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2009 Vulcan 900 Classic here that i bought new almost 2 years ago. This is my first bike. and I've put somewhere near 1800-2000 miles on it over that time.

I ride infrequently mostly due to life's hustle and having my kids around quite a bit when they aren't at their mom's. But I do ride periodically throughout the winter... here in Oklahoma, the weather allows a nice, albeit chilly ride even in January/February :)

So -- without putting tons of miles on the bike, how often do I need to take this thing in to get serviced? Annually every spring, or???


OK.... now for question #2. I may be moving further from the office and am considering using the bike as a part-time commuter... probably 1-3 days a week... about 120 mile round trip. I may ride 75mph turnpike or 65-70mph interstate through a couple small towns into work. I have made this trip on the bike a couple times -- it's a nice easy ride. So what kind of things such as clothing/bike accessories should I consider?

I bought this bike as kind of a joy ride machine -- which is what I've used it for. I love getting out for a ride through town or getting out of town when I have a few hours. But if I use it to commute, I'm thinking I need to prepare for that a little bit differently...maybe?.

Anyway, thanks all for any responses.
 

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2009 Vulcan 900 Classic here that i bought new almost 2 years ago. This is my first bike. and I've put somewhere near 1800-2000 miles on it over that time.

I ride infrequently mostly due to life's hustle and having my kids around quite a bit when they aren't at their mom's. But I do ride periodically throughout the winter... here in Oklahoma, the weather allows a nice, albeit chilly ride even in January/February :)

So -- without putting tons of miles on the bike, how often do I need to take this thing in to get serviced? Annually every spring, or???


OK.... now for question #2. I may be moving further from the office and am considering using the bike as a part-time commuter... probably 1-3 days a week... about 120 mile round trip. I may ride 75mph turnpike or 65-70mph interstate through a couple small towns into work. I have made this trip on the bike a couple times -- it's a nice easy ride. So what kind of things such as clothing/bike accessories should I consider?

I bought this bike as kind of a joy ride machine -- which is what I've used it for. I love getting out for a ride through town or getting out of town when I have a few hours. But if I use it to commute, I'm thinking I need to prepare for that a little bit differently...maybe?.

Anyway, thanks all for any responses.
For the commute I have found a few things necessary and a couple others just extra. First, a windshield and lowers would be extra but a much happier ride when traveling distances during the week, as well as a throttle rester for your palm. A good jacket with all the weather comforts; waterproof, good venting, cold weather insert, etc... Also, good water resistant or proof boots can only help when you get stuck in the rain. Good gloves, full face helmut (helps), pants with liner you can take out (I wear mine with shorts and liner out in 40 degree weather and my legs stay warm). Tools as well.

Main thing I have found is that you can accumulate gear for every condition, but, there is gear out there that can limit how much you have because you can use it in many different conditions. Multitasking gear. I would recommend first gear vaunt jacket as well as waterproof pants by first gear, or river road, or tour master. I have river road and am pleased...
 

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2009 Vulcan 900 Classic here that i bought new almost 2 years ago. This is my first bike. and I've put somewhere near 1800-2000 miles on it over that time.

I ride infrequently mostly due to life's hustle and having my kids around quite a bit when they aren't at their mom's. But I do ride periodically throughout the winter... here in Oklahoma, the weather allows a nice, albeit chilly ride even in January/February :)

So -- without putting tons of miles on the bike, how often do I need to take this thing in to get serviced? Annually every spring, or???


OK.... now for question #2. I may be moving further from the office and am considering using the bike as a part-time commuter... probably 1-3 days a week... about 120 mile round trip. I may ride 75mph turnpike or 65-70mph interstate through a couple small towns into work. I have made this trip on the bike a couple times -- it's a nice easy ride. So what kind of things such as clothing/bike accessories should I consider?

I bought this bike as kind of a joy ride machine -- which is what I've used it for. I love getting out for a ride through town or getting out of town when I have a few hours. But if I use it to commute, I'm thinking I need to prepare for that a little bit differently...maybe?.

Anyway, thanks all for any responses.
Hey Tulsa,

Whether you take it to a shop or do some wrenching yourself is up to you. But, the owners manual maintenance schedule has a few items that need to be addressed at least yearly, regardless of miles.
Here is a link to the manual.
http://www.kawasaki-techinfo.net/showOM.php?view_lang=EN&spec=US&book_no=99987-1701&lang_code=EN

+1 to Vandy's suggestion of a windshield and throttle boss.

With a 120 mile commute I would want some storage, so I'll suggest saddlebags; lockable hard bags would be best.
In the bags, I would keep a bottle of water, lip balm, aspirin, and some rain gear.
Keep your phone charged, don't leave home without some plastic, when its warm enough to have some exposed skin wear sunblock.

I like to keep my bike pretty clean so I can watch for leaks, dry rot, loose parts and the such. Keep an eye on your tire wear and pressure too.

You mentioned you work in an office. There has been some good advice on how to balance a dress code with riding gear in a couple of threads.
But, the one that comes to mind right now was about helmet hair (my thread); anyway you can do a search for more info on that.

Scott
 

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Are you considering using the bike as a commuter to "save money" or do you just think it would be cool to ride your bike more often???

As for gear (my opinion) get you a good water proof jacket and chaps/pants and especially good boots. I hate my feet getting wet. Storage is always good, you never know when you come home when you need to get that gallon of milk or loaf of bread. It would be your choice if you want to make it a quick release set up or not.

Windshield can be debatable. I recently got one for my V2K and have not had good luck getting it the way I want it. Sometimes it cost a little more than just the shield and brackets. You may end up having to get lowers, crash bar chaps, or what ever else to make it comfortable. But it will keep you a lot warmer when it starts to get COLD. I ended up taking mine off. Part of my problem ended up being my helmet. Plus I like to looks of it with out the shield better.

As for the office dress code goes I can't help you there. As long as we are clothed that is all that matters. The thread Scott is talking about has some good stuff in it, go check it out.

It is always good to carry tire plugs and a compressor (If you have tubeless tires) and some basic first aid stuff that would be of good use. Like Scott said: water, aspirin/acetaminophen, benydrel (or how ever you spell it) and possibly some some of that clot stuff in a bag, Band-aids won't really do much for ya if you really hurt your self. I don't carry all of said stuff but it is just some ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated.

I was asked about why I might commute with the bike. I guess the answer is I got it, it's fun to ride, it gets good fuel economy why not? I do know there are some maintenance expenses such as tires that increase the costs of using it as a commuter... but I also, can only ride a day or two a week as I would be moving kids on other days -- so I'm also not going to be putting 40k miles a year on it either LOL

I'll check into some of the accessories and gear items recommended. I hadn't really thought at all about a throttle control/cruise control. And I do kind of agree that adding a windshield may make highway rides a bit more satisfying vs fighting that wind all the time...

The water bottle idea has me thinking maybe I need to figure out how to add a cup holder to the bike... hmm....

Again thanks for the input!
 

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I think they mean a cramp buster not cruise control, Your throttle hand can go numb or cramp up , cramp busters are like 10 bucks unless you want some fancy ones they can go as high as 150.00. I found the simple 10 dollar cramp buster to work just fine. I commute about 35 miles run trip to work and home. As far as gear we have a great forum on just gear. +1 on saddles bags , I bag my lunch and it also holds any extra gear I need. For a cup holder go to walmarts in the bike section you will see a cup holder that will fit the bikes handle bars, Mine cost like 7 bucks :)


http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bell-Bicycle-Universal-Water-Bottle-Mount/17619571

Ride safe and have fun
 

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I commute as much as possible. Barring the snow and ice. So rain gear is a must as a good jacket. I like leather. I also work in a not so good area of town. So i keep a good chain and lock at work, rapped around a city light post. Then i can lock it up when i get there. Pull my lunch out of the saddle bags and i am good to go. Guess you could use a back pack too. But I am not to hide my colors with a back pack.

All the other ideas listed here are great.

Ride safe with the under coffee cagers!!!
 

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I commute on my bike too. DEFINITELY consider adding some storage to your bike if you haven't already. If it's 75 and sunny when you leave the house but 52 and pouring down rain when you head home, that's miserable! I ALWAYS have my rain gear and some 'incidentals' (change of clothes, first aid) in one of my saddlebags at all times. I have two hard bags and a trunk, one saddlebag is dedicated to rain gear, clothes, emergency equipment, tools, etc. The sort of stuff that's really nice to have on you all the time when you ride the bike every day.

As far as service? Kawasaki recommends 7500 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. So, per the book, you should be good with once every spring servicing or whatever you'd like to do. I could be absolutely wrong, but, personally, I can't go 12 months without changing my oil. Just doesn't feel right! If I were in your shoes only riding 2,000 miles a year, I'd probably do an oil change every 6 months with a decent oil, MAYBE 12 months if I was running a full synthetic. But, that's just me. As far as Kawasaki is concerned, 12 months or 7,500 miles, whichever comes first. (I ride 20k a year though, so I just change mine every 5k, which is usually just a couple months)

Also, if you're going to be commuting with the bike, you might want to consider learning to change the oil yourself. It's pretty easy on the 900. That'll save you a few bucks and make it a bit more cost effective to commute. (Personally, I don't think you save any money when you figure in the cost of tires and such; but I commute with my bike because I figured it up to pretty much break even, and given the choice I'd ALWAYS rather be on the bike! Plus nothing takes care of a stressful day like getting to take it out on the throttle!)
 

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I use my 900 LT as a daily driver. I but >9800 miles just in daily commutes last year. Like Romans5.8 states, plan ahead. Reserve a bag just for wet weather gear and incidentals. Romans5.8 post was good, I would also add a recommendation on insurance. Make sure you have FULL, yes FULL in caps, coverage. There is no such thing as too much when your talking about daily commuting on two wheels. Also ensure you get quality roadside assistance with your insurance.
 

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I use my 900 LT as a daily driver. I but >9800 miles just in daily commutes last year. Like Romans5.8 states, plan ahead. Reserve a bag just for wet weather gear and incidentals. Romans5.8 post was good, I would also add a recommendation on insurance. Make sure you have FULL, yes FULL in caps, coverage. There is no such thing as too much when your talking about daily commuting on two wheels. Also ensure you get quality roadside assistance with your insurance.
Absolutely. You might be surprised by the price too! I was worried that, being a younger rider, I was going to pay out the teeth. But I ended up getting full coverage, roadside assistance, AND a small amount of medical (couple grand, enough to cover maybe a paramedic checking me out on the scene or something without having to drag my health insurance and it's accompanying deductible into it, or having to pay out of pocket), for LESS than LIABILITY only my old clunker car. I've got a couple cars but the one I drive the most is a 2000 Saturn I've had for several years, put a couple hundred thousand miles on it. Bluebook value is so low that it just doesn't pay to have full coverage on it. But, again; full coverage with roadside assistance and medical for LESS than liability on the car...

Also check the terms of your roadside assistance and shop around. I've got it through progressive, but I ALSO have Riders of Kawasaki, since it's so cheap. ROK offers roadside assistance, and even assistance if you are x amount of miles from home, they'll give you a little allowance to find a hotel and transportation home. It's not much, but it helps. Though long trips I also take a credit card with enough of a limit that; in a WORST case scenario, I could get a hotel, a plane ticket home, AND get the bike home; and then just cry in the corner when I get the bill from the ccard company! LOL

Anyway, the reason I say that is, some roadside assistance is practically worthless. They'll pay something like 'up to $45' or something, which is just the call fee of some tow trucks, all the while you're paying several bucks every month for it so it just doesn't add up. Progressive is pretty good, and again RoK is another option.
 

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Absolutely. You might be surprised by the price too! I was worried that, being a younger rider, I was going to pay out the teeth. But I ended up getting full coverage, roadside assistance, AND a small amount of medical (couple grand, enough to cover maybe a paramedic checking me out on the scene or something without having to drag my health insurance and it's accompanying deductible into it, or having to pay out of pocket), for LESS than LIABILITY only my old clunker car. I've got a couple cars but the one I drive the most is a 2000 Saturn I've had for several years, put a couple hundred thousand miles on it. Bluebook value is so low that it just doesn't pay to have full coverage on it. But, again; full coverage with roadside assistance and medical for LESS than liability on the car...

Also check the terms of your roadside assistance and shop around. I've got it through progressive, but I ALSO have Riders of Kawasaki, since it's so cheap. ROK offers roadside assistance, and even assistance if you are x amount of miles from home, they'll give you a little allowance to find a hotel and transportation home. It's not much, but it helps. Though long trips I also take a credit card with enough of a limit that; in a WORST case scenario, I could get a hotel, a plane ticket home, AND get the bike home; and then just cry in the corner when I get the bill from the ccard company! LOL

Anyway, the reason I say that is, some roadside assistance is practically worthless. They'll pay something like 'up to $45' or something, which is just the call fee of some tow trucks, all the while you're paying several bucks every month for it so it just doesn't add up. Progressive is pretty good, and again RoK is another option.
It's cheap, that is all I am going to say.
 

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It's cheap, that is all I am going to say.
You don't like it? I've never used it. I just got a thing in the mail for it when I bought my bike and looked into it. The terms seemed reasonable and when I googled it it seemed okay. Care to give me more info? I'm due to renew and was considering not doing it anyway, since I have progressive.
 

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Give me a few.....
 

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Give me a few.....
LOL... alright. Maybe I won't renew then! I don't really need to... progressive has everything I need... They just don't have the lodging assistance and stuff RoK does but; if they are no good then it doesn't matter how much coverage they promise right?
 

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LOL... alright. Maybe I won't renew then! I don't really need to... progressive has everything I need... They just don't have the lodging assistance and stuff RoK does but; if they are no good then it doesn't matter how much coverage they promise right?
Well I will give you the short version then.

I was down at the Smokie Mountains on memorial day weekend. Had a flat. No motorcycle shops open except the HD shop (we all know they don't work on "Metrics"). So I gave them a call. The Representative was not helpful at the least. She told me there was nothing they could do unless I gave them the name and number of the towing service that I wanted to use and the address I wanted the bike to be deliver to. No help trying to find a service, or look up numbers. Representative was rude. (not my fault she had to work on a holiday weekend). Long story short I feel like I purchased the "Free" items and go no service. Might have been just a fluke incident, I don't know. But it was enough for me to not renew. Plus I have it threw my insurance now (Nationwide). And I have a local broker that I know personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
All great information you all.

I do carry full insurance, and I believe it has some roadside assistance built-in... but now I don't remember and I may have to check that out.

I haven't added saddle bags yet, but it is sounding like bags and a windshield are probably in my future... it gets old having to take a backpack to take anything other than me when I go somewhere....

Does anyone use those tank bags? I was thinking that may make a good place to store things like smart phone and miscellaneous stuff that gets stuffed in pockets now...
 
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