April 20th, 2011 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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April 20th, 2011

I bought my Vaq on April 20th 2011 and started what has been a very rewarding, interesting and tremendous learning experience.

Except for my Kawi 600 thumper enduro all my skoots have been sportbikes since I bought my first sportbike in 1992 (ZX-11). Although my shop does primarily sportbikes we enjoy cruisers, and whenever I had the chance to test ride one after he work was done I always enjoyed that short ride.

Walkin thru the showroom in early 2011 (they make you do that to get to the parts dept) at the local dealer where I get all my OEM parts a brand new Vaquero sittin on the floor called out to me. I had not seen the Vaqueros yet and I was stopped in my tracks.

OOHHH...me likey!!!

Went to Kawi's demo weekend in early April and as they say "the rest is history" Lots has happened in that 4 years. As has been posted here LOTS od modifications to the Vaq, and more to come. Met some REALLY FINE peeps for sure, and have had the privilege to have many 1700's in my shop to "tinker' with.

My latest project was to improve the front forks, and THAT has been a fun experience. I am spoiled with the fully adjustable suspension on sportbikes and wanting to get my forks to function as good as those damper rod units could, I embarked on the latest project. Race Tech fork springs of the proper rate, Gold Valve emulators and all new internal bushings and seals. One thing is for sure, just by poppin in the stuff as per instructions DID NOT guarantee the combo was gonna work. Nosiree. So during this process I had the forks at "nice and soft but too soft for everyday ridin" to a bit too firm.

Seeing as how the Vaq is not done with ME, I decided to fabricate external preload adjusters.

New caps drilled and tapped for the adjuster bolts with a counter bore for an o-ring to prevent fork oil from blowing past the threads...



Retaining plate for the o-ring...



Machining a bolt head to my desired shape...



The final adjuster head shape...



The assembled adjuster...







And final the mileage put away last nite...



I rode 406 miles yesterday to hit that mileage mark, was a great day of ridin to end a great 4 years with the Vaq.

And as is said..."And many more"!

RACNRAY

"TRUE HAPPINESS IS IN THE HEART,NOT IN THE OUTSIDE FIXES!!"
WITH OVER 42 YEARS AS A MOTORCYCLE TECHNICIAN/HI-PO SHOP OWNER I AM A PURVEYOR OF FACT NOT FICTION!
"WE LIVE OUR LIVES IN CHAINS NEVER KNOWING WE HAD THE KEY"
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 12:02 PM
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AHHHHHHHHHHH you made it.. 76K.. Congrats to the 4 yrs... look forward to seeing more stuff!

"Steve"
2011 Vaquero
2008 900 Custom(Sold)
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Dynojet PCV ,THUNDER MFG BAK,
VANCE & HINES PRO PIPE W/CUSTOM CERAMIC CT,
RacnRay's Throttle mod and Dyno tuned
AUX DRIVING LIGHT,BATTISTINI GRIPS AND PASS PEGS,THUNDER RAPTOR FLOORBOARDS,
STITCH ON TIME CUSTOM TEMPERPEDIC SADDLE
polk audio speakers, sound extreme amp
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 12:06 PM
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And any review on the Preload adjustment?

"Steve"
2011 Vaquero
2008 900 Custom(Sold)
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Dynojet PCV ,THUNDER MFG BAK,
VANCE & HINES PRO PIPE W/CUSTOM CERAMIC CT,
RacnRay's Throttle mod and Dyno tuned
AUX DRIVING LIGHT,BATTISTINI GRIPS AND PASS PEGS,THUNDER RAPTOR FLOORBOARDS,
STITCH ON TIME CUSTOM TEMPERPEDIC SADDLE
polk audio speakers, sound extreme amp
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 07:35 PM
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Awesome, Ray!

I've always been impressed by how much you love and tinker with that Vaquero (Even if you might defect to Indian one of these days; but I don't blame you). Now that I've got my own the love is understood! These really are special bikes. Just somethin' about 'em.

What did you end up doing about your seat, by the way? What saddle are you running? I know way way back, when you first picked it up, you weren't happy with the saddle.

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

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 08:14 PM
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I have the progressive springs, and the race tech gold valve emulators in my 09 voyager.
Is this modification something you might sell??
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
Awesome, Ray!

I've always been impressed by how much you love and tinker with that Vaquero (Even if you might defect to Indian one of these days; but I don't blame you). Now that I've got my own the love is understood! These really are special bikes. Just somethin' about 'em.

What did you end up doing about your seat, by the way? What saddle are you running? I know way way back, when you first picked it up, you weren't happy with the saddle.
Thank you sir...I have had a Corbin seat, I think it's called gunfighter. not perfect but seems to be the best so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatop View Post
I have the progressive springs, and the race tech gold valve emulators in my 09 voyager.
Is this modification something you might sell??
Haven't thought bout that yet, but i'll think it over.

RACNRAY

"TRUE HAPPINESS IS IN THE HEART,NOT IN THE OUTSIDE FIXES!!"
WITH OVER 42 YEARS AS A MOTORCYCLE TECHNICIAN/HI-PO SHOP OWNER I AM A PURVEYOR OF FACT NOT FICTION!
"WE LIVE OUR LIVES IN CHAINS NEVER KNOWING WE HAD THE KEY"
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 09:42 PM
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Thanks Ray! Found you on Facebook, by the way. Man I wish I had your tools/skills.

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

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sbg8r View Post
And any review on the Preload adjustment?
I set my sag 2mm more than what I had been runnin. I do believe I need to go back in and swap out the spring in the emulator, still feels like too much high speed compression dampening.

The adjusters just sat there and did there job. I look forward to when I take a long trip and can set up the forks to be nice and cushy for hi-way ridin and then crank in the preload for the twisties.

RACNRAY

"TRUE HAPPINESS IS IN THE HEART,NOT IN THE OUTSIDE FIXES!!"
WITH OVER 42 YEARS AS A MOTORCYCLE TECHNICIAN/HI-PO SHOP OWNER I AM A PURVEYOR OF FACT NOT FICTION!
"WE LIVE OUR LIVES IN CHAINS NEVER KNOWING WE HAD THE KEY"
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
Thanks Ray! Found you on Facebook, by the way. Man I wish I had your tools/skills.
THANK YOU SIR...but to be honest I think I have a kind of a disease, but me thinks it's one I can live with!!!

RACNRAY

"TRUE HAPPINESS IS IN THE HEART,NOT IN THE OUTSIDE FIXES!!"
WITH OVER 42 YEARS AS A MOTORCYCLE TECHNICIAN/HI-PO SHOP OWNER I AM A PURVEYOR OF FACT NOT FICTION!
"WE LIVE OUR LIVES IN CHAINS NEVER KNOWING WE HAD THE KEY"
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACNRAY View Post
THANK YOU SIR...but to be honest I think I have a kind of a disease, but me thinks it's one I can live with!!!

RACNRAY
Ha!

If it comes off, or can be installed, with a socket set or a wrench, or an allen key set, or even funky 'security bolts' (those don't scare me), I'm good. If it requires cutting, welding, milling, or anything like that; then I'm way over my head. Wish I had those skills though. Every time someone on here says "Just fabricate a bracket and make it work" I'm like, "Uh, yeah right!"

If you're ever so inclined, I bet you could make a few bones off of a chrome sissy bar / luggage rack for the Vaquero. The only options are the Kawasaki quick release ($700 by the time you buy the brackets for a small, low sissy bar!), or an ugly black/skull one on eBay that.. well.. um.. LOOKS like someone made it in their garage.

Love love love my Vaquero; but definitely wish there was a larger aftermarket for it.

I'm still trying to source some stock grips to send you for the throttle mod. I haven't seen any aftermarket ones I like and, call me crazy, I like the stock ones! But I sure as heck ain't leaving the bike in the garage for a week or two

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

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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