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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I am a new rider. I bought a '05 Vulcan 500 w/ 3K miles from an auto auction last Saturday. My wife and I had been looking for a starter bike for a while. Got the Vulcan for a good price and I only had to push it for a mile to get it home.... no license and no registration! :eek:

Right away I noticed some issues:
- no tank key
- milky oil
- left carb has some gummy build up on the outside of the carb case and on the bowl.

I got the tank drained and removed from the bike, just got to get it to a locksmith. The local cycle shop quoted me $350 to change the lockset, I hope a locksmith can do it for cheaper. I don't mind if the tank and the ignition keys are different.

As for the milky oil, I hope an oil change to fix it. A nine year old bike with only 3000 miles, I hope it is just old oil and not a bigger problem.

I plan on cleaning the outside of the carb and keeping an eye on it while I run a few tanks of gas through it. I would like to get my learners permit and get some miles on before winter really sets in. Maybe this winter I can rebuild the carbs.



Anyway, I read a few posts here on the forums. Plenty of useful information floating around here so I thought I would register and say hi. Look forward to conversing with everybody!

~Pard:skywalker:
 

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Welcome Pardner.

If you have an ignition key then you also have a tank key. They're the same. It only fits about halfway into the cap. Insert key, push down on key a little and turn a quarter turn clockwise. The cap should open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Should open, but doesn't. The ignition key operates the ignition smoothly, but I am unable to operate the tank, steering, and helmet lock.

I don't know if the previous owner replaced the ignition lockset... would seem kinda silly to replaced the ignition lockset and not the tank lockset.

I've tried forceful, gentle, and jiggling the key. Would be great if I didnt have to go to a locksmith.
 

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I once bought a Gold Wing with similar issues. Changed the oil and ran a heavy concentrate of Seafoam through it for 2 tanks, then premium fuel then on. Cleaned it right up. I run premium in all of my bikes with a capful of treatment for ethanol. Have not had a problem with that combination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just wanted to post an update, I got a new key made for the tank. The new key operates the tank lock smoothly and does work in the ignition but not smoothly. Both the old key and the new key have very similar cuts, but neither operate the steering lock and the helmet lock. I am assuming that the helmet lock and the steering lock have a more tumblers. The locksmith said to being in the helmet lock and he would cut the key the rest of the tumblers.

Haven't had much time to ride it much (been a little cold too :eek: ), but the new oil seems to be fine. Guess the old oil had been sitting in there a while.
 

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Seems to me those lock tumblers may require some lubrication to work correctly. Might try that before you go further with a locksmith.
 

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Just wanted to post an update, I got a new key made for the tank. The new key operates the tank lock smoothly and does work in the ignition but not smoothly. Both the old key and the new key have very similar cuts, but neither operate the steering lock and the helmet lock. I am assuming that the helmet lock and the steering lock have a more tumblers. The locksmith said to being in the helmet lock and he would cut the key the rest of the tumblers.

Haven't had much time to ride it much (been a little cold too :eek: ), but the new oil seems to be fine. Guess the old oil had been sitting in there a while.
Pardner, the steering lock is a pain in the cajones to get to operate properly even with a purrfect key. WD will help but it's still a bit of a hassle. The helmet lock in its stock location is about useless unless you like melted helmet on your exhaust pipe. Make other arrangements for securing your lid.
 

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Redfish is correct about the steering lock. I had to mess with mine multiple times to get it to operate then multiple times to "break it in" so it now operates fair. Lots of jiggling, wiggling and lubricant should help the problem.
 
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