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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted to reach out with this question. I just bought a 2017 vulcan 900 custom with 2800 miles on it. I'm a bigger guy at 6'6'' and 350lbs. I am super detail oriented with keeping my nice things nice (and my bike is now one of my nice things). I was wondering if there is anything I need to keep an eye on maintenance wise for the vulcans. I've heard they are pretty bullet proof (compared to harleys) but Ive never had a belt driven bike and know nothing about belt tension or suspension settings or anything.

For example, I keep reading on the forum everyone sets their preload to 6 out of 7 and I believe mine is on a stock setting of 4. What are the pros/cons of doing this. I haven't bottomed it out yet so Idk. Any guidance going forward in my ownership is much appreciated!

Also, on stock tires the manuel says 40psi up front and 32 psi in rear. How much higher on that can I go? front tire seems like it needs a little more.
 

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Wanted to reach out with this question. I just bought a 2017 vulcan 900 custom with 2800 miles on it. I'm a bigger guy at 6'6'' and 350lbs. I am super detail oriented with keeping my nice things nice (and my bike is now one of my nice things). I was wondering if there is anything I need to keep an eye on maintenance wise for the vulcans. I've heard they are pretty bullet proof (compared to harleys) but Ive never had a belt driven bike and know nothing about belt tension or suspension settings or anything.

For example, I keep reading on the forum everyone sets their preload to 6 out of 7 and I believe mine is on a stock setting of 4. What are the pros/cons of doing this. I haven't bottomed it out yet so Idk. Any guidance going forward in my ownership is much appreciated!

Also, on stock tires the manuel says 40psi up front and 32 psi in rear. How much higher on that can I go? front tire seems like it needs a little more.
Once again I will stick my little experience in.
Vulcans are bullet proof compared to the Unnamed company,
K, drive belts are great, you do no have to oil them, if you did you would not have it very long, and they don't stretch, they are noisey if the rear pulley is not aligned correctly.

Suspenson Settings are something of an oddity, most people seem to think changing the preload setting changes the strength of the shock or the max load capacity it does not. My understanding is the preload only prevents the spring from rebounding all the way to max extension, going from setting 1 to setting 4 for example would reduce the amount of rebound by about 1 inch, so the rider who sits down will not feel the bike collapse under him when he places his weight on the bike but would feel solid, then the spring damping would proceed from there. If that is out in LA LA land I would love some one to splain it.

Tire pressure, DO NOT LISTEN TO THE MANUAL, do use good judgment and look at the max tire pressure on the tire, don't exceed that, by much, find the setting that you like, find a gas station with an air pump and just try different pressures until you find what you like.
However you might find little higher on the back tire better on the back and kidneys.
there is a current post going around
This one, shows the wide spread that people are happy with.

Ride Safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Once again I will stick my little experience in.
Vulcans are bullet proof compared to the Unnamed company,
K, drive belts are great, you do no have to oil them, if you did you would not have it very long, and they don't stretch, they are noisey if the rear pulley is not aligned correctly.

Suspenson Settings are something of an oddity, most people seem to think changing the preload setting changes the strength of the shock or the max load capacity it does not. My understanding is the preload only prevents the spring from rebounding all the way to max extension, going from setting 1 to setting 4 for example would reduce the amount of rebound by about 1 inch, so the rider who sits down will not feel the bike collapse under him when he places his weight on the bike but would feel solid, then the spring damping would proceed from there. If that is out in LA LA land I would love some one to splain it.

Tire pressure, DO NOT LISTEN TO THE MANUAL, do use good judgment and look at the max tire pressure on the tire, don't exceed that, by much, find the setting that you like, find a gas station with an air pump and just try different pressures until you find what you like.
However you might find little higher on the back tire better on the back and kidneys.
there is a current post going around
This one, shows the wide spread that people are happy with.

Ride Safe.
Thanks for all your replies, you are putting my mind at ease. Follow up to your reply though:

If the rear pulley is not aligned and its noisey, does that cause any issues. Aligning a rear tire/pulley is a little bit out of my wheel house (pun intended). Also, if I'm not bottoming out the suspension, do I need to adjust the suspension setting? When I sit on the bike I feel it drop a little but its nothing crazy.

Also, Ill look into that post, but higher psi on the rear seems like it would be rougher on your back and kidneys.. im intrigued. Thanks again for all the input. Im sure I'll have more questions and i appreciate all your help.
 

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Thanks for all your replies, you are putting my mind at ease. Follow up to your reply though:

If the rear pulley is not aligned and its noisey, does that cause any issues. Aligning a rear tire/pulley is a little bit out of my wheel house (pun intended). Also, if I'm not bottoming out the suspension, do I need to adjust the suspension setting? When I sit on the bike I feel it drop a little but its nothing crazy.

Also, Ill look into that post, but higher psi on the rear seems like it would be rougher on your back and kidneys.. im intrigued. Thanks again for all the input. Im sure I'll have more questions and i appreciate all your help.
Yes if the rear pulley is not aligned it will "chirp" like a flock of seagulls and drive you loco, very serious, very embarrassing to pull into a gas station and every one is looking for the flock instead of that beautiful bike. ;) Also causes a little bit of wear on the side of the belt, nothing to worry about. Also never spray any lube or silicon on the belt.
If you are not bottoming out adjusting the preload will not do anything, changing the preload will set the spring so when you sit down it does not drop. Weather you bottom out or not is really dependent on how deep a hole, or how high a traffic bump you hit and how fast you hit it. You can control that aspect to a point. I am a tiny 160 and I have bottomed out, and you know when you do it.

Like I said air pressure is up to you as to how your body handles the shocks.

Adjusting the pulley is fairly straight forward.
A Manual for the 900 is here.
tension adjustment is covered on page 51, the tension adjuster is also how you keep the pulley aligned, DO NOT LISTEN ABOUT THE HASH MARKS, the human eye is not capable of getting this part right, measure the length of the tension adjustment on both sides and ensure they are exact, 1/16 of an inch right defelection will cause the belt to rub against the pulley when it comes of the track. If your belt is quite now, don't fix it.

Hope that helps, keep the questions coming.

Ride Safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes if the rear pulley is not aligned it will "chirp" like a flock of seagulls and drive you loco, very serious, very embarrassing to pull into a gas station and every one is looking for the flock instead of that beautiful bike. ;) Also causes a little bit of wear on the side of the belt, nothing to worry about. Also never spray any lube or silicon on the belt.
If you are not bottoming out adjusting the preload will not do anything, changing the preload will set the spring so when you sit down it does not drop. Weather you bottom out or not is really dependent on how deep a hole, or how high a traffic bump you hit and how fast you hit it. You can control that aspect to a point. I am a tiny 160 and I have bottomed out, and you know when you do it.

Like I said air pressure is up to you as to how your body handles the shocks.

Adjusting the pulley is fairly straight forward.
A Manual for the 900 is here.
tension adjustment is covered on page 51, the tension adjuster is also how you keep the pulley aligned, DO NOT LISTEN ABOUT THE HASH MARKS, the human eye is not capable of getting this part right, measure the length of the tension adjustment on both sides and ensure they are exact, 1/16 of an inch right defelection will cause the belt to rub against the pulley when it comes of the track. If your belt is quite now, don't fix it.

Hope that helps, keep the questions coming.

Ride Safe.
Thank you! Yea, no seagull sounds right now so I’m not gonna mess with it at all at the risk of finding the flock inadvertently. What’s the saying… don’t go looking for what you don’t want to find. lol

thanks for the help
 

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I don't have access to a 900 manual right now, but if I remember correctly, the basic tire pressure recommendation is with a solo, 150 lb rider. At 350, alone, you about at the load limit for the bike. The manual should have a recommended psi for a fully loaded bike. I suspect it's around 40 or 42 psi (rear). If you use too low a pressure, the side walls heat up as you ride and you risk a blowout. If you run too high a pressure, the center tread of the tire wears too quickly and you'll need to replace the tires more often. Check youtube, there are videos out there that address tire pressure and all the factors to consider when making adjustments.

Stay Safe, Enjoy the Ride!
 

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For example, I keep reading on the forum everyone sets their preload to 6 out of 7 and I believe mine is on a stock setting of 4. What are the pros/cons of doing this. I haven't bottomed it out yet so Idk. Any guidance going forward in my ownership is much appreciated!
You are within 40 lbs of max rated weight of the bike. Set the preload to 7 and never look back.

Also, on stock tires the manuel says 40psi up front and 32 psi in rear. How much higher on that can I go? front tire seems like it needs a little more.
So nice to see someone actually READ the manual. That doesn't happen much nowadays..... But anyway, use what the manual says for your weight, 40 up front and 32 in the rear. I believe the max pressure listed on the sidewall of the front tire is 42. You can take it to 42 and you wont notice much difference. You are correct in the assumption that a higher rear pressure is tougher on your kidneys.

You're not going to have belt problems with this bike. If yo are going to do your own work on the bike then you will need a service manual, some basic tools, and for sure a belt tension gauge. When you get all those we can dive into belt stuff.

What city are you located in?
 

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Once again I will stick my little experience in.
Vulcans are bullet proof compared to the Unnamed company,
K, drive belts are great, you do no have to oil them, if you did you would not have it very long, and they don't stretch, they are noisey if the rear pulley is not aligned correctly.

Suspenson Settings are something of an oddity, most people seem to think changing the preload setting changes the strength of the shock or the max load capacity it does not. My understanding is the preload only prevents the spring from rebounding all the way to max extension, going from setting 1 to setting 4 for example would reduce the amount of rebound by about 1 inch, so the rider who sits down will not feel the bike collapse under him when he places his weight on the bike but would feel solid, then the spring damping would proceed from there. If that is out in LA LA land I would love some one to splain it.

Tire pressure, DO NOT LISTEN TO THE MANUAL, do use good judgment and look at the max tire pressure on the tire, don't exceed that, by much, find the setting that you like, find a gas station with an air pump and just try different pressures until you find what you like.
However you might find little higher on the back tire better on the back and kidneys.
there is a current post going around
This one, shows the wide spread that people are happy with.

Ride Safe.
A little backward on the preload. You should be worried about both bottoming and extension, but more on bottoming out. Ideally, with a rider in a normal position, you want the suspension at about 30% compressed. These suspensions have about 4 inches of travel, so with a rider and gear on the bike, you should get between 1 and 1.5 inches of squat. Preload is just that, it can effectively change the spring rate, but it will not change the compression rate or rebound rate.

Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are within 40 lbs of max rated weight of the bike. Set the preload to 7 and never look back.



So nice to see someone actually READ the manual. That doesn't happen much nowadays..... But anyway, use what the manual says for your weight, 40 up front and 32 in the rear. I believe the max pressure listed on the sidewall of the front tire is 42. You can take it to 42 and you wont notice much difference. You are correct in the assumption that a higher rear pressure is tougher on your kidneys.

You're not going to have belt problems with this bike. If yo are going to do your own work on the bike then you will need a service manual, some basic tools, and for sure a belt tension gauge. When you get all those we can dive into belt stuff.

What city are you located in?
I pulled the side panel off this morning to take a look at it and it is on the stock setting of 4, I'll prolly need one of my buddies help getting it jacked up to a 7. I went for about a 2 hour ride this morning and the front was just below 40 psi and the rear was at about 35 and it rode well. Good to know I wont have any issues with the belt, and I'm in the Lubbock area
 

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It it truly a small world I am FROM the Lubbock area also, FAR FROM the Lubbock area, very far from the Lubbock area. Voted as the Most boring town in America, by Conde Naste. You truly have my condolences. I will pray for you.

Ride Safe.
 

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It really can be easily completed with one person. I didn't even jack the bike to adjust mine.

Take care.

I pulled the side panel off this morning to take a look at it and it is on the stock setting of 4, I'll prolly need one of my buddies help getting it jacked up to a 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I put mine at 6 and it was absolutely no struggle. But sure, your situation may be different. :cool:
Dont get me wrong, I didn't give it a real try. The manual said to remove the liquid tank first and I didnt do that. I suppose that so you dont break it when turning the suspension wrench. Idk. did you have the bike jacked up. Mine was just on the kick stand. Ill give it another shot soon.
 

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I didn't actually remove the coolant tank. You can loosen that and hinge it on the frame.

I can see where it would be easier to lift the bike...I guess with my naivete I got lucky.

See this video. At 4;42 he goes through the coolant tank process.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Can someone explain to me why setting them correct preload for the rider weight is important. Because I’m not making the connection. This is how I think about it.

my current preload is set at the stock 4 and I don’t bottom out my bike and I think its comfortable. If I bump the preload up to 6 or 7 where it should be for my weight, wouldn’t that just make it a harder ride and more uncomfortable on my rear end??? So what’s the benefit???
 

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The concept is that the bike is designed to lower 1.5 to 2 inches when the driver and gear is added. The more weight you add (heavy rider, passenger, gear), the lower the bike squats, changing the geometry, thus affecting the handling. It also reduces the available travel on the shock which increased the risk of bottoming out. That said, I never found any difference when I changed the preload. For most of the time I used the OEM shock I had it set to the lowest (softest) setting and never bottomed out ,even riding 2-up (380 lbs combined). When I replaced it with a Progressive, I was able to adjust the rebound and that finally smoothed out the ride for my wife.

If you're comfortable on 4, and you're not bottoming out. You're fine. I don't think this shock setting varies enough to create serious issues for most riders.
 

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Wanted to reach out with this question. I just bought a 2017 vulcan 900 custom with 2800 miles on it. I'm a bigger guy at 6'6'' and 350lbs. I am super detail oriented with keeping my nice things nice (and my bike is now one of my nice things). I was wondering if there is anything I need to keep an eye on maintenance wise for the vulcans. I've heard they are pretty bullet proof (compared to harleys) but Ive never had a belt driven bike and know nothing about belt tension or suspension settings or anything.

For example, I keep reading on the forum everyone sets their preload to 6 out of 7 and I believe mine is on a stock setting of 4. What are the pros/cons of doing this. I haven't bottomed it out yet so Idk. Any guidance going forward in my ownership is much appreciated!

Also, on stock tires the manuel says 40psi up front and 32 psi in rear. How much higher on that can I go? front tire seems like it needs a little more.
I get the dealer to do absolutely everything on mine cause I’m not mechanically inclined. I could change the oil but while under warranty the dealer changes oil and I keep receipts
I will say Kawasaki honors the warranty.
Had a couple spots on the chrome and they replaced both exhausts no charge.
 
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