Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey, Folks,
I have an '03 1600 classic with 48K on her and am experiencing some issues I think are age related, as opposed to being mile related.

First, I am constantly refilling the coolant system. This most recent time, there was a leak at the fan switching unit at the bottom of the radiator. So, now I want to test that switch to see if it still works, or if I need to replace it again. Also, is there supposed to be a washer or gasket on it as it goes back together?

Secondly, I keep popping the headlight fuse. This summer, (June, 2016) I started using a 15 amp fuse and only popped that once or twice during the summer. I have checked all the wiring I can get to and not found any wear through or burns. All wires are covered where they rub against metal, and headlight bulb is new. I replaced the bulb first, (last year) to see if that was the problem, it made no difference.

Thirdly, I'm getting a bit of slippage in the clutch plates again. I replaced them at 30K, and I'm expecting them to last a bit longer than 18K miles. Should I replace them and get new clutch plate coil springs as well?

Fourthly....is there a way to route a radiator fill hose and cap out to the front of the gas tank so you can access it without taking off the gas tank each time?

Thanks for your input and advice. I am open to helpful comments, but I've had guys tell me their war stories about a bike that is not a Vulcan 1600, and was built in the 1960's....of course that info did not help. Please understand I am handy with a wrench and know how to read the repair manual.

BOTM Winner, December 2016
326 Posts
Hey Ivan,
I can't address all of your issues, however, for the headlight issue I would suspect the headlamp plug itself...
You can buy a pigtail lead or extension with a ceramic plug on one end on eBay, remove the stock plug and replace it/splice it onto the wiring harness...
That plug gets plenty hot especially in the summer...
Made of plastic so it's likely the culprit...

As for relocating the radiator cap, that is only used when draining/filling the system so why bother...
Just my opinion...

Washers and heat resistant Teflon tape are your friend when it comes to sealing leaks on plumbing fixtures...
Your machine may be "eating" coolant which may indicate an internal gasket failure...

The clutch slippage is hopefully not from the use of automotive oil in your engine...
If so, drain it pronto and install some Valvoline 4T 10w-40 MOTORCYCLE oil along with a Purolator Pure One PL14610...
The slightly larger oil filter will allow you to add a little more oil, use the sight glass for proper filling...
Probably around 4 qts instead of the 3.7 with the standard size filter, but once again use your sight glass...

Your '03 uses a different clutch spring than the Meanies so get you one of their clutch springs and maybe a set of Judge's washers to boot, that will take care of it...
Later versions of the 1600 like my '05 was switched to the Meanie clutch spring by Maw Kaw...

Others have switched to the Barnett clutch spring but from what I have heard it's a bit too strong and may stress the hydraulic system unnecessarily ...

Merry Christmas !!!

14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

Thanks for the info. It is all helpful. As for the antifreeze issue, maybe the consumption will stop once I get the joints sealed. LOL I do have Teflon tape and will use it.

All the other items I am printing up so I can remember them when I start putting her back together in a couple of months.

Once again, thank you very much for your insight and help.

1 - 3 of 3 Posts