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Kawasaki VN900 Classic, 2012.

Guest 2wheelLover51

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I bought this bike last year, part exing a Honda VT1100 Shadow, and a VFR750F.

The Shadow and VFR were good bikes in their own ways, but I wanted something a bit more modern, without spending any cash. I also wanted to get back to just having one bike, and had decided on another cruiser.

Cruisers are an aquired taste, and a bit different to normal naked bikes. They're physically bigger and heavier, with many heavily made parts, eg) massive frame, fork shrouds, footplates etc. They need more input when riding them, such as when cornering.

The VN900 comes in two variants. The Classic with 16" front and 15"rear wheels, and the Custom, with I think 15" rear and a narrower larger front wheel ( If I remember correctly it was 21"). I had the classic.

One thing I read about them was they're "as reliable as a stone doorstep" mine was certainly reliable. It never failed to start and gave me good service. They're also heavy. I think the classic is 282 kgs from the box-that's before you add the compulsory engine bars, screen, etc. The low seat height makes them easy to paddle around though.

They are quite fast-revving for a cruiser, although not compared to anything else! The VN900s have 5 gears and belt drive.

Mine was a 2012 model, and in excellent condition. It would cruise happily on the motorway at 75-80mph all day long, return 55-60 mpg and suffered only slight vibration at those speeds, for a v-twin. That is to say the engine didn't vibrate, but the bezel on the console of the tank (housing speedo and fuel gauge, idiot lights etc) did! I tried using foam strips, rubber strips, silicone sealant, but nothing could stop that damned bezel vibrating! You get used to it after a while..They are also quite good around the bends for a big heavy bike, and can be ridden quite quickly when you're in the mood, it's quite surprising how agile they feel! They're also comfortable for long distances, as the cruiser name implies. They also get noticed in traffic more than normal road bikes, but filtering takes a bit more planning.

They are belt drive, so no mess with chain oiling. If the belt breaks, and you want a new Kawasaki part though, they are over £300 but should last 60,000 miles or so unless damaged by stones etc.

They're a good bike, reliable, economical , comfy, but I'd had enough of cruisers so went back to a relatively light CBF600S.

In fact, riding a normal road bike such as the CBF felt like riding a sports moped after riding the VN!

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