Long-Term Update Kawasaki 900 Classic LTDBy the time you read this, my long-term Kawasaki will have split the scene, as they say, and I'm sorry to see it go. I'll be the first to admit that, initially, the 900 was farther down on my must-ride list than it should have been. It wasn't that I thought it was bad bike; it was just one of those bikes that for whatever reason was flying below my radar. Despite a few minor glitches, the Classic turned out to be both an excellent traveling companion as well as a very good all-'rounder.On the glitch side, the bike twice began running on one cylinder at inopportune moments (as if there's ever an opportune moment for such shenanigans). I never did pinpoint any particular cause, and the problem disappeared as mysteriously as it arrived. On the same note, the 900 tended to backfire, particularly when it was cold. Although I kept threatening to fit some sort of fuel processor to richen up the bottom portion of the fuel curve, I never actually got around to doing it-so I suppose the problem didn't bother me that much. My last complaint relates to the lack of ground clearance. This has been a sore point with me since I started riding cruisers, but the Classic seemed worse than average. It was particularly bothersome because the handling of the Kawasaki was otherwise pretty damn good, and I'd have liked to have taken a little more advantage of it.The rest of the 900 experience turned out to be excellent. The bike gets high marks for comfort, performance and, despite the hiccups, reliability. The supplied windshield, which at first I thought a bit too high and wide, offered impressive weather protection. More than once I was able to keep riding when a less-efficient screen would have had me pulling on rain gear. I was also able to cruise along at a fairly impressive clip without experiencing helmet buffeting, so while the size of the thing had me looking through rather than over it, it did offer lots of cover.On the performance side, the bike handled quite well, at least until the floorboards started dragging, which as mentioned seemed to occur way too early in the turn. Despite the noise and sparks, the chassis maintained its composure in nearly every instance, although I managed to lever the rear wheel off the ground in one tight left-hander, which positively amazed me, as well as the two guys following close behind on their late-model sportbikes. Power-wise, the 903cc never failed to deliver what I needed. I was nicely surprised by the strong midrange grunt, though I'd have liked a wee bit more steam at the top of the powerband.All of which leads us to my last and perhaps most salient point. For several good reasons, the middleweight class is arguably the most popular in cruiserdom; an awful lot of these bikes are sold, and competition in this market is fierce. Whether the 900 Kawasaki LT is the best bike in this category is a matter of personal opinion, but that it's a strong contender for the title isn't.