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Old 10-02-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
Celtic Curmudgeon OP
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Rocket III vs Road King vs Vulcan 2k

First and foremost – this will be a second, rather than an only bike. I was planning to trade my Aprilia Caponord in on a new Rocket Roadster, but….Mrs Curmudgeon said if I stay within budget, she doesn’t care if I have one bike or two. Hanging on to the Capo reduces the budget a little, but I’ve boiled it down to three choices. The second bike will be for two-up riding, so it has to be comfortable

Rocket III, probably an 05 or 06 vintage. Hands down the best performance choice, but since I’m keeping the Aprilia, performance isn’t as important as if it was my only bike. The Rocket is compelling for me because it’s different. I’m just not sure about how “livable” it might be – parts, maintenance, and passenger comfort.

Road King – The good points here are, I’ve ridden them quite a bit before, only bike I’ve ever ridden all day without some body part hurting. The wife loves Road Kings, probably has the best low-speed/around town handling of the three, it’s easy to fix and can be infinitely customized and rebuilt. It’s also the iconic American motorcycle. The downer being it’s slow, and like a certain body part, everybody has one.

Vulcan 2000 – Kind of dark horse choice here, but is interesting. Not as wicked as the RIII, but still a beast in its own right, and used ones are available at good prices. Also little maintenance drama. OTOH, seriously lacks the cool factor of the RIII or the RK.

Again – my choice is made thru the lens of this being in addition to my ADV bike, not replacing it. I’m eager to hear everyone’s perspective.
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
BryonLewis
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Those are similar to the cruisers I was looking at just a bit more expensive. You could also take a look at m109 (a little sporty looking), Yamaha roadliner (unique art deco styling), or vtx1800c ( one the cheapest to find used)
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:41 PM   #3
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M109 is a must miss on any list.

Of the bikes the OP mentioned I would go with the Rocket III then go broke putting a rear tire on it every month.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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Had a R3 and a RK. NEVER rode the RK as the R3 is a total hoot to ride. It's FUN like nothing else-in a lot of ways.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:43 AM   #5
Robert OK
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Am curious too about the passenger comfort on the R3?

Two bad things about the R3, gas mileage and heat. Latter might be an issue for Boca Raton. I haven't ridden one so I'm just going on hearsay.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:10 AM   #6
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I just bought a a vulcan 2000. I was very surprised how well it handled. I thought it handled much better than my Road Star that I traded in. I've never had a Road King, but had a 2004 Ultra that I put 45,000 trouble free miles on before a daydreaming cager took it out.

If you are tall, you'll need to replace the seat. I just had the seat redone and rode it to Florida - 900 miles in 15 hours. It was very comfortable. I highly recommend these bikes, but like any bike, do your research before you buy.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmn View Post
I just bought a a vulcan 2000. I was very surprised how well it handled. I thought it handled much better than my Road Star that I traded in. I've never had a Road King, but had a 2004 Ultra that I put 45,000 trouble free miles on before a daydreaming cager took it out.

If you are tall, you'll need to replace the seat. I just had the seat redone and rode it to Florida - 900 miles in 15 hours. It was very comfortable. I highly recommend these bikes, but like any bike, do your research before you buy.
Not to derail, but I used to have a Road Star and thought it handled pretty well for what it was. Curious how tall you are, weight, etc. How would compare the Vulcan to the HD?
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:26 AM   #8
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I rode an R3 touring about 10k miles in 5 weeks. I can tell you without reservation that, were I to go out and buy a "cruiser," it would be a Rocket III. That bike was like a fat gymnast with a drug problem. It may have looked a bit funny, but OMG it was a blast to ride. I doesn't matter if you're at sea level or 13k feet. Twist, squirt, go. Handling was, well, as you would imagine any 800lb bike would handle. But it didn't matter. It was all about the power, everywhere, anytime, all the time, anywhere.

midfat screwed with this post 10-03-2013 at 08:02 AM
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:41 AM   #9
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it would be a Rocket. That bike was like a fat gymnast with a drug problem.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:44 AM   #10
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Lots of Harley dealers for service on the road, parts availability, Harley aftermarket - all good things. Bike is an absolute icon of motorcycling.

Owned many Harley's with nary a problem, including 5 years on a '99 Road King. Obvious choice.

Yamaha makes the very nice and reliable Stratoliner/Roadliner. Great engine, much low-down power, good fit and finish. Comfortable for the over 6-0 tall rider. 2007 and up have a much improved seat. You might need risers. Enjoyed mine...sold to make room for a GSA.

Go with whatever you like the best; I'd go with the Hog.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #11
Juan Loboe
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Not to derail, but I used to have a Road Star and thought it handled pretty well for what it was. Curious how tall you are, weight, etc. How would compare the Vulcan to the HD?
Road Star = very nice Harley homage, cheaply had. Briefly owned one of them, too. Bought it used. Inexpensive. Liked it.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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I can tell you without reservation that, were I to go out and buy a "cruiser," it would be a Rocket III. That bike was like a fat gymnast with a drug problem.
Ok, that line is Signature Worthy!
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:55 AM   #13
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Screw the bikes. Let's hear more about fat gymnasts with drug problems.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #14
lfmn
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Originally Posted by rauchman View Post
Not to derail, but I used to have a Road Star and thought it handled pretty well for what it was. Curious how tall you are, weight, etc. How would compare the Vulcan to the HD?
I'm 6'1" and 185. I didn't mean to imply that the Road Star handled poorly, but given the weight difference between that and the Vulcan I was surprised that the Vulcan handled better.

Between the HD and the Vulcan, I would give a small advantage to the HD in handling, but not enough to sway my buying decision. However, for me and my passenger, there is much more room on the Vulcan than the HD and I had custom seats on both. It's just a lot bigger bike.

I have a Fatboy and was looking for an inexpensive 2nd bike for trips and after trying out a bunch (including a newer Ultra) I thought that the Vulcan nailed the bang for the buck better than anything else I tried.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:45 PM   #15
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i thought i read on another site the kawi uses a plastic oil pump gear
that can break and wipe out the motor. im in the same boat would love to add a cruiser to my garage .really want to demo the rocket touring
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