New Shoes and My first ride on the bike!

Despite the relatively steady progress I had initially with the bike, completing the Vulcan 500 brought me to a near standstill. Perhaps it was the other projects I had going on, perhaps it was returning to work full time again after my injury... or maybe I was just stalling on the bike until my leg worked well enough to actually ride the beast. Whatever the story may be... there was a good three week gap inbetween my last bit of progress and getting the bike up and going.

The main task that remained was tires. I was exstatic for a pair of Michellin Power Commander II tires for the bike. I'd ridden Pilot Power and Pilot Power 2ct's in a wide variety of situatiosn from street to the race track, and they were by far some of my favorite most well rounded tires.

My review of the Michellin Pilot Commander II's though starts off less than ideal. I'll forgo the fiasco of actually getting the tires, and go straight to spooning the tires on. Holy crap are these some seriously stiff carcas tires! Perhaps these were never made to work without tubes or something, but the carcas was definitely resistant to getting on the wheel. Now, I have a good amount of experience spooning tires, so I was able to get it on the bike... but I will say that normally I don't face this much resistance.

With the tires spooned on, I balanced them, and then mounted everything back up to the bike. The fun continued here, with all the damn spacers not wanting to quite line up right. With some futzing about I was finally able to muscle everything into place, but it was a fairly time consuming process compared to what I'm used to experiencing. The drum brake didn't exactly make things easy either, but worked out in the end.

With the bike all together and buttoned up... I really wanted to ride it around. Now, at this particular point I'm still 3 months off of a broken femur... so this wasn't exactly the brighest idea according to most, but cabin fever will make you do silly things! So I slung a leg over the bike, and farted around my neighborhood for abit! I was a bit rusty at riding bikes in general, but the Vulcan 500 has confidence inspiring geometry, and has a pretty good low center of gravity keeping it stable. With the initial terrorism of my neighbors complete, I figured I'd get gas and go for a stroll down some of the back roads near my house.

Being back on a bike was fun for sure, although I've seen too much shit go shouth on a bike to find the trip exhilerating. Still, at a nice mellow pice on a fairly comfy cruiser, things were as good as I could ask for. The bike itself though yielded some interesting details. Instead of smoothly sliding around like you might expect a cruiser to do... it pogo sticked it's way down the ride with the suspension bumping you out of any inconsistency in the road. It felt fine in the turns, but the suspension certainly lacks rebound damping. Not a lot you can do though since the suspension was never really top notch to begin with on these bikes.

Overall, the bike is on tires, I enjoy the tires, and it's running and riding. Everything from here is just Aesthetic details. The bikes true maiden voyage will be the following weekend, when I drive the bike up to Seattle! Here's to hoping...