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Discussion Starter #1
Tried a 1700 Classic the other day and I think I prefer my 900!! WHOA!!! I was actually surprised and a bit disappointed because I really wanted a six speed and a little more power. The gearing seemed spread out more with higher ratio's. Meaning cruising down the beach at very slow speeds, you had to be in 1st or a big jump to 2nd. The bike does not like to be lugged! The bike felt very clunky from 1st to 2nd. The belt whine was a lot louder at very slow speeds and the front end seemed to jump up and down a bit when I got on the throttle at higher speeds. Almost like an unbalanced front wheel or a front engine mount. Not sure if this is normal or just this bike. Anybody advice?
 

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I found my 900 more enjoyable at lower speeds. My Vaquero lugged and lurched at slow speeds and of course the heat difference. However, with Ray's mod and proper throttle cable adjustment, it is significantly better at low speeds. As a big guy, I prefer my 1700 over my 900 by a lot. The power difference with a twist of the throttle literally makes me smile all of the time. The ride feels like a Cadillac compared to my 900 feeling like a Honda Civic. I can ride twice as long, and am very spoiled by cruise control. I even have the stock seat, people who complain about the Vaquero's stock seat have clearly never ridden on a 900 Custom stock seat for any prolonged period of time. :)
 

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Tried a 1700 Classic the other day and I think I prefer my 900!! WHOA!!! I was actually surprised and a bit disappointed because I really wanted a six speed and a little more power. The gearing seemed spread out more with higher ratio's. Meaning cruising down the beach at very slow speeds, you had to be in 1st or a big jump to 2nd. The bike does not like to be lugged! The bike felt very clunky from 1st to 2nd. The belt whine was a lot louder at very slow speeds and the front end seemed to jump up and down a bit when I got on the throttle at higher speeds. Almost like an unbalanced front wheel or a front engine mount. Not sure if this is normal or just this bike. Anybody advice?
I was a bit underwhelmed at first with my 1700 LT, especially having owned both a Roadstar 1700 and VTX1800R previously. Getting used to the 1700's little quirks, a little tweaking, and careful break-in makes all the difference though!

The Vulcan 1700 requires some break-in time before it really starts to free up and produce power. Also to blame is the stock throttle tube with a great deal of lag or delay. That was fixed with RACNRAY's Throttle Mod (a re-profiled throttle cam that eliminates the delay and gives instant throttle response). Do a search on this forum under RACNRAY's Throttle Mod for more information on this inexpensive, but essential mod :good::good::good: .

The belt whine is generally because of an overly tight or poorly adjusted belt...easy fix.

I do agree with your assessment of the clunky transmission and overly tall gearing. The First-to-Second shift is notoriously loud, but can be controlled to some degree by short shifting or preloading the shifter. This does not seem to improve with time and changing to synthetic oil provides very little or only a temporary reduction in noise/tranny smoothness. My tranny actually seems to be a little quieter in the 1st to 2nd shift if I DO NOT LET OFF on the throttle during shifting!

BOTH Fifth and Sixth Gears are Overdrive gears for better mileage. I rarely ever use Sixth Gear as it is strictly for the interstate and speeds well over 65 mph or 105 kph.

Last, but not least...the stock seat sucks (not as bad as some, but much room for improvement)...a new Mustang Vintage Wide Seat made all the difference for me!

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments. I'm going to look at a 2009 Vulcan Classic 1700 Saturday. I'll take it for a test drive and keep an open mind.
 

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IMO, if you fit comfortably on the 900, and it does what you want it to do, then why change? I test rode a 900 custom and chased a guy on a Vaquero on a twisty road and had no issues keeping up with him. The only negative about the 900 line for me is not having hydraulic valves. Takes up most of a day if you check them yourself, or a chunk of money if you have someone else do it.

I do sometimes wish I would have held on to the '09 Nomad for summer cruising. The Voyager just blocks too much wind for me to ride it much in the summer months.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess the biggest reason I'm looking to go bigger is because I'm constantly trying to up-shift when I'm in 5th gear. I like the gear spacing up to 5th, but wish there was one more gear.

As far as the fairing blocking too much wind in the summer, I can totally understand your point. I'm not looking at a Voyager, but a Classic. The windshield on a Classic does not block that much wind, but I'd probably wish it would as the weather turns colder!
 

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I have a Vaq and the gf has the 900. I love her bike but the five speed is a deal breaker for me. Its perfect for her.
I'd say it depends on what kind of riding you typically do. Running around locally - 900 all day. Any type of highway riding and you'll want the 1700.
 

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GO BIG!! bigger is always better except for women. h.o.
I guess that depends. Going bigger on a bike usually means more comfort.

Going bigger on a woman usually means more comfort. :p

Going bigger on a bike usually means more power.

Going bigger on a bike usually means it is a handful to ride.

Get the drift? :D
 

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I rode Gold Wings for 20 years, so when I got the Nomad, I was perfectly comfortable as it was lighter than the Wing. When I got the 900LT, it felt like a toy by comparison. But I would agree, if most of your riding is locally and around town, the 900 is perfect. It's also a great traveler, but at higher highway speeds, it feels a bit buzzy and strained. That's where the 1700 shines. It's bigger and heavier, so it feels more planted on the road, and it's very comfortable. The handling's not bad, either. Just don't try to pull a loaded Bunkhouse (or similar) camper trailer with it. It won't like it. I speak from experience. If I were to be in the market for a cruiser, I'd start with looking at another Nomad.
 
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