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Discussion Starter #1
I am getting into riding again after a few years, and I found this bike on craigslist.

Its a 1991 Vulcan 500cc with 20k miles, and it looks in pretty decent shape.
I took it for a test drive, and everything sounds great on it.

No obvious leaks, belt seems fine, engine sounds smooth.
Other than that, anything I should look for?

It's a garaged bike and looks in good condition, except for a few dents in the gas tank. (quite big dents, dimpled dents on the top corners. but no leak or cracks from it, just cosmetic).

He wants $1000. Is this a decent price for the bike? I want to make sure I'm not getting ripped off.

Also, how is the 500 on the highway? it's what, 35hp?

It feels like to has some getup and go.
 

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These are great bikes. The 91 is probably 50bhp. The engine is rock solid, just make sure to check and adjust the valves regularly every 6000 miles. The carbs can sometimes be problematic if the bike has been standing, without use for sometime, so check for leaks and take off the oil filler plug and smell for traces of petrol in the crankcase.

There is also a potential weakness with the flywheel magneto. The OEM had the magnets in sections glued onto the flywheel. They are prone to coming unstuck, with potentially serious results. There is a modified version available, with the magnet all in one, which eliminates the risk.

Check the usual things, including tyres, for age as well as tread, brake lines and fluid. If you buy it, I would change the oil, coolant and brake fluid anyway, and have a look at the flywheel. Ask the owner if he has had it replaced with the modified flywheel.

I can't help with US prices. Good luck with this and let us know what you decide.
 

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$134 plus $20 shipping from ebay. Use this search text, on the UK version:

"Flywheel Magneto Kawasaki EN400 EX400 GPZ400 EN500 EX500 GPZ500 (RO3)"

Actually ships from Belgium.
 

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I wouldn't be so quick to replace the flywheel.
I've been a reader of this site since I got my 1995 three years ago. I've not read any big problems with that part. Maybe just non-US bikes have the problem.
Any way mine had 15,000 miles, ran great, and I paid $2000.
Sounds like you found a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the help guys.

I'm picking it up tomorrow. I'll post an update, and show some pictures.

There are 2 giant dents in the gas tank, any way to pop those suckers out?
 

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All models up until the change in 1996 have the flywheel with glued magnets. This is a known and well documented potential problem. I am not advocating changing the flywheel per se. However, I would definitely check its condition. If those magnets break up, they can cause a lot of damage. I was lucky with mine, I had decided to replace it anyway, but the magnets were coming loose and just about held on.

Good luck with the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All models up until the change in 1996 have the flywheel with glued magnets. This is a known and well documented potential problem. I am not advocating changing the flywheel per se. However, I would definitely check its condition. If those magnets break up, they can cause a lot of damage. I was lucky with mine, I had decided to replace it anyway, but the magnets were coming loose and just about held on.

Good luck with the bike.
How can I check the flywheel?
 

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How can I check the flywheel?
You can pull the side cover & check the 3 magnets for any looseness.If I were going to all that trouble I would get another flywheel with the one piece magnet & change it........Never have to worry about it again. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey, I got the bike, and it works great, but the only issue is there is a small pinhole in the pipe.

Is there any sealant I can use to get it to pass inspection? or do I need to weld it?
 

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Can you post a photo? It may be a drain hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Can you post a photo? It may be a drain hole.
Nvm, found the issue.

The guy before me looks like he dropped it hard on one side.
Tail like scratched all that. No frame damage though.

But looks like where he layed it down, it bent the exhaust pipe, and it got cracked at the weld.
Not a giant crack, but noticeable if you get under and look at it.

I figure I can shop for a new pipe, so I'm not worried about putting w/e on the pipe now...

I will be replacing the pipe once I get some money for it, but for the time being, to pass inspection (thats all I needed), I think im going to just put some muffler cement on it.

Would an epoxy putty (like steelstik) work better? or should I use just exhaust cement for a patch for now?


EDIT: Wasnt the drain hole btw.
 

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Epoxy putty won't last for long. You might get it past inspection but it will fail because it's not rated for the heat. I tried that trick on my CB360 and it failed after about 50 miles.
 
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