post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 03:00 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 4
Great thread!

My experience was limited to Vespas and a Suzuki GS450S but I knew I wanted a Vulcan the first time I sat on one. I bought a Vulcan 500 and its center of gravity and balance is perfect for me. I love the looks too!
Logical1 is offline  
post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 07:13 PM
Member
 
mbinnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Elizabethtown, In
Year/Make/Model: 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic FI
Displacement/CC's: 1500
Color: Custom Paint
Gender: Male
Posts: 57
Garage
I bought my Vulcan cheap! wasn't really looking to buy one, but when I actually sat on it, oh jeeze! I HAD to have it!! It is already customized, comfortable and it sounds good just have to ride, and later on will "tweak" it a tad... and yeah just turned 50, been around bikes all my life, but never nothing so big and to me heavy, but man o man, on the open road, WOW!......The wife just asked me yesterday, "you tired of that yet??" you ready to move on? I said no, I am liking it. To my self I said, Heck no! this bike isn't going anywhere! I LOVE IT!!!!

Brian

Brian
2001 Vulcan Classic 1500 FI

U.S. Navy Vet
U.S.S. Savannah AOR-4
mbinnie is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does your helmet match your bike? darkarcher Vulcan 900 37 05-31-2015 04:14 PM
Does your Bike have a Name? Drifter General Vulcan Talk 116 08-04-2011 03:50 PM
Does your sleep when you ride together? papajoe Vulcan 1700 25 07-27-2011 07:26 PM
Whats your kids reaction when you start your bike? BigPapaPAiN The Lounge (Off Topic) 6 05-16-2011 08:24 PM
how does it all work if your bike is deemed a "total loss" pivotalrex Vulcan 900 13 10-18-2010 06:55 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome