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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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35 mph

I've got a 98 Vulcan 800A with aftermarket Cobra pipes. Side streets in MN have a 30 mph speed limit. Like a good citizen, I typically only ride 5 mph over that.

I ride 35 mph in 4th gear. It just seems like the engine is revving higher in 3rd gear and, quite frankly, a bit too loud. 4th brings it down to a better rumble and I'm not worried about frustrating the neighbors.

I assume riding 35 mph in 4th gear is fine, right? I'm not creating any engine issues by doing so?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 05:49 PM
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The engine should be running a good chunk above the idle speed, and should not be 'lugging'. Lugging generally produces a 'chugging' sound and sometimes even a metallic 'slap' (piston slap). Lugging is not good for the engine. In fact, running the revs a little high is generally better than lugging. Don't be afraid to let the engine spin!

If the engine feels like it's running as fast as it does when it idles, or you get that lugging/chugging/slapping sound when going up a hill, then you need to go down a gear at that speed!


Here's an example of what it should NOT sound like.

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Last edited by Romans5.8; 08-13-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 07:24 PM
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Wow. 5th gear at less than 35 mph. Good way to beat the engine to death.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
The engine should be running a good chunk above the idle speed, and should not be 'lugging'. Lugging generally produces a 'chugging' sound and sometimes even a metallic 'slap' (piston slap). Lugging is not good for the engine. In fact, running the revs a little high is generally better than lugging. Don't be afraid to let the engine spin!

If the engine feels like it's running as fast as it does when it idles, or you get that lugging/chugging/slapping sound when going up a hill, then you need to go down a gear at that speed!


Here's an example of what it should NOT sound like.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=787Sw2WDOZM

"Spot On" to the above quote.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Got it. Thanks! I'll be riding in 3rd from now on then. At 4th it's not as bad as that video for sure, but it borders on nearing chugging (once I get down to 30mph there is definite chugging in 4th) so to avoid any issues I'll just keep it in 3rd.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 09:37 PM
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Another thing to consider is in 3rd gear, at 35 mph should the need arise, you can still twist the throttle to quickly maneuver. I've had dogs come out of nowhere and want a piece of me.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan66 View Post
Wow. 5th gear at less than 35 mph. Good way to beat the engine to death.

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Not necessarily. You're on a 1700, OP is on an 800. On my 900, I can be at 35mph in 4th and be running 1300~1400 RPM's or so. 3rd still might be the better gear but on flat ground cruising along, 4th would be "acceptable". Certainly not 'beating the engine to death'

Now a 1700 would be a different story.

Edit: Nevermind, I see you said '5th', were you talking about the video? Yeah, that guy was one of those "It only sounds good if it's idling" kinda guys me thinks.

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

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Last edited by Romans5.8; 08-13-2013 at 11:34 PM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 10:23 PM
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On mine I will go as low as 35 but any lower calls for a downshift. Any vehicle should accelerate comfortably in whatever gear you are in. I frequently exceed OP's 5 mph good citizenship rule by maybe 5 more, but then the bike is not going as fast as the speedo says.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AZPoseur View Post
On mine I will go as low as 35 but any lower calls for a downshift. Any vehicle should accelerate comfortably in whatever gear you are in. I frequently exceed OP's 5 mph good citizenship rule by maybe 5 more, but then the bike is not going as fast as the speedo says.
Another great point from you and Daboo. If you can't accelerate quickly and without lugging, then you're too low.

OP; that may be another good indicator for you. At 35 in fourth, what does it sound like if you give it throttle? A dull roar as it 'spools up', or lots of chugging, pinging, or shuddering? If you can't accelerate, you're in the wrong gear.

I think a lot of guys hear some big displacement twins lumbering along on the highway, and; especially with these smaller metrics (sub 1,000cc like mine and OP's), it just doesn't work like that. They need to spin!

"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 #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
I think a lot of guys hear some big displacement twins lumbering along on the highway, and; especially with these smaller metrics (sub 1,000cc like mine and OP's), it just doesn't work like that. They need to spin!
Even though the big VN2K redline is only 5250 RPM, it's not all that happy at low-ish RPM either. 4th gear at 35 would be chugging and clunking big time.
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