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Today I decided to give my Tahoe some rest and went to work on a bike. It is a 50 miles ride with about 20 miles on small roads and 30 miles on I-93 (NH and MA). It was the first time I took her on a slab. At 70-75 mph I had a feeling that this speed was above the abilities of this bike: vibration, noise, I don't know how to describe it, but that was my feeling. Nothing like that while riding below 55-60... Is it common for all the 500s or something may be wrong with this particular bike? BTW, I weigh 200, and I was riding alone if that matters.
 

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When I was riding mine daily, I often cruised around 70mph and never felt uncomfortable or like the bike couldn't handle it. Heck, a time or two I had it up to 110 (I was younger and stupid) and it rode fine even at those speeds.. And, I'm 6'4 and at the time weighed in around 280lbs. Perhaps it's time for some new tires?

eGo
 

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our vulcan 500 cruises very nice at 70+mph. If it wasn't for the wind blast I would ride it at 100mph. It's totally vibration free at high speeds, very nice. I wish Kawi sold something simular today. In fact our vulcan 500 is much smoother at highway speeds than our 900LT.
 

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I had my 2005 EN500 topped out at 90mph. At 65mph it felt very comfortable, at 80 it starts to have a little vibration and the wind buffeting is pretty harsh, at 90 the wind buffeting is scary. I have a windshield that came with the bike... it eases the wind buffeting on my chest and face but adds more vibration. I leave the windshield off and just tuck in a little when I feel the need to go that fast :)
 

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They are a little buzzy at the higher speeds. So on mine I replaced the stock 16 tooth sprocket with an after market 17 tooth. That will decrease the RPMs at those higher speeds by about 400 RPMs. Do a search on the forum as there's good info on the difference and help on how to change the sprockets.
 

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At 70-75 mph I had a feeling that this speed was above the abilities of this bike: vibration, noise, I don't know how to describe it, but that was my feeling. Nothing like that while riding below 55-60... Is it common for all the 500s or something may be wrong with this particular bike? BTW, I weigh 200, and I was riding alone if that matters.
Hmmm... When Hidalgo goes above 80mph things start to smooth out and kind of go all 'zen' on me. That's when I know that it's time to slow down on the superslab. :grin2:

I weigh in at around 210lbs.
 

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They are a little buzzy at the higher speeds. So on mine I replaced the stock 16 tooth sprocket with an after market 17 tooth. That will decrease the RPMs at those higher speeds by about 400 RPMs. Do a search on the forum as there's good info on the difference and help on how to change the sprockets.

+1 on changing stock front sprocket.
I did it on my 500 when I had it and never looked back


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I have a 96 with the speedo on the gas tank and spoke wheels (newer generation that started in late 96). I was on the interstate and had absolutely no problems...have a spitfire windshield and lowers...I weigh 175. 5'10" tall. Had it to 95 and the front end started to feel "off" so I slowed down..Plenty of speed above 75 indicated...
 

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If you travel a few days at interstate speeds, it will become downright comfortable - with a 17 tooth sprocket - earplugs - the right windshield - lowers - highway pegs - floorboards - backrest - and a more comfortable seat. The light weight will get blown around a bit, but you'll soon get used to that too and won't even notice it.

I found the 500 to actually be more stable at high speeds with a heavy load of luggage and saddlebags. I think it's a very interstate capable and comfortable long distance motorcycle for folks of average build. For tall riders with long legs, probably not so much.
 

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For me, my Vulcan 500 is suited better for small highways and backroads where the speed is 55 mph or lower. I have ridden on the freeways at 70 mph for short periods and find it uncomfortable and tiring. If I need to take a long trip on the freeways at high speeds, I take my Magna 750. I can ride all day long at high speeds with the Magna and not get tired. For some reason, I don't feel comfortable on the Vulcan at high speeds. But, don't get me wrong, I love my Vulcan 500.
 

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+1 on what Puma said for the most part....My Vulcan 500 is my "bike of choice" hands down around town...I also own a V4 Honda Magna power cruiser...it is more comfy on the highway at higher speeds...IMHO one of the handful of the very best bikes ever made...Perhaps the best kept secret gem of a bike in history of biking...speaking of the Magna. Maybe not THE best, but it is right up there. Vulcan 500 is in that league in my opinion....I think the Vulcan 650S will become a classic bike as well...Test rode one last week...Don't want to spend that much but might well consider a nice used on in two or three years....
 

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our vulcan 500 cruises very nice at 70+mph. If it wasn't for the wind blast I would ride it at 100mph. It's totally vibration free at high speeds, very nice. I wish Kawi sold something simular today. In fact our vulcan 500 is much smoother at highway speeds than our 900LT.
They do, it's called the Vulcan S!

OP;

Like others said, some of it takes getting used to. It might only be 10mph or so faster than the state highways but the superslab definitely feels differently. Obviously a bigger bike is going to rev lower and be more stable but plenty of folks have run the 500 for a very long way on the interstate. Just takes some getting used to. Even on my 1700 I still prefer the 55mph roads.
 

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For some reason, I don't feel comfortable on the Vulcan at high speeds.
Puma, that's exactly what I feel. Probably I need to test drive something bigger. Or maybe it is just me liking going slow? Age? :)
 

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When I had the 500 , I took a few trips on the interstate, and the bike did fine at 70-75 mph. But I could tell the engine was working a it, since we have wind here in the Midwest. I went up to a 1600 Nomad in June, and it loafs along at 55-60 mph, and is not even working hard at 70 mph two up. That is the main reason I went to a bigger bike, for two up riding.
 

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I ride my '500 to work on the highway all the time. The engine gets a bit buzzy around 55-65, but smooths out above that. 70 mph is no problem. I will note that my bike has gone about 6000 miles (8k to 14k) since its last tune up, valve adjustment and carb balancing and it does feel rougher at certain RPMs. Depending on how many miles your bike has and when the last time these maint. items were performed, you might be able to smooth out and pep up your machine a fair bit. Mine was *dramatically* peppier after the 8k tune-up / valve adjustment.
 

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When I first got my Vulcan it was only running on 1 cylinder after having been in storage by PO for 3 years. I cleaned carbs and took it for a test ride and wanted to be sure that the acceleration was right after the carb cleaning. I nailed it and was in 4th gear when I looked down at speedo showing 85 with 2 more gears to go ! I backed off and eased it back down to 60. The Vulcan had plenty of power left and felt fine to me. I just slowed down because I didn't need the speed or the ticket that might go with it ! Mine is a 2003 so it may be different from yours but the main change that I want to make to it is to replace the spoked rims with the earlier mag type rims.
 

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When I replied that I didn't feel comfortable at higher speeds with the Vulcan 500, I didn't mean to imply that the Vulcan couldn't handle higher speeds. What I meant to say was I couldn't handle the higher speeds on the Vulcan 500. Being somewhat tense tends to wear one out and that's what was happening to me.

When I got the Magna 750 and saw how easily it handles high speeds, it became even more apparent to me how the Vulcan 500 at high speeds was wearing me out. Since the Magna was built to handle high speeds, it's a comfortable and relaxing ride even at 90 mph. In fact, the Magna is very hard to hold at 55 mph. It wants to go fast.

I realize that talking about the Magna is off topic and I apologize for that. But, in case my discussion sparked any interest in how the Magna performs at high speed, here is the video that got me interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlk-iwpgxKk
 

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Mine is a 2003 so it may be different from yours but the main change that I want to make to it is to replace the spoked rims with the earlier mag type rims.
The main reason I switched to the cast wheels was to have tubeless tires where I could install a tire plug if I got a flat 200 miles from home. You can't do that with tube tires.

But, after I installed the cast wheels, I realized that I liked the look of the cast wheels better than the spoked wheels.

It's a fun and easy mod to do.
 

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No problems with high speeds, but I stay off of the interstates as much as possible. I've had it to 90-95 with no problems and room to spare.
 

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Puma, that's exactly what I feel. Probably I need to test drive something bigger. Or maybe it is just me liking going slow? Age? :)
After reading all these posts, I'm inclined to think that my old, old age might have something to do my getting worn out on the Vulcan on the freeways. I guess at my age, I just need a more comfortable ride.
 
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