Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 2008 Nomad was completely stock from a drivetrain standpoint until this past week. After three years and 18,000 miles of riding I was never satisfied with the way that the engine ran. It was just not smooth nor was it responsive. It often felt like it was lugging and I was constantly feeling what I thought were power pulses attributable to the fact that it is a very large displacement V- twin. Prior to installing Ray's modified throttle tube I spoke with Ray on the phone about how I use the bike and what I wanted to accomplish in terms of making it run better. I have a Hannigan Astro GT sidecar on the bike and therefore I was not looking to make it into a hot rod - I just wanted it to run better and be more responsive. I was considering Vance and Hines slip ons and a PCV fuel controller along with a K&N filter. Ray told me to try his throttle tube plus the K&N filter plus drilling the exhaust before I did anything else. This past week I did all three and the difference in how the bike performs is amazing. I drilled three holes, each 3/16" diameter, in the circumference of the end cap of each muffler. The result is an engine that runs much smoother and is way more responsive to the throttle. The minimal investment in these three changes made the bike far more enjoyable to ride (and saved me a lot of money compared to what I was planning to do). Thanks Ray!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,692 Posts
I am very glad to hear of the improvements to your skoot. It is nice when we make some small and sometimes seemingly insignifiicant changes to our skoots and they turn out to be so benificial.
The more we enjoy our skoots the better our lives are, neat how that works out!!

Have fun and enjoy your skoot!!

THANX
RACNRAY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
894 Posts
So . . .Rather than drilling out the whole end cap with a hole saw, three 3/16" holes . . . never heard about that one - but - coming from Ray I may try this - How deep do you have to go? Just through the end cap? or through that and more? How does that make it sound? I take it that may also be beneficial if you are running a full air kit with stock exhaust as well . . right Ray?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,692 Posts
There is the potential for HUGE gains in power with a BAK, actually thru my dyno testing the intakes on the 1700's are FAR more restrictive than the exhaust.
If you are running a BAK on a 1700 with a stock exhaust you will never experience the full benifits of the BAK as the stock mufflers are very restrictive. Heck, De-baffling or drilling the baffle plates on a completely stock 1700 allows the engine to breath better, thus make more power, run better and cooler.

RACNRAY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Raises hand
I havea question.
Is there any particular position for the holes in the end cap? I have a K&N filter
and soon to be throttle mod other than that its stock with wrapped pipes
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I had the same question about drilling the mufflers, location of the holes, how deep and how much louder after drilling. I have the throttle mod and K&N filter, been debating what to do with the exhaust while trying to keep it quiet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I had the same question about drilling the mufflers, location of the holes, how deep and how much louder after drilling. I have the throttle mod and K&N filter, been debating what to do with the exhaust while trying to keep it quiet.
The idea for how to drill the exhaust came from a local mechanic (Todd). He started with a small drill and drilled three pilot holes, equally spaced, around the circumference of the end plate in the muffler. It was hard to start the pilot holes because of the angle of the end plate - you need to drill at a 90 degree angle to get them started, and the drill tends to wander around. He suggested not trying to center punch the metal as he was concerned it would bend. He then enlarged the holes to 3/16 inch in two steps by drilling straight into the muffler. You need to go an inch or so deep. He used a standard length drill bit (not an extended length one). The exhaust note changed very little - I like the way it sounds. The idea here is simply to tune the exhaust a bit. Todd told me that he learned that Kawasaki tunes the exhaust this way on their demonstration ride bikes, but I did not ask him where he got this information from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Roger,

I'm a little concerned that you did THREE Mods at once and are, therefore, unable to discern which of the the three had the most affect (if any).

I did the RACNRAY Mod first, and it alone made a significant difference.
I have yet to do any exhaust or intake mods as the RACNRAY mod improved my bike so much already!

Not that I doubt Ray, but I'm not convinced that simply drilling 3 very small holes in the end plates would make much difference unless you did this mod alone so that you would be able to do a proper "before and after" comparison for sound and performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Roger,

I'm a little concerned that you did THREE Mods at once and are, therefore, unable to discern which of the the three had the most affect (if any).

I did the RACNRAY Mod first, and it alone made a significant difference.
I have yet to do any exhaust or intake mods as the RACNRAY mod improved my bike so much already!

Not that I doubt Ray, but I'm not convinced that simply drilling 3 very small holes in the end plates would make much difference unless you did this mod alone so that you would be able to do a proper "before and after" comparison for sound and performance.
I did the throttle tube first. This undoubtedly made the most difference. I next drilled the exhaust and rode about 10 or 15 miles. Not much difference other than a little bit more sound. When I got home I found the K&N filter on the front porch (got it mail order). Put it in the next day and went for a longer ride. My judgement is that the throttle mod was the easily the biggest impact, K&N second, drilling the exhaust way back in third. However, I didn't expect the exhaust drilling to do much until more air was coming in thru the new filter. The bottom line is I am very happy with the results. You also have to remember that we are dealing with a system, not a series of disconnected parts and pieces. The system is the sum of its parts. I suspect that drilling the exhaust by itself probably wouldn't do anything noticeable. Check Racnray's dyno tuning thread for more detailed discussion about these three mods. He did them one at a time with dyno testing in between before he started experimenting with different exhausts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
The idea for how to drill the exhaust came from a local mechanic (Todd). He started with a small drill and drilled three pilot holes, equally spaced, around the circumference of the end plate in the muffler. It was hard to start the pilot holes because of the angle of the end plate - you need to drill at a 90 degree angle to get them started, and the drill tends to wander around. He suggested not trying to center punch the metal as he was concerned it would bend. He then enlarged the holes to 3/16 inch in two steps by drilling straight into the muffler. You need to go an inch or so deep. He used a standard length drill bit (not an extended length one). The exhaust note changed very little - I like the way it sounds. The idea here is simply to tune the exhaust a bit. Todd told me that he learned that Kawasaki tunes the exhaust this way on their demonstration ride bikes, but I did not ask him where he got this information from.
Let me display a little ignorance on mufflers here please...
I assume we are talking about the baffle plate which is located 8" or so inside the end of the muffler that gets drilled? Some guys just use a hole saw to get rid of this in each muffler also, correct? It's been a while since I stuck a tape measure in there to check the length of extension I would need if that is in fact what gets drilled or cut out. I have a 2011, don't know if current or past years basically are the same, or if most mufflers are similar in construction??
I've been considering slipons but this may give me what I'm after, basically just a little deeper, louder sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Let me display a little ignorance on mufflers here please...
I assume we are talking about the baffle plate which is located 8" or so inside the end of the muffler that gets drilled? Some guys just use a hole saw to get rid of this in each muffler also, correct? It's been a while since I stuck a tape measure in there to check the length of extension I would need if that is in fact what gets drilled or cut out. I have a 2011, don't know if current or past years basically are the same, or if most mufflers are similar in construction??
I've been considering slipons but this may give me what I'm after, basically just a little deeper, louder sound.
No, not the baffle that is inside the muffler. We are talking about the end cap at the very end of the muffler. I will take a photo later today and post it for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Oh thanks Roger, I understand where you mean now. I was a little confused here. It is the baffle that often gets cut out with a hole saw and extension though, right?

Just went out and drilled 3 holes in the end of my mufflers, thanks again for clearing that up.

I guess one could still drill out the baffle plates if they want to obtain even more flow through the exhaust in the future right and that wouldn't be going too far with it all?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
894 Posts
Almsy - Let us know what you think after drilling the holes . . .and post PICS!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Almsy - Let us know what you think after drilling the holes . . .and post PICS!
will do.

May be Friday before I get to put some miles on it, if it doesn't rain as in the forecast ---- yea right.. hasn't rained in 3 months, literally!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
From what I've heard I would also have to agree that Ray's throttle mod is the 1st key factor in the performance direction. Kinda makes you wonder what Kawa was thinking about when they designed the stock OEM throttle.

Additionally there is a video on YouTube of guy removing not only the OEM end plates, but also the baffles using a hole saw.

As I have understood this helps a bit with the big air, "but" the CAT is still in the muffler even with the baffles removed. The only way to eliminate the CAT is with new mufflers. As to how much restriction the CAT itself causes I do not know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
From what I've heard I would also have to agree that Ray's throttle mod is the 1st key factor in the performance direction.
couldn't agree more! What a difference that made. Everyone should, at least go with that if it applies to your bike.

I posted info on his mod in the 900 forum and they thought it applied to just the ride-by-wire throttle control until I sent them what RACNRAY writes "My mod is applicable to most 800, 900, 1500, 1600, 1700 and V2K Vulcans. The mod improves accelleration on all of these models, but was originally designed to cancel out the extreme lag in throttle response on the ride-by-wire 1700 Vulcans."

Told them to PM him for infromation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
558 Posts
Ray is a good guy. I've spoke with him a few times and have the throttle mod every 1700 owner should have. All new 1700 members should look through his threads. If I lived near his shop he'd get all my business without hesitation. Glad your mods increased your enjoyment of your ride!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Canadian member of Ray's Mod squad

Well in the mod is installed . Its like riding a new bike. When I hit the gas it goes like it should. No more hesitation Slow riding is easier now because throttle control is there. Ruby pulls like she should. The wrapping of the pipes helps to keep the heat off your leg
:handshake:
Ray thank you very much for your effort in making this 1700 a bike worth keeping. Now if it could loose 200 lbs

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
Well in the mod is installed . Its like riding a new bike. When I hit the gas it goes like it should. No more hesitation Slow riding is easier now because throttle control is there. . . . . . . . Ray thank you very much for your effort in making this 1700 a bike worth keeping. Now if it could loose 200 lbs Jim
Glad to hear that, I have finalized the deal on purchasing a new 1700 Nomad and after test riding it first, then reading about Ray's Throttle Mod, I know it would be 1st on my mod list for sure.

Would be nice to loose some of that weight, but that weight is "some" of what makes the Vulcans ride so nice. And that ride (and the looks) was the deciding factor in my purchase. At 62 yrs old I'm at the stage where if I ride 2 to 4 hrs at high speeds, I don't won't to climb off with my hands and back numb from vibration and rough handling suspension etc. And it was nice to actually see something in my mirrors beside a shaky image.

As for the throttle Mod, Ray is a Godsend to the problem. And really makes me think Kawa got a little bit too much tunnel vision in their quest for smooth acceleration in that area.

Ray is a good guy. I've spoke with him a few times and have the throttle mod every 1700 owner should have. All new 1700 members should look through his threads. If I lived near his shop he'd get all my business without hesitation. . . . . .
Well I'm gonna just buy his pre-done Kury ISO grips, but if I ever need anything more serious done, he's only a 3 hr ride from where I live.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,692 Posts
Without multi quoting just about this whole thread I want to express my gratitude for all of the kind words.

For over a year now since I joined this forum it has become my home, taking over my involvement with the two Florida based Sportbike forums I am involved with. Heck I sponsor both forums and have my own technical sections in both. There is nowhere the kind of comraderie in the sportbike world as what I have found here.

Tho my biz still has a higher percentage of sportbike customers who are really great peeps, but I am always looking forward to meeting more cruiser owners.

I enjoy talking to all who I have had the pleasure to speak with, and any way I can share my experience with u'all I am happy to do so.:)

So...MANY THANX to all of you for the support!!

RACNRAY
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top