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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at a 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom with only 500 miles. I've ridden bikes for 40 years and understand most of the basics about how to inspect a bike for usage/abuse/etc...

What I need to know is whether there is anything specific about this Vulcan 900 I should be looking for - model; year; mods; design problems; common failure modes; etc..?

Thanks
 

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Look for any sign that the bike has been dropped, IE scrapes on pegs, bar ends, signals. As you are experienced you will know what i mean, a 500 mile bike should have no mechanical issues, my biggest question would be if it was traded on something else of if sold privately ... why ... i get the traded for another bike, i have done that myself with 12 miles on a bike ... sold private adds more questions IMHO Has the bike been just sitting or was it just ridden lightly. Bikes that sit for a couple of years could have battery issues if not on a battery tender ... was it a non current model that was recently purchased ... check the inside of the tank for rust, if the bike was stored and not filled at the time condensation may have caused issues along with stale fuel thru out the FI / Fuel system. Also check the tires for cracks ... my 4 wheeler is an 08, 25,000 miles and i have cracks everywhere on the side walls of the tires.

Here in Canada all bikes have to be certified by a mechanic at the point of registration, its done by a dealer, and its a good time to have it all checked out. If you do proceed, change all the fluids and filters and establish a service time line for your self.

The rest is all general maintenance issues to will pertain to any bike over time and are well featured on this forum

Good luck on what ever you decide.
 

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BOTM Winner, December 2013
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Here in Canada all bikes have to be certified by a mechanic at the point of registration, .

that is the case for most provinces....except newfoundland....no inspections on bikes ever.....and in alberta AFAIK only if the bike is from out of province...
 

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that is the case for most provinces....except newfoundland....no inspections on bikes ever.....and in alberta AFAIK only if the bike is from out of province...
your right ... but then, out that way ... dont they do things just a little different anyway ....:D
 

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I know it is fairly new but you will want to know if it has been exposed to the environment.

Check gas tank for any rust. Take seat off and if owner lets your(easy to do), remove toolkit and inspect battery cables. Check tires for imperfections including tire rot. Check all controls, brakes, lights, and then check oil level.

I did not know that these bikes did not have a dip stick. Get owner to show you how to check.

My bike had only 1700 miles on it but I did notice some bolts and screws with oxidation yet this bike was in pristine condition. My previous bike, Honda, did not have these type screws and bolts so this was not an issue.

The guy I bought it from did not want me to drive it. I gave him envelope with cash and he let me ride it.
 

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I'd be looking for signs of bad gas in the fuel system. If it's sat for long, gas turns to varnish and other nasty stuff. Does it start easily? Idle smoothly? Any hesitation... that sort of thing.

Look close for weather checking on the tires as well, seems to happen when they sit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for the input. Any known Vulcan 900 specific issues to be concerned with?
 

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Thanks everyone for the input. Any known Vulcan 900 specific issues to be concerned with?
I bought my 09 900 with 1200 miles about a month ago. I bought it from the second owner of the bike so I checked it out extra good. Everything looked in perfect condition, it rode and shifted good. I did notice the front fender was crooked when you look at it straight on compared to the tire. After noticing the fender I checked the bike out more carfully for scratches and repainting or anything bent. I found nothing. After joining this forum and seeing the same crooked fender on a brand new 2012 at the dealer, I found out that this is just normal for this model.
I did straighten mine, it was off by alot.
So don't worry about a crooked front fender. Now if it has a crooked rear walk away.
 

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Ok so I haven't read everyone's post on this but here's my 2 cents no tax!
Look at every Vulcan 900 you find even if it has been dropped. You can use any and all damage to negotiate a better price. Just make sure the engine and frame are good. You can find all the replacement parts you need on line. Fenders, lights and other parts are cheap. If the gas tank is messed up that's ok you can find one used or new from $50-350. If you go to a dealer negotiate hard they obviously want to steer you towards a new one. Also get the iPhone app cycle trader you can find all kinds of bikes near you.
Best of luck keep us posted!
Oh and don't get suckered!!!
We're here for you


Sent by Lordz of Fire!
 

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Thanks everyone for the input. Any known Vulcan 900 specific issues to be concerned with?
Check the grease zerks underneath and just forward of the rear tire. There's a sticky on the subject. They tend to break off.
 

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I struggle using front wheel lock. I struggle with locking gas cap. The bolts and screws have no protection (like chrome) and can show oxidation if you do not add protection over a period of time. When the fan comes on, it's pretty loud compared to my ex-Honda. Kinda surprised 1st time heard it. It is a 600lbs bike so sort of hard to push back into a garage. Mine came debaffled and turning idle up does away with most of the popping but I do not care for the high speed idle so may attempt marbling after doing more research on the effects.

I do not care for the shape of the handle bars. They of course serve a purpose but look cheap for some reason(at least to me). I have no clue(yet) why it looks like it has 2 air filter covers. I'm no mechanic! I'm not crazy about the chrome vulcan emblems on gas tank. Not crazy about location of reflectors. The 2-up addition to the stock seat looks like a waste of time.

I don't care for all the plastic chrome wish it were metal instead.

However... I absolutely love this bike and so glad I bought it.
 

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Hey there;

The stators are known to fail on these. If it's making a whining sound at idle, or not outputting the proper charging voltage, I wouldn't buy it without either a severe discount for the work involved in changing it (It's not that hard, but the dealer wants a cool grand to do it if you don't wanna do it yourself). Or having them replace it.

Other than that, check the grease zerks, and ask questions about storage. I am MORE worried with low-mileage bikes. Fluids don't get changed, it gets neglected, you end up with a lot of worn out parts that broke down from poor storage. I've seen real basket cases from bikes that sat alot, ran great at time of sale, then a few months of riding reveals every leak and problem you can imagine.

A tell tale sign would be the front brake master cylinder, it's got a little window there. The fluid on a bike with 500 miles shouldn't be very discolored, if the fluid is black, then it was probably exposed to a LOT of moisture in it's life. That's not necessarily a deal breaker, but it can be an indicator of how well it's been stored.

Find out why it's only got 500 miles. If it was a trade in the dealer couldn't sell? Then it's a great deal! If it's a bike a guy thought he wanted (mid life Crisis) but didn't actually end up wanting...then it could have been very neglected.

Otherwise, as others have said, check the grease zerks underneath and check the charging voltage. Enjoy the bike!
 

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I struggle using front wheel lock. I struggle with locking gas cap. The bolts and screws have no protection (like chrome) and can show oxidation if you do not add protection over a period of time. When the fan comes on, it's pretty loud compared to my ex-Honda. Kinda surprised 1st time heard it. It is a 600lbs bike so sort of hard to push back into a garage. Mine came debaffled and turning idle up does away with most of the popping but I do not care for the high speed idle so may attempt marbling after doing more research on the effects.

I do not care for the shape of the handle bars. They of course serve a purpose but look cheap for some reason(at least to me). I have no clue(yet) why it looks like it has 2 air filter covers. I'm no mechanic! I'm not crazy about the chrome vulcan emblems on gas tank. Not crazy about location of reflectors. The 2-up addition to the stock seat looks like a waste of time.

I don't care for all the plastic chrome wish it were metal instead.

However... I absolutely love this bike and so glad I bought it.
You'll get used to the wheel lock and gas cap. Took me a while too, I'm a pro now! Read my tips I gave you for those in the other thread. They work I promise!

The 'other air filter cover' covers the ignition. Kind of neat, I think, makes it look nice and clean!

They do the same thing with the primary cover, and having a similar cover on the other side meant for the alternator and front pulley. It's unique and sharp looking, but confuses a lot of other V-Twin guys... they wanna know if that thing has two primaries :eek:

Of course I tell them it does. No way one primary can handle all that awesome. Hehehe.
 
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