Your 500 Maintenance Experiences - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Bokobob's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Gastonia, NC, west of Charlotte.
Posts: 348
Talking Your 500 Maintenance Experiences

I am eager to know about your maintenance experiences with the Vulcan 500
over the long run....I note some 500 riders on the forum have very high mileage on their bikes..I see many comments about the durability of the engine..Of course we all need tires periodically, and now and then plugs, and the usual stuff....But what about other stuff as well, including valve adjustments, chain/sprocket replacements, fuel system maintenance, clutch replacement, front/rear brakes, wheel bearings, overhaul, etc? ...I am no mechanic so the items I listed are by no means complete...

If you could give the year and current mileage of your 500 and some of the details of your maintenance over time, including the approximate mileage when you installed the new "whatchamacallit", that is what I am looking for.....Additional info sought as well might include the brand name, even item number of your replacment part.

As for me, my 500 bike is a 2001 and only has 6500 miles on it and it was apparently neglected and the fuel system was all messed up along with other hiccups, (as detailed in a thread entitled "My New-to-Me 500" or some such wordiing)....cost me $1250 (including new tires) to get it in good running order....I'd like to keep it "forever" and am curious to know about your experiences with repairs and maintenance...

However, please let's not get into an "oil fight" as there are plenty of threads in this and other forums where that is the special of the day...

Thanks for anything you may have to contribute..

2001 500 Vulcan
1994 Honda Magna V4
Bokobob is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 07:59 AM
Top Contributor
Blaine's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Prince Edward Island Canada
Posts: 1,065
One of the most over looked maintenance items on the 500 is the valves.They must be adjusted/checked ever 7500/10000K miles.I change oil & filter every 3000 mile/5000K.I also use SeaFoam once a month.

If at first you do succeed,try not to look surprised!
Blaine is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 08:05 AM
Top Contributor
bikerbill's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Levelland, TX
Posts: 1,506
This thread chronicles the maintenance of Hidaglo for much of her life. (Starting with message #9)

Highest Miles on Vulcan 500

'Biker' Bill
'97 EN500LTD 'Hidalgo'
178,000+ miles so far
VROC #3833
IronButt #6024
Levelland, TX

SlipStreamer Enterprise II, Vista Cruise,
Fiamm air horns, Cobra Spots, LED Rider ProMod Spots, Drifter solo seat, Pro-Tac backrest, 17/42 sprockets, Darkside rear on 500A rim, ScottOiler, F&S luggage rack ,Throttle Rocker, Viking bags, Victory Vegas handlebars, Kuryakyn grips, LED & HID lighting, 4-gal AUX fuel tank, etc...
bikerbill is online now  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 05:22 PM
Senior Member
Big Thump's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Just north of Tampa, Fl.
Posts: 255
Wifes 2009 500 with 27k plus:
change oil and filter every 3k miles with mobile 1 15w50w
cleaned air filter at 25k miles (dirty but I have seen worse)
adjusted valves at 25k miles (tight and now on the loose side..ticky,ticky)
sprockets and chain cleaned and oiled regularly (27k miles and still look fine)
sync the carbs about every 8k miles so far (3 times so far and it does help how it runs and idles)
lube the clutch cable about every 5k miles
changed the plugs at 10k miles (went with iridium just because)
That is about it so far. Bike is running good right now.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]"The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends"
IBA #23562

Last edited by Big Thump; 11-20-2012 at 05:32 PM.
Big Thump is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 02:48 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 67
What size socket do you use on the spark plugs? My bike didn't come with a tool kit...
blackbird68 is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 07:51 AM
Top Contributor
Blaine's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Prince Edward Island Canada
Posts: 1,065
Originally Posted by blackbird68 View Post
What size socket do you use on the spark plugs? My bike didn't come with a tool kit...
18mm thinwall deep socket.

If at first you do succeed,try not to look surprised!
Blaine is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 02:59 PM
Senior Member
KG6NLC's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 153
Red face

I don't consider myself a "mechanic" more of a "tinkerer".So here's a couple of first timer things I've done.

Valve adjustment: Researched threads here on the site, took my time and bike still runs good. Only issue I had was a coolant leak up under the tank.

Fork seals: Again researched here and youtube. Did run into one issue which was I read a seal setter could be made with 1 1/2 sched. 40 pvc pipe..too small ID. Since I was replacing bushings and washers anyway..I ended up stacking them on the seal and using the triple tree as an "anvil"? anyway it didn't take much to get them to seat and they're not leaking so it worked for me.

Otherwise just routine maintenance like oil-chain stuff.
gonna do the front brake and oil change next.
KG6NLC is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome