Lowered VN800B rear tire rubbing - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2016, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Lowered VN800B rear tire rubbing

OK got a 2002 800 Classic, lowered it using Tweek's method of extending the trailing link or also know as the Tie Rod by Mamma Kaw as Tweek put it, but only went for the 3/8 inch rather than the 1/2 inch extension, and I did not drill the shock clevis for additional lowering, so I am guessing 2 1/2" lowered from stock, also replaced my chain with a new one at same time. Today I removed the rear fender to install a fender rack because I couldn't get my hand in between the fender and tire to secure the forward bolt for the fender rack, I put the bolt in from the bottom side and put an acorn nut on the top to make sure I didn't create more interference between the tire and fender at this location (running a solo mustang seat so rear fender looked bare and decided to install a luggage rack), when I removed the fender I found the rear tire is rubbing on the electrical for the taillight in the front where it passes through the fender to the battery area, had worn through the black sheath and started to wear the insulation off 2 wires, easy fix with some heatshrink and new sheathing, I am just wondering if anyone else had a similar problem after lowering. I am suspecting the new chain moved the tire forward a bit and that along with lowering the rear caused this interference, also the inner part of the fender shows some clean spots at the top of the arch, no paint damage just much cleaner than the rest of the inner fender surface, and a few small random nicks (not continuous like it would be if in constant contact) in the tire only on the right side which is the side the electrical is on, don't want to go back to stock as I love the way the bike looks and drives. My chain indicator is about mid way on the notches in the trailing arm, and the chain is properly tensioned, and my shock is at position 7 . Not sure what to do next to resolve this issue, any help is appreciated.

2002 VN800B, 6" DYI forward controls, EPA system removed, baffles removed, DYI lowered 2 inches in rear , 2" riser, mustang solo seat, re-geared to 18T/42T, scooterized and re-jetted carb, chrome rear fender rack, led headlight, old school leather saddlebags, billet chromed foot pegs, ISO hand grips

Last edited by jfl1960; 05-14-2016 at 03:44 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 12:42 AM
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If you are using stock 42/17 sprokets, going to a smaller rear sproket will move the tire back just a little, but might be enough to keep tire and harness separated. Mine did this where the harness comes through the fender when I had it lowered and rode 2up. The rear tire is a 140/90/16, you may try a MU85/16 on yournext tire change. This will be slightly smaller between a 140/90 and a 130/90 in size. This should give you another 1/8-1/4" of clearance. Not much, but helps.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Rick, the rubbing is minimal and must be just touching the harness during suspension compression as the harness isn't ruined yet but would be if I didn't find it early, riding solo if I had been 2 up then I am sure it would have done damage to harness and tire, I forgot to put in the original post that I did change the front sprocket to an 18T, which would also move the tire a bit more forward, looks like I have a bunch of little changes adding up to create this interference. I wonder if going to the 40T rear sprocket or back to a 17T front would elevate my problem, I really like the change the 18T made in 1st and cruising so will try the 40T rear first I think, the tire suggestion is a great idea but unfortunately I just spent close to $200.00 on a new Bridgestone 140/90/16 rear and I cannot afford to buy another this season, I was going to go to a 160 but figured enough changes for now trying to lessen chances of problems due to mods, but eventually it's getting a 160 rear tire, I did do quite a bit of modification and dress-up on the bike over the winter so some gremlins are bound to show up.

The Scootworks "Rear Shock Pre-Load" Improvement Kit might be an alternative to help with this problem, what do you think.

2002 VN800B, 6" DYI forward controls, EPA system removed, baffles removed, DYI lowered 2 inches in rear , 2" riser, mustang solo seat, re-geared to 18T/42T, scooterized and re-jetted carb, chrome rear fender rack, led headlight, old school leather saddlebags, billet chromed foot pegs, ISO hand grips

Last edited by jfl1960; 05-15-2016 at 08:37 AM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 10:58 AM
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Not familiar with the "rear shock pre-load improvement kit",, but Havent heard a lot of good about Scootworks as far as customer service, and people waiting way way to long, months, to receive their orders, some never getting the parts and a real hard time getting a refund. Good luck if you go that way. The 160 tire may make matters worse if at the same hight. A smaller rear sprocket will let the wheel move backwards, and the 40 tooth combined with the 18 front makes a world of difference. This is a handy chart for comparing tire sizes, just put in the info for your current tire and the one you want to use and see how they compare. https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc...5r16-195-55r16

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah Rick heard the same about Scootsworks, my plan is to MAKE my own based on their design, I am thinking I don't need more pre-load on the spring as I am only 190LBS and never ride double and with the factory pre-load set to 7 it's getting kinda like being kicked in the arse every significant sized bump, would actually like to dial it down if I could, so limiting shock travel might just do the trick, so I am going to fab my own snubber spacer as seen in the Scootsworks kit for the shock from some old poly cutting board material I have, it's about 3/8 and easily cut with a hole saw and will run it through band sander if it's too thick. Will post back with my results good or bad, the 160 tire is something that will haunt me until I try it, might not be this year but I am like a dog with a bone once I get hold of an idea I have to fail to let it go but thanks for the heads up and advice on that too, hahaha, the 40T sprocket is on order did it this AM after you brought up sprockets, cannot believe I forgot about that, good catch. I think limiting shock/swing arm travel and the 40T sprocket will fix my problem if not then I will make some clevis spacers to increase the pre-load if need be, hoping it doesn't come to that. Wonder if anyone out there that used the Scootsworks pre-load kit would be kind enough to measure the aluminum spacer thicknesses and share that info. Most install kits will tell you "Use the 1/4" spacer for xxxx amount of pre-load" example only, the Scootsworks install only says use the thicker spacer or thinner spacer for xxx amount of pre-load, protecting their design so mooks like me cannot copy hahaha.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Seems to have solved my problem, installed it from under bike without taking shock or tire off, a little dab of silicone on the bottom to keep it in place and 1 hour ride without any rubbing, thanks for your input Rick I am definitely going to a 40T rear as soon as it arrives just to get a bit more clearance, glad to have this finished.

2002 VN800B, 6" DYI forward controls, EPA system removed, baffles removed, DYI lowered 2 inches in rear , 2" riser, mustang solo seat, re-geared to 18T/42T, scooterized and re-jetted carb, chrome rear fender rack, led headlight, old school leather saddlebags, billet chromed foot pegs, ISO hand grips
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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And here she is all back together and ready for some fun.

2002 VN800B, 6" DYI forward controls, EPA system removed, baffles removed, DYI lowered 2 inches in rear , 2" riser, mustang solo seat, re-geared to 18T/42T, scooterized and re-jetted carb, chrome rear fender rack, led headlight, old school leather saddlebags, billet chromed foot pegs, ISO hand grips
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 10:15 PM
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Dont suppose you have a link for the method you used to lower yours? I do all solo now on the 800 since we got the Voyager. Did have the lowering clevis for the stock shock, but passed it on to another after getting the Progressive shock and now would like to lower it again.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Basically I used the info on this page Lowering the rear end of the Kawasaki Vulcan VN800 Classic Low Rider to modify the trailing link (lengthened it by 3/8") and achieved approx 2 1/2 to 2 3/4" drop in rear (when you get a chance measure the unloaded height of your rear fender to the ground and let me know what it is, I am assuming yours is stock height, just curious to see what my actual drop is), Tweek used a 1/2 inch extension and says that's a 3" drop but I cannot confirm this info, from what I understand this is the original mod that the Scootsworks lowering kit is based on and works quite well in my opinion, there is a mod in this DYI for the clevis for addition 1/2" drop but I opted to ignore that as the drop I achieved was more than enough. The only problems I encountered was the rear fender on the left did hit the chain guard on big dips and potholes (hard to miss around here roads are absolutely crap) so I notched the chain guard so it would clear and of course the electrical rubbing issue I mentioned in this thread, the spacer I made fixed the rubbing on electrical so far and I suspect would have eliminated the chain guard to fender interference too without having to notch the guard, well on the bright side if I ever attempt go to a 160 the chain guard won't be a problem, lol. Here is the link to the process I used, the actual lowering cost me nothing but my time as I am welder and had all the materials on hand. If you need any help please feel free to ask.

This is the mod to the trailing link:
Lowering the rear end of the Kawasaki Vulcan VN800 Classic Low Rider

And made the snubber bushing from this installation PDF for the Scootsworks "Rear Shock Pre-Load Improvement Kit" go to the 7th page to see the plastic spacer installation that I copied looks like their material was a bit thicker than my 1/2" material maybe 5/8" but the one I made is working great and if you lower the bike I recommend you make or have one made and installed while the shock is off the bike, soooooo much easier then the way I did it.

http://www.scootworks.com/scootworks...lcan_lower.pdf

Please share info on your progressive shock, might look into that in future, manufacturer and price please.

2002 VN800B, 6" DYI forward controls, EPA system removed, baffles removed, DYI lowered 2 inches in rear , 2" riser, mustang solo seat, re-geared to 18T/42T, scooterized and re-jetted carb, chrome rear fender rack, led headlight, old school leather saddlebags, billet chromed foot pegs, ISO hand grips

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 10:59 AM
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Looks like about 16" on about as level as my driveway is.Click image for larger version

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