Scootworks pulley upgrade - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Scootworks pulley upgrade

Be warned!!! don't deal directly with Scootworks. I got stories, lies and excuses, but did finally get the pulleys after 7 weeks (or was it 8?). If I hadn't emailed them daily when I heard nothing for too long, I don't know how much time it would have taken. They bill your credit card immediately after taking the order, even before they make them, which is just plain wrong.

The front pulley was perfect, but the rear pulley had some roughness on the inside edge where the belt runs, which was easily cleaned up with a file and about 10 minutes. I wasn't about to send it back if I could fix it.

What Kawasaki did was create a beautiful bike well under $10K that is geared too low. I have read people who disagree, and I know you won't hurt it winding it up, but riding for nearly 50 years, trust me, its geared too low. Cruisers are supposed to be relaxed, but it sure wasn't.

Now the good news... these pulleys (both of them) is what Kawasaki should have done from the factory. Acceleration is still excellent, but it has to be a little slower. After ordering I became concerned that changing both pulleys would be too much, but not so. First gear is between where first and second used to be which is great. Before... at 60 MPH indicated I was actually traveling 54 MPH according to Garmin... now at 60 indicated I am actually going 64 to 65 MPH. So at the same RPM I picked about 10 MPH. When riding secondary roads, running an actual 55 to 60 MPH the bike is just purring! The faster you normally run the easier it will be compared to the way they are stock. Bite the bullet and spring for both pulleys! You'll love 'em.

Last edited by Clumpster; 12-17-2011 at 04:00 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 11:49 AM
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....these pulleys (both of them) is what Kawasaki should have done from the factory.
not to make you mad, but i disagree. i think the stock pulleys are actually quite good. but then again, i dont ride at 80-90 mph anyway. plus, those pulleys are WAY too expensive. think about this, you can get sprockets in any size you want for 20-40 dollars. there isnt that much more metal on these pulleys. and it sure isnt any harder for these companys to make them. the CNC machine does all the work anyway.

Last edited by KAWBOYcafe; 12-19-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 12:42 PM
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Rear pulley only & 200 tire

What I did on my '09 Custom was go with the Rear pulley and a Metzler 200 tire. Dropped the engine revs down very comfortably, moves the rear tire back so it's pretty much centered in the rear fender, and spreads out the shift points so the shifting feels smoother. I realize the rear pulley costs more but I figure as much as I like the bike I'm going to have it for a long time so this kind of spreads out the cost factor. I was concerned about losing some bottom end pickup with this setup but I don't really notice any loss. I'm a little beyond the stage of doing "hole shots" at traffic lights anyway. I've had quite a few bikes over the last 50 or so years and although no one bike is absolutely perfect the Kaw comes as close as anything I've owned as far as fitting my riding needs. RIDE SAFE
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 01:00 PM
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yeah, i agree with the 200 rear tire thing. i am gonna do that myself when i need a new tire, but mainly so my speedo will be closer to accurate. the speedo being off doesnt bother me a great deal, but i would like it to be closer to right, and i dont see the point in a speedo healer when i shouldnt have to. know what i mean. plus, 200 tires do look pretty good. this will actually be the first bike i have had with that big of a rear tire. whats funny is, alot of people dont consider that a big tire now days. i grew up with most bikes having a 130 or 140, so a 200 is big to me.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Bob(Kay),
My scoot has about 75% tire left, so I didn't want to replace it... and I imagine a tire costs nearly as much as a front SW pulley, although when they wear out it will only be Metzlers for me. I also read that the 200 tire should be on a wider rim, but know from so many doing this it works. Not sure how it wears (?). Usually when I see someone only going to one pulley and 200 tire, they spring for the less expensive front one. Although, the back does have a little bit more o-drive than the front, if only marginal. I have read that the front gives you about 6% and the back gives about 6.6%. Wonder the effect of doing both pulleys plus the 200 Metzler. Do you think the engine could pull it? I bet it can. For not a penny more, Kawasaki could "upgrade" to the same tooth count as either SW pulleys (front or rear... pick one) and bump 5th gear up about 6% taller to the fix problem. Have you noticed the RPM drop (by ear) from 4th to 5th is less than say, 3rd to 4th? No matter where you read about a test of the 900, testers nearly always mention that it is geared too low. If I were buying a new bike in this class and knew the 900 was going to cost an additional $540 to be re-engineering, I would buy a Yammyhammer 950 without a doubt. I like the bike before, but love it now. Kawasaki.... HELLO! Keep the dirty side down!!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 01:29 PM
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if you did both pulleys and the tire, it would actually kill your MPG and performance. it would be worse, not better. your engine would be lugging too much. it would definately lower your RPMs, but it wouldnt gain you anything.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Kawboy,
Love the handle! I respect your disagreement... many feel the same way you do. But, many more would disagree... including most testers in many MC magazine tests or comparisons. I disagree with what $40 will buy... a sprocket maybe but a $40 pulley won't be trusted by me. I will still agree they are pretty expensive. The fastest I have been on it was 75MPH and only for a few seconds and would only ever ride 70MPH when that's the speed limit and late for something. My bike sounded comfortable up to 55MPH... so, I ride like an old fart, too. When my bike was (before the change) at 65MPH it sounded like any other cruiser I have ever owned going 90MPH, IMO. I suppose if SW didn't make the pulleys I would have either just bought better ear plugs and put up with it, or maybe would have sold it. I like everything else about the bike. So, for me the pulleys were cheaper than getting another bike.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 03:29 PM
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i didnt mean you could get a pulley for $40, i was just saying a sprocket for a chain driven bike will about that much or less, so i dont see why the belt drive pulleys are so much. like i said, the machine does all the work cutting it anyway. i just think its a shame when these companies like scootworks are trying to gouge people with their prices. if another company would start making these pulleys, the price would probably drop to half what they are now because of the companies trying to beat each others prices.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 06:48 PM
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I've run my 900 several thousand miles with both the Scoot rear pulley and a Pirelli Night Dragon 200 tire. I can't say whether or not low end performance has changed. It seems pretty much the same to me now as it was with the stock equipment. But, I changed the rear tire first, rode a couple thousand and then changed the pulley, so my impressions aren't "fresh". I do agree with you, that the bike is geared too low from the factory, for anyone that does a significant amount of riding at freeway speeds.

For me, that tire/pulley combo is just the ticket and I am MUCH happier riding the 9 now, than I was when I initially got it. Low end performance is fine for me and I really like the lower RPMs at freeway speeds. I estimate that the engine is turning at about 4k at 75mph.

Dunno what to say about your issue with Scootworks. I got my pulley from Meancycle, but I've made several purchases of other equipment from Scootworks, without having any of the issues that you describe. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to do business with them again in the future.

I also agree that these pulleys seem to be much too expensive. I've seen pulleys from makers other than Scoot, that are priced about the same. But, apparently the market will bear the price.

2010 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 09:46 PM
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Hi Bob(Kay),
My scoot has about 75% tire left, so I didn't want to replace it... and I imagine a tire costs nearly as much as a front SW pulley, although when they wear out it will only be Metzlers for me. I also read that the 200 tire should be on a wider rim, but know from so many doing this it works. Not sure how it wears (?). Usually when I see someone only going to one pulley and 200 tire, they spring for the less expensive front one. Although, the back does have a little bit more o-drive than the front, if only marginal. I have read that the front gives you about 6% and the back gives about 6.6%. Wonder the effect of doing both pulleys plus the 200 Metzler. Do you think the engine could pull it? I bet it can. For not a penny more, Kawasaki could "upgrade" to the same tooth count as either SW pulleys (front or rear... pick one) and bump 5th gear up about 6% taller to the fix problem. Have you noticed the RPM drop (by ear) from 4th to 5th is less than say, 3rd to 4th? No matter where you read about a test of the 900, testers nearly always mention that it is geared too low. If I were buying a new bike in this class and knew the 900 was going to cost an additional $540 to be re-engineering, I would buy a Yammyhammer 950 without a doubt. I like the bike before, but love it now. Kawasaki.... HELLO! Keep the dirty side down!!
The front pulley being larger will pull the rear tire further forward than the stock pulley. If you combine this with a 200 tire you will most likely not only run into fender clearance problems but the tire will also not sit nicely in the center portion of the rear fender as viewed from the side. The 200 tire fits perfectly on the stock rim. I haven't heard of anyone having problems with this or having to change the rim. From most reports i've read as well as my own experience with this setup the 200 tire doesn't cause any handling problems and actually I think mine rides a whole lot better with it. The Metzler at about 4000 miles looks pretty much wear wise as the day we installed it. I do a fair amount of 2-up riding and haven't run into any clearance problems. I guess the guys with the Pirelli and Avons are doing well too. RIDE SAFE
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