Just wanted to let youall 900 Custom riders know about something unique!
I purchased and installed a Scootworks rear pulley (about a 5% increase to the gearing) to my 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom over a year ago and really like some things. Most people buy the front pulley because its cheaper but I wanted to replace that rather ugly stock pulley with some chrome.
Installation wasn't much more complicated than taking a tire off for rubber replacement. The only tricky part is getting the pulley tension right afterwards as you can't just mark the previous setting, and the factory recommended setting, using a Harley tension gauge, was way too soft. Ended up having the shop do a quick adjustment.
The other thing to be careful of is making sure the spacers around the axel, within the pulley system) are well and evenly seated (tap them in with a tool/pipe that goes over the axel) otherwise you are very likely to hear a whine of metal on metal contact when applying tension to the pulley, particulary in 1-3 gears, when it is cold or until it they are "warmed up"). Scootworks says this is sometimes a problem experienced on stock 900s if the spacers are not well seated. Obviously I learned this the hard way and had to reinstall the wheel spacers.
There are 4 huge pluses from the installation, but I do recommend increasing the horsepower/torque by allowing the engine to obtain/use more oxygen (bigger air cleaner) :
#1 - Great!! My speedometer is reading right on, as measured by gps.
#2 - Good! My gas milage improved, though not as much as I expected it to. My "indicated" gas milage dropped from 50 mpg on my daily commute to about 46 (well actually it didn't, because my prevcious 50 was based on a speedometer reading that was about 5-6% off).
#3 - Great! The bike is much happier running at 75 actual (which before installation was about 69 actual) so freeway riding is much more enjoyable.
#4 - Great! That gray pulley has been replaced by a chrome one that matches/enhances the back end significantly!
#5 - Ooops! while there still was plenty of power for 2 up loaded, hill starts and freeway hills (no downshifting necessary even on the steepest), I did notice a substantial increase in the time it took to rev up between shifts.
Now this is not all bad as the stock shifting was soo short I somtimes skipped a gear. Now it actually shiftes more like a motorcycle instead of a truck - more like the Kawasaki Vulcan 750 I previously had.
#6 - So I purchased & installed the Barons Custom Big Air Kit (had one minor problem with an "extra" air hose connection - contact me for more detail) and it provided a very noticable power increase, with the shift period droping back into what I consider a very appropriate and fun range. I "compete" just fine with cars and other bikes while shifting is a much more enjoyable than stock.
#7 - Great net impact on milage - now I often get 50 mpg when cruising around 70 actual. My commute milage is about 47 and hasn't increased as much because the bike was fine lane splitting in 5th gear at 35 before the pulley, and now it really wants to be doing a little over 40 to excellerate quickly, so I tend to keep it in 4th gear more.
So now all I need is a muffler system that will give me a boost without requiring ear plugs. Anybody have any recommendations yet?
BTW - coming up on 36,000 miles without a problem! Awesome bike!