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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I went and picked up a 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom yesterday. It is a very clean bike, with the green color scheme. I have not ridden a bike this big before so have the winter to get familiar with it.

I got it for a good price and I am happy.
Supposedly the previous owner had put "a lot of money" into the bike, and specifically the engine. However, I have no way to know exactly what might have been done.
I know nothing about these Vulcans so I am not sure what someone might do to this bike to improve it.

So my questions are:
1. What might I look for?
2. What are typical modifications or upgrades?

Additionally, I want to give it a service.
Outside of an oil change. What would be on your list?

Thanks in advance,
Kevin
 

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First, give us some pictures...lots of angles...and under the seat (for fuel controller)...

Its very unlikely that "a lot of engine work was done"...to the internals anyway...could be an aftermarket intake on there...a fuel controller...pipes...we're gonna need some pictures to check it out...

Likely all fluids should be replaced...I mean "ALL" fluids...

Tires may be rotted / cracked...check the valve clearances while you're at it...

That's a start...
 

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When I first brought my "craigslist bike"... home
I found these all getting bad or replaced incorrectly the last time it was worked on

Check the brake pads front and back for plenty of "meat" left
check that the Drive belt is not banjo tight. Some deflection
The rear tension bolts are even, the rear wheel isnt cocked.

I see by your location, getting cold, so good time for some fixing if needed.
I also got 1 of these..

https://www.amazon.com/Clymer-Kawasaki-Vulcan-Classic-2006-2013/dp/B00FDWFUPK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1481167682&sr=8-2&keywords=kawasaki+vulcan+manual
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you for the replies.
Not being familiar with these, I would not be able to recognize the OEM parts or off brand parts.
I will get some pictures. I am pulling the side covers now to get a look at it.

It could use a rear tire because it is fairly worn. The front is in good condition.
I need to figure out what is a good rear tire.

Change all the fluids.
1. Oil
2. Coolant
3. Brake fluid (Front and Rear)
What else is there?

I assume there is a fuel filter too.

Thanks for the link to a manual.
I had found the factory service manual online already.
Are these books superior to that?

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here is the first few.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The next batch
 

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Lifetime Premium Bike Of The Fall Winner 2017
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Looks like new pipes and a mustang seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What are those extra wires in this photo?

 

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Get a service manual and follow the recommended maintenance based on age/mileage. I have been happy with Michelin Commander 2 tires, I run with the 170/80 which is taller and corrects the speed to within 1-2% accuracy I am also getting twice the mileage as compared to the stock Dunlop tire.

I had a problem with the primary drive pulley coming lose. I believe this is a issue with the Kawasaki assembly process, they did not use anti fretting compound in the assembly. At minimum I would check to make sure the front pulley is tight (requires removing the drive belt form the sprocket). Also the Kawi belt tension spec is very tight, suggest is be set at 7-10 mm which is more in line with other belt drive mfgs. Lots of info on the forum, just spend some time going through threads on the forum.

Overall these are good reliable, easy to service and low cost to operate bikes.

Enjoy it!

WB
 

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When I first brought my "craigslist bike"... home
I found these all getting bad or replaced incorrectly the last time it was worked on

Check the brake pads front and back for plenty of "meat" left
check that the Drive belt is not banjo tight. Some deflection
The rear tension bolts are even, the rear wheel isnt cocked.

I see by your location, getting cold, so good time for some fixing if needed.
I also got 1 of these..

https://www.amazon.com/Clymer-Kawasaki-Vulcan-Classic-2006-2013/dp/B00FDWFUPK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1481167682&sr=8-2&keywords=kawasaki+vulcan+manual
Clymer manuals are basic enough, but I have gotten some false info from them. I recommend a Factory Service Manual or both. Check Ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the advice.
I had a PDF of the Service manual but I bought an original one on Ebay today at a reasonable price. (I am not sure I have the time or patience to print out 617 pages.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I took the seat off and rubbed down with about 20 doses of leather conditioner over the weekend. It was a little dry from sitting or time. It is soft and pliable now, on the top and underneath where the rivets are.
 

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yeah, could be something to do with the turn signals since that's usually one of the first things anybody considers as it's usually an easy swap. May have picked up LED's and discovered they have a fast blink rate because he didn't put a resistor or adaptor in there and then pulled them back off because he got lazy. So lazy he had his bike impounded before he could get it fixed =D
 

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Other than the pipes, aftermarket seat and missing front turn signals, it also looks like they did a piss poor job of installing a battery tender cable using the "out of bike" battery clamps rather than the battery post install, the bike has also been debadged. Looks like the previous owner was a jack of all trades master of none .... get the bike to a dealer and have then do a front to rear check up and a full fluid service, this way you set a base line for the remainder of the bikes life.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Other than the pipes, aftermarket seat and missing front turn signals, it also looks like they did a piss poor job of installing a battery tender cable using the "out of bike" battery clamps rather than the battery post install, the bike has also been debadged. Looks like the previous owner was a jack of all trades master of none .... get the bike to a dealer and have then do a front to rear check up and a full fluid service, this way you set a base line for the remainder of the bikes life.
Hi Whiting57. Thanks for the reply.
If you mean this picture below, then it is not a battery tender setup. That is simply the leads from my battery charger. Like you, I would be terrified at anyone who would leave bare clamps like that on a battery.

My normal battery charger is a smart one with a maintainer mode. I have not yet purchased a separate one for the bike. I am not sure I really need one yet.

If you meant something else, please let me know.


I picked up the factory service manual, and a jack.
I am reading the manual and getting familiar with it before doing any actual work.

I do want to get the front turn signals back on it and will be looking out for used ones.
 

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I was referring to the clamps in the pic ... as far as a tender goes, my 9 is nine years old with the original battery still in it, it sits on a tender at all times and never an issue starting it ... a quality tender is cheaper than throwing money at a new battery every couple of years. My bikes sit in my garage over the winter months and I do not get to ride them all of the time, maybe once every 2 to 3 weeks.
 
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