Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks

I didn't ride nearly as much last year as I would have liked. So, my goal this year is to ride more. Do any of you guys use your 900 as a daily driver, and if so what kind of modifications or add one have you done to make it easier? I know I need saddle bags, riding with a back pack all the time is getting annoying. Aside from storage I am looking for some input. Stay safe out There!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
The stock seat is not very comfortable for long rides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
+1 get a new seat. I went out for an hour or so and my tush was already complaining. i sat on a mustang wide touring seat at the dealership when I saw it was on an 07 Vulcan 900 and I am convinced it is the best. The vulcan 900 custom next to it had the saddleman version, and I liked the Mustang the best comfort wise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I have a thirteen-mile ride each way commuting to and from work. The ride is country roads and some freeway. The only time I don't ride is when it is raining. (The thought of hydroplaning on four wheels is bad enough. I don't want to hydroplane on two.) I have ridden in 25-degree weather and in 115-degree weather. I have saddle bags to carry my lunch and any paperwork to go between home and work. Yesterday I had my jacket open a bit while riding home. That resulted in my tie flying in the wind. It must have been a sight for the cagers to see that flapping in the wind.

When it's cold I will wear riding pants over my dress pants, otherwise my legs aren't pretty enough to protect. :-(

I always wear a riding jacket, helmet, and gloves. That can get a bit toasty in the summer heat, but I just deal with it.

The ride to work allows me to mellow before getting to the job. The ride home allows me to mellow after dealing with work. It is the only way to live.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
OK, so not a 900, but I commuted daily on my VN800B for several years, especially the last 2.

1. Storage. Figure out what you need and want to take with you, and add enough storage (saddle bags, trunk pack, tank bag) to keep all that stuff contained. I agree with you, a backpack is less than optimal. That said, I put a few things in my saddlebags (Leatherlyke) and had to carry my laptop in the backpack (it was too big for the saddlebags).

2. Wind. Get a good windshield that fits your preferences (looking through versus looking over). Get a quick disconnect one if you think you'll enjoy riding without it sometimes.

3. Riding Position. I prefer a more relaxed position, so I had engine guards and highway pegs installed. Made longer rides much more comfortable, until my rear end hurt from the stock seat. My bike also had floorboards installed by the previous owner, which were nice too - no pressure points on your feet from the pegs.

Anything else is just for grins, and depends on the length of your commute. My commute when I had that bike was always 30-60 minutes, each way, which was just fine for the stock seat and other accouterments I had on the bike. Probably the biggest thing I missed when riding my bike to work was music.

(Side note: I bought a 2016 Vaquero last fall and have ridden it to work and back a bunch - cruise control, radio, full fairing, large saddlebags. Makes a great commuter bike)

Good luck!

-John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
The stock seat is not very comfortable for long rides.
The stock seat was upgraded by Kawasaki in 2014, and now it's as good as a Mustang, actually better in my opinion because it's softer than the Mustang and doesn't sit you as high, you kinda sit "in it" not "on it." The stock seat on my 2012 classic was awful and replaced quickly with a Mustang. The stock seat on my 2016 LT is just fine as it is.

As for a daily driver, the VN 900 is pretty much a great bike for that. There's a guy in Houston who sold insurance or was an insurance adjuster or something and had 200,000+ miles on his 900 with pretty much routine maintenance and the standard stuff i.e. stator etc.. I wonder if he's still around?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
The stock seat was upgraded by Kawasaki in 2014, and now it's as good as a Mustang, actually better in my opinion because it's softer than the Mustang and doesn't sit you as high, you kinda sit "in it" not "on it." The stock seat on my 2012 classic was awful and replaced quickly with a Mustang. The stock seat on my 2016 LT is just fine as it is.

What does the 2016 seat look like, have a pic? Just curious if it is visually the same or has noticeable differences from the older version....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
A windshield for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
A windshield for sure.
AMEN!

My wife's Sportster has a tiny shield on it, and with my half helmet, any time I get over 45 or 50mph, the wind tries to pull my helmet off, haha.

Guess I'll get a 3/4 helmet this year for riding my bobber.

-John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
What does the 2016 seat look like, have a pic? Just curious if it is visually the same or has noticeable differences from the older version....
I'll try to get a pic tomorrow, but yea you can see it pretty clearly. The new seat is more like the Mustang: flatter with a sort of ridge, or the flat part makes more of an angle with the back part. The old seat was more curved and I remember it made you slide forward on it all the time.
 

·
Lifetime Premium Bike Of The Fall Winner 2017
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
I have the Mustang Day Tripper. Big Difference. Sunday I was out for 5 hours riding with no problems.
 

Attachments

·
END OF YEAR BIKE 2018 Winner
Joined
·
862 Posts
Back in the day I rode my bike in anything. However I have evolved into a fair weather rider these days.

I loved riding my bike to and from work for many years. I found that riding in the rain was not an issue as long as I had good rain gear. I recommend carrying rain gear with you. It might be nice, sunny and clear when you go to work, but dark and stormy when it's time to ride home.

You can get rain gear from $10-$100. The decent stuff averages around $50 bucks. It rolls up nicely and isn't heavy. I rode with a Dry Rider. It attached to gloves, boots and Apple Warmer/Helmet. Completely sealed me away from the rain. I don't even know if they make them anymore. Wearing one and riding during a terrible rainfall got me out of a ticket once. I'll save that story for a different post.

I enjoyed riding to and from work. There were many times I would leave early just so I could get in some extra riding time, or get home late because it just felt too good not to ride a little more.

Be safe out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I have a slightly different view here. I think that unless you have a really long superslab commute, just about any bike can be a good daily rider. I think its more important to make modifications to your gear to make it more comfortable for daily riding. After never owning a premium full face helmet I finally plunked down the cash for a good quiet helmet and OMG!!! All these years I just thought that was what riding was like - the wind noise, buffeting, the weight. But now I am enjoying every ride I take twice as much.

It also may mean buying more gear so that you can adapt your kit to the length of your ride, weather, cargo carrying needs etc. When I started out I had only a heavy leather jacket and bulky gloves and armored riding jeans. That made the thought of gearing up for a 15 minute errand rather painful. I've since acquired some lighter duty gear that is more comfortable and easier to get off and on for shorter rides.

Just something to think about...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
35-45 minutes from home to work with minimal highway or town riding - i ride when the weather and situation allows.

saddlebags - gotta get my lunch and stuff back and forth - also allow me to carry gloves, rain gear, etc.
the stock seat on my 15 custom is plenty comfortable to me - mine are pretty large, but look good IMO, and are big enough to fit my laptop if i need to move it

music - i got a single bluetooth earbud that streams from my phone - i use a rowkin mini plus

phone is in a ram x-grip mounted to the handlebar
im usually good with jeans and boots at work, so just add helmet and jacket and good to go
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I always make sure to carry a spare pair of gloves in the saddles. There's definitely nothing more frustrating than cramped hands from the freezing rain!

I always make sure to purchase gloves with the visor wipes on the index finger because I'm always sporting a FF helmet.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
What does the 2016 seat look like, have a pic? Just curious if it is visually the same or has noticeable differences from the older version....
As far as seats go, just remember ... one mans pain is another mans pleasure ... I swear by a mustang and put 2 6000 mile trips on it ... great for me but it might not be for you. Some like Corbins ... some don't. Everybody has different butts ... buy the one that suits yours, not somebody else's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks so much for all the input! I have a bonus coming up at work so i am thinking saddle bags are in my future. As far as riding gear I picked up the Sliders All Weather 3 season mesh jacket and pants from competition accessories and they have been pretty nice...although i look like a chubby glow stuck in yhe hi vis yellow. So, as far as riding gear goes I think I am pretty good. My ride time to work about 30 minutes so my rear remains raleasonably comfortable with the stock seat for now. I will have to look into a windshield, im not a huge fan of the look on the bike but have also never ridden a bike with a windshield so I have no real frame of reference.

When it comes to saddle bags and windshields, do you all have any suggestions? I have been torn between throw over leather-ish bags from someplace like rural king or mounted bags like viking bags.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Thanks so much for all the input! I have a bonus coming up at work so i am thinking saddle bags are in my future. As far as riding gear I picked up the Sliders All Weather 3 season mesh jacket and pants from competition accessories and they have been pretty nice...although i look like a chubby glow stuck in yhe hi vis yellow. So, as far as riding gear goes I think I am pretty good. My ride time to work about 30 minutes so my rear remains raleasonably comfortable with the stock seat for now. I will have to look into a windshield, im not a huge fan of the look on the bike but have also never ridden a bike with a windshield so I have no real frame of reference.

When it comes to saddle bags and windshields, do you all have any suggestions? I have been torn between throw over leather-ish bags from someplace like rural king or mounted bags like viking bags.
My wife had Viking throw-overs on her Shadow... they were horrible. I had Leatherlyke on my VN800B, and they were phenomenal. I'd recommend quick release hard mounted bags.

As for windshield, +100 for that. Windshields make almost any ride much more comfortable. Just pick a shield that works well for you. The general recommendation is that the top of the shield should be positioned at the height of your nose. Lower if you get a "recurve" shield (Google klockwerks).

-John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I commute almost every day of the year to work on my Vulcan 900, and there are a few things I would recommend:

1) Good, Quite helmet. Wind noise will get to you if you're riding every single day, even if its not at high speeds. I road my first few months with a Bilt helmet from cyclegear, then upgraded to a Schuberth C3Pro Modular helmet. It makes a world of difference.
1A) I prefer a modular helmet. Wind, water, and face protection when you want it, ability to flip up in hot weather/traffic. Helmets are a very personal choice, thats just my .02 cents.

2) Bluetooth Device. I like to have the option to listen to the radio or music. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I personally use the Sena 20S

3) "Back off" lights. Commuting daily, especially if you're commuting during rush hour traffic, means that there are alot of cars around you, most of them in a hurry to get to work or to get home. Making yourself more visible, especially when braking, is key to staying safe. "Back off" or some similar brand of flashing brake LED lights really draw the eye of people behind you. They also have a slight, annoying, flicker that keeps you visible as you ride.

4) Rain gear. Everyone else already covered that.

5) Storage. Saddle bags are okay, I have viking bags that are lockable and have been working great over the last year or so, but a top case is the best, in my opinion. Easy to remove and take with you, plenty of storage space, I use a Dowco Iron Rider bags, it has a rain cover and can be configured to fit all sorts of add on attachments.

6) Windscreen. Others have said it, but it takes alot of the fatigue out of riding. I had a hard time finding one that I liked for my 900 Custom that provided enough protection for me (I'm tall) but the national cycle street shield EX does the trick for me. Doesn't mess up the lines of the bike too much, and does what it is supposed to do.

7) Don't let it get too routine. I mean this in two ways. First, always be aware of your surroundings when riding. Doing the same route over and over allows you to fall into a robotic state of riding, expecting everything to go more or less the same every time. And it will... until it doesn't. What might be the 340th time doing the same route for you may be someone else's first time on the road ever. Stay alert.

In addition, don't let riding your bike start to bore you. Its fun, but doing something every day can sap the fun right out of it. Vary your route, leave at different times. Take the long way. Take the short way. Don't use any highways. Go all highways (if you can). Mix it up, keep it fresh.

Hopefully this helps. Have fun, ride safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Lowers help a lot especially at highway speeds. I used to get a lot of helmet buffeting before I had them. I installed the Kawasaki ones and am very happy with them.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top