1991 Vulcan 1500 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
» Insurance
» Sponsors
Go Back   Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums > Motorcycle Models > Vulcan 1500

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-16-2010, 08:07 AM   #1
Rugger15
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 31
Default 1991 Vulcan 1500

Hello,
I'm new here at vulcanforums.
Someone offered me a 1991 Vulcan 1500 for $1100 obo. Skeptical of its condition, I went and test-rode the beast and frankly it runs great, looks great, and has only 19,000 miles.
My grandfather always used to say "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is" and this seems to fit into that category, but I just can't find anything wrong with the bike.
So the questions are:
Is there anything in particular I should be looking for?
Is this a good deal?

Thanks,
Sam
Rugger15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-16-2010, 09:05 AM   #2
Realist
Senior Member
 
Realist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 158
Default Inspection Suggested

If the current owner will let you take the bike to a shop or meet you there, many shops will do a "safety Inspection". If you tell them in advance that you are thinking of buying the bike and you want them to go over it, they will look for things (hopefully) beyond a basic annual inspection. Ask what their fee is for this service.

Just the fact that the owner is willing to subject the bike to this would give me some comfort. If problems are found, and you are still interested, you have a chance to negotiate a better price to offset repairs. Also, the bike is already where it needs to be for the fix. I have done this successfully.
__________________
Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M14
Realist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
pearlcrystalwhite16
Senior Member
 
pearlcrystalwhite16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta
Posts: 405
Default

I had a 1992 Vulcan 88(1500) for 4 years. When I bought it the speedo wasn't working so the true mileage was sceptical. Also, the bike always shifted funny into 2nd. It was very clunky and sometimes made a grinding noise if you didn't ship up fast and hard. Other then that my bike ran well and never let me down over the 4 years I owned it. But, these bikes are and can be a little harder on oil. The big Vtwins might use 1/2 to a 1 liter of oil between changes. (5000kms in Canada)Mine used a bit.

However, I work at a motorcycle shop and we sell used bikes on consignment. We had a Vulcan 88 for sale with higher miles 2 years ago that had a gasket leaking from the left side engine. It was repairable for sure, but with the lower miles on the one you are interested in, it shouldn't be a problem.

Finally, have you actually been to a dealer or someone that could give you the true "book value" as to retail on the bike. A clean, low mileage 1991 should be no more than about $3200 retail in Canada. So....it still sounds .......well......too good.
__________________
Current bikes: 2005 Vulcan 1500 Classic, 2009 Honda CBF1000
pearlcrystalwhite16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 12:47 PM   #4
Rugger15
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 31
Default

So after a little more research and riding, I have determined a few things:
1) the bike does seem to work fine. Rode it in the city then took it for an hour ride on the highway to make sure it does everything well enough.
2) It is kind of slow to warm up. I started it with the choke pulled and had to keep it pulled for a bit in order for the bike not to die.
3) Once the bike was warm, it seemed to be idling too fast. There's no tach obviously and this is not a bike I'm used to, but in my experience the idle seemed to be pretty fast.
4) The owner said if it stalls, it backfires pretty good when you start it back up. Wasn't sure what to make of that. I mean backfires happen and I didn't experience this, but the fact that he said something made me a little wary.
5) I need forward controls and/or highway pegs. Are there affordable ones for this bike? I'm having a lot of trouble finding info on the '91 1500. What parts for other years are compatible with this bike?
Rugger15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 05:27 PM   #5
probird
Member
 
probird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: calgary, alberta
Posts: 31
Default

Hi Sam.
I have a 1988 1500 i bought a couple of months ago (70 kms on it now since i purchased it)
The parts interchange is from 1987 to i think 1994.
There is not alot of aftermarket parts for our older bikes.
I needed to redo the clutch disc etc and i found the parts were almost comparable buying from the dealer as buying online with shipping exchange,etc.
I'm assuming your from the states so i'd buy from one of the after market parts supplier.
On the left side by the choke is a little white knob. If you turn this knob, it is for your idle setting. try turning it while running.
Don't turn the idle too low as you will starve the cams etc on top for oil.
Is it all stock? intake track and exhaust?
Is there an exhaust leak?
Let us know how it goes.
Barry.
probird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2010, 11:39 AM   #6
PatC
Lifetime Premium
 
PatC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: The wilds of North Idaho
Posts: 2,520
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rugger15 View Post
So after a little more research and riding, I have determined a few things:
1) the bike does seem to work fine. Rode it in the city then took it for an hour ride on the highway to make sure it does everything well enough.
2) It is kind of slow to warm up. I started it with the choke pulled and had to keep it pulled for a bit in order for the bike not to die.
3) Once the bike was warm, it seemed to be idling too fast. There's no tach obviously and this is not a bike I'm used to, but in my experience the idle seemed to be pretty fast.
4) The owner said if it stalls, it backfires pretty good when you start it back up. Wasn't sure what to make of that. I mean backfires happen and I didn't experience this, but the fact that he said something made me a little wary.
5) I need forward controls and/or highway pegs. Are there affordable ones for this bike? I'm having a lot of trouble finding info on the '91 1500. What parts for other years are compatible with this bike?
Items 2-4 seem to be due to the bike being running too lean. The idle is probably set fast to keep the bike from stalling when goosing the throttle at standing starts. The bike taking too long to warm up is more a fuel starvation issue, as far as I can tell. Backfiring is also a lean condition.

When was the fuel filter last changed?
__________________
04 1500 Classic
Mustang Seat
Sissy bar, luggage rack,
light bar, 2" risers,
Isogrips, Fatbar crashbars,
offset hiway pegs, tank bib,
passenger floorboards,
new brake pedal, throttle lock,
Cobra Lowboy Shotgun pipes,
Baron's Big Air relocated right side,
tombstone tail light,forkbag,
detachable hard leather bags,
alarm, power port, clock,
and a cool cupholder
PatC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2010, 09:10 AM   #7
Rugger15
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 31
Default

I bought it for $1000 and toyed with it a little more. I turned down the idle speed and once it is warm it DOES idle, but it sounds kind of rough (like it is having to work too hard). It also pops alot of decel. As Pat said, this is probably a fuel starvation issue.

A couple more questions:
1. Is there a good resource on how to change the fluids and filters on this bike?
2. I read somewhere that the oil pump breaks on these bikes. Is there any merit to that?
3. Aside from changing the fluids, what preventative maintenance should I be doing?

Thanks,
Sam
Rugger15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2010, 09:23 AM   #8
arctic
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: capebreton nova scotia
Posts: 4
Default

However, I work at a motorcycle shop and we sell used bikes on consignment. We had a Vulcan 88 for sale with higher miles 2 years ago that had a gasket leaking from the left side engine. It was repairable for sure, but with the lower miles on the one youa are interested in, it shouldn't be a problem.

my vulcan is a highmilage (75000) and small oil leak on left side, what was the gasket that was leaking, and what should it cost to repair. she dont go through much oil more of a pain explaining it to people who see it
arctic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2010, 12:33 AM   #9
bts727
Member
 
bts727's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: High Ridge, MO
Posts: 31
Default

The Vulcan 88 was built from 1987 thru 1999 with only minor variations. With 13 years of production, parts will be available for a long time. I have a 1996 and still ride it daily with 120,000+. They do have a charater of there own like engine noise, oil consumption, popping on deceleration, and rocker box gasket problem. But I love mine and intend to do complete overhaul soon and ride it anouther 100,000+. Have fun and ride it often the carbs sould smooth out.
__________________
Dave - 96 VN1500A
bts727 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2010, 08:38 AM   #10
Rugger15
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 31
Default

Alrighty so I added half a pint of seasfoam to the tank and have almost used half a tank. While there has been some marked improvement, it is still popping on decel and it still does not idle well.
Just to be clear what I mean, I either have to set the idle WAY too slow or WAY too fast. There is nothing in between. It sounds like it's racing and then, even if I very very slowly turn the knob, it all of a sudden drops and sounds like it will stall if it idles any slower.
The other possibly related issue is that if I rev up the engine (or if I'm cruising along and pull the clutch), it seems to me that the engine is slow in returning to its idle rpm. Could this be related to an intake leak? Also, if there is an intake leak should I be worried about particulate matter in the engine or would the leak be much too small?
Rugger15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

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

Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
Motorcycle News, Videos and Reviews
Honda Grom Forum Harley Davidson Forum Honda 600RR Kawasaki Forum Yamaha R6 Forum Yamaha FZ-09 Forum
1199 Panigale Forum Roadglide Forum Honda CBR1000 Forum Vulcan Forum Yamaha R1 Forum Yamaha R3 Forum
Ducati Monster Forum Harley Forums Honda CBR250R Forum ZX10R Forum Star Raider Forum Yamaha Viking Forum
Suzuki GSXR Forum V-Rod Forums Honda Shadow Forum Kawasaki Motorcycle Forum Star Warrior Forum KTM Duke 390 Forum
SV650 Forum BMW S1000RR Forum Honda Fury Forum Kawasaki Versys Forum Drag Racing Forum Ducati 899 Panigale Forum
Suzuki V-Strom BMW K1600 Triumph Forum Victory Forums Sportbikes BMW NineT Forum
Volusia Forum BMW F800 Forum Triumph 675 Forum MV Agusta Forum HD Street Forum Suzuki GW250 Forum
Yamaha Motorcycles Victory Gunner Forum Honda Vultus Forum HD LiveWire Forum Ninja H2 Forum