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thinking of trading my vulcan 900 custom le in on a 2011 concours. after posting on the concours forum im finding that most riders think of the 900 as a leaners bike or not quite up to a touring bike.i agree the 900 is not a bike for the long haul but i dont think its a slacker either i realy like the 900 for its size and comfort for what i do.i also like the vaquero but the concours seems to have more of a thrill factor and some more modern tech goodies.i like the fact that the 900 is simple and easy to work on so less to go wrong any of you guys got any input on the two bikes
 

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I have ridden the Vaquero a couple of times but found it runs on the hot side.... Sixth gear wasn't good for much unless you topped 70 mph or better, otherwise it bogged down. Nice looking bike but not for me. I'd like to test ride a concours sometime in the future, as it looks like a fun bike, cheaper than a BMW, and less expensive to maintain. Gonna look for one of the moving caravan test ride activities that Kaw sponsored last year. You kill two birds with one stone.... a road trip and test ride. I disagree though that the 900 isn't up to touring. I did a couple 1500 milers last year and one 3000 mile to Sturgis the year back. Went to Sturgis, and then headed over to Wyoming, down into Colorado and back to St. Louie.... great trip!.
 

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I agree that touring is ok on the 900.
Did several runs from massachusetts to north carolina and one to virginia over the last several years.
I do not ride much over 70 so I am not bothered by the high rpm's of the engine at that speed, prefer the back roads and time is not a problem as I am retired.
Several of my riding friends have the big engines and really like to tear up the highway so I tell them that I will meet them later
The 900 is great on gas and I only need to tank up half as often as my friends with the big engines.
The 900 is heavy enough to be stable at highway speed but light enough to be easy to maneuver at low speeds.
Maybe the 900 is an entry level bike but to me, an excellent touring bike.
 

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I hear the Concours is pretty powerful, I know a couple of people who absolutely love them. I also know folks who absolutely love the 900. I say ride one if you can and see what you think, heck, get both. I can't see anything wrong with having a bike for whatever mood you might be in at any given time. I've been tossing around the idea of adding a sportbike to the stable.
 

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I think my 900 is more than capable for easy 65-70 highway cruising (while still having passing power and get out of the way power). I think the guys that think it's a slouch are guys who like to cruise at 90+. Maybe I'm wrong but, that's what it seems like to me.

We haven't had bikes this big for very long! I was talking to a guy who rode motorcycle for 30 years and his 900 was the biggest bike he ever had, in fact he was commenting how nice it was to have a 'big bike' that was heavy and smooth on the highway. Looking around here you'd think it was synonymous with a 50cc scooter! Of course, our interstates are more developed now, and our average highway speed is somewhere around 300 miles an hour or something (okay, exaggerating a little). But still, I don't think the 900 is a slouch. I do lots of two up touring with it. I think the difference is, when you're wanting to cruise at 90+, I think it'll disappoint you. I'll agree it's a good beginners bike, in the sense that it's tame enough to pick up and learn, but I think it's a capable bike after that too. When I think of beginner bike, I think of a Ninja 250, or a Vulcan 500, or something along those lines.

I rode one of the older 1000cc Concours'. I didn't like it because it didn't fit be very well, BUT, aside from that, it was a super peppy, super nimble bike. Definitely handled well, and had plenty of power (And I'm sure the new 1400cc versions are all the quicker). But, for me anyway, I kinda like a lazy cruiser. My Vulcan is nice and smooth and easy, you can kind of lean back and just enjoy it. The Connie had really skinny tires and so it's braking performance wasn't the best (didn't like that) and it wasn't very stable, by that I mean it was super sensitive to control inputs and lean (high CoG helped with that too). I felt like it just had a lot going on, I like my lean back and go Vulcan.

BUT, the guy who owns it, has put 30k on it and repeatedly tours on it and loves it to death. I only rode it once, maybe you get used to it. Who knows. But there's my two cents, a Vulcan rider who rode a Connie once!

I'm planning on taking a 1,000 mile each way trip next summer with my soon to be wife. I don't have any reservations about it. We go down to Springfield, MO on it all the time and that's about 3 1/2 ~ 4 hours one way. Other than a rough seat (getting a Russel before the big trip), it does great.
 

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I hear the Concours is pretty powerful, I know a couple of people who absolutely love them. I also know folks who absolutely love the 900. I say ride one if you can and see what you think, heck, get both. I can't see anything wrong with having a bike for whatever mood you might be in at any given time. I've been tossing around the idea of adding a sportbike to the stable.
Yeah I think one day I'd love to have a Ninja 250. They are supposed to be the best handling sport bikes Kawasaki makes, I rode my friends 250. It's not super fast but neither am I, the best part was nice low leans and carving up the corners. I agree, have one for every mood! If I were a millionaire, I'd have my 900, maybe a Goldwing, maybe a Voyager, some sportbike, a dual sport, a Harley so I have something to use all of my tools on (haha kidding). The possibilities are endless :p
 

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The Concours looks like a sweet bike, if that's the style you're looking for. The Vaquero is a really nice looking bike to. I sat on one and it seemed kinda high for my diminutive inseam. Plus, both bikes are half again as much $ as the 900. I ended up with a V2K when I "stepped up". The 2000 actually sits lower than the 1700s.

Now for the 900: Yes, if you're going to cruise at 80 or above, you will get a little beat up and your mileage will suffer. But if you wanna cruise at 65-70, with or without a passenger, the 900 is a great bike. It's very comfy and easy to handle. And I don't know if there's a better bike for bopping around town. I loved mine (a Classic), and it was not an easy decision to trade it.
 

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.....But if you wanna cruise at 65-70, with or without a passenger, the 900 is a great bike. It's very comfy and easy to handle. And I don't know if there's a better bike for bopping around town. I loved mine (a Classic), and it was not an easy decision to trade it.
I have the 900, and bought an 800 for my wife. For just cruising around town, I'd much rather be on the 800. The 900 shows up with a little more grunt and stability above 65 mph, but they're both great bikes! Just wish my 900 had a comfy seat like the 800 does.:(
 

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For the past 26 years, I've ridden mostly bikes 1200CC or larger. It's true that they are bigger, heavier, smooth on the highway, and feel comfortable and planted and have a ton of power. My 1800 Gold Wing is a prime example. But for the past few years I've discovered that there's no flies on a smaller bike. I can remember when a 650 was considered a BIG motorcycle. In fact, at one point, I turned down an offer to test ride a Honda 750 because I thought it was waaaay too big a bike for me. Seems funny, now.

I am moving to Alaska next month and my Gold Wing is for sale. I could have kept it, but I need the money, and besides, I really like my 900 Classic. It serves all my riding needs, and it's just really fun to ride. For a lighter "smaller" bike, it feels amazingly planted and solid on the highway and at higher speeds. It handles well in the tight twisties and is very comfortable--especially with my Russell seat. I guess it all boils down to this: If you have all that big power at hand but never use it, why have it? I think it's more fun to be able to use all of what you have than to have a ton of power and not be able to use it. Something like that.

Final analysis? IMO, the 900 rides with the Big Dogs all day, and when the big dog riders are bushed at the end of the day due to having to deal with all the weight, and sometimes slow handling of certain very big bikes, the 900 pilot can get off feeling good and not beat up.
 

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I had a 05 Concours before my Vulcan 900. I tried to get the concours set up to fit me but gave up and sold it. I always felt like I had to raise my head to see out front and the result for me was a very sore neck after a 30 minute ride. It was a very smooth bike and handled nice in the curves and I miss that part with the 900. The concours is also top heavy at slow speeds with the big tank. I haven't ridden a new concours but have been told it is about the same as far as ergonomics. The 900 so far is working very good for me and is the most comfortable bike I have owned (after installing a mustang seat). I am doing Sturgis this year and then to Colorado and back to Arkansas. I have no doubt the 900 will have no problems in the mountains or the interstates.
 

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900 seat

I have the 900, and bought an 800 for my wife. For just cruising around town, I'd much rather be on the 800. The 900 shows up with a little more grunt and stability above 65 mph, but they're both great bikes! Just wish my 900 had a comfy seat like the 800 does.:(
Get a gel seat, I have the Kawasaki one and love it.
 

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As usual, Ponch hits the nail on the head and drives it all the way in. So +1 on his assessment of the 9.

My only addition is this: I don't agree at all that the 9 is a "beginner's bike." I think it's a great choice for a beginner. I also think it's a great choice, period. Yeah, if you want lots of power, the ability to comfortably cruise at triple digit speeds (search post "How Fast do you Really Want to Go?"), and braggin rights, well, the 9 ain't for you. But for a bike that's comfortable, reliable, reasonably priced, and a solid all-around performer in the middleweight cruiser class...well, you all know what I'm gonna say XD
 

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As usual, Ponch hits the nail on the head and drives it all the way in. So +1 on his assessment of the 9.

My only addition is this: I don't agree at all that the 9 is a "beginner's bike." I think it's a great choice for a beginner. I also think it's a great choice, period. Yeah, if you want lots of power, the ability to comfortably cruise at triple digit speeds (search post "How Fast do you Really Want to Go?"), and braggin rights, well, the 9 ain't for you. But for a bike that's comfortable, reliable, reasonably priced, and a solid all-around performer in the middleweight cruiser class...well, you all know what I'm gonna say XD
I agree. I think it's kind of "two bikes in one". It's your first bike, and then it's the bike you trade up to. It was my first bike, and there were SEVERAL times in a parking lot I turned a little sharp or maneuvered poorly and had to catch it, and man did I appreciate that low weight. As I moved up to riding in the streets, I just twisted the throttle a bit more. Now, 5,000 miles and an MSF course later, I'm cruising the interstate and having a blast. But, like I said, I drive like a granny. I'm not a speed demon, I've got nothing to prove, and my masculinity is measured in ways other than the cc's of my motorcycle, so it's all I need. Maybe I'll change my mind in a few years but, I think my 9' is here to stay.

I was originally looking at a Vulcan 500. I'm glad I didn't go with that. That one does seem like more of a beginners bike, folks have trouble keeping it stable on the highway and having the power to hold 70mph with a passenger. That's the one I'd call a "beginners bike". I keep seeing the same ones on Craigslist. They show up, then they show up later with a new owner, a new scratch or bent part, and a few hundred more miles.
 

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Got to agree that the 900 seat is terribly uncomfortable. First think I did when I got mine is swap the stock seat for a Mustang seat. Was well worth the price.
Mine will follow suit shortly. Either find a good deal on a used mustang seat, or just bite the bullet and go with a Russell. Still kind of on the fence, Russell is of course a bit more expensive, but not ALOT more expensive, and it seems like the guys who couldn't even get comfortable with a Mustang seat liked the Russell. I wonder if I could find someone in the area to 'rent' me a Mustang seat for a day LOL.

A guy stopped me in a parking lot the other day after I got off my bike, wanted to know what I thought of the 900 because he was trying to decide between that and something else (I forgot what, I think something from Yamaha). I told him I loved the bike, but he needed to figure in the cost of an aftermarket seat when he was determining the cost of the bike. That stock seat is WORTHLESS!

I did get myself an Airhawk 2, essentially identical to the Airhawk but made with a cheaper material, I was able to get it for $50 or so on eBay. Increases my range to about 75~100 miles without needing to stop, I can ride for about an hour in complete comfort, and it's a little bit of 'discomfort' from miles 60~80 or so, and by mile 100 I'm ready for a stretch, as in, RIGHT NOW, LOL. (Depends on speed too, obviously that distance is a lot shorter on curvy 55 mph roads, as opposed to my last long interstate trip). Before, I was feeling discomfort after only about 5 miles, and by 25-30 miles, that was all I could take. The only saving grace was hitting a lot of stop signs and stop lights where I could stand up for a second.

But, that has nothing to do with the size or performance of the bike, and everything to do with the fact that the seat is WAY too soft (meaning you compress it completely, so it feels real cushy at the dealership, but you soon realize it turns into a brick underneath you) and the shape is terrible. I'm convinced that seat came from Kawasaki's marketing department, not it's engineering department, meaning it's purpose is to dress up the bike with a seat that follows the lines of the bike, not to provide any sort of rideable comfort. Perfect example is the stock seat on the Custom. I've never seen a more impractical pillion. I mean I guess TECHNICALLY it has a passenger seat, lol, but I can't imagine how on earth that goes comfortably under anyones body... I dunno though, I don't ride on the back, lol.
 

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I have been riding for 28 years. I have a 900 lt, it,s never let me down. I can go anywhere on the 900 that my friends go on 1300, 1700 or 2000 ccs. It gets better gas millage, and the tires seem to last longer. But , I do agree that it feels toped out at 70 or 75. I may try changing the front drive gear, seen a mod on that a while back. I look for reliability, you wont go wrong with the 900. 35000 miles, and counting. 2006 classic . In fact, I mentioned to my riding buddies about going bigger, they said WHY.
 

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Harry2U, I did that same ride year before last. After Sturgis, I went down to Colorado to climb Longs Peak, and then cut west and south to Gunnison before running out of time and energy..... Best ride of my short MC live to date. Been down to Tennessee and over to your great state of Arkansas a couple of times.... Except for a brief bout with the engine not charging after 2 full days of riding in pouring Arkansas rain, she has been running great up to the 32,000 miles now and counting.
 

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I have to agree. The seat on the 900 is a joke. Whoever designed the thing had to have flunked design engineering in college.

Romans--I had a Mustang on my 1700 Nomad, but it didn't work out for me. Neither did the Mustang my wife had on her '09LT. We both got Russells and have absolutely no regrets at spending the money on them. I can go all day in comfort on it. The Mustang seat cost me $650.00 or so. The Russell was a touch over $800.00, but I opted for leather and had them stud it, too. You could go all vinyl, skip the studs and it would probably be the same price as the Mustang. Or close to it, but it would be way more comfortable. That includes the Russell backrest. If you already have a backrest, they will install it. I had a Utopia backrest on my Gold Wing, and they installed it with the Russell conversions. I imagine they could do the same for any other brand of backrest. I highly recommend the Russell. I guess they have just always worked for me.
 

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As usual, Ponch hits the nail on the head and drives it all the way in. So +1 on his assessment of the 9.

My only addition is this: I don't agree at all that the 9 is a "beginner's bike." I think it's a great choice for a beginner. I also think it's a great choice, period. Yeah, if you want lots of power, the ability to comfortably cruise at triple digit speeds (search post "How Fast do you Really Want to Go?"), and braggin rights, well, the 9 ain't for you. But for a bike that's comfortable, reliable, reasonably priced, and a solid all-around performer in the middleweight cruiser class...well, you all know what I'm gonna say XD
+1 on this
 
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