Sunday, November 4, 2007

On the road again

Our Northwest weather has been cooperating lately, and the roads have been mostly dry and perfect for riding my new motorcycle.

Last week I rode my Suzuki S-40 down to Seattle where I purchased it. I left it off for its 4000 mile service and oil change. After all the trouble I had with it dying at a stop, even after being warm, the guys found nothing out of the ordinary. Spark plug looked good, as did everything else. So then I rode it back home Tuesday evening from Seattle to my home about 20 miles north. It was a chilly 40 degrees and the sun was going down as I rode. I had bundled up knowing that it was necessary lately to ride any distance. By the time I was about 2/3 home, I started getting chilled through. My mind was thinking about a fresh, warm fire in our woodstove at home. And a hot meal…..I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. That kept me going until I got the bike home. By then it was dark and I immediately went in and started a fire.

I rode the new Vulcan last weekend and put a couple hundred miles on it. I am becoming much more familiar and comfortable with the bike. My only hesitation is when I am entering or leaving a parking lot. I still have trouble rolling the bike back if there is any hump or slight imperfection in the surface I’m parked on. I started wearing my Harley boots ( I know, I don’t ride a Harley) because they have a higher raised heel and I have a little more leverage to push off with.

So far I have ridden the Vulcan to work as much as possible. Our mornings have been slightly above freezing, so I have come home at lunch time and ridden the bike back to work because it was sunny and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. This time of year some days are just too cold and you want to be warm for the ride to work, as well as stop for my double tall non-fat latte on the way. I can’t do that when I am riding.

I love my new bike, but here are a couple of things I’ve noticed that are weird:

  • The speedometer reads about 5 to 6 mph faster than I am really going. When I am pegging the bike at 60, I am really only going about 54 mph. This sucks, because I have to calculate in my head while I am riding and I don’t like to do that. I sure don’t want to be going slower than the speed limit!

  • Almost all the chrome parts on the bike are plastic. You wouldn’t know by just looking, because they are done very well. But they’re PLASTIC.

  • When you fill the tank with gas, the gas gauge needle doesn’t go all the way to Full. That makes it kind of useless. It is only a ‘suggestion’ of how much fuel you have. And by the way, the Vulcan 900 Classic takes Premium gas. Pretty expensive these days…..

These are the things I love:

  • The floorboards. My feet are sitting on them and my legs are in the most comfortable position I feel like I could cruise forever and not be tired.

  • The heel-toe shifter. I was a little hesitant but I absolutely love it. Shifting up with your heel is a very satisfying feeling……I don’t know why.

  • I love the color and the look of my Vulcan. The sound makes me very happy too. I love to hear the low rumble that gets louder as I accelerate. It’s cool.

  • The smooth handling and shifting make the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic a pleasure to ride.


Linda R. Moore said...

That's weird with the engine cutting out. My Intruder has started conking out at a stop, or when going very slowly, as well. It's not even always when it's cold. I'm suspecting something electrical--perhaps a loose wire to the battery, or even a dying battery.


Jovi said...

Glad to hear that your enjoying your new Vulcan and getting in as much riding that you can. I've never noticed the plastic chrome parts on Vulcan's before... it has me tempted to start knocking on chrome looking parts... LOL

I'm sure once you get more familiar with your new toy you wouldn't be hesitant of parking lots.