Almost bought a 2013 Heritage Classic today... - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Almost bought a 2013 Heritage Classic today...

Almost bought a brand new 2013 HD heritage Classic today... Then they let me test ride one... That was a mistake.

After 10 minutes it was HOTTER than hell sitting on the thing, The 103 CI engine had about as much power as my 900, (granted it was bone stock, but so is my 900, whatever,) I did like the 6th gear, but I like the ride on my 900 (with mustang seat) better. Beautiful bike though. LOVE the paint and the colors available. I wish Kawasaki made the 1700 classic in something other than black.

I'm kind of just venting, I really wanted to like that bike. I was ready to buy, cash in hand. I just can't believe the heat, though. It's like sitting on top of a furnace. I can see why you see so many metrics at Sturgis and Daytona these days. Kawasaki, Star, Honda and Suzuki have out Harley-ed Harley.

You just really get used to having liquid cooling and a radiator once you have had one I guess!!!

Well I saved a ton of money. Maybe I'll just go get the Orange custom I like and chrome it out.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 12:37 AM
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I share your frustrations. Harley makes some gorgeous bikes. I don't think there's a better looking bike in the world than a chromed-out Ultra Classic. But it's just not the ride I'm used to. I test rode one last year. I guess I felt like a $27,000 Harley ought to blow my $9,000 Kawasaki out of the water; but it didn't. In fact, I was happy to be back on my 9 afterwards.

That said; ANY bike is gonna have more heat than a 900. The 900 has a huge radiator relative to it's engine size and the ENTIRE engine (not just the heads) is liquid cooled. The bike just never gets warm. Even a VN1700 is a lot warmer than a 900. It's all a trade off, of course. The Harley may have felt like it had less power but a lot of that is because it's making it's power in the low end, but doesn't really have a top end (half the redline of our bikes). What that means is, it's making not too much more power, but it's doing it at a fraction of the speed.

I'm frustrated because nobody makes the bike I want! I want a Metric Harley, if that makes sense. I want the color options and paint schemes, lots of accessory options, classic styling, lots of power and reliability, and a great dealer network. But I also want a liquid cooled, smooth, modern engine that makes lots of power, and modern features! Victory I think does that, all except for the styling. The bikes are butt ugly! At least to me.

I have yet to ride a Victory, but people seem to report minimal leg heat with those. They come standard with oil coolers, a big oil capacity, and a lot of oil flow! I wonder how much of a difference in the heat an oil cooler would make?

"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

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Yea I hear you. I guess I'm not the only one searching for the "perfect" bike. (But the Vulcan 900 comes so close!!!) The victory styling is HORRIBLE and that's being kind. They look like the fat geeky kids to me. But I guess some people like them... As for the power, I guess after a certain amount, enough is enough. Kind of like the sport bikes: it can do 185mph, but that really doesn't mean anything to me at 60! If my bike pulls hard to 65 with passenger and full luggage, so that I'm not even trying to get there any quicker than it can do, who cares?

Maybe I'll just get the purple/black 2012 custom and have a set of Vulcan's. LOL!
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Qwntm View Post
Yea I hear you. I guess I'm not the only one searching for the "perfect" bike. (But the Vulcan 900 comes so close!!!) The victory styling is HORRIBLE and that's being kind. They look like the fat geeky kids to me. But I guess some people like them... As for the power, I guess after a certain amount, enough is enough. Kind of like the sport bikes: it can do 185mph, but that really doesn't mean anything to me at 60! If my bike pulls hard to 65 with passenger and full luggage, so that I'm not even trying to get there any quicker than it can do, who cares?

Maybe I'll just get the purple/black 2012 custom and have a set of Vulcan's. LOL!
Have you ridden the 1700's? They are good bikes. Some heat, but forum members seem to think wrapping the pipes, using a high-grade coolant and running synthetic oil keeps it cool. I rode a 1700 Voyager, and it was a great ride. It felt 'right at home', like I was on my 900, just without the high RPM vibration and with the nice addition of electronic cruise control and ABS.

I haven't ridden a Victory, but man feature wise they are so cool. ONE engine, ONE platform. Every bike can have cruise control added, ABS on a large range of bikes. Tons of accessories, super reliable. But yeah; dang, I'm glad someone is trying to be different for a change, but that's a little TOO different. Of course some people like the look! I'm not one of those people.

"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 #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
I share your frustrations. Harley makes some gorgeous bikes. I don't think there's a better looking bike in the world than a chromed-out Ultra Classic. But it's just not the ride I'm used to. I test rode one last year. I guess I felt like a $27,000 Harley ought to blow my $9,000 Kawasaki out of the water; but it didn't. In fact, I was happy to be back on my 9 afterwards.

That said; ANY bike is gonna have more heat than a 900. The 900 has a huge radiator relative to it's engine size and the ENTIRE engine (not just the heads) is liquid cooled. The bike just never gets warm. Even a VN1700 is a lot warmer than a 900. It's all a trade off, of course. The Harley may have felt like it had less power but a lot of that is because it's making it's power in the low end, but doesn't really have a top end (half the redline of our bikes). What that means is, it's making not too much more power, but it's doing it at a fraction of the speed.

I'm frustrated because nobody makes the bike I want! I want a Metric Harley, if that makes sense. I want the color options and paint schemes, lots of accessory options, classic styling, lots of power and reliability, and a great dealer network. But I also want a liquid cooled, smooth, modern engine that makes lots of power, and modern features! Victory I think does that, all except for the styling. The bikes are butt ugly! At least to me.

I have yet to ride a Victory, but people seem to report minimal leg heat with those. They come standard with oil coolers, a big oil capacity, and a lot of oil flow! I wonder how much of a difference in the heat an oil cooler would make?
I've ridden the Cross Country Tourer in 100+ ambient temperatures.

That thing cooked my legs!
Thank goodness it had a low seat height so I could get a little bit of a wide stance at red lights.

I could feel the heat from my 900 at a long light; but it never caused pain. the XCT felt like my legs were too close to a campfire.

Maybe, the Vics without a lower fairing run cool??
But, the XCT was a whole lot hotter than my 900 or even my Voyager (with KAMS).

Scott

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 08:01 AM
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In '07 when I was looking to upgrade from my Vulcan 750, I had my eye on the 900. However, I shopped around for comparison and was astounded. To get what I ended up with on the 900 I spent $10,400. I had the list of accessories I wanted and priced out the other manufacturers. Most were +/- $1k except HD. I liked the Vulcan series and had test drove an 800 a couple years earlier so as far as metrics, it was a good bet I would end up with the Vulcan. But out of curiousity I spec'd out a HD with the dealer. WOW, over $14k for a simular look, just with HD logos everywhere. Didn't even test drive an HD, just went with the 900 and have been happy since.

I will say that I do love the water cooled engine. The only thime it is a proplem is in stop and go traffic (mostly stop) and the fan kicks on. But luckily on my commute that is only for a few miles and usually less than 15 minutes.

I second what Romans was saying, it would be nice to have the dealer network HD and some others have. If I owned a Harley, Honda, or Suzuki I would be golden for support as there is at least one of each in a 10 mile radius of home. Unfortunately, the nearest Kawasaki dealership to me is 45 minutes away. I say unfortunately only when I have to take it for service (like the 15K service) and it need left overnight. Otherwise it's just another opportunity to get a couple hours of riding in, which is always a good thing.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dranzaz View Post
In '07 when I was looking to upgrade from my Vulcan 750, I had my eye on the 900. However, I shopped around for comparison and was astounded. To get what I ended up with on the 900 I spent $10,400. I had the list of accessories I wanted and priced out the other manufacturers. Most were +/- $1k except HD. I liked the Vulcan series and had test drove an 800 a couple years earlier so as far as metrics, it was a good bet I would end up with the Vulcan. But out of curiousity I spec'd out a HD with the dealer. WOW, over $14k for a simular look, just with HD logos everywhere. Didn't even test drive an HD, just went with the 900 and have been happy since.

I will say that I do love the water cooled engine. The only thime it is a proplem is in stop and go traffic (mostly stop) and the fan kicks on. But luckily on my commute that is only for a few miles and usually less than 15 minutes.

I second what Romans was saying, it would be nice to have the dealer network HD and some others have. If I owned a Harley, Honda, or Suzuki I would be golden for support as there is at least one of each in a 10 mile radius of home. Unfortunately, the nearest Kawasaki dealership to me is 45 minutes away. I say unfortunately only when I have to take it for service (like the 15K service) and it need left overnight. Otherwise it's just another opportunity to get a couple hours of riding in, which is always a good thing.
I put saddlemen bags and a Memphis Fats windshield on my 2012 Vulcan. So with the purchase price of the bike and acc. I'm at about $8,500 The Heritage classic 2013 was $19,500. For $11,000 more money in my pocket I think I can live without the dealer network! All of a sudden driving 200 miles to Portland Oregon for a decent Kawasaki dealer doesn't seem like much of a problem. Heck I could buy the Purple Custom Vulcan and still have change left over for what the one Harley cost. And I'm sure those who love them love them, and I respect and support anyone on 2 wheels, but I personally don't see the attraction... I tried really hard to buy one...
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 07:41 PM
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The Victory Cross Country TOUR is a very hot bike. My regular Cross Country without the hard highway bar lowers however is no hotter to ride than the Vulcan 900 I have for my son to ride. I encourage you to ride a regular Cross Country once. They do have buffeting issues but that is easily addressed with some good fork lowers. I have the vinyl closeouts that slip over the highway bars for cold and wet protection. If I run them when it is hot out then I get that heat from my bike to but only in really hot temps when you dont normally use them anyway. The beauty of them is you put them on when you need them, stow them in the saddlebag when you dont. You can't do that with a Cross Country Tour or Harley Ultra.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Qwntm View Post
Almost bought a brand new 2013 HD heritage Classic today... Then they let me test ride one... That was a mistake.

After 10 minutes it was HOTTER than hell sitting on the thing, The 103 CI engine had about as much power as my 900, (granted it was bone stock, but so is my 900, whatever,) I did like the 6th gear, but I like the ride on my 900 (with mustang seat) better. Beautiful bike though. LOVE the paint and the colors available. I wish Kawasaki made the 1700 classic in something other than black.

I'm kind of just venting, I really wanted to like that bike. I was ready to buy, cash in hand. I just can't believe the heat, though. It's like sitting on top of a furnace. I can see why you see so many metrics at Sturgis and Daytona these days. Kawasaki, Star, Honda and Suzuki have out Harley-ed Harley.

You just really get used to having liquid cooling and a radiator once you have had one I guess!!!

Well I saved a ton of money. Maybe I'll just go get the Orange custom I like and chrome it out.
Let me tell you - having just bought a 2013 Road King, that 103 has a LOT more power than my 900. Tons more. The power isn't even a comparison. Now, the heat? Yeah, that's a different story. That is something different. You get on that thing on a hot day, and you really feel it. However, once you're moving along, it's no different from the 900. And, I'm not sure about the FLSTC, but I know the new touring bikes have integrated oil coolers.

Harley also has this thing they call EITMS. Basically, when certain parameters are met (in neutral, oil temp above a certain value, speed below a certain value, etc), fuel is cut from the rear cylinder and that cylinder basically becomes an air pump, cooling the engine. I've only had it kick in a couple of times. And, if you don't like it, disable it. Very easy to do.

Regarding the ride - i almost bit the bullet on a Heritage, but went with the Road King because of the ride. The touring suspension on those bikes is something else. I'm a short girl, so I had mine lowered 1" in the rear (lowering blocks, no shock replacement) and the ride is STILL better than the Heritage. The Heritage is, by far, the most beautiful motorcycle that Harley makes. But, I do too many 500-mile days for that. LOL.

Personally, I think you did the best thing. If you really want a Harley, you WILL go back and evaluate different bikes, etc. if you don't, you truly did just save yourself a lot of money. You have to really want a HD to justify the purchase. Some people just aren't ready for that, and that's cool!

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by HRH_Z View Post
Let me tell you - having just bought a 2013 Road King, that 103 has a LOT more power than my 900. Tons more. The power isn't even a comparison. Now, the heat? Yeah, that's a different story. That is something different. You get on that thing on a hot day, and you really feel it. However, once you're moving along, it's no different from the 900. And, I'm not sure about the FLSTC, but I know the new touring bikes have integrated oil coolers.
I think the gearing is what throws people off. When I test rode a CVO Ultra Classic with a 103 a couple times at low speeds I rolled on the throttle and kind of thought "Man, where is the power?". But, coming off of a 900, I was shifting a lot earlier than I should have been. When you let the engine spin a bit it rolls on the power.

The one I rode definitely had more pull than my 900.

The ride didn't impress me though. I walked away feeling "meh". And, I dunno, I feel like if I'm gonna spend thousands more it ought to impress me! And it just didn't. I preferred the way the 1700 Voyager rode, so that'll probably be next for me eventually.

I kinda felt bad. I was at a bike show and the local H-D dealer was there doing demo rides. The salesman tried to get me to ride one and I said "I'm not interested in buying anything right now I'm happy with my bike", but he really wanted me to ride it (He says he's marketing, not sales, his job is to get people to ride them, that's all. Works for me!). Afterwards he got off his bike after this 90 minute demo ride and asked me what I thought and I said "Well it was okay" and before I could finish my wife, who rode on the back, said "I hated it". LOL. Poor guy. Guess that settles that! Although she rides her own most of the time so two-up comfort is less of a concern right now.

They are great bikes though! People knock the Harley's a lot, but H-D makes a good bike. They just don't make my bike yet.

"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

Last edited by Romans5.8; 07-02-2013 at 10:03 PM.
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