December 2010 BOTM winner etexun! - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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December 2010 BOTM winner etexun!

Congrats to you etexun!!

would like to enter my bike for the BOM. It is a 1997 Vulcan VN1500A1. When I found it it was a mess. It had been cut on all over and parts were lost. And the title was even lost. But I was determined to put it back into a safe and confortible shape for my wife and I to ride weekend trips on. I had to find a new frame for it first. One that had a clear title. I turned to Ebay. I went there a lot during this project. I found a couple matching frames offered and one in particular was low enough priced for me to get. Honestly some of the ones offered for sale had reduculous price tags. Then after I had everything switched over from one frame to another I started locating missing parts and parts I wanted to convert back as close to original as possible. It was missing a side cover and several key brackets for mounts parts so good old Ebay was there to the rescue. Some I found right away some I just had to be patient and watch for over several months. Sooner or later I new I would find them. While this was going on I found an Upolsterer in Nacogdoches that had a nice display of seats he had covered. So I contacted him set up a time to meet and discuss a new seat. I wanted it to be black with tribal flames and studs olong the sides. I had an image in my mind of the finished bike and I kept my peices all in line with that picture.
The front fender had been taken off and it was missing the support brackets so I found another one. It had been painted orange and black. It sort of stuck out and my wife didn't particularly like it. But I knew it would only be a temporary thing. The rear seat was missing a bracket to attach it and it was held on with a bungi. I think that little bracket was the hardest thing I had to find. It was one of those things that was no longer offered from Kaw and I had to try and by it from several individuals that were parting out bikes, until I found one that would let just it go to me.
THe guy i bought the bike from had taken the only tool I think he owned to a lot of the bike. A hack saw. He had cut the shock springs into so they would drop the rear down as low as possible. It was barely off the back tire. Then he cut the exhaust pipes off. Thank goodness he left me the front heders untouched. I found some Cobra slip-ons that were what I wanted and put them on. I replaced his cut shocks with some new Progressive shocks. Now things were starting to take shape. It came with an old rusty sissy bar he had taken off a Harley and I took that off and put on a small one I found on ebay. I wanted something taller and so I kept looking. While looking for that I found a backrest for my seat. I found a rear sissy bar from a Kawaski parts dealer in Florida and ordered it. After waiting almost 2 months I got it and opened it up to find the wrong one. He had shipped me another short one just like the one I already had. So I sent it back and asked for the right one. After a little back and forth emailing I finally got the right sissy bar. Patience is something I found you have to have lots of when doing something like this. I odered some new handlebars to replace the Apehangers that were on the bike.
I ordered a new windhield for it. When it came in had to do a little modification on it to get it to fit around the speedometer that is mounted high on this model. I ordered a light bar for it from That same Kawaski dealer in Florida. And for that I place a seperate switch on the handlebars and ran a relay to run the new lights.
The bike was missing the front turn signals. I found a set I liked that were made for Harleys. They are dual filament. I wanted them to double as running lights and turn signals. I also added a higway bar to the front engine mount. I would have liked a bigger one but I guess with the radiator is in the way of a bigger one.
I ordered saddlebags from Saddlemen. I like the Deperado bags and I ordered a set and a large rear trunck type one for long trips and and a smaller one for day trips. They all match the seats I had made perfectly. I made my own mounting brackets to attach the back of the bags to the bike. I did go with the Saddlemen adjustable braces to keep the bags out of the rear wheel.
The paint for the tank and rear and front fenders and side covers and radiator shrowd I picked out a gold pearl color with little crystals in it. A red pearl for the flames. And I found a painter not too far from town to do the work. I had to take the big chrome box off the top of the tank so he could paint it. That was where the fuel gage was. I liked the look of the tank without it. So I decided not to put it back after it was painted. Doing it like that let more of the custom paintjob be shown off on the tank. He started on it at night and on the weekend and finished it Thanksgiving weekend. I couldn't believe how good it looked when I went to pick it up.
Now time to put it all back together. With the help of a good friend and neighbor we started assembling it all back together. With each piece we put on I had to stand back and look at it. Finally all togeher it looked great. It turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
It had been 25 years since my last bike. I had a Suzuki GS850 that my wife and I used to ride when were were first married. I sold it when my son was born. I always wanted another one and was just waiting for the day to get another bike. Now I have it and it is just the way I wanted it.

Jeff, Twin Cities, MN

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 05:06 PM
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Congrats etexun! Well done.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 06:20 AM
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Awesome, well done!

2009 VN900 Classic LT.
Nova Scotia, Canada.
Cobra luggage rack.
Kuryakyn Grand Tourer luggage bag.
Kuryakyn air filter cover.
170/80/15 Metzler rear tire.
Fire and Ice passenger floorboards.
Stage 2 debaffle (screens left intact).
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 06:36 AM
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Wow, great story and great looking bike! That was a ton of work, but it certainly paid off in the end. Hopefully, you now think it was worth the effort and time expended. How long did the project take?

2010 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 07:00 AM
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Vulcan 88

Great job!! What a mountain of work, well done!
And there are very few bikes that can match the power to weight ratio of the VN 1500 A/B, aka the Vulcan 88 !! Its too bad these bikes were never offered with a 5 sp
Congrats , excellent salvation!!!!
BTW , if any of you V2K riders , ever encounter one of these, DONT challenge him, from 50-80mph , this Vulcan 88 will embarass the V2K !!!! The Vulcan 88 pacs HUGE torque numbers and weighs almost 300 LESS than the V2K! Its a very enduring & endearing model !
That being said, BOTH are great bikes !!!!

Last edited by rkd2.3; 01-04-2011 at 07:14 AM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:17 AM
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Congratulations, etexun. A very nice bike indeed.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!
'09 900 Custom SE on the Darkside
"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 09:03 AM
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Thanks guys. I realy appreciate all the "atta boys" on my bike. When I first brought it home my wife and son rolled their eyes and I could see it in their faces, they though what a piece of crap.

Have fun, But ride safe
1997 Vulcan VN1500A1
Custom Seat
Custom paintjob
Saddlemen Bags
Cobra Exhaust
Cobra Rider footboards
Kawasaki 800 Classic Passenger Boards
Kawasaki Sissybar
Kawasaki Lightbar
Memphis Shades Slim Windshield
Magura Handlebars
HD Dual Element Turn Signals
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 08:16 PM
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just gorgous man
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