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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Still on advrider.com Things have gotten better. The Shadow Spirit was always one of my favorite bikes, though I've never owned one. It has everything needed for long distance touring. A simple v-twin with about half the parts of a Vulcan 750 engine, shaft drive, tubeless tires, and it was comfortable and looked good. You could put saddlebags, a backrest (and use a T bag) and a tank bag on it. You could put a Harley type windshield on it. I always thought it would make an excellent solo tourer.
But I have had two bought new Vulcan 750s, and have almost 200,000 miles on them combined. I had my 2002 all fixed up with over $1000 worth of genuine Kawasaki accessories that are no longer available. The splines and rear drive are like new, in fact pretty much everything is near perfect but the engine, and there are a lot of good parts on that. The '97 I just bought runs great, I don't hear any cam chain noise, but I still have the TOC tensioners from the '02. I will also put the '02 seat on the '97 because it is in better condition, and extremely comfortable.
The Vulcan 750 is an oddball cruiser. It will actually outrun the Shadow 1100 with a lot less displacement. That is both good and bad. The Vulcan motor is more like a sportbike motor. It makes power, but you have to keep it spinning. The Shadow just kind of lopes along. The Vulcan has a top end rush the Shadow doesn't have. After the '02 Vulcan engine failed, I bought an '06 Sportster 1200. For local riding it is the most fun bike I've ever had. It shakes like a paint mixer, and makes a beautiful sound through the aftermarket exhaust. It feels like riding a jackhammer leaving a stoplight. But the same things that make it so much fun for shorter rides cause issues on longer rides. The vibration and sound become tiring after a couple hundred miles on the freeway. The seat is nowhere near as comfortable as the Vulcan. So when I was just perusing Craigslist, and say that Vulcan only a few miles away, at a very reasonable price with low miles, I just had to go look at it. An hour later I was on my way to the bank to get the money. I have new tires ordered for it from Dennis Kirk. They still had the original Bridgestone Exedras that came on it new. They are 20,000 mile tires. I am now 60 and disabled, I don't ride as much as I used to. I doubt I will ever wear out those tires.
I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.
1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike