Model: Kawasaki Vulcan S
Eng size: 650
Wheels: stock, de-striped
Accessories: see list below
And the story:
After many years of digging motorcycles (but being scared off of them by my dad at an early age), I finally married a Norwegian who had ridden for years and wanted to start again after a long hiatus. I was into working on hotrod trucks, but had always appreciated motorcycles for the relative ease of customizing them and the many available affordable options by comparison. We went to the Kawasaki dealership to look for her a bike and possibly me one at some point in the future and ended up getting a used 2010 Honda fury for her. I sat on a Vulcan S and they obviously saw my enthusiasm to start riding, so they threw in a free helmet for me. Ha, they new what they were doing! It weighed on me so heavily that I went back that weekend bought that motorcycle with 0.7 miles on the odometer. I never even test-drove it; she had to drive it home since she was the one that had her endorsement!
That was last October. I started with a stock photo and began to draw up a plan with everything I wanted to do. Every idea I had, I put down on that page. A few ideas ended up left off because it was a little overkill, but I stuck very closely to my ideas based on my own inspiration and what I had seen on other motorcycles that struck me as cool.
Since I'm former military (E7 Army MLRS in Desert Storm, 1991), I wanted to go with a military look because it's kind of universal, and I wanted to do as much as I could on my own with what I had or acquired on my own (military thinking). The only part I was a little hesitant on was paint seeing as how I'm not a painter, but I tackled it regardless, in the garage. The only work I had to farm out was welding the glass pack to the header....a job I didn't want to scrimp on and pay a big price on later when it fell off on the highway =). If the paint ended up wearing or flaking or scratching....well....military vehicles get beat up and it only enhances the look
In all, the list is:
*Nautilus air horn
*Yellowed tire lettering (NASACAR style)
*Relocated axle license plate with LED lights
*Harley Davidson style LED brake light
*Relocated or shortened smoked bullet turn signals, front and rear
*Delkevic header wrapped in black header wrap
*17" Jones Exhaust glass pack
*New relocated end mirrors, staggered (one has better vision, but the other shakes less)
*Ammo can saddle bags (Fat 50 cal) using Harley Davidson mounts, Locks installed
*OD military green painted fenders, tank, and accent pieces
*Military star emblem decal (the only decal because I couldn't paint a star that would come out that nice)
*Spitfire windshield with bar clamps
*Debadged bike of original striping and emblems (mostly done through paint)
*Radiator grill guard, trimmed and painted
The things I ended up leaving off was tiger shark WWII graphics on the tank and 'VULCAN S' lettering painted on the swingarm. I mocked up the lettering with military lettered decals and it was almost cheap looking. The tank graphics would have simply been overkill. If I get a second bike, maybe I'll go that direction. There are a couple other things I added and left off (like the headlight....ended up digging the way it looked after paint), but I pretty much tried to stick with the plan.
For it being my first bike, it is amazing. I scared myself a little when I ripped out of first into second and didn't expect such a strong pull! It's loud and rowdy but next to my wife's bike, it's par for noise (with her 1300 and Cobra pipes). It's a great lightweight bike that is excellent for learning. Nobody can tell what it is (unless they can identify the headlight) and with the pipes, they have no idea it's such a small engine'd motorcycle.
And now, start to finish. Roughly. I have a total of 470 miles on the bike and I'm finished with the modifying....just in time for summer riding =). This is my first bike and yes, I bought it new. They say don't buy new but hey, I wanted good reliability my first time out....not somebody else's headaches.