Looking At Buying an VN900B!? Help Please :) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Looking At Buying an VN900B!? Help Please :)

Hi guys,

I'm a Versys 650 owner and have loved her for the last year of ownership. She's treated me well, had no dramas and all I had to do was hit go and she purrs like a kitten.

However I'm now looking at getting a cruiser and have limited experience on them. Have never even ridden one to be honest. so I was hoping someone more experienced here who has a VN900B or VN of any sort may be able to assist with a few questions.

Having gone to a local dealership there is a VN900B 2010, that has done just over 18,000 kms. The previous owner or mechanic has replaced the pulleys on the drive shaft belt, is this any cause for alarm? Other than that the belt looks fine, the tyres looks fine and she seems to be in good condition. If anything the clutch looks new. Should I be concerned with any of this? Heading there again Saturday for a test ride and am wondering if there is anything specific to look for when inspecting the bike again? Or any little nuances I should pay attention to while she is on the road?

Appreciate your wisdom guys.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 06:10 AM
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The 9er is a great mid weight cruiser. Very much under stressed and bullet proof. Pulley's may have been changed to alter the gearing, making it a bit taller, this is a common mod.

How is the clutch New Looking"", have you had the cover off? .. 18k seems a bit early for clutch problems but then it all depends on how it was used by the PO.

Look for service history, number of previous owners etc, and I always check the VIN with Vicroads or RTA etc for possible repaired write offs.

I have had my VN800 since new and had a 2000 VN1500 for a while. The V Twins are easy to live with and fun to mod.. Enjoy the test ride

Ian
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Hey IF1960, thanks for your reply.

I also noticed the battery had to be recharged and as a result I was unable to hear her start up let alone ride which will be on my next inspection.

Nah just had a feel of the clutch and it felt brand new, this could be because I am noob to cruisers having only ridden 250's and my 650 versys and am not used to it.

There is no service history with the bike, I can look up the VIN when I go to inspect it on the PPSR for theft ect, need to wait for that until I am able to view the bike again to check the VIN.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 07:51 AM
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I have ridden the VN900s on spirited demo rides, and own a 1600 mean streak and 1700 Voyager. I agree with IF1960.

The 900s pull strong and are a fun ride. They are better suited for solo riding than two up, but that depends on the size of the riders. Like the Versys, you do have to do valve checks, where the Larger VNs have hydraulic valve adjusters.

Eveyone is different and will find different riding postures more or less comfortable. A lot of Versys riders try to turn the riding posture more into a cruiser by going with a corbin seat, handlebar risers and highway pegs.

Only you can determine if the upright, (dining room chair) sitting position will be comfortable for you. I prefer the slightly leaned forward sport touring riding position that the Versys and the Concours offer for all day riding. I need an airhawk to ride all day on the Voyager.

Hopefully you can get in a long enough test ride to determine if it is more or less comfortable for you compared to the Versys.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:31 AM
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I had a VN900C and I hated it with passion. The engine is all about torque but the gearing goesnt' take advantage of it, it is geared too low for that engine. The low gearing also means that it doesn't do very well on the highway, where it feels like it's floating at 55-65mph, you can't feel the engine, but if you try to go faster it will try to vibrate itself apart. That is why so many people end up replacing the pulleys, stock it is not a bike that will comfortably do 75mph all day long... Which is not really what I expected out of a 900cc engine.

Then there is the ground clearance or lack of it. It is a very wide bike with low ground clearance, it will scrape hard parts with little lean. I found that... Unnerving, I always felt that even at legal speeds I was close to the limits as I was already dragging the floorboards, what if I needed more lean or if I overcookec a corner?

Finally, the build quality... It looks pretty, but have you noticed that EVERYTHING is plastic? Fenders are plastic, air filter is plastic, side covers are plastic, chromed engine covers are all plastic too! Mine had the side covers break from the pressure I put on them with my legs when stopped. The clear coat on the forks peeled away, there were rust spots on the frame and the "rear fender subframe" (that humongous plastic fender can't support it's own weight) broke.

The bike does look the part, I'll give it that, no one imagines it is "just 900cc".
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 10:04 AM
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A lot depends on what you're going to do with the bike.

The bike is a five speed and does a good job around town or shorter trips. Like stated above it makes good torque down low and pulls away quickly but due to the power curve & short gearing it's not the ideal freeway cruiser for extended periods.

The 900's are a great selling bikes for Kawasaki but most folks stay fairly local on them even though I do talk to people who tour on them. The plastic that Susser Tod is talking about helps keeps the price low on new units.

Being an escort rider for the Kawasaki demo's I have logged many miles on the 900 Vulcans and have been very impressed with the bike but my riding is limited to demo's and riding local in the evenings.

Good luck with your decision,
Dan
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, you have given me a lot to consider for when I go in on Saturday.

If the pulleys have been changed over to assist with highway riding and the lack of a 6th gear this might be beneficial and I'm hoping that the only reason they have been replaced.

Forgot to mention, theres no manual (no biggie for a 2nd hand bike) and no service history.

I've also learnt from the web that the most common fault to look for with the VN900's is the condition of the stator due to a manufacture defect.

At this stage I'm super keen to get the bike, won't do so without a test ride. Will let you guys know how it goes. Thanks again for your guidance!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 11:58 PM
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Vulcan C

I had a 2008 Vulcan 900c and sold it last year when I picked up the Versys. It had 58,000 miles on it. I was the 2nd owner and I never had any issues with it. Great running bike. 47 mpg. I added a vance and hines exhaust and a nice windshield from Memphis shades. My only complaint was I was always looking for 6th gear. It needed one.

This was my 2008





I would look at the new Vulcan S. Uses the same motor as the Versys but retuned for a cruiser. It also has three handle bar and foot peg mounting options.

http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/2015-VULCAN-S-ABS

Good Luck.

Last edited by Sleighman; 01-21-2015 at 10:13 PM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 01:48 AM
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If you like the versys what about this
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, that is one sexy bike. Do love the versys, just always had a soft spot for the 900 vulcan's. Btw... what the hell!? I've had my versy's for a bit over a year and now I've started looking for a cruiser just when I learn they have turned a versys into a cruiser!?

Thanks Sleighman and Motojunkee and you other fellas. Can't wait for Saturday to roll around. So far mixed opinions from personal experience on the vulcan 900's, really do appreciate all your views, helps in a huge way.

Ps. Hope I'll still be welcome to post around here if/when I make the transition away from the awesome versys, may make a new username.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussieversys View Post
Ps. Hope I'll still be welcome to post around here if/when I make the transition away from the awesome versys, may make a new username.
Sure. We need more cruiser friendly members on this forum.

Picking a username that can stay with you throughout your life is a challenge. Mine depicts who I am, but it is not unique to me. There are other twowheeladdicts floating around out there on other forums.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 09:17 AM
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The stator is not a "big issue" on the Vulcan, it is just like the stator on the Versys, it runs at 100% all the time and they burn. It is not a manufacturing defect, it is a downside of the design.

Other point you should keep in mind is the rear suspension. The bike has a "hard tail" look, the rear suspension does not have much travel, so it is harsh. It's fine for smooth pavement, but when it gets rough, due to the seating position, your back will take a beating, so take the bike for a test ride on roads that are similar to what you'll be riding the bike in.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 08:47 PM
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I have a 2014 Versys and a 2012 Vulcan 900b.
It's true that the 900 has a lot if plastic but what the hell, plastic don't rust.

The 900b is a good 2-lane bike and occasional interstate duty.
I added a windshield and saddlebags and it makes a good light tourer.

No complaints for the price.
.
.

Last edited by kballowe; 01-22-2015 at 08:43 AM.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all your insights. I settled on the cruiser.
Here are some pics I'd like to share:



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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jmarleau View Post
I know, "its just me." Cruisers out sell everything else here by a factor of 5. But, I simply cannot understand a cruiser's purpose. Why?
I don't get them either, and that is after I had a VN900C, so I did give them a try. They don't work FOR ME, but honestly, if I were living in Texas, or Florida, I'd have no prolem having one. It is not like if you could really go that fast all the time, and the ridiculously wide and straight roads do not need a bike that eats corners for breakfast.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jmarleau View Post
...I know, "its just me." Cruisers out sell everything else here by a factor of 5. But, I simply cannot understand a cruiser's purpose. Why?
When I lived in Eastern Ontario I raced enduros on a Can Am Qualifier 400 ex-ISDT factory bike, but a friend owned a GM dealership, and always had two H-Ds "on-the-books" for sale (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say-no-more...) that he rode.

Sometimes he'd phone, ask what I was up to that afternoon, and when I said "nothing much" he'd invite me to go riding 'his' Harleys w/ him. One was a 'tourer' w/ the handle-bar fairing, the other a 'soft-tail' something-or-other w/ open pipes.

It was kind of fun, but I hated the soft-tail w/ all that noise RIGHT below my right ear...!

Nope - I don't get "cruisers" either.


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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 12:10 PM
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In somewhat the same 'vein'...

A friend who rode a Harley asked me to bring my KLR along on a ride w/ a bunch of other pilots so we could switch bikes, as he was thinking of getting one.

We were in a cafe having breakfast, planning to 'switch' as we were leaving. He asked "What size is your helmet?"

I was wearing a Shoei, while he had one of those ridiculous half-helmets that looked like a WW2 German army helmet....

I answered, "You can ride MY KLR, but if you THINK I'll wear that POS helmet while I ride your POS H-D, you've got another think coming!"



We swapped for about half an hour, he DID buy a KLR (we rode to Alaska in '09 together on them), and he sold his POS H-D in favor of a BMW 1200RT, and NOW has reasonable helmets....




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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 09:59 AM
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Congrats on your new cruiser. I am sure you will enjoy it.
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