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I currently have a 500 and have been looking at getting a 900 classic. What is the talk about the "highway revs"? My 500 does fine at 70-75 and I commute to work about 30 miles each way. Is the 900 better or worse than the 500 at these speeds? Anyone went from a 500 to a 900?

I mainly want the 900 for a bit more room. Any advice?
 

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I went from a virago 535 to the 900. I don't have any issues with it but I can see how people can find it buzzy. I have exhaust, which for some reason helped remove that feeling of reaching for another gear. Before that, I would kick to shift from 5th right into 5th.

The rpms at 55mph are around 3500. It is pretty buzzy in my ears once I get up around 65/70. I blame my jug huggers for that tho. Thinking back, I don't remember my 535 being to bad either
 

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I rode a parallel twin 650 in the early 70's, and the power band was 6k and up, smooth as a babes, but, a single pin crank, v-twin revving at 4000rpm(70mph), is a different beast. Most big v-twins run 1.5krpms to 2.5krpms at 70, but the 900 is a small,(by today's standards) short stroke v-twin that must rev higher to produce any horsepower. And it will produce some horsepower. And some vibration, and IMHO will clatter like a diesel. Ironic to think when I started riding a 900cc motor was a monster.

Yes much more room to stretch out. More stable on the Highway, really nimble for it's size and weight, both on the road and parking lots. The bike itself does just fine at upwards of 80, it's the people,like me, who have trouble with the revs.
But I am going to keep mine for a little while longer.
Just my opinion of course.
 

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The thing is, it bothers some, and others could care less. It definitely rev's, and there are noticeable vibrations, but it doesn't personally bother me. Gloves with a gel pad in the palm or aftermarket grips will almost or completely eliminate vibrations in the hand, and good boots or cheap gel insoles will eliminate vibrations in the feet. I never feel anything in my seat. From there, it's just the 'psychological' factor, that your buzzing at 4,000 rpm's on a bike that 'feels' like a big twin that should be glub-glubbing along.

Run your 500 on the highway in 5th gear for a while. If that doesn't bother you, then the 900 definitely won't. (For those of you who don't get why I'm giving that advice: The 500 is a 6 speed. So, my theory is, that'll be buzzier with more vibrations than a 900, so if that doesn't bug him, a 900 in top gear won't either)
 

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There are always a few ways to lower your revs at high speed, i.e. larger rear tire or different pulleys. I am still running stock for these parts, and cruising around 70 isn't bad. Like Romans said, it is mostly psychological. You feel like it should rev lower, but once you accept the higher revving motor, it's no big deal.
 

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My daily commute is 30 mins. 20 minutes of that is highway at 70-75. I don't think there is a problem with the revs at all. I'm running stock tire sizes for now, but I will be upgrading to the ME880 200, as I understand it should lower the revs a little.

Like the others said, it may be a mental thing, the 900 is my first bike so I have no pre-conceived thoughts on highway revs.
 

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I have no issue with the revs. The only way to know is test it and see if it bothers you. The gearing on this bike is a little unusual. They obviously wanted it to feel like a big, short-shifting cruiser, and it does that very well, but that means first gear is very short (really just for getting off the mark) and the higher gears cover a lot of ground. Personally I find it a very flexible engine. It's making maximum torque at round 55-60mph in fifth, and maximum horsepower at around 100mph, so it's certainly not struggling.

As for vibes, most engines of this kind are going to make some that you can feel, but again they don't bother me and more importantly don't seem to be harmful. My old ZZ-R600 was the comfiest bike I ever rode, but after a long spin my fingers would be starting to go numb because of vibration through the bars. I've generally found vibes on 4-cylinder bikes to be less obtrusive but more harmful.
 

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I am looking forward to finding out what this bike feels like at speed. My old 1985 Maxim X ran north of 6000rpm around 70. (It also redlined at 10,500 I think) It def had vibration. So I don't think the 900 will bother me a bit. Keep in mind the bike is built to handle highway speeds and the motors from what I have read are dependable. It isn't going to bother the bike one bit it's all in your head and what the rider likes.
 

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The 900's rev high at highway speeds of true 65mph+. What I mean by this is if the bike is stock the speedo will read 65mph but you will be going about 59mph true speed (a good reason why you see some 900's riding slower than normal trafic). As you can see this issue doesn't bother many of the 900's current owners but for those many others that traded or sold them this was probably the number one reason why they got rid of it. To fix this problem I highly recommend both SW pulley and even the larger tire. I did on mine and now truly enjoy highway riding and if it wasn't for these upgrades I would have traded a year ago. Now I can go true 75mph+ very smooth just like the big boys bikes my friends own. Some claim that by doing this you loose power but had mine like this for over a year and I haven't experience that. You only have to adjust to the new shifting points that's all. You will loose some gas mileage but if you're coming from a 500 then you probably don't care much for that.
 

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My son's KZ550 LTD ran north of 5k in 6th at 75; engine smooth as silk, chassis too light and small for adequate 50+ miles rides for him. He loves the 900; much smoother chassis with no high frequency buzzing, engine not working hard at 75.

Went on a 350 mile group run the other day; I was the smallest bike in the group by 150 pounds and over 400 cc. We ran superslab at 75 and two laner at 65. The only time I felt like the bike was buzzy was when we entered the superslab for the last time as a group into heavy, heavy traffic; I was revving the pee out of my 9 from a dead stop to 75 in third at the bottom of the ramp (malfunctioning entry lights). At 75 in 5th though, felt no vibrations of any kind, just blissful riding.
 

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You will loose some gas mileage.
Actually, you shouldn't loose any mpg. Your odometer has slowed down reflecting fewer miles than you have actually gone. I compared my miles traveled with a buddy who rides a Harley. We traveled exactly 100 miles according to his ODO. Mine showed we traveled 91 (~9% less). Since SW states a 11.something reduction I split the difference and just added 10% to the miles I travele. If I fill up and the ODO says I went 150 miles I add 15 (10%) and divide by the number of gallons I put in. Since the pulley swop, I seen a 2-3 mpg increase.
 

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I would like to add one more thing. Although the 900's speedometers are off a bunch when stock, the odometers are fairly accurate. Again, that's with stock pulleys.
 

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Took Traveller, my 900, out the weekend before last for a last ride for a while. Just had knee surgery and will have another one. At 70 the bike runs awesome. I cranked it up to 80 for about 10 minutes, to say, the bike has more than enough power. I could probably run it 90 to 95. Still have stock pipes so I don't get the buzzing others talk about. Haven't tried 75 in third yet. But the 900 has plenty of power. Can't wait to recover and ride again.
 

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I currently have a 500 and have been looking at getting a 900 classic. What is the talk about the "highway revs"? My 500 does fine at 70-75 and I commute to work about 30 miles each way. Is the 900 better or worse than the 500 at these speeds? Anyone went from a 500 to a 900?

I mainly want the 900 for a bit more room. Any advice?
This is my response, copied and pasted, from a similar question on the 500 page. I sold my 500 and bought a 900 just about a year ago:

I have to say that I prefer the 900. The 500 was quick and easy to handle, but the 900 has it beat. One thing I did notice was that the 500 had more kick to it. When I would downshift and hit the throttle, it felt like the bike would jump...the 900 is much smoother and you don't notice the increase unless you look at the speedometer. (I should mention that my 500 was a 1998. My 900 is a 'new' 09. You can see pictures of the 500 here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/105575501543130957932/NewToy

Here are some pictures of the 900 on the day it was delivered:
https://picasaweb.google.com/105575501543130957932/VulcanClassic

Here are some pictures after adding a crash-bars, windshield, sissybar and saddlebags:
https://picasaweb.google.com/105575501543130957932/BikeAndZ

One thing I notice a lot on these boards is the 'bigger is better' mentality. I cannot always agree with that. The 500 was an awesome bike, and we are keeping an eye out for a good deal to get another one for my wife who is also a rider, though has not ridden much due to the boys. I can easily see it taking longish rides and easily handling the highways.

What I like about the 900 is (as I say a lot) it is a perfect bike for the 51 weeks of the year that I make shorter (<75 mile) rides and is very good for the other week when I may make longer rides (>200 miles). The 500 can handle that also, but I find the 900 to be just a bit better overall.

Apparently, the 900 revs higher at 70+ mph than some people expect. I have not noticed this. Of course, the engine works harder at higher mph, but it really is not an issue for me. It has been suggested that you should ride the 900 at 65mph in 4th for a while, then shift into 5th...just to see how it feels. I think my 900 does fine in 4th, and the shift to 5th gives a better idea of how the engine is handling the speed. Some of the riders on the 900 page have towed trailers cross country with no problem, and I don't see any problem with making longer trips.

Let me know if you have any other questions or if I did not answer something...

End paste.

Since that post I have taken more >200 mile rides and the 900 handled them just fine. My last trip I did about 600 miles in a day. I know others have done more, but for me that was my longest ride yet.

I will say it again: The 900 is an excellent all around bike. It will handle your commutes with no problem, while being easy to handle and comfortable. It will also handle the occasional trips with no problem. If you are going cross-country every weekend, then maybe something bigger is needed. But for what you described, the 900 should be an excellent choice.

You will hear about the revs and other such...if you are driving at 70+ you will feel it, for a bit. On my ride last weekend the bike seemed odd after slowing down. I was doing 75 for stretches of an hour or more, and when I had to slow down for fuel it seemed that there was something wrong. It was just that after getting used to the higher speed, the noise at 40 just didn't seem right.

It is interesting: if you go to the larger bike forums, people there are asking about getting more power, more torque...so it is not unique to the 900.

Rod
 

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Thanks for all the info. Putting cash down on one today and should have it by next week!
Excellent! A Classic, you say?
The Red ones are fastest, but the Blue ones are most reliable. I think the Green ones are best for picking up girls, but I could not verify that...
:)

Rod
 

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Yeah 2009 Classic. Black.
Black? I guess those are pretty good, too...
:)

The color thing is a joke that runs around the 900 group, just FYI.

Rod
 

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Thanks for all the info. Putting cash down on one today and should have it by next week!
Congrats! You know I've been coming up from the 500 section following this thread, as well as others I've found.

"SV" thank you for the insight. I just find the CUSTOM too SEXY to ignore and see one in my future....someday.
 

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Thanks for all the info. Putting cash down on one today and should have it by next week!
I remember when I was about to take my 900 home :D

Awesome bike. Enjoy!
 
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