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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a friend (5'10/220lbs) that wants to return to riding with 95% of it >65 MPH in the country. The question is will a Semi new (5 years or less) bike run on the expressway at 75 to 80 for a hour or two if needed, without the sounds of distruction comming from the engine/trans?

Also how far back did the 500 LTD go with 6 gears?

Thanks for your opinions,
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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The 500 has 6 gears at least as far back as the 1996 model year, when it first became the 500 LTD.

The 500 is a nice bike for its size class, but (as you probably already know) it has a chain drive in lieu of the VN750's shaft drive. Its speedo is tank-mounted, and it has no OE tach, or fuel gauge. The tires are not tubeless on the 500, either.

Also, like its bigger brother, the 750, aftermarket accessories for this bike may be less than easy to find.

With all that said, if you lube the 500's chain frequently (and clean up the resulting mess), the 500 will give years and many miles of service.

The engine on this 500 is 1/2 of the engine from the Ninja sportbike of the time the 500 was introduced; this engine has a high-rpm personality.

Given proper treatment of the chain, and due diligence with other maintenance....like engine oil changes/valve adjustments, this bike should serve your friend rather well (assuming that a used 500 was not abused by its former owners).
 

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Headbanger/Popes of Hell
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all vulcan 500 have 6 gears as do the kawasaki 454ltd. the 454ltd looks just like a small vulcan 750. on the vulcan 500 years 90-95, have belt drive and the speedo is on the handle bars. also kawasaki 454ltd (86-89) and vulcan 500 (90-95) have mag wheels just like the vulcan 750.
 

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I've ridden the newer 500. A 2003. It had plenty of giddy up and I know there are several people on the VROC site that swear by them. They are light and very nimble in handling. Accelleration is good but not as much as ours. If your friend takes care of it, it will last a long time.
 

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Having owned a "86" 454 LTD between my two 750 Vulcans I can attest (in my opinion) that if launched properly will hang with the 750 way past reasonable freeway speeds and slightly outrun a 800 Vulcan.
 

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Having owned a "86" 454 LTD between my two 750 Vulcans I can attest (in my opinion) that if launched properly will hang with the 750 way past reasonable freeway speeds and slightly outrun a 800 Vulcan.
Had a 454 LTD also, quick and great little bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
He is looking for a newer bike as he does not do his own maint. or deal with a simply issue on the road that can be solved. So that's the reason for around 5 years old or so. Newer would be fine as well.

Those that feel its a good bike, what is your height?

Thanks again.
 

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I'm 5' 11" @ 190 lbs and had no problem on the bike.
 

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DMAG,

your link doesn't seem to link to anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the good information you all have given. :motorcycl

I have a few more questions for now.

For those that had the 500cc Vulcan engine with 6 speed engine, what was the top speed of it?

1. What does the speedo needle top out at?

2. There was a mention of shortage of accessories in one of the posts. Is a passenger backrest, Windshield or small storage compartment?

(Hold emergency supplies (maps, med kit, etc... ), rain gear, cell phone, and the occasonal gallon of milk (good excuse to ride and taking the long way :smiley_th )

3. I don't expect a manual on a used bike so what is the suggested engine oil? Non-Synthetic is fine since it will be a low mileage bike overall.

4. Same for the chain oil? Also I've never used chain wax before, is it easier than oil and how does the cost compare?

5. Same for the coolant suggested?

I ask the lubricant questions because I know the OEM's brand is not always the better in the long run, keeping cost per quart/liter round the same.

There are several questions here, so thank you for even answer one or two if you can. As always personal opinions are a big part of picking oils or lubricants etc... :beerchug:

For your bike as well :pepper:
 

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If you are really interested in the 500, take a look at the VROC site. In particular seek out a gentleman by the name of "Scotty". He's a big fan of the EN500 and can probably answer your questions better than we can since he owns one and the rest of us are going from memory. His VROC number is 3409. The VROC URL is www.vroc.org. They are a bit rougher around the edges than we are here but still a great group of people. I'd recommend you join up with their group as well as they have some pretty good suggestions from other Kaw bikes that will work on ours. Just my .02.
 

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Just for random trivia the older 440's had 6 speeds as well. Atleast mine does =) And it got to freeway speeds with okay time, it isnt the best runing bike for darn sure. (damn carbs) But I had it up to 80 before, and i'm 5'10 190 (lift weights not fat).

That being said i'm sure the 500 or 454 should be able to get him to freeway speeds. And yeah they are basicaly ports of the ninja motors so they like high revs.
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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Like Skyrider said above, you'd be best served to direct the above questions to the gang on the VROC site.

You might find the following link to be informative reading. It is an article in the Motorcycle Cruiser magazine archives. In it, the Vulcan 500 is compared to bigger bikes, in quest of the answer to the question, "Is bigger really better?"......and the bottom line appears to be--"yes, if YOU are bigger"....

There are some interesting final comments made, including one on the VN750, and why Honda's big Shadow has lasted so long:

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/roadtests/is_bigger_better/index.html
 

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I own an EN500 that my g/f rides and I can tell you the bike is fast enough to keep up with any other bike out there at cruising speeds. The 1990 EN 500 has the same motor as the old Ninja 500 and it can really fly. I have ridden the bike up to 85 mph and did not experience anything squirrely.

I believe it is a safe, economical, good performing bike for a beginner. Repair problems are almost non-existent and maintenece is very easy. It's a very roomy bike with a seat that goes on forever. At 6'1" and 200 lbs it just isn't a bike I would ride myself but for females and others of smaller stature it's perfect. Oh and no gas gauge, that can be a problem. The g/f has had to hoof it a few times but she's learned to watch the odometer now.
 

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i wonder if it can be swapped out with ninja cams for more umph lol
 

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my wife rode a vulcan en500 last summer and loved it. now guess what i'm in the market for? the only thing she didn't like was no gas gauge. the vulcan 500 was my second choice of bikes to buy. but i found a vulcan 750 first. but now the wife wants a vulcan 500. looks like i'll get to have both!
 
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