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I'm new to the riding world and forum and have an odd question. Got a used 2011 Vulcan 900 Classic for my first bike last week that was well taken care of with only 2,700 miles. I've noticed that at 70mph in 5th seems to really keep the engine revved up, almost like it needs another gear. The dealer I purchased it from says it is nothing to worry about and that is normal. Just thought I'd ask those of you who have some experience if this is correct and if anyone has had any issues on long trips on the interstate. Many thanks ahead of time for your comments. Ride safe.
 

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I'm new to the riding world and forum and have an odd question. Got a used 2011 Vulcan 900 Classic for my first bike last week that was well taken care of with only 2,700 miles. I've noticed that at 70mph in 5th seems to really keep the engine revved up, almost like it needs another gear. The dealer I purchased it from says it is nothing to worry about and that is normal. Just thought I'd ask those of you who have some experience if this is correct and if anyone has had any issues on long trips on the interstate. Many thanks ahead of time for your comments. Ride safe.
lots of opinions on this,Yes to me it needs a 6th,is why I went to a nomad,but the 9 is a fantastic all around bike,there are sprocket or tire mods or both,some others will chime in,Hope this helps:grin2:
 

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I'm new to the riding world and forum and have an odd question. Got a used 2011 Vulcan 900 Classic for my first bike last week that was well taken care of with only 2,700 miles. I've noticed that at 70mph in 5th seems to really keep the engine revved up, almost like it needs another gear. The dealer I purchased it from says it is nothing to worry about and that is normal. Just thought I'd ask those of you who have some experience if this is correct and if anyone has had any issues on long trips on the interstate. Many thanks ahead of time for your comments. Ride safe.
The 900 is what is called a short stroke motor. Meaning, it is designed to rev high compared to larger engines with longer strokes. This bike has a 7200 RPM redline, so it has a long range to run in. Yes, you can do things to drop the RPM's in final gear; but, I think that it takes away from the spunkiness this bike has. Don't be afraid to run up the rev's, engine has a rev limiter to keep it from over rev'ing. I run my bike at 70 MPH and it's happy there. Still room for more speed, too. I've had this bike upwards around 100 MPH. It just sings! Don't be afraid to ride like a bat outta hell, it was made for it!
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Helps to confirm the sales guy at the dealership didn't get put in the "used car" sales guy category in my head! Stay safe out there.
 

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I think there's a bit of psychology at play here. The 900 looks like a big V-twin, so it seems like it should sound that way. It even does have a certain "potato, potato" sound at the low end of the range.

However, it's a mid-size v-twin*, with innards that look more like a sport bike engine. If the bike looked like a sport bike, I doubt anyone would be concerned about the "high" revs at highway speeds. At least, the pair of crotch rocket riders who do a red-line scream down the highway about 1/2 mile from my house every morning at 5:00AM don't seem concerned.

That said, I wouldn't be unhappy if I got on it today and discovered some mechanical wizard had added a sixth gear to the box.




* Heh. I'm old enough to remember when if I'd said a 900 cc motor was "mid-size", people would have thought I was nuts. As late as the 90's, the "heavyweight" market was 750cc and up.
 

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For me it was a perception change. I felt like it needed a higher gear for the first year due to the revs. The more I rode and read, I realized that it is just fine reving up that high. So I changed my ridding style. Quick out of first, ride 2nd to about 30ish, 3rd and 4th is where I will spend most of my time and then 5th after 65 or so. I have been getting used to the revs and not worrying about them.
I use 5th as the highway overdrive. 4th gear will be just fine at 50 all day. Buzzing dosen't bother me as I came from a KLR650. A single piston thumper on the freeway will teach you a lot about vibration. :)
One piece of advice that I have picked up from the good folks here it to ride and not worry. There is no hard set rule. This is a noisy buzzy bike, but for me I love ridding it so that is that.
 

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anytime I'm on the highway for any length of time, I think a 6 gear would be nice.
but i know its not a bad thing at all for the bike to ride highway speeds in 5th.

what I'd like, is a tach showing me where my redline is - but its a mental thing
 

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I kinda felt the same, even though I have a different bike, same idea where it felt like it needed another gear. Even my '82 LTD550 had 6 gears. Although now that I think about it, I did have to downshift on most any incline.

I was telling my brother, who is a mechanic, that on the highway I was running over 3,000 rpm most of the time. He said don't worry, it's designed that way.

* Heh. I'm old enough to remember when if I'd said a 900 cc motor was "mid-size", people would have thought I was nuts. As late as the 90's, the "heavyweight" market was 750cc and up.
Me too, I remember when a 1,000cc was big. And they seemed adequate. I had to talk my way out of a speeding ticket while riding two up on my buddy's Suzuki 750. Of course I was trying to impress the girl on the back. :wink2:
 

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there is a video on youtube where a guy talks about it and runs at 80 mph all day with no problem. but I do think Kawasaki will make some updates soon on the Vulcan 900 its been since 2006 with no big change. I guess that also shows how good it works.
 

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i have never looked for another gear more than i have on this bike. this winter i am doing at least one for the pulleys for sure
 

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there is a video on youtube where a guy talks about it and runs at 80 mph all day with no problem. but I do think Kawasaki will make some updates soon on the Vulcan 900 its been since 2006 with no big change. I guess that also shows how good it works.
Maybe. I rather doubt it, though, considering the rather dismal state of the larger bike market. (Have you noticed how many new Vulcan S riders we're seeing here vs. buyers of new 900 and up bikes?)

Adding a 6th gear -- or just changing the pulley ratio if they shortcut it -- would mean a lot more than just redesigning the whole engine to hold a larger gearbox. It would mean beefing up everything from the bottom of the pistons to the output shaft at least -- higher gear means more pressure on all those components for sustained periods. Then they have to test and test and test and test. (Remember, they end up eating warranty repairs.) Kind of a huge development program for a bike that sells into what seems to be a shrinking, or at least sleeping, market.

If I was them I'd just ride that cash cow until it keeled over from old age.
 

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well said, I guess the why and how people ride now a days change the need for larger engines, for all we know they been doing there "testing" that's the one thing about the motorcycle industry I will never get, everything kept so secret, not like the auto industry that talks about what they are doing and working on.
 

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I drove my 900 for 10 yrs and never felt the need for 6th gear, but I was always trying to upshift from 5th. 3 weeks ago I bought a Vaquero 1700 and I''ve already tried to shift into 7th!
 

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These are great bikes... In my opinion, it's fine the way it is, it's a short stroke engine with plenty of pep. I ride my 900 custom SE 60+ everywhere with no problems. Even cruised down the interstate at 110mph topped out at 114! I have added a few mods such as pipes, high flow air filter, and fuel programmer. If you want less R's at high speeds then you will need a bigger bike with? a longer stroke.
 

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I would have purchased a 900 if it had ABS not 6th gear, but 6th gear on Vulcan s still runs 6k at 80mph


Get out there and feel the wind in your Helmet! ATGATT
 

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If the vibrations bother you, loosen the exhaust brackets on the back and bottom of the bike, then retorque to verify they are not overtorqued from factory or prior owner. Also inspect the rubber bushings for dry rot or if they are hardened from age.

Also pay attention to the drive belt tension, it should be a tad looser than the factory. If it is super tight as per kawasaki's specs, it seems to transfer more engine vibration into the bike. Also it will save your splines and pulley.

Lastly as they say the bike will get better with time, this is kinda true. I notice when I get it to 72MPH, at first it will be annoying, then after a bit it smoothens out. Just my experiance.....
 

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Mine has 8700 miles, it rides fairly smooth at high speeds. I've gotten used to the slight vibes it gives. It's just the personality of this bike. I'm fine with it. But like Ford said check your belt and exhaust.
 

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Mine has 43,000 miles and I''ve always felt that this was the smoothest bike I've owned. In August I bought a 1700 Vaquero. At 70mph, in 6th OD, at 2500 rpm, the 1700 vibrates more than the 900 does at the same speed in 5th.
 

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I changed both pulleys and saw a difference.
 
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