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Got back a week ago from my bucket-list ride west for a family reunion. 4482 miles, 3 weeks, KC to Seattle and back with a few detours. Bike ran great the whole trip, didn't miss a beat. The old man's body is another story. Just wanted to post a few comments, observations, criticisms and other stuff.

Stock handlebars suck. Finger, wrist and back cramps were numerous and painful. New mini-apes on order.

Loud pipes are great around town but on a long trip they are annoying. Earplugs are great.

The stock seat and my butt seemed to be fairly compatible.

Always, always, always keep clutch and throttle cables lubed. Rained so hard across Kansas my clutch cable started sticking due to the lube being washed out. Glad I had cable lube fitting and spray white lithium grease with me.

Don't try to save a buck on raingear or face shield. When it's pouring down rain in a thunderstorm and you're stuck behind a big truck, trying to see through a windshield, face shield and eyeglasses becomes problematic. You are going to get wet no matter what you wear. Wet and blind at 80 mph is no fun.

10w40 Mobile 1 synthetic is God's gift to bikers. 5000 miles and oil looks like I just put it in.

Bike ate a new Battleax front tire on the trip. Cupped it so bad it rumbles. Darkside Sumitomo rear looks like new.

National Cycle Heavy Duty windshield is gonna get cut down 4 inches and tilted back about 15 degrees. Unbelievable how much the wind affected handling. Any wind. Fully loaded with camping gear and bags the wind blew me all over the place with all that sail area to push on.

I won't say where but the only bike dealer in town and within 50 miles was a Hardly dealer and would not fix a flat front tire because it wasn't on a Hardly. I always thought a buck was a buck and they might like the business. So much for the possible Electra-glide in my future. Rude people tend to piss me off.

V2K needs a optional bolt-on power center stand, kind of like a Beemer or a Wing. Never happen but one can wish.

I really wish the people who passed me realized how much turbulence they generate when they cut back in front of me at 80 mph. Maybe they would cut me a little slack.

80-85 mph speed limits are no fun when you want to enjoy the ride. Way too much work dodging traffic, both faster and slower. 65 to 70 is more my speed.

So much for bitching. All in all, I had a blast on the ride. Scenery was great, met a lot of great people along the route. Rode for a while with a couple of groups of Beemer Boys, drank a lot of coffee and told a lot of lies. Great folks. Talked with lots of people at gas, food and rest stops. Got lots of good comments and questions asked about the bike and had a great trip overall. Kind of renews my faith in the species.

All the bitching I've done aside, all of it was minor, everybody should do something crazy like this at least once in their life. I don't think I would like to do it again to that extent but I sure don't plan on stopping, as long as I can lift the beast off it's kickstand.
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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Got back a week ago from my bucket-list ride west for a family reunion. 4482 miles, 3 weeks, KC to Seattle and back with a few detours. Bike ran great the whole trip, didn't miss a beat. The old man's body is another story. Just wanted to post a few comments, observations, criticisms and other stuff.

I won't say where but the only bike dealer in town and within 50 miles was a Hardly dealer and would not fix a flat front tire because it wasn't on a Hardly. I always thought a buck was a buck and they might like the business. So much for the possible Electra-glide in my future. Rude people tend to piss me off.

80-85 mph speed limits are no fun when you want to enjoy the ride.

All the bitching I've done aside, all of it was minor, everybody should do something crazy like this at least once in their life.
First.. we are gonna need pix to confirm this actually happened and you didnt just spend 3 weeks on the couch sucking beer suds and watching reality tv..

Second.. 3 weeks on the road will do this to even the hardiest biker. I know you got lotts of miles to put behind, Butt for all its worth get the FK off the interstate and slow yor azz down to a more comfortable/manageable speed. There is more to see of the Real America on the back roads. the scenery is better. the food stops are better. the pipples are mor better. you even find better breed of bikers, there.

Tres.. good on you for putting this on bucket list, and then knocking it out.

ok we are waiting for the pix.. till then all this in the pending file. poncho
 

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Beef

LOL! I guess that all older riders experience the same types of things:D....
I did one long ride this year, only one, 1800 miles in two days.
Trip down was fine, sunny and terribly hot, so appreciated water cooled bike.
Trip back was nightmare, 50 mph side winds, biblical rain, more road trains (three trailer trucks) than you can shake a stick at, and idiot cagers pulling 40 ft 3 axle, 5 slide mobiles at 80 mph on two lane..... Still loved the ride as a whole, just not every bit of it. I rolled my handle bar up about 20 degrees. Lifted the grips up about 6 in which takes the pressure off the rotator cuff. I have big hands so the control rotation is not an issue. I hear there are little pins in the controls that make it so you can't rotate them but I think you could shave them off. Made a big difference and not as much work as mini-apes.:D Live long and ride fast.
 
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I haven't taken a long motorcycle road trip in quite a few years now, but when I did, they were always a mix of awful and wonderful, with the balance in between on the good side of things.
 

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Thanks

Looking at getting a VN2000 as a touring rig and really appreciated your post.

+1 on the Battlax cupping and short life. Don't like 'em.

Surprised to hear that you had trouble with turbulence and wind. I have zero experience on big, heavy bikes and I actually thought that the one positive feature of weighing over 800lbs was that it made these things immune to the effects of wind and turbulence. Apparently, that assumption was not correct.

My current touring bike is a ZX-14, and I can't remember ever being affected by turbulence and very little by wind. Fairing more important than weight, maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
A reply to some replies: Ponch, only camera I took along was a Minolta 35mm. Shot about 4 rolls of film there and back. Have not developed them yet and my cell phone camera is crap so pics will have to wait a bit. Had to do a lot of interstate due to time constraints with the schedule at my destination and the wife's medical issues at home but still got in a few side trips in Montana, Wyoming and Washington. Note to self: never take heavy bike on ferry again. Addressing the turbulence problem: My wind shield is as tall as the top of my helmet and is mounted exactly vertically (can you say mainsail) plus the bags and camping equipment stacked on the rear fender. Probably had the aerodynamics of a 1200 lb mini-van if you can picture that. As for the bike itself, it was fantastic. No problems at all. 21K at start, well over 25K at the end. 3000rpm=87mph on the GPS. Not a hiccup or fart on the whole trip and started up first time every time. Dead-nuts reliable! 33 mpg regardless of speed or altitude. Rode on just about every type of road surface and condition (except snow and ice) you can imagine and she stuck like glue. Think westbound, down the Snoqualamie Pass, 3 lane interstate (I-90) on Labor Day at 80 mph in heavy traffic. I don't scare very easy but that got just a little bit hairy riding the invisible motorcycle that afternoon. One other little observation, riding straight and level, enjoying the scenery and not paying attention it was really easy look down and find the speedometer needle between 90 and 100, no effort at all. Truck traffic made the throttle lock almost useless. Still the trip was well worth effort and I'm glad I did it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
LOL! I guess that all older riders experience the same types of things
All us older riders only feel old after we get off the bike.
 

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Love the write up Izzy.

Ponch,
I can get on the interstate around here with a limit of 65 for at least an hour out of the city.
Yet, some of the state hwys have limits of 75.
I don't mind setting the cruise @ 80; but it makes a little too much turbulence for my pillion.
Of course, the slab IS about as dull as it gets.

Paneerdog,
That frame mounted fairing doesn't transfer wind blasts to the steering.
The fork mounted shield on my 900 would get knocked around in the lane pretty bad.
My VV cuts a smooth path.

Scott
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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All us older riders only feel old after we get off the bike.
too much saddle time and the legs dont want to work quite rite.. for a while.

2 lane back roads at a leisurely = lazy 50-60mph is just chock full of things to see and do and side road diversions and stop for and take pictures and walk around (see sentence one) and sit quiet still like and eat a snack or knock back a cold frosty one and take in the scenery, soak up some sunshine, smell the flora if not the fauna?
Back road riding you dont make great time, but you do make great memories. poncho

ps. here some pix you can borrow 'till you get yors posted
 

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Glad you enjoyed the trip. You definitely have big gonads that's for sure. 80 mph in the rain is near the top of my list of things not to do on a bike. Actually, I don't do 80 mph in the rain in a car. The big truck will only do 77 but 77 with a load of gas in the rain isn't real bright either. I'm only 56 so maybe that don't give a crap attitude is yet to come. Right now I have other things in life I would enjoy doing. Sounds like the bike did well and that sounds good to me.

Ride Safe!
 

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Great story Izzy.
I didn't like the stock bars either, swapped the bars from my 900 before I sold it and they are so much better, had already put phat 2 risers on 2000. Screens, why do people put em on, they are crap IMO, you put em on then you cant see, then you get buffeting so you fit lowers, then you get engine heat from lack of air down there, then you get blown around in wind and they are heavy. Whats the advantages of a screen? I took mine off before I rode the bike home. I was riding last weekend in 130Kph wind and the bike was rock solid. When its not windy I can ride at any speed and not have any noticeable wind hitting me on chest or helmet, seems to get less wind the faster I go.
These 2000s really get up and go, they handle, they brake, are rock solid at any speed through corners, just the most awesome bike I have owned. I have done a couple of rides with Hyabusa's and Triumph crotch rockets, and to be honest a couple of the busa guys were slowing me down in all but the tightest of corners.
I like your side stand idea, I have trouble reaching it to put it back up, its so far away from you when down. Must have short legs.
 
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These 2000s really get up and go, they handle, they brake, are rock solid at any speed through corners, just the most awesome bike I have owned. I have done a couple of rides with Hyabusa's and Triumph crotch rockets, and to be honest a couple of the busa guys were slowing me down in all but the tightest of corners.
I must respectfully question this. Those Hayabusa and Triumph 'crotchrocket' guys you ran with must be half asleep if a Vulcan 2000 can stay with them in any corner. We own a 2008 Hayabusa, and a 2007 ZX14 along with my V2K, and there's just no way that the Vulcan should be able to stay with those machines.

Don't get me wrong, I love my V2K, but it's a wallowing hippo in corners, especially if pressed, or on an uneven surface, and it doesn't have anywhere near the power to stay even close to a Busa or ZX14 under any circumstances other than perhaps due to rider inexperience or lack of skill on the sportbike rider's part.

I can certainly improve my V2K's ride and cornering capability with better tires and a little suspension work, but at it's best, it's not going to be able to stay with my wife's Hayabusa in corners...or anywhere else for that matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Windshields

I took mine off before I rode the bike home. I was riding last weekend in 130Kph wind and the bike was rock solid. When its not windy I can ride at any speed and not have any noticeable wind hitting me on chest or helmet, seems to get less wind the faster I go.
I've only had wind shields on a couple of other bikes in the past but I kind of go with the following rule, especially here in Missouri and Kansas: 130Kph rider meeting 10Kph, 8 gram locust = splat/ouch! (Pardon my metrics). Not as bad as the junebugs in Cali but bad enough, especially wearing my usual half helmet. 20 years ago or so, had a dressed out CB-900, came over a whoop-de-do at about 50 mph and dead centered a turkey buzzard in the road. Broke the shield and the fairing mounts, scared the hell out of me but no personal damage except for the cost of replacing my shorts. Buzzard was pronounced dead at the scene. I rode the bike home, wasn't worth fixing.

I try not to compare my V2K with other bikes I've had in the past or the current crop on the road. It's big, heavy, ponderous, ill handling at slow speeds and handles turns like a cement truck at almost all speeds but it's big, heavy, has a wonderful, powerful motor, is comfortable to ride and in a crisis is probably the most survivable bike on the road today, if, the rider stays within the capabilities of the bike. I'm way past burning my way thru the twisty-windies, but it still gives me a thrill to roll the throttle open, feel that big motor pull, and pull, and pull. IMHO-It's done EVERYTHING I've asked of it and not missed s beat. Can't ask for more.
 
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Windshields
I try not to compare my V2K with other bikes I've had in the past or the current crop on the road. It's big, heavy, ponderous, ill handling at slow speeds and handles turns like a cement truck at almost all speeds but it's big, heavy, has a wonderful, powerful motor, is comfortable to ride and in a crisis is probably the most survivable bike on the road today, if, the rider stays within the capabilities of the bike.
That's where I'm at. I like and accept my V2K for what it is and don't ask more from it that it can do, and we're both very happy with each other for it. I rather like it's ponderousness and ridiculous size and weight, all shoved down the road with authority by that locomotive of an engine. The damn thing is a hoot.
 

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Just rolled in from the Blue Ridge Parkway and have 1153.7 more miles on the 2000 than when I left. We left Sunday morning and wrapped it up Tuesday afternoon. The parkway is absolutely beautiful, especially the southern end. It's like riding through a post card. This is my first trip with a windshield; ever. 21 years and it's my very first windshield, what took me so long? It was wonderful, especially at the 45mph parkway speed, no bugs in my grill, no constant wind noise. It was a great trip and the Vulcan never missed a beat.
 

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First.. we are gonna need pix to confirm this actually happened and you didnt just spend 3 weeks on the couch sucking beer suds and watching reality tv..

Second.. 3 weeks on the road will do this to even the hardiest biker. I know you got lotts of miles to put behind, Butt for all its worth get the FK off the interstate and slow yor azz down to a more comfortable/manageable speed. There is more to see of the Real America on the back roads. the scenery is better. the food stops are better. the pipples are mor better. you even find better breed of bikers, there.

Tres.. good on you for putting this on bucket list, and then knocking it out.

ok we are waiting for the pix.. till then all this in the pending file. poncho
Agree with you only get on the expressway if I have to. Would like to ride to new orleans or daytona via backroads(well maybe not louusuana) but dont know if time would allow plus have to wait for verdict on my v2k.
 

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Never been over 300 miles one way by myself and my girl is only in her second year of riding, we are planning a trip to tail of the dragon next year. Despite me having 20 yrs and her onlt having two, in essence this long trip will a first for both of us. Any advice for me and especialky her for long rides?
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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Blue Ridge Parkway

Just rolled in from the Blue Ridge Parkway . The parkway is absolutely beautiful, especially the southern end. It's like riding through a post card.
kr, so how are the trees so far this fall? are they still green or changing color yet? when do you expect them to be at peak color change. I plan to ride the Ridge maybe 3rd week October if all goes as planned. thx, poncho
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Never been over 300 miles one way by myself and my girl is only in her second year of riding, we are planning a trip to tail of the dragon next year. Despite me having 20 yrs and her onlt having two, in essence this long trip will a first for both of us. Any advice for me and especialky her for long rides?
Do your preps before you leave, bike, bod and brain. Don't be in a hurry and push it. Stop often for a stretch, a smoke or whatever, it's not supposed to be work. Try to avoid a severe case of road buzz at the end of the day. Good, waterproof boots. Don't over pack, take only what you need, not what you think you'll need. Clothes can be washed and consumables replaced along the way. Cell phone, meds, camera, rain gear, water, maps (or GPS) if it's new ground. Let friends or family know your itinerary and keep in touch on the road. Keep your schedule flexible, always new stuff to see. Object is to enjoy the trip.

Maybe, on my next long trip I'll follow some of my own advice. Have a great trip. Bob
 
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