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Discussion Starter #1
I currently ride a 2009 HD Sportster 883L and am considering trading it in for a Vulcan 900 Custom. I'm an average height woman, 5'6", but I have short legs. I love the way the blacked out 900 Custom looks and a local dealer has a left over 2010 for a good price (less than $7K).

The concerns I have that I'm looking for opinions on are:

Reach to the footpegs - Are floorboards available?

I'd like to do more long trips, and I never carry a passenger. Since this is basically a lateral move and not an "upgrade" for power, is this a bike I will be happy with for a while? I don't usually ride on the interstate.

Any other mods needed for the vertically challenged?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum.

For reference, I am 5'10 with a 30" inseam, I have no issues with reaching the pegs on my 900. That being said you can switch the custom's pegs out for the classic's floorboards I believe some of the riders here have already done the switch. I like the 900's seating position over the sportster's. If handlebar reach is an issue you can add risers to the custom very easily.

If you are looking at the switch as a lateral move rather than an upgrade then I would say that you will be happy with the trade. At about 280 lbs my 9 moves me pretty well, personally I feel that I eventually will need/want to move to a bigger bike.
 

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900 Customs

I purchased an 08 900C for my wife (slightly more vertically challenged than you at 5'2"). She can tip the bike up easily and get both feet on the ground, as does my daughter in law. The 900 will be no problem for you if you have already been riding a Sporty. You will find that the 900 is lower, longer, and smoother handling than the Sporty as well. Power isn't much different, torque comes in slightly different spots. As for your options, you can get OEM and aftermarket boards easily for the 900s. I left the pegs on mine, but I ride it too as a pub crawler and like to scrape them a bit....:eek:
 

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I currently ride a 2009 HD Sportster 883L and am considering trading it in for a Vulcan 900 Custom. I'm an average height woman, 5'6", but I have short legs. I love the way the blacked out 900 Custom looks and a local dealer has a left over 2010 for a good price (less than $7K).

The concerns I have that I'm looking for opinions on are:

Reach to the footpegs - Are floorboards available?

I'd like to do more long trips, and I never carry a passenger. Since this is basically a lateral move and not an "upgrade" for power, is this a bike I will be happy with for a while? I don't usually ride on the interstate.

Any other mods needed for the vertically challeng

Thanks!
For longer trips you may need to replace the seat. Some folks find it uncomfortable :freaked-out: Some aftermarket seats will raise you up and forward a bit (Mustang for One). If you have trouble touching the ground, inexpensive lowering kits are readily available. :smile:

For me, the VN900 is much more comfortable than the 883. It has a big bike feel, yet is quite nimble and handles well. Trash the Dunlops and replace with Metzlers, Pirellis or Avons ASAP!! The bike handles way better with the aftermarket tires.:)

Plenty of aftermarket stuff available. If you want some more zip, a set of pipes, air kit, and fuel processor will give you some...but it won't be cheap.:eek:

I personally would make the switch. The blacked out Vulcan looks awesome and the ride is excellent. It however does not, and never will sound like an HD. It will whistle, click and whine. However, Vance and Hines, Cobra and others have a solution for that. :cool:

Good luck with your decision!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone! I am definitely interested in the better handling, smoother ride, and bigger bike feel. It sounds like it will feel like an upgrade.

I loved this bike when I first saw it in 2007 but it felt too big for me then, so I went with a Honda VT750C2. I loved the Honda and now I can't remember why I sold it and bought the sporty.
 

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Yes floorboards are available and one more thing u need to consider if most of your riding is in the interstate is both scootworks pulleys. with out them the bike will start to rev high at about 65mph on the speedo, speedo is off about 5-6mph (true speed will be about 60mph). with only one sw pulley the bike will start to rev high at about 70mph but the speedo will be corrected and will only be off by 2mph so true speed will be about 68. With both SW pulleys the bike will start to rev high at about 70mph on the speedo but by adding both pulleys you over correct the speedo error so true speed will be about 78mph. Most of my riding is at highway speeds of 70mph so without these pulleys I would have traded my bike this last spring. Very happy and best mod I could have done for my type of riding. Other things you migh want to upgrade is the seat (like in most bikes) and add a shield.
 

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The 900 doesn't really "rev high". Both bikes make maximum torque around the same engine speed. Having ridden both I'd say the 900 has more both bottom end grunt and top end power, while the 883 has a perkier midrange. The 883 is a really lovely engine and sounds beautiful too, but as an overall package the 900 is arguably a better bike. It's a great handler if it suits your size. If I was 5'6" I'm not sure I'd swap from a Sportster. See if you can get a decent test ride.

Personally I don't find the Vulcan seat that uncomfortable. I don't do huge miles but I've managed 200-300 miles in a day without much discomfort. If I was doing full scale touring I'd probably get a new seat.

So far no one has mentioned one of the best things about the 900 -- a tank that can take you over 200 miles between fill-ups. Even if you never ride that far without taking a break it's surprising how much easier it makes planning a trip.
 

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That's awesome! But maybe not good news for our 5'6" rider with the short legs. Apparently at that height you'll need at least a 29" inseam to reach the Custom's pegs.
And I now know I couldn't put both feet on the floor on a R1200GS, even on tiptoes. But I kinda knew that anyway.
 

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try this link .. motorcycle ergonomics .. fill in the details ..
http://cycle-ergo.com/
Wow, that's terrific -- thanks for that link!! That's exactly what I've been trying to find for months.

I'm lusting after a new Triumph Thunderbird 1600 to upgrade (maybe next year), but I've been concerned that it may feel even smaller than my 900 Custom since the base length appears to be shorter. Sure enough, my knee angle @ 6'1" & 34" inseam is 113 degrees w/ the Vulcan and 104 degrees with the Triumph. :( Not what I wanted to see since my Vulcan already feels a bit cramped at times, but what I was fearing.

Crap. Now I just need to figure out if I can live with it. Interestingly, another bike I compared, the Triumph America, the bike I almost bought instead of the 900 Custom has a knee angle of 120 degrees! Seems absurd their 900cc bike is larger in build/ergonomics than the 1600/1700 cc Thunderbird.

The Victory Vegas, the other choice I've been toying with, is 106 degrees...I really thought it'd be more than the Vulcan, but it's just neck-and-neck w/ the Triumph Thunderbird.
 

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Hey HLD1110,
I went from a Sportster to a blacked out VN900 Custom and I'm only a little fella..5'7" with a 30" inside leg. I find it an easy reach to the bars and pegs and have done 350 miles a day for a week on it without any trouble. It's a way better bike in terms of handling and the engine is more flexible. Can't recommend it highly enough. Go get it :)
 
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