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Discussion Starter #1
Having spent a week and change riding around Michigan for the 4th of July week (and a little before and after), I had a tough decision when I got home.

Namely, do I keep the 900 custom and try to fix the little nagging things that I don't really care for, or do I look for an upgrade in terms of size and comfort...

Aside from the high freeway revs, I had issues with wind protection and foot positions (which will be remedied next weekend, as I'll get to in a sec), not being visible enough (damn cagers on vacation not paying attention), and in my opinion, a little lack of pep (granted, this may have stemmed more from riding my buddy's Rocket III Touring while on the trip on occasion, but still).

When I got home, I spent a chunk of time talking with my wife (who was encouraging me to go find a bigger bike), and ultimately decided to keep the 900 for a few more years and simply "make it mine". I know that most of the upgrades and mods will be off the shelf and not terribly unique, but still, I'd like to make the bike a more amicable traveling companion. I only ride solo (at least for now), so two up comfort isn't an issue for me... in fact, I'll be removing the passenger pegs shortly.

Sorry for the long winded post, but I'm getting to the point... I'll list out what I'm planning on doing to the bike, and I'm going to ask those that have taken these bikes on long trips for their opinions on what else needs to be changed.

At the moment, I have a Memphis Shades batwing with windshield and lower deflectors for the batwing coming along with floorboards to replace the front pegs. Also planned (probably next month) will be the big three (probably going with a Cobra fl2000R, V&H Slash cut staggereds, and a BAK), and a couple other cosmetic upgrades. Eventually, I'll color-match the fairing to the bike and probably invest in some hard bags to make a mini-bagger (ala Whiting57's Custom, but in red, a far superior color :D ).

Any thoughts as to other items to make longer trips more comfortable/enjoyable?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, and again, my apologies for the long winded post, but I had to get a little rambling out...
 

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Nineballnut.

If you can afford it I'd go with the Cobra PowerPro fuel processor.

To calm down the engine revs at highway speed a pulley swap will help (Barrons or Scootworks).

Bags and a trunk are good for storage.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nineballnut.

If you can afford it I'd go with the Cobra PowerPro fuel processor.

To calm down the engine revs at highway speed a pulley swap will help (Barrons or Scootworks).

Bags and a trunk are good for storage.

Good luck!

Thanks for the suggestion KenDawg, but I have to ask... Without O2 sensors on the bike, how does the auto-tune actually adjust? My understanding is that it takes inputs from O2 sensors and uses that to adjust the fuel being injected to the cylinders...
 

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No O2 sensor required. Power measured at the crank shaft. This video explains it well. I use it and it's awesome. I have changed air cleaners, pipes, changed elevations (from sea level up to 12,000 feet). My bike has always ran very well with this product.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-EMd5psui5c#at=57

P.S. I have never made a purchase from JC motors.
 

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Have you already changed the seat? I couldn't do long trips on the stock seat. I have done a lot of the things you mentioned so my bike now has a new seat, batwing, hard bags, and engine guard with highway pegs, all for comfort. I may swap the handlebars and get a Barons pulley or two at some point.

Lots of good things about these bikes. As much as I like the thought of having a Victory or an FJR, I also don't like the thought of selling what I have now. There are advantages to bigger bikes, but I've made a 1600 and a 1900 mile trip on my bike (4 days and 5 days respectively) plus some 600-750 mile weekends on mine and it did fine.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the link KenDawg. That makes more sense now. I'll certainly budget for the autotuner after that video (hopefully I can talk the better half into the extra cash in the same timeframe :p ).

Graybush, I have already replaced the seat, I couldn't go more than 20 or 25 minutes max on the stock torture device that they call a seat. I rode with it for the first couple months that I had the bike and called it good. Ordered and installed the saddlemen seat over the winter. I'm glad to hear that the other upgrades are in line what others are doing and are happy with.

Thanks for the input guys. I'm always open to new ideas, and who knows, maybe I won't replace this bike, but something tells me that when my wife decides to start riding with me (she's adamantly opposed to getting her own) she will insist on something with a few more creature comforts.
 

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I hear ya, I recently...briefly... entertained picking up used Nomad or V2K. I was justifying it by telling myself that by the time I added all the upgrades and customizations, along with the price of the bike.. I could get a nice used bigger bike. The thing that caused the biggest problem for me is that I genuinely love my 900 in so many ways.

I decided that for me and the majority of the riding and commuting I do right now, the 900 is perfect. I ride mostly rural country back roads..even to work. And although I really like the V2K's, a bike that weighs another 200 pounds might be less fun / easy to drive around here.

Down the road when I start doing more distance driving, or IF my wife decides to start riding with me ( which she swears she won't be doing much ) I will get a bigger bike. But I believe that I'll be keeping the 900 for an around town bike. It's just a great machine.

But If you're really wanting a bigger bike, you should seriously consider getting one...especially since it seems you have your wife's blessing lol! No amount of money is going to turn your bike into a 1700 Nomad.

Choices choices...
 

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Hey I'm in the same boat. I'd like a bigger bike, but I don't have a burning, yearning need for a bigger bike. At this point, I can't justify spending the money when I'm pretty happy with mine.

I think the formula for getting the VN900 as comfortable and powerful as the VN900 can be is;

A GOOD aftermarket seat (Mustang, Russel, etc.)
"The Big Three", Pipes, Intake, Fuel Processor
Overdrive pulleys and/or a bigger rear tire to drop the revs
Highway pegs
Bars/risers if needed

I love my 900. It's a great bike, and I've put plenty of long-distance miles on it! Make it yours and you'll love it.
 

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Hey Nineball, your post sounds like almost everyone I've talked to. And the responses sounds like all I've heard before. I'm right in the same group. I like my 900, but sometimes wonder if the grass would be greener...then I realize everything I want to do is being done on the 9. I've had the scootworks front pulley from early on, and don't remember the ride before. Recently, it started making a weird thumping noise. I had a mechanic check it out, he said the people who installed the scootworks pulley put the belt on too tight (so it wouldn't make the whirl noise). It started wearing on the pulley. I had to replace the belt and the pulley. I went with the Baron this time. Same kind of ride. Nothing against the Scootworks pulley, it was the Kawasaki dealership that installed it for me, and tightened the belt too much. In addition, I've done the seat, hardside bags, risers, engine guards, pegs and windshield upgrades. I've got a light bar in the future, and can't decide if I want a batwing fairing or the Drifter front fender. I've made 700+ mile trips in a day and felt good about it. The 900 is a keeper for me.
 

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Timely post - get yourself a bigger rear tire. I just put an Avon 200 on my Classic and the difference is terrific. So much 'smoother' now. I was considering a pulley but now I don't think I'll bother. Best wishes in your quest to make your 9 ride like you want it to.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Any thoughts as to other items to make longer trips more comfortable/enjoyable?
Yeah, don't do

Also planned (probably next month) will be the big three (probably going with a Cobra fl2000R, V&H Slash cut staggereds, and a BAK)

I have a VN900 Classic with a BAK, PC-V, and Cobra Longs. Around town it's great. On the highway, with the aforementioned rev problem, it's obnoxiously loud and it's too high pitched for my taste. The pipes take the exhaust to the back of the frame, so it drives the sound as far back as it can be. The BAK also added a lot more noise up front. I can hear the engine working, I don't know how to describe it, but there is a lot more mechanical noise.

I have regretted installing those mods since I put them on.

The 900 revs high on the highway, but with the loud exhaust, it makes it worse.
 

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don't overlook...

...a seat change...and a pulley swap...but use Baron's pulley (well made)...I hear the scootworks quality is not too good, and has caused some whining, sometimes a little warped, etc.
 

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Bigger is not always better

Hey, I hear you on the desire to upgrade to a bigger bike. I've had the larger Vulcans and the weight with much higher engine heat in summer are big negative factors for me. The 1700's also take high test gas and the difference in insurance costs is double with Progressive.

Have you considered a throttle lock? I've used the vista cruiser with excellent results though it may be a bit ugly. It is easy to install and frees up the hand on long rides.

http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/vista-cruise-universal-cruise-control-metric-cruisers-with-1-inch-bars/part/VC-07-4041

Best of luck with your upgrades and decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into having a larger tire put on when I wear out the stock dunlop.

Hutson, I have a Brakeaway lock installed, couldn't be happier with it's performance. It was a little tedious to install, but it still only took around an hour from start to finish.

Yeah, don't do




I have a VN900 Classic with a BAK, PC-V, and Cobra Longs. Around town it's great. On the highway, with the aforementioned rev problem, it's obnoxiously loud and it's too high pitched for my taste. The pipes take the exhaust to the back of the frame, so it drives the sound as far back as it can be. The BAK also added a lot more noise up front. I can hear the engine working, I don't know how to describe it, but there is a lot more mechanical noise.

I have regretted installing those mods since I put them on.

The 900 revs high on the highway, but with the loud exhaust, it makes it worse.
Hayes,

Is the volume the problem or the tone? I certainly don't mind loud pipes, and I find the stock bike way too quiet, but I don't want to be regretting my decision later. I'm wondering if a larger rear tire and a front pulley would tame the revs enough on the highway to bring the noise levels to an acceptable level. I don't tend to do a ton of highway riding, but do make long runs on back roads (55-60 mph). When I'm on the highway, I wear earplugs for the wind noise anyway, so maybe the extra noise won't be such a big deal.

Based on the other suggestions, I'm going to add highway bars to the list, I'm kinda thinking that I like the look of the Lindby bars for the custom...
 

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I think "loud" pipes are pretty subjective. I am currently running Cobra short Drag pipes with no baffles on mine, and although it's loud...it has never caused me any discomfort while riding. I don't wear ear plugs or anything either. So I think it's something that you'll just need to play with and decide for yourself.. I mean you can always put the baffles back in.
 

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Ken Dawg..

...good to know...Baron's was my first pulley swap...I had "read" some things (typical of forum info), that guided me to Baron's...there is just so much info to weed through...sometimes it's hard to ascertain accurate info...I have thought about a rear pulley swap also...might try Scootworks...:)
 

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...good to know...Baron's was my first pulley swap...I had "read" some things (typical of forum info), that guided me to Baron's...there is just so much info to weed through...sometimes it's hard to ascertain accurate info...I have thought about a rear pulley swap also...might try Scootworks...:)
I have also read where some were not satisfied with the ScootWorks product. I was only commenting on my own experience. I am confident that Baron's makes a fine pulley. How do you like the change in the ride?
 

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I too am i the same boat. I love my 900 classic, but am toying with the idea of getting a bigger bike for two up long rides. Been doing the pro con thing about new or upgrades.
I have added hard bags, bacKrest and luggage rack. Installed a side emitting led strip from walmart around the stock headlamp, it really increases vivibility. Have had many cagers start to pull out in front of me then stop. Will put a post with pics when i get a chance. Items to do : new seat, pulley swap, fairing, lightbar, pipes, intake,bigger rear tire, Floorboards for wife, Possible trunk. With all of that to do i am wondering if I would be happier getting a 1700 classic and doing the mods to that?
Whatever I do I think I will keep the 900, Just can't see letting it go.
 

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Hayes,

Is the volume the problem or the tone? I certainly don't mind loud pipes, and I find the stock bike way too quiet, but I don't want to be regretting my decision later. I'm wondering if a larger rear tire and a front pulley would tame the revs enough on the highway to bring the noise levels to an acceptable level. I don't tend to do a ton of highway riding, but do make long runs on back roads (55-60 mph). When I'm on the highway, I wear earplugs for the wind noise anyway, so maybe the extra noise won't be such a big deal.

Based on the other suggestions, I'm going to add highway bars to the list, I'm kinda thinking that I like the look of the Lindby bars for the custom...
It's the combination of both. It's hard to explain unless you experience it. It just drones when you stay at higher speeds for a long time.

I think "loud" pipes are pretty subjective. I am currently running Cobra short Drag pipes with no baffles on mine, and although it's loud...it has never caused me any discomfort while riding. I don't wear ear plugs or anything either. So I think it's something that you'll just need to play with and decide for yourself.. I mean you can always put the baffles back in.
It's not painful, or a discomfort. It's an annoyance. It just drones and drones. If there was a 6th gear (I know, dead horse) then it wouldn't be so bad. 65 mph isn't so bad, but 75-85 is just annoying.
 
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