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So I scooped up this '97 Kaw 88 Vulcan 1500 for $200. It runs really strong, but needs clutch work (worth a visit to the shop for that part). I've been poking around on this thing for a couple months and have finally started to get pretty close with how I'll do the final fab work.

I'm still thinking about which fender to use. I bought a blank, but the top of it is flat, I wanted round (I'm selling it if anyone is interested $80, never used or cut). so I dropped the front fender on the back (round top) and it fits the contour of the tire better. I may decide to weld a strip into the center of it to widen it and just use that, or buy a different (rounded-top) fender. But that's another $200 so we'll see. That will all be secured to the swing-arm with a short sissybar as the struts.

anyway, that's not why I'm even posting. This bike has a double backbone on it under that huge gas tank and I'm curiuos if anyone has cut that out and replaced it with a single... or will it weaken the frame to much. I'm considering getting a peanut tank and I could go two routes to mount it. a) replace the double with a single backbone, or b) cut the tunnel out of whatever tank I buy and put a wider one in. thought?
 

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awesome project!

You got a RUNNING 88 Vulcan for $200? Fantastic!

I was browsing craigslist once and found a guy who claimed to have a 'perfectly running' Goldwing GL1500. Just said he hadn't really been riding it and it was missing a couple plastic pieces, for $300. I called him right away. Dunno what I was gonna do with it but a running goldwing for $300? I'll buy it today and figure out what I want with it tomorrow LOL. But alas, he had already sold it, despite listing it 20 minutes prior. I got to talking with him though and he said "Yeah it's just been sitting, I just don't ride it anymore, figure, list it for $300 and it'll be gone today and I don't have to mess with it"

Darn!
 

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Looking good man. You should be able to cut out that double back bone & weld in a single tube. Just use a descent size pipe. Just in case you haven't heard of it. TheChopperUnderground is a good site for all things getting cut up. A lot of smart guys there. Good luck with it.
 

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Bobber Days!!!!

Been their done that aka late Fifties. The HD's had a Hinged Rear Fender, in front of the Tailight was Hinge, like a Piano Hinge. Fender was Flat, with actual dropped sides over the Tire, maybe two inches vertical. The Tires were Vintage Street Tread. Composite of the Tire center section was flat, not rounded. Solo Seat, big tank, no front fender, with the narrower but Vintage Front Tire. No Chrome, Regular Handle Bars. I saw, the pin pulled in the Fender, now we have a Vintage Bobber, minus Front Fender, Hill Climbing, and what was called Rabbit Runs were cross country, through Farms and Neighbors back yards. All organizedand with permission. No Hardtails, Street Bikes. Fenders were left off, rear had Tailight moved back up to fender above Hinge. Simpler to build today actually. Somebody build a square Hinged Fender on back. Squared off with the Hinge half left in place. VINTAGE!!!
 

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Looking good man. You should be able to cut out that double back bone & weld in a single tube. Just use a descent size pipe. Just in case you haven't heard of it. TheChopperUnderground is a good site for all things getting cut up. A lot of smart guys there. Good luck with it.
Agreed, just make sure you take good measurements. You will change the geometry of the bike if your not carefuller. If you are a good welder you wont have a prob with the rigidness/strength of the added piece. I would get a thicker wall tubing, b/c its design was two piece.:D
 

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So I scooped up this '97 Kaw 88 Vulcan 1500 for $200. It runs really strong, but ................... anyway, that's not why I'm even posting. This bike has a double backbone on it under that huge gas tank and I'm curiuos if anyone has cut that out and replaced it with a single... or will it weaken the frame to much. I'm considering getting a peanut tank and I could go two routes to mount it. a) replace the double with a single backbone, or b) cut the tunnel out of whatever tank I buy and put a wider one in. thought?
I am not familiar with this bike so could you please post some pics of the spine so I can see what you're talking about?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I haven't gotten around do the backbone part yet. I'm now considering just keeping the gas tank.

since the last update, I've fabbed a seat pan and cut a fender blank in half to take about .75" out of the middle and welded it back together. I'm just now sorting out how I want to mount both pieces. the seat will have a hinge on the front of it and I'll weld a curved pipe piece between those dog ear things so I can have the back of the seat, with a rubber stopper (shock) rest on it in the back. The fender will be mounted in two places, under the swingarm at one end, and using struts/sisstybar on the back.

here we are so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I'm debating on whether I should take my bike into a shop to change out the clutch on this bike. I'm pretty mechanically inclined so I'm not really scared of changing parts out, but I also don't want to do the job more than once.

Has anyone here had luck with a wet clutch? Is it pretty easy to replace? Do I just need a clutch "kit?" I originally tried to just bleed the line to see if it will work, but somehow I screwed that up and I think it's even worse. So any tips on bleeding the clutch line would be helpful as well.

thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah... I've stripped so much weight off that thing. I can't wait to get it put back together and open it up.
 
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