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Hi folks,

Took my first long trip in my new 900 Classic LT ("new," but a 2014). The bike is stock --- no mods yet. I offer some observations for those thinking of buying this bike. I also hope experienced 900 riders will chime in in ways that might help make my next trip better.

1. I travelled from the middle of Indiana to to northern Wisconsin and back. About 1300 miles round trip.

2. I took two days up and two days back. I guess I'm not at whiting57's level yet --- Can't do 600+ miles in a day yet, LOL.

3. I used the Saddleman BR3400ESX sissy bar bag as luggage. See this photo: http://www.vulcanforums.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=6601&cat=500. It worked great. I rigged it so I could use it as a back rest. It needed it to be about an inch further forward to be an optimal backrest, but I got some benefit.

4. Based on what I read and my first 600 miles of riding, I worried about the seat, the buzz (vibration) of the V-Twin at higher RPMs that people complain about, buffeting, and belt squeal.


Assessment

5. My speedometer is about 5% fast (e.g., at 60 indicated, the gps read 57). The numbers below are true (e.g., 55 means 55, with the speedometer indicating 58).

6. This bike LOVES backroads at around 55 mph or so and below. I used google's gps on my iphone (attached to the handlebars with a Ram mount) to find a route with the "no highways" option. It gave me secondary highways through farm country most of the way. I highly recommend your smartphone as a gps with the google maps app.

7. At 60, I notice a little more buzz than at 55, and I notice a little more at 65, more at 70, etc. However, I did not find it very bothersome. As others have noted, this is a V-Twin, and there is no such thing as a butter smooth V-Twin. That said, I also found myself at times phantom shifting into a non-existent 6th gear, as the revs are somewhat high at cruise in 5th. I'm not even an experienced rider, and I wanted another gear. I can see why guys install those pulleys and a bigger rear tire. That said, I found the stock bike fine at 65 and up, just with a little higher frequency buzz than some might want.

8. The REAL ISSUE on the highway, at least for me, is the buffeting. Around 55 or a bit more, there is continuous wind noise (loud) in my helmet coming up from under the windshield or around the gas tank (or both). By holding my left arm across my stomach with fingers touching just below my right elbow and my hand tilted just right, I can eliminate the buffeting almost completely. Then I hear a beautiful purr, even at the higher speeds. Without doing this, I hear nothing but loud wind noise. I definitely need lowers, and if they don't work, some other solution to altering the airflow. Once it's gone, the bike purrs. But with all that buffeting, it's kinda miserable. On the freeway at 70+, it was no fun at all, especially when combined with truckers traveling 75+ and creating additional turbulence, suvs that like to tailgate, etc. Throw in some grooved pavement, and it's mayhem. I don't want to be on the freeway much anyway, but I tried it around Rockford to check it out. Yuck. If the buffeting were cured, though, I think it would be at least tolerable.

9. My backside got a little sore, but the stock seat is better for me than I thought it would be given many posts on the list.

10. I had my drive belt loosened some at the 600 mile mark to try to eliminate squealing. It still squeals at intermediate speeds, and it's pretty annoying. Any suggestions on belt tension? Some other adjustment?


Next Steps

11. All in all, I enjoyed the trip. However, I'm ordering the OEM lowers ASAP. If they don't eliminate or substantially reduce the buffeting, I'll modify them somehow or try something else. I can't assess how badly I want to change the cruise RPMs until I get rid of some of the buffeting. Any suggestions on whether to adjust the stock windshield in some way before installing the lowers?

Cheers,
Dan

P.S. There was one near disaster I should mention. I left on the trip shortly after my 600 mile service. The dealer that did the service failed to properly torque the oil pan nut. In my dad's garage, we noticed some oil on the floor. I thought "how could that be, this thing is brand new." I checked the nut, and it was loose enough for me to remove with my fingers! Unbelievable. It must have just loosened by the time I checked, as I didn't lose that much. However, had I not checked it before riding on, it would have rattled out and ruined my engine. What a mind-boggling error for the dealer! Lesson: inspect critical components YOURSELF before riding.
 

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The lowers will make a big difference ,mine was way better after installation.
Sounds like a good ride otherwise.
 

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Sounds like a great ride.
It is so easy to get distracted when doing a simple job. And then think there is no way you could make such a stupid mistake.
As a Brake mechanic,I have had many apprentices. One of the first things I would teach them is to leave a spanner on a loose bolt if you find yourself having to run for the toilet or phone call or lunch break.
It is so easy to just forget and assume the bolt is tight.
Always assume bolts could be loose still and double check bolts that have been touched recently.
 

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I love the word spanner. Here we say adjustable wrench or crescent wrench, but in actuality it does span. It is easy to get distracted. I have done that very thing. I wonder if we kept up with just how much we spend on this bike, 900, to make it different if we wouldn't have enough money to buy a bigger bike? To me this is the fun of it, take something and make it better. This bike is what it is, most of us love it. If we can't make it work for us it teaches us to move up a notch to a bigger bike. A sixth gear would solve a lot of our complaints but it won't happen until the next model upgrade if then. I bought mine because of the fuel tank and cruising distance. The 1600 the same year has a 4.4 gal. tank and a range of 140 plus miles. What is the point in all that?
 

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One more thing. The wind or turbulence over the tank is for real. I would like a set of lowers but am not sure which works better. If you have them please give me some input.
 

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Vulcan Dan I would say you are spot on with your observation. This is a great bike in it's intended element, but we are stretching the envelope so to speak, asking it to go beyond the intended design. I like the weight, ergonomics and range. A sixth gear would move it to the next level. The Victory is the closest I have found to weight etc. their performance is terrific, durability superb but in our weight class they have only 150 mile range at the most. The Tourer and Cruiser classification range clash at this point. I think it might be by design to keep us looking and buying.....
 

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Lowers will make all the difference - I thought about it for a year before I got em off Amazon - wished I had ordered them sooner best add on yet.
 

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Hi folks,

Took my first long trip in my new 900 Classic LT ("new," but a 2014). The bike is stock --- no mods yet. I offer some observations for those thinking of buying this bike. I also hope experienced 900 riders will chime in in ways that might help make my next trip better.

1. I travelled from the middle of Indiana to to northern Wisconsin and back. About 1300 miles round trip.

2. I took two days up and two days back. I guess I'm not at whiting57's level yet --- Can't do 600+ miles in a day yet, LOL.

3. I used the Saddleman BR3400ESX sissy bar bag as luggage. See this photo: http://www.vulcanforums.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=6601&cat=500. It worked great. I rigged it so I could use it as a back rest. It needed it to be about an inch further forward to be an optimal backrest, but I got some benefit.

4. Based on what I read and my first 600 miles of riding, I worried about the seat, the buzz (vibration) of the V-Twin at higher RPMs that people complain about, buffeting, and belt squeal.


Assessment

5. My speedometer is about 5% fast (e.g., at 60 indicated, the gps read 57). The numbers below are true (e.g., 55 means 55, with the speedometer indicating 58).

6. This bike LOVES backroads at around 55 mph or so and below. I used google's gps on my iphone (attached to the handlebars with a Ram mount) to find a route with the "no highways" option. It gave me secondary highways through farm country most of the way. I highly recommend your smartphone as a gps with the google maps app.

7. At 60, I notice a little more buzz than at 55, and I notice a little more at 65, more at 70, etc. However, I did not find it very bothersome. As others have noted, this is a V-Twin, and there is no such thing as a butter smooth V-Twin. That said, I also found myself at times phantom shifting into a non-existent 6th gear, as the revs are somewhat high at cruise in 5th. I'm not even an experienced rider, and I wanted another gear. I can see why guys install those pulleys and a bigger rear tire. That said, I found the stock bike fine at 65 and up, just with a little higher frequency buzz than some might want.

8. The REAL ISSUE on the highway, at least for me, is the buffeting. Around 55 or a bit more, there is continuous wind noise (loud) in my helmet coming up from under the windshield or around the gas tank (or both). By holding my left arm across my stomach with fingers touching just below my right elbow and my hand tilted just right, I can eliminate the buffeting almost completely. Then I hear a beautiful purr, even at the higher speeds. Without doing this, I hear nothing but loud wind noise. I definitely need lowers, and if they don't work, some other solution to altering the airflow. Once it's gone, the bike purrs. But with all that buffeting, it's kinda miserable. On the freeway at 70+, it was no fun at all, especially when combined with truckers traveling 75+ and creating additional turbulence, suvs that like to tailgate, etc. Throw in some grooved pavement, and it's mayhem. I don't want to be on the freeway much anyway, but I tried it around Rockford to check it out. Yuck. If the buffeting were cured, though, I think it would be at least tolerable.

9. My backside got a little sore, but the stock seat is better for me than I thought it would be given many posts on the list.

10. I had my drive belt loosened some at the 600 mile mark to try to eliminate squealing. It still squeals at intermediate speeds, and it's pretty annoying. Any suggestions on belt tension? Some other adjustment?


Next Steps

11. All in all, I enjoyed the trip. However, I'm ordering the OEM lowers ASAP. If they don't eliminate or substantially reduce the buffeting, I'll modify them somehow or try something else. I can't assess how badly I want to change the cruise RPMs until I get rid of some of the buffeting. Any suggestions on whether to adjust the stock windshield in some way before installing the lowers?

Cheers,
Dan

P.S. There was one near disaster I should mention. I left on the trip shortly after my 600 mile service. The dealer that did the service failed to properly torque the oil pan nut. In my dad's garage, we noticed some oil on the floor. I thought "how could that be, this thing is brand new." I checked the nut, and it was loose enough for me to remove with my fingers! Unbelievable. It must have just loosened by the time I checked, as I didn't lose that much. However, had I not checked it before riding on, it would have rattled out and ruined my engine. What a mind-boggling error for the dealer! Lesson: inspect critical components YOURSELF before riding.
Just a note on the belt noise. I have had the issue on and off for a while. Noticed that after my last tire install when I got the bike back from the shop the belt noise was gone for a while. Then it started coming back little by little, getting louder and louder. My thought is that it is due to a build up of brake dust on the pulley. Other than that I do not know why it would disappear and then slowly come back. I will try to prove this by giving it a good cleaning sometime soon. I usually use my tunes to just drown it out and ignore it tho.:D
 

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Throw a 200 rear tire on that bad boy at your next tire change .... it will correct the speedo and drop the rpm's some what .... it will reduce the buzz, cut down fatigue and make for a much pleasant trip at the 65 mph range. I run fairing lowers on my batwings and the difference is noticeable.
 

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I have never had any noise with the stock belt / pulley set up. I did have some with the SW in the early stages. SW changed their pulley and sent me a new one, no noise. I use the front pulley from Baron's because it is steel rather than Alum. I have noticed the build up of dust etc. If there is an answer it will be found by the guys on here. It amazes me at the things they know about this bike.
 

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When I installed the OEM lowers, the difference was night and day. They are well worth the money.
 

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Lowers will definitely help, but so will a few more miles on that new engine. I put lowers on around 1,000-1,500 miles, and it definitely helped (though I got the lowers for the 900 with the light bar already, which I don't have yet, so lowers for the 900 w/o the lightbar may have had even a more dramatic improvement).

However, my buzziness decreased again quite noticeably near the 3,000 mile mark. Only thing I can attribute that to is the engine being more broken in. It just seems to purr now.
 

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1+ on the Lowers helping with the "updraft" from the tank, helps to have the wind screen set to the middle or lower setting also.
Yes don't expect unless you inspect. We are all human.
Enjoy your LT, they really are a great do most everything well bike for the money.
 

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Something to remember is that these bikes have a RPM range up to 8,000 RPM I don't even shift into 5th gear below 60 to 65 when accelerating on the on ramp to the freeway. I consistently ride at the bikes speedometer reading of 70 to 80 MPH and don't seem to have this buzz or vibration that some mention. I also tilted my window a little and don't get any buffeting either. Of course that might just be because I don't wear a helmet I'm not sure. I also wear earplugs for the wind noise. Do yourself a favor and get a pair of molded in ear rubber ear plugs. They will cost 60 to 70 bucks but are well worth it.
 

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I got my 2014 custom a few months back. After break in and I starting to take it above 60mph I noticed some serious vibration. Uncomfortable vibration. Turned my hands numb fast. I hated it. Fortunately it is almost all gone. Once I had it above 65-70 a few times on a few longer rides it really started to disappear. I noticed this around 1,200 miles. Now shes smooth as silk up to about 80. .
 

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I just got back from a 1600 mile road trip with my son through Oregon. I rode my '10 900LT and he his Sportster 888. I have lowers plus the modified windshield brackets which tilt the windshied back enough so I can see over it. This combination greatly reduces buffeting. Nothing is perfect short of a $28,000 windshield on a new super cruiser. My 900LT cruises nicely at 70mph. Sure the engine can be heard reving but that's ok. Top speed about 92mph but that's in the high desert about 4000ft, might be faster at sea level. What I'm getting at is; It's a great bike, I can't justify a $20,000 bike when my 900LT will do everything they will - except the fancy infotainment stuff.
Just an old man ranting late at night.
 
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Should do more than 92mph but the screen will slow you down a bit. Not really comfortable at that speed however. Buffeting is the curse of windshield. Reducing the amount of air coming under the shield & over the tank is the only solution.
 

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I just got back from a 1600 mile road trip with my son through Oregon. I rode my '10 900LT and he his Sportster 888. I have lowers plus the modified windshield brackets which tilt the windshied back enough so I can see over it. This combination greatly reduces buffeting. Nothing is perfect short of a $28,000 windshield on a new super cruiser. My 900LT cruises nicely at 70mph. Sure the engine can be heard reving but that's ok. Top speed about 92mph but that's in the high desert about 4000ft, might be faster at sea level. What I'm getting at is; It's a great bike, I can't justify a $20,000 bike when my 900LT will do everything they will - except the fancy infotainment stuff.
Just an old man ranting late at night.
Right there with you Jerry ! You can look at shark audio for tunes if you want them I use the 100 watt system minimum draw on the stator works fine at highway speeds - got mine for $45.00 on special .
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just got back from a 1600 mile road trip with my son through Oregon. I rode my '10 900LT and he his Sportster 888. I have lowers plus the modified windshield brackets which tilt the windshied back enough so I can see over it. This combination greatly reduces buffeting.
Just an old man ranting late at night.
Cool!

Two questions about the windshield angle. (1) Do you know why the factory mounted the windshield not to scoop back? I wonder whether that actually might reduce buffeting, as tilting it back might tend to direct more air underneath and make buffeting worse. This is just a conjecture --- I really don't know. (2) Can you elaborate on the "modified windshield brackets?" Is this an OEM solution or one that one of the great folks on this list cooked up.

Just put my lowers on. Looking forward to a ride tomorrow.

Cheers,
Dan
 
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