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I'd always thought when I move up, it would be the 900 Classic LT (though I have never ridden one). Now I'm having second thoughts. I really love running the twisties and my 500 is pretty agile in the turns. When I move up, I don't want anything that feels heavy or lumbering on the curvy roads. On the other hand, I would like something that feels confident and stable on the open road. Are the two mutually exclusive? How agile does the 900 feel on the twisties?

Am wondering now if I maybe should look at something like a Suzuki V-Strom 1000 or a BMW R1150. Due to budget constraints it would need to be something that is plentiful in the 5 - 10 years old range. Comments or suggestions?
 

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I have a 900 Classic. Of all the bikes I have owned its the best. I like the twisties as well.
This bike is so nimble my son in law on his 500 Gilera sport scooter thing with all the ground clearance in the world cant keep up with me through the twisties. I have never been left behind by other bikes on a run. I reckon they are the best all round bike there is, they do everything well. It feels like a sport bike through the curves, and its rock solid feel on the road at all times is brilliant. The faster I go the more solid it gets.
You have asked the wrong person with me, there is only one bike now, and its the 900 for me.
 

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I'm not sure if the boards on the LT mount the same way the pegs do on the 900 Custom, but if they do, the one thing to keep in mind is that the 900 doesn't have abundant cornering clearance. I guess it was for styling reasons but Kawasaki made the 900 with really great handling for a cruiser but not quite enough cornering clearance to go with it. Of course, the LT might not handle quite the same as the Custom does with the tire and probably weight differences.
 

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I'm 350lbs currently and have never felt the 900 to be anything but nimble. It's a great tradeoff between power and weight. I use it as my regular in-town bike, but it's also plenty capable of highway speeds (here that's between 55 and 70). I regularly take mine out on the country roads and get some twisties in.

I've very happy with the nim-bility(?) of the bike. It's never felt too heavy or unweildy. There are obviously some corners that you need to slow down before going through, but that's true of any cruiser. They aren't made to be sportbikes. I feel like the 900 handles the twisties as well as my wife's Shadow 750.

And as for the comment on clearance - it has plenty of clearance. I don't know that I've ever scraped.
 

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Am wondering now if I maybe should look at something like a Suzuki V-Strom 1000 or a BMW R1150.
They would murder a 900 in the twisties - all other things being equal. That being said the 9 is not bad for a cruiser. The narrower front tyre on the custom might make it slightly easier to throw around corners. I find the classic wants to sit up a bit instead of lean in.
 

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I'm on a Custom and come from a sport bike background, swapped out that stock 180/70 rear tire that I had 2" chicken strips on and did what most people would call "made a huge mistake" by putting on a 170/80 Kenda Cruz.

Bike leans ALL THE WAY to the sidewall now w/ the taller, skinnier rear tire. Made my Vulcan 10x more fun in the twisties.

My 900C keeps up with my two riding buddies on their SV650's, I gotta flog it but I'm right there with 'em for all but the tightest turns.
 

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The 900, compared to other cruisers, is pretty nimble. The custom with the thin front wheel and forward mounted pegs is going to be a bit more corner-friendly. Whereas the classic with the floorboards and fat front tire is going to be a bit more stable.

That said, if it's all about the twisties for you, then you really are in the wrong genre. I could put a trailer hitch on my car and tow a small trailer but if I was gonna do it every day I'd want a truck, right? The 900 is a lot more nimble than a lot of cruisers out there; but it won't hold a candle to the bikes you mentioned or any other sport or sport touring bike. Folks who mentioned out running sportbikes and things did so on their ability and/or their partners lake of ability, NOT the performance of the machine. More ground clearance and lighter handling will always beat the heavy and poor-ground-clearance 900.

Just my $0.02! Love my 900. Intend to keep it for a really long time. Phenomenal bike. But it is what it is and it isn't what it isn't! It's a cruiser that can handle well. But it's no comparison to the V-Strom or other sport-touring machines.
 

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I am with Romans on this one. Do you want a bike that handles good, or do you want a bike that handles good for a cruiser. I got a V2K, the most lumbering, ogre, 18 wheeler version of a motorcycle that Kawasaki ever made. Is it powerful, yes. is it fast, yes for a cruiser. Will it beat a 250 Ninja in the twisties, probably not.

So do you want a fast and nimble cruiser, or do you want a most standard or sport like bike? Try some out and see what you like the most. If you can.
 

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I had a Honda 750 Shadow and my 900 seems to handle corners much better. There is of course more ground clearance on a tight turn.

I suggest you stick with the lighter sportier bikes. The 900 ain't no toy... I consider it a mans bike! :D You won't see me going down the road doing 90 on one wheel.
 

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I suggest you stick with the lighter sportier bikes. The 900 ain't no toy... I consider it a mans bike! :D You won't see me going down the road doing 90 on one wheel.
I don't think OP wants to go down the highway on one wheel. I think he just wants to be able to push the envelope in a corner. I think there's a big difference between a squid on a sportbike who has never even been ON a corner, who lives on the interstate and is either doing 110 down the highway or stick in traffic; and a guy who throws a backpack on and takes his sportbike out for a long ride out on some great twisty roads to enjoy it in a way only a sportbike can!

If I had the extra money for a 'fleet' of motorcycles, I'd probably have a sport-touring bike, probably a BMW (rode one and loved it), and take it out to the twisties now and then. My stepdad has a BMW R1200GS and I absolutely love it. Not enough to be my main or only bike, but I would love to have one 'in addition' to my other bike for some twisty road riding.
 

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This is my other bike... (not my pic, but exact model) and this bike is pretty much for the mentally ill w/ a 2 wheel passion...


and I'm telling you, that bike sits more than my Vulcan after I went w/ the 170 rear tire. The low and heavy weight of the Vulcan is much more confidence inspiring than my very tall and super light motard.

Just sayin!
 

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Ground Clearance

I have a Custom and many times in very tight turns my boots have scraped the pavement due to the lean angle. :D The 900 is heavy also. :eek: Don't exceed the lean angle or the bike could fall over if not going fast enough for the gyroscopic nature of the wheels keeping the bike up.
 

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I have a Custom and many times in very tight turns my boots have scraped the pavement due to the lean angle. :D The 900 is heavy also. :eek: Don't exceed the lean angle or the bike could fall over if not going fast enough for the gyroscopic nature of the wheels keeping the bike up.
Long before the bike falls over you'll not only scrape the peg, but the peg bracket/frame mount. When you do that, you'll wish your saddlebags had some Wet-Wipes stashed inside 'em!
 

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I have no experience with the LT but my custom handles excellent for a cruiser. I wouldn't challenge any sportbikes but outcorner some of my buddies 80s standards, cb750, kz650 ect. The stock tires are not the best but love my 180 metz 880's. The footpegs are also a bit low as a few have said, but just let the sparks fly. I've dragged my pegs up at 80mph and thats pushing the bike to the very edge of what its capable of.

and also project 48 that thing is SICK. kinda jealous right now. One of my dreams is a super duke 990.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone for all the feedback. My problem is I want a bike that does everything perfectly...ha! Just have to decide what is priority. Doesn't sound like I would have any regrets with the 900. Unfortunately you can't just go out and test drive any model like you can a four-wheeler, so I rely on other's experiences.

Grizz - can't imagine scraping the pegs at 80...that would be a real clincher for me!
 

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My problem is I want a bike that does everything perfectly...ha!

I ride a 900LT for some time and before i had a shadow 750 and a Suz M90. Out of these i like my 900 the best and will keep that for some more time. However i've been thinking to keep a second bike with a different soul, not a cruiser. I tested a few bikes in all categories.

super sports: in 250 - 600 and they are very fast, can not handle that power, could not adjust with the riding position, can not carry stuffs around.

nake bikes: again in terms of power and handling same issues as above, but seating position is comfortable.

But among all what i like is the dual purpose category, i love the ducati hypermotard. Great power, good seating position, can carry stuffs, better handling, brembo brakes, good for everyday rides and long rides. You will have a clear vision of the road and around from that seating position. BUT you wont have the feeling of riding a cruiser. You will miss the rumbling sound, road presence, weight, chrome, torque, slow speed cruising etc.

So what i'am saying that you wont get a bike which does everything, and you have to choose a bike which could give almost all your flavours. Or you keep a second bike with a different soul than from a cruiser.
:D
 

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My problem is I want a bike that does everything perfectly...ha!
Easy, Just get many bikes that way you have a choice of what flavor you want for the day, lol. But like most people I am limited and I chose my V2K because it done the things that I think are more important better than others that I could afford. I would like a more nimble bike, but I would rather have a bike that is comfortable and fits me better than one that does not fit but is nimble.
 
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