Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it's time for me to start my build thread.

I always thought bobbers looked cool, but never enough to put a lot of money into one of my own. I typically rebuild a neglected bike every winter and decided to keep an eye out for a cheap runner that could be a good bobber donor bike. My goal was to utilize blue collar bobber parts, or similar. Vulcan's quickly elevated to the top of my list as I wanted a reliable v-twin for little money (back up choice was a v-star 1100, in case anyone cares). I started watching craigslist and facebook marketplace and stumbled upon a great candidate... and it actually had the BCB seat and rear fender on her already! So for $1,200 I had a 1998 VN800A with 23k miles.

Good:
  • Starts right up
  • Previous owner seemed very mechanically inclined and had just done the valves (very well documented and spare spacers, so I actually believe he did it right)
  • Runs well
  • Stops
  • Shifts
  • All electric works (this was a big concern, more on this subject later)
  • V&H exhaust in great condition

Bad:
  • Rattle can paint on all tins in rough shape
  • Inside of gas tank is rusted to hell
  • Many of the chrome parts were sprayed with black bedliner... with a lot of overspray
  • Front brake is not fully releasing (a quick look at the caliper and I knew I would be rebuilding the caliper and the master cylinder)
  • The tires were date stamped with 2001 and had that look/feel of hard rubber (anyone that has seen 'aged' tires knows what I'm talking about, LOL!)
  • Chain is a little rusty, so chain and sprockets may be necessary
  • Remaining chrome (the stuff not sprayed) had the little corrosion specs
  • The aftermarket headlight bucket was not my style and the original parts had been sold
  • Runs well, but... she felt maybe just a tiny bit sluggish when throttle was applied. Combine that with the fact that I could not get it to backfire at all, I actually believe it might be running a little rich. Either way, carb will be coming out and cleaned. Depending on what I find I may drop a jet size, but probably just tighten up the idle mixture screw. She started up with no choke, so I'll probably start there.

I didn't get any "start" pictures, but this pic gives you an idea of my starting point. In this pic I've started removing the spray bedliner with a brass wire wheel on a drill. For some reason the bedliner on the lower forks and a few other parts would just NOT come clean, so I had to resort to orange paint remover.
Automotive tire Tire Automotive exterior Automotive lighting Automotive design
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As of today, this is what she looks like in the garage. I'll get a better pic of the forks once I finish the top triple tree.

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive fuel system
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Last update for today - The front tire/wheel. Here is what I started with, in-process, and finished. I used the citrus paint remover and then the brass wire wheel to remove the paint. After that I used mother's polish, but that really didn't improve it too much. Anyways, here's some pics...

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Bicycle tire Tread


Wheel Tire Automotive tire Locking hubs Tread
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,270 Posts
Looks like you've got your work cut out for you! Nice job on that wheel. Can't wait to see follow ups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like you've got your work cut out for you! Nice job on that wheel. Can't wait to see follow ups.
Yes, plenty to do. It keeps me busy in the winters though. :)

Here's the lower triple tree cover, the one that's under the headlight. I did use the buffing wheel on her for quite a while after the paint was removed.

Tin Beverage can Aluminum can Tin can Drinkware
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Wood stain
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have been trying to mount my new rear tire for the last two weeks... I use spoons and I've never dealt with tubes before. I punctured my first two attempts and my third tube was delivered last night so I gave it a shot... finally got that damn thing mounted without leaking air.

Wheel Tire Locking hubs Automotive tire Tread
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
I have been trying to mount my new rear tire for the last two weeks... I use spoons and I've never dealt with tubes before. I punctured my first two attempts and my third tube was delivered last night so I gave it a shot... finally got that damn thing mounted without leaking air.

View attachment 253386
I have been trying to mount my new rear tire for the last two weeks... I use spoons and I've never dealt with tubes before. I punctured my first two attempts and my third tube was delivered last night so I gave it a shot... finally got that damn thing mounted without leaking air.

View attachment 253386
I wish I had the time,patience,money and tools to do all that you've done. Good job. (y) (y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, John!

I bought enough muffler packing to do four mufflers. I took the first baffle out of the exhaust and found the packing to be in surprisingly good condition. I'm now debating even doing the second muffler, but I have the packing, so might as well???

No further updates for today. Hoping to get a bit more done this weekend. To be continued...
 

·
Registered
2009 VN900 Classic
Joined
·
227 Posts
I have been trying to mount my new rear tire for the last two weeks... I use spoons and I've never dealt with tubes before. I punctured my first two attempts and my third tube was delivered last night so I gave it a shot... finally got that damn thing mounted without leaking air.

View attachment 253386
NIght & day!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
NIght & day!
1 thing I learned from my honda 250 rebel's tubed tires,that is to say when I mounted a new front tire,is try putting some baby powder inside of the tire. It helps the tube slide around when your trying to inflate it & when trying to get the tire to seat. Also,if the weather is permitting,try leaving the tire in the sun for 1-2 hours.This will help soften the tire when your trying to get it on the rim. I hope this will help. I also hope my wording is a little more understandable & logical (For Sabre-t and others).:unsure::geek: No offense to any one,Please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Had a little time this weekend. Only thing picture worthy was putting the wheels back on her (see below). Other activities:
1. Paint removal and first coat of aluminum on rear fender.
2. Got the emblems off my donor tank.
3. Rebuilt the caliper and master cylinder. Boy, the piston in the caliper was very likely the culprit for the sticking brakes. It was nasty!

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Had a little time this weekend. Only thing picture worthy was putting the wheels back on her (see below). Other activities:
1. Paint removal and first coat of aluminum on rear fender.
2. Got the emblems off my donor tank.
3. Rebuilt the caliper and master cylinder. Boy, the piston in the caliper was very likely the culprit for the sticking brakes. It was nasty!

View attachment 253449
Had a little time this weekend. Only thing picture worthy was putting the wheels back on her (see below). Other activities:
1. Paint removal and first coat of aluminum on rear fender.
2. Got the emblems off my donor tank.
3. Rebuilt the caliper and master cylinder. Boy, the piston in the caliper was very likely the culprit for the sticking brakes. It was nasty!

View attachment 253449
Looking good.:cool:
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top