Bobber Conversion? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Bobber Conversion?

OK, so I never traded in my VN800B on my 2016 Vaquero, and my wife didn't trade it in on her 2013 HD Sportster 1200, leaving me with an 11 year-old bike with 10.5k miles on it, in great shape.

I don't really want to get rid of it, but its got a windshield, saddlebags, floorboards, just like the Vaquero - ie, too similar!

I got to thinking, and since I like the bobber style, I started researching and found Blue Collar Bobbers.

They used to be popular on here, but I haven't seen any posts related to them in a while, so I created this thread.

Anybody got info. on them for the 800? Stuff like working with a lowered suspension, whether or not there are permanent changes you have to make to the bike to fit their parts?

Any competitors out there that I should look at?

My current plan is to spend the winter figuring out what all I want and ordering parts, and then next spring/summer do the installs and either (A) rattle-can the paint job, with sanding and clear coats or (B) take the tins to a body shop to have them all painted.

Thanks,

-John

2016 Vaquero (mostly stock)
2005 VN800B Bobber (Blue Collar Bobbers kits)
1979 KZ650SR
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 10:05 PM
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Ok so im converting my 800 into a bobber and ive found the best way and cheapest way is to do alot of it yourself. I painted my gas tank and changed out my handle bars and grips.I bought the solo spring seat for like 60 bucks and the vertical tail light mount for around 40. I dont like the seat its too small for my but so im in the process of making a custom seat out of 12 gauge cold roll sheet metal. Also i took the rear fender of and have some more sheet metal coming so i can make a custom half fender. So pretty much the worst part is the time its going to take you to do it but the payoff of it being your own and looking the way you want is greater than that imo . Also its hard to find bobber exhaust so buy a custom exhaust kit miter and weld it to how you want it to look if possible. So far mine i coming out fairly decent.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alviar67 View Post
Ok so im converting my 800 into a bobber and ive found the best way and cheapest way is to do alot of it yourself. I painted my gas tank and changed out my handle bars and grips.I bought the solo spring seat for like 60 bucks and the vertical tail light mount for around 40. I dont like the seat its too small for my but so im in the process of making a custom seat out of 12 gauge cold roll sheet metal. Also i took the rear fender of and have some more sheet metal coming so i can make a custom half fender. So pretty much the worst part is the time its going to take you to do it but the payoff of it being your own and looking the way you want is greater than that imo . Also its hard to find bobber exhaust so buy a custom exhaust kit miter and weld it to how you want it to look if possible. So far mine i coming out fairly decent.
Sounds like a sweet project!

I'd go that route, but I (A) don't have the tools or skills to use them, (B) don't have the time to fabricate, and (C) don't have the space to work (no garage). As it is, I'll be working on it here and there, and have to take my tools and parts back in the house after each working session

-John

2016 Vaquero (mostly stock)
2005 VN800B Bobber (Blue Collar Bobbers kits)
1979 KZ650SR
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 07:52 AM
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Ahhh thats understandable brother. Ive looked at the blue collar bobber conversion i don't knowuch about them. Good luck though on any route you decide to go ride safe.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 11:34 AM
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I know I've talked to you on my post. Here a few things that might help. The BCB kits is a great option for a bolt on kit, a little pricey but also comes with everything you need. You could probably get the whole kit installed in a weekend easy, with the rewiring of lights.

You'll want to side mount the license plate or fender mount is depending on if you have a rear fender at all (if you go without a rear fender you will get a rooster tail of water up you back from the smallest puddle).
Turn signals are easy as the mounting plate has a spot for them.
I personally like removing the front fender all together, but you sill get a little kick up of gravel/rocks without one (remember the water as well).
If you're going to lower the rear like i did (3 inches) two things happen. The stock kick stand is too long and the bike doesn't lean enough on mine ('00 VN800). New Vulcan 900's have a shorter kick stand than the older 800's and the touring models are even shorter. I just picked up a shorter kick stand off a 2006-later 1500-1600 model. Hopefully that helps with the lean while on the kick stand and scrapping on hard left turns. Also with lowering the rear you have to account for fender clearance. If you mount a new fender to the swing arm so it move with the tire and arm you'll be ok. Otherwise you will need to be sure you leave enough room for suspension travel or you will bottom out under the rear fender. Currently i only have about 1.5 inches between my stock rear fender and tire (not enough) but i'll be removing that and mounting a new on to the swing arm in the next couple weeks.

Hope that helps. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions, i'll give you any info i have.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NEvulcan View Post
I know I've talked to you on my post. Here a few things that might help. The BCB kits is a great option for a bolt on kit, a little pricey but also comes with everything you need. You could probably get the whole kit installed in a weekend easy, with the rewiring of lights.

You'll want to side mount the license plate or fender mount is depending on if you have a rear fender at all (if you go without a rear fender you will get a rooster tail of water up you back from the smallest puddle).
Turn signals are easy as the mounting plate has a spot for them.
I personally like removing the front fender all together, but you sill get a little kick up of gravel/rocks without one (remember the water as well).
If you're going to lower the rear like i did (3 inches) two things happen. The stock kick stand is too long and the bike doesn't lean enough on mine ('00 VN800). New Vulcan 900's have a shorter kick stand than the older 800's and the touring models are even shorter. I just picked up a shorter kick stand off a 2006-later 1500-1600 model. Hopefully that helps with the lean while on the kick stand and scrapping on hard left turns. Also with lowering the rear you have to account for fender clearance. If you mount a new fender to the swing arm so it move with the tire and arm you'll be ok. Otherwise you will need to be sure you leave enough room for suspension travel or you will bottom out under the rear fender. Currently i only have about 1.5 inches between my stock rear fender and tire (not enough) but i'll be removing that and mounting a new on to the swing arm in the next couple weeks.

Hope that helps. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions, i'll give you any info i have.
Awesome! Thanks for the help

This will be the first time I am wrenching on a bike, aside from installing driving lights on my Vaquero. I have some mechanical ability, but not a ton.

I am hoping to lower the bike some, but probably not 3". I'll still want to go around corners

Right now, the plan is:

1. Remove the windshield & saddlebags
2. Replace the floorboards with pegs
3. Replace rear fender and seat with kits from BCB (relocating license plate and lights as necessary)
4. Replace front fender with kit from BCB
5. Replace handlebars with something else

Do you know if I can swap the passenger foot pegs to the front? The bike came with floorboards on it from the previous owner, so I was thinking the rear pegs may just fit the front openings, thus saving $$$

-John

2016 Vaquero (mostly stock)
2005 VN800B Bobber (Blue Collar Bobbers kits)
1979 KZ650SR
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 12:21 PM
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Lowering the bike is actually way easier than it might seem using the scootworks kit. Its drilled so you can lower it 1,2, or 3". I just opted for the lowest. There are a couple other kits out there but this one give you the choice on how low you can go. A lot of people stay at the 2 inch drop. You don't have to modify as much from there. The only major thing is removing the rear tire to get to the shock. Everything else is nuts and bolts. You don't need to take you chain tensioners loose to get the chain off. Just remove the axel and leave them alone. You'll walk to chain off the sprocket to remove the tire.

The front pegs on the 800 are a little different (on mine). They have a spring that helps keep them down in case you drag the pegs on a turn. Since you have floor boards i'm not sure how those are mounted. I'll have to research that unless you can post a picture. From there i can see if pegs will work.

I have a set of pegs that are a direct replacement the front pegs. I was going to replace the ugly stock pegs until i found the full set of replacement controls. I'll post a picture of the pegs when i get off work today. If they work for you PM me and we'll work out a deal. They aren't going me any good sitting in a box.

Current stock:
2011 Vulcan Vaquero
2000 Vulcan Classic (800) - Bobber
1978 GS750
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NEvulcan View Post
Lowering the bike is actually way easier than it might seem using the scootworks kit. Its drilled so you can lower it 1,2, or 3". I just opted for the lowest. There are a couple other kits out there but this one give you the choice on how low you can go. A lot of people stay at the 2 inch drop. You don't have to modify as much from there. The only major thing is removing the rear tire to get to the shock. Everything else is nuts and bolts. You don't need to take you chain tensioners loose to get the chain off. Just remove the axel and leave them alone. You'll walk to chain off the sprocket to remove the tire.

The front pegs on the 800 are a little different (on mine). They have a spring that helps keep them down in case you drag the pegs on a turn. Since you have floor boards i'm not sure how those are mounted. I'll have to research that unless you can post a picture. From there i can see if pegs will work.

I have a set of pegs that are a direct replacement the front pegs. I was going to replace the ugly stock pegs until i found the full set of replacement controls. I'll post a picture of the pegs when i get off work today. If they work for you PM me and we'll work out a deal. They aren't going me any good sitting in a box.
Nice!

I have Cobra floorboards on now, and they're spring-loaded like stock pegs would be. Your front pegs may just work - my mechanic said that the floorboards are mounted where the pegs go, so it should be easy to swap 'em.

If needed, I can post a pic later in the week... with a 6-month old at home, my time is limited, and now that we're off daylight savings, it gets dark when I am riding home from work

With your help and advice, this project just got a little more fun

-John

2016 Vaquero (mostly stock)
2005 VN800B Bobber (Blue Collar Bobbers kits)
1979 KZ650SR
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 04:55 PM
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It's a 500. I spent 55 on seat and 30 on bars. Also some rattle cans of primer and paint.

Before and after.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 08:44 PM
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Here's a couple pics of the pegs I have. Let me know if your interested.
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Current stock:
2011 Vulcan Vaquero
2000 Vulcan Classic (800) - Bobber
1978 GS750
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