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Hi Everyone!

Please Pardon my ignorance,being new to motorcycling I was wondering why the 900 custom has a narrow front wheel and how does this effect the handling over the classic 900 or the LT?

Thanks again for everyone's help.
 

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Hi Everyone!

Please Pardon my ignorance,being new to motorcycling I was wondering why the 900 custom has a narrow front wheel and how does this effect the handling over the classic 900 or the LT?

Thanks again for everyone's help.
the Custom also has more rake in the front end. i never rode a classic so I cant answer your question
 

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The reason for the difference is purely style. The designers at Kawasaki were going for an old harley cruiser look on the Classics. You may notice that other than the lack of solid rims, the Classics looks a lot like a FatBoy. On the Custom, they were going more for a drag bike / chopper look. Choppers usually have extended rakes, custom rims and ape hangers. I think they chose the drag style handle bars to make the bike more user friendly.

Normally, a smaller(narrower) front wheel and extended rake mean that the bike will need a bigger area to make a turn. That is why sport bikes have almost no rake. The shorter the wheel base, the smaller the turning area. However, (and I have not personally riden both) there are many articles and comments saying that the Custom is practically equall to the Classic in handling and that both are excellent. I think this is because they didn't undersize the tire on the Custom, they oversized the tire on the Classic. Also, the extended rake is very slight. So in essence they built a bike that looks like a chopper, but without going to extremes that hurt performance.

This mentality can be seen throughout the bike on both models. For one, just look at our bike compared to the harleys. Our bike is similar in engine size to an 883 Sportster. But honestly, a sportster looks like a 500cc commuter bike next to ours. As I said, the Classic looks a Fatboy, but the Fatboy has almost a 1600cc engine and weighs a lot more. I have riden one of those. They are smooth on the highway and through curves. But low speed turns in parking lots takes a little extra planning. Kawasaki has kept the shape and size of a big classic cruiser, but they have cut down on the weight and engine size. This gives you a more friendly, easy riding, fuel efficient bike with plenty of power that a lot of folks will look at and think its a Harley. Not that I really care if they think I ride I harley. But HD did build some great looking bikes.
 

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what he said except Indian and not HD, which is why the Drifter series was so easy to make. Frankly, the era of motorcycle the 900/2000 are built on the HD's and Indians were a lot alike. Certainly weren't a Henderson or Cleaveland.

Some'll say the smaller tire makes the bike more maneuverable and the fatter tire makes the ride a smoother setup for lots of cruising. But the changes in rake and tire size do make em run about the same, or at least it felt like it to me. I needed a windshield so I've got the LT.

No regrets.
 
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