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I am one ridiculously happy Birthday Boy today. Turning 54 and this morning I went down to my local Kawasaki dealer to take ownership of my brand new 2014 Vulcan 900LT! :cool: Took the MSF course two weeks ago to refresh my skills after 30 years since last on a bike.

All I can say is that after my first ride on my new bike, I am SUPER PUMPED right now. Like, totally silly and a bit obnoxious, walking around the house hooting, hollering and fist-pumping. After my dealer spent a few minutes going over the features again, it was time to swing my leg over my new baby. I spent 20 minutes tooling around the dealer parking lot getting a hang of the friction zone doing quick stops and starts, and getting used to the weight. (I was nervous about handling her 600+ lbs. after only having ridden a Honda Nighthawk for the MSF class!) But she is balanced real nice and in no time I had it down pretty well. Then it was time to roll onto the busy street -- I'd be lying if I told you my heart wasn't flippity-flopping a bit. :dont-know:

Headed out of town a couple miles and turned into a bigger empty parking lot, which I'd scouted out earlier in the week. Then really hammered away on practicing starts, stops, swerves, clutch/downshift/brake, etc. - all the stuff I could remember from class. Eyes up. Hand flat on the throttle. I told myself if I could start from 1st for 20 times in a row without stalling, I'd be ready to head back onto the road and deal with traffic. And so I did, quite easily.

Then it was down the road a bit further, then back home, for a total of 26 miles. The weather was crystal clear & sunny, just a bit breezy. Lucky birthday boy. :present:

First impressions:
  • I was anxious about using the heel-toe shifter, but was relieved when the sales guy told me I could ignore it while getting used to the bike. Heel-toe could get mastered later. I did play around with it to shift up a few times as I was approaching home. A matter of time and muscle memory.
  • After engine was warm, I found I had to roll on a bit more throttle when starting from first than when engine was cold.
  • In high gear I took her only up to about 55mph and was buffeted by the gusty wind. Will have to get used to that kinda scary feeling.
  • I enjoyed the fellowship of riders -- the wave as riders passed was something I'd forgotten. Comforting somehow.
I feel exhilarated to now be back in the saddle after such a long time away. But above all, I feel a keen sense of HUMILITY. Respect the road, respect the bike, respect the community, and always stay within my comfort zone. I have a feeling it will be a LONG time before I will no longer consider myself a novice. But oh - what a feeling!

Have fun and be safe, everybody!

Peter
 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Enjoy ride safe. Western Mass nice riding roads find the roads that go along rivers or golf clubs and state parks 116 and 17 look good on map, get out early when roads are clear, the more time in the seat the better you get. Good safe riding. nomad11 out.
 

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Happy Birthday pan. Enjoy the new ride. Let's see some pics of the new toy.
 

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Love my 900 classic LT. I never had a heel-toe shifter before, but I became a big fan of it almost instantly. I don't think I could ever go back to a bike without one, quite honestly.
 

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Got my very first motorcycle EVER (94 Vulcan 1500) a week ago. And I've been like a giggly school girl whenever I look at it or ride it. So I know the feeling. Congrats!
 

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Congrats on the birthday and the new ride .... I have got up a few Christmas mornings to find a new bike under the tree , the card always says "to me, love me", its the bike I wanted at the time and came in the color that I liked ... go figure.

The "9" is a great ride, I tell others, it does not do all things "great" ... just "most" things well ... enjoy.
 

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Funny - I also turned 54 this year and just bought myself a 2008 Vulcan 900 LT on Nov. 15/14. Unfortunately, the weather here in Calgary was snowy and cold so I had to trailer it home with the help of a good friend. Probably will not be able to ride my new Toy until the Spring but this gives me time to give her an oil change and put her away for the winter in my heated garage. The last street bike I had was a 1970 Yamaha 350 which I rode back in the late 70's. I have ridden many off-road bikes and quads since then though. My good friend has a Gold Wing and he recommended buying at least an 800 or 900 cc V-Twin as he felt I would quickly regret buying a smaller street bike. I can hardly wait to get out riding - especially with all the great comments I see on the Vulcan 900!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
VLT900, good to hear you've got so much faith in the VN900 and motorcycling, not to mention the promise of spring, that you carted one home to wait out the long Alberta winter! You will have a lot of fun when the roads are clear. 4 months in, I absolutely love this bike. Have logged about 1,400 mi and have done as much commuting to work as I can, rain or shine. And I assure you I take the extra-long way home every day. I miss her when I can't ride. Still riding now here in Massachusetts, but the mornings are getting very cold now -- though my overpants and Aeromoto jacket keep me toasty warm, my fingertips get pretty cold after 20 miles. I'm putting her into winter storage next week.

Enjoy the ride!
 

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VLT900, good to hear you've got so much faith in the VN900 and motorcycling, not to mention the promise of spring, that you carted one home to wait out the long Alberta winter! You will have a lot of fun when the roads are clear. 4 months in, I absolutely love this bike. Have logged about 1,400 mi and have done as much commuting to work as I can, rain or shine. And I assure you I take the extra-long way home every day. I miss her when I can't ride. Still riding now here in Massachusetts, but the mornings are getting very cold now -- though my overpants and Aeromoto jacket keep me toasty warm, my fingertips get pretty cold after 20 miles. I'm putting her into winter storage next week.

Enjoy the ride!
Thanks for the kind words Peter!. Glad to hear you have a few days of riding left before you put her away for the winter. I can hardly wait to get out riding in the Spring but at least this gives me time to get my gear together and pick up a good riding book. I'm very glad to hear you are very happy with your 900. I think for me it will be mostly getting use to the weight and larger size of this bike compared to the last one I had. Take care, Les
 

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Welcome aboard. I turned 54 this month as well. Treated myself to a '12 1700 Voyager about a month ago. I have had several big bikes, but this is my favorite so far by a long shot (even over the Gold Wing 1500). Ride safe and enjoy it!
 

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I turned 54 this year myself. Treated myself to a '12 1700 Voyager. REALLY glad I did! Be patient and careful and you will enjoy it for many years!
 
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