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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wonder why Kawasaki doesn't make a Vulcan 1200 size bike? There seems to be a huge gap between the Vulcan 900 and the Vulcan 1500 sizes.

It wouldn't have to mean a lot of extra weight. In fact, it might not be any heavier than the current 900. As proof of this, consider the Harley Sportster 883 and the Harley Sportster 1200. Both bikes weigh within about 3 pounds of each other. Essentially there is no weight difference, yet the 1200 will greatly outperform the 883.

As far as cost, there really shouldn't be more than a few hundred dollars difference in cost to manufacture the 1200 engine versus the 900 engine. Harley charges about $2,000 more for the 1200 Sportster versus the 883 Sportster, but that's simply because they can get the extra money (profit) out of the 1200........ not because it costs them $2K more to make it.

Heck, a lot of guys convert their 883 to the 1200 size and the cost of conversion is only about $1,000 and that's if you pay a dealer to do it. If you can do the work yourself, it only costs about $600. So I'm sure that if they were made that way from the factory, the cost difference would be only a few hundred dollars.

So, why not a 1200 Vulcan????? Beats me.

Chas
 

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There may be a big gap in cc's but not in performance. The 900's will run with the 1500 single carbed bikes. I have always felt that people get hung up on the displacement of a bike and not the performance. The 900 is more bike than the 1100 Yamaha I had. I do not feel they have much of a gap in the line up. It just appears to be a gap. IMO.
 

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Hell, I'd be happy with a 6th gear on my 9.
 

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In the 70's, the engines were all made the same, shared the same parts across the brands, had the same performance. So, the easy way to compare, was the displacement. If everyone from Kawasaki to Harley Davidson was using the same Japanese carbs, building their engines in the same ways with the same technologies, just compare how much volume is in the cylinders and you have a pretty good ballpark. With the (at the time) extremely popular inline engines, just compare it with another engine of the same configuration.

NOW things are different. We have all sorts of different valve configurations, overhead cams or pushrods, heck, Honda even has a 3 valve (2 in 1 out) engine right now. We have fuel injection, greatly varying compression, varying final drive systems, etc. It's not as easy to compare a bike purely in displacement. Also, without a SIGNIFICANT increase in displacement, it's hard to get a real, noticeable increase in power, unlike 'the old days'.

So, long story short, there isn't likely to be a real difference between a 900 and a 1200. At one time, Kawi had several models, now that have 2 (ultimately) a 900 and a 1700. Outside looking in it seems like there's no middle. But in fact, the 900 is simple enough and easy enough to ride for a beginner, but has the power of Kawasaki's old 1500cc Twins. The 1700 is certainly more powerful, but a 1200 likely wouldn't be. Going from a 900 to a 1700 is actually a significant, worthwhile upgrade. BUT, it's also very easy for a 900 rider to hop on a 1700. The landscape of motorcycles has changed.

Having a 900 and 1200 would satisfy those stuck in the displacement myth, but ultimately would not benefit either size. With only two models in the line, there are more available accessories, they cost less, easier to work on, easier to find parts for, cheaper to get repaired, etc. etc.

Just my $0.02. I really think the 900 and 1700 is a perfect lineup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It wasn't really my intent to compare the 900 Vulcan engine with the much different 1500 Vulcan engine and much heavier 1500 bike. The point I was trying to make is that if Harley can increase their 883 engine to 1200 cc and keep everything else (fuel injection, weight, etc) essentially the same and realize a very noticeable horsepower and performance increase for only a few hundred dollars actual cost, then why not do it?

Certainly the vast majority of Harley Sportster riders would select the 1200 engine over the 883 if the cost difference were only a few hundred dollars. I don't see why the same thing wouldn't be true for the Kaw Vulcan riders.

I'm not trying to argue. I'm just saying there is a big performance difference between the 883 Sportster and the 1200 Sportster. Yes, I've ridden them both.

BTW, increasing the displacement to 1200 cc the way Harley does in no way affects what accessories are available or how easy/difficult it is to work on. Nothing else is changed other than the engine having greater displacement and greater horsepower.

Chas
 

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I hope I don't set off another Metric Vs. HD thread but. HD is selling an image. They have a following that will purchase such products. I like having a big bike with a lot of torque so I got a V2K. I did not buy a 900 and make it in to something its not. I just do not see a market out there for it. Metric bikes are already viewed as a throw away bike (by most).
 

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I think the 900 & the 1700 makes for a pretty darn good cruiser lineup.

The 900 fits the requirements for most entry level bikes; yet performs as a big cruiser just fine too.
Being under the 1 liter mark makes it cost a lot less on insurance and fuel.
People looking for a 250 for entry level are more and more turning to sportbikes for performance reasons.

Once you get over the 1 liter mark; most people are looking for power in excess. I know I do.:D
So, when you decide you need a bigger bike than the 900; most are going to prefer a bigger jump than to a 1200.

I do wonder a bit why they discontinued the V2K. I could see a revamp but there aren't a lot of places to turn for THAT much torque.

In the end I think they are trying to reduce production costs and provide a line-up that covers MOST buyers.

Scott
 

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I think the 900 & the 1700 makes for a pretty darn good cruiser lineup.

The 900 fits the requirements for most entry level bikes; yet performs as a big cruiser just fine too.
Being under the 1 liter mark makes it cost a lot less on insurance and fuel.
People looking for a 250 for entry level are more and more turning to sportbikes for performance reasons.

Once you get over the 1 liter mark; most people are looking for power in excess. I know I do.:D
So, when you decide you need a bigger bike than the 900; most are going to prefer a bigger jump than to a 1200.

I do wonder a bit why they discontinued the V2K. I could see a revamp but there aren't a lot of places to turn for THAT much torque.

In the end I think they are trying to reduce production costs and provide a line-up that covers MOST buyers.

Scott
That sounds about like it to me. I know people like variety, but I have often wondered why some companies have as many different bikes as they do. Like Yamaha, in their V-Star line they had the 250; 650; and 1100. Now they have added the 950 and 1300. That is 5 different motors on 3 different frames ( 1: 650-1100 2: 950-1300 3:250). The only think I can figure is that they have enough left over parts to continue the 650's and 1100's after they have released the 950 and 1300.
 

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It wasn't really my intent to compare the 900 Vulcan engine with the much different 1500 Vulcan engine and much heavier 1500 bike. The point I was trying to make is that if Harley can increase their 883 engine to 1200 cc and keep everything else (fuel injection, weight, etc) essentially the same and realize a very noticeable horsepower and performance increase for only a few hundred dollars actual cost, then why not do it?

Certainly the vast majority of Harley Sportster riders would select the 1200 engine over the 883 if the cost difference were only a few hundred dollars. I don't see why the same thing wouldn't be true for the Kaw Vulcan riders.

I'm not trying to argue. I'm just saying there is a big performance difference between the 883 Sportster and the 1200 Sportster. Yes, I've ridden them both.

BTW, increasing the displacement to 1200 cc the way Harley does in no way affects what accessories are available or how easy/difficult it is to work on. Nothing else is changed other than the engine having greater displacement and greater horsepower.

Chas
The Harley Sportster engine is just like those older engines I was referring to though. Little has changed in that motor except for the addition of Fuel Injection a couple years ago. Thus, it's more affected by small changes in displacement than a 900cc Vulcan engine.

A 1200 would have more performance, but it would be nominal. You wouldn't really 'feel' it. It probably wouldn't be worth the cost for most riders. The engine itself would be much more complicated to increase to 1200ccs of displacement than a sporty motor, and keeping two bikes like that in the line doesn't make a lot of sense.

Harley has a lot more riders than Kawasaki does though, and that needs to be kept in mind too. Harley can more easily keep the 883 and 1200 sportster lines, and the various upgrades and kits for the two.

And, like it or not, it has to make business sense. Adding a 1200 to the lineup would fragment the line, and would hurt the marketability of the line (For aforementioned reasons). Having fewer bikes on the line that fill more uses makes for more marketable machines, because there are a lot more available accessories and such for those bikes. One big advantage HD has over Metrics, is the fact that they are infinitely customizable thanks to their relatively small line (only a few actual chassis, they put several models on one of a couple chassis, not unlike Kawasaki), immense popularity, and incremental changes over the years (HD rarely radically changes anything. There are a number of parts on a 2012 big twin that can be replaced with parts from the 80's!). Thus, it makes sense for a third party, like Kuryakyn for example, to build parts for their line.

If Kawasaki, which has less riders than Harley, fragmented the line with new models, these third party companies would likely not see it a smart business decision to build as many accessories for Kawasaki. With two bikes on the line, you have a lot of riders on just two models (ultimately). Most 900 accessories fit most 900's, etc. Thus, you get a third party market that makes the line viable.

One of my favorite things about the 900 is that it IS an extremely popular bike, meaning I get a LOT of options for accessories and the like!

I'm not saying a 1200 Kawasaki would be a bad bike, I'm just saying it wouldn't be a good solution for the company, and it would present drawbacks to itself and the rest of the line that wouldn't be worth the very mild difference in performance and otherwise. REPLACING the 900 with a 1200 perhaps, but again the magic number is 1000. Being under that keeps insurance and the like very cheap!

Also, cost IS a primary factor in a lot of sporty riders upping to the 1200. Getting on a big twin is not a low cost investment by any means. However, you CAN get on a Vulcan 1700, in fact, you can do it for about the price of a Sportster 1200! So, there again, most of us would rather spend the money on the 1700 (or the V2K may he rest in peace!). In fact I've seen used 1700 classics flirt with used 900 prices. There just wouldn't be a reason to 'upgrade' to the 1200, so it would just be a fragment of buyers choosing either the 900 or 1200 as a first bike (or a 'last' bike, as it's very popular among an older crowd that wants a lighter and easier bike, or even a 'cheap' bike as I can vouch for it's viability as even a long distance tourer but at a low initial cost, low cost to insure, and low cost to maintain), and then upgrading to the 1700.

There are niche gaps in the Kawasaki line, as it IS a line, like Scott said, designed to fit MOST riders, not ALL. But as a consumer, I am not bound to one company. If I were in a niche that couldn't be filled by either the 900 or 1700 line, I'd go with someone else! It wouldn't make sense for Kawasaki to fill that niche, because it could make their existing bikes less marketable (by increasing production costs, or fragmenting the line, etc.)
 

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The Harley Sportster engine is just like those older engines I was referring to though. Little has changed in that motor except for the addition of Fuel Injection a couple years ago. Thus, it's more affected by small changes in displacement than a 900cc Vulcan engine.

A 1200 would have more performance, but it would be nominal. You wouldn't really 'feel' it. It probably wouldn't be worth the cost for most riders. The engine itself would be much more complicated to increase to 1200ccs of displacement than a sporty motor, and keeping two bikes like that in the line doesn't make a lot of sense.

Harley has a lot more riders than Kawasaki does though, and that needs to be kept in mind too. Harley can more easily keep the 883 and 1200 sportster lines, and the various upgrades and kits for the two.

And, like it or not, it has to make business sense. Adding a 1200 to the lineup would fragment the line, and would hurt the marketability of the line (For aforementioned reasons). Having fewer bikes on the line that fill more uses makes for more marketable machines, because there are a lot more available accessories and such for those bikes. One big advantage HD has over Metrics, is the fact that they are infinitely customizable thanks to their relatively small line (only a few actual chassis, they put several models on one of a couple chassis, not unlike Kawasaki), immense popularity, and incremental changes over the years (HD rarely radically changes anything. There are a number of parts on a 2012 big twin that can be replaced with parts from the 80's!). Thus, it makes sense for a third party, like Kuryakyn for example, to build parts for their line.

If Kawasaki, which has less riders than Harley, fragmented the line with new models, these third party companies would likely not see it a smart business decision to build as many accessories for Kawasaki. With two bikes on the line, you have a lot of riders on just two models (ultimately). Most 900 accessories fit most 900's, etc. Thus, you get a third party market that makes the line viable.

One of my favorite things about the 900 is that it IS an extremely popular bike, meaning I get a LOT of options for accessories and the like!

I'm not saying a 1200 Kawasaki would be a bad bike, I'm just saying it wouldn't be a good solution for the company, and it would present drawbacks to itself and the rest of the line that wouldn't be worth the very mild difference in performance and otherwise. REPLACING the 900 with a 1200 perhaps, but again the magic number is 1000. Being under that keeps insurance and the like very cheap!

Also, cost IS a primary factor in a lot of sporty riders upping to the 1200. Getting on a big twin is not a low cost investment by any means. However, you CAN get on a Vulcan 1700, in fact, you can do it for about the price of a Sportster 1200! So, there again, most of us would rather spend the money on the 1700 (or the V2K may he rest in peace!). In fact I've seen used 1700 classics flirt with used 900 prices. There just wouldn't be a reason to 'upgrade' to the 1200, so it would just be a fragment of buyers choosing either the 900 or 1200 as a first bike (or a 'last' bike, as it's very popular among an older crowd that wants a lighter and easier bike, or even a 'cheap' bike as I can vouch for it's viability as even a long distance tourer but at a low initial cost, low cost to insure, and low cost to maintain), and then upgrading to the 1700.
Yeah try finding extras for a V2K. More and more accessories are going on close out everyday. You do not have much of a selection of extras since they have went out of production and it is only getting smaller.
 

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Hey Romans: do you have Speech recognition software? Maybe a Speech-to-text reporter? Wow dude you sure can type!!!
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It's built into mac OS X but I never use it but because you mentioned that I want ahead and try to do with this paragraph

Let's see how it turns out
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^ Actually it works pretty decently except for not being smart enough to include commas! And that's with the built in Microphone too! heh!

But to answer your question, I type at about 100wpm so it's really easy for my posts to get a little long winded, sorry about that! I like to write, and I like to talk, so those two things come together on a forum and you get a couple thousand too-long posts that way! haha.
 

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It's built into mac OS X but I never use it but because you mentioned that I want ahead and try to do with this paragraph

Let's see how it turns out
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^ Actually it works pretty decently except for not being smart enough to include commas! And that's with the built in Microphone too! heh!

But to answer your question, I type at about 100wpm so it's really easy for my posts to get a little long winded, sorry about that! I like to write, and I like to talk, so those two things come together on a forum and you get a couple thousand too-long posts that way! haha.
I mentioned once in a Wicked Thread that I do appreciate your honesty...or was it Humbleness? Whatever, I do know how to speed read!! lol :D
 

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uh oh, looks like we got an "I Nerd" amongst us. :D j/k
 

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uh oh, looks like we got an "I Nerd" amongst us. :D j/k
Yeah you caught me. I'm secretly a bit of an Apple fan :D Think I should put an Apple sticker on my bike? I have a stack of 'em.

Been a Mac user for a long time, though I use Windows PC's as well. Most of the time I use my MacBook Pro though, and I have a 27" Apple Cinema display that I hook it up to and use it like that alot. 2560x1440 resolution!

Here's a fun fact though. After every post I make I always read it from the beginning. I spot typo's and things that way (or sometimes you type something because it sounds right when you're typing it but then it makes no sense when you read it). So I feel all of your pain who actually read my novels :D
 

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Yeah you caught me. I'm secretly a bit of an Apple fan :D Think I should put an Apple sticker on my bike? I have a stack of 'em.

Been a Mac user for a long time, though I use Windows PC's as well. Most of the time I use my MacBook Pro though, and I have a 27" Apple Cinema display that I hook it up to and use it like that alot. 2560x1440 resolution!

Here's a fun fact though. After every post I make I always read it from the beginning. I spot typo's and things that way (or sometimes you type something because it sounds right when you're typing it but then it makes no sense when you read it). So I feel all of your pain who actually read my novels :D
Such Resolutions are nice. I have a Dell U2711 27" monitor I use at work that will push the same resolution Paired up with the el cheapo 19" that came with the machine. It will get you spoiled, quick, fast, and in a hurry.
 

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Such Resolutions are nice. I have a Dell U2711 27" monitor I use at work that will push the same resolution Paired up with the el cheapo 19" that came with the machine. It will get you spoiled, quick, fast, and in a hurry.
Yes they do. Unfortunately, I have the ONE graphics card in AMD/ATi's entire lineup in my PC that has a bug that doesn't allow it to support mini Displayport (using ANY adapter). Which means I can't hook it up to my Cinema Display! Drives me nuts!

You do get spoiled with all of the screen real estate. You can have several windows on one screen and be able to actually get work done in each. I have it coupled with a cheapie 23".
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I guess I'm not very good at getting my point across. :( I will concede that a 1200 cc Vulcan would burn a little more gas and the insurance cost would be a little more than a 900, but as far as accessories are concerned, there would be ZERO difference. At least, that's the way it is with the Harley 883 and 1200 Sportsters.

If you want mufflers, floorboards, windshields, handlegrips, saddlebags, seats, chrome air cleaners, or whatever.......... if it will fit on a 883 (or 900), then it will fit just the same on a 1200.

And, since the 1200 has considerably more hp than the 883, they can (and do) make the gearing a little taller on the 1200 to make it better suited for highway use without the need to go to a 6th gear in the transmission.

In effect, going to a 1200 instead of a 900 would mean much better performance, greater acceleration (particularly if riding double), easier highway cruising, and still have the same size, weight, and handling characteristics as the current 900. Plus, any accessory that you would want to put on the 1200 would be exactly the same product as what you now put on your 900. For the very slight increase in gas consumption and slight increase in insurance costs, I would choose the 1200 and never look back. Just my 2 cents. Obviously, some are convinced that the 900 is nearly perfect and can't be improved.

Chas
 

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I guess I'm not very good at getting my point across. :( I will concede that a 1200 cc Vulcan would burn a little more gas and the insurance cost would be a little more than a 900, but as far as accessories are concerned, there would be ZERO difference. At least, that's the way it is with the Harley 883 and 1200 Sportsters.

If you want mufflers, floorboards, windshields, handlegrips, saddlebags, seats, chrome air cleaners, or whatever.......... if it will fit on a 883 (or 900), then it will fit just the same on a 1200.

And, since the 1200 has considerably more hp than the 883, they can (and do) make the gearing a little taller on the 1200 to make it better suited for highway use without the need to go to a 6th gear in the transmission.

In effect, going to a 1200 instead of a 900 would mean much better performance, greater acceleration (particularly if riding double), easier highway cruising, and still have the same size, weight, and handling characteristics as the current 900. Plus, any accessory that you would want to put on the 1200 would be exactly the same product as what you now put on your 900. For the very slight increase in gas consumption and slight increase in insurance costs, I would choose the 1200 and never look back. Just my 2 cents. Obviously, some are convinced that the 900 is nearly perfect and can't be improved.

Chas
I get what you are saying and would be good to have a bike of that size with taller gearing and a bit more HP/TQ. I just don't see it as being marketable inside of Kawasaki's line up.
 
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