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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody I'm new here.

Here's my problem:-

I'm looking at buying a 1990 VN1500 A4 with 19000 miles on the clock. When I went to view it there was a bit of backfiring (from exhausts on deceleration) the exhaust pipes were stock. I was wondering if it was still worthwhile going to buy it as it is pretty cheap, in good condition and reasonably low mileage. I've sourced exhaust gaskets and they are pretty cheap.

Does anyone know if the 1990 vulcan has the reed valves? I was looking for coasters for the reed valves and on the site I found it said they fitted 1500 A's from 1995 onwards.

I've seen a 1997 VN1500 C4 for sale with 15000 miles on the clock with no backfire issues but it is a little pricier.

What would you guys recommend? I really like the look of the earlier one.

Thanks in advance for any light that you shed on the issue.

Steve
 

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I'd be more concerned with the 2nd gear shifting issue, the 4 speed transmission and the lack of available aftermarket accessories. In addition, a 25 year old bike that's only got 19k on it means it has sat- A LOT. How long has it sat at one time without being ridden? How has it been stored? How old are the fluids? How long has the gasoline sat in it? Are the tires more than 8 years old? Fork seals? Shaft service?

Rubber bits on these bikes can crack and rot over time with non-use. Tires too. Not trying to rain on your parade here, but just be realistic- buying an older bike with low mileage can end up costing you a lot of money as you get into it and discover age related problems. I'd inspect the rubber shaft boot for cracks, check the forks for leaks, and you will more than likely have to tear down the carbs (there are two of them) and clean them, and inspect the diaphragms and o rings. You may well have to spring for a new battery too.

In 2001 I got a 20 year old KZ750 from my brother in law for free. It had 31k on it but had sat for 8 years. It ended up costing me about 600 dollars for new carb kits, tires, cables, sprockets were worn, fork seals, battery and had to replace some wiring. Not a lot of money for a free bike, but it may be more than you want to spend if you're buying it.
 

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How cheap is cheap...? Like stated above...It all depends on any number of things...Do you have a buddy that knows what to look for you can take with you
to look it over...chances are...cleaning the carb (if needed) and closing off the
reed valves will fix that popping on decel issue...new exhaust gaskets won't hurt
it any...if they or needed...take your time and check it out good...make sure you
check to be sure it doesn't have a popping out of second gear issue...good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info

I didn't really think about all those sort of things and completely forgot that rubber perishes and cracks with age.

I guess a more thorough examination of the bike is required. I did have a test ride of it and it all seemed to do its job properly, but a quick five minute jolly on it doesn't really let you gauge much.

I guess it was a good idea to go with my gut and ask about it on here first. Rather than jump in the deep end with both feet and hope that everything was going to work out all right.

Again. Your comments are much appreciated :)

Steve
 

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I didn't really think about all those sort of things and completely forgot that rubber perishes and cracks with age.

I guess a more thorough examination of the bike is required. I did have a test ride of it and it all seemed to do its job properly, but a quick five minute jolly on it doesn't really let you gauge much.

I guess it was a good idea to go with my gut and ask about it on here first. Rather than jump in the deep end with both feet and hope that everything was going to work out all right.

Again. Your comments are much appreciated :)

Steve
howdy neighbour! which part of the island are you?

The BIG problem with the twin carb 1500;s is just that. Twin carbs. they can be very expensive to refurbish (around £25 per gasket, theres three in each carb), and an absolute bastard to get in sync afterwards. Fluid changing wont cost you much, but if the tyres are cracked around the sidewalls, theres another couple hundred euros to replace.
It all depends on your cost price. And are you sure theres no taxes on it? it could be duty free, it might not be.
 

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My 1992 only has 7K miles. I have had no seal issues what so ever, but it has always been kept inside.

Mine pops just a little during decel with both stock and Cobra slip on exhaust. Can be as simple as a carb adjustment or pipe connections having a slight leak to suck in fresh air. Check the color of the plugs and you will get an idea if you have a mixture issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info

Hey all,

Thanks for your input into my question.

I decided to go for the pricier bike and now am the proud owner of a 1997 vn1500. It's brilliant and runs a dream. I'm glad I decided to pay a bit more because the bike is in such good condition. Hoping that I can get out and about on it soon as the weather here is absolutely terrible at the moment.

Anyway, thanks again for all your advice.

Steve
 

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Hey all,

Thanks for your input into my question.

I decided to go for the pricier bike and now am the proud owner of a 1997 vn1500. It's brilliant and runs a dream. I'm glad I decided to pay a bit more because the bike is in such good condition. Hoping that I can get out and about on it soon as the weather here is absolutely terrible at the moment.

Anyway, thanks again for all your advice.

Steve
That's awesome. But keep an eye on the oil pressure light when you ride. The 1500s had the plastic oil gear until the year 2000 and up models when they replaced them with steel. The failure rate is low, about 5-8 %, but it does happen, and if it does you will only have seconds to shut it down to save the motor.
 

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I have a 1988 that just turned 30,000 miles on it. I bought it with 9,500 miles a couple of years ago. Besides a battery, which was a mess, as the new battery was actually bad and had me pulling my hair out..It has been good. Replaced the clutch spring with a Barnett, and love it. The headlight relay did go out and I did the old relay bypass with a 14 gauge wire. Been fine ever since. Other than a leaking left fork seal, it has been very reliable and trouble free considering the money I paid. It does pop and rumble some on deceleration, just reminds me of the days when we put glass packs on the cars...No big deal to me..
 

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sjvalleydave...if you can find a 6" piece of 35mm film...you can slip it into your leaking fork seal...walk it around your fork tuge a number of time...usually fork seals start leaking due to dirt build up...taking the piece of film around your fork tube will clean your seal and will reseal itself to your tube...I believe there is some youtube video on cleaning fork seals...As to you decel popping...due the simple marbling of your reed valve system should fix that issue as well...there is plenty of info on marbling the reed valve around...use the forums search bar or google it...easy fixes...good luck
 

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Thanks for the heads up about the 35 mm film deal. Never thought of or heard of that, I'll try it..as far as the reeds go, I was very aware of marbling the hoses or blocking them off, but it does not bother me one bit, I actually somewhat enjoy the snap crackle and pop..I'm old school..been riding since 1967..this is the first bike that has so many idiot devices..kick stand switch, clutch switch, neutral switch, some stupid slipper clutch crap...I really hate it, if people are that clueless, then they need to stay in their cars!!! Sorry, done with my rant
 

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For a '97, I was staggered at how much electrical stuff my 1500 has when I took the tank off! I'm half tempted to bypass a lot of it.
 
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