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Kawasaki Vulcan 800 classic

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  • Kawasaki Vulcan 800 classic

    Good re-entry bike, probably on the outer limit for a new rider.

    I say that this bike is probably on the outer limit for a new rider because it is much heavier than the small, nimble bikes we learn on in MSF. With that being said, I'll tell you that this is my first motorcycle. Yes, I did drop it once and yes, I felt awkward and not as confident as I feel I could have been on a smaller displacement cruiser. My confidence grew with the miles and now that I've had the bike for a few years I couldn't be happier with it. Aesthetically I think the bike has a nice look to it with the crown of the tank arching just a bit down the center giving it a very strong look. There's a healthy amount of chrome on the bike stock and plenty of add-on chrome and other accessories available. Maintenance has been pretty straight forward due to the basic nature of the bike i.e. chain driven, carbureted?, v-twin engine and 5 speed transmission. It is water cooled with an electric fan but these have posed no problems mechanically. Reliability has been great, not once has it left me stranded except the time I was a bonehead - "I can make it to the next gas station", two minutes later - put,pupa,put, put.. I like the fact that it has a fat 16 inch wheel up front as opposed to the tall, skinny 19" or 21" wheel on the standard vulcan 800. There's a greater contact patch and I'm all for staying connected to the road as securely as possible. The suspension is good and actually feels better with a passenger(preload needs to be adjusted I guess). The weak point of the suspension is the seat! From the factory these bikes run very lean and hot so this should be adjusted(i.e. rejet or just turn out low speed circuit in carb 2 1/2 - 3 turns from stop) or you will hear the fan come on at every stoplight. The adjustment/rejet will also give you more power. Recommended changes: more comfortable seat, handlebars that come back more.
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