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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Maintenance & Commuting Questions

2009 Vulcan 900 Classic here that i bought new almost 2 years ago. This is my first bike. and I've put somewhere near 1800-2000 miles on it over that time.

I ride infrequently mostly due to life's hustle and having my kids around quite a bit when they aren't at their mom's. But I do ride periodically throughout the winter... here in Oklahoma, the weather allows a nice, albeit chilly ride even in January/February

So -- without putting tons of miles on the bike, how often do I need to take this thing in to get serviced? Annually every spring, or???


OK.... now for question #2. I may be moving further from the office and am considering using the bike as a part-time commuter... probably 1-3 days a week... about 120 mile round trip. I may ride 75mph turnpike or 65-70mph interstate through a couple small towns into work. I have made this trip on the bike a couple times -- it's a nice easy ride. So what kind of things such as clothing/bike accessories should I consider?

I bought this bike as kind of a joy ride machine -- which is what I've used it for. I love getting out for a ride through town or getting out of town when I have a few hours. But if I use it to commute, I'm thinking I need to prepare for that a little bit differently...maybe?.

Anyway, thanks all for any responses.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ttownvulcan View Post
2009 Vulcan 900 Classic here that i bought new almost 2 years ago. This is my first bike. and I've put somewhere near 1800-2000 miles on it over that time.

I ride infrequently mostly due to life's hustle and having my kids around quite a bit when they aren't at their mom's. But I do ride periodically throughout the winter... here in Oklahoma, the weather allows a nice, albeit chilly ride even in January/February

So -- without putting tons of miles on the bike, how often do I need to take this thing in to get serviced? Annually every spring, or???


OK.... now for question #2. I may be moving further from the office and am considering using the bike as a part-time commuter... probably 1-3 days a week... about 120 mile round trip. I may ride 75mph turnpike or 65-70mph interstate through a couple small towns into work. I have made this trip on the bike a couple times -- it's a nice easy ride. So what kind of things such as clothing/bike accessories should I consider?

I bought this bike as kind of a joy ride machine -- which is what I've used it for. I love getting out for a ride through town or getting out of town when I have a few hours. But if I use it to commute, I'm thinking I need to prepare for that a little bit differently...maybe?.

Anyway, thanks all for any responses.
For the commute I have found a few things necessary and a couple others just extra. First, a windshield and lowers would be extra but a much happier ride when traveling distances during the week, as well as a throttle rester for your palm. A good jacket with all the weather comforts; waterproof, good venting, cold weather insert, etc... Also, good water resistant or proof boots can only help when you get stuck in the rain. Good gloves, full face helmut (helps), pants with liner you can take out (I wear mine with shorts and liner out in 40 degree weather and my legs stay warm). Tools as well.

Main thing I have found is that you can accumulate gear for every condition, but, there is gear out there that can limit how much you have because you can use it in many different conditions. Multitasking gear. I would recommend first gear vaunt jacket as well as waterproof pants by first gear, or river road, or tour master. I have river road and am pleased...

But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing—didn’t know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus. Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttownvulcan View Post
2009 Vulcan 900 Classic here that i bought new almost 2 years ago. This is my first bike. and I've put somewhere near 1800-2000 miles on it over that time.

I ride infrequently mostly due to life's hustle and having my kids around quite a bit when they aren't at their mom's. But I do ride periodically throughout the winter... here in Oklahoma, the weather allows a nice, albeit chilly ride even in January/February

So -- without putting tons of miles on the bike, how often do I need to take this thing in to get serviced? Annually every spring, or???


OK.... now for question #2. I may be moving further from the office and am considering using the bike as a part-time commuter... probably 1-3 days a week... about 120 mile round trip. I may ride 75mph turnpike or 65-70mph interstate through a couple small towns into work. I have made this trip on the bike a couple times -- it's a nice easy ride. So what kind of things such as clothing/bike accessories should I consider?

I bought this bike as kind of a joy ride machine -- which is what I've used it for. I love getting out for a ride through town or getting out of town when I have a few hours. But if I use it to commute, I'm thinking I need to prepare for that a little bit differently...maybe?.

Anyway, thanks all for any responses.
Hey Tulsa,

Whether you take it to a shop or do some wrenching yourself is up to you. But, the owners manual maintenance schedule has a few items that need to be addressed at least yearly, regardless of miles.
Here is a link to the manual.
http://www.kawasaki-techinfo.net/sho...1&lang_code=EN

+1 to Vandy's suggestion of a windshield and throttle boss.

With a 120 mile commute I would want some storage, so I'll suggest saddlebags; lockable hard bags would be best.
In the bags, I would keep a bottle of water, lip balm, aspirin, and some rain gear.
Keep your phone charged, don't leave home without some plastic, when its warm enough to have some exposed skin wear sunblock.

I like to keep my bike pretty clean so I can watch for leaks, dry rot, loose parts and the such. Keep an eye on your tire wear and pressure too.

You mentioned you work in an office. There has been some good advice on how to balance a dress code with riding gear in a couple of threads.
But, the one that comes to mind right now was about helmet hair (my thread); anyway you can do a search for more info on that.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 01:21 PM
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Are you considering using the bike as a commuter to "save money" or do you just think it would be cool to ride your bike more often???

As for gear (my opinion) get you a good water proof jacket and chaps/pants and especially good boots. I hate my feet getting wet. Storage is always good, you never know when you come home when you need to get that gallon of milk or loaf of bread. It would be your choice if you want to make it a quick release set up or not.

Windshield can be debatable. I recently got one for my V2K and have not had good luck getting it the way I want it. Sometimes it cost a little more than just the shield and brackets. You may end up having to get lowers, crash bar chaps, or what ever else to make it comfortable. But it will keep you a lot warmer when it starts to get COLD. I ended up taking mine off. Part of my problem ended up being my helmet. Plus I like to looks of it with out the shield better.

As for the office dress code goes I can't help you there. As long as we are clothed that is all that matters. The thread Scott is talking about has some good stuff in it, go check it out.

It is always good to carry tire plugs and a compressor (If you have tubeless tires) and some basic first aid stuff that would be of good use. Like Scott said: water, aspirin/acetaminophen, benydrel (or how ever you spell it) and possibly some some of that clot stuff in a bag, Band-aids won't really do much for ya if you really hurt your self. I don't carry all of said stuff but it is just some ideas.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

I was asked about why I might commute with the bike. I guess the answer is I got it, it's fun to ride, it gets good fuel economy why not? I do know there are some maintenance expenses such as tires that increase the costs of using it as a commuter... but I also, can only ride a day or two a week as I would be moving kids on other days -- so I'm also not going to be putting 40k miles a year on it either LOL

I'll check into some of the accessories and gear items recommended. I hadn't really thought at all about a throttle control/cruise control. And I do kind of agree that adding a windshield may make highway rides a bit more satisfying vs fighting that wind all the time...

The water bottle idea has me thinking maybe I need to figure out how to add a cup holder to the bike... hmm....

Again thanks for the input!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 02:37 PM
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https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...bvLbD00QGYx4Aw

One of the throttle bosses are worth their weight in gold. I have the universal one kury makes and it helps a lot.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 02:49 PM
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I think they mean a cramp buster not cruise control, Your throttle hand can go numb or cramp up , cramp busters are like 10 bucks unless you want some fancy ones they can go as high as 150.00. I found the simple 10 dollar cramp buster to work just fine. I commute about 35 miles run trip to work and home. As far as gear we have a great forum on just gear. +1 on saddles bags , I bag my lunch and it also holds any extra gear I need. For a cup holder go to walmarts in the bike section you will see a cup holder that will fit the bikes handle bars, Mine cost like 7 bucks


http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bell-Bicyc...Mount/17619571

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 03:00 PM
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I commute as much as possible. Barring the snow and ice. So rain gear is a must as a good jacket. I like leather. I also work in a not so good area of town. So i keep a good chain and lock at work, rapped around a city light post. Then i can lock it up when i get there. Pull my lunch out of the saddle bags and i am good to go. Guess you could use a back pack too. But I am not to hide my colors with a back pack.

All the other ideas listed here are great.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 04:39 PM
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I commute on my bike too. DEFINITELY consider adding some storage to your bike if you haven't already. If it's 75 and sunny when you leave the house but 52 and pouring down rain when you head home, that's miserable! I ALWAYS have my rain gear and some 'incidentals' (change of clothes, first aid) in one of my saddlebags at all times. I have two hard bags and a trunk, one saddlebag is dedicated to rain gear, clothes, emergency equipment, tools, etc. The sort of stuff that's really nice to have on you all the time when you ride the bike every day.

As far as service? Kawasaki recommends 7500 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. So, per the book, you should be good with once every spring servicing or whatever you'd like to do. I could be absolutely wrong, but, personally, I can't go 12 months without changing my oil. Just doesn't feel right! If I were in your shoes only riding 2,000 miles a year, I'd probably do an oil change every 6 months with a decent oil, MAYBE 12 months if I was running a full synthetic. But, that's just me. As far as Kawasaki is concerned, 12 months or 7,500 miles, whichever comes first. (I ride 20k a year though, so I just change mine every 5k, which is usually just a couple months)

Also, if you're going to be commuting with the bike, you might want to consider learning to change the oil yourself. It's pretty easy on the 900. That'll save you a few bucks and make it a bit more cost effective to commute. (Personally, I don't think you save any money when you figure in the cost of tires and such; but I commute with my bike because I figured it up to pretty much break even, and given the choice I'd ALWAYS rather be on the bike! Plus nothing takes care of a stressful day like getting to take it out on the throttle!)

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

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 11:49 AM
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I use my 900 LT as a daily driver. I but >9800 miles just in daily commutes last year. Like Romans5.8 states, plan ahead. Reserve a bag just for wet weather gear and incidentals. Romans5.8 post was good, I would also add a recommendation on insurance. Make sure you have FULL, yes FULL in caps, coverage. There is no such thing as too much when your talking about daily commuting on two wheels. Also ensure you get quality roadside assistance with your insurance.
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