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Discussion Starter #1
I last rode 30 years ago. I've got the itch again and find the Vulcan 2000 LT Classic irresitable. I'm in good health and good shape, but probably older than most of your fathers. Am I biting off more than I can chew with this bike?
 

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I last rode 30 years ago. I've got the itch again and find the Vulcan 2000 LT Classic irresitable. I'm in good health and good shape, but probably older than most of your fathers. Am I biting off more than I can chew with this bike?
not at all, if you are old it can only make you feel young again,
we are all going to die one day so do all the things you can while you are a live.

its a lot better and cooler than riding around in disabled cart like some old men,

just take your time on it, try it out for size and weight first , to see if it ok for you,
 

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short answer- I would say yes- lol- long answer below

30 years is a long time. I took about 18 months off and I found myself a little nervous for the first few minutes when I got back on a bike. Personally I would take the Basic Rider Class to brush up on your skills and then decide. Its a fun weekend and you will learn something new- always do. These big bikes are not going to be very forgiving when you screw up. Screw up on the bikes at school and chances are all you will be is embarrassed.

I am going to retake it just to get a break on my insurance and make sure my skills are up to par. Then maybe a class or two afterwords for fun. Worst case scenario you spend a couple hundred bucks and talk about and play on some little bikes over the weekend. Nothing wrong with that in my book..
 

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biter, No. go ahead chomp down on this monster bike. it will bark but it won't bite.. you. others maybe, but not you. see that you got yours w/Lettuce n Tomato. good choice. welcome to the crew. out, ponch
 

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Probably would be best and more safe to ride something smaller for a while on varied roads, including some with challenging bends, and under different conditions until you feel competent enough on that to graduate to the 2000. Not having ridden for 30 years, it's not like a person can just hop onto a heavy machine and ride safely and with confidence.
 

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I last rode 30 years ago. I've got the itch again and find the Vulcan 2000 LT Classic irresitable. I'm in good health and good shape, but probably older than most of your fathers. Am I biting off more than I can chew with this bike?
Well, unless you're over 80, you're not older than my father. :)

Short list for me; I'll be 60 in April. I have some significant physical problems. My last bike, after owning several street and dirt bikes, was a 750 Honda, sold in 1979 or 80, can't remember.

I bought a new 2010 vn900 Classic LT last August 27th, instead of a vn1700 Classic or a Honda vtx1300, both of which I would have loved to have owned. I bought the 900 because I was very concerned about not being able to handle the weight of a bigger bike.

It took me a few weeks to knock all the rust off of my old skills, but the main thing that I quickly learned was that it isn't strength that I needed to worry about. I dropped my baby twice, the first week I had her. I can't handle the weight of the 900 either. I dropped her because my balance was atrocious, not because of my physical problems. Not many people can hold up a 650lb bike, when it leans too far, any easier than they can hold up an 800lb bike.

So, now I regret my thought process at the time of purchase. I'd be happier with a bigger bike. I don't have many years left and don't have a big budget to waste on these toys. So, I'm stuck with the 900 for a while, maybe forever.

IMO, that's a big point that you need to take into account, when you buy your bike. You say you're an old timer that's in good shape. I say, make the best of the years you have remaining. IOW, take as big of a bite as you dare. You only live once.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate all your answers. As for the course--no question about it. In my state you pretty much have to take a course to get a MC endorsement on your license. But I'd have taken it anyway. After the course, I was planning to look for someone with a big bike who wanted to make a few bucks for some lessons on something closer to what I planned to buy. Maybe the course instructor, maybe someone else.

As for the weight issue, I think Kerry's got it right: Big difference between a 250# bike and a 650# one. But I doubt I could hold up a 650#er any easier than an 880#er. And I do suspect that sense of balance and agility matter more than strength . The 2000 is very low and feels very stable just sitting on it in the showroom. From what I read on forums and reviews, that is probably not an illusion.

I am wondering about riding and maneuvering the bike at walking speeds in a parking lot. My guess is that longer would be more of a problem than heavier. But I would also guess that with a little practice it would no longer be an issue.

Finally, a lot of you have said, in short--go for it; you only live once. And that resonates with me. The saying I've always liked is this: If you avoid motorcycles, fast women, and other risky things, you will PROBABLY live longer. But for sure it will seem longer. :)
 

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I last rode 30 years ago. I've got the itch again and find the Vulcan 2000 LT Classic irresitable. I'm in good health and good shape, but probably older than most of your fathers. Am I biting off more than I can chew with this bike?
The Vulcan 2000 LT is a beautiful bike. I like the black/cherry one myself, not sure what year it came out (2009?). But I've been riding now for 5 years (after a 25 yr. hiatus), and even with an MSF course and 65,000 trouble-free miles behind me, I still wouldn't get on the V2K. I'd call that "pushing my luck" as my mother used to say.

Find a dealership that has a used one and ask if you can ride it around the parking lot. That'll give you a sense of how it feels at slow speeds. Then I'd find a nice 1500 :)

Be Safe.
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IntheWind
'06 1500 Classic
 

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I am wondering about riding and maneuvering the bike at walking speeds in a parking lot. My guess is that longer would be more of a problem than heavier. But I would also guess that with a little practice it would no longer be an issue.
Yes, length is a large part of it, but there are several other issues that come into play as well. How the motorcycle fits you, is probably as big as anything, especially at low speeds. I needed to shorten my distance to the grips, so I could sit straight and still lock the handlebars on each side. Once I did that, my slow speed issues were minimized.

I'm a big proponent of the Ride Like a Pro 5 DVD. Buy it, watch little girls fling big Harleys around some low speed practical exercise courses and watch one of them pick up one of those big Harleys, from a full down position.

After I got my 900, I made up some practical exercises and did them every day, for 30 to 60 minutes. I heard about the Ride Like a Pro DVD here and bought it. It had similar, but better exercises than I'd dreamed up, and more importantly, it had good instruction on how to handle my big bike. To me, it and a couple big bike and motorcycling instructional books have been priceless.

You're looking at the biggest bike that Kawasaki makes. You're going to need to be serious about learning to ride it. It's a beautiful machine that I'd love to have.

If you buy it, don't like it, and wish for a smaller bike, I'll trade you my 900. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the offer, Kerry. Hope I never have to consider it. I'm in Maine, so there won't be any riding for another 3-4 months. Your suggestions re videos and books are appreciated. I didn't know they existed.

Mike
 

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Thanks for the offer, Kerry. Hope I never have to consider it. I'm in Maine, so there won't be any riding for another 3-4 months. Your suggestions re videos and books are appreciated. I didn't know they existed.

Mike
You're welcome, Mike. The DVD was invaluable to me, for low speed maneuvers and I implemented many of the tips immediately, with strong improvement.

Here is a link to an earlier post that I made on this site, about the books and DVD. It has a brief on each one that I hope you find useful. I'm on my second reading of the books and, much to my wife's annoyance, have viewed the DVD several times, trying to pick up anything I missed before.

Just click on the dark red "link" above and it should take you right to the appropriate post.
 

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The 2000 is very low and feels very stable just sitting on it in the showroom. From what I read on forums and reviews, that is probably not an illusion.

Not an illusion. The 2000 has a lower set height than the 1500 and 1700--really makes you feel like you're sitting "in" the bike. But the 2000 LT is a very heavy bike, probably weighs about 150 lbs. more than my 1500, which with all its accessories weighs about 740 lbs. Weight obviously isn't an issue when the bike is balanced, but when it's not? Case in point: early last summer I was pulling a uturn on the highway. I knew it was going to be tight but I tried it anyway. Half way thru the turn the bike started to drop; my left foot instinctively came down, saved the day, and I went on my way. But my foot was sore as hell for about a month. It came down hard, and I have no doubt that if I had been on a heavier bike I would have either dropped it or broken my foot or both (more than likely I wouldn't have pulled the turn). Just saying, there are a hundred moments like that every day out there, and the more weight you're having to hold up the more costly it could be.

I'm definitely one of those guys who should invest in Ride Like a Pro. I do pretty well with tight turns, but it's still not as intuitive as it should be. In any case, I wouldn't try those figure 8s with a Vulcan 2000. But that's just me.

Be smart, be safe.
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IntheWind
'06 1500 Classic
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In the Wind: I appreciate your time and advice. I see that you live in Massachusetts. I wonder if you live in or near Boston or along the US 1/I-95 corridor. I live in Maine and go down to Boston often--for example, I'll be there with my wife next Thursday--and could make time in the late morning or early afternoon to meet and talk a bit about bikes and riding, if that would be of interest to you and compatible with your work schedule. I'm a physician and consider myself a serious, if venturesome, person. I do other recreational activities that entail the risk of serious injury or death, but I am not a thrill junky. I'd like to ride, I'd like to ride a big bike, and I'd like to live (in good health) to talk about it. Your experience might help me in this decision. Best regards.
 

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I love it when people ask if they should get the V2K! Just 'cause I love the V2K! Maybe I'm over excited because the new just hasn't worn off yet - I've only had mine since October. Anyway, I say go get it! However, ride a smaller bike to get re-familiar with riding before you blast off on the V2K. Here in The Great State of Texas the MSF class is required for the motorcycle endorsement on your license. I'm glad it is because a couple of days on a 250cc Suzi really helped me regain my respect for riding two-wheelers after 33 years in a cage. Also, I had to take it real easy and just cruise around the neighborhood for a few days before I went out on the streets. Then I went straight to the nearest big empty parking lot and practiced slow speed maneuvers. All that to say this, no matter what you ride, take your time and be safe. As long as your feet can reach the ground, don't think you can't ride a big bike just because its big. just my two cents.
 

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In the Wind: I appreciate your time and advice. I see that you live in Massachusetts. I wonder if you live in or near Boston or along the US 1/I-95 corridor. I live in Maine and go down to Boston often--for example, I'll be there with my wife next Thursday--and could make time in the late morning or early afternoon to meet and talk a bit about bikes and riding, if that would be of interest to you and compatible with your work schedule. I'm a physician and consider myself a serious, if venturesome, person. I do other recreational activities that entail the risk of serious injury or death, but I am not a thrill junky. I'd like to ride, I'd like to ride a big bike, and I'd like to live (in good health) to talk about it. Your experience might help me in this decision. Best regards.
Mike,

Sounds like a good idea! I live on the South Shore (Fall River), but I drive/cruise up to the Boston area regularly (lived there for 5 years when I was in grad. school). My family is in N.H., and I'm often driving up there as well.

I have next Thursday off. I often go to the Barnes & Noble in Burlington, the one right at the Rte. 3 North exit off 95. I'd be happy to drive up and meet you there for coffee. I crashed many years ago so I tend to be on the serious side myself, and I tend to give conservative advice when it comes to bikes. Crashing sucks, and I'd like to spare as many fellow riders as I can that misery. Hence, my advice to move cautiously.

Let me know.
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IntheWind
'06 1500 Classic
 

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I have a 2007 Honda VTX 1800, which I bought new in 07, it is wonderful for the 2up riding we do. I had heart surgery, unexpectedly, in June and found it much too heavy to handle. We found and bought an almost new 2007 1500 Vulcan and love it. I guess I should say I"m 60 and thought I was in great shape also---- retired USMC Master Gunnery Sergeant.
I have been riding and owning bikes for the past 46 years all over the world. I would never consider a 2000 Classic after that much of a break. Take the course, look for a small used beginner bike---less $ invested if you decide it's not for you or you bang it up, get some practice, improve your skills and then move up to a larger bike.
Riding has changed so much in 30 years and not for the better you wont believe it. Good luck what ever you do.
 

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I have a 2007 Honda VTX 1800, which I bought new in 07, it is wonderful for the 2up riding we do. I had heart surgery, unexpectedly, in June and found it much too heavy to handle. We found and bought an almost new 2007 1500 Vulcan and love it. I guess I should say I"m 60 and thought I was in great shape also---- retired USMC Master Gunnery Sergeant.
I have been riding and owning bikes for the past 46 years all over the world. I would never consider a 2000 Classic after that much of a break. Take the course, look for a small used beginner bike---less $ invested if you decide it's not for you or you bang it up, get some practice, improve your skills and then move up to a larger bike.
Riding has changed so much in 30 years and not for the better you wont believe it. Good luck what ever you do.
I strongly echo this advice. I rode a Honda Sport 50 in high school in the 1960's and then did not ride for 40 years. I took the MSF course and then rode a Yamaha 650 for a year and 6000 miles. It helped me regain the skills as well as confidence riding in a lot of different situations. I then moved up to a 2009 Vulcan Nomad 1700. Buy an inexpensive used bike with the idea that you will move up when you are confident that you are ready.
 

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Big toys

I took about 25 years off riding, married with kids, career etc and then jumped right back in with a VN2000. Before I picked the bike up, I had them pipe it, chip it, doll it up with chrome......Then I took it out of the showroom, accelerated around the corner and scared the crap out of myself. Once I slowed down, and respected the power and weight of the bike, buying the big boy proved to be the best decision for me. Most of the previous concerned writers allude to low speed handling/weight issues with the 2000, and they are correct. It is heavy with a high center of gravity, but you adapt and overcome once you get comfortable. I am a big fella with an equally un-skinny wife, so payload concerns make the 2000 the answer. Buy the big bike, take it slow, short trips and lots of parking lot practice.:cool:
 

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I'am old 2

I last rode 30 years ago. I've got the itch again and find the Vulcan 2000 LT Classic irresitable. I'm in good health and good shape, but probably older than most of your fathers. Am I biting off more than I can chew with this bike?
HI I just started to ride a year ago I will be 67 in Aug. Have a Kawasaki 900 Vulcan LT, Ho what I have missed all the years. At this age yes it is a bit hairy, But I love it soooooo much. I now live to ride. That is now my life.
 

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I can certainly appreciate your experience. I started riding with mini-bikes in elementary school, dirt bikes in secondary school, and after a guy let me go around the block on his 250 street bike in high school, I was then hooked on the road. I almost always had a street bike until just before I got married and sold it. I bought another one (much smaller) just 5 years later for commuting to school. I already felt uncomfortable after only 5 years. It took a few hours of saddle time to get the feeling back. Now, I just bought a new 900LT. I am able to "handle it", but I know that I need some class time because I don't feel confident on it. I rode my little one (400) to school and back (1 hr each way) in rush hour traffic for years and I became very familiar with every aspect of it's operating characteristics (had to in order to survive! city riding is dangerous!).
I would like to feel that confident with the 900 as well.
I think learning how to work WITH the bike is the most important thing. To me, Brute Force manhandling is for dirt bikes.
My family (siblings) always asked when I was going to "outgrow" this motorcycle thing... I told them I will be riding home from my retirement party on a new motorcycle!
 
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