Should i buy a 2003 1600 Vulcan? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Question Should i buy a 2003 1600 Vulcan?

I am looking to buy a 2003 1600 Vulcan at a very good price. I know the seller and a pretty honest and strait forward guy. It is burning about a quart of oil every 500 miles and has a slow oil leak. Hence his willing to sell it at such a low price. He projects that because of this it will require an engine rebuild costing about 2k. Lets say i go for it an do the rebuild. I have never owned an older bike before. (Until recently i rode a Boulevard that was less than 5 years old) What kinds of other major repairs might i anticipate in this bike other than obvious maintenance, lets say in the next 3-5 years? I don't want a money pit but i do like the bike. Other than what i told you, any major red flags to buying a bike of this age?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 10:01 PM
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I have a 2002 1500 Vulcan Nomad. It burns no oil and has no leaks. The bike has 29k miles on it and not sure what your friends has. If it needs an engine job, it better be a real good price.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bhop66 View Post
I am looking to buy a 2003 1600 Vulcan at a very good price. I know the seller and a pretty honest and strait forward guy. It is burning about a quart of oil every 500 miles and has a slow oil leak. Hence his willing to sell it at such a low price. He projects that because of this it will require an engine rebuild costing about 2k. Lets say i go for it an do the rebuild. I have never owned an older bike before. (Until recently i rode a Boulevard that was less than 5 years old) What kinds of other major repairs might i anticipate in this bike other than obvious maintenance, lets say in the next 3-5 years? I don't want a money pit but i do like the bike. Other than what i told you, any major red flags to buying a bike of this age?


My 1996 VN 1500 D1 Classic has over 250,000 kms on it and doesn't use a drop of oil.
What has he done to it?
They aren't Harleys they're not supposed to use oil.

1500 Classic
1500 Nomad sidecar
1500 Mean Streak
Still looking for a Drifter to complete the set.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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i guess that is a good question. Although i have seen other post from Vulcan owners complaining about burning oil. I will ask a mechanic about that. Have you had any other major repairs to your bike?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 2002 1500 Vulcan Nomad. It burns no oil and has no leaks. The bike has 29k miles on it and not sure what your friends has. If it needs an engine job, it better be a real good price.
thanks - have you had any other major engine repair issues with your bike?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 08:59 AM
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I own a 2003 1600 classic with 30,000 miles and no oil issues. It's a great bike with very little if any issues. Other then the stator which is a problem on several Kawasaki's, no others I'm aware of. Rather then rebuild the motor just put a used one in. Much cheaper and faster in the long run. As stated before, it better be cheap. Bought mine last year for $3800 and came with a $700 seat and V&H pipes.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 09:19 AM
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not a one,,,since 2002 changed the tires once and did a brake job
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 04:12 PM
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thanks - have you had any other major engine repair issues with your bike?


The usual plastic oil pump gear back at 32,000 kms.
I have three Vn1500s a Classic, a Nomad, and a Mean Streak , all done over 100,000 kms without a problem except the Nomad melted the alternator plugs which I replaced..
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1500 Classic
1500 Nomad sidecar
1500 Mean Streak
Still looking for a Drifter to complete the set.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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thanks Gentleman
i asked the owner if is could borrow it for a week and have a local bike shop owner do a complete inspection on it. He agreed - the bike shop owner says he will not only tell me what the issues are, but if it is worth the repair - thanks guys!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 12:50 AM
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thanks Gentleman
i asked the owner if is could borrow it for a week and have a local bike shop owner do a complete inspection on it. He agreed - the bike shop owner says he will not only tell me what the issues are, but if it is worth the repair - thanks guys!
I'm thinking that's a lot of oil, even with a leak. I haven't heard of a Vulcan leaking oil, mines got 80000 KM on it, although maybe 10 on the motor, but the PO overheated it and it seized. But never seen one burn or leak oil to the point of a quart in 500 miles, that's like a tank and a half of gas and add a quart of oil.

I see an engine rebuild in your very near future. I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't buy a car back in the day if the cigarette lighter didn't work. Shows poor maintenance habits, and someone who has let the bike go or rode the bag off it to make it consume that volume of oil, I'd run away fast!
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