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Old 11-19-2012, 01:54 PM   #61
JerryH
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The full cross country road test of the Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT, which was ridden from Daytona to LA, is in the August 2006 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine. I cannot find it on their site, but it is probably there. The only issue I have with this bike is it's tube type tires, those are not a problem for the magazine guys because they have plenty of backup. But they can be a serious issue for a solo rider out there on the highway by themselves. The 900 Classic LT is the touring model, and comes with a windshield and bags. You can get the 900 Custom with cast wheels, but it is more of a boulevard cruiser with a smaller seat and skinny front tire.

Here is my Vulcan 750. This has been an excellent cross country touring bike. Certainly not lacking for power. I have almost 160,000 mostly highway miles on 2 of these, a '93 and this '02. The '02 has over 74,000 on it.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:05 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
The full cross country road test of the Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT, which was ridden from Daytona to LA, is in the August 2006 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine. I cannot find it on their site, but it is probably there. The only issue I have with this bike is it's tube type tires, those are not a problem for the magazine guys because they have plenty of backup. But they can be a serious issue for a solo rider out there on the highway by themselves. The 900 Classic LT is the touring model, and comes with a windshield and bags. You can get the 900 Custom with cast wheels, but it is more of a boulevard cruiser with a smaller seat and skinny front tire.

Here is my Vulcan 750. This has been an excellent cross country touring bike. Certainly not lacking for power. I have almost 160,000 mostly highway miles on 2 of these, a '93 and this '02. The '02 has over 74,000 on it.

Nice looking machine!

Clearly you like the Vulcan 750, and have gotten great service from yours. From what you stated the 750 engine was a whole 'nother animal from the current generation of cruisers. The OP is looking at a new (or newish) bike, and the 750 is a few generations old.

Sure one could ride a V-Star 650, C50, Vulcan 900, etc. cross-country or around the world, but would you choose one for the task? Not many folks would when there are so many other choices. To me the V-Star 650 is one of the strangest bikes ever. 39 HP and almost 600 lbs.

Someone in this thread mentioned a Vulcan 500 today. Since it has a Ninja 500 engine, about the same HP but much less weight, I'm not surprised it would out run a mid-size V-twin cruiser. I had a Ninja 500, but always wanted a Vulcan 500, just didn't find a clean one at the right time.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:16 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by DaveBall View Post
If people say that they need the big bike because they are 300+ poounds and need to take their equal sized partner with them and pack everything including the kitchen sink when they go touring, I think that they really are not making proper life style choices.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:25 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
The full cross country road test of the Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT, which was ridden from Daytona to LA, is in the August 2006 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine. I cannot find it on their site, but it is probably there. The only issue I have with this bike is it's tube type tires, those are not a problem for the magazine guys because they have plenty of backup. But they can be a serious issue for a solo rider out there on the highway by themselves. The 900 Classic LT is the touring model, and comes with a windshield and bags. You can get the 900 Custom with cast wheels, but it is more of a boulevard cruiser with a smaller seat and skinny front tire.

Here is my Vulcan 750. This has been an excellent cross country touring bike. Certainly not lacking for power. I have almost 160,000 mostly highway miles on 2 of these, a '93 and this '02. The '02 has over 74,000 on it.

Ride a Vulcan 900 for an hour at 70 mph and report back to me. Everyone on the Vulcan site will agree, the bike needs a 6th gear, otherwise it's a hell of a bike.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:33 PM   #65
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I'm kinda surprised no one has mentioned the Moto Guzzi V11 California EV and Cal Vintage. Both are light for cruisers, and handle extremely well, with a lot of cornering clearance. The EV's have tubeless spoked wheels, and centerstands are standard. The '03 and '04 EV's have hydraulic lifters.

The EV's may be older than what you're after, but they are very solid bikes with simple maintenance requirements. The downside is that they don't fit long-legged people very well, as the floorboards are mounted pretty high. I would have one if it weren't for my 36" inseam.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:47 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by scotty918 View Post
Ride a Vulcan 900 for an hour at 70 mph and report back to me. Everyone on the Vulcan site will agree, the bike needs a 6th gear, otherwise it's a hell of a bike.
Scootworks OD front pulley fixes this. If you're still not happy, a Scootworks rear OD pulley should satisfy you. I did the front only and had a hard time believing that I didn't have a whole new bike.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:20 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by C-Stain View Post
Scootworks OD front pulley fixes this. If you're still not happy, a Scootworks rear OD pulley should satisfy you. I did the front only and had a hard time believing that I didn't have a whole new bike.
Yeah, the pulley really makes the bike what it should have been in factory condition. I wish I would have tried it before I sold mine, because this is really a nice bike.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:21 PM   #68
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Well see, there you go. Some good points to ponder. Not that hard to replace a pully at either end, as somebody else has already figured it out. But to swap a whole rear end on a driveshaft machine might be a bit different, and I would think a whole lot more expensive.

As to the Moto Guzzi, service would be a problem where I live. No dealer close by.

I think I am narrowing it down to the Vulcan or the VStar. Now, do I get a naked bike and add a windshield and spend big bucks on some lockable hard bags or get one that is already done up. I guess that will depend on what is locally available. But then, that R1200C seems to be calling out to me to take it for a ride. Wish the weather was better over the next couple of weeks. Most dealers don't allow test rides in the rain and wind.

Did anyone know of any major differences between the 2010 VStar 950 and the 2013? That new 2010 seems like a pretty good deal as well.

I know, damn it, going to have to make a decision and get on with it. Just want the best bang for the buck for a good reliable bike that can be used for local riding as well as occasional 1000+ mile treks maybe once per year. Then once retired, I can get out of town and away from "She who must be obeyed" for a few days at a time.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:49 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by jon_l View Post
Nice looking machine!

Clearly you like the Vulcan 750, and have gotten great service from yours. From what you stated the 750 engine was a whole 'nother animal from the current generation of cruisers. The OP is looking at a new (or newish) bike, and the 750 is a few generations old.

Sure one could ride a V-Star 650, C50, Vulcan 900, etc. cross-country or around the world, but would you choose one for the task? Not many folks would when there are so many other choices. To me the V-Star 650 is one of the strangest bikes ever. 39 HP and almost 600 lbs.

Someone in this thread mentioned a Vulcan 500 today. Since it has a Ninja 500 engine, about the same HP but much less weight, I'm not surprised it would out run a mid-size V-twin cruiser. I had a Ninja 500, but always wanted a Vulcan 500, just didn't find a clean one at the right time.
C50 is close to the same power/weight as the vstar.

I sat in a few 500 vulcans and they felt very very tiny to me.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:55 AM   #70
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Well see, there you go. Some good points to ponder. Not that hard to replace a pully at either end, as somebody else has already figured it out. But to swap a whole rear end on a driveshaft machine might be a bit different, and I would think a whole lot more expensive.

As to the Moto Guzzi, service would be a problem where I live. No dealer close by.

I think I am narrowing it down to the Vulcan or the VStar. Now, do I get a naked bike and add a windshield and spend big bucks on some lockable hard bags or get one that is already done up. I guess that will depend on what is locally available. But then, that R1200C seems to be calling out to me to take it for a ride. Wish the weather was better over the next couple of weeks. Most dealers don't allow test rides in the rain and wind.

Did anyone know of any major differences between the 2010 VStar 950 and the 2013? That new 2010 seems like a pretty good deal as well.

I know, damn it, going to have to make a decision and get on with it. Just want the best bang for the buck for a good reliable bike that can be used for local riding as well as occasional 1000+ mile treks maybe once per year. Then once retired, I can get out of town and away from "She who must be obeyed" for a few days at a time.
If it were me making the decision, I would go with the most comfortable choice, then change it to suit. At this point i dont care if it looks like the backside of a pig.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:47 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by DaveBall View Post
I think I am narrowing it down to the Vulcan or the VStar. Now, do I get a naked bike and add a windshield and spend big bucks on some lockable hard bags or get one that is already done up. I guess that will depend on what is locally available. But then, that R1200C seems to be calling out to me to take it for a ride. Wish the weather was better over the next couple of weeks. Most dealers don't allow test rides in the rain and wind.
I don't know about the Yammie, but I do know that the Kawasaki VN900 Classic LT wasn't that much more money at the dealer than the plain 900 Classic. I do believe that the Classic LT carried a year's more warranty than the Classic. When I purchased mine (mind you, that was 5 years ago..) Kawasaki was giving away a boatload of $ for accessories too. I managed to add the crash guards and luggage rack and something else... It was a good deal.

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Old 11-20-2012, 07:18 AM   #72
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C-Stain, How good are those saddle bags for keeps rain out? Do you have to use a rain cover on them? Some of the leather bags I have seen on bikes in the show rooms are pretty much crap, IMHO. Flimsy things with no weather seal whatsoever. Others are better made, and much stiffer, but again, very limited weather protection.

As I live on what we refer to as the WET Coast, I know that I will be riding in some rain. Sometimes total downpours. I have always used hard saddle bags that have excellent seals on them, i.e. Krauser, BMW or Craven. They all had good seals and I never had to worry about putting everything in plastic bags.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:49 AM   #73
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C-Stain, How good are those saddle bags for keeps rain out? Do you have to use a rain cover on them? Some of the leather bags I have seen on bikes in the show rooms are pretty much crap, IMHO. Flimsy things with no weather seal whatsoever. Others are better made, and much stiffer, but again, very limited weather protection.

As I live on what we refer to as the WET Coast, I know that I will be riding in some rain. Sometimes total downpours. I have always used hard saddle bags that have excellent seals on them, i.e. Krauser, BMW or Craven. They all had good seals and I never had to worry about putting everything in plastic bags.
I would think that making the factory bags work would be ideal. I went down this road with my Vulcan 900 Classic. Fitting after market bags can turn into a nightmare as far as bolt length spacers and compatibility with other after market parts such as a sissy bar.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:11 PM   #74
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For day to day stuff, the saddlebags weren't bad for keeping stuff dry. If it were something important, I did seal it in a zip loc or waterproof case. When I did my 8000km trip, I did use some 8l dry bags. The times things got wet,
The bags were overloaded and the rain was of the torrential variety.

The stock luggage holds its shape well, doesn't seem to and worked well for me. For longer trips, something a bit larger would have been nice, but I was able to manage without too much difficulty.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:04 PM   #75
JerryH
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The Vulcan 900, Yamaha 950, and Suzuki C50SE are all great bikes, if you buy one new, I see no reason to expect any problems out of one for decades if it is properly maintained. I would personally avoid the Vulcan, due to it's wire spoke wheels. I just know I would wind up somewhere north of nowhere with a flat tire (I have had a lot of flat tires) and just worrying about it would ruin the trip for me. So it would come down to the Suzuki or the Yamaha. I like both, so I would probably look at both before making a choice. One might be a little more comfortable than the other, and at my age comfort is the main thing next to reliability.

If you want bags and a windshield, you can often save a considerable amount by buying the touring version of the bike that already comes with them over doing it yourself. I have about $1500 worth of accessories on my Vulcan, everything but the windshield is from Kawasaki, the windshield is Memphis Shades. Those real leather bolt on saddlebags alone were over $400, the mounting brackets/turn signal relocators were another $170.


For those who think you need a huge displacement bike to travel long distances, check this out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVxoVEMTXp8
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