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I am looking to buy a 2003 1600 Vulcan at a very good price. I know the seller and a pretty honest and strait forward guy. It is burning about a quart of oil every 500 miles and has a slow oil leak. Hence his willing to sell it at such a low price. He projects that because of this it will require an engine rebuild costing about 2k. Lets say i go for it an do the rebuild. I have never owned an older bike before. (Until recently i rode a Boulevard that was less than 5 years old) What kinds of other major repairs might i anticipate in this bike other than obvious maintenance, lets say in the next 3-5 years? I don't want a money pit but i do like the bike. Other than what i told you, any major red flags to buying a bike of this age?
 

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I have a 2002 1500 Vulcan Nomad. It burns no oil and has no leaks. The bike has 29k miles on it and not sure what your friends has. If it needs an engine job, it better be a real good price.
 

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I am looking to buy a 2003 1600 Vulcan at a very good price. I know the seller and a pretty honest and strait forward guy. It is burning about a quart of oil every 500 miles and has a slow oil leak. Hence his willing to sell it at such a low price. He projects that because of this it will require an engine rebuild costing about 2k. Lets say i go for it an do the rebuild. I have never owned an older bike before. (Until recently i rode a Boulevard that was less than 5 years old) What kinds of other major repairs might i anticipate in this bike other than obvious maintenance, lets say in the next 3-5 years? I don't want a money pit but i do like the bike. Other than what i told you, any major red flags to buying a bike of this age?


My 1996 VN 1500 D1 Classic has over 250,000 kms on it and doesn't use a drop of oil.
What has he done to it?
They aren't Harleys they're not supposed to use oil.
 

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i guess that is a good question. Although i have seen other post from Vulcan owners complaining about burning oil. I will ask a mechanic about that. Have you had any other major repairs to your bike?
 

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I have a 2002 1500 Vulcan Nomad. It burns no oil and has no leaks. The bike has 29k miles on it and not sure what your friends has. If it needs an engine job, it better be a real good price.
thanks - have you had any other major engine repair issues with your bike?
 

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I own a 2003 1600 classic with 30,000 miles and no oil issues. It's a great bike with very little if any issues. Other then the stator which is a problem on several Kawasaki's, no others I'm aware of. Rather then rebuild the motor just put a used one in. Much cheaper and faster in the long run. As stated before, it better be cheap. Bought mine last year for $3800 and came with a $700 seat and V&H pipes.
 

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thanks - have you had any other major engine repair issues with your bike?


The usual plastic oil pump gear back at 32,000 kms.
I have three Vn1500s a Classic, a Nomad, and a Mean Streak , all done over 100,000 kms without a problem except the Nomad melted the alternator plugs which I replaced..
 
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thanks Gentleman
i asked the owner if is could borrow it for a week and have a local bike shop owner do a complete inspection on it. He agreed - the bike shop owner says he will not only tell me what the issues are, but if it is worth the repair - thanks guys!
 

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thanks Gentleman
i asked the owner if is could borrow it for a week and have a local bike shop owner do a complete inspection on it. He agreed - the bike shop owner says he will not only tell me what the issues are, but if it is worth the repair - thanks guys!
I'm thinking that's a lot of oil, even with a leak. I haven't heard of a Vulcan leaking oil, mines got 80000 KM on it, although maybe 10 on the motor, but the PO overheated it and it seized. But never seen one burn or leak oil to the point of a quart in 500 miles, that's like a tank and a half of gas and add a quart of oil.

I see an engine rebuild in your very near future. I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't buy a car back in the day if the cigarette lighter didn't work. Shows poor maintenance habits, and someone who has let the bike go or rode the bag off it to make it consume that volume of oil, I'd run away fast!
 

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I'm thinking that's a lot of oil, even with a leak. I haven't heard of a Vulcan leaking oil, mines got 80000 KM on it, although maybe 10 on the motor, but the PO overheated it and it seized. But never seen one burn or leak oil to the point of a quart in 500 miles, that's like a tank and a half of gas and add a quart of oil.

I see an engine rebuild in your very near future. I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't buy a car back in the day if the cigarette lighter didn't work. Shows poor maintenance habits, and someone who has let the bike go or rode the bag off it to make it consume that volume of oil, I'd run away fast!
Thanks! I appraise the input. He is letting me borrow it for a week - if nothing else i got a bike for a week!
 

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UPDATE: First, thanks for all of the input. Lots of things to note: i misunderstood the seller, it is not a 2003, rather a 2005. Also it is burning a half court of oil per 500 miles, not a full court. I took it to a very knowledgeable mechanic who spent an hour an a half inspecting the bike. The guy came highly recommended from seasoned riders who walked away from taking their bikes to dealers to go to this guy. Says the bike overall is in strong shape. The leak is a small repair, he knows exactly which seal it is coming from. The oil burn is a concern, but factoring in the value and expected repairs, he recommends i go for it. The deal is this: $2000 to be paid off over 5 years interest free. (a stand up guy that is a good friend is selling it to me) So i am going to buy it. This Tuesday i will take the bike into the shop for about $500- $600 repairs, but beyond the seal, most of it is maintenance stuff such as a new clutch. Once he has the bike that torn apart he will look at the rings to see what the best strategy is for the oil burn. Worse case scenario: because the rest of the bike is in such good condition the mechanic at worse case would change the type of oil and believes that the oil burn is most likely not going to get worse any time soon. As for type of oil, it has a standard oil in it I live in HOT florida. He wants to go to a much thicker oil to combat the heat, plus that will slow down the burn - thanks guys for the input
 

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Also, looking at the bright side, this engine has self adjusting valves.
Plus, $2000 divided by 60 monthly payments is just over $33 a month.
I don't recall you saying how many miles on it. Seems I recall engine generally needs cam chain tensioners at some point in its life.
I had an 08 1600 Nomad....It got too big for me at close to 80 years old at that time so I sold it.
Remarkable bike...Very low RPMS in top gear on the highway. It was a very solid bike.

Plastic oil gear failure only happened on the 1500 CC engine and only on the 1999 model to my knowledge.

For reference, I had a BMW K75 3 cylinder that the owner's manual said burned a quart of oil in 1500 miles as normal...
 

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41k miles

Also, looking at the bright side, this engine has self adjusting valves.
Plus, $2000 divided by 60 monthly payments is just over $33 a month.
I don't recall you saying how many miles on it. Seems I recall engine generally needs cam chain tensioners at some point in its life.
I had an 08 1600 Nomad....It got too big for me at close to 80 years old at that time so I sold it.
Remarkable bike...Very low RPMS in top gear on the highway. It was a very solid bike.

Plastic oil gear failure only happened on the 1500 CC engine and only on the 1999 model to my knowledge.

For reference, I had a BMW K75 3 cylinder that the owner's manual said burned a quart of oil in 1500 miles as normal...

it has 41k miles - thanks!
 
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