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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Question to all

So I’ve had my 05 for less than a year, I just passed the 20k mark, since buying the bike I’ve replaced the battery, the tires, the brakes, the grips and the fork seals. All of that I pretty much consider normal maintenance. On top of that, I’ve experienced the coffee grinder syndrome, I had one of the air intakes get loose at one point causing idling issues and lastly (the killer) my stator crapped. I’m hoping to get the bike back soon from the shop and I’m curious if there is anyone who owns this bike and has NOT had any issues? This is my first bike and I really just want to ride more than work on the bike. I get that you’ll always have to maintain any bike but curious who’s been relatively problem free.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:41 PM
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I bought mine new and had no real problems. The "coffee grinder" issue isn't really a problem and it went away for about a season when I installed a new clutch. The reason I put in the new clutch was do to a weird glitch when passing cars at high speed.(85-95 mph) there seemed to be some slippage ...which might be a problem, but only noticed it occasionally when I did that.

Bike did exibit the POOGS on the day I sold it, but new owner never had it happen to him.

But yes, most of the bikes are getting old now (2006 last model made) folks here have 1985 models still running strong, and some have had no real problems yet, so all in all the bike doesn't seem any less reliable than other models out there, the major gripe is not that the stator fails, but that it's a major PITA to replace (most other bikes it's like a 30 minute job)

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:55 PM
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I have a 2000 that I absolutely ride more than I work on. Haven't hit any major problems yet. Where about in Philadelphia are you? I lived up by the museum just north of Spring Garden near 20 for quite a few years. Great city.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 02:41 PM
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I've been riding a 2004 for three years and have only had to replace the battery shortly after buying to fix a hard-start.

1992 US-nonCA * tuxedo mod * r/r relocated

Vulcan slang for newcomers
Service Manual Download
Wiring Diagram + annotations * still undergoing revisions, but still more useful than the generic one. Let me know if you find mistakes or think something additional should be added
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, that’s good news overall. Grabbing a wrench once in a while doesn’t scare me off but I’d rather hear the wind noise instead of the tick of a ratchet lol. The feedback is always appreciated. Just got the call that the bike is done so luckily I’ll hear a little of that wind noise today before the next round of storms.

And to MMMotorcyle, I’m down by the stadium area in South Philly, the land of no garages.

Mike
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 03:30 PM
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When I bought mine, it had the usual problems. I fixed all those before the first ride, and it's been mostly trouble-free since. Just one clogged pilot jet and the start button issue (JB relay) which led to the Two-Wire mod.

Just about everything else was only the items I chose to add.

Didn't see the inside of the carbs until the third or fourth year, but did the earshave before the first ride.

Right off the bat it got: earshave, coasters, stator, R/R, Blue Wire mod, battery, tires, and spline lube. Pretty sure that's everything.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 04:10 PM
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The Vulcan 750 has several known issues. Most can be fixed and stay fixed.

1. Final drive splines. The final drive splines were apparently not lubed at the factory. If you wait until the maintenance schedule recommends lubing them, there will be some damage. If you don't lube them at all, the rear drive unit will be destroyed. And decent used ones seem to be drying up.

2. Cam chain tensioners. The oem cam chain tensioner design is defective. You can replace them with oem units, which last around 10,000-12,000 miles, and then have to be replaced, or you can replace them with TOC manual units and be done with it.

3. The POOGS problem is caused by improper gas tank venting, which is caused by the emissions crap. Remove ALL the emissions crap, and make sure the tank is vented to the atmosphere, and it will go away permanently. If you have a CA tank (and CA bikes were sold all over the country) with 2 fittings at the rear of the tank, attach hoses to both of them, and run them through the holes in the frame and down under the bike. Leave them open. If the vent should fail, the other one will function as a vent.

4. The 3 wires from the stator have bullet connectors in them between the stator and the R/R. These tend to get loose, develop high resistance, get hot, and burn the wires around the connectors. I soldered mine and used heat shrink tubing on them. I believe this may have something to do with stator failure.

5. Stator failure. I really don't know if the Vulcan 750 is more prone to stator failure than other bikes, but when the stator does fail, the only right way to replace it is to pull the engine. So it is a major issue when it happens, and it is one thing that there is no known permanent fix for. TOC used to make a 2 piece left side engine cover which allowed the stator to be replaced without pulling the engine, but it cost a fortune, and required pulling the engine to install. I DO NOT recommend the "tuxedo mod" under any circumstances. You are literally dumping metal shavings into the engine.

6. Balancer dampers. The gear driven counterbalance has rubber dampers that tend to deteriorate over time. When the fail, they allow the balancer assembly to cut right through the engine case. They are not expensive, and should be replaced when you have to replace the stator, or any time you hear a grinding noise coming from the left front of the engine. Replacing them also requires pulling the engine.

7. The "coffee grinder issue" This makes a loud noise and causes the clutch to be very grabby. I have encountered it a couple of times. I found that it does not happen if the engine is properly warmed up and the clutch is freed up before releasing the clutch in gear with the engine running. I have found that the Vulcan 750 clutch tends to stick even overnight. I put the bike in gear, pull in the clutch, and rock it back and forth to free it. You can also put it in gear, and start it with the clutch pulled in, but be prepared for a lurch forward.

8. The R/R and junction box. There may or may not be an issue with these parts. Some claim that they can contribute to stator failure. I have put around 180,000 miles on 2 Vulcan 750s, both bought new, and while I did have to replace one stator, I never replaced either of these parts.

9. Tool box door. Not a big deal, but annoying. The tool box door on the backrest was designed to break. I can't believe Kawasaki designed it like they did. Mine broke, I got a new one, and never used it after that. I have the extended backrest, and use the seat with the bolts removed. The front tang and pad on the extended backrest hold the seat securely in place.

10. The shifter linkage. Early models had a defective shifter linkage that could fail at any time. It was changed after the first or second model year. But there is still an issue with the shifter. If the bike is dropped on the left side, and the shifter hits the ground/street/driveway, it can break the retainer clip and allow the shifter shaft to slide in and out. They did not put anything solid behind the shaft inside the engine to prevent this from happening. Fixing it right means splitting the cases, bu8t there is a way to0 rig it, by putting a spacer on the shift shaft between the shift pedal and engine case to prevent it from moving it in and out.

11. Hard starting and starting on one cylinder. The Vulcan 750 has always had a starting issue. Nobody seems to know why. Sometimes it will start right up, sometimes it takes a while to get it started. On both mine I've also had problems with them starting on one cylinder. The other cylinder eventually kicks in, but it can be annoying. This seems to happen after the bike has been sitting for a while. The petcock and some carburetor parts can be damaged by ethanol gas. I just discovered the petcock is leaking on my recently acquired 1997.

The Vulcan 750 is by no means perfect. Just because all these issues (and probably some I forgot about) exist, that doesn't mean you are going to encounter all of them. I believe it is seriously over complicated, with about twice the engine parts it actually needs. But that may well be the reason it runs and rides so well. When all is right, it is a magic carpet ride. It can take you across town or across the country, with plenty of performance and comfort. It is a perfect solo touring bike. I have had 2 Harleys, and currently have a Sportster 1200. It's wonderful for shorter rides, but the vibration and noise, the very things that make it so much fun to ride, become tiring on long rides. The Vulcan 750 never does. After my second Vulcan 750 bit the dust after 108,000 miles about 2 1/2 years ago, I recently went and bought a nice used one. Despite all of it's issues, it is still a wonderful bike.
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1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmart View Post
Alright, thatís good news overall. Grabbing a wrench once in a while doesnít scare me off but Iíd rather hear the wind noise instead of the tick of a ratchet lol. The feedback is always appreciated. Just got the call that the bike is done so luckily Iíll hear a little of that wind noise today before the next round of storms.

And to MMMotorcyle, Iím down by the stadium area in South Philly, the land of no garages.

Mike
No garages for miles man. I tore my vulcan down under an awning in my back yard and worked on it all winter that way. Fortunately I lived in a semi-detached house on Mt. Vernon. I could get my bike through just barely. Parked on the sidewalk. I did, and do have a nice basement to clean up parts and repair things. Still no garage.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VN750Rider/Jerry View Post
The Vulcan 750 has several known issues. Most can be fixed and stay fixed.

1. Final drive splines. The final drive splines were apparently not lubed at the factory. If you wait until the maintenance schedule recommends lubing them, there will be some damage. If you don't lube them at all, the rear drive unit will be destroyed. And decent used ones seem to be drying up.

2. Cam chain tensioners. The oem cam chain tensioner design is defective. You can replace them with oem units, which last around 10,000-12,000 miles, and then have to be replaced, or you can replace them with TOC manual units and be done with it.

3. The POOGS problem is caused by improper gas tank venting, which is caused by the emissions crap. Remove ALL the emissions crap, and make sure the tank is vented to the atmosphere, and it will go away permanently. If you have a CA tank (and CA bikes were sold all over the country) with 2 fittings at the rear of the tank, attach hoses to both of them, and run them through the holes in the frame and down under the bike. Leave them open. If the vent should fail, the other one will function as a vent.

4. The 3 wires from the stator have bullet connectors in them between the stator and the R/R. These tend to get loose, develop high resistance, get hot, and burn the wires around the connectors. I soldered mine and used heat shrink tubing on them. I believe this may have something to do with stator failure.

5. Stator failure. I really don't know if the Vulcan 750 is more prone to stator failure than other bikes, but when the stator does fail, the only right way to replace it is to pull the engine. So it is a major issue when it happens, and it is one thing that there is no known permanent fix for. TOC used to make a 2 piece left side engine cover which allowed the stator to be replaced without pulling the engine, but it cost a fortune, and required pulling the engine to install. I DO NOT recommend the "tuxedo mod" under any circumstances. You are literally dumping metal shavings into the engine.

6. Balancer dampers. The gear driven counterbalance has rubber dampers that tend to deteriorate over time. When the fail, they allow the balancer assembly to cut right through the engine case. They are not expensive, and should be replaced when you have to replace the stator, or any time you hear a grinding noise coming from the left front of the engine. Replacing them also requires pulling the engine.

7. The "coffee grinder issue" This makes a loud noise and causes the clutch to be very grabby. I have encountered it a couple of times. I found that it does not happen if the engine is properly warmed up and the clutch is freed up before releasing the clutch in gear with the engine running. I have found that the Vulcan 750 clutch tends to stick even overnight. I put the bike in gear, pull in the clutch, and rock it back and forth to free it. You can also put it in gear, and start it with the clutch pulled in, but be prepared for a lurch forward.

8. The R/R and junction box. There may or may not be an issue with these parts. Some claim that they can contribute to stator failure. I have put around 180,000 miles on 2 Vulcan 750s, both bought new, and while I did have to replace one stator, I never replaced either of these parts.

9. Tool box door. Not a big deal, but annoying. The tool box door on the backrest was designed to break. I can't believe Kawasaki designed it like they did. Mine broke, I got a new one, and never used it after that. I have the extended backrest, and use the seat with the bolts removed. The front tang and pad on the extended backrest hold the seat securely in place.

10. The shifter linkage. Early models had a defective shifter linkage that could fail at any time. It was changed after the first or second model year. But there is still an issue with the shifter. If the bike is dropped on the left side, and the shifter hits the ground/street/driveway, it can break the retainer clip and allow the shifter shaft to slide in and out. They did not put anything solid behind the shaft inside the engine to prevent this from happening. Fixing it right means splitting the cases, bu8t there is a way to0 rig it, by putting a spacer on the shift shaft between the shift pedal and engine case to prevent it from moving it in and out.

11. Hard starting and starting on one cylinder. The Vulcan 750 has always had a starting issue. Nobody seems to know why. Sometimes it will start right up, sometimes it takes a while to get it started. On both mine I've also had problems with them starting on one cylinder. The other cylinder eventually kicks in, but it can be annoying. This seems to happen after the bike has been sitting for a while. The petcock and some carburetor parts can be damaged by ethanol gas. I just discovered the petcock is leaking on my recently acquired 1997.

The Vulcan 750 is by no means perfect. Just because all these issues (and probably some I forgot about) exist, that doesn't mean you are going to encounter all of them. I believe it is seriously over complicated, with about twice the engine parts it actually needs. But that may well be the reason it runs and rides so well. When all is right, it is a magic carpet ride. It can take you across town or across the country, with plenty of performance and comfort. It is a perfect solo touring bike. I have had 2 Harleys, and currently have a Sportster 1200. It's wonderful for shorter rides, but the vibration and noise, the very things that make it so much fun to ride, become tiring on long rides. The Vulcan 750 never does. After my second Vulcan 750 bit the dust after 108,000 miles about 2 1/2 years ago, I recently went and bought a nice used one. Despite all of it's issues, it is still a wonderful bike.

Well I knocked the big one off the list (#5). That cost me 3 weeks and good chunk of $$, I saw that TOC plate and thought that was a really great idea but last I checked it was about $400, if this stator lasts another 20k or more then hopefully by then I’ll have another bike to ride while deciding to fix it again or not
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmart View Post
Alright, that’s good news overall. Grabbing a wrench once in a while doesn’t scare me off but I’d rather hear the wind noise instead of the tick of a ratchet lol. The feedback is always appreciated. Just got the call that the bike is done so luckily I’ll hear a little of that wind noise today before the next round of storms.

And to MMMotorcyle, I’m down by the stadium area in South Philly, the land of no garages.

Mike
No garages for miles man. I tore my vulcan down under an awning in my back yard and worked on it all winter that way. Fortunately I lived in a semi-detached house on Mt. Vernon. I could get my bike through just barely. Parked on the sidewalk. I did, and do have a nice basement to clean up parts and repair things. Still no garage.
You’re doing better than me, I can’t even get the bike in the back yard. There’s a narrow alley behind the houses and even if I got it through the yards are raised about a foot up from the alley. Doesn’t mean we won’t try come next winter lol
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