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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Maintenance Question

My bike has 4100 miles. I had the dealer do the first maintenance at 600 miles, but I figure that I need to learn to do it myself.

I am decently handy, but have never done too much on the bike. I have done an oil change on my 500, but not on the 900.

I figure I can get what I need at a Target/Auto Zone (or Wal-Mart, if I have to.)

From what I read, it is OK to make the change to synthetic with this change. I should also take out the screen to check for debris.

I plan on changing the oil filter too. Is that really necessary, or just precautionary?

Air filter. Should I stick with the Kawi or get a K&N?
From my reading on here it seems that there is some question about going to a K&N with stock pipes and no engine mods.

I was looking at this:
https://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=11201

Is there any harm in trying them out?
I have read many threads here about these things, but mostly I am not informed enough to avoid being confused.

Thanks,
Rod

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 01:17 PM
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I purchased my bike with 5,200 miles on it. I put in my preference of synthetic and a new filter at that time; I only change the oil once a year so I change the filter every time. I've never checked the screen; may never.

I put in a K&N air filter in the stock air box; noticed a slight positive difference in mid-range (more eager to rev) and all I have is debaffled stock pipes. Ebay has the filter for $48.08 with free shipping (http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-K-N-High...em5d311fdc16); not much more than the price of the stock Kawa filter but with a much longer life expectancy.

2006 VN900 Classic LT - Red and Black
Stage III Stock Pipes - K&N Filter in Stock Box - Amsoil - 170/80 Kenda Kruz - Saddlemen Explorer - Willie & Max Windshield Bag - Mutazu Passenger Floor Boards - Shorai Heavy Duty Battery - Kawasaki Lowers - Black Universal Trunk mounted on Mutazu Rack - Osram 70/65w Plus 50
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 01:44 PM
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Bought mine new with 3 miles on it. I had the dealer perform the 600 mile check-up. After that, I changed the oil and filter at 3k, 6k and at 9k switched to full synthetic. The tech at the Kawa dealer suggested that I go at least 6k-8k before switching to synthetic to give the piston rings enough time to properly "wear in". And, to his credit, at about the 6k mile mark I noticed the engine felt and sounded smoother - less "sharp", less "metallic".
The air filter was dirty enough to replace at about 12k miles. At that point I replaced the OEM with a K&N. I have used K&N air filters in other vehicles and like having the ability to clean and re-use.

'10 VN900DA
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringVulcan View Post
My bike has 4100 miles. I had the dealer do the first maintenance at 600 miles, but I figure that I need to learn to do it myself.

I am decently handy, but have never done too much on the bike. I have done an oil change on my 500, but not on the 900.

I figure I can get what I need at a Target/Auto Zone (or Wal-Mart, if I have to.)

From what I read, it is OK to make the change to synthetic with this change. I should also take out the screen to check for debris.

I plan on changing the oil filter too. Is that really necessary, or just precautionary?

Air filter. Should I stick with the Kawi or get a K&N?
From my reading on here it seems that there is some question about going to a K&N with stock pipes and no engine mods.

I was looking at this:
https://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=11201

Is there any harm in trying them out?
I have read many threads here about these things, but mostly I am not informed enough to avoid being confused.

Thanks,
Rod
Changed my bike to synthetic at 2,000 bought new. What took you so long.

Always change the oil filter at every oil change. Filters clog up and will hold a pint of dirty oil. Take the filter off first before opening the drain plug.

The stock K&N air filter replacement is very popular with people who intend to keep the stock air box as it does allow more air flow. The stock air filter should be replaced at least every 6 months if you live in a dusty or sandy area. The K&N just needs to be cleaned. Cleaning kit is included with most filters and can be found at most auto parts stores.
The K&N Air filter has a 1 million mile warranty so it will LAST FOREVER, unless damaged, just take it out clean it, and put it back.

Happy Wrenching and Ride Safe.

John
"I am a modern cowboy, on a steel horse I ride"
09 VN900 Classic
Big 3 +++++
Double Darkside
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 03:33 PM
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How many quarts of oil does the 900 take? The dealer did my first (600 mi) change, but I will be doing the rest.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 05:05 PM
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Matt, it takes just over 3 qts. Do you not have an owners manual? Also, I didn't notice any performance change with my K&N filter, but that's not why I bought it. The OEM costs $30. The K&N cost me $50. Even if I only clean it every other year, I certainly expect to be riding this bike more than 4 years.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 05:27 PM
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Byte,

Are you sure about taking the filter off BEFORE draining the oil? Seems like that could get messy.

Okay, a quick couple of notes:

Make sure to get motorcycle oil, or oil with the JASO MA rating on it. Otherwise you'll experience issues with the clutch. I like Valvoline synthetic but everyone is different, there's PLENTY PLENTY PLENTY PLENTY of threads on that so I won't start that here. But my only caution is to make sure to use JASO MA or Motorcycle oil.

It's all very easy to do. I enjoy it, actually! I like getting under my bike and tinkering with it.

OH, Get an oil filter wrench. The filter is in a precarious position and it's hard to get a grip, plus, I've found dealerships like to weld them on or something (okay not really) and they are a PAIN to get off. I got one from J&P cycles online pretty cheap.

Have fun!

John

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveJB View Post
Matt, it takes just over 3 qts. Do you not have an owners manual? Also, I didn't notice any performance change with my K&N filter, but that's not why I bought it. The OEM costs $30. The K&N cost me $50. Even if I only clean it every other year, I certainly expect to be riding this bike more than 4 years.

I HAD one when I bought it....but the wife cleaned my work bench area and a "few" things disappeared. Thanks.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB View Post
I HAD one when I bought it....but the wife cleaned my work bench area and a "few" things disappeared. Thanks.
My better half knows better than to clean or throw away anything in my shed / workbench area, because I then would have to go clean out her makeup drawer or worse yet the room where she keeps all her Crosstitch patterns and I would have to throw out everything I deem unnecessary. Dare I say that's almost everything!

I care more about SPG (smiles per gallon)
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than MPG (miles per gallon)


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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
Byte,

Are you sure about taking the filter off BEFORE draining the oil? Seems like that could get messy.
Yup you have never seen me trying to get that (*&(^(*& filter off for the first time, full pan of oil sitting under the filter to catch the oil and me with a crow bar, you get the picture, was not a pretty sight.

Yes lets not start any oil wars, to many men have needlessly shed blood over that subject. Translation Use what you like, as long as it is good for the bike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
OH, Get an oil filter wrench. The filter is in a precarious position and it's hard to get a grip, plus, I've found dealerships like to weld them on or something (okay not really) and they are a PAIN to get off. I got one from J&P cycles online pretty cheap.
I have information from reliable sources that the Oil Filter that is originally installed at the factory is installed by an 800 lb Gorilla with a 6 foot breaker bar.

John
"I am a modern cowboy, on a steel horse I ride"
09 VN900 Classic
Big 3 +++++
Double Darkside
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