VN900 plastic dilemna - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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VN900 plastic dilemna

Is anyone else bothered by all the plastic on the VN900? I have a hard time convincing myself that the bike isn't trying to be something it's not, sporting all the chromed plastic the bike does. The chrome plastic "primary drive" cover on the left side of the motor is the WORST, it reminds me of those cheap bicycles they sell at WalMart that have a plastic "engine". I'm seriously considering reducing some of the more blatant chromed plastic on my bike by just taking it off and painting the part they are trying to hide (rear fender struts) or making my own aluminum covers (fake horn cover that actually covers the coils, belt guard, etc). Other parts, I'd just paint (gauge cover, left side engine cover) to minimize their "cheesiness". Have others done this? Links to threads? Or am I the only one this bothers?

Last edited by Cyclesarge; 10-06-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 02:42 PM
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If the primary cover was exactly the same, but chrome-plated cast aluminum, would that be somehow less cheesy? It would make the bike cost more....

Ron in Cincinnati

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 02:45 PM
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I'd love to be able to get rid of that codpiece though. Low & Mean had an idea to eliminate it, but it really didn't improve the looks much so they dropped the idea.

Ron in Cincinnati

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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If the primary cover was exactly the same, but chrome-plated cast aluminum, would that be somehow less cheesy? It would make the bike cost more....
Well yeah, for one thing the bike doesn't even need a "primary drive" cover, it's just a "dress up" part, like the non-functional plastic "engine" on the WalMart bicycle.

What's the "cod piece"?
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclesarge View Post

What's the "cod piece"?
A "codpiece" was part of a suit of armor, and was mounted here:


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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclesarge View Post
Well yeah, for one thing the bike doesn't even need a "primary drive" cover, it's just a "dress up" part, like the non-functional plastic "engine" on the WalMart bicycle.

What's the "cod piece"?
Have you pulled it off though?

Underneath there are two covers. One, covers the left side of the engine and holds the stator, the other is a cover over the front pulley that helps keep road debris from getting up and marring up your pulley or breaking the belt. That chrome 'primary' cover goes over each of those two covers nicely and, IMO, looks better than if the two covers were seperate. If you don't like it just take it off. It isn't a mechanically necessary part. Take it off and have the alternator cover and pulley covers chromed. (Or if you wanted them painted black, well good news, they already are!)

I'm not bothered by the plastic chrome. My bike was $5,000. If I bought it brand spanking new, current model year, and didn't negotiate the price or have a trade in or anything I STILL wouldn't break $10,000 out the door. That means I get plastic chrome, and I'm fine with that. With the right chrome polish it can look really really good. "Cheesy" never comes to mind, in my opinion. I would love a way to remove the ignition cover and re-locate it. Saw that done on a V-Star and it looked good. But even that doesn't look bad and there are LOTS of aftermarket options out there.

Not trying to be mean but it is a sub-$10,000 mid-sized cruiser. You'll be disappointed if you are expecting more than what it is. If you want real chrome, (Although most V-Twins have an ignition cover and the ignition mounts in that spot), and so on and so forth, you'll need to fork out some money. Either to do some custom parts for your bike, or to just go out and buy a Harley or another 'real chrome' bike. As for me, it looks the same going down the road, looks fine to me, and I'll gladly trade real chrome for fake chrome (that doesn't pit or rust, mind you. There are some ADVANTAGES to plastic chrome), for a reliable, fun, comfortable bike that I spent peanuts on...

But that's me!

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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclesarge View Post
Is anyone else bothered by all the plastic on the VN900? I have a hard time convincing myself that the bike isn't trying to be something it's not, sporting all the chromed plastic the bike does. The chrome plastic "primary drive" cover on the left side of the motor is the WORST, it reminds me of those cheap bicycles they sell at WalMart that have a plastic "engine". I'm seriously considering reducing some of the more blatant chromed plastic on my bike by just taking it off and painting the part they are trying to hide (rear fender struts) or making my own aluminum covers (fake horn cover that actually covers the coils, belt guard, etc). Other parts, I'd just paint (gauge cover, left side engine cover) to minimize their "cheesiness". Have others done this? Links to threads? Or am I the only one this bothers?
Just sell the bike and buy something you like..........................................
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
Have you pulled it off though?

Underneath there are two covers. One, covers the left side of the engine and holds the stator, the other is a cover over the front pulley that helps keep road debris from getting up and marring up your pulley or breaking the belt. That chrome 'primary' cover goes over each of those two covers nicely and, IMO, looks better than if the two covers were seperate. If you don't like it just take it off. It isn't a mechanically necessary part. Take it off and have the alternator cover and pulley covers chromed. (Or if you wanted them painted black, well good news, they already are!)

I'm not bothered by the plastic chrome. My bike was $5,000. If I bought it brand spanking new, current model year, and didn't negotiate the price or have a trade in or anything I STILL wouldn't break $10,000 out the door. That means I get plastic chrome, and I'm fine with that. With the right chrome polish it can look really really good. "Cheesy" never comes to mind, in my opinion. I would love a way to remove the ignition cover and re-locate it. Saw that done on a V-Star and it looked good. But even that doesn't look bad and there are LOTS of aftermarket options out there.

Not trying to be mean but it is a sub-$10,000 mid-sized cruiser. You'll be disappointed if you are expecting more than what it is. If you want real chrome, (Although most V-Twins have an ignition cover and the ignition mounts in that spot), and so on and so forth, you'll need to fork out some money. Either to do some custom parts for your bike, or to just go out and buy a Harley or another 'real chrome' bike. As for me, it looks the same going down the road, looks fine to me, and I'll gladly trade real chrome for fake chrome (that doesn't pit or rust, mind you. There are some ADVANTAGES to plastic chrome), for a reliable, fun, comfortable bike that I spent peanuts on...

But that's me!

-John
Plus 1 .... most do not know its plastic ... this bike weighs 641lbs and is heavy enough ... i paid $9000 for my LT and expect plastic. Some have dressed that plastic up rather nice, due to old age i cant remember who it was on here.

Its all about price and weight ...

As i flipped into 5th, i couldnt remember a damn thing she said

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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Just sell the bike and buy something you like..........................................
I like the bike alright, I'd just like to get rid of some of the plastic. I'm in the process of changing the bike anyway and would like some idea of what others have done. I remember someone did something with the "cod piece" but couldn't remember what is was.

I know others can't tell it's plastic going down the road but I know. Kinda like I wish Kawasaki spent more time and money on the seat, stator, and gearing than they spent on chrome plastic covers.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 04:48 PM
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The "plastichrome" doesn't really bother me at all. Well, there are some parts that I don't think look good. But, in general; I don't mind it.

I don't think I have seen a modern car or bike manufacturer that doesn't use it in one place or another. As long as it meets any structural requirements necessary; I don't really see a downside.

It is light, age and the elements have little effect on it, it is reduces the cost of the bike and reduces repair costs if it has to be replaced.

If you think it is trying to be something it isn't, take a close look at what you think it is trying to be. Tap and thump all of the shiny and painted bits on it and you will find some plastic there too.

If you don't want to be seen at that dealership ; you can just do a search for 'chromed plastic' on ANY manufactures web forums and find discussions similar to this one.

Scott

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