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Discussion Starter #1
Hello forum.

I've been enjoying my new '09 Vulcan 900 Classic. It's got about 1500 miles on it so far.

How hard can I push the motor on this bike without doing any kind of harm to it?
When I get to about "70" mph on the speedometer, it's quite loud and vibrates a lot.
Since there's no tachometer and it's so loud, I'm having a hard time figuring out if I should try and push it any farther. It seems like this bike should be able to move a little quicker.

Can anybody recommend a top speed for this bike? How fast have you gone?
 

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I've had my LT up to 115, was it tapped out? I don't think so but it couldn't have much more.
115? Really? Is that stock?
My Classic should do that, since it's lighter than the LT.
Do you feel like the wheels are going to fall off at 115? And is going 115 bad for the engine?
 

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I just finished a week long trip with two of my riding buddies that covered 2400 miles. We ran between 65 and 75 most of the time but there were stretches where we maintained 85 to 90 for some pretty long stretches. When my 900 Custom got past 2000 miles on it it seemed to loosen up some and had no problem running at these speeds. I did run it up to 105 once just to see if it would do it and there was still some throttle left in the bag. The bike does smooth out when you get past 75 and runs very smooth. She has just over 4000 on her now and runs like a top. The only mod to the engine is the exhaust is completely debaffled.
 

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I run 75 - 80 most of the time on the Interstate and it's very smooth. The upper 60's are "uncomfortable" for the bike, but it's fine in any other speed range. I've had it up to around 100 and it was still accelerating when I let off the throttle.

If I were guesstimating, I'd say it'll max out around 120 (on a perfectly level road). My Classic is 100% stock so I don't know what those numbers would be with an FI2000, pipes, and a BAK.
 

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I have a LT with Hard Krome pipes, FI2000, and NO intake. And I agree that 70 and above get vibrations alot. The bike is loud period. But I can barely get above 90 nonetheless get it above 100.
Now my rear tire was changed from a 180 to a 170 which means that my side wall height has changed. So I kinda doubt that a small change is going to rob me of 20 mph.
 

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Well, I have an 09 lt. Last night I opened her up a bit and I was quickly doing 160 kph. Roughly 96 mph. I was surprised as I had to "let off". The bike is quite busy, but, I come from a dual sport heritage and am quite used to riding bikes at high rpm's. This Kawi, from what I read is supposed to be driven aggressively. (upper rpm range in all gears). Engine lug hurts a bike. Don't be afraid to wind through the gears. We have a rev limiter which hasn't cut in on me yet and I frequently cruise around at 80 kph in third. It seems quite happy. On a side note I just passed 1500 kph and the bike seems like a completely different beast. WAY smoother, much LESS ticking.
 

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1500 kph

that would be pretty sweet.
 

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Hello forum.

I've been enjoying my new '09 Vulcan 900 Classic. It's got about 1500 miles on it so far.

How hard can I push the motor on this bike without doing any kind of harm to it?
When I get to about "70" mph on the speedometer, it's quite loud and vibrates a lot.
Since there's no tachometer and it's so loud, I'm having a hard time figuring out if I should try and push it any farther. It seems like this bike should be able to move a little quicker.

Can anybody recommend a top speed for this bike? How fast have you gone?
Your not the only one with this problem, if you want to call it a problem. I have the same kind of bike but mine is an 07, and when I get around 80 mph it sounds like it's going to blow up, but everybody saying that it is normal for this kind of operation but still I don't like pushing it that hard.
 

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I installed a tach on my 900 and it helps a lot (it's really easy to install). I haven't had it past 95 yet, but at about 4K rpm in 5th it's doing 72 and at 5K it hits 90 mph..

 

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It's interesting to me how different people's experience is with the same basic setup. Most of the posters ride a Classic and yet we have some who say it's incredibly smooth over 70 (such as myself) and those who say it nearly vibrates them off the road. There are some who say it shifts smoothly (I think it's the smoothest shifting bike I've ever ridden) and some who say it's a rough shifter.

I guess in the factory while they are assembling them, even the slightest variations make a world of difference in the final product.
 

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I thought I'd try opening it up a little on my way home from work. I got it to nearly 90 on the speedometer. It did seem to smooth out a little after 65-70mph. It felt like it had a bit more left in it. I think I should probably get a windshield before I go for 100.

Being my first bike, I have nothing else to compare it to, but I really do love it. It was a great bike to learn on. I just wish it would stop raining so I could put some more miles on it before it starts snowing again!
 

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It's interesting to me how different people's experience is with the same basic setup. Most of the posters ride a Classic and yet we have some who say it's incredibly smooth over 70 (such as myself) and those who say it nearly vibrates them off the road. There are some who say it shifts smoothly (I think it's the smoothest shifting bike I've ever ridden) and some who say it's a rough shifter.

I guess in the factory while they are assembling them, even the slightest variations make a world of difference in the final product.
I really feel what you have ridden before the 900 comes into play. I rode an XT250 for three years prior to the Kawi. This seems like the proverbial Cadillac to me. Those coming from a sport-bike may feel it's a sluggish noisy beast...lol. Try driving an xt250 on the highway for 3 years......and a "busy" engine would be an understatement.
What amazes me most is the variances in top-end. Some are straining to do 80, while others such as myself cruise comfortably at 80. I had her up to approx. 95 the other night. Smooth and comfortable, with plenty left. Strange how some are experiencing a sluggish top end. That being said, this is a cruiser. I'm SO comfortable at 60 it's incredible.
Regards-Silent.
 

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I think I read somewhere that the custom tops out around 117mph - hit rev limiter. I've had mine to 107 (GPS) and there was still some left. Vibration above 75mph is noticeable on mine - possibly front tire.
 

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I have a 09 classic LT with over 4k miles. I run it quite a bit over 65. I have not noticed the increased vibration between 60-70 as some have mentioned. I have "pegged" the throttle to wide open several times. Top speed I have been able to reach is around 95 mph. the engine does sound like it is wound tight at this speed, but it does not give up. I ran a constant 95 mph for about 5 miles on back roads with no problems.
I really believe this bike would be awesome with a 6th gear.
At the moment I am averaging around 50 mpg with 92 octane fuel.
 

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I have a "new" 900 Custom SE that i just took on a trip. I turned 1000mi on the way out and 5000 on the way back.

I've found that the indicated speed on the speedometer and actual speed vary by 15% on my bike and was told that Kawasaki intentionally incorporates a 10% error. When i do 60mph on my speedo, i am actually doing 51mph according to a GPS unit. I've verified the discrepancy entering towns that display a radar reading of your speed.

Top speed? I can't say as i've topped it out, but i've done 105 on the speedo (About 90mph actual) and wasn't particularly impressed with the handling of the bike. During fairly aggressive cornering and at speeds over 85mph (actual) the front end exhibits a noticible shimmy. It may be possible to accelerate through it on the straights, but it's unnerving in the corners. The engine never seemed to complain though.

Your top speed will vary according to what accessories you have on your bike... a full windshield, for example, will slow it appreciably. But really, did you buy the bike for it's top end, or because it's a great bike for around town?
 
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