Bike is ornery as hell - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Western MA
Year/Make/Model: 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan EN500C
Displacement/CC's: 500
Gender: Male
Posts: 56
Bike is ornery as hell

Starting to get really frustrated with this 500. Seems like every couple of days something new is wrong with it. I knew the previous owner didn't take great care of it but things keep rusting off, etc. The other day my license plate bolts just snapped right off on the highway.

After fixing a coolant leak a couple of weeks ago, the damn thing is now leaking again for no apparent reason. Went on a long ride the other day, no leak at all. Yesterday I was polishing the aluminum--no leak at all. It rained a little last night. Now, there's coolant pooling around the top of the water pump cover. What the hell?!

I needed to replace my chain. After some research I decided to have my shop check it out. So I went to start it just now. The lights came on for a split second, and then the battery died. This is a brand new battery and I have no auxiliary attachments. So I'm off to mess with that now.

The other day on the interstate my speedo stopped working. That was my fault--I didn't screw it down tight enough apparently after adjusting the valves. However, I noticed that with the speedo disconnected, the odometer doesn't advance. Maybe I got cheated on a bike that has many more miles than the odometer says? All you'd have to do is leave it unscrewed, or swap out the instrument panel for one from a bike with fewer miles on it...

It's a 2006 and according to the odometer it has 22K, 9K of which I've put on in the last 3-4 years. But it's acting like a vehicle with 80 or 100K. Really annoying...

The coolant seems to be coming from up above, I noticed some on the cooling fins but also behind the coolant hose where it goes into the water pump. Could a change in barometric pressure do that?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Glogovac, Jagodina, Serbia
Year/Make/Model: 1999 Kawasaki EN500
Displacement/CC's: 500
Color: Teal
Gender: Male
Posts: 115
Coolant around cooling fins = leaky orings on metal tube that go into head probably, or some bolts/clamps are loose on upper part, I had leak from thermostat housing due to improper bolt torque and bad oring.
Coolant around water pump cover = check clamp on water pump cover, tighten it up a bit more. Also bad oring on metal tube that goes from pump cover into cylinder can cause leaks. Last culprit is gasket which i doubt is issue here.
Pressure in cooling system can go up to 16 or 18psi, can't remember. Then pressure cap opens up and reduces the pressure by letting coolant go into reserve/overflow or whatever it is called. So cooling system must handle that PSI's without leak.

I don't think someone messed with mileage on your bike. I bought 1999 with 17k miles but it ran like shit and I thought that P.O. messed with mileage numbers, luckily I was wrong. Used palstigauge to check bearings, measured cylidner bore etc. It has real 17k miles but terrible maintenance caused loads of crappy issues.
I know how frustrated you are, but take your time and do some research, and for your own safety recheck every bolt on the bike. Head over to EX500 forum, there is much more info about this engine. You can find great info here, but some nifty tricks can be found only on EX500 forum.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 08:43 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Indiana
Year/Make/Model: 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 500
Displacement/CC's: 500
Color: Red
Gender: Male
Posts: 29
Yikes! Sometimes you gotta work through several smaller problems seems like. I have had similar issues working on mine - every time I pull off a cover I find where some one jack legged something. Damn fun bikes but getting one second hand seems to be a real dice roll.

Just yesterday I pulled the side cover off to inspect the air filter & the cluster with the starter relay & all on it was just completely unbolted from the frame. What?!
Sam R is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Paris, Tx
Year/Make/Model: 2014 Volcan 900 LT
Displacement/CC's: 900
Color: Black/Silver
Gender: Male
Posts: 46
Sorry to hear about your issues. Keep it up and eventually it will work out.
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