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58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well the title says it all. I see many new members and unretired riders buying used Vulcan 800s just as I did myself.

I thought I'd share some of the maintenance I've done and things I've found since I purchased mine just roughly 2 months ago now.

When I got the bike the man I purchased it from told me some areas that he would check on next but he had done a few things to it before I bought it.

About 3 weeks into owning it I decided to do some maintenance so I would know that A) they had been done and B) when they were done. This way I could track when it all needed to be done again.

In one weekend I decided to tackle several things at once. I started off by doing the valve clearance check and did indeed find i believe 3 maybe 4 that were slightly out of tolerance. I used the Hot Cams shim kit and made the proper adjustments as stated in the maintenance and service manual.
Once I got that done I moved on and did a fresh oil change, oil filter as well as flushed and refilled the radiator.

Things were great, bike was running great and I enjoyed it for about 3 weeks before I had a minor issue start. The bike started flooding (fuel running out the carb at idle) I read what I could about it here on the forum and decided the carburetor probably needed a good cleaning and rebuild. Lord knows when or if it had ever been touched before. I ordered two different rebuild kits (one that had diaphragms and one that didn't). While I was waiting I wanted to enjoy the bike so I did the good ole tap on the float bowl area with a screw driver and sure enough it fixed it.

i enjoyed riding the bike for a a couple weeks. The rebuild kits arrived but figured I wouldn't open it up unless it gave me troubles again. Sure enough two days ago it flooded again. So I figured it was time.

Today I opened up the carburetor and boyyyy ohhh boyyyy am I glad I did. First off the carb was black and looked like it had never been removed and it cleaned. So first off with some carb cleaner and brake clean I cleaned the outside really well. Now I have a nice silver aluminum again. Then I opened the float bowl area..... Shewwww, some crud in the bottom and around the gasket. Took a while to get it all cleaned up. Used my spray cleaners, tooth brush and q-tips. Replaced what needed to be replaced and cleaned everything I could as I had a carb clean kit with different size cleaning rods for clearing jets and such. Before I closed it up I decided to open the top diaphragm and plunger/needle area and other side areas such as the accelerator pump. Those areas weren't too bad, had a small amount of crud so cleaned everything up.
however, upon opening up the accelerator pump chamber I discovered the diaphragm was indeed torn as well. So cleaned up that area and replaced the diaphragm and reinstalled everything and put it back together.

Before reinstalling the carburetor, I thought to myself, although my tank doesn't look rusty inside I couldn't help but wonder where that crud came from. So before putting it back in I decided to install a in-line fuel filter in hopes of this helping keep crud from getting back in there. I picked up a metal Wix 5/16 inline filter that's perfectly sized for a motorcycle (Wix p/n 33027). I wanted a metal filter since it sits between the cylinder heads for heat resistance purposes. Before cutting my my fuel line and ring coil, I covered the barb ends and sprayed some high temp black paint on the filter so it will blend in a bit better and not stand out as much.

Got everything put back together now, fired it up and no flooding issues. Took it for a test drive and operated smoothly and as it should.

I'm hoping the much needed cleaning/rebuild and fuel filter helps keep this from happening again or at least for a very long time.

I just wanted to share me experience with everyone in hopes with it helping others.
But my biggest thought and lesson here is I recommend doing all the maintenance you can to start building your own history with your motorcycle. This way you know what's been done and when it's been done.

Sorry for the long post. Just hoping to help some others as well.


6 Posts
I bought my Vulcan 900 on April 30. The owner had changed the oil and had plugs but didn't change them yet, and he was going to change the rear tire but left that to me.

I haven't had any issues because the previous owner took very good care of the bike.

I got both tires replaced, I bought E3 plugs and replaced them, had the ECU reprogrammed by Ivan, replaced the dirty air filter with a K&N filter, replaced all the lights with LED, added LED running lights. As long as I don't have any issues through summer, I will wait till winter to do a carb clean.
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