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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to decide on my first bike and after month's of research I decided on EN 500 but it just occurred to me I never looked at VN 750. As stated, this would be my first bike BUT I am also 6'5" tall.

Purpose: mainly, daily 40 mile commute on motorway, occasional trips.
Things that matter to me:
- fit (I am quite tall)
- mpg (It looks like VN 7500 manages 60mpg which is almost as good as EN 500)
- looks
- boots for overtaking and ability to long-time cruise at +80mph

So, what do you think?
 

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Only reason I would consider a 750 is for the slight advantage that a person with longer legs can be more comfy, and shaft drive. Then I would take the 750 if it is either same or less money. For all out performance a 500 will outrun a 750 and get better fuel mileage doing it, if that is important to you.
 

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I've never ridden an EN500, but I had an '85 VN700, which literally is a VN750 with a slightly narrower bore designed to dodge the hated Big Bike Tariff. I also spent a fair amount of time on the highway with a friend who rode a '96 VN750, so here's what I can tell you about the original Vulcans:

The VN750 WILL NOT get 60 mpg. My friend and I both averaged about 44-47. They're twin carbed, and will soak some fuel if you let them.

The VN750 has a notoriously weak charging system and you will need to keep a close eye on it.

American-built VN750s are prone to final drive failure from improper driveshaft spline lubrication at assembly. This is not that difficult to prevent, but if the final drive is allowed to grenade, replacement parts will be expensive and hard to find.

The VN750's automatic cam chain tensioners are good for about 15k-20k miles. At this point it's one of two things causing the problem: either the cam chain has developed enough slack the tensioner can't keep it tight, or the spring in the tensioner has grown too weak to keep up. Manual cam chain tensioners are common and inexpensive, so this isn't really a big problem if you stay on it.

WEAK CLUTCH! Kawi cheaped out on the clutch spring quality, so many bikes will "coffee-grinder" when cold. Which is startling and can be dangerous. Never did find a workaround for this.

The VN750 is longer and roomier than the EN500. Its rear shocks can be adjusted both for air charge and spring preload, which is nice, and I think up through '87 the forks could be adjusted for air charge too (get a suspension pump for this or stuff might explode). The motor has like a 9500 RPM redline, so you can just wrap the hell out of every gear if you're so inclined. Honestly, they have a high top end for a small bike; mine would do 125-130 MPH. The engine itself is really pretty solid, and no one I know of personally had any of the control and handling issues from the shaft drive that are common on more powerful bikes.

I liked my 700, but after a while I needed something more reliable and better able to handle 2-up riding. VN750s are a bit cramped for 2 people.
 

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Being that tall... have you looked at the VN800 used or 900? Vulcans are great bikes I'm 5'8" and love the 500, have never cared for the way the 750 looks, and as stated the 500 will out perform the 750 and if you change to a 17 tooth front sprocket then 80 MPH should not be a problem. Go set on them and see which "fits" better.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Anything bigger runs out of my price range. Besides, I found out 750s are very rare in the UK where I live. Looks like I gonna have to get EN 500 and play around with highway pegs or extended controls, the later costing 50-75% of the bike itself.
 

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American-built VN750s are prone to final drive failure from improper driveshaft spline lubrication at assembly. This is not that difficult to prevent, but if the final drive is allowed to grenade, replacement parts will be expensive and hard to find.
Sorry to interrupt!

Since you mentioned it, I'm curious as to what measures I can take to prevent this from happening. I recently bought a 2002 VN750 with 5,000 miles on it. No problems, but any preventative measures for a potential future expense, I'd be very interested in doing. Thanks for your reply!
 

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driveshaft spline lubrication

American-built VN750s are prone to final drive failure from improper driveshaft spline lubrication at assembly. This is not that difficult to prevent, but if the final drive is allowed to grenade, replacement parts will be expensive and hard to find.

I have a leak of final drive oil from my 1995 Vulcan 750. I don't know if it is American-built. I just ordered three seals for $50 including tax. I have a shop that will install the seals for between $140 and $180. I think this shop will let me watch while they fix it. What kind of things should we watch out for?
 

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Being that tall... have you looked at the VN800 used or 900? Vulcans are great bikes I'm 5'8" and love the 500, have never cared for the way the 750 looks, and as stated the 500 will out perform the 750 and if you change to a 17 tooth front sprocket then 80 MPH should not be a problem. Go set on them and see which "fits" better.
I know the en 500 was last manufactured in 2009. (I have one) Bought it cause didn't care the the "tank" look of the 900. Where the heck is a VN750 coming in to play here?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I ended up getting EX500. Not as cool looking as a Vulcan, but better suited for daily freeway commute and cross country rides. Plus, it's better suited for someone my height.
 

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My vulcan 750 gets 36-37 mpg and is quite quick. Id like to see a 500 catch me. At least I guess it is slower. These bikes with some exceptions are like a little hot rod. Dual carbs, 4 plugs per cyl, 10.3 : 1 comp. 40 horsepower. Add a k&n and a set of vance and hines and you havew quite a ride. A guy named Chad at chadsbike.com has floorboards for sale. They are the only ones that I have found to be a simple bolt on. Highway pegs can be mounted using the same persons, Chad, adapters. I put a set of Harley "biscuit" types on mine. I have found though Id rather have longer floor boards that Extend out further toward the front of the bike.
 

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I have to agree with everything you guys have said about the 750 is true but if you maintain it you should have no problems in getting many, many years of trouble free operation. The one problem that drives me crazy is the weak charging system so I use my battery tender all the time.
 

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I just bought a new sealed battery. Maybe I will install a lead from the battery terminals so I can plug in the battery tender without taking the seat off.
 
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