Vulcan 800

After the airplane, I decided to try something else that I had not done before. I took the motorcycle safety course and license test 9/00, and tracked the classified ads until 3/01, and found this bike, a 1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 with about 1000 miles on it, and brought it home in March.

Put just over 5000 miles on it myself over the 2001 season. Farthest trip: to Rhinebeck, NY. Also went to Springfield, MA, for Indian Day. Rode just about the whole length of Rt. 7 along the west side of CT.

Basic cruiser style. I like how they fit the radiator between the down tubes - it doesn't have a separate, obvious housing like on Hondas or Suzukis.

The controls. Though the instrument on the tank looks pretty good, it's completely useless with a full-face helmet. The next bike might be the 1500 Vulcan, which I think has the same arrangement. If the instruments were ahead of the handlebars, that would work better.

Good quantity of chrome, stock. The only thing I have added so far is the windshield, which makes a huge difference in riding effort. For myself, I find the sensation of riding is similar to flying or riding in a boat, since it turns by rolling.

Right side - gear primary is much smaller than Harley's belt primary housing.

Looks pretty small with 2 people.

It's been nice to have an activity where you just roll it out and go. Much less complicated than the airplane flying hobby. They both have a certain level of risk, I guess, but with plenty of small roads around here, and a lot of motorcycles on them all summer, it is a reasonably safe activity. I also will run it in the HOV lane on the highway to work. That run is what makes a larger bike tempting. This one is working pretty hard at highway speeds. Seems to be happiest at 50-60mph.

Next up? BMW R1150GS.