Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
hello everyone!
glad to be part of the forum as a new member, ya'll do a great job with technical and sourcing info. on this forum

We'll I am pretty close on tying the knot on a Vulcan 900 (12', 14', 16 year) with low miles and need your advice.
Used/new dealers tell me what I want to hear.
I know there is prolly good amount of info on these ques. below, but first I couldn't find it and secondly I would like feedback as of current.
I feel like this question always comes up looking at either Vulcan 900 or star 950 on how much top end these mid size cruisers have. I don't want to be board of this 900 after a year or two.


My main question is that older Vulcan 900 models (not 16's and 17's) shudder,buzz/vibrate on the tranny going over 80 mpg and screaming to quit.
I ve even read motorcycle magazine I believe comment on that. Is this true, ?

I hear it from many people yes and no. and there is also a pulley kit to remedy it? Is that expensive, easy do it your-self, any other info. on the pulley kit please let me know.

2nd. as far as limitations, I seen many utube testimonials that it is more than a 55-65mph bike, and it rides comfortable at 80-90mph highway, is this the fact b/c I can only afford a 900 and nothing larger and I expect to do lots of short highway trips 2-3hrs at a time and city driving???? is it just particular years?

Any suggestions, or article links/testimonials would help me decided if this is the rite bike when ya'll get a minute to reply, I truly appreciate it?

Thank you very much everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
hello everyone!
glad to be part of the forum as a new member, ya'll do a great job with technical and sourcing info. on this forum

We'll I am pretty close on tying the knot on a Vulcan 900 (12', 14', 16 year) with low miles and need your advice.
I know there is prolly good amount of info on these ques. below, but first I couldn't find it and secondly I would like feedback as of current.

My main question is that older Vulcan 900 models (not 16's and 17's) shudder/vibrate on the tranny going over 80 mpg and screaming to quit.
I ve even read motorcycle magazine I believe comment on that. Is this true, ?

I hear it from many people yes and no. and there is also a pulley kit to remedy it? Is that expensive, easy do it your-self, any other info. on the pulley kit please let me know.

2nd. as far as limitations, I seen many utube testimonials that it is more than a 55-65mph bike, and it rides comfortable at 80-90mph highway, is this the fact b/c I can only afford a 900 and nothing larger and I expect to do lots of short highway trips 2-3hrs at a time and city driving???? is it just particular years?

Any suggestions, or article links/testimonials would help me decided if this is the rite bike when ya'll get a minute to reply, I truly appreciate it?

Thank you very much everyone!
Well I have a pretty stock 09 vulcan 900 with new Shinko touring tires. Ran perfect at 80mph solo and slightly slower 2uo but I expect a good 300 lbs on the bike lol.

The only vibrations is on my highway bar but it's minimal and still comfortable however I'm not planning on going 80mph all the time. Usually 65-70.



Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Pah,
would you say that its a mid-level highway comfortable cruiser if you planning to go 80-90mph more often on it?

what else can you tell me about the 09...I m particularly looking at a classic vs. a custom, I heard it don't make a difference with highway vibrations with either 900.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
100 Posts
Hi Liondog.

Mine is a 2016 model classic.
I went from a ninja 650 to the 900 classic and there is a vibration in it and it really annoyed the c##p out of me.

Now I only feel a light vibration in the feet boards, it is not uncomfortable and I have found that the vibration slowly gets a bit better over time as the bike wears in.

So far I have done nearly 4000 klms on the bike. I did a 450 kms trip in one day and a 1000 klm trip over two days and the slight buzzing in the feet really didn't bother me too much.
My cruising speed was a steady 110 klms and hour and I had it up to 145 klms over taking a truck.

So dont worry about the vibration.

Hope that a bit of usefull information for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I agree that it's nothing that annoys me. I do 110 miles total each day going about 65-80mph... Id say 80 to 90 is up there but I haven't tried as I personally enjoy cruising lol

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I've had both the V-Star 950 and now my 2012 Vulcan 900 Classic. For me the vulcan is a hands down winner. Both feel like they could use one more gear, but more so on the V-Star. When I first got the Vulcan you couldn't take your hands off the bars and slow speed ( 30 mph) would shake like a Harley. But after getting rid of the oem tires and putting on Pirelli's and a couple hundred mile the slow speed shaking is gone and the vibration is no where near as bad at 80 as it once was. Over all I feel the vulcan has more personality
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
I am going by what I have researched on the site since joining. OEM tires are definitely a source of irritating vibrations and I would strongly suggest that if you experience vibration that be the first thing you change. If you do go with new tires consider either a slightly larger rear tire or one of the taller 200 fat tires one more size step up which will help correct some or most of your speedometer. It has an inherent error that reads slower than you really are going. The stock tire on mine was 180/70-15 and the slightly bigger is 170/80-15. This decreases revs from 778 to 755 at 65 mph and speedo will read 68 instead of 65. ( i believe the error was approx 8 mph too slow on my 2006 but dont quote me! ) The fat tires may be too close tolerance for 2 up riding per other posters on here. I am already equipped with the slightly larger tire on the rear and will be 2 up so I have the front pulley with 34 teeth from Barrons. The extra 2 teeth on the pulley will do the same thing the tire size change does and further reduce revs and further correct the speedo reading.

So recap of options with question marks by info I am unsure about, others can chime in. All of this will help with the feeling of needing a 6th gear and speedo correction to some extent, with the possibility of some low end power reduction at takeoff with some combos.

Rear & front pulleys, quality stock size tires. Front pulley easier, rear not as easy maybe need pros? Price the pulleys and poss instal labor.

Front pulley swap, taller 200 fat tire ( larger than 170/80 or 180/70 ) 2 up clearance issues? Low end power loss reported but not bad?

Front pulley swap and better tires with 170/80 rear ( mine ) The low end power is ok in my experience with 170/80 tire.

Taller 200 fat tire ( bigger than 170/80 ) on rear & matching front better than stock quality no pulley change

Slightly larger rear 170/80 tire and matching front of better than stock quality no pulley change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
weird my Harley is smooth as can be on the road. Yes it vibrates at idle or a stop sign but smooth when going.

Yes the 9 vibrate around that 65 mph at least mine did. I had a 2012 classic LT. Instead of a pulley swap some put on a larger rear tire. It will help lower the r's some. You could also change out the grips so the vibs are less noticeable. I only road mine in that 55-75 range and it was a decent ride. It is a good all around bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
Thanks Pah,
would you say that its a mid-level highway comfortable cruiser if you planning to go 80-90mph more often on it?

what else can you tell me about the 09...I m particularly looking at a classic vs. a custom, I heard it don't make a difference with highway vibrations with either 900.
Welcome in,,,,Ok Rode a 900 for 7 years,,classic,,prefer the bigger tire and front fender,Awesome all around bike,Handles great rides nice,Reliable,However even tho these motors like to spin I did not like the vibration over 60mph,Most do some don't
was always lookin for 6th,I would highly recommend it,it all depends on your ridn,if your a highway cruiser ,,,,1700,should have kept my 9,then I would have 2:grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Liondog,

I owned both Vulcan 900's and Yamaha Vstar 950 tourer. It was a constant battle in terms of which is better. I just parted ways with the 950 tourer. The bottom line is the vulcan 900 does it all good, but not exceptional. It is not the bike to take on 4hr or longer trips. Both bikes get blown around making highway travel a little sketchy compared to larger 1500+ cc bikes.

Yamaha 950:

Pros:
-WAY better brakes, they are more responsive, and when you do need to hit them harder than normal, I did not experiance a skid or big dip in the front.
-I felt the seat posture to be more comfortable relative to floor boards and stock handlebars.
-Engine seems to produce less vibrations at 70+ MPH than any of my vulcans.
-Bike felt cheap but felt less harsh over bumps.
-High speed highway travel felt better in my opionion. The vulcan is not bad though.
-In some aspects the chrome trim, side guards, and engine covers were of superior build quality.
-Stock headlight is superior if aimed properly. Does not bounce when going over bumps.

Cons:
-Feels a little top heavy and pulling out of turns was more difficult than vulcans.
-Slow steering effort was harder, and was awkward.
-Engine has very little low end torque, and mediocre mid range, leaving you needing to wind it out to get good power.
-Lacks fuel guage, and has one trip meter.
-If changing to aftermarket exhaust, it WILL REQUIRE a tuner or you will get a dead spot low off idle stumble / hesitation / buck-jerk. It will also pop / backfire during decel. A Cobra Fi2000 or power commander takes care of this.
-Engine can overheat in traffic, and you will hear the ping when letting clutch out, so you will know it is hot.
-VERY POOR fuel economy. I got 34-38 on mine which is way low for its size.

Vulcan 900:

Pros:
-Engine is overall way more responsive and smooth thru the entire RPM range.
-Transmission and driveline has virtually no slop and is very smooth during shifting, compared to Vstar 950 and Suzuki C90T.
-Bike is easier to handle at slow speeds and recovery from turns is easy.
-It feels like it is well built and secure / safe.
-Clutch and throttle are very very precise and easy to keep from stalling even if you are rusty at clutching.
-Can add aftermarket exhaust without a tuner and it will run just fine with no popping / backfiring / dead spots.
-Liquid cooled, and engine will not overheat in traffic. I tried........
-Probably the best fuel economy of any 900 based bike, I am always getting low to mid 50 MPG on all of mine but peaked at 58MPG on my 06 going on state routes around 60 - 65 MPH

Cons:
-Factory stock seat and gel seat are very uncomfortable for long trips. 2hrs is about max.
-Brakes are very lacking, and rear tire will skid if applied hard, moreso than Yamaha and Suzuki comparable models.
-Engine paint corrodes easier, and left side cover is made of very cheap plastic that will scratch and peel easy.
-Engine feels like it needs 6th gear and simply sounds like you are damaging it when going in excess of 70mph. I do get vibrations over 70 but nothing compared to harley.
-Chrome on wheels will rust and pit if driven in salt or lots of rain.
-Headlight is the worst I have ever seen. I have 1970's trials bikes with better headlights. It also bounces over every bump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
hey guys, thanks for the prompt feedback

i have heard some do and some dont vibrate on the 900, wondering if they all built in the same factory, same state? and maybe the ones that dont vibrate have better pulleys, etc., who knows....

as far as tire, did you mean get a wider or fatter tire, or taller tire???what size up, just one size up?
i dont want to ruin the MPGs on the bike with a huge rear tire..............

plus will i need new spacers,brackets, labor to mount new fatter tire since im gettin a stock classic with stock tire?
I RATER Do the pulley 32teeth option, anyone kindly have a link for who to go with on that????
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
Thanks, Fordiesel69, for a great analysis...see Liondog...Vulcan owners speak from experience and are willing to freely to pass on their knowledge..

...Just one of the many perks of becoming a Vulcan owner...folks like Fordiesel69 and all the others posting in this thread helping you to make a genuine and informed decision.

Says somethin' about their character and the machine they're riding.

Kawasaki made some pretty well made machines that appeal to a diverse...not a niche...cruiser consumer.

Some consumers are newbies to motorcycling...the others came ridin' out of the womb.

Kawasaki engineered their products to satisfy...both groups.

My 2 cents is...the 900 is an all around great bike and I'd own another one in a heart-beat.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
shudder,buzz/vibrate on the tranny going over 80 mpg and screaming to quit.
If you are looking for a high speed tourer, this is not the bike for you ....

It is not the bike to take on 4hr or longer trips. Both bikes get blown around making highway travel
I call "fooey" on this ..... having done 2 trips, both over 6000 miles each in 2 week time frames, pulling a loaded trailer, one trip 2 up, covering 23 states from sea level to 13,000 ft above ... the bike is more than capable of touring at (65 to 68 mph) 105 to 110 kph with out adverse affects. Is it noisy yes, but synthetic oil quietens it down, does it buzz .... not my 09 ... I got zero vibes thru the bars or the floor boards at these speeds. I ran a 200 rear on both my 9's. Correct bar heights and accessories that are installed correctly contributed to the overall smoothness of the ride. To say it is not a highway bike is incorrect

I did not run 4 hr days .... more like 10hrs in the saddle covering over 1000 kms a day ..... back to back to back to back. My trips are well documented under the rides (whiting 57 is bustin bugs) section.



Judging by the tone of the OP's questions, "is this bike a high speed runner" ... like a FJR / Voyager/ Goldwing ... no, but it does not cost what a high speed tourer does either. Is it a bike to scream around at 80 mph ... some do, most don't.

If he is going to spend the dough on a "9" and start adding pulleys or the big 3 etc, he may want to consider another type / genre motorcycle.

Its a bike that does not do "all things great" ... but it is a bike that does "most things well".

All cruisers (V twins) bang, clang, shake, grunt and groan ... it is what it is.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
as far as tire, did you mean get a wider or fatter tire, or taller tire???what size up, just one size up?
i dont want to ruin the MPGs on the bike with a huge rear tire..............

plus will i need new spacers,brackets, labor to mount new fatter tire since im gettin a stock classic with stock tire?
A 200 / 70/ 15 needs no modification what to ever ... it fits to a stock rim. It is a taller tire ... 200 is the width, 70 is the aspect (sidewall) 70% of a 200 mm width is a taller tire, it corrects the speedo to a true speed and lowers the rpms a little .... at 70 mph, lower RPM's = better fuel mileage.

A 200 tire costs around $205 cnd for a Pirelli rear vs $100 for some Korean knock off .... seeing that metric riders are notoriously cheap, most go for the cheapest tires available..
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
100 Posts
I have to agree on some of the pros and con for the vn900.

Except for the headlight, this one is the best that i have owned. My honda was a weak light and bounced and the ninja 650 was the worst.

I changed over to LED assembly but that was for the power consumption on the stator.
Factory seat is ok but I do stop every hour or so but i do slide down the seat so it needs more of a square cut in the back.
Brakes are not that good do totally agree with you on that one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
We'll I am pretty close on tying the knot on a Vulcan 900 (12', 14', 16 year) with low miles and need your advice.
Thank you very much everyone!
If this is your 1st rodeo then you will be well pleased with the VN900. I have had MANY bikes through the years. I currently have a '16 VN900CFG. Love it! Have a few pictures of it here in posts I have made. Also have other bikes in the garage in addition to the VN900.

I can buy what I want, when I want, and I wanted a VN900. In no way, at all, do I regret it. In comparison to the Vstar950, the VN900 wins in my book. In the 650 to 950 class motorcycles, the VN900 still wins. (Please Vulcan S folks, no hatemail...)

Now, part of the cred of a single pin crank narrow splay v-twin engine is its character. Somebody in an earlier post said that all V-twins, grunt, rattle, shake and vibrate, and he/she was exactly right. Glass Smooth they will NOT be, and they won't get any smoother till after you have about 10,000 miles on them when they are well broken in. Yes, it really takes about 10,000 to get it happy with all its parts.

For the price you are probably looking at, you will not find a better motorcycle in the 900 class than the VN900.

The only thing that worries me is where you said you expect to do LOTS of 2 or 3 hour highway trips...
Any motorcycle without CRUISE control during LOTS of 2 or 3 hour highway trips is going to be a pain to ride after about a month because your right hand is going to fall off. If you are going to do that much highway riding, your 1st investment should be, at a minimum a throttle lock, or go full blast for an electronic cruise control like a Rostra, or... just get a bigger bike that already has factory cruise. 2nd investment is the biggest windshield you can find, along with fork wings and lowers.

I ride on Texas highways quite a bit, and when I am riding, I just don't see un-cruise controlled, un-windshielded, un-faired, stripper bikes 100 miles away from the nearest town, exactly where I am, at all.

If you are going to do LOTS of 2 and 3 hour highway runs, your going to need a bigger bike than the VN900. Not because the VN900 can't take it. The bike will be just fine. Because you won't be able to take it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Whiting57,

Would love for you to share with us how you can sit and drive for that long, without being crippled or disabled. What comfort mods you made? Its not a question of if, or if not the bike can do 4+ hour trips. You could probably run 24/7 police shifts on these and they would take it just fine. What I am saying is these bikes are too uncomfortable in stock form for long trips (greater than 4 hrs.)

I also noticed based it their weight ratio I feel they get blown around in high winds and when semis wiz by. I do NOT notice this issue much on my stratoliner as it is longer and heavier which makes it more stable it seems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
A 200 / 70/ 15 needs no modification what to ever ... it fits to a stock rim. It is a taller tire ... 200 is the width, 70 is the aspect (sidewall) 70% of a 200 mm width is a taller tire, it corrects the speedo to a true speed and lowers the rpms a little .... at 70 mph, lower RPM's = better fuel mileage.

A 200 tire costs around $205 cnd for a Pirelli rear vs $100 for some Korean knock off .... seeing that metric riders are notoriously cheap, most go for the cheapest tires available..
I was going to go for a 200 for my replacement tire but for a increase in size from 180 to 200 they charge $65.00 more :surprise:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Rear 200 tire is going to be 200/70-15 and is taller and fatter. If the 2 up Riding is indeed unaffected then I say that is the best bang for your buck to adjust the speedo error and ride comfort. Just make sure you get a matching front of the same make and not just any tire. Mismatched tires will make a difference at higher speeds when handling and smoothness count. I made sure I had the correct model Bridgestone put on the front to match the rear one.

If you want to correct a little less and save a little money, as I said prior the 170/80-15 will be taller just a tiny bit less so than the 200 and width is hard to tell the difference from stock it is so close. If my rear tire wasn't Available in this size then 200 might be worth it. The revs between the two are 799 for the 200 vs 808 for the 170 so it is good to price them out and see if the 200 is worth the extra cost!
 
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
Top