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Hi all,

After my long road trip in my new 900 LT, where buffeting was a much bigger problem for me than buzz, I've been reading the forums and thinking about a front pulley and 200/70-15 tire. Most seem happy with the change. I would go in sequence --- pulley when I decide to adjust the belt again to try to eliminate the squeal (maybe soon!), and then tire later if I wanted it.

Before taking the plunge, I find myself asking what the Kawasaki engineers think about whole gearing ratio debate. They designed the bike. I seriously doubt that they did it just to induce guys to upgrade to the Nomad or Vaquero to lower the revs at highway speed! I suspect they chose the gear ratio that they thought was optimal for an engine half the size of the big Harleys.

Anyone know what the Kawi engineers think about this stuff? Anyone on the list a Kawi engineer willing to admit it and stick your neck out with your honest thoughts?

...I'm loving this bike (except for the damn belt squeal!)

Dan
 

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I think I'd wait until broken in or out of warranty ,before you start messin' with stuff.
You probably should give the dealer a call and see if they can or will do something for you on the squeal.
You never did let us know what kind of fuel economy you got on your trip.
Did you bring me back a t-shirt.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think I'd wait until broken in or out of warranty ,before you start messin' with stuff.
You probably should give the dealer a call and see if they can or will do something for you on the squeal.
You never did let us know what kind of fuel economy you got on your trip.
Did you bring me back a t-shirt.:)
Hi 4getful2,

I got 46 mpg on the trip. I rode hard (up and down the rev spectrum), as I was still in breakin on the first part of the trip. Mileage on the three highest legs was 48 and 49. I think I could easily get over 50 if I mellowed out and rode easily at 55-62.

You didn't tell me to buy you a tee shirt or I would have.
 

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The engineers designed the bike for the same thing the marketing guys designed it. Boulevard cruising.

Motorcycle forums create a false sense of the cross-section of motorcyclists. Most motorcyclists on forums are enthusiasts who ride a little more than average and motorcycling is a big deal to them. That's not always the case, but more often than not it is. I know where I live, there's a great deal of motorcycles that are used the same way most boats are. Occasional use on a nice weekend when you've got nothing else going on. Maybe a three day weekend here and there. But it spends an overwhelming amount of it's time under a cover somewhere. They use motorcycles like I use my baseball glove. I like to play catch, it's good exercise. Once in a blue moon I even get roped into a softball/baseball game. While there are guys who participate in softball leagues and baseball leagues and play a couple of times a week; I put my baseball glove on to play catch with my wife or a nephew or something once in a while.

The reality is, a great many owners of the Vulcan 900 are using it for what it is marketed for; lower speed "cruising" around surface streets. Bar hopping, that sort of thing. It's geared for that. There's no need to downshift to pass, you get into the top gear early. On a 1700, the lower speed stuff requires the occasional gear change and you don't see top gear until you hit the interstate. Geared differently for different jobs.

Of course, than doesn't mean the 900 isn't capable of long distance interstate touring. That's just not what the engineers designed for it's primary purpose. We all tweak and modify our bikes to make them fit what we want. For example, I ditched the short "cool looking" windshield on my Vaquero for a taller one; comfort trumps style in that case for me, but it didn't for the engineers.
 

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The engineers designed the bike for the same thing the marketing guys designed it. Boulevard cruising.

Motorcycle forums create a false sense of the cross-section of motorcyclists. Most motorcyclists on forums are enthusiasts who ride a little more than average and motorcycling is a big deal to them. That's not always the case, but more often than not it is. I know where I live, there's a great deal of motorcycles that are used the same way most boats are. Occasional use on a nice weekend when you've got nothing else going on. Maybe a three day weekend here and there. But it spends an overwhelming amount of it's time under a cover somewhere. They use motorcycles like I use my baseball glove. I like to play catch, it's good exercise. Once in a blue moon I even get roped into a softball/baseball game. While there are guys who participate in softball leagues and baseball leagues and play a couple of times a week; I put my baseball glove on to play catch with my wife or a nephew or something once in a while.

The reality is, a great many owners of the Vulcan 900 are using it for what it is marketed for; lower speed "cruising" around surface streets. Bar hopping, that sort of thing. It's geared for that. There's no need to downshift to pass, you get into the top gear early. On a 1700, the lower speed stuff requires the occasional gear change and you don't see top gear until you hit the interstate. Geared differently for different jobs.

Of course, than doesn't mean the 900 isn't capable of long distance interstate touring. That's just not what the engineers designed for it's primary purpose. We all tweak and modify our bikes to make them fit what we want. For example, I ditched the short "cool looking" windshield on my Vaquero for a taller one; comfort trumps style in that case for me, but it didn't for the engineers.
well said, i agree

i would like to add that in the past there werent sport bikes, touring bikes, etc. Those guys just used their bike for everything, including off road.

Is the 900 the ideal touring bike, no. So what is an ideal bike for touring, a $16,000 1700? sure, but i dont have $16,000. If I had $16,000 id buy a miata and tour in total comfort.

So we make due with our 900 and just focus in enjoying it. It is a great "Light Tourer" just like the name implies.
 

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Also to back up Roman's line of thinking, take the V2K for example. They were geared differently depending on where they were shipped to. Look for the "Euro Gear" threads. Kaw engineers thought us folks in the US (and Canada I think) wanted a low geared, stump pulling, Peterbuilt torque monster and the Europeans wanted a higher geared bike. Several folks on the forum have changed the primary gears to the European set so they are better for touring. It ain't always engineering, it can be marketing.
 

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A touring bike must have a better range than 160 miles. In my opinion they missed it there as well. Do the engineers in close crowded countries take into consideration the open roads of America?
 

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I wanted a 1600 when I bought mine but the fuel tank kept me from it. A 5.3 gal tank on a bike that gets 50 mpg and a 4.4 gal tank on a bike that gets 39 mpg. Makes a lot of sense to me.
 

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Kaw. seems to go the larger motor route.
I'm still looking for a bike, looked at a 1600 nomad that our local dealer had, very nice two tone paint , factory hardbags................ still coming off my 750 Vulcan, I'm still a bit overwhelmed at the size of the bike. I need to get over that.:)
Kinda wish they made a 1100 or 1200 shaft drive cruiser..........should yield mid to upper 40's mpg.
 

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V-star 1300 could be what you are looking for.
I have not rode them but Yamaha dresses up the 1300 bikes in a few different combinations, even a mid sized bagger with fairing, radio/ipod hookup and nav. Also in a Nomad like configuration with bags and windshield and a regular cruiser.
 
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