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Discussion Starter #1
My first bike was a Vulcan 800 Classic and I loved that bike...I sold it and got a sport bike :( big mistake, but it's a process finding the bike you want i guess.

I have made the decision to get a Vulcan 900, however the more I look the harder it is to decide between the Classic and the Custom.

I don't do short rides, I usually do day rides 10-12 hours long. I also do a couple of 3-5 day road trips a year. I will be getting an aftermarket saddle for sure.

I like the look of the Custom, but the Classic looks like it may be more comfortable for longer rides. I usually ride alone, but may take my wife for the odd 2-4 hour ride. Any suggestions would be much appreciated...thank you.
 

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Based on your criteria list, I would be leaning toward the Classic. If for just the long trips, long day & multi day, but having your wife on the back, she'll be more comfortable on the larger pillion of the Classic. I am more comfortable in the riding position of the Classic on longer rides. JMHO... :D
 

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For long trips like that would you be better off with a bigger bike? But if staying with a 900 then the classic. Wider front tyre and it all just looks better (imo).
 

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My two pennies, go with the Classic. I have and 07 900 LT and love it. Does me well on my 1000+ miles rides along with my daily 90 mile roundtrip work commute.

You can go with the base Classic model and customize it to suit your needs. Or you can go with the LT model and only have to change out the seat for those longer rides until you figure out what you want to change/upgrade.

Unlike fawlty99's question, I would recommend sticking with the 900. A bigger bike can be more comfortable out of the gate. With a different seat and some customizing to your needs/tastes, the 900 ends up be equally well in the confort and cargo categories. Where you pay is in the initial price of the larger bikes along with the long term fuel costs. This year I was looking at upgrading to the Voyager. However, seeing that it "required" 89 octane fuel (up from the 87 for the 900) and the lower gas milage (35 estimated for the voyager versus 45 estimated for the 900), I opted to invest in pieces and parts to make mine a mini-bagger. Still waiting on some parts to come in but you can look at bosco's signature picture to get an idea of what I am going for.
 

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Classics are a little more comfortable for rider and passenger, specially LT types that comes with all attachments for mid / long trips.

The classic has what i call "better geriatric riding position", hehehehehe

The custom is a little agressive, but you will ride like hell on it, taking curves is simply delicious and have a real custom look, it´s beautiful for itself not for the accesories on it.

CUstom´s front tire makes the bike more manuverable but you feel more the road damages (holes, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey thanks for the comments.

I knew someone was going to say "get a bigger bike". My brother and one of my riding buddies have Vulcan 1500's and another has a Nomad so I've ridden bigger bikes. I never had a problem keeping up with them or being comfortable with my V800C so I don't know why It wouldn't be similar with the 900. It really boils down to $$$ with me, I can get a nice 900 for 2-3K less than the bigger bikes. I can put that in the gas tank and ride...that's what I'm after.

I had heard somewhere that due to weight and other factors the 900 actually is slightly less powerful feeling than my old 800....does anyone know if that is a fact or just heresay?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Classics are a little more comfortable for rider and passenger, specially LT types that comes with all attachments for mid / long trips.

The classic has what i call "better geriatric riding position", hehehehehe

The custom is a little agressive, but you will ride like hell on it, taking curves is simply delicious and have a real custom look, it´s beautiful for itself not for the accesories on it.

CUstom´s front tire makes the bike more manuverable but you feel more the road damages (holes, etc).
I'm assuming you must ride the custom? That's what I was after, is the custom a better handling or feeling bike...in terms of rider feel with the road. I do like to ride not just sit there. Have you taken the custom on any trips? Have you added upgrades like seat or racks/luggage? How about wind protection?

Thanks!
 

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I ride a'07 Custom and from looking at stats and part numbers I've come to the conclusion that the only real difference is the front wheel and floorboards. You already said you're going to replace the seat and I know that Mustang sells the same seat regardless of which model you have. The driver peg assemblies are a bolt for bolt swap for the Classic's boards. So the leg position can't be much different. Personally I like pegs so 400-500 mile days are comfortable for me but some prefer boards. Although I like the look of all of the 9ers, I still fall in love all over again every time I pull the cover off that front wheel.

Oh yeah, the drag bars on the Custom mean you can't adjust bar position. That could be an issue for some.
 

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I ride an LT 06; I just finished riding with a bunch of people on HD's and one other Vulcan doing a 216 round trip on twisties. Had very little problem keeping up with all the HD'S with my 900 LT. Yes the bigger bikes can rip up a highway real quick if you’re looking for speed. My take on it is taking it slow and easy. If I was travelling all over the country I would of bought a bigger bike. But I do both I commute to work and will be making trips this season.

I think with the bigger bike I would use it less on my commutes and I would end up as a weekend Warrior. I could not see myself running to the store or to the market with a large bike LOL. So I found the 900 to be able to meet both of my needs and not be something that I bought that looks pretty in my garage. The LT model also had everything I needed. I didn’t have to fork out a ton on bags etc., it is standard on the LT. So if you’re looking for something to ride with very little Mods the LT over the classic for features. If you’re looking for something that rides sweet, good on gas, reliable, and you’re going to use every day with an occasional trip then the 900 is a great fit.
 

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For 2-up all day riding; I would go with the LT.

The stock seat on the 900 isn't great for the rider; but is TERRIBLE for the passenger. The pillion seat on the custom is worse.

Any aftermarket seat that is going to provide hours of comfort for your wife is going to look out of place on the custom.

The bigger bike advice may not be just about CCs.
Dual adjustable air shocks with four way damping beats the snot out of that mono-shock on the 9. ;)

Scott
 

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Long day on the Custom

We took both bikes down to my little brothers place a couple of years ago, heading out to Sturgis from southern Saskatchewan. I rode my V2K and my little bro and his wife rode the 900. I had toured the 900 up with a little shield and a luggage rack/backrest combo but did not change the seat. By the time we got 400 miles in my sis in law was in considerable agony.....even being a small girl. Front tire was not an issue, nor was the lack of floorboards, just the seat. She did melt her shoes on the stock pipes, now replaced with a 2 to 1. My bro bought a 2006 Nomad the next year, so way more room for sis...:eek:
 

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There are pro's and cons for both bigger and smaller bikes. While the bigger bikes may feel better on the long haul, remember that they are not only bigger, but heavier, so they're more bike to have to deal with, especially when stopping and maneuvering around a parking lot speeds. Compare the 650 lb. of the Classic LT to the 850 lb. for the Nomad! And that weight eats up the horsepower, too. Also consider that a big bike, like, say, a Nomad, doesn't exactly get the best gas mileage, either. I had a 2010 Nomad and felt lucky to get 40 mpg, and that was with being easy on the throttle. Our '10 900LT gets consistently 47--52 mpg and it's lighter and easier to manage, and just as comfortable. Consider that the 900LT is roughly the same size as the V2K, but with a smaller engine, yet it's very comfortable. We had a Russell Daylong saddle done, and it's an all-day comfortable ride. The downside to the smaller engine is that it runs out of steam quicker than the bigger one, but that's an issue only if high top end speed is a concern. I think most of us tend to ride at or near whatever the posted speed limit is, and that is not a problem with the 900.

If you just HAVE to have a big bike, then by all means, go for it, but don't short the 900, but from the kind of riding you do, I'd lean toward the Classic or the Classic LT.
 

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I haven't seen it mentioned yet, but remember the custom has a skinny front tire. Some folks really don't like that, there are even threads on this forum about swapping with the classic front end. Reason being; it tends to follow ruts and things. HOWEVER, it will lay into a corner quicker and be a bit more nimble.

That said, long trips and such, the fatter/smoother/more stable front tire is probably a better bet.

I know folks are saying get a bigger bike, there are definitely advantages; but.. I put 20,000 miles on my 900 last year alone. That includes several long trips, and one two week long trip. Whiting57 is from Canada and comes down here stateside and practically does a lap around the country before coming back! (okay not quite, but he piles on quite a few miles) WITH a trailer in tow! The 900 is a very capable machine. Displacement doesn't tell the whole story. The 900 is a BIG bike in terms of it's frame size, tire sizes, etc. It's also heavy, stable in the wind, etc.

Where it falls short of the big touring bikes is in a few areas. For one, the RPM's are high at highway speeds. Personally? I've not lost any sleep over it. But it seems to bother some folks (They are probably used to a lower revving bike and are white-knuckling it thinking it's about to explode cruising down the highway at almost 4,000 RPMS!). There is little vibration at highway speeds (To be fair, when I say highway speeds, I mean highway speed limits. Some report vibration when riding constantly at 85+mph). Next, the suspension is a basic mono-shock suspension. Not a problem on smooth freeways or well maintained roads, but you'll feel it off the beaten path. Roads with lots of filled in potholes and such would be better served on a bike with better suspension. It also lacks things like electronic cruise control, and has a limited electrical capacity for accessories. Finally, the classic has spoked rims which means tubes, which means roadside repairs are more difficult.

That said, it's also a little bit more nimble, easier in the parking lot, more fuel efficient, and has a longer range (and is cheaper!) than the big touring bikes. So I think you are going to be plenty happy on the 900 as a touring machine. I'm with ya, I'd like a big touring bike one day, but they still aren't free so I'll keep my paid off 900!

Also, just go ahead and plan the expense of an aftermarket seat. Classic or custom, the seat is awful. Save for a select few people, most VN900 owners HATE the stock seat. Uncomfortable isn't the word- unbearable is. IMO, an aftermarket seat is a must for taking the 900 anywhere.

I have a classic with hard bags, a trunk, highway bars and pegs, a stereo, and a Mustang seat with backrest. I can take that baby anywhere, super comfy for a long ride. I call it my 'couchasaki' because it feels like I'm riding my couch. Put my feet up, listen to some tunes, lean in to the backrest. Oh yeah! Correctly equipped, the 900 is one comfy ride.

By the way, if buying Used the LT is the way to go. When I was shopping (used), the LT's were about the same price as a classic, or maybe just a couple hundred bucks more IF AT ALL. I got my LT for $5000 in 2011, when there were classics for the same or more. The windshield alone was worth holding out, because it looks good and is a great windshield for touring. But then you get the nice bonus of saddlebags and a sissy bar!

If buying new, it's either/or. Just shop around and determine if the 900LT and it's accessories are better than what you could buy for the same amount of money (as the price over the classic). Currently it's an even $1000 over the Classic. So, if you are buying new, you might get a better deal on $1,000 worth of accessories outside of the LT package. If it were me, I'd get a memphis shades windshield, Mutazu hard bags, and maybe find a good deal on a Mustang seat, and be able to do that under a grand.
 

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Roman's, Great write up. Once I decided on the 900 (almost 2 years ago), I waited for a great deal and bought new (Classic) knowing I would change the looks (even from the LT). I like the low speed handling, and now that I have the Trunk/backrest dailed in for my wife (added the lower pad to the trunk, and move it back 2") she's a happy passenger out on the highways. I think we're all dialed in for the long haul (I even added a backrest for myself).

I like your "couchasaki" phrase, seems to fit very well with this bike. And like you it's paid off.... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good points about the value of a Vulcan 900. They are well priced for what you get. We all know our share of guys with nice big bikes and they've got a nice big payment to go with it....that just makes no sense to me at all. I want to put the money in the tank and ride!
 

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The wife has a new VN 900, I've got the V2K, also new, didn't cost us a cent. I was falsely arrested by some idiot cops down in Louisiana, THEY paid for them !! And yes, they BOTH are fine bikes in their own right.
 

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The wife has a new VN 900, I've got the V2K, also new, didn't cost us a cent. I was falsely arrested by some idiot cops down in Louisiana, THEY paid for them !! And yes, they BOTH are fine bikes in their own right.
Sounds like an interesting story! Would love to hear it sometime! LOL.
 
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