Since the 750 A.C.E. uses the same cases and has an extra gear, we were hoping the revision would bring five speeds. Having just four speeds means that the VLX has to deal with a tall first gear, which makes it struggle to get away from a stop quickly. It makes largish gaps between gears, too. So the idea of a fifth speed in the VLX seemed like a natural. Sorry, still only four, so getting off the line requires considerable clutch slipping. And, you need to wind it tight before an upshift to keep it in the powerband. Changes to ignition timing and a new carburetor (heated by a coolant hose) have lessened this problem to a small degree, but the gaps between gears still loom large, despite slightly broader power. Riders also found themselves looking for fifth gear on the highway. The VLX remains one of the slower 600-class bikes. Despite its extra 50 pounds and a heavier rider aboard, the Yamaha V-Star pulled away from it; so will Kawasaki's Vulcan 500 and the Yamaha XV535. The engine also requires a fairly long warm-up before it will accept throttle without bogging.