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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
buy vulcan custom or classic?? need some input

I took the MSF course and just received my motorcycle license. I have not buy the bike yet, but have I already decided that I like the vulcan 900. I need help to decide whether to get classic (wider tire) or the custom (narrower tire).
The only issue that holding me back is the front tire. Does size of the front tire make any difference as far as safety, maneuverability, etc?
Is it an issue at all?

thanks
 

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Both of these bikes, while handling differently, will still give you excellent maneuverability, and provide you with a safe and stable ride.

Is this your first bike ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, this would be my first bike. I rode before for about a year (about 200 cc bike 15 years ago), so I considered myself a newbie. By the way, do you have to remember what gear you are in to ride the bike? That is one of my concerns, sometimes I forgot or don't know what gear i am in. I drove stick shift car.

thanks for your reply, it helps a lot. I have been planning to buy a bike, just can't decide.

kantoboy from Texas
 

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I'm sure an entire book could be written on this subject.
Basically, the custom is more of a solo machine, the classic more suitable for 2-up riding.
They both share identical engines/drivetrain. Remembering what gear your in.....hmnnnn. Perhaps, regardless of what machine you buy, an aftermarket addition of a tach might be your first purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Silent Hill,

thanks for the info. One of the reasons i am buying a bike is that i can take my wife with me. I guess, the tire is not really an issue here.
 

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I have the classic and IMO I have hit cracks in the road and I am glad I had the wider tire. Just feels a lot safer having more rubber under you!!!
 

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If your wife is going with you, get the Classic.

The narrow tire on the Custom allows for better handling and I personally prefer the forward control foot pegs of the Custom over the mid-control floor boards of the Classic. I also prefer the straight handle bars of the Custom.
 

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The model will depend on your driving plans. Most of my travel is short so the bulk of a bagger was an issue. For long trips a detachable backrest and rack works fine with the wife...but adds expense. If I had more free time I would have gone with a bagger since I do long trips when time allows. Bags do come in handy but everything in life is a trade-off. I still prefer to run nekkid, I've got cages for the big stuff.
 

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I (and probably everyone else here) had to make that decision as well. I ran into a deal on a "07" Custom, with only 1700 miles, that was just too good to pass up. That made up my mind for me. I want to get the little woman on mine too, but haven't done so yet and I really don't anticipate she'll ride with me all that often. So, that wasn't a huge concern of mine. If she complains enough about the seat, I guess I'll be forced to buy a better seat. Won't that be terrible? :) I have no issues riding with the narrower front tire. I do understand your concern, but I've read on here from others that the actual difference between the two tires contact with the road is very minimal. If buying new and I knew going in that I wanted to ride two up, I think I'd go with the Classic or why not the LT? All the models are awesome motorcycles. Isn't it great to know you'll be happy either way you go? ;)
 

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Actually, my decision was easy. I bought the bike for myself and i prefer the looks of the custom over the classic

If you're going to ride with your wife frequently, especially on extended trips, the choice should be easy for you as well... the classic. It's much better suited for 2-up riding.
 

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I had some of these questions when I bought my first bike. Except for at a stop, and getting underway from a stop, the question isn't really what gear are you're in, the question is more 'is the engine rpm somewhat optimal ?'. This you control with the gear shift, and your ear is the tach. With experience it will become second nature.

I have the Classic LT and love it. Had I bought a Custom, I would probably love that just as much. One big difference between these two bikes is the wheels. Each wheel type has it's advantages, but the ability to put a plug in a flat on the road and resume your travels is a big one.

My wife would definitely not feel as secure on a Custom as she does on the Classic. With my Mustang saddle and wider sissy bar pad, even more so.
 

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I feel in love with the look of the custom. The front wheel pulled me in. I loved the drag bars and the stance as well. I have added my share of parts to increase the comfort of myself and my wife. I have everything on mine now that I could have gotten on a Classic LT. Big nice seat, bags, big backrest and removable windshield. The front tire is not as big of an issue as some people think. I doubt that there is very much difference in the contact patch of the tire where it meets the road. At road speeds probably 0 difference in handling. No doubt, a skinny front tire is not made for gravel roads and potholes, but that is not where you ride.

I good friend of mine owned a HD Softail Custom, late '80s. Same basic setup as the custom, but he had mini ape bars. 45,000 and some odd miles. He had made a couple trips cross country and was planning a trip around the outside of the US. Comfort is rider specific.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all guys for all the info. It helps me a lot. I really like the Custom, as teamsunbelt did, I can always add on all the accessories to make it more comfy or just go for the classic.

thanks a lot.
 

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I don't get where you guys think the Custom is only for solo riding. I ride with my wife all the time. Get a good seat {Mustang wide touring has a wide and thick padded rear seat} backrest to make your wife comfy. The bike can handle it no problem, as someone allready said they are the same setup, the monoshock can be adjusted for the extra person, breaking is the same on both bikes. If you like the look of the Custom better than go for it. I love mine, the forward pegs fit me well for longer rides, you can put anything on it you will need for luggage. I have done some touring {5000 mile trip to Montana last year} my brother and I ride together alot and a 400 mile day trip is fairly common.
 

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Buy the one that grabs your eye.
 

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I own a custom and solo and two up makes no difference. The front wheel of the custom is much prettier and that's why I own one. Also the other difference is the handle ars which I like the ones from the custom as well. The 900 custom front skinny tire handles very well on city and highway riding solo or two up, the bike still uses the same braking system as the classic. The only other difference is the seat but 90% of the bikers upgrade to a more comfortable seat so don't let that get on our way either. Even loving the looks of the custom better I ended up adding the rear fender of a classic due the classic looks. Now I have the custom wheels and handle bar which I preferr better and the longer classic style of fender.
 

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No-one is saying u can't do 2-up on a custom. You can do 2-up on a moped. The classic lt leans toward a better 2-up, tourer. Sheesh, that's why it's marketed as such. They are both beautiful bikes. I don't think anyone can argue that the custom "leans" towards a solo experience. That's why it's marketed as such. Of course u can mod either machine out of it's original purpose.
 

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I don't get where you guys think the Custom is only for solo riding. I ride with my wife all the time. Get a good seat {Mustang wide touring has a wide and thick padded rear seat} backrest to make your wife comfy.
I think the guys are saying that based on the stock seat, the Custom is for solo riding. Since both the Custom and Classic have the same engine, I see no reason why, with a comfortable seat, you couldn't ride two-up on a Custom.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you can add any modification on this bike, can you change the front narrow tire to a wider tire without any changes to other parts?

thanks
 
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