What is the appeal of large engine bikes - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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What is the appeal of large engine bikes

In the past I had a 650 cc bike. That was enough for me. It had lots of get up and go. Now they are making and pushing 1800 cc and bigger.

Other than bragging rights, what's the reason? They burn more fuel, cost more to start with and cost more to insure.

Doesn't a lighter weight bike handle better, maybe more fun on the curves?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 11:00 AM
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I like the mean streak 1500 because it handles extremely well for a larger bike. Even though its longer, its also lower. It still does well on gas too, about 45/gal. The one thing I really like about it is what it can handle. I don't worry about gusty crosswinds on bridges, big bumps in the road, or losing too much weight going over hills. The one thing I really love about it is its highway capability. I put in 5th and she hums at 3k rpm at 70 mph.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 01:18 PM
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I'll echo what LibertyPilot said. Don't get me wrong, I loved the 750 for its nimbleness and quickness, but I personally have always wanted that big bore v-twin feeling and sound. I worked my way up to the larger bike over a several year period, knowing I wasn't yet ready for a bike this large early on in my experience level. I eventually realized that I wanted more comfort for long trips, something the smaller bikes couldn't quite give me. I like the slower cadence of the 1500 engine, especially at the higher speeds. The 750 always seemed like it needed one more gear because of the higher rpms and the sound. I have no problem with the 750, and if I had the money, I would have kept it as a second bike, but it really hits the bumps harder, being lighter, and was always a monkey butt waiting to happen on long rides, even with the better seat, backrest and floorboards, with my 260 lbs riding on it.

The 1500 handles great, not quite to the level of the 750, but really good for a bigger bike, and it eats up the bumps in the roads. My mustang wide touring seat is 16 inches wide and really makes a difference on long stretches.

I've never ridden a VN2000 or VTX 1800 or one of the other huge bikes, but I would imagine the more weight makes them smoother riding, and some folks are really eaten up with having bigger, more powerful engines. My best friend and riding buddy has owned a Goldwing 1800 for several years, and he loves it for some of the 3000+ trips he goes on. He went all the way from Texas to Alaska and back last Summer on it. He's offered to swap bikes with me on some of our rides, but I'm not interested in trying to handle a bike that big. I think it weighs around 900 lbs and has a v-6 in it. I doubt I would ever have a desire to own a bike that large, but they are ridiculously popular, probably one of the better selling bikes in the country.

So, if they build it, there's always someone who will buy it I guess...

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 01:48 PM
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Figures the three 1500 guys would chime in !

I agree with LP and fergy, tough I am at my limit. I think the VTX1800's and the V2K's are just way too big. I like to ride and handle and my Meanie does this very well yet offers the bene's LP and fergy mentioned.

I commute on mine a lot and it's mostly highway at 75 - 80 mph, the 1500 just does this WAY better than the 750 does.

And at 6 foot 235, I fit much better on the 1500 too!

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 01:50 PM
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I am a big boy too,and I am thinking Nomad next,or the 2000 Vulcan because of the Belt drive,I am not ,nor never have been a fan of shaft drives,Character flaw I guess.But the Nomad is already set up with the windshield and hard bags.I love the sport tourers but have just about realized the were not made for short fat people and will probably upgrade to another big touring type twin




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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 02:50 PM
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I am a big guy too. I was 6 foot tall from my teens, but my current #300 has compressed my spinal column by about 1 1/2". The 750 is my first bike, and like fergy, I bought it as a learner bike to get some experience on a powerful machine with out the disadvantage of heavy weight, and high cost of repairs in event of a fall down. I have only ridden one bike larger than mine, a Honda Shadow 1100 for about 40 or 50 miles, a year before I bought a bike.

I need a longer framed bike to accomodate my legs and belly more comfortably for trips longer than 30 minutes or so. It would be interesting to go for another ride on the 1100 Honda, to compare the fit after riding the Vulcan. If or when I ever get a larger bike it will likely be 1500-1600cc for the reasons also mentioned by others above, ie. lower engine speed, deeper exhaust note, more comfortable on the highway, handles wind and bumps better.

(Private note to denny. I think you know this, but just made a typo. The Goldwings are all horizontally opposed engines, or "flat" 4 or 6 cylinder, not a v-6. <G>)

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
(Private note to denny. I think you know this, but just made a typo. The Goldwings are all horizontally opposed engines, or "flat" 4 or 6 cylinder, not a v-6. <G>)
Yup their boxer motors like VW's, Porsche's, BMW (bikes), some Ferrari's, etc. Most naturally balanced engine style mode.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 03:09 PM
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You guys are obviously missing the obvious and easy solution to this whole thing. Ya simply have to have a different bike for every mood and mode. At least three anyway.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 03:29 PM
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That was my bad, Old Hoss! The "V" just seems to come out naturally.
One thing I didn't mention about the 1500 is how low you sit compared to the 750. The saddle is slung low in the frame and in my opinion, its easier for me to leg it around than the 750 was, albeit the thing weighs a couple hundred lbs more so it's probably a wash, but it seems easier to settle in when I pull up to a stop. Might be the stubbs I have for legs.

Of course, having the lower saddle, my legs don't have much more room to roam than the 750, plus the wider tank bothered the heck out of me for the first month but I quickly got used to that. There's always trade-offs. Like with any bike, I changed the seats out to the mustang wide touring models, with driver's backrest, bought risers to move the bars up and back toward me, then ended up buying an off set backrest bracket to move it on back an inch or so til I got everything right where I wanted it for comfort. Now it's my bike...

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Last edited by fergy; 05-27-2010 at 03:37 PM.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFather View Post
In the past I had a 650 cc bike. That was enough for me. It had lots of get up and go. Now they are making and pushing 1800 cc and bigger.

Other than bragging rights, what's the reason? They burn more fuel, cost more to start with and cost more to insure.

Doesn't a lighter weight bike handle better, maybe more fun on the curves?
Yes it would. Perhaps we should all ride Ninja 250's instead.

Just because it is bigger does not always mean it burns more fuel. Nor that is is harder to start , and insurance is mostly based on vehicle cost , your location, your driving record, your age and not solely on engine size.
My neighbors 19 year old son pays 4 times the insurance I pay and my bike is over double the CC's.

Am guessing you drive a Prius or some other tiny fuel efficiant car.

If you have to ask why they make bikes with big motors , then you really just don't get it. And that my freind is a good thing....

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