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Review of the 2004 Kawasaki VN 800 Classic:
Author: Alan, 2005-04-20|
My 7,000 km impression of a 2004 VN800.
I´ve had my VN800 for 5 mo, and done 7,000 km. She goes well, freeway commuting 35 km in and out again to Melbourne from SW suburbs. It starts reliably. Brakes have proven adequate to date. Aceleration is pretty good, and I´m impressed with how she´ll fly when given stick. It´s a cruiser, not a sports bike, with probably 50 kg extra weight and a single disc front brake.|
My old Virago 535 cc cornered better. The pegs on this bike are pretty low. They´ve taken the cruiser concept to heart. The saddle is the weakest point on the bike for me, and I may replace it with an aftermarket one if money comes to hand. I´ve got a windscreen on mine, and chrome trim on the front fender, and it catches people´s eyes. The windscreen is great on the freeway, and the bike is heavy enough that the wind doesn´t bother the strearing much, even going over the Westgate Bridge in 30 kinot winds.
I had a 6,000 km service recently, which ran to Dollars 250. Change oil and filter, and tension chain were the big items. Oil cables, check air filter, etc in lesser category.
In my investigations, this bike had better resale value than the Suzuki V800, and cost me Dollars A1,200 less. It´s about 8 MPH faster in a quarter mile, and appeared to be about 15% more fuel efficient. The Suzuki´s shaft drive (and reportedly higher gear ratio) would account for the difference, as energy is lost going out 90 deg and then back in 90 deg with the drive train.
My Virago had shaft drive, which was so easy to care for: 1 Dollars 55 female drive gear replaced in 150,000 km. I had a Scott chain luber (vacuum operated) fitted to my VN800 for Dollars A200-250 when new. It seems to keep the chain moist, but I haven´t notched up the km to comment on it´s value yet. I get about 275 km on a 15 L tank of petrol, but use 260 km as my limit for refilling the tank. The bike was apparently designed with a 1941 Indian in mind, and computer morphed into a ´modern´ bike. The full fenders are quite distinctive.
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