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Longest week of my life waiting to get my MSF completed, insurance shopped, M1 test taken, passing, all of it while my new Vulcan sits in the garage. Check check check DONE! Freeedom at last. After riding a Honda nighthawk 250 for two days and horrors at DMV I took the Vulcan for its first ride and I still have the same dumb smile on my face I left the garage with. Now I know why my dad had bikes all these years. A few things I have learned--
This bike is really fun to ride. I get the "wave", I own a jeep so I'm used to it, but in my two days of riding I have realized that crotch rockets don't wave at me and 3/4 of other bikes do wave at me. My hands get numb very fast. I realized that all of the threads about fuel tank are completely true :( mine is reading empty with light on after only 120 miles on full tank ,still almost half full. Two days of riding under my belt and couldn't be happier. Pic is from first ride in the countryside northern nor cal.
 

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Awesome. and more to come!
 

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Longest week of my life waiting to get my MSF completed, insurance shopped, M1 test taken, passing, all of it while my new Vulcan sits in the garage. Check check check DONE! Freeedom at last. After riding a Honda nighthawk 250 for two days and horrors at DMV I took the Vulcan for its first ride and I still have the same dumb smile on my face I left the garage with. Now I know why my dad had bikes all these years. A few things I have learned--
This bike is really fun to ride. I get the "wave", I own a jeep so I'm used to it, but in my two days of riding I have realized that crotch rockets don't wave at me and 3/4 of other bikes do wave at me. My hands get numb very fast. I realized that all of the threads about fuel tank are completely true :( mine is reading empty with light on after only 120 miles on full tank ,still almost half full. Two days of riding under my belt and couldn't be happier. Pic is from first ride in the countryside northern nor cal.


The hand numbness is just stress and you will get over that when you get more comfortable on the bike. Sport bike guys are totally different and don't expect many waves. Some do, some don't. When I ride my sportbike I am concentrating. First gear does more on my Daytona than the first 3 or 4 gears on the Vulcan 900 so we have our hands full to say the least. As a new rider, wear as much gear as you can, and remember to concentrate. As you get more familiar with the bike don't slip into car mode and daze off. Respect the bike and the fact your traveling on only two little pieces of rubber and you will have a great long lasting relationship. Enjoy!
 

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Congrats on the new ride. I did the same MSF to license route and was glad I did it that way. I've also taken the MSF advanced rider course to force me to practice the slow tight turn stuff. Ditto darkarcher's comment on the gear. You've got a great looking bike, so stay protected so you can continue to ride it. I'll tell you to enjoy, but I know you are already doing that. :)
 

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Lots of reasons sport bike riders don't wave. Some hate cruiser riders, I think some people just crave polarization ("us" vs "them") so they simply have to create a group to hate and, guess what, you're it. Some are just too busy concentrating. And around here, some, frankly, just are really inexperienced and don't ride very much. A lot of sport bike riders in this area use their sport bikes about the way I use my baseball glove. Once in a while, when the weathers nice, for a few minutes, when I feel like it. They don't ride long, they don't ride far, and they don't ride often. Frankly, waving is probably a little foreign to them anyway. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. I wave at everyone. Heck I wave at kids on their bicycles when I'm going through town. I wave at bearded guys on old cast-iron Harleys and I wave at 16 year olds hanging onto their R6's for dear life. Craigslist is full of 5, 6, 7 year old sport bikes with 2500 miles on them. At least out here.

Like others said, the numbness will go away as you learn to relax, and as you learn that the bike isn't going anywhere without you and you don't have to hang on so tight! Heck, on long rides on the Vaquero, I have the cruise control set, left hand in my lap, right hand resting on the grips but not even holding on! The bike wants to go straight and stay up, it takes outside forces to make it do something differently. You don't have to hold on tight (but that comes with experiences).

Gel-padded gloves my help a little bit. But honestly the first handful of rides for me I had the same numbness issue and miraculously it went away as I calmed down, got relaxed, etc.

You're riding a stock 900 though. You don't know numbness until you're on that 900 long enough for your rear end to go on strike! Ha! (Unless you're one of the very very select few who seem to be able to handle that stock seat for long).

Enjoy it! It looks great! As to the fuel tank issue, there's a thread somewhere on how to fix it. I traded my 900 in last week with 39,000 miles on the clock (bought it with 6k I think, if I remember right) and in that time I never once felt the need to fix that fuel gauge issue. The light is pretty accurate. You've got about a gallon when the light is on bright and steady. Which, to be on the safe side, is about 35 miles. You CAN go farther than that, but there's something to be said for not draining the tank to fumes. I always just got gas when the light came on, ignored the gauge. Reset the trip odometer every time you get gas; and you'll eventually start to get a feel for how far you can go. My wifes bike doesn't even have a fuel gauge. She's got the trip odometer and a low fuel light. All you really need! The Vaquero's low fuel light kicks on with about a gallon and a half left. Which sounds like not very much but it's a 5.2 gallon tank. That means it's got a little more than a quarter tank left when the light comes on! A few miles after that the electronically-controlled and melodramatic fuel gauge suddenly drops BELOW the "E". The bike is a big baby when it comes to fuel :)
 

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Longest week of my life waiting to get my MSF completed, insurance shopped, M1 test taken, passing, all of it while my new Vulcan sits in the garage. Check check check DONE! Freeedom at last. After riding a Honda nighthawk 250 for two days and horrors at DMV I took the Vulcan for its first ride and I still have the same dumb smile on my face I left the garage with. Now I know why my dad had bikes all these years. A few things I have learned--
This bike is really fun to ride. I get the "wave", I own a jeep so I'm used to it, but in my two days of riding I have realized that crotch rockets don't wave at me and 3/4 of other bikes do wave at me. My hands get numb very fast. I realized that all of the threads about fuel tank are completely true :( mine is reading empty with light on after only 120 miles on full tank ,still almost half full. Two days of riding under my belt and couldn't be happier. Pic is from first ride in the countryside northern nor cal.
Good for you for taking the MSF class. I was riding for a few months before I took it and wish I would have done it before I started riding. My first bike was a Honda CB250 Nighthawk. Yes, the same bike as at the MSF course. I put close to 15k miles on it before I moved up to my 900. After you get some miles on the bike, go back and take the advanced course. It is well worth the time.

I wave at everyone on two wheels. Most wave back, some don't. Just the way it is.

Read the sticky on here about fixing the fuel gauge. Takes just a couple minutes and less then a buck if you can find the resistors locally.

As for your hands going numb, try to loosen your grip just a bit. Chances are you are holding on too tight and getting "white knuckles." It does take some time getting used to the feeling, but it is normal.

Ride safe and have fun!
 

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Sounds about right. I think I do have newbie death grip. I will try and calm that down on todays ride. I am getting much more comfortable with the bike as the miles and turns roll on. Imo, we don't need any new restrictions or requirements in this country but I do think the safety course should be required for an M1. I learned things and techniques that will probably save my bacon. I even taught my friend who has been riding for a couple of years some things he didn't know. He never took the course and hopped right onto a sport bike. CRAZY. He didn't even know what counter steering was. Are the kuryakyn ISO's as good as they look for dampening vibes? I am thinking this will be my first upgrade.
 

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Yeah I'm with you. I know a lot of older riders, been riding all their life! But experience doing it wrong isn't the same as knowing how to do it right. Got into a conversation with one guy about counter steering. He overheard me talking to a teenage kid who was riding his first motorcycle and was asking me questions and I explained counter steering. He walked over to me and said it was total BS and he had never heard of it. And he'd been riding for 40 years! (See, if you do something for a long time, it makes you an expert right? Well, not quite, but he thought so). Also, you never know what people mean. I met a guy who told me he rode for 60 years. Wow! Asked him what he rode. Well, 60 years ago he had a Harley, which he rode for 2 years. Then he wrecked it. And then a year ago, he bought his Yamaha. So twice. He's ridden twice in 60 years. Not "riding for 60 years". But I digress. Our "road captain" is pretty adamant about wanting people who ride along with us on our longer Saturday rides to have been through the MSF course. Old Harley rider whose had just about everything with two wheels you can imagine. 15k or so a year on a motorcycle every year for decades. He definitely knows what he's talking about. And he definitely knows how important what they teach you in the MSF course is! He took it many years ago on a whim and says he learned a lot.

Anyway, I noticed in a later group ride (that's why the guy was there, he was invited along for a ride), he absolutely could not keep his lane. At all. He ended up creating a gap because he was unable to stay still. Like a little kid in the checkout line it was just back and forth, back and forth. I pulled up next to him and told him he ought to at least TRY counter steering. Dude was like a teenager after his first kiss. I mean he was GIDDY. Next stop he says "wow! That's so cool!". He was (sort of) keeping his lane, better than before, and was just totally amazed at this new found ability. Whodathunk that you can precisely control a motorcycle without needing to throw your weight around and hope it turns?

In reality everyone is counter steering, that's how the bike works. Some just don't know they are so they are wasting a lot of energy on extra unnecessary muscle movements and not having the same level of control as being intentional about it. All it takes is a little pressure!
 

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Sounds about right. I think I do have newbie death grip. I will try and calm that down on todays ride. I am getting much more comfortable with the bike as the miles and turns roll on. Imo, we don't need any new restrictions or requirements in this country but I do think the safety course should be required for an M1. I learned things and techniques that will probably save my bacon. I even taught my friend who has been riding for a couple of years some things he didn't know. He never took the course and hopped right onto a sport bike. CRAZY. He didn't even know what counter steering was. Are the kuryakyn ISO's as good as they look for dampening vibes? I am thinking this will be my first upgrade.
Congrats on your new ride. You have taken some steps in the right direction by taking the MSF course. I recommend you consider also taking the "ride like a pro" training class if it is available in your area or at minimum get the DVD. Good stuff on low speed maneuvers. Also consider buying a copy of the book "twist of the wrist 2 by Kieth Code". You can also view a 1 1/2 hour video on you tube same title. Kieth explains in detail the mechanics of how and why motorcycles behave the way they do. A lot of things are counter intuitive like, holding on tight to the bars amplifies many problems instead of controlling them etc.

Just assume you are invisible to cagers. Keep aware of what is all around you (especially behind you) at times. Maintain the 2 second rule (or longer) you learned on the MSF course, check your bike frequently including tire pressure and you will be in good shape.

This forum is a great place to get input on lots of different subjects.

Welcome to the world of 2 wheel freedom and this forum.
 
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