Long ride handed me a tough decision... - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Long ride handed me a tough decision...

Having spent a week and change riding around Michigan for the 4th of July week (and a little before and after), I had a tough decision when I got home.

Namely, do I keep the 900 custom and try to fix the little nagging things that I don't really care for, or do I look for an upgrade in terms of size and comfort...

Aside from the high freeway revs, I had issues with wind protection and foot positions (which will be remedied next weekend, as I'll get to in a sec), not being visible enough (damn cagers on vacation not paying attention), and in my opinion, a little lack of pep (granted, this may have stemmed more from riding my buddy's Rocket III Touring while on the trip on occasion, but still).

When I got home, I spent a chunk of time talking with my wife (who was encouraging me to go find a bigger bike), and ultimately decided to keep the 900 for a few more years and simply "make it mine". I know that most of the upgrades and mods will be off the shelf and not terribly unique, but still, I'd like to make the bike a more amicable traveling companion. I only ride solo (at least for now), so two up comfort isn't an issue for me... in fact, I'll be removing the passenger pegs shortly.

Sorry for the long winded post, but I'm getting to the point... I'll list out what I'm planning on doing to the bike, and I'm going to ask those that have taken these bikes on long trips for their opinions on what else needs to be changed.

At the moment, I have a Memphis Shades batwing with windshield and lower deflectors for the batwing coming along with floorboards to replace the front pegs. Also planned (probably next month) will be the big three (probably going with a Cobra fl2000R, V&H Slash cut staggereds, and a BAK), and a couple other cosmetic upgrades. Eventually, I'll color-match the fairing to the bike and probably invest in some hard bags to make a mini-bagger (ala Whiting57's Custom, but in red, a far superior color ).

Any thoughts as to other items to make longer trips more comfortable/enjoyable?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, and again, my apologies for the long winded post, but I had to get a little rambling out...

Live well, ride safe, ride free, and always remember that family comes before everything else.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 03:38 PM
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Nineballnut.

If you can afford it I'd go with the Cobra PowerPro fuel processor.

To calm down the engine revs at highway speed a pulley swap will help (Barrons or Scootworks).

Bags and a trunk are good for storage.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KenDawg View Post
Nineballnut.

If you can afford it I'd go with the Cobra PowerPro fuel processor.

To calm down the engine revs at highway speed a pulley swap will help (Barrons or Scootworks).

Bags and a trunk are good for storage.

Good luck!

Thanks for the suggestion KenDawg, but I have to ask... Without O2 sensors on the bike, how does the auto-tune actually adjust? My understanding is that it takes inputs from O2 sensors and uses that to adjust the fuel being injected to the cylinders...

Live well, ride safe, ride free, and always remember that family comes before everything else.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 04:17 PM
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No O2 sensor required. Power measured at the crank shaft. This video explains it well. I use it and it's awesome. I have changed air cleaners, pipes, changed elevations (from sea level up to 12,000 feet). My bike has always ran very well with this product.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...d5psui5c#at=57

P.S. I have never made a purchase from JC motors.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 04:22 PM
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Have you already changed the seat? I couldn't do long trips on the stock seat. I have done a lot of the things you mentioned so my bike now has a new seat, batwing, hard bags, and engine guard with highway pegs, all for comfort. I may swap the handlebars and get a Barons pulley or two at some point.

Lots of good things about these bikes. As much as I like the thought of having a Victory or an FJR, I also don't like the thought of selling what I have now. There are advantages to bigger bikes, but I've made a 1600 and a 1900 mile trip on my bike (4 days and 5 days respectively) plus some 600-750 mile weekends on mine and it did fine.

Good luck!

Last edited by Graybush; 07-13-2013 at 04:25 PM.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link KenDawg. That makes more sense now. I'll certainly budget for the autotuner after that video (hopefully I can talk the better half into the extra cash in the same timeframe ).

Graybush, I have already replaced the seat, I couldn't go more than 20 or 25 minutes max on the stock torture device that they call a seat. I rode with it for the first couple months that I had the bike and called it good. Ordered and installed the saddlemen seat over the winter. I'm glad to hear that the other upgrades are in line what others are doing and are happy with.

Thanks for the input guys. I'm always open to new ideas, and who knows, maybe I won't replace this bike, but something tells me that when my wife decides to start riding with me (she's adamantly opposed to getting her own) she will insist on something with a few more creature comforts.

Live well, ride safe, ride free, and always remember that family comes before everything else.

Toy List:

2015 Vulcan 1700 Voyager

2010 Vulcan 900 Custom (Candy Persimmon Red for you color guys) - Traded

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 07:56 PM
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I hear ya, I recently...briefly... entertained picking up used Nomad or V2K. I was justifying it by telling myself that by the time I added all the upgrades and customizations, along with the price of the bike.. I could get a nice used bigger bike. The thing that caused the biggest problem for me is that I genuinely love my 900 in so many ways.

I decided that for me and the majority of the riding and commuting I do right now, the 900 is perfect. I ride mostly rural country back roads..even to work. And although I really like the V2K's, a bike that weighs another 200 pounds might be less fun / easy to drive around here.

Down the road when I start doing more distance driving, or IF my wife decides to start riding with me ( which she swears she won't be doing much ) I will get a bigger bike. But I believe that I'll be keeping the 900 for an around town bike. It's just a great machine.

But If you're really wanting a bigger bike, you should seriously consider getting one...especially since it seems you have your wife's blessing lol! No amount of money is going to turn your bike into a 1700 Nomad.

Choices choices...
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 08:36 PM
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Hey I'm in the same boat. I'd like a bigger bike, but I don't have a burning, yearning need for a bigger bike. At this point, I can't justify spending the money when I'm pretty happy with mine.

I think the formula for getting the VN900 as comfortable and powerful as the VN900 can be is;

A GOOD aftermarket seat (Mustang, Russel, etc.)
"The Big Three", Pipes, Intake, Fuel Processor
Overdrive pulleys and/or a bigger rear tire to drop the revs
Highway pegs
Bars/risers if needed

I love my 900. It's a great bike, and I've put plenty of long-distance miles on it! Make it yours and you'll love it.

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

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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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Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 08:53 PM
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Hey Nineball, your post sounds like almost everyone I've talked to. And the responses sounds like all I've heard before. I'm right in the same group. I like my 900, but sometimes wonder if the grass would be greener...then I realize everything I want to do is being done on the 9. I've had the scootworks front pulley from early on, and don't remember the ride before. Recently, it started making a weird thumping noise. I had a mechanic check it out, he said the people who installed the scootworks pulley put the belt on too tight (so it wouldn't make the whirl noise). It started wearing on the pulley. I had to replace the belt and the pulley. I went with the Baron this time. Same kind of ride. Nothing against the Scootworks pulley, it was the Kawasaki dealership that installed it for me, and tightened the belt too much. In addition, I've done the seat, hardside bags, risers, engine guards, pegs and windshield upgrades. I've got a light bar in the future, and can't decide if I want a batwing fairing or the Drifter front fender. I've made 700+ mile trips in a day and felt good about it. The 900 is a keeper for me.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 09:26 PM
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Timely post - get yourself a bigger rear tire. I just put an Avon 200 on my Classic and the difference is terrific. So much 'smoother' now. I was considering a pulley but now I don't think I'll bother. Best wishes in your quest to make your 9 ride like you want it to.

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-----------------------------------
2010 Vulcan 900 Classic
Kawi Engine Guards
Memphis Fats Windshield
Viking Saddlebags
Palladin Removable Backrest/luggage Rack
Mustang Seat
SW Phatrisers II
so far....
----------------------------
(and now a 2006 Wing as well)
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