Would I be wasting my money? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
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Would I be wasting my money?

Spring is just starting here in Ontario, Canada. The riding season has started with many bikes on the road this past weekend. Including mine. I recently purchased a used 2011 Vaquero. The previous owner of this bike was an older retired gentleman who did only the basic required maintenance to this bike. It is completely stock, with no modifications. So far, I have replaced the air filter with a K&N filter. I have replaced the grips with new ones that have RacnRay's throttle modification. I should mention that my previous bike was a Honda V65 magna. So, the big V twin is quite a different ride for me. I have put about 1000 kms on the bike so far. I am pleased with how she runs, but feel that I could get benefit from better tuning of the timing and air fuel mixture?

I know these 1700's are prone to vacuum leaks at the throttle body. I have not investigated this yet. I do have a lot of popping from the exhaust on deceleration. I have a gasket on order from Thunder mfg.

I don't plan on doing any more mods to the bike. But I was wondering if I would benefit from installing a Power commander V, or similar product. Or would I just be wasting my money seeing the bike is still basically stock.

Just looking for some advise.

Rick
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 08:46 AM
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Congrats on the new ride Rick. I'm in Ontario as well and have a Vaquero. If you are only going to do one modification, I would suggest the ECU reflash by Ivan's Performance Products. It will give you more power, smoother throttle, less heat, eliminate popping on deceleration, as well as a number of other benefits. I'm extremely happy with mine. I have around 12 000 kms since the reflash.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 10:37 AM
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That's a hard question to answer. If it's something you notice regularly and after a period of time it's still annoying then I would say it's worth investing some $. I got my ECU flashed by Ivan and it has made a noticeable difference in smoothness and power, And eliminated popping on decel. $350 is no small chunk of change but I ride a lot so it was worth it to me.

BTW He will tune it to what ever pipes/ filters you have on the bike.

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Last edited by matt7even; 04-10-2017 at 10:45 AM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 11:11 AM
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Well, here's the hard truth of the matter, and sorry you didn't ask sooner.

Unless you just like the way it looks, you already wasted your money with that K&N air cleaner. It's not doing anything other than letting more particulates into your engine.

With these bikes, it's all or nothing. The basic, mapped fuel injection system means that they don't make the sort of adjustments that, say, your car does. So without a fuel processor to adjust the level of fuel, more air isn't really useful. And without better flowing exhaust to let the combustion gasses escape, then the engine can't "breathe" well enough to take advantage of an aftermarket air cleaner.

With all three (exhaust, intake, fuel processor) you can see pretty significant gains. With just one or two, basically, almost nothing. It's expensive bike jewelry. Cosmetic only.

I've honestly never once experience decel popping on my stock 1700 Vaquero. Personally, I'm satisfied with the power it has and don't really find value in spending thousands of dollars to squeeze a bit more power out of it. And, I don't really want loud exhaust. There's nothing wrong with those that do; it's just not my thing. So mine remains mechanically bone stock.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoJacks View Post
Spring is just starting here in Ontario, Canada. The riding season has started with many bikes on the road this past weekend. Including mine. I recently purchased a used 2011 Vaquero. The previous owner of this bike was an older retired gentleman who did only the basic required maintenance to this bike. It is completely stock, with no modifications. So far, I have replaced the air filter with a K&N filter. I have replaced the grips with new ones that have RacnRay's throttle modification. I should mention that my previous bike was a Honda V65 magna. So, the big V twin is quite a different ride for me. I have put about 1000 kms on the bike so far. I am pleased with how she runs, but feel that I could get benefit from better tuning of the timing and air fuel mixture?

I know these 1700's are prone to vacuum leaks at the throttle body. I have not investigated this yet. I do have a lot of popping from the exhaust on deceleration. I have a gasket on order from Thunder mfg.

I don't plan on doing any more mods to the bike. But I was wondering if I would benefit from installing a Power commander V, or similar product. Or would I just be wasting my money seeing the bike is still basically stock.

Just looking for some advise.

Rick
Intake manifold leaks is a common issue with the 1700, from the throttle body joint and at both heads. I have a head here with burned valves, due to a leaking manifold seal at the head. The Thunder gasket is a good idea, but it's only fixing one third of the three problem areas. BTW, Thunder Mfg is no longer in business, owner retired but if they accepted your order maybe they have old stock to sell off.
I agree with the other opinions here............... get the ECU flashed, get rid of the K&N filter, and fix the manifold leaks. Bike will run like a top.

Garry

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 02:57 PM
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As Morgan mentioned, getting the ECU IVANIZED is a good idea. Personally, I would recommend that before the PowerCommander route.

I've just had it done on my ECU, and I personally attest that the improvements are noticeably significant. My Nomad runs smoother with better throttle response, has an increase in power across the rpm range, and still is getting improved mileage.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Well thanks for the advise guys. I am not looking to get more power out of the bike, my racing days are long behind me. I would be happy to get this machine running as well as it can in a stock condition. This bike is new to me, but has 44,000 kms on it. The previous owner definitely spent more time riding than doing any maintenance. Yesterday, I decided to drop the coolant. This turned out to be a bigger job than planed. I finished up today. Six flushes later and there is still black bits and flakes coming out.

So, while the gas tank was propped up and the bike was running, I did a spray test for leaks around the throttle body and manifold, manifold and head connections. There was absolutely no evidence of leaks in this area. The idle never changed. So I thought I better just leave well enough alone and buttoned that back up.

I had also pulled both spark plugs, i'm sure they are original. I have read that these are good plugs and will last a long time. I cleaned them and re-installed them.

My next move maybe to have the ECU flashed. But for now I am going to just ride it. If I pull the ECU and mail it to Ivans, how long can I expect to be waiting for it to return?
I'm north of the border.

B.T.W. I was told that Thunder Mfg is not out of business. The owner retired and his son is taking things over. They are downsizing a bit. But the gaskets will likely still be available.

Rick
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