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Discussion Starter #1
(if i am posting this question in the wrong section, i apologize) Vulcans are cool bikes and want to learn more and leaning towards 900, but would like your feedback.

HEY Guys, NEED YOUR INPUT AND HELP!
hope all is well and pretty soon happy and healthy new year to all.

If you have aprevious link, please reply if discussion hasnt been talked about. I have did the research and currently and briefly messed around with a 250ninja and want to up grade to mid cruiser 750-1000cc bike. I prefer water cooled vs. air, shaft, belt vs. chain, and emphasis on high mpg and low maintence and some style. The basic four that everyone recommends and have talked about are 883iron HD, 750 honda phantom, yami star 950 and 900 Kawi Vulcan. Dont need ample power but dont want it to struggle when it hits 75pmg and feels like flattening out, that being said i dont need something that is a monster, i prob. wont do more than 90 on it.

I have narrowed it down to the kawi and honda...unless can be convinced other wise. I heard the suspension and read that its not firm at high speeds and rear braking is bad on the phantom and least power. And the vulcan, by a personal testimonial, said it was the best hand down, and the belt drive (which I am not that big on) can last up to 80k w/o maintence! but mpg are ok but i have even on this cool forum that the gear ratio is off and it revs at 5th and vibrates. And the vulcan may need a gear ratio kit to eliminate that......

Any advice/comments would be appreciated. Andany article or personal testimonies would be awesome, want to take advantage of next month sales for 12's vs. 13's, now is the time. tks.


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Pretty much any area that you've read the VN900 will be deficient in, the Shadow Phantom will be lacking even more. I love the looks of the Phantom, but it seems to be aimed more at the beginning rider, while the VN900 seems to be geared more toward intermediate riders, or as a first cruiser.

FWIW, since you're asking here, I'll assume you aren't in love with one bike or the other. Unless you are well-to-do, I'd suggest buying used. Even with discounts you'll get, you'll likely pay twice as much (for a year old NEW bike) as you would for a low mileage (few year old) bike. Kawasaki really hasn't changed much except for colors over the years, plus a used bike will usually have some upgrades that will save you even more money.
 

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I thought I wanted drive shaft after owning three priors, but belt drives are less expensive, lighter and the belts last for tens of thousands of miles. (As they do in our cars.) With HD you're paying for "image". I ride with a friend who regrets paying thousands more for his HD. The 900 isn't a street racer, but you can get off the line with most cars and cruise at legal highway speeds with no problem. Mine isn't broken in yet and I frequently have to watch my speed to keep it at 60. It wants to go faster and others say it gets even better after 1,000 miles.
 

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My opinion,based on my own experience:
I have owned 2 honda 750 shadows.They are gutless.Beautiful, butgutless.They only have about 39 hp max.It is a complete twist of your throttle hand to keep them at 70.That would be a deal breaker for me.I also owned a 800 vulcan,feels like the 900 to me.I also owned a suzuki boulevard 800.It sounds like its going to explode at 80 mph, but they are actually very good bikes.Buying used is smart.My 2011 was $5000 cheaper than a 2013.
 

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As a first time bike owner, looking at the same bikes you have before I bought my 3000mile 2006 Vulcan 900 CLSC (bought last year for $4, 000), I am totally satisfied with the power at high speeds as well as the stability and vibration. I still have original tires, although beit due new ones come spring. The adjustments to spring ratio can change the ride experience to your liking as well as tweeks to the belt if it becomes to noisy for the ears. I have driven friends HD sportsters and the like, but I often have people ask me if I'll try other brands such as Harley, Honda, Yamaha. I tell them that I am more than pleased with what I have now, not because of any loyalties or proud spirits, but because I have been given no reason to look else ware. Besides regular maint. with fluids my bike is more than spry in its aging self. I just hope to give it the care it has given me thus far. I would recommend Vulcan 900.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
mid cruiser choice

Thanks guys, keep your comments and advice coming, need all I can.

Used is great, but a dealer was offereing me a PRESS BIKE i believe 11 or 12 model vulcan 900 for $6k or so with 1k on it....I was worried that it was beat on already with these guys riding news articles on it and poundin it hard, but thats a great price i think as apposed to 8200$new 13' vulcan.....

anyway, what do you guys think of the uni-track rear suspension???? as oppposed to two shocks the phantom has. I heard the gas shock in the vulcan can run 175$ new not including labor, do you know how long they last???

I like that the vulcan 900 but still doing more homework. I think the phantom very low maintence including the shaft drive is a big plus. they both look great!

does anybody know city/highway mileage mpg? bc the vulcan is heavier, but both have efi, which i heard their at 50mpg???

thanks guys! happy newyear
 

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I can say that i am very happy with my 08 Vulcan Custom.
I also own a Suzuki VS800 which is pretty quick, it'll give the vulcan a run for its money, and its shaft driven, i am pleased with both bikes, however they dont make the Intruder anymore.
 

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I would imagine shocks would get old or ware out before the unitrack. $6,000 is not bad for a vulcan 900classic, but not great I believe. However, a newer model makes the price more inviting. Others who may not lower the price as much for a newer bike may make it more enticing as well. I would surmise to what others have said. Make sure you find a good deal, even if it is an older model. A deal you can trust in the quality that you are getting, away from the questions you pose about beating on of the bike may end up in the long run to benefit you more. Did that make sense? I bought from a gentleman who was older and experienced multiple makes and models. He had to sell due to medical reasons. He was polishing the bike as I took it from him. I could see the care that he gave this bike by the actions he had and spoke of when talking to him. This gave me calm and pleasure to know that it would be all me, not him, who would ruin the bike if that was God's will for my Vulcan. The gas milage is all in how you drive it. You can get far above 45mpg if you drive it right... ;) Later...
 

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You need to test ride each one , then decide. It's like the rating of Movies, everyone gives the movie two thumbs up then when you watch it you say, what are they thinking about it that movie sucked!!. I boughtmy 900 on price and looks, it is a bike I expect to do repairs just like when I bought my car. How much repairs all depends if you beat on it or take care of it.

Old saying is all in the eyes of the beholder!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
thanks guys, especially Vandy. I heard the reviews on the phantom's suspension was not good and the vulcan's link held up good and looked much cleaner too....plus, the reason why I asked, is that I like to have my GF ride with me so that's added weight, me at 225 and her at 155. So I wanted to know if I would have to replace them sooner or if they would effect the ridge or ergo's? I 'd have to think at 50k, they have to go.

I appreciate it. I wonder if I can access the dealers suggested maintence (besides the oil/brakes) schedule on line or if anybody has the link for the vulcan 900??And the same for the phantom's maintence schedule, if you guys let me know?

Do you guys have any problems with used PRESS BIKES, the guy here has that vulcan with 1-2k for about 6500 but its been prob. ridden hard, and he's going to start the one year warranty from the minute I sign the deal...tempted. Its wierd how I havent encountered the same PRESS BIKE deal at the honda dealers for the phantom?

tks
 

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I was in the same boat as you a year ago except I had a Vulcan 500 and was looking to upgrade. After months of research I narrowed it down to the vulcan 900 and the Yamaha 950. Air cooled vs liquid cooled was a big factor for me. Also I went and sat on the Yamaha and it just felt weird to me. Felt like I was on top of the bike and not part of it if that makes sense.

Finally went with the vulcan 900 and have no regrets. It does everything well but nothing great. Super low maintenance etc. Honestly I think my 500 was faster at least it felt like it but maybe only because I was new rider who knows. You cannot go wrong with a Vulcan 900. One of the best bangs for the buck out there.
 

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And rides two up no problem. I'm 215 and my girl is 140 and it cruises 70-75 with no problems as the high revs don't really bother me. Still some grunt left to get out of trouble but I'm not racing out there and don't care to.
 

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Thanks guys, keep your comments and advice coming, need all I can.

Used is great, but a dealer was offereing me a PRESS BIKE i believe 11 or 12 model vulcan 900 for $6k or so with 1k on it....I was worried that it was beat on already with these guys riding news articles on it and poundin it hard, but thats a great price i think as apposed to 8200$new 13' vulcan.....

anyway, what do you guys think of the uni-track rear suspension???? as oppposed to two shocks the phantom has. I heard the gas shock in the vulcan can run 175$ new not including labor, do you know how long they last???

I like that the vulcan 900 but still doing more homework. I think the phantom very low maintence including the shaft drive is a big plus. they both look great!

does anybody know city/highway mileage mpg? bc the vulcan is heavier, but both have efi, which i heard their at 50mpg???

thanks guys! happy newyear
Here, a BRAND new 2011 Classic is $6999 + $399 freight and set-up +DMV fees (which should be the same anyway). And this price is still negotiable this time of the year.
1000 miles = "used bike", depending on the other fees, that may be a fair deal, still not great.

Part of the thing I like about used "private party" deals is that there are no hidden fees. $4850 IS the "out the door price" also it's negotiable. This bike has been for sale for a couple months now, and if they are actually trying to sell, I'm sure they would take less, probably around half off of the $8200 for the '13 model.
http://eugene.craigslist.org/mcd/3516481470.html
 

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thanks guys, especially Vandy. I heard the reviews on the phantom's suspension was not good and the vulcan's link held up good and looked much cleaner too....plus, the reason why I asked, is that I like to have my GF ride with me so that's added weight, me at 225 and her at 155. So I wanted to know if I would have to replace them sooner or if they would effect the ridge or ergo's? I 'd have to think at 50k, they have to go.

I appreciate it. I wonder if I can access the dealers suggested maintence (besides the oil/brakes) schedule on line or if anybody has the link for the vulcan 900??And the same for the phantom's maintence schedule, if you guys let me know?

Do you guys have any problems with used PRESS BIKES, the guy here has that vulcan with 1-2k for about 6500 but its been prob. ridden hard, and he's going to start the one year warranty from the minute I sign the deal...tempted. Its wierd how I havent encountered the same PRESS BIKE deal at the honda dealers for the phantom?

tks
$6,500 is way too much. Here is a good deal for you but it is in New Jersey.
2009, 573 Mi for $4,600 not bad.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2009-Kawasaki-Vulcan-900-Special-Edition-FLAWLESS-ONLY-573-MILES-NO-RESERVE-/121044454632?pt=US_motorcycles&hash=item1c2ecfcce8
But just go and seat on one first. It depends how tall you are as well.
I got my Vulcan 900 a few months back and it is a totally different animal compared with my Honda Shadow 750. Now riding on 750 feels like a toy. Too short and not enough power. You get a lot of bang for your buck with VN900. Good luck
 

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As far as a fair deal. It kinda depends on how you want to spend your money. I think $6000 for a 2012 press bike with 1500 miles is not a bad deal. If you are talking an 11 or older or with more miles I think you can get a better deal. Also, I doubt the press bike is any more beat-up on than any other 1 year old bike, at least it wasn't a customer demo bike.

Also, my opinion on the 1-year warranty, it's not worth much at all. It is highly unlikely that you will even use it.

I bought my 08 in 11 with 2000 miles for $4500, which I think was a great deal
 

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I appreciate it. I wonder if I can access the dealers suggested maintence (besides the oil/brakes) schedule on line or if anybody has the link for the vulcan 900??And the same for the phantom's maintence schedule, if you guys let me know?
I had an older Shadow 750 (01 ACE) and now have a 900 Classic. I didn't think either one was a maintenance hog. The only thing I had to do often was clean the chain which won't be an issue for you regardless. I know everybody has their thing they like to focus on but with the two bikes you mentioned, I wouldn't sweat how much you'll have to work on them. Other than routine, scheduled maintenance on this bike the only thing I've done is change one turn signal bulb. The rest has all been optional stuff like change the exhaust, add accessories, and such.

I know Honda has updated the 750 line in the last year or two. When I was shopping they hadn't done that which is why I didn't even consider getting another one. It's my understanding that they still have rear drum brakes. Maybe not a big deal to you, probably not a big deal overall, but having front and rear disc brakes on a bike this size and price isn't asking for much, at least to me. I also looked at the 950 but every time I sat on one it felt really top heavy. I'm sure I would have loved it if that's what I had gotten but I went with the Vulcan and don't have any regrets. Sometimes it seems like we don't choose the bike, the bike chooses us.
 

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I think the 9 is the definition of a cruiser. If you enjoy cruising, smelling the grass, flowers, hydro, whatever....the 9 does it perfectly. If you feel the need to rip around town, pulling stumps out of your neighbors back yard....choose another. The 9 does what it was made for.....gently cruising, slowing down on life.
Regards-SH.
 

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I think the 9 is the definition of a cruiser. If you enjoy cruising, smelling the grass, flowers, hydro, whatever....the 9 does it perfectly. If you feel the need to rip around town, pulling stumps out of your neighbors back yard....choose another. The 9 does what it was made for.....gently cruising, slowing down on life.
Regards-SH.
That is what the V2K is for :D.
 
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