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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is anyone else bothered by all the plastic on the VN900? I have a hard time convincing myself that the bike isn't trying to be something it's not, sporting all the chromed plastic the bike does. The chrome plastic "primary drive" cover on the left side of the motor is the WORST, it reminds me of those cheap bicycles they sell at WalMart that have a plastic "engine". I'm seriously considering reducing some of the more blatant chromed plastic on my bike by just taking it off and painting the part they are trying to hide (rear fender struts) or making my own aluminum covers (fake horn cover that actually covers the coils, belt guard, etc). Other parts, I'd just paint (gauge cover, left side engine cover) to minimize their "cheesiness". Have others done this? Links to threads? Or am I the only one this bothers?
 

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If the primary cover was exactly the same, but chrome-plated cast aluminum, would that be somehow less cheesy? It would make the bike cost more....
 

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I'd love to be able to get rid of that codpiece though. Low & Mean had an idea to eliminate it, but it really didn't improve the looks much so they dropped the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If the primary cover was exactly the same, but chrome-plated cast aluminum, would that be somehow less cheesy? It would make the bike cost more....
Well yeah, for one thing the bike doesn't even need a "primary drive" cover, it's just a "dress up" part, like the non-functional plastic "engine" on the WalMart bicycle.

What's the "cod piece"?
 

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Well yeah, for one thing the bike doesn't even need a "primary drive" cover, it's just a "dress up" part, like the non-functional plastic "engine" on the WalMart bicycle.

What's the "cod piece"?
Have you pulled it off though?

Underneath there are two covers. One, covers the left side of the engine and holds the stator, the other is a cover over the front pulley that helps keep road debris from getting up and marring up your pulley or breaking the belt. That chrome 'primary' cover goes over each of those two covers nicely and, IMO, looks better than if the two covers were seperate. If you don't like it just take it off. It isn't a mechanically necessary part. Take it off and have the alternator cover and pulley covers chromed. (Or if you wanted them painted black, well good news, they already are!)

I'm not bothered by the plastic chrome. My bike was $5,000. If I bought it brand spanking new, current model year, and didn't negotiate the price or have a trade in or anything I STILL wouldn't break $10,000 out the door. That means I get plastic chrome, and I'm fine with that. With the right chrome polish it can look really really good. "Cheesy" never comes to mind, in my opinion. I would love a way to remove the ignition cover and re-locate it. Saw that done on a V-Star and it looked good. But even that doesn't look bad and there are LOTS of aftermarket options out there.

Not trying to be mean but it is a sub-$10,000 mid-sized cruiser. You'll be disappointed if you are expecting more than what it is. If you want real chrome, (Although most V-Twins have an ignition cover and the ignition mounts in that spot), and so on and so forth, you'll need to fork out some money. Either to do some custom parts for your bike, or to just go out and buy a Harley or another 'real chrome' bike. As for me, it looks the same going down the road, looks fine to me, and I'll gladly trade real chrome for fake chrome (that doesn't pit or rust, mind you. There are some ADVANTAGES to plastic chrome), for a reliable, fun, comfortable bike that I spent peanuts on...

But that's me!

-John
 

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Is anyone else bothered by all the plastic on the VN900? I have a hard time convincing myself that the bike isn't trying to be something it's not, sporting all the chromed plastic the bike does. The chrome plastic "primary drive" cover on the left side of the motor is the WORST, it reminds me of those cheap bicycles they sell at WalMart that have a plastic "engine". I'm seriously considering reducing some of the more blatant chromed plastic on my bike by just taking it off and painting the part they are trying to hide (rear fender struts) or making my own aluminum covers (fake horn cover that actually covers the coils, belt guard, etc). Other parts, I'd just paint (gauge cover, left side engine cover) to minimize their "cheesiness". Have others done this? Links to threads? Or am I the only one this bothers?
Just sell the bike and buy something you like..........................................
 

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Have you pulled it off though?

Underneath there are two covers. One, covers the left side of the engine and holds the stator, the other is a cover over the front pulley that helps keep road debris from getting up and marring up your pulley or breaking the belt. That chrome 'primary' cover goes over each of those two covers nicely and, IMO, looks better than if the two covers were seperate. If you don't like it just take it off. It isn't a mechanically necessary part. Take it off and have the alternator cover and pulley covers chromed. (Or if you wanted them painted black, well good news, they already are!)

I'm not bothered by the plastic chrome. My bike was $5,000. If I bought it brand spanking new, current model year, and didn't negotiate the price or have a trade in or anything I STILL wouldn't break $10,000 out the door. That means I get plastic chrome, and I'm fine with that. With the right chrome polish it can look really really good. "Cheesy" never comes to mind, in my opinion. I would love a way to remove the ignition cover and re-locate it. Saw that done on a V-Star and it looked good. But even that doesn't look bad and there are LOTS of aftermarket options out there.

Not trying to be mean but it is a sub-$10,000 mid-sized cruiser. You'll be disappointed if you are expecting more than what it is. If you want real chrome, (Although most V-Twins have an ignition cover and the ignition mounts in that spot), and so on and so forth, you'll need to fork out some money. Either to do some custom parts for your bike, or to just go out and buy a Harley or another 'real chrome' bike. As for me, it looks the same going down the road, looks fine to me, and I'll gladly trade real chrome for fake chrome (that doesn't pit or rust, mind you. There are some ADVANTAGES to plastic chrome), for a reliable, fun, comfortable bike that I spent peanuts on...

But that's me!

-John
Plus 1 .... most do not know its plastic ... this bike weighs 641lbs and is heavy enough ... i paid $9000 for my LT and expect plastic. Some have dressed that plastic up rather nice, due to old age :eek: i cant remember who it was on here.

Its all about price and weight ...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just sell the bike and buy something you like..........................................
I like the bike alright, I'd just like to get rid of some of the plastic. I'm in the process of changing the bike anyway and would like some idea of what others have done. I remember someone did something with the "cod piece" but couldn't remember what is was.

I know others can't tell it's plastic going down the road but I know. Kinda like I wish Kawasaki spent more time and money on the seat, stator, and gearing than they spent on chrome plastic covers.
 

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The "plastichrome" doesn't really bother me at all. Well, there are some parts that I don't think look good. But, in general; I don't mind it.

I don't think I have seen a modern car or bike manufacturer that doesn't use it in one place or another. As long as it meets any structural requirements necessary; I don't really see a downside.

It is light, age and the elements have little effect on it, it is reduces the cost of the bike and reduces repair costs if it has to be replaced.

If you think it is trying to be something it isn't, take a close look at what you think it is trying to be. Tap and thump all of the shiny and painted bits on it and you will find some plastic there too.

If you don't want to be seen at that dealership :eek:; you can just do a search for 'chromed plastic' on ANY manufactures web forums and find discussions similar to this one.

Scott
 

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I like the bike alright, I'd just like to get rid of some of the plastic. I'm in the process of changing the bike anyway and would like some idea of what others have done. I remember someone did something with the "cod piece" but couldn't remember what is was.

I know others can't tell it's plastic going down the road but I know. Kinda like I wish Kawasaki spent more time and money on the seat, stator, and gearing than they spent on chrome plastic covers.
At least Kawasaki doesn't use it on structurally important stuff. The plastic stuff is all dress-up stuff.

I understand about wanting Kawasaki to upgrade some stuff, but then what would the price be? We're talking about a bike that's priced the lowest in it's class (in either category, sub-1000cc cruisers, or boulevard cruisers that can include some much bigger bike motors). With the sole exception of the H-D Sportster that can hardly be considered a comparable bike (sportster is a very plain, outdated bike). Yet it has features, owner satisfaction and review scores that are up there with the best! It's something like #13 out of 100 best bikes on MCN's list, and that includes all price ranges, sizes, and types!

Your bike is already black isn't it? What about blacking out the engine? Kind of like some of the Kawasaki 900 customs are? You have two options here, either to buy the actual black pieces, or just paint them yourself.

One thing you can do (on the covers, I wouldn't do it in any really high heat areas) is get a can of black plasti-dip and paint those parts. It'll peel right off without harming the original finish if you don't like it. But it's a cheap way to see if you like the idea of the motor being blacked out. Would blacked out plastic pieces bother you as much as blacked out chrome?

I don't think anyone offers 'real chrome' replacements, as I think you'll find you're in the minority of people who don't like the factory plastic. (I've always thought it looked pretty good), and I imagine the cost would be tremendous. But I'm all up for brainstorming! So what kind of ideas do you have for making it look different? What are you wanting to accomplish?
 

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Hmmm, that does look good. I have some Plasti-dip I was trying out on some other stuff. I might black out some of the offending parts and see how I like that.
The plastidip will give more of a 'matte' look as well, which, IMO, looks a little better (if I HAD to black stuff out, but, I like chrome, and am not a big fan of black so I guess I wouldn't LOL!) (Although the classic/LT black is more of a gloss, so maybe the gloss would look better? I dunno)
 

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Vn900 plastic dilemma

Well I hear ya on the chrome plastic. I love chrome, but not thrilled with it being plastic. I looked at HD's (not a big fan, but I do like the fat boy) & some Victory's (really kick ass bikes) @ 4 X's the price of what I Paid for my 08 VN900LT, and I tell you there is a ton of plastic on them too. I was shocked.....Now I don't feel so bad :)

Linda
 

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Plastic is lighter, never has to be re-chromed, doesn't rust.....and looks good to the casual observer. Most of all, it keeps the weight down!....so I can keep gaining it...
 

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plastic parts

+1 on the reason I bought my bike is #1 price and #2 weight. I didn't want to borrow and got mine new for $6100, I also love the manuevrability around the garage and driveway, plus it's heavy enough to drive on the freeway. I mainly stick to highways for most of my riding. My son has a HD Deuce that was 3 times the price and he always teases me about my bike pretending it is something it's not. I'm sure if Kaw. chromed everything that is plastic the price would be substancially higher.
 
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