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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Looks like I'll be getting a Vulcan S, hopefully sometime soon. I want to use it mainly for commuting to work (about 30 min away in a rural setting to a small town).

I'm a professional photographer and often get called out on small assignments where I need to bring a bit of gear and hoping I can do this on the bike. I have a very good backpack that holds my camera gear - 35-45lbs in total, plus a tripod. The tripod can strap to the backpack if needed.

My question is, am I better off wearing the backpack or strapping it to the bike (rear carrier I'm assuming). I won't be doing this until I'm more comfortable with the bike, but I'm guessing that wearing the pack with 40ish extra lbs might throw off my balance more than strapping it to the bike itself.

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If it was me I would strap it to the bike. I used to wear a backpack to carry my clothes for work and mu lunch. Now it wasn't 40lbs. It was still bulky. Now I have saddle bags to carry and it feels much better being off my back.
 

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You want to secure it to the motorcycle somehow. Riding with a backpack is one of the more uncomfortable experiences, and I can't imagine 40lbs worth of gear on your back.

I ride to and from work sometimes and I've ridden with a backpack and with everything in a top case, and I can tell you the experience/fun factor of not having a backpack is night and day.

Believe me, you want to strap it down or place it in a top case/saddle bag.
 

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You want to secure it to the motorcycle somehow. Riding with a backpack is one of the more uncomfortable experiences, and I can't imagine 40lbs worth of gear on your back.

I ride to and from work sometimes and I've ridden with a backpack and with everything in a top case, and I can tell you the experience/fun factor of not having a backpack is night and day.

Believe me, you want to strap it down or place it in a top case/saddle bag.
+1 on the comfort comparison. Consider also that if you were to be in an accident, you (and possibly your equipment) would probably fare much better if the equipment were strapped to the bike.

As to the balance issue, it probably won't make that much difference, once you get used to it. You have to learn to adjust to the load by going slow and easy until you figure out how the load will affect lean, braking, etc.
 

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This is probably going to come down to personal preference. Walking around while carrying a 40 pound backpack is drastically different than sitting upright while wearing a 40 pound backpack, with the extra weight pressing down square on your ass. Arguments could be made either way as far as strapping your stuff to the bike vs wearing it and what would happen if you dropped the bike or were in a crash. Either way, you and your stuff and probably screwed. Also, can you try sitting on the bike with your camera bag to see if the back seat would interfere?

As for me, I only wear a backpack when I have to or for short distances. Both bikes have a tail bag/case for carrying stuff. I almost always wear a Camelbak on the XT250, but that's nowhere near 40 pounds. I do wear a backpack sometimes when going to work, but that's just a few miles each way. I'm not a big fan of riding with backpacks but it doesn't seem to bother some people.

Good luck with the new bike.
 

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Mike, have you already acquired your Vulcan S? You say you get called out for small assignments. Will this be on paved roads most or all the time? I live in a rural area and we have a lot of gravel/dirt roads. I am not sure if the Vulcan S is a good bike for non-paved roads. I know that's not your question but curious.

Looks like I'll be getting a Vulcan S, hopefully sometime soon. I want to use it mainly for commuting to work (about 30 min away in a rural setting to a small town).

I'm a professional photographer and often get called out on small assignments where I need to bring a bit of gear and hoping I can do this on the bike. I have a very good backpack that holds my camera gear - 35-45lbs in total, plus a tripod. The tripod can strap to the backpack if needed.

My question is, am I better off wearing the backpack or strapping it to the bike (rear carrier I'm assuming). I won't be doing this until I'm more comfortable with the bike, but I'm guessing that wearing the pack with 40ish extra lbs might throw off my balance more than strapping it to the bike itself.

Comments?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mike, have you already acquired your Vulcan S? You say you get called out for small assignments. Will this be on paved roads most or all the time? I live in a rural area and we have a lot of gravel/dirt roads. I am not sure if the Vulcan S is a good bike for non-paved roads. I know that's not your question but curious.


I actually ended up with the Vulcan 900 Classic SE. Still not a "dirt" bike but fortunately most of the roads on my area are paved. There's a few dirt ones but easily avoided.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Even in the super rural area I grew up in, visiting now, all of the roads are paved (instead of mostly gravel like they were a few years ago). Gravel/dirt roads, except for private roads and driveways, are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Though, they still exist!

My wife doesn't want saddlebags on her bike so she often rides to work with a backpack. But her office is just a few miles away; it's a very short commute. The backpack she's got is actually a 'motorcycle' backpack and has some nice straps on it. On long trips she'll load it and strap it to her fender rack on her bike (it's setup in a solo seat configuration).

On the 900, I think your best bet is probably going to be a sissy bar and a luggage rack. (Too bad you didn't get the Classic LT; you'd be halfway there, plus saddlebags). There are sissy bar bags that are quite large that will have a 'pouch' that slides over the sissy bar, it'll then rest on the luggage rack, and can be secured with straps. Easily on and off the bike and very secure. Alternatively, you can use a number of bags available intended for the passenger seat; some even have a nice backrest for the rider.
 

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Even in the super rural area I grew up in, visiting now, all of the roads are paved (instead of mostly gravel like they were a few years ago). Gravel/dirt roads, except for private roads and driveways, are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Though, they still exist! ...
I wish deep east Texas would get this memo. While most of the main roads are paved, there are still a significant amount of roads that are a mix of rock and dirt. You have to be careful when you turn off a main road onto another paved road because it may quickly turn into a dirt road. Delivering the mail in the area helped me discover many of these dirt roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I got a great deal on some leather saddlebags ($50). They don't have the quick release - old school buckles - but when I'm on the bike I'm not in a hurry anyway. So, I bought a couple of Pelican Cases (#1400). I've split the equipment between the two cases - nicely balanced, and they slip in, one on each side, into the saddlebags. I bought some ROK Straps and strap the tripod to the passenger seat. It overhangs the back of the seat, but works like a charm. I now ride to work - and ride to most of my jobs now. Happy!
 

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Good! Strap that stuff on the bike! I have an 05 Vulcan 800, with Leatherlyke saddlebags, and my laptop doesn't fit in them. I ended up with the laptop (and other stuff) in a Targus laptop backpack. It weighed 15-20lbs, and wasn't *too* bad on the 800. Now I've got a Vaquero, and the first time I tried to ride with the backpack, I thought I was gonna dump the bike when the weight in the bag shifted. Since then, if it doesn't fit in the saddlebags, it ain't going with me.

-John
 

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I carry so much stuff on my bike, guys at work have threatened to find a gooseneck trailer to connect with a fifth wheel on the back seat.

Grocery shopping, taking tools down to my parents or inlaws,
All the local gas stations have single hose gas pumps that puts 2-3 gals of Ethanol-gas in my tank before the ethanol flushes out, so I take a couple of 5 gal gas cans in the crate
1 can for flushing, the other so I can maximize the gas storage after paying top dollar for 87 junk
 

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I carry so much stuff on my bike, guys at work have threatened to find a gooseneck trailer to connect with a fifth wheel on the back seat.

Grocery shopping, taking tools down to my parents or inlaws,
All the local gas stations have single hose gas pumps that puts 2-3 gals of Ethanol-gas in my tank before the ethanol flushes out, so I take a couple of 5 gal gas cans in the crate
1 can for flushing, the other so I can maximize the gas storage after paying top dollar for 87 junk
The American Petroleum Institute says that at most, gas pumps contain 1/3rd of a gallon of gas. (WSJ Dec, 2008) That's not insignificant. If you put 4 gallons of fuel into your bike than that means about 8% of the fuel wasn't what you paid for. In my personal opinion, "mixer pumps" should account for that and it seems like a very deceptive and unfair business practice. Having said that, it's not 2 or 3 gallons and it's not as significant as many people exaggerate it to be. If you do the math, it means if you are pumping 93 and the previous user was pumping 87, then you're going to end up with 4 gallons that rounds out to just about 92.5. There's a lot of myths around ethanol too. It's not acidic like some people think; it's actually slightly basic, at 7.33 (water is 7.00). Gasoline of course is a hydrocarbon and doesn't mix with water so it's pH can't be tested. (And therein lies the real issue with Ethanol, it readily forms a solution with water. But in a very small concentration, it's not an issue except for very long term storage). While pure ethanol can be harmful to rubber components, if you remember from High School chemistry, diluting a solution changes it's properties. 10% ethanol is not harmful; though it does reduce performance. Motorcycles of all vintages are going strong in many states where ethanol-free fuel is not available at all, even Premium.


If you really feel the need to flush it, then 1/3rd to 1/2 of a gallon is MORE than sufficient. Or just make sure you pull in behind a corvette or something.
 

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Just make sure you pull in behind a corvette or something.

The American Petroleum Institute says that at most, gas pumps contain 1/3rd of a gallon of gas.
If you really feel the need to flush it, then 1/3rd to 1/2 of a gallon is MORE than sufficient.

(the real issue with Ethanol, it readily forms a solution with water. But in a very small concentration, it's not an issue except for very long term storage).
Sorry, didnt mean to hi-jack. :serious::embarrassed::serious:
Thanks for the Info :cool::cool:!!!
I do try to find a pump with the non ethanol in the hose, B/C just seems like its more than 1/2 gal in the line from the top of the machine down to the nozzle, plus who knows how much is really inside the machine. With the gas companies always afraid of gouging complaints, thats their story

This time of year I never know when the next time the bikes are going out of the garage, so I try extremely hard to keep the corn oil out of the gas tank

And now back to our regularly scheduled program
 

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I'm looking at saddle bags that I can take on/off easily as I don't want them on my bike unless I'm doing a long trip (vulcan 900 custom)... right now I have an Ogio Tail Bag that I use to bring my lap top/stuff for work when I ride my bike... it's designed for maybe 2 nights on the road - basically my toiletries and change of clothes... If the weather stays nice, I'll be testing this sucker out as far as packing for a road trip this weekend. I am looking at a larger option thou as I want to avoid a backpack!
 

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With that amount of weight that you would be carrying in the backpack, I would prefer to strap the backpack to the rear carrier. I'm also a photographer on the side and I would not have my equipment strapped to my back. I would put it in my saddlebags and rear carrier. That's my personal preference.

Irene
 

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I've always carried items in attached bags such as tank bags, saddle bags, fork tool bags, etc. I'll never ride a motorcycle with a backpack on. If you go down, it's a good way to get a spine injury. A broken bone will heal. A broken spinal cord won't.
 
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