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Discussion Starter #1
Aside from the national legal speed limit, of course, are there any concerns running the Vulcan 900 (stock 2102) 80-85 mph for long periods of time?

Thoughts?

Experiences?

Thanks!
 

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My bike actually seems to vibrate less at indicated 80mph(I assume it is more like 74ish mph)
 

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Just returned from Sturgis on my 900LT. Put 4500 miles on my bike the last 2 weeks. Ran like a champ. I spend a few days running at 75 to 80 mph. Very smooth, no vibration, good additional torque for acceleration when you need it.

Gas mileage dropped to about 38-39 mph, but what do you expect??
 

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I personally wouldn't have a problem running at 75 to 80 for short periods of time like 30 minutes but 80 to 85 would be a stretch for me. I have run 85 for like 15 minutes but thats about enough for me. I run Amsoil motorcycle full synthetic and I keep my valves adjusted so probably not a big deal but if you are not sure your valves are right and you run petroleum based oil you might want to rethink this 85 mph cruising especially in high temperatures. I'm sure it would last a long time but at some point it becomes abusive and I think 85 is approaching that point.
 

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high speeds

As many 900's I've come across since I got my 09' I haven't seen one that didn't vibrate the heck out of you over 70. Even with my OD pulley on front and an oversize back tire I would never consider riding 80 for more than a few miles at a time. I just accept it for what it is and drive accordingly. If someone has a 900that doesn't vibrate at those speeds I think you are extremely fortunate.
 

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I am with Nati on this one, at 75mph it seems to hit a sweet spot and the vibration is very minimal
 

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I've done 80-90 indicated for 650+ miles in a day on my 800 classic, the 900 should have no problem. Advice you check you oil after an extended high speed ride, both times I've had to add oil to it was after a long interstate ride. My 1st trip like this was when it had less than 4000 miles on it, that was 104,000+ miles ago.
 

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It'll do it, without giving you any problem. It will numb you up though.
 

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I added both OD pulleys and oversize tire and it cruises at 80 really nicely, just don't do it all that often. Like cruising at 70 - 75 better, just more comfortable. But, with the high RPMs this engine produces cruising at 80-85 should be no problem.
 

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In the 80+ range (Not significantly above, your average "I'm going a little faster" to take the 5th...) for around 45 minutes straight in Texas in the Summer I had the temp light come on, but after slowing down to around 75, before I could find an exit, the light went back off. Food for thought.
 

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If you're going to do it, I'd strongly recommend OD pulley's to drop the vibrations.

I and others have done it, some for hours at a time. But a couple of things to note;

1) The 900 does not have an exceptional cooling system. The engine probably won't overheat, but it'll run on the high-end of it's temperature range. More heat = more wear.

2) As sfair said, vibrations aren't "Good" for anything mechanical. Although the reliability of the 900 (sans charging system on 06-07 models) is demonstrated on this forum as excellent. There are almost no discussions of major mechanical issues on the 900, even high mileage samples. It's a pretty bulletproof bike. But, even so, vibration isn't great.

3) Rider fatigue. How much time are you actually saving? Assuming you NEVER hit traffic that slows you down, at 75 miles per hour, you can transverse 100 miles in an hour and 19 minutes. At 85, an hour and 11 minutes. 8 minutes per 100 miles (give or take), and you are going to burn more fuel, have a lot more fatigue and a lot less enjoyable ride. (Plus the risk of a ticket in some of Americas more cash strapped municipalities who straddle the interstate and just love guys droning along at 85) If you need to keep up with someone fine; but I just don't think doing 85-90+ is really doing anything for you other than wearing you out. Plus the fact that it's my experience that when I decide to go a little faster, all that ever seems to happen is I hurry up and hit the next cluster of traffic out on the interstate doing 65. I once did a little 'experiment' in my car and set a timer when I got onto the interstate, and a timer when I got off about 300 miles later (no stopping). Cruise set at 80 the way there, and 65 the way back. No rush hour, accidents, construction or other heavy traffic. If I remember right, it was something like a 2 minute difference after 300 miles. That's what traffic and hitting those 18 wheelers who like to wait until they hit a steep hill to pass each other at 35mph does to you.

Not trying to talk you out of it or anything; but just saying I'm not too convinced the benefit outweighs the heat, vibration, and fatigue. There's a big difference between a bike that has the power to ride at high speeds for a long period of time, and a bike that can sustain those speeds without much of an effect on it. You're cranking 5~6k RPM's at 85mph!

EDIT: BUT (forgot to mention), that's all with stock pulley's. Overdrive pulley's may drop the RPM's enough to make it more sustainable. Though it won't do much for the engine heat, but that's not the end of the world. Just heed the warning if the light comes on.
 

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I also run a front overdrive pulley and oversized rear tire but I think for engine temperature at high speed cruising it is a drawback. At 85mph indicated without an overdrive pulley and 85mph indicated with an overdrive pulley the vibration is exactly the same since the engine rpms are exactly the same. The actual speed is different though by about 5mph. That's why I wonder when people say it cruises much easier at 70 mph with the overdrive pulley unless they are talking actual speed not indicated speed.With taller gearing on my stock 07 Classic with the pulley and tire I actually have to twist more throttle and if there is a head wind it is almost full throttle to maintain this kind of speed. Years ago I had a 750 Honda geared tall and it actually had a higher top speed in 4th gear than in 5th gear...couldn't pull the gearing. This happens with a stock 900 as well once geared to tall. This is probably why some people report lower fuel mileage with the overdrive pulley.
 

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If vibration level goes up, it absolutely puts more stress on the machinery, in fact, the whole motorcycle not to mention rider fatigue.
Indeed - but realistically is it going to make a difference? I suspect the bike will be long gone before vibration damage is an issue. If you are doing that amount of travel every day then maybe it's not a good idea but every once in a while I can't see a problem. Rider comfort is more of an issue as that will wear out well before the bike.
 

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I'm not sure but I'm guessing that the people who have the most complaints about vibration are maybe running stock grips. I have only ever had Kuryakin grips on mine and they really reduce the buzz on your hands. I had stock grips on my old bike and with decent grips it makes a world of difference.
 
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