ATGATT900, both replies are spot on.
Wind and cold are two things that can make your ride not only miserable but also dangerous. Always look for the weather forecast for the day. I use http://wunderground.com/
If you have no choice but to ride in windy conditions definitely slow down, be aware of bridges, canyons, changes in landscape around you. A gust of wind may come suddenly through the opening and put you in a different lane or blow you off the road all together, especially if you are not used to riding in high winds. Seek alternative route via slower roads if you can. Keep your upper body more relaxed. Do not have a death grip on your bars, give it some flex, but at the same time do not relax it so that it is pulled out of your hands on the first bump. The legs should hug your bike but the arms should allow for some flex. Above all SLOW DOWN.
The cold is a separate thing from wind, but also can be quite dangerous. When you are shivering from cold your reactions are slower and your limbs are numb. The blood recedes from your limbs to protect vital organs. This is the beginning of hyperthermia. Generally as a rule of thumb look at the thermometer, and subtract 10 degrees (F). This will be the temperature at speed.
The riding gear
In US, cruiser riders like to ride in work boots, scull cap and a leather jacket. Some ride in flip-flops, bum-bag and a bandana. That’s fine. We are all adults and make our own choices. Call me a Sissy, but personally I ride in full battle gear. Alpine riding boots, Dainesse riding pants that zip up to the Dainesse riding jacket. Both are wind proof and have hidden pads on the knees, elbows, shoulders and back and a full face helmet. Not a US cruiser style outfit, but it protects me from the cold, wind, small rocks and insects. I recommend to use bike gear that is designed for riding. It will not save you from a 70mph impact with a wall, but it will make you feel more comfortable. And anyone will tell you that riding is a mind game. If you think you are going to fall, you will.
I know that many experienced bikers in US would love to throw rotten tomatoes at me for riding in full gear, but it is better to be worm and comfortable rather then cold and numb. Not to mention that getting hit with a small rock thrown by a car in front of you is rather painful.
And as far as looking cool, Well, You will look much cooler when you get home safe and sound rather than dead in the ditch. If you insist on riding naked, or in clothes that are in no way designed for motorcycling do that once you have at least 10,000 miles under your tires.
Know your Vulcan
Your Kawa speedo does not show you your true speed. Usually it is off by about 8% or so, and the final drive ratio is too high, thus all your gears are too low. So when your speedo shows 72 mph you are doing 65mph. And revs are way too high. Have you noticed that every cage was passing you at super sonic speed?
This can be cured by speedohiller
and installing aftermarket pulleys. 34 teeth on the drive
and 62 teeth on the wheel
. This gears-up your bike and you ride on the highway more like a cruiser. 900 has plenty of power for that, especially if you ride solo. Your throttle is less twitchy at higher speeds with lower revs. However, if you do this mode, you will lose power in lower range, so no drag racing with that setup. 0 to 60 will suffer, but if you are not trying to get from 0 to 60 ASAP and rather be more comfortable on highways I would recommend this modification.
Hope this helps.