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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Need your help

Heres my question, I will be takeing the msf course some time this year if I can lose some of my weight, I am 6'3" 421lbs. ( hope to be around 350) right now but hope to change that. When I get my motorcycle liesence I plan on getting a vulcan 900 custom or 1700 classic but I know that everyone says that new riders should start small but at my size i have a feeling the starter bikes will be really small for me. Now at my size would the 900 be to small power wise to take on long trips without hurting the engine when I get better at riding, and will the 1700 be to much to handle even if I take my time and take it one step at a time. Sorry for the long post
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 12:36 PM
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Bro, I'm 6'2" and 355lbs.

I just finished my MSF on a Suzuki 250 and I ride a Vulcan 900 Classic. The only real "issue" I have is it feels a bit short from seat to feet, not a deal breaker just an inch or so.

You'll be fine.

2012 Vulcan 900 Classic
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Last edited by BornofAshes; 03-14-2013 at 12:39 PM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Have you takien the 900 on any long trips at interstae speeds?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 01:01 PM
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In truth, I have not, but I really don't think it'd be additional strain. The bike has zero lag from my body and all the vets I know, who know me and my size, all recommended the V900 - V1700. I knew I wanted the Vulcan Classic, and I haven't had any issue in power.

If you're looking for a POWERHOUSE bike, than you might want to look at the 1700... double the HP/etc. than the 900 and you might feel more comfy with it. But for me, the 900 was a great choice and has plenty of 'scoot'.

2012 Vulcan 900 Classic
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 01:05 PM
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I was going to ask -

1) Have you ridden a 900cc series (anything) ever?
2) How much riding have you done... on anything?

2012 Vulcan 900 Classic
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 01:27 PM
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The 900 was my first bike, and I'm a big guy too. 6'2" 290. It's a tame first bike, but it has the size of a big bike. The 1700 is not much bigger, it just has a few nicer features (namely; optional cruise control on some models, dual suspension, and lower revs on the highway). Don't let cc's fool you. The 900 and 1700/2000 are all pretty close in physical size when you're sitting on it.

With me and the wife (though she's not very big at all) on it, plus luggage, there is a LOT of weight on that bike, and we do interstate trips all the time, hundreds or even thousands of miles at a time. She can do it! Other bikes can do it better, perhaps, but the 900 can certainly do it well with reasonable comfort and without feeling strained.

If you like to ride on the interstate at 60-75mph, like I do, it'll have no problems. If you like to cruise 80 or 90, you'll be buzzing along at some pretty high RPM's but it'll still do it.

I never like the default CC rules. If I had listened to 'everyone' I would have bought a 250 or a 500 as a first bike, and spent a bunch of extra money trading it in on something else. The 900 was a fantastic choice for a first bike. It was a LITTLE tricky, and I had to go slow. After the MSF (which I took before getting the bike) my ritual was every day, for about an hour or two, I would ride it in a parking lot. My mother and stepdad (also riders) live right next to the local high school so I actually parked my bike at their house, and would ride it across the street to the high school and practice there. About a month of that, I progressed to side streets, up to 55mph streets, until one day I finally rode for about an hour on a 55mph street. For me, the 55mph curvy streets were the most challenging. Even now, some 20,000 miles later, I find 55mph curvy roads more challenging than the interstate.

Practice hard stops in the parking lot, swerving, work up speed- you can do it just fine. Never once dropped it or laid it down; it's heavy, but not too heavy that if you've got decent lower body strength (and at your size, I'm sure you do! Same with me), you can 'catch it' when you goof. Any heavier though, and I might have had a hard time. When you're learning you don't always stop at the right angle or sometimes you'll second guess yourself and put a foot down while leaned over. A 1700 may go down at those points, whereas you can hold a 900 up. My wife can and has ridden my 900 (slow speeds), but we got her on a 750 shadow because it's light enough that SHE could catch it when she was starting.

Good luck! Whatever you choose will be good but I'd lean towards the 9!

"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
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 01:42 PM
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I have never listened to the "small bike first" rule. If you get a small bike now, chances are in a year or less, you will want something bigger. A good friend told me before I got my first bike (a CBR 954) "get the bike you WANT. If that bike is a bigger bike, just remember, there are more than 2 positions to the throttle.

Best advice is find the bike that fits you physically and financially. Take some time to learn the bike in low traffic areas, and you will be golden! Good luck and have fun!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmetto_1600 View Post
I have never listened to the "small bike first" rule. If you get a small bike now, chances are in a year or less, you will want something bigger. A good friend told me before I got my first bike (a CBR 954) "get the bike you WANT. If that bike is a bigger bike, just remember, there are more than 2 positions to the throttle.

Best advice is find the bike that fits you physically and financially. Take some time to learn the bike in low traffic areas, and you will be golden! Good luck and have fun!
There is a bit of a difference betweeen sportbikes and cruisers though.

The biggest concerns with a sportbike, is clutch control (too high of an RPM and too quick of a clutch let off and you'll be standing in the same spot but the bike will be half a mile away!), and of course having the wherwithall to know your limits and not use the power beyond what you can handle (and being realistic ABOUT what you can handle).

With a cruiser, some of those same concerns aren't quite as much, save for big power cruisers like the V2K or some of the crazy V-4 machines. However, WEIGHT is a big concern with a cruiser. New riders on cruisers will often find themselves stopped at an angle or just being 'awkward' with the bike as they get used to it. An experienced rider will avoid those same situations, a new rider might not. They also may not be used to the weight. New riders on big cruisers (and I'm not saying people don't do it, I know lots of folks whose first bike was something like an Ultra Classic Electra Glide), are more apt to drop the bike than on a smaller cruiser, damaging that expensive new bike!

It's all purely individual. A larger guy with a lot of leg strength can handle a lot more than, say, my 5 foot tall wife!

You hit the nail on the head when you said 'fits' though, because FIT is the most important thing. Go check out some Harley riders and see what they think about small displacement rules. They'll scratch their head and say "what's that?". SOME of them MAY have started on a 900 or 1200cc sportster, but aside from that Harley only makes big displacement twins (currently 1600cc and up). LOTS of folks start on those. They find one that fits right, and go! But again! LOTS of them drop them in the first couple months of owning them. So the OP just needs to figure out where he is in that. Maybe sit on the 1700 in a dealer and lean it left and right and see how heavy it feels compared to the 900, and determine which is more ideal. I think you'll find that both the 1700 and the 900 feel about the same aside from the weight. I've ridden the 1700 (Classic and Voyager) and both times I really regarded them as a heavy 900, because they felt pretty much the same fit-wise.

That said, the suspension and amenities of the 1700 sure was nice! However, knowing a couple situations when I was learning where I ALMOST dropped the 900, I WOULD have dropped a 1700, so I'm glad I went the 900 route. The 900 is also a bike folks aren't in a hurry to trade in. It's not that the 1700's aren't nice, it's just that the 900 is a lot more bike than you'd think a 900cc machine would be. I'll hang on to mine for a long time I think.

"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
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 02:05 PM
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True about the size of the person... however, since the OP is well over 6 foot and has plenty of mass, I'm sure he can pull even the 2k back to center if need be. I am 5'9" and have had to do so with my 1600 more than once... usually because the wife is on the back and adjusting herself as I come to a stop... Point still being, get the bike you want... I just wouldn't jump on any ole road for my first trip. There are still roads I won't travel on my bike. Not because of the bike, but because of the "cagers"... Seems everyone is on their cell phone these days. No one can stay in their own lane. anyway, just my 2 cents...
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmetto_1600 View Post
True about the size of the person... however, since the OP is well over 6 foot and has plenty of mass, I'm sure he can pull even the 2k back to center if need be. I am 5'9" and have had to do so with my 1600 more than once... usually because the wife is on the back and adjusting herself as I come to a stop... Point still being, get the bike you want... I just wouldn't jump on any ole road for my first trip. There are still roads I won't travel on my bike. Not because of the bike, but because of the "cagers"... Seems everyone is on their cell phone these days. No one can stay in their own lane. anyway, just my 2 cents...
I'm not trying to start a fight, as you seem to know way more than me about this stuff... but I would chaulk a lot of your ability to skill and not simple physics. True-newbie riders don't automatically use their skills and weight to their best advantage as often as veteran riders. If the OP is indeed concerned with the power of a 1700 I would lump them into the conservative category and suggest they go and sit on both bikes and lean them around. A lot of dealers (at least mine) was pretty OK with me even shifting to neutral and rolling the bikes back and forth to get a feel for the weight...

If the 'poundage' of the 1700 worries you now, you might want to look at the lighter bike.

2012 Vulcan 900 Classic
Detachable Windshield
Saddle bags

:: You know you live in the future, when you require Tech Support to read your book. ::
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