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This Sunday, April 20th I will have owned my Vaq for 3 years. Being primarily a sportbike guy, I wanted and my old bones needed a break from being a 2 sportbike owner. When I walked into the dealership to get parts for my customer's skoots back in Feb 2011 there sat a red and a black Vaq.

HELLO!!! I was not aware that Kawi had come out with this skoot and to say they caught my eye is true, true enuff that every time I went to pick up parts I had to hold up my hand to block them out of my vision, darn skoots would call "hey Ray, you know you want one of us"!!! I did a demo ride on a Vaq when Kawi did it's demo weekend down here and came away saying "I can do this". 2 weeks later I bought the Vaq and the ZX-14, a wonderful phenomenal skoot was sold.

So what has happened over the last almost 3 years is lots of fun, really more so than any kinda mileage I ever put on a sportbike. Not only havin fun ridin the Vaq, but modifying it for performance and looks. And in the looks dept is what I'm focusing on this week.

I have not been too much of a fan of the looks of the front end and over time considered it too bulky lookin for my tastes. First thing was to paint the side and chin cowls with Plasti-Dip black paint which separated the red front cowl from the rest of the red up front. I liked that. But alas that was not enuff so I took on a new cosmetic project this weekend to trim and lower the front fender.

This involved making brackets to lower the front fender, getting rid of the outward flaring at the rear along with shortening the rear fender. The goal was to make the front fender a smaller visual mass and separate it from the skoot.

First was to compress the rear of the fender to remove how it is flared out...




The brackets to lower the fender 16mm...



A bracket bolted to the fender, the mounting lugs will need to be removed from the fender and machined down to accommodate the plates...



Machining the lugs down...



What I cut off the rear of the fender...



I also painted the lower back area of the fender to create more of a visual separation...



From this....



To this...



Just a subtle difference but what I was lookin for. God has graced me with the tools and machinery and a bit of an imagination to, uh, "play". I had the aircraft aluminum plate in stock and spent about $6.00 in stainless steel hardware.

On Sunday I am headin out to Café 27, there is a pinstripe guy there and gonna have it pinstriped on the back of the bags, the glove box covers, the front of the cowl and maybe the side covers. He is gonna incorporate the pin striping Kawi has next to the "Vulcan" logo on the tank in his striping along with the use of the vermilion Kawi used for the word Vulcan. I can't wait.

RACNRAY
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh...btw here is today's mileage...



My goal is to have 54,000 mls on the skoot by Sunday. Gonna do some ridin this week!!

RACNRAY
 

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It is subtle but nice looking Ray. How have you liked that Corbin seat? I am picking mine up tomorrow along with your throttle mod and Avon grips (finally). First chance I've had to get over to Niagara. After the first few rides of the season, I'm really looking forward to the throttle mod to get rid of the annoying lag. This is one of the very few things that I've found irritating about this bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is subtle but nice looking Ray. How have you liked that Corbin seat? I am picking mine up tomorrow along with your throttle mod and Avon grips (finally). First chance I've had to get over to Niagara. After the first few rides of the season, I'm really looking forward to the throttle mod to get rid of the annoying lag. This is one of the very few things that I've found irritating about this bike.
I really like the seat. Not only does it look real good on the skoot, it's purty darn comfy too.

Enjoy the new stuff on ur skoot!!

RACNRAY
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Makin a birthday present...

I am goin on a 10-11 day trip in July and wanna bring all I need (including the kitchen sink!!). I don't think the duffel bag I normally use will hold enuff, so I am ordering a nice big Saddleman adventure pack which is 14" wide by 20" long.

To accommodate this luggage I decide to make my own luggage rack to my specs and needs. All the racks I have seen for the Vaq had some aspect of the design I did not like nor want. I also had the idea that since my skoot is for dedicated solo ridin the only time I'll have the rack on is for long trips. The rack had to be big enuff to hold the luggage, and my idea was to have the rack sitting far enuff forward as to more centralize the mass on the skoot. I also wanted to be able to either use the luggage as a back rest or incorporate into the rack a back rest.

So yesterday I started the fabbing. I bought some strap steel and found some angle steel in my scrap metal collection. This was gonna be a rack on the cheap so to speak.

The front supports...



A cut down and bent to shape front support with a side rail installed...



All the side rails in place and both front support brackets, just need to fab the rear supports...





Everything is gonna be bolted together and also brazed. More fabbing today thus more pics to come...

RACNRAY
 

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Feeling guilty

Hey RACNRAY
You sure do know how to make a fellow "cowboy" rider jealous. I'm siitting at 18000 miles at 2 1/2 years and you are at 50m+! I follow your mods on the vaquero as often as I can and all I can say is..awesome.
Don't want to steal your thread but can you talk a little about lowering the Vaquero perhaps how and what may be the best way. Maybe least exspensive way. I figure in a few years(getting old) I might need to say good bye to my vaquero because of how hard it is to move it around. I can ride it just fine but getting tired of being on my toes.....if you know what I mean.
Thanks
richierich
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey RACNRAY
You sure do know how to make a fellow "cowboy" rider jealous. I'm siitting at 18000 miles at 2 1/2 years and you are at 50m+! I follow your mods on the vaquero as often as I can and all I can say is..awesome.
Don't want to steal your thread but can you talk a little about lowering the Vaquero perhaps how and what may be the best way. Maybe least exspensive way. I figure in a few years(getting old) I might need to say good bye to my vaquero because of how hard it is to move it around. I can ride it just fine but getting tired of being on my toes.....if you know what I mean.
Thanks
richierich
So many ways to lower a skoot, but a quick and simple way would be to lower the front end by raising the fork tubes up in the triple trees. On the Vaq's there is plenty of room to raise the tubes b4 they hit the handlebar, but I would suggest raising them 1/2 " first and seeing how that feels.

RACNRAY
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tadaaa!!!

Yesterday was the 20th and the 3 year anniversary. During the day's ride I hit this mileage milestone...



As I look at the time on the clock it seems to be about the same time I picked up my skoot from the dealer 3 years ago!!!

I had the pin striping done yesterday mornin. Nothing too loud or gaudy and he also highlighted the black with the same vermillion orange as used for the word Vulcan. The pics did not come out well so I'll takes more more asap.

RACNRAY
 

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I wish I was able to put that kind of mileage on my bike! But when mine hits the 3 year mark in July, I'll probably be 30,000 behind yours . . . Nicely done Ray!
 

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So Ray, did you go with the extended warranty before your 3 year anniversary?? :skywalker:
 

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So Ray, did you go with the extended warranty before your 3 year anniversary?? :skywalker:
NOPE. I warped my front rotors bout a year ago, took my dial indicator, measured the run-out, took the info to the dealer, got the rotors warrantee authorized. When the new rotors came in I took the warped ones off , took them to the dealer and exchanged them for the new ones .

Anything more happens I'll fix it myself.

RACNRAY
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Pinstripin pics

This artist comes out to Cafe 27 every weekend and does the stripin while you watch, pretty cool to see...





What I had him do was to keep somewhat with the simple pin striping Kawi has on the tank and he also suggested o hilite the black with he vermillion color used for the Vulcan on the tank.

The front cowl...



Left and right glove box lids...





And the bags...



The pics really don't do it justice, but it's not too gaudy and I like it...Happy birthday to the Vaq and I!!!

RACNRAY
 

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Ray the bike looks great. I have a friend that the same guy do some striping on his goldwing. I need to do something on the bike. Maybe a tigers head on the cowl snarling. I also need to find a good air brush artist to do the work. The tiger will pop on the green cowl.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The luggage rack is comin along.....

It ain't pretty just yet...







Added a tank bag too...



The luggage is from Saddlemen, I should be able to bring the kitchen sink!!

I am making a bottom shelf underneath for my rainsuit, that might get done by tomorrow, then pull it all apart, clean, sand, glass bead and then paint.

RACNRAY
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The rainsuit tray...





Rainsuit in place...



Takin the skoot out tonite for a shakedown ride to see how this thing works.

RACNRAY
 

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Ray, I really like your Frankenrack......

Way back in the 60's on our BMW's I would put a 18 inch square piece of one inch plywood with two pieces of conduit coming from the back corners down to the muffler nipples and used hose clamps to fasten it to the nipples. Then used clamps through the plywood and clamp it to the back rail on the seat.

That's where our rain gear and tents would sit.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ray, I really like your Frankenrack......

Way back in the 60's on our BMW's I would put a 18 inch square piece of one inch plywood with two pieces of conduit coming from the back corners down to the muffler nipples and used hose clamps to fasten it to the nipples. Then used clamps through the plywood and clamp it to the back rail on the seat.

That's where our rain gear and tents would sit.
FRANKENRACK...I LOVE IT!!! You my friend just put a name on my creation!!!

THANX...I'll be chuckling bout this all day!!!

RACNRAY
 

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1 UP for BUBBA ..lmao :D
 
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