Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thru the time of ownership and all the mods I have done on the Vaq I had the desire to tackle another project, and this kinda goes waaaay back to the beginning.

Back in 2011 when the stock rr tire wore out I replaced it with a larger and also "taller" rr tire, a 180/70. I liked how that tire altered the gear ratio and the lowered engine rpm out on the hiway. Only drawback was that since the skoot was at the beginning of it's development power-wise the taller tire somewhat reduced the acceleration. Add onto that was the 7200 ml lifespan and after that tire wore out it was a search for a higher mileage tire.
The Commander 2's have given me good life, but from new to worn out the circumference of the tire changes so much that the affect is noticeable. Too much shifting in town and elevated engine rpm, specially on the hiway. I could notice the change as soon as the tire had 6000 mls, and now at 7000 with the start of a flat spot it's getting more noticeable. And irritating.

With the recent intake mods and new mapping the power and quality of power has improved noticeably and the desire to "fix" this gearing situation came to fruition. For many months I had been researching altering pulley sizes, first to a larger front pulley. That was deemed not possible to insufficient clearance around the front pulley, so a smaller rr pulley was my goal. All the 1700's use the same size, and other Kawi's had pulley sizes not within my goal of tooth count of 2-4teeth smaller.

First order was to figure out the belt situation. Did Kawi and Yami use the same style belt? Yes they did. I was gonna need a shorter belt to work with the smaller rr pulley, was that available? Yes. It was a belt listed for Harleys and with further research I found most skoots use belts with the same pitch. This was a good thing for sure and could of been a deal breaker.

I expanded my search to include other brands and found Yamaha's use a 70 tooth rr pulley, 2 teeth smaller. Since I did not want the skoot down I found a used Kawi rr pulley/pulley hub on eBay and bought it, that way I could whittle on the hub as needed without sacrificing mine. I eventually found a Yamaha pulley/hub assembly that had been taken off a new skoot that got some custom wheels. It had absolutely no wear, was basically brand new. So with a new shorter belt, a new stock front pulley, a smaller rr pulley and a spare Kawi pulley hub the fun was about to begin...

RACNRAY
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Side to side comparison of the Kawi and Yami parts, not a good start, Kawi on the rite. Amount of offset way too much on the yami part...



Comparing the hubs, another no go situation. Even tho both hubs were 6 fingers the diameters were wrong, so utilizing the yami hub was not possible.



This brought in the next aspect, different bolt patterns for the pulleys...



So the plan was gonna include the appropriate machining to fit the yami pulley to the kawi hub...and then welding it all together.

The yami pulley getting it's inner bore centered on my mill so I can bore it larger...



The beginning of the boring process...



Getting closer...



Due to the pulley teeth being offset to the hub via where the spokes attached to the pulley I was gonna have to mount the pulley "backwards" onto the hub to help make up for way too much offset in the yami pulley. Here is the machining taking away material to reduce some of the offset, which left only .190" to machine off the kawi hub...



Finished inner bore and new mounting surface...



MORE TO COME...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
2 views of the yami pulley sittin on the kawi hub...





Rough centering of the kawi hub on the rotary table...



Which made it easier and quicker to accomplish the final centering based on the original machining of the 6 stand-offs ...



Now the beginning machining of the needed .190" to arrive at the correct offset...



New mounting surface all machined and using a ball end mill to machine a chamfer around the hub's circumference for good weld penetration...



The pulley and hub glass beaded...



And set in place. You will notice how ugly it's gonna look because of the necessity to mount the yami pulley backwards on the kawi hub, exposing the inside mounting area of the yami pulley...



BUT...I gotta fix for that!!!
 

·
wocka, wocka, wocka
Joined
·
5,618 Posts
dear Franky Stein, yor like that rich kid on the block. its no fair you get all the neat toys to play with..
the rest of us have to sit in the dirt and pretend with cardboard boxes.. we got out of yor trash bin. poncho
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The whole assembly clamped together for it's trip to the welder...



And welded together...



I had the outer area welded also to increase strength...



Gonna have to make a plate to cover that ugly area, here is what I started with, painted for the contrast machining...



The basic look and using a ball end mill to chamfer the edges...



The plate with it's mounting holes drilled in and ready to be separated from the plate...



And cutting it out...



Machining the welds on the hub flat to allow the cover plate to sit properly...

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
dear Franky Stein, yor like that rich kid on the block. its no fair you get all the neat toys to play with..
the rest of us have to sit in the dirt and pretend with cardboard boxes.. we got out of yor trash bin. poncho
SORRY DUDE..I am NOT even close to being that "rich kid on the block". I have paid my dues over 38 years in the South Florida m/c industry. I have worked my ASS off doin nothing else but striving to be better. I HAVE NOT "gotten all the neat toys to play with" without tremendous debt and that above mentioned hard work.

RACNRAY
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The plate bolted down...



The whole assembly painted with PJ1 satin engine paint and baking in the South Fla sun...



Saw these kinda ugly casting dimples so I decided to machine them for more of a contrast effect...



Everything ready for install...



Installed on the wheel...



Installed on the skoot...



The rear axle now sits about 3/16" further forward and that little difference does help a bit in ease of turning.

BUT...last nites ride results and what I was lookin for has been mostly met. I can run each gear longer which equates to more mph b4 shifting, the engine is definitely turning less rpm out on the hiway, tho the speedo/odo is reading slower. Gonna ride tonite with a GPS to see what the new nmbrs are. The engine feels less "frantic" and still pulls real hard. I am happy with the results.

BEHOLD..."FRANKEN-PULLEY!!!"

RACNRAY
 

·
wocka, wocka, wocka
Joined
·
5,618 Posts
SORRY DUDE..I am NOT even close to being that "rich kid on the block". I have paid my dues over 38 years in the South Florida m/c industry. I have worked my ASS off doin nothing else but striving to be better. I HAVE NOT "gotten all the neat toys to play with" without tremendous debt and that above mentioned hard work. RACNRAY
rr, hope you know that was a joke.. most fellas can only dream of having access to all the "cool toys" machines. yes, nothing comes ez, there is no such thing as "free" unless of course yor prez is handing it out,, but then somebody had o pay for it? did not mean to rub you wrong. poncho
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
rr, hope you know that was a joke.. most fellas can only dream of having access to all the "cool toys" machines. yes, nothing comes ez, there is no such thing as "free" unless of course yor prez is handing it out,, but then somebody had o pay for it? did not mean to rub you wrong. poncho
OKEEDOKEE...thanx for the clarification.

RACNRAY
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Had to run an errand yesterday so took the GPS with me.

Previously at 3000rpm 6th gr GPS would be 78-79 mph, is now 84mph, that's great! That errand had 22.4 mls on the trip meter, GPS showed 24.1.

RACNRAY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Ray, did you change the bearing in the pulley?
If you did not, do you think the welding process (heat) could have an effect on the bearing life?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Ray, did you change the bearing in the pulley?
If you did not, do you think the welding process (heat) could have an effect on the bearing life?
The welding process would definitely compromise the integrity of the bearing, I already had a brandy new bearing just waiting to be installed after the final painting and machining.

I left the original bearing in the pulley so it would aid in keeping the bearing bore stable. It sacrificed it's life for that mission, it's now in my steel scrap box.

RACNRAY
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I now have over 500 miles more on the skoot since the pulley was installed, thoughts and observations...

At 70 mph on the speedo, GPS speed is 73.7 which is a typical cruising speed for me. It is very nice to have the engine spinning at a lower rpm at all speeds. When runnin thru the gears each gear reaches a higher mph b4 I shift so I am not shifting as often. Believe it or not what I call "torque feel" has been enhanced, and this is a "seat of the pants" thing. I can feel the engine working now and it's tellin me it's happier!!

My mpg has also increased...YEA!!! Goin into the wind Sunday mornin in 58 dg temps I averaged 39mpg, later in the day when it warmed up I got 42.something, never saw that mileage b4 when goin into the wind for long distances.

Yeah, lots of time to do this and a few $$$ also, but I have fun doin this kinda stuff and I am like the rest of u'all, always wantin to make my skoot better.

RACNRAY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
its great to see a person with the talent and access to have a play
have worked with many with the same but a shame it never rubed off on me even after trying
keep us dreaming ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
You beat me to it

Very cool Ray. I had some thoughts that I would like to find a different pulley just a bit smaller for the same reasons. Seeing what it took you to pull this off I have now put that thought entirely out of my mind. Thanks for saving me from tackling something I am truly unqualified for.

So now what do you call the Franken monster bike? KawiYama, Yamasaki, KawiStar, Royal Star Vaquero....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
its great to see a person with the talent and access to have a play
have worked with many with the same but a shame it never rubed off on me even after trying
keep us dreaming ray
THANK YOU :)

Very cool Ray. I had some thoughts that I would like to find a different pulley just a bit smaller for the same reasons. Seeing what it took you to pull this off I have now put that thought entirely out of my mind. Thanks for saving me from tackling something I am truly unqualified for.

So now what do you call the Franken monster bike? KawiYama, Yamasaki, KawiStar, Royal Star Vaquero....
There are a few tires available in the 180/70 aspect ratio. That's what I replaced the original tire with. That tire made a HUGE difference back then, more than this smaller pulley, but 7200 mls on it vs 19,000 for the commander 2. That 180/70 was a Bridgestone. I see Metzeler has the same size, dunno what kinda mileage it would get.

I have been callin the skoot a "mutt", so maybe "Franken-mutt" is appropriate?
LOL

RACNRAY
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,115 Posts
I have been callin the skoot a "mutt", so maybe "Franken-mutt" is appropriate?
LOL

RACNRAY


I'd give you a cookie if I could for that one.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Since this project was completed I have settled on the 180/70 Metzler ME880. Unfortunately it is not a high mileage tire as I only got 7100 mls outa the first on. It was not completely worn out but had flat spotted enuff to affect the handling. In it's worn out state it offered the similar overall gear ratio as a brand new Commander 2. I tried an Avon 180/70 but knew it was a mistake as soon as it was mounted on the rim as it was only 1/4" larger in circumference than the worn out Metzler and had the same gear ratio affect as the worn Metzler. It stayed on for about 400 mls and a new Metzler went back on. There is one other brand of tire that has the 180/70 but man o man it's expensive to experiment with tires.

RACNRAY
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top