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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my Vaq on April 20th 2011 and started what has been a very rewarding, interesting and tremendous learning experience.

Except for my Kawi 600 thumper enduro all my skoots have been sportbikes since I bought my first sportbike in 1992 (ZX-11). Although my shop does primarily sportbikes we enjoy cruisers, and whenever I had the chance to test ride one after he work was done I always enjoyed that short ride.

Walkin thru the showroom in early 2011 (they make you do that to get to the parts dept) at the local dealer where I get all my OEM parts a brand new Vaquero sittin on the floor called out to me. I had not seen the Vaqueros yet and I was stopped in my tracks.

OOHHH...me likey!!!

Went to Kawi's demo weekend in early April and as they say "the rest is history" Lots has happened in that 4 years. As has been posted here LOTS od modifications to the Vaq, and more to come. Met some REALLY FINE peeps for sure, and have had the privilege to have many 1700's in my shop to "tinker' with.

My latest project was to improve the front forks, and THAT has been a fun experience. I am spoiled with the fully adjustable suspension on sportbikes and wanting to get my forks to function as good as those damper rod units could, I embarked on the latest project. Race Tech fork springs of the proper rate, Gold Valve emulators and all new internal bushings and seals. One thing is for sure, just by poppin in the stuff as per instructions DID NOT guarantee the combo was gonna work. Nosiree. So during this process I had the forks at "nice and soft but too soft for everyday ridin" to a bit too firm.

Seeing as how the Vaq is not done with ME, I decided to fabricate external preload adjusters.

New caps drilled and tapped for the adjuster bolts with a counter bore for an o-ring to prevent fork oil from blowing past the threads...



Retaining plate for the o-ring...



Machining a bolt head to my desired shape...



The final adjuster head shape...



The assembled adjuster...







And final the mileage put away last nite...



I rode 406 miles yesterday to hit that mileage mark, was a great day of ridin to end a great 4 years with the Vaq.

And as is said..."And many more"!

RACNRAY
 

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AHHHHHHHHHHH you made it.. 76K.. Congrats to the 4 yrs... look forward to seeing more stuff!
 

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And any review on the Preload adjustment?
 

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Awesome, Ray!

I've always been impressed by how much you love and tinker with that Vaquero (Even if you might defect to Indian one of these days; but I don't blame you). Now that I've got my own the love is understood! These really are special bikes. Just somethin' about 'em.

What did you end up doing about your seat, by the way? What saddle are you running? I know way way back, when you first picked it up, you weren't happy with the saddle.
 

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I have the progressive springs, and the race tech gold valve emulators in my 09 voyager.
Is this modification something you might sell??
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Awesome, Ray!

I've always been impressed by how much you love and tinker with that Vaquero (Even if you might defect to Indian one of these days; but I don't blame you). Now that I've got my own the love is understood! These really are special bikes. Just somethin' about 'em.

What did you end up doing about your seat, by the way? What saddle are you running? I know way way back, when you first picked it up, you weren't happy with the saddle.
Thank you sir...I have had a Corbin seat, I think it's called gunfighter. not perfect but seems to be the best so far.

I have the progressive springs, and the race tech gold valve emulators in my 09 voyager.
Is this modification something you might sell??
Haven't thought bout that yet, but i'll think it over.

RACNRAY
 

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Thanks Ray! Found you on Facebook, by the way. Man I wish I had your tools/skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And any review on the Preload adjustment?
I set my sag 2mm more than what I had been runnin. I do believe I need to go back in and swap out the spring in the emulator, still feels like too much high speed compression dampening.

The adjusters just sat there and did there job. I look forward to when I take a long trip and can set up the forks to be nice and cushy for hi-way ridin and then crank in the preload for the twisties.

RACNRAY
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Ray! Found you on Facebook, by the way. Man I wish I had your tools/skills.
THANK YOU SIR...but to be honest I think I have a kind of a disease, but me thinks it's one I can live with!!!

RACNRAY
 

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THANK YOU SIR...but to be honest I think I have a kind of a disease, but me thinks it's one I can live with!!!

RACNRAY
Ha!

If it comes off, or can be installed, with a socket set or a wrench, or an allen key set, or even funky 'security bolts' (those don't scare me), I'm good. If it requires cutting, welding, milling, or anything like that; then I'm way over my head. Wish I had those skills though. Every time someone on here says "Just fabricate a bracket and make it work" I'm like, "Uh, yeah right!"

If you're ever so inclined, I bet you could make a few bones off of a chrome sissy bar / luggage rack for the Vaquero. The only options are the Kawasaki quick release ($700 by the time you buy the brackets for a small, low sissy bar!), or an ugly black/skull one on eBay that.. well.. um.. LOOKS like someone made it in their garage.

Love love love my Vaquero; but definitely wish there was a larger aftermarket for it.

I'm still trying to source some stock grips to send you for the throttle mod. I haven't seen any aftermarket ones I like and, call me crazy, I like the stock ones! But I sure as heck ain't leaving the bike in the garage for a week or two :)
 

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Ha!

If it comes off, or can be installed, with a socket set or a wrench, or an allen key set, or even funky 'security bolts' (those don't scare me), I'm good. If it requires cutting, welding, milling, or anything like that; then I'm way over my head. Wish I had those skills though. Every time someone on here says "Just fabricate a bracket and make it work" I'm like, "Uh, yeah right!"

If you're ever so inclined, I bet you could make a few bones off of a chrome sissy bar / luggage rack for the Vaquero. The only options are the Kawasaki quick release ($700 by the time you buy the brackets for a small, low sissy bar!), or an ugly black/skull one on eBay that.. well.. um.. LOOKS like someone made it in their garage.

Love love love my Vaquero; but definitely wish there was a larger aftermarket for it.

I'm still trying to source some stock grips to send you for the throttle mod. I haven't seen any aftermarket ones I like and, call me crazy, I like the stock ones! But I sure as heck ain't leaving the bike in the garage for a week or two :)
Same here Roman, Ray has that vision/skill set.Passion/disease. Any one can have the tools.. it's how you use that tool to achieve the finish product..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First mod into the Vaq's fifth year...

Wrapped FP drying in front of the fan...



Before and after dyno runs...



Will have to schedule a re-map.

RACNRAY
 

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You're inching towards 100hp!

Kawi engines have a lot of potential. There are sub-1000cc V-Twins that put out more power than the 1700 (Ducati, Rotax, etc.) But it's exciting to see them 'opened up'

If a guy had a goal of 100 ft. lb at the wheel, what would he have to do? And can it be done with duals? (Not a fan of the look of the 2-into-1).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You're inching towards 100hp!

Kawi engines have a lot of potential. There are sub-1000cc V-Twins that put out more power than the 1700 (Ducati, Rotax, etc.) But it's exciting to see them 'opened up'

If a guy had a goal of 100 ft. lb at the wheel, what would he have to do? And can it be done with duals? (Not a fan of the look of the 2-into-1).
Taking a quick look thru some dyno runs I find V&H slip-ons, a BAK and proper tuning gets on the average 98-102 pnds of torque.

RACNRAY
 

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Ray, I know a guy you can schedule your dyno runs..
 

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Taking a quick look thru some dyno runs I find V&H slip-ons, a BAK and proper tuning gets on the average 98-102 pnds of torque.

RACNRAY
Sounds like a plan!

Honestly the Vaq has plenty of power. Heck, my 900 had plenty of power. It was never fast but I never wanted fast. It always made me smile! But I might want some louder pipes (louder stereo first), and if I'm gonna do that, might as well add intake and a fuel processor :) Triple digit torque would be cool!
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Hello everybody, ray i have heard and noticed that you have hel0ed many out with their wheels. I think its cool that people like to help each other when they can. Having said that i have a 1700 classic and will probably ask for help and would like to get quality advice if possible. Thanks for helping us
 

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+1 on the "thanks for the help"

Jimmy D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hello everybody, ray i have heard and noticed that you have hel0ed many out with their wheels. I think its cool that people like to help each other when they can. Having said that i have a 1700 classic and will probably ask for help and would like to get quality advice if possible. Thanks for helping us
+1 on the "thanks for the help"

Jimmy D
THANX to ALL of you too!!!

RACNRAY
 
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