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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to buy either a 2014 900 custom or a 2014 900 classic? Can everyone please give me pros and cons of both? (New to riding)
 

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Welcome to the forums!

The biggest difference, in my opinion; between the two is the front wheel. The Custom has a tall, skinny wheel. That means it'll lay into corners easier, and give just a general overall 'sportier' ride feel. It'll also absorb less bumps and imperfections in the road; and skinny tires tend to follow grooves and uneven pavement more. The Classic has a nice fat short wheel that is more supple and comfortable, but won't lay into corners quite as easily. It's a lazier ride. It'll float over grooves and gravel. I prefer the latter; some prefer the former. You're just going to have to sit down and figure out what you are wanting out of the motorcycle before you can really figure out which of the two accomplishes what you're wanting.

Beyond that, the Custom has forward foot pegs; putting your feet slightly forward compared to the Classic. But the Classic has floorboards, so even though your feet aren't quite as far out (though still forward mounted), you can move them around giving you several positions; making longer rides more comfortable. Both bikes allow highway bars to be mounted; which is a must for long-distance riding.

There's also a "Classic LT" model which includes a windshield, saddlebags, a passenger backrest and two-tone paint. In my opinion, the LT is the best deal going. It's the more expensive of the three but you get components that are direct-fit, matching the bike for less than you would end up paying for those components. Lots of new riders say they never want a windshield. A small handful of them continue to have that opinion after they've been riding for a few months. You might be one of those! But, chances are, you're going to find you want a windshield too. If you end up going with the Custom, there are lots of aftermarket options. If you decide you want the Classic, the LT (Even if you find a used one!) is a great option; because in addition to a nice windshield; you also get the saddlebags. And if you have a passenger, they'll appreciate the backrest.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can the Custom go on long distance rides just as good as the other two? I like it but I just worried about that skinny front wheel. Will that small wheel last a long time?
 

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Both can travel long distances just fine. I have a Classic, and love the ride. My other half had a Custom, because he dug the look. But we've made lots of multi-day trips, 400-500 miles per day, side by side.

The handlebars are much different as well.
 

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Can the Custom go on long distance rides just as good as the other two? I like it but I just worried about that skinny front wheel. Will that small wheel last a long time?
Yep. The wheel is going to last plenty; and I don't think there's a meaningful difference in tire wear. It just comes down to handling. You'll get more road feel from the skinny tire (tires ARE part of the suspension of a vehicle!); but it's not going to prohibit you from riding long distances. My wifes bike has a skinny front wheel and she does just fine. Conversely, if you're like me and prefer to find a twisty road over the interstate; the Customs better handling could pay off there. (But it'll handle interstate just fine, too.)

And HRH pointed out the handlebars; I had a 'brain fart' there. The Classic/LT has wide 'beach bars'. I personally really like them but some people hate the wide bars. The Custom has 'drag bars' which bring your hands in a little closer together. You should absolutely sit on both at a dealer and pay attention to your hands, arms, and shoulders; and figure out which position you can handle all day long. For me, with long arms; that's the wide bars hands down. But it would probably leave my wife pretty sore; she's better off with the shorter reach and smaller width of the bars on her shadow.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Romans5.8 - Do you like your classic LT? I've watched all of your YouTube vids man. I looked at a 2014 vulcan 900 classic LT and it was sweet. I like the bags and the big windscreen.
 

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BB, the differences between the 3 models is to appeal to different riders and budgets.

* The Classic is the absolute base model of the 900 family.
* The LT takes the Classic and adds bags and windscreen.
* The Custom is tailored a bit different than the other two. It has a few differences that the other 2 don't offer: foot pegs instead of floorboards; a skinny 19" front tire instead of a fatter 15" tire; and taller handlebars.
* The Classic and LT models have spoked wheels which means tubed tires. The Custom uses tubeless tires.

Other than those few differences, all three models are nearly the same. All three are highway worthy and will take you where ever you want to go. IT pretty much boils down to your pocket book and tastes.
 

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crazyriderguy, quick correction: that's a 21" wheel up front on the Custom. I've got 30k+ miles on my '07 Custom and as far as skinny tire issues, I can safely say there aren't any. Some may prefer the look and feel of the short, fat tire, but I ride 400 - 600 mile days quite often. Country, around town and highway (though I tend to avoid super slabs). My Kia Soul had more trouble with steel grate bridges and grooved roads than my Custom does. I can't comment on the difference between the two bikes though. I added hwy bars and pegs for the long rides but never had any problems before I added them. On either bike a good windshield will add to your comfort. I added a Batwing Fairing last month, can't wait to try it out! The Custom stock seat is a serious problem for most. It's got a nice wide base, but only about 1/2" of too-soft foam that offers no real comfort. If you plan on riding two-up (at all), you need to replace it. The cushion on the back was not designed to seat anyone for more than about 5 minutes. The drag bars are perfect for me, but note: they are not adjustable at all. You can add risers or repace them, but you can't just loosen a bolt and make adustments.

I did have to laugh a bit at the question "Romans5.8 - Do you like your classic LT?" Ben, if you read his posts you shouldn't have to ask ;)

Welcome aboard and what ever you choose; enjoy the ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@SteveJB Do you have any issues with riding the custom with no windshield on the interstate? I figured with a full cover helmet, it wouldn't be a big deal.
 

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I all depends on the style that suites you. I have the classic cause I like the old school look. But I added the windshield, bags, light bar and a few extras.
 

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I wouldn't part with floorboards after using them for a while now. I like the handlebar on the classic better as well. IMO custom is more of a city bike & classic is more of a country bike but either will go just fine. Just personal choice.
 

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@SteveJB Do you have any issues with riding the custom with no windshield on the interstate? I figured with a full cover helmet, it wouldn't be a big deal.
I don't ride without a windshield. I don't think I've ever been on the road without one on this bike. I bought the bike in March '07 and my windshield was delivered a few days later. Back in '81 on my first bike I got hit in the chest by a large bumble bee and believe or not, it nearly knocked me off the bike (yeah, I was a nubie). A few days later, in my car, a truck coming the other way kicked up a stone that I estimate was traveling at about 100 mph when it struck the windshield in front of my face. It was embedded in the glass and had even broken through the mylar film. I had a mental picture of the event had I been riding at the time and bought a windshield the next day. Nowadays I don't even like the looks of a bike without a windshield and it's always been the first mod I make when I get a new bike. But aside from safety, I can ride literaly all day without any arm or back fatigue. The group I ride with often meets at 8am and I don't get back 'til 9 or 10 pm. The few riders we have without shields always want to stop to rest and usually bail on us early. You would be amazed at the difference in comfort even with a small shield.
 

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Romans and fawlty git the nail on the head. I have a Classic and have ridden a custom also. For me, I don't like the way the custom rides and handles. Although I am 6?3 I much prefer the classic handlebars also. Also as far as being a new rider.... Having your feet not as far out will give you more confidence in handling the bike. Keeping your feet under you and your knees closer into the gas tank is usually the better choice for handling. Ultimately though you would get used to the custom if you desire that look more. I can't live without my windshield and bags, so I just added them aftermarket. I also would never go back to pegs after experiencing floor boards. The one kind of big deal for me though is the spoke rims. I live with them but would prefer tubeless tires for ease of repair. I just picked up a big nail about 50 miles from home and if I didn't have tubes, the repair would have been much easier
 

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I have ridden long miles on my custom, and have found it very comfortable and capable on the interstate. I have always felt that it could use another gear, to help mitigate some of the vibrations at the continuous higher speeds, but other than that it does quite well. I also am one of those that simply doesn't like the looks of a windshield, and have never put one on. I do wear a full face helmet whenever I ride any real distance, but that is more for safety considerations than anything. I will admit that not having the windshield does tire you out more on a long ride, no denying that. But it doesn't make it bad enough for me to put a windshield on, hahahaha! As for the skinny front wheel, I will agree with the other comments above that it does make for a harsher ride on rough surfaces, but it also does promote a more nimble feel, imho, and definitely aids turn-in for cornering as well.
 

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Yea that is another thing I'm doing. Since I picked up a nail anyway, I'm going to the 170\80 rear tire to drop my revs in 5th gear down a couple hundred and get the speedometer closer to true reading. To the Op... You will get used to either bike, it's probably going to boil down to looks with that tall front tire
 

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Yep,once you have the floorboards you will probably never want to go back to pegs.I have had both the Custom and the Classic,find I do prefer the floorboards that the Classic has.Add a nice big windshield to block the wind(huge difference)and you're good to go..
 

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Yep,once you have the floorboards you will probably never want to go back to pegs.I have had both the custom and the Classic,find I prefer the classic.Add a nice big windshield to block the wind(huge difference)and you're good to go..
Dunno why everyone has to slap a windshield on their rides. It kills the MPG for one. Only bike I owned which came with a shield was a VN750. Took that sucker off almost immediately. Also, I'd personally like to have foot pegs over floorboards. I rarely ever use the heel portion of the shifter.
 

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Dunno why everyone has to slap a windshield on their rides. It kills the MPG for one. Only bike I owned which came with a shield was a VN750. Took that sucker off almost immediately. Also, I'd personally like to have foot pegs over floorboards. I rarely ever use the heel portion of the shifter.
I have checked my gas mileage on many bikes with and without windshields.Never did notice a difference,just the shield blocks the wind rather than the body.Never use the heel part of the shifter either but it sure is nice having the floorboards.
 

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The one kind of big deal for me though is the spoke rims. I live with them but would prefer tubeless tires for ease of repair. I just picked up a big nail about 50 miles from home and if I didn't have tubes, the repair would have been much easier
how does tubeless make repairs much easier?

romper
 
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