HOW TO: Easy License Plate Relocation for the 900 Custom - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2009, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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HOW TO: Easy License Plate Relocation for the 900 Custom

Ever since I got my 900 Custom, I've wondered how in the world I could clean up the back end a bit, as the tag hanging so far down reminded me of the old dirt bike I first got started on... now of course, there are plenty of different brackets and such you can add for side mounts and such, or new fenders you can buy with indented tag holders, but for now, being budget limited, I did the following by spending roughly 7 bucks (for the license plate frame and 2 skull plate bolts) and roughly 15-20 minutes of labor (it could go quicker, but I'm not much of one to be in a hurry)

1st, a before shot of the rear end with just the chrome plate frame and 2 skull bolts. It looks better than just the stock bolts with a tag, but still hangs way down there...


If you take off the red reflector and the license bracket, you'll notice that just to each side of the mounting bolt hole for the reflector, there are two smaller holes that line up exactly with the hole spacing for the tag bracket. Using these smaller holes as a guide, I simply drilled them out a bit more with a 1/4" drill bit. Go slow, with very little pressure, as it would be a bad thing to go ramming through there and drilling into the tire!


After that, it's a simple thing to move the current tag bracket up to your newly widened holes, bolting it on roughly 3-4" higher. The tag is still well lit by your existing tag light, so you don't have to worry about any re-wiring, etc., and the rear end of your bike has a bit cleaner look! Being the particular sort that I am, I sanded the back of the plastic bracket attached to the bike, as there is a bit of a rounded lip where the reflector was mounted, and I wanted my tag bracket bolts and washers to be flush, but I'm pretty sure you could do this without sanding... Also, I'm wondering if flipping the tag bracket would make a difference or not, but here's a pic of the completed process without flipping the tag bracket. What do ya think?


Now, I'm considering getting some reflector bolts for the bottom two tag and frame bolt slots, but I'm still weighing out that option as well.

Yes, you can just remove the tag light and move the tag all the way up, utilizing a light-up LED tag frame, but my mod only cost 7 bucks with no re-wiring, as opposed to 30+ bucks with a bit of electrical work!

Hope this helps you budget minded modders a bit!

BACA Pretzel - Flyin' the highways in OK!
'08 Vulcan 1600 Nomad - "Grace"
Metallic Diablo Black/Candy Fire Red
LED Run/Turn/Brake
Vance and Hines Duals
Dobeck TFI
Kuryakyn Flame grips with Throttle Boss and Stiletto endcaps
Kuryakyn Longhorn offset highway pegs
Vista throttle lock
OEM light bar and luggage rack

B.A.C.A. Member, Oklahoma Chapter

Out to pasture - 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom: Redemption
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 10:12 AM
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Looks good! I did exactly the same thing with mine some time ago. One thing to keep in mind, some states like mine (Idaho) require a rear red reflector. I just used the reflector mounting bolts to remain legal.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 10:33 AM
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I did it also, what a small change can make such a difference in the appearance. Looks a lot cleaner and that plate doesn't hang down like a mud flap.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 06:03 AM
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I went the same route. It would have been cheaper had I just gone to the LED plate in the first place. Now I have to buy a another bike to go with the first plate holder.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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REMINDER: Check your local and state laws about the requirements for rear-mounted reflectors! To make sure I was capiche with Johnny Law, I ended up adding two reflector-head tag bolts in the bottom two positions.

And VERY nice look, Baitis! Once payday hits, I think I'm taking that step to clean up the rear end even more. I also love your way of thinking, as that means I'll have an extra tag frame as well... DEFINITELY will need to buy another bike to go with it, as I'd hate to waste that beautiful accessory by leaving it in a drawer to gather dust.

BACA Pretzel - Flyin' the highways in OK!
'08 Vulcan 1600 Nomad - "Grace"
Metallic Diablo Black/Candy Fire Red
LED Run/Turn/Brake
Vance and Hines Duals
Dobeck TFI
Kuryakyn Flame grips with Throttle Boss and Stiletto endcaps
Kuryakyn Longhorn offset highway pegs
Vista throttle lock
OEM light bar and luggage rack

B.A.C.A. Member, Oklahoma Chapter

Out to pasture - 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom: Redemption

Last edited by Pretzel; 08-11-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 10:27 AM
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Thanks, Avon 200 tire helps fill in the gaps too. Our law requires reflectors, I bought 2, didn't like them, they're sitting with the plate frame I'm not using. I'm slowly collecting parts for the second bike.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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I considered sanding down the reflector I removed and placing it on the back of my cobra short sissybar, but just not sure if that will be as pleasing to my eye... LOL

It's all about the beauty of the bike!!!

Now I'm after some blue-dot or smoked lense covers for the rear signals, and planning to convert them to running lights.

BACA Pretzel - Flyin' the highways in OK!
'08 Vulcan 1600 Nomad - "Grace"
Metallic Diablo Black/Candy Fire Red
LED Run/Turn/Brake
Vance and Hines Duals
Dobeck TFI
Kuryakyn Flame grips with Throttle Boss and Stiletto endcaps
Kuryakyn Longhorn offset highway pegs
Vista throttle lock
OEM light bar and luggage rack

B.A.C.A. Member, Oklahoma Chapter

Out to pasture - 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom: Redemption

Last edited by Pretzel; 08-11-2009 at 11:52 AM.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 07:47 AM
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What type of lisence plate frame is that? I am thinking of moving my plate up right under the rear fender like this, and that is a slimlined plate holder. Does it have a light?
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Mine is just a basic chrome frame from WalMart with no lighting. I think the one Baitis shows is a slimline with LED bolts that light up the tag.

BACA Pretzel - Flyin' the highways in OK!
'08 Vulcan 1600 Nomad - "Grace"
Metallic Diablo Black/Candy Fire Red
LED Run/Turn/Brake
Vance and Hines Duals
Dobeck TFI
Kuryakyn Flame grips with Throttle Boss and Stiletto endcaps
Kuryakyn Longhorn offset highway pegs
Vista throttle lock
OEM light bar and luggage rack

B.A.C.A. Member, Oklahoma Chapter

Out to pasture - 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom: Redemption
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 02:29 PM
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Good Idea! I just hate the fact that here in TX I also have that danged inspection sticker below that as well. Where you relocating that stupid thing!

U.S. Army Vet, SGT.
09 Vulcan 900 Custom
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