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Discussion Starter #1
I've been searching for a mid-sized crusier and a few days ago I test drove a 2006 900 classic. It was very smooth up to 75, as fast I got. The same day I found a new 2010 classic at a dealer marked way down to clear stock. I figured may as well get a new one with warranty. It had never been gassed up. I bought it. However, this one is not smooth like the older one. Above 60 mph it really starts to vibrate, not smooth, rough. I've had a technician look at it and he said it's just the way these bike run. So, what's up with this? Now, the 2006 had 5500 miles on it. My new one has 300. Has anyone had any experience with these bikes getting better with age? I also see that being a V-Twin it has an engine counter balance. Could it be that some engines are just more balanced than others? I checked with the owner of the 2006 and he had not made any modifications except for new pipes. I know this topic has been covered more than once. I'm trying to figure out if it is the case that "not all 900 vulcan classics are created equal", or if there is anything I can do to make this bike pur like the 2006 I test drove.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I need to do a search about changing the pulleys. I've seen this referenced a few times now. What's involved? About how much does it cost? What options and what effect for each, etc? Sounds like it might be the way to go but I still need enough power to pull me and my wife, about 320 lbs together.
 

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Another +1 to pulleys. Another thing is, some vibration (some) may go away as it breaks in. I know my wifes Shadow vibrated a bit until it got broken in. (Full disclosure; bought mine used so this may not be a behavior of the Vulcans)

The Baron's pulley's run $150~$200 for the front. The rear around $300. Then shop labor, I would assume they could do both pulleys in under 2 hours, so figure under $200 for labor. This assumes, of course, that you don't wanna do the work yourself! Not difficult, just requires the right tools! I've not replaced mine, but I have had the front pulley off. It's not hard, just get a shop manual (Kawasaki.com for a digital one, about $75, or go on eBay and get a printed copy cheap), and follow the instructions.

There's also another brand, although it seems folks are happier with the Barons? But sometimes opinions change. If you search around the 900 section of the forum you should find lots of info on how folks have swapped their pulley's. I may do it myself but I've gotten so used to the vibrations I hardly notice, to be honest.

As far as power? Yes, technically, there is a loss of power at the same speed at the same gear. But there is no REAL loss of power. Meaning, you MIGHT have to downshift into 4th to pass up a hill, whereas you could pull it in 5th now. However no power is actually lost, it's just 'moved', does that make sense? In other words you may need to downshift, but there's still plenty-o-power. If you feel you need more and don't mind investing a little, about a grand will beef up this motor quite a bit with easy bolt-on stuff. Exhaust, intake, and a fuel processor will create some pretty meaningful gains of 50% or more. Get it on a Dyno and have it tuned with those three, plus the pulley's, and some report 70+ horsepower, plus smooth at high speeds. You spend a little; but it's still less than a bigger bike, and the bike is still just as light and nimble! There's always a trade-off with any bike, but the 900 has a unique ability of really being able to 'close the gap' with a few mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I understand you don't really have less power, but rather less torque at any given speed in the same gear as without the stock pullys. The question is, how much torque do you really need at any given speed/gear. And, as you say you can just down shift if necessary.

Went out and rode for about an hour and half this morning. I think I just need to get used the bike more. I was riding a little 250 before and was used to accelerating fast and revving hard. Once I relaxed and started working through the gears more slowly and shifting sooner the bike felt much better. I think I'm just getting more use to the type of vibration the bike has also.

That said it seems like the gears are too close together and new pullys would really help spread it out a bit more. On my 250 I replaced the 45 tooth rear sprocket with a 40 tooth and it make a huge difference. Well, I'll probably go with this for a while. It's a new 2010 with a one year warranty. Any idea if replacing the pullys would void the warranty? I can check with the dealer on that also. Thanks for all the input!
 

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That said it seems like the gears are too close together and new pullys would really help spread it out a bit more. On my 250 I replaced the 45 tooth rear sprocket with a 40 tooth and it make a huge difference. Well, I'll probably go with this for a while. It's a new 2010 with a one year warranty. Any idea if replacing the pullys would void the warranty? I can check with the dealer on that also. Thanks for all the input!
You got it, changing the pulleys (like you changed the sprocket) will stretch the gearing out (as well as the top gear for highway cruising). I like the spread out gears. As for the warranty, I would not think it would impact it, but I would go and ask the dealership.
 

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You got it, changing the pulleys (like you changed the sprocket) will stretch the gearing out (as well as the top gear for highway cruising). I like the spread out gears. As for the warranty, I would not think it would impact it, but I would go and ask the dealership.
I would recommend the OP ask the dealership, like you said. Mainly because that's who you're going to go to if you need to get warranty work done. If they say no, you can always go back with the name of the person, date, and time you were told it would not be an issue.

There are legal protections in the US that prevent manufacturers from voiding entire warranties due to modifications and accessories. The funny thing about legal protections, though, is that you're going to have to be willing to hire an attorney and take them to court if push came to shove!

Naturally, if damage can be proven to have been caused by the mod it won't be covered. For example, if the drive splines coming out of the transmission became damaged, they could blame the pulley and not cover the splines. (I've never heard of it happening, but just a 'for instance'). If a fuel injector failed, they'd have a hard time blaming the pulley.

But, again OP; I'd ask the dealer. But I do know that people in the past have been able to debaffle pipes, replace pipes, and do all sorts of mods and still have un-related things covered. Mine didn't have a warranty, but I did ask the dealer about my wifes bike; what the warranty requirements were if we were to install aftermarket pipes or debaffle the stock pipes. They said the pipes would no longer be covered (a given), but the rest of the bike would be! That's in line with what the law says they should be doing.

Good luck, OP!

Oh, it's worth mentioning that very few folks have taken their 900's in for warranty work, other than a couple of recalls, and some stators on earlier models. These have been some incredibly rock-solid reliable bikes!

-John
 

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Oh, it's worth mentioning that very few folks have taken their 900's in for warranty work, other than a couple of recalls, and some stators on earlier models. These have been some incredibly rock-solid reliable bikes!
+1 on this.... Very reliable. :good:
 

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Welcome to the forums!,

I changed my front pulley, Simply love it, I could tell the difference before I left the driveway. Also I am not a speed racer guy, so that getting to 0 to 60 not a big deal. I still beat out 90% of the cars on the road lol. I use to ride 5th in the city , but now I find myself in 4th more
 

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Above 60 mph it really starts to vibrate, not smooth, rough.
Another +1 to the pulleys. I did both the front and rear and would never go back. Just need to learn the new shifting points and it rides great. Little vibration about 60 now (unless you get above 80 but...)

To followup with Romans comment also- I found that once I got about 3,000KM (1,800 miles) on her it felt smoother. Kind of like everything loosened up a little and settled down for the long haul.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm a little confused. When you say +1 to the pullys, does this mean increasing the pully size by one "cog" (or what would be one tooth on a gear)? Do you add one to both front and back, and if so, how does this work? With gears, I think you usually at to the front and/or remove from the back. I'm new to belts though.
 

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I'm a little confused. When you say +1 to the pullys, does this mean increasing the pully size by one "cog" (or what would be one tooth on a gear)? Do you add one to both front and back, and if so, how does this work? With gears, I think you usually at to the front and/or remove from the back. I'm new to belts though.
Sorry OldDave, +1 simply means I add another vote to changing out your pulleys.

Someone will correct me if I have this wrong, but the front pulley adds 2 teeth (or cog if you wish) and the rear is smaller by 2 teeth.
 

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Sorry OldDave, +1 simply means I add another vote to changing out your pulleys.

Someone will correct me if I have this wrong, but the front pulley adds 2 teeth (or cog if you wish) and the rear is smaller by 2 teeth.
Half correct, the rear reduces the teeth by 4 (66 teeth stock, 62 after market).
 

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Well, OD pulleys as have been recommended by others are often the prescription for the 900's generally buzzy feeling at slab-speed (around 75).

But seems to me, you've got a rough vibration at 60, and that ain't normal for these at all. Mine was smooth as glass at 60 MPH all day long. I would check tire balance first and go from there. Also check and adjust tire pressure. The front wheel is easy enough to haul in off the bike, and if you don't mind monkeying with belt adjustment the back's really not too big a pain either.

I don't think your vibration is from the engine at all. The "buzziness" I'm familiar with was a smooth, even vibration through the footboards that wasn't even enough to bother me. You describe something entirely different in my estimation.
 

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Well, OD pulleys as have been recommended by others are often the prescription for the 900's generally buzzy feeling at slab-speed (around 75).

But seems to me, you've got a rough vibration at 60, and that ain't normal for these at all. Mine was smooth as glass at 60 MPH all day long. I would check tire balance first and go from there. Also check and adjust tire pressure. The front wheel is easy enough to haul in off the bike, and if you don't mind monkeying with belt adjustment the back's really not too big a pain either.

I don't think your vibration is from the engine at all. The "buzziness" I'm familiar with was a smooth, even vibration through the footboards that wasn't even enough to bother me. You describe something entirely different in my estimation.
Good catch!

OP; what do the mirrors do? Even at 80+ my 900 doesn't vibrate enough to make the mirrors hard to see (stock pulleys). The vibration is a constant, mlld vibrations. It's there but it's not a rough/shaking/beating-up kind of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi all. Here's an update on the vibration issue. I put 528 miles on over the last week just riding around the county. It seems like the vibration has mellowed out quite a bit but I'm not sure how much of it is real and how much is just getting use to the bike. In any case, I now seem to experience what most everyone here has described as normal for these bikes. Up to about 60 mph it does run fairly smooth. After that the vibration becomes more intense but not like the bike will fall apart.

I'm sure a lot of my initial impressions were based on two things. First, I have been riding a 250 for the last three months. Not much heavy vibration there so going to this is quite a difference. Second, I tend to be very sensitive about little things are new purchases but once the newness wears off I come around to accept it is what it is. To be honest, I'm really starting to like the bike a lot. I was a bit duped also by the short test ride I had on a 2006 with 5400 miles on it and after market pipes. I only rode it for 20 minutes but it seems sooooo.... smooth, even at 75 mph. The pullys were stock so maybe it was that it was better worn in and perhaps the new pipes made the overall vibration seem smoother, more harmonic. In any case, thanks for all the input. Good to know the bike is probably just fine and also good to have found such a great bunch of people to bounce questions off of! Great forum!
 

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I recently bought a 2012 Classic with 0 miles on it. I followed the break in instructions in the manual. When I could ride it faster in each gear I did not notice any alarming vibration at higher speeds in 4th or 5th gear. This would be at speeds approaching 80 mph. It took a 1000 miles to break in the bike so maybe it does smooth out after a time. I do find myself looking for a 6th gear now and then but only when I am on the Interstate or a 65 mph secondary highway. I now have about 1800 miles on the bike.

If a lot of your riding is over 65, say approaching 75 to 80 mph then the sprocket change is something to think about. If your bike spends most of its time under 65 mph I think it is probably not required. I grew up riding Triumphs, Bsa's, Honda's, and Yamahas. They all vibrated to some degree or other. The Vulcan Classic is smooth compared to the early bikes I rode and perhaps its just something you get used to. $700 seems a lot of money to to spend for a little vibration.
 

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Mine started buzzing at 60mph, from 65-70mph it was very unpleasant yomthe point I no longer have the bike, I loved riding it under 60mph but north of it forget it.....Before I got rid of it I test it to see if it was something else that could be causing this buzz...I got it up to 65-70 pulled in the clutch it was smooth as glass....just like it should be with clutch out......The engine is not balanced right for higher rpms.....its a cruiser, if you want to drive at interstate speeds kawasaki wants you to upgrade to one of their bigger bikes....
 

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It sounds to me like something may have been wrong with your motor. My 900 will run at 80 mph and the vibration is minimal, but as I said earlier in a post it may be that I am just used it given what I rode most of my life. The wind buffeting is more of a problem. I added a windshield and that helped some. Cruising along at 65 it is quite smooth and at 70 I don't notice it all that much. A lot of my riding is on secondary highways at 65 to 70 and, so far, this bike is perfect for that.
 
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