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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone,

New guy here. I'm looking at a used Vulcan 900 for sale locally and it looks like a very clean and well cared for bike. It's a one owner 2009 Classic LT with 6.5k on the odometer. I have been reading up on these bikes and seem to have found some complaints. The most common complaints I see deal with the following:

1) the speedometer from the factory is inaccurate...improved by figuring out your bike's unique % that it is off

2) the low fuel gauge is inaccurate...solved by knowing a safe range to fill up regarding when the light comes on

3) at speeds of 70+MPH, the motor revs high and the bike can become quite buzzy...solved by the under pulley upgrade

4) the spoked wheels require tubes, which make some people uneasy and worried about flat tires...solved by cast wheels or not worry about it due to the rare occurrence of flats

5) the stator seem to go bad at 25k miles...cheap to replace and possible DIY

6) the stock factory seat generally needs an upgrade...person preference. Testing is the only way to know for sure.

With my riding style, I avoid highways. I cruise the country back roads of Ohio and enjoy the scenery. Most posted speed limit signs are 55 MPH and I average 60 MPH.

Will I be choosing the correct bike by going with the Vulcan 900 Classic?

Thanks for your input!
 

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BOTM Winner, May 2015
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You'll get a excellent bike. Very low, extremely low mileage. And I'm suyre for a great price.
 

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Love my 900

Stator problem was fixed after 2007 - don't worry about this.
If you are doing lots of higway travelling Front pully will do the trick I dont find I am really bothered by the revs as I do mostly day trips.

Fuel gauge is easy to fix - search the forums. I just fill up based on mileage anyways.
I added a 179 rear tire and my gauge is out by 1.5 mph compared to my gps.

I believe these bikes are among the best value for the bucks.
 

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With my riding style, I avoid highways. I cruise the country back roads of Ohio and enjoy the scenery. Most posted speed limit signs are 55 MPH and I average 60 MPH.

Will I be choosing the correct bike by going with the Vulcan 900 Classic?

Thanks for your input!
My '12 Classic does very well in the 50-60MPH (indicated) speed range solo. Not sure how much (if at all) my speedometer is off. Never ridden 2 on it. If you don't plan on doing a lot of 70+MPH (actual) over long distances with a passenger, I think the 900 is a great choice. Just my opinion based on my experience.
 

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Hey everyone,

New guy here. I'm looking at a used Vulcan 900 for sale locally and it looks like a very clean and well cared for bike. It's a one owner 2009 Classic LT with 6.5k on the odometer. I have been reading up on these bikes and seem to have found some complaints. The most common complaints I see deal with the following:

1) the speedometer from the factory is inaccurate...improved by figuring out your bike's unique % that it is off

2) the low fuel gauge is inaccurate...solved by knowing a safe range to fill up regarding when the light comes on

3) at speeds of 70+MPH, the motor revs high and the bike can become quite buzzy...solved by the under pulley upgrade

4) the spoked wheels require tubes, which make some people uneasy and worried about flat tires...solved by cast wheels or not worry about it due to the rare occurrence of flats

5) the stator seem to go bad at 25k miles...cheap to replace and possible DIY

6) the stock factory seat generally needs an upgrade...person preference. Testing is the only way to know for sure.

With my riding style, I avoid highways. I cruise the country back roads of Ohio and enjoy the scenery. Most posted speed limit signs are 55 MPH and I average 60 MPH.

Will I be choosing the correct bike by going with the Vulcan 900 Classic?

Thanks for your input!

I think that just about sum's it up. Props for doing your research. I don't think the low fuel light is inaccurate though. Just the gauge. Also mine doesn't get buzzy until around 80mph now but I still don't mind it. Something satisfying about pushing a motorcycle hard.

I will add one to your list. Seems to be difficult to find a windshield that doesn't cause extreme buffeting. I am on number 3 and still working on it.

Where you at in Ohio, I am in Cincinnati. I have "fixed" most of the problems if you want to see what its supposed to look and sound like!
 

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Sound like a good bike, especially if you trust the owner's records on how the bike has been cared for.

1) I don't worry about the speedometer being off. I know it reads a little higher than reality and am ok with having it be that way (rather than the other way around).

2) fuel gauge --- just use the odometer to track your mileage for a given tank. My first bike didn't have a fuel gauge. I also pay more attention to mileage rather than the gauge for my other vehicles as well. Once you know how your bike runs you'll be fine just monitoring the mileage.

3) I haven't noticed my 2013 Classic being "buzzy" at speeds above 70. I'm not convinced this is an issue other than some people being more sensitive to what they feel is too much vibration.

4) I have considered converting the spoked wheels to tubeless, but I've resigned myself to the fact that a flat is going to require a tow. The only thing that has me still concerned is a massive tube failure. I've heard it can be a pretty squirrely experience.

5) I'm not certain about the stator reliability on a 2009. The aftermarket alternative has gotten a lot of positive feedback on this forum.

6) The stock seat has been ok for me so far. The longest stretch I've gone through has been about 1.5 hours with no complaints.


Will you be choosing the correct bike by going with the Vulcan 900 Classic? Based on how you say you ride then I think the answer is "probably so". I love riding around on back roads, sitting up straight and soaking in the views.
 

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The low fuel light is accurate and saved my bacon. I had done the resistor mod and later bent the fuel float rod and didn't think I had actually bent the fuel rod much if any at all. Well, during a ride the fuel light went on but it still showed 1/2 a tank of fuel. I wised up on my way by a gas station and decided to fill up. Sure enough I had overdone the corrections. After filling the tank I reached up and pulled the resistor and sure enough I had bent the fuel rod enough to make the fuel gauge read accurately. Regarding the speedo I always drive 10% over the speed limit so in actuality I'm driving the speed limit on the vulcan. Personally the number one mod for me was that stock seat. With a bad L5-S1 it wasn't fun. Now on a Mustang seat and I'm much happier. For what you want to use it for, it's a perfect fit. Pretty much how I use mine except not in Ohio.
 

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You're riding is like what I do (leisure country, etc.) and I'm liking the bike more and more after only owning it since last Sep ... stock seat is fine for me (5'7", 170 lbs).
 

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I do not think you can go wrong with the 900, but I am biased. With the LT windscreen the bugs stay away! Great range with the 5.3 gal tank (you can burp in a extra .2 gal.)
Handles like a smaller bike, keeps up with ones that are bigger. If you de-badge it, lots of "other" bike owners like it. Buy what you want, ride it and make it yours.
 

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I agree with what the other guys have said. Based on what you said your riding style is, I think it's a perfect bike for you. The best thing is see how it fits you. Sit on it, if possible take it on a short test ride. Get a quick feel for her and make you judgments from there. You did your research prior to purchase (which is usually done AFTER the fact) and you know what to look for. If after getting a feel for whether or not it's a good fit for you, there's plenty of options to tweak it to a perfect fit.
I've had my 900 for just over a year and have put almost 7000 miles it. I absolutely love it. Once I finish the bagger conversion I'll probably put another 5k on her this year :)
 

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Colt

From what you describe as your intended use the 900 is a great choice. I have the custom version ride about 7K per year. Pretty much all weekend backroads @ 45-60 mph. This speed range in right in the sweet spot of the VN900 IMHO. It can cruise at 75 but is a little buzzy at higher speed.

I went with the Michelin Commander II 170/80 tire on the rear which corrected the speedo to within 1mph. Happy with the new tires good grip reduced revs a little. The commander 2 is a little taller than other brands of 178/80 tires. Lots of threats on this forum about tire options.

My only real issue has been the stock seat which I repalced with an aftermarket one.

Lots of pros about this bike, low cost, reg gas, easy basic maintenance, good torque, peppy (but not fast), easy to ride and pretty forgivable, you won't be popping wheelies.

Initially I had planned on an HD sportster, but my research indicated it would feel small for me at 6'1". Everything pointed me to the VN900 within my price range. Overall I am very pleased with my 900, I think you will be too.
 

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) I haven't noticed my 2013 Classic being "buzzy" at speeds above 70. I'm not convinced this is an issue other than some people being more sensitive to what they feel is too much vibration.

Im so glad to see people are saying this now. My bike isnt buzzy at all. Ive ridden buzzy bikes. This bike is nothing like those, trust me.
 

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Buzzy is a relative term. What I meant by buzzy is that you can tell the revs are up there and there is a little more blurring in the rear view mirror, neither a big deal.
 

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I don't think it's "buzzy" at higher speeds either. However, maybe that is the reason my girlfriend always has permagrin when she's riding with me.
 

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You'll enjoy it!

1) Most bikes speedos are inaccurate. You can get a speedohealer, or just get used to it. It's really not a big deal.

2) Know your range, but the light is accurate. You'll be on "E" with plenty to go but the light will faithfully come on when you've got about a gallon left; which means you've got 30 or 40 miles until it runs out. Lots of bikes don't have a fuel gauge. My wifes Honda just has a low fuel light. She never has a problem using her odometer and relying on the low fuel light.

3) Yeah it gets buzzy. Pulleys help. It personally never bothered me. If I was going to do a lot of interstate I always wore my gel-lined gloves and had gel insoles in my boots.

4) It's not 1930. Tires are better, roads are better. Flats are rarer and rarer. Cast wheels aren't really available (unless you get a 900 Custom); but if you're concerned, get roadside assistance. But here's the thing, unlike bikes of 'yesteryear' with center stands and so forth; you aren't going to be changing or patching a tire on the side of the road anyway. Maybe, MAYBE, if you're lucky, you can put a patch in a tire if the puncture is just right. But even those of us on bikes with cast wheels, if we end up with a flat, are going to end up calling roadside assistance and having it hauled to the nearest dealer/shop.

5) Mostly an issue on '06 and '07 models. Under $200 and an hour of work, not a big deal. Probably own't be an issue on your '09.

6) Plan on it. Budget for it. If not? Great. But very, very few people on here can ride a meaningful ways on the stock seat. And take my advice, if you get soreness, numbness, tailbone pain, etc., don't waste time and money on seat pads. The airhawk works best if you MUST, but so many of us have gone down the road of trying to mod the seat, tweak it, buying pads, etc. And the solution, all along, is inevitably a good aftermarket seat.

While I do a lot of interstate now and then, my favorite riding is the 55-60mph twisty roads. The 900 was MADE for that. It does it perfectly. It's geared just right for it, it's nimble, handles well. It's a fantastic bike for that. One thing I would suggest is replacing the brake pads with EBC HH pads, they'll improve stopping power and reduce brake fade; if you enjoy spirited riding on those roads you'll appreciate the improvement.

Since it's an '09; take care of some maintenance items.

6500 miles, means you might be on the stock tires. They'll be worn, and likely have cracking sidewalls. If it's a dealer, ask for new tires before you make a deal. Otherwise, plan on a set soon.

Change all the brake fluid in both front and rear systems. This is often neglected and makes a HUGE difference in braking performance. Depending on how much you ride, it needs to be done every year or two. And don't just trust the sight glass; it's purpose is to tell you if the fluid is low; NOT whether or not it needs changing. Every year I changed mine, it was still clear up top in the sight glass, and jet black out of the bleeder. And every year, there was a slight (but noticeable) improvement in braking performance after changing, meaning it needed to be done! The first time I did it, shortly after I got it (mine was an '06 bought used) it was a whole new bike, couldn't believe how much of a difference. Which sold me on keeping that fluid clean and changed. It's not a hard job, and the fluid is cheap.
 

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) I haven't noticed my 2013 Classic being "buzzy" at speeds above 70. I'm not convinced this is an issue other than some people being more sensitive to what they feel is too much vibration.

Im so glad to see people are saying this now. My bike isnt buzzy at all. Ive ridden buzzy bikes. This bike is nothing like those, trust me.
It runs about 4k RPM's at 70, which is close to 60% of it's 7,000 RPM redline. My 1700 runs about 2400 RPM's at the same speed, 40% of it's 6,000 RPM redline.

I did it all day long sometimes and it never bothered me. Lots of things are a lot worse. Like boats or GA aircraft. Grab the yoke of a C172 sometime with a flat-4 engine screaming along at 2700 RPM and feel the vibration :eek:. So it didn't bug me at all, but compared to some other bikes it's definitely a lot more vibration. But it won't hurt anything, and really it's not that bad.
 

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Change all the brake fluid in both front and rear systems. This is often neglected and makes a HUGE difference in braking performance. Depending on how much you ride, it needs to be done every year or two. And don't just trust the sight glass; it's purpose is to tell you if the fluid is low; NOT whether or not it needs changing. Every year I changed mine, it was still clear up top in the sight glass, and jet black out of the bleeder. And every year, there was a slight (but noticeable) improvement in braking performance after changing, meaning it needed to be done! The first time I did it, shortly after I got it (mine was an '06 bought used) it was a whole new bike, couldn't believe how much of a difference. Which sold me on keeping that fluid clean and changed. It's not a hard job, and the fluid is cheap.
This is great advice. I could not agree more.
 

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Please do us a favor and DON'T ride it like a Harley - these 900's like to rev and run - there is a rev limiter (never hit it) and I don't hit 5th gear until 70-75 getting on the interstate - these are great bikes that will make you glad you brought her!

PS - no disrespect to any HD riders here, that is typically what I see where I live - they put em up in 4th or 5th at 35-40 mph.
 

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Ditto about the high revs. The only time I consider the bike to be "buzzy" is when I find myself at 55 - 60 in 3rd gear. I'm usually using in 4th by then. I rarely use 5th unless on the interstate doing 80 or so. Even so I've never felt my 2013 being buzzy in 5th. At least not when going the speed limit. ;)
 
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