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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Romans 5:8, nice ride! Are you going to do a video on why you chose the Vaquero over anything else/Harley?

What's the comparison to the 900 like?

I know you have been looking hard, just curious how you came to settle on the Vaquero. I think it's a GREAT choice! :)
 

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I may do a video. Currently shooting / editing a very basic 'first impressions' video. Waiting for the rain to subside to do the on-bike portion.

So off the top of my head;

Things the 900 does better:

More manageable at lower RPM's and lower throttle positions, and at low speeds (Vaquero is a little jerky. It doesn't like to hang around at low speeds.)

More stretched out riding position.

Smoother shifting.

Probably the most reliable motorcycle Kawasaki makes (sans '06-'07 stator issues). In fact, probably one of the most reliable motorcycles on the market. They just. Don't. Break.

The reach to the brake and clutch handles is shorter, making tricky low speed maneuvering much easier.

Things the Vaquero does better:

Suspension is fantastic. Bumps, potholes, uneaven road surfaces the bike glides right over.

More power, and geared for higher speeds (obviously).

Better wind protection from the fairing.

Better brakes. The linked braking system takes a bit to get used to. But it works well and the bike has a lot of stopping power. Interestingly, while it takes less effort to stop it at-speed, it takes more effort to hold it on a hill. Uses a surprising amount of 'force' on the front brake to hold the bike at an intersection on a hill.

Stereo fairing is better than anything that can be mounted onto the Handlebars of the 9.

Better electrical system eliminates anxiety about accessories that plagues 900 owners.

So, as to how I arrived at the Vaquero; my shortlist was

Victory Vision
Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic / Road Glide / Street Glide
Vulcan Voyager
Vulcan Vaquero

Couldn't get over the Victory's styling. So that got crossed off early. So then it was down to one of H-D's touring offerings, or one of Kawi's. I was trying to decide whether I wanted or needed a tour pak. Truth be told, as much as I loved my H-D King TourPak on the 9, I didn't use it for long trips much. I more used it closer to home to store extra gear, etc. All of those bikes have much larger saddlebags than what I had on the 9. So I was still going back and forth on whether I wanted a Tour Pak or not.

After test riding the entire list above at various demo rides, I resolved that I preferred a fixed fairing. So that crossed the Ultra off of my list. I happened to ride the Voyager and a Road Glide on the same hot day, and that's where the Road Glide was crossed off. Both had similar riding positions. I felt the stereo on the Voyager was a bit better. I felt the brakes on the Road Glide were stronger, but less linear. And I preferred the overall ride quality of the Voyager. I never have warmed up to the rubber mounted Harley engine, just not a fan. And what really sealed the deal was just how stinking hot that Harley ran. The Voyager got pretty warm at low speeds too, but nowhere near the very uncomfortable, very hot feeling of the Harley.

So it was down to Voyager/Vaquero. Then I got a chance to ride an Indian. And man was I excited! The moment they announced them I was drooling. If you've watched my videos there's a vlog called "My Dream Bike" where I talked about my experience riding various touring bikes and how I couldn't wait to take a Chieftan for a spin.

So a demo ride came up, I planted myself on a big red Indian Chieftan... and it sucked. The dash looked just like those cheap korean Hyosung motorcycles. It was so ugly. (The dash on the Vaq/Voyager are, hands down, my favorite of any motorcycle). Ride quality was decent though. The throttle was very laggy, and the stock seat sucked, neither of those were dealbreakers. The adjustable windshield was really cool and the stereo was decent. But, ultimately, it was/is a very expensive motorcycle that had way too many things I could "live with" and way too few things that excited me.

Then, while still hemming and hawwing, I even considered a Nomad. No fairing, which I wanted, but I rode plenty of several-thousand-mile multi-day trips on my 9 comfortably so I didn't think a Fairing was all that essential. And I saw a great deal on a Nomad. And in searching, I found an INSANE deal on a Vaquero. And, really, that's kind of what sealed the deal. With a couple of bikes on my shortlist and not quite sure what I wanted, it came down to a deal I couldn't pass up and, as they say, the rest is history.

Living with the Vaquero (which is way different than test driving a bike) has affirmed the decision. I love the bike more and more every day and get really excited to hop on it. I always knew I wanted a touring bike. From the moment I decided I wanted a motorcycle I knew I wanted a touring bike, I wanted to do long distance touring. I made the 9 into one, it was great. And I really, really enjoyed it. But this Vaquero sure is a sweet machine. It's everything I'm looking for! Stock seat sucks but, so did the seat on the 9. They are replaceable!
 

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Roman if you don't mind me giving you some advice on the Vaquero, get a taller windshield maybe a 14" and you'll be able to hear the stereo a lot better at higher speeds. And keep a eye on those hinges on the saddle bags, mine came lose and fell out on the one hing and didn't know it til I opened my bags and the door about fell off...I had to order new screws and use loctite to make sure it wouldn't happen again. Ride that Vaquero for a while and jump back on a 900 and it will feel like a moped. lol! Congats on the new ride!
 

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What a great write up!! Thanks for that.
I have also looked at the vaquero for a long time as my next ride. I like the style of the Road Glide and the many options that exist to make it a custom bike, but is not worth the difference in thou of dollars...
On my last trip to Daytona got the chance to sit and inspect the Victory Cross Country in details and the style of the bike is not my favorite, but I understand that is a better machine all around than the Vaquero( my opinion). I guess when the time comes I'll make that decision. For now I keep looking at my 900 and enjoying every ride. Even when I go to work..



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Great write up Romans. Great tip Die Hard. I agree, the more you ride the Vaquero... The better it gets!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great write up! Looking forward to the videos! :)

I bought a V-Strom for my highway adventure camping stuff. I use the 900 around town and can keep the V-Strom loaded for the weekends... :)
 

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I got the Vaquero and kept the 900 for around town every day driver. went on a 3000 mile road trip with the vaquero and man what a nice trip. Plenty of storage with a tour pack bungeed to the back rack. Look up rays throttle mod in the 1700 section of this forum to get rid of the slow speed jerky feeling.
 

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Romans, my only comment on your review is that all that low speed jerky stuff will be resolved if you ever get a fuel programmer. Not sure if the make a cobra power pro AT for the vaquero but that would be my first purchase. The 900 never had that issue for me, but my other Kawi bike did. Its all fueling my friend. Also I wonder if a steel braded brake line on the front would help you out with braking pressure.
 

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and possibly Ray's throttle mod!! ^_^
 

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When I had my 1700 Classic I hated the low speed herky jerky throttle and the clunky transmission. I resented the fact that a brand new bike needed a 'throttle mod' in order to run smoothly...
 

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Romans, my only comment on your review is that all that low speed jerky stuff will be resolved if you ever get a fuel programmer. Not sure if the make a cobra power pro AT for the vaquero but that would be my first purchase. The 900 never had that issue for me, but my other Kawi bike did. Its all fueling my friend. Also I wonder if a steel braded brake line on the front would help you out with braking pressure.
Evidently RACNRAY's throttle mod solves the issue. And it's not a huge issue.

When I had my 1700 Classic I hated the low speed herky jerky throttle and the clunky transmission. I resented the fact that a brand new bike needed a 'throttle mod' in order to run smoothly...
The clunky transmission is a characteristic of every big V-Twin I've ridden. Indian, Harley, Kawasaki. I guess I don't mind it. Actually, I kind of prefer it. It's nice and "positive". The 900 sometimes had me wondering if I actually got it into gear since it had such a light "clicky" shifter. The long travel for the 'reset' isn't the greatest (meaning you have to lift your foot up in between shifts), but none of those are dealbreakers. Man do I love this bike.

I can't argue with the fact that something as simple as Ray's mod can solve an issue that it would seem Kawi could fix at the factory. It seems, from what I understand, to just be an issue of moving where the throttle 'works'. But, it's a pretty fantastic bike. And I really enjoy it!
 

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was at the Kawi shop today and actually they had your new bike sitting on the showroom floor but for 14,800

HalfBreed
 

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was at the Kawi shop today and actually they had your new bike sitting on the showroom floor but for 14,800

HalfBreed
That's about what I'm seeing these '14 leftovers going for. $14~$16. But surely they aren't paying any 'more' than my dealer (unless my dealer got a 'discount' because they bought so many). Never hurts to make an offer!

There were two. Were. The other one sold the same day. Boom boom. Man, I was in the right place at the right time!
 
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