600 Mile Service Thoughts - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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600 Mile Service Thoughts

1) A telescoping inspection mirror works great for checking the oil level sight gage when you are alone and have to hold the bike upright for an accurate reading.

2) If all those torques I checked on all those nuts and bolts are so important, then why dosen't the factory torque them correctly? The rectifier bolts and the oil filter were WAY overtorqued. The only bolt I found undertorqued was the dealer installed front axle nut, torqued at 50 ft. lbs. when it calls for 80.

3) Bottom line? I enjoyed doing the service myself. It gave my new 2009 Vulcan Custom SE and me some time to get to know each other and with every knuckle I racked I just smiled and thought of the fact that my dealer is not getting that $200 to $300 for doing virtually nada.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 10:20 AM
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Congratulations! There is an old cliche', "If you want something done right, do it yourself."

Now in the mechanics/dealers defense.

1. There is a thing called a PDI (Pre Delivery Inspection). I don't know what Kawasaki pays the mechanic/dealer to do this service, but usually it is minimal. Mechanics are paid by a system called flat-rate.

Say for instance the PDI pays 1 hour. The mechanic has to go get the paperwork, find the bike, bring it in, get the parts and do the job. Say it takes him an hour and fifteen minutes. He doesn't get paid for that fifteen minutes. None of us likes to work for free and this is a profession. He has a wife and children to feed, a mortgage, car payment. You get the picture. Corners do get cut and most like to stay ahead of the game.

This can be a problem when there is a warranty involving a complicated diagnosing issue. Say he spends 3 hours trying to figure out the problem. He may only get paid by the factory for 1 hour.

2. Services are the bread and butter for the mechanic/dealers. They are usually simple and straight forward. From experience a decent mechanic will know what he has to watch out for on a paticular bike. They know they will lose on another job, so they can make it up on services.

It is a delicate balance between quality and earning a living.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 10:23 AM
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Good thoughts Nacho.

I'd also recommend a 'new bike' inspection if you buy a new bike. I didn't inspect mine after I bought it new, as the dealer did a full setup, etc. I ended up taking mine in to a local shop for a 600 mile (ish) service as the dealer had gone out of buisiness.... and they found that the dealer never installed a front axle nut. Nice!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 12:42 PM
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I am at about 500 miles now so getting close. Do you guys go by a certain manual for these specs? Owners manual, something like Chilton's or... ?? Sorry, more of a car mechanic than a bike one. Any help is appreciated!

Brad Kline
2009 Vulcan 900 Custom Special Edition

Completely Debaffled Exhaust
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"Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle."

“Riding a motorcycle is ten percent hands and feet and ninety percent mind and eyes.”
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Brad, I ordered the Kawasaki factory service manual from my dealer who matched the Kawasaki.com price of $65.00. (Took about a week, no shipping charges.) It's a great manual, better than a lot of factory manuals I have seen and has a LOT better English than what is in the regular owner's manual. Hope this helps.
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