License plate Mounting - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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License plate Mounting

Hey all, I was wondering if there is a relatively cheap/practical fix to what seems like would be a more common problem. Since I got my VN750 in July of last year, I have ridden quite often, love the bike, but I've got a pretty big problem with my License plate. With all the wind, it has cracked off the one corner where it bolts into the mount. I have since jerry rigged it with packing tape, but was wondering if there is a better fix/relocation I could do to prevent this issue in the future. I'm in Maryland with the mini tags, if that makes any difference. Thanks in advance for the help!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 07:43 AM
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The plates are flimsy and that part of the bike does vibrate a bit.

The solution is to first buy a licence plate frame...the kind that also has bolts on the bottom.

http://tinyurl.com/ycdqor2

Then find a yourself a piece of sheet metal and cut it to the same size as the licence plate, and drill the needed holes.

Use quality stainless steel bolts to sandwich the licence plate in between the frame and the sheet metal. If you can not find any stainless steel sheet metal be sure to paint it so it does not rust...you can also use the heavy plastic like from an old trash can.

The bolts on the bottom will help alot, if needed you can drill holes in the side of the frame to add other tags.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 10:50 AM
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I put this "grifter" license plate storage box on my VN750:




I got it online at Cruiser Customizing, you can click on the pic above for a link that will take you to their webpage selling it for $20. You use a cordless drill to punch holes in the box to line up with where you want to mount your plate on it, screw it in with the supplied screws, though I used reflector bolts I already had lying around a-plenty that look like this (in red, blue and amber) that are sold in pretty much any automotive store, and which my local motorcycle dealership handed out for free from a big bucket:



I didn't find I needed it, but for another $10 you can also put in a "Mounting/Stiffener Plate" that fits exactly with the bolt holes for this box to attach to the mounts on the bike.




NOTE: Use good Loc-Tite or other glue as directed when attaching the lock to the box, and even so, I wouldn't put anything too valuable or hard to replace in the storage box. About 6 weeks ago, I had the lock itself vibrate off leaving me with the box swinging open. Of course that was with my bike vibrating extra badly due to the bad balancer, but still, don't put house keys, driver's license or anything like that in there.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 02-05-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
I put this "grifter" license plate storage box on my VN750:




I got it online at Cruiser Customizing, you can click on the pic above for a link that will take you to their webpage selling it for $20. You use a cordless drill to punch holes in the box to line up with where you want to mount your plate on it, screw it in with the supplied screws, though I used reflector bolts I already had lying around a-plenty that look like this (in red, blue and amber) that are sold in pretty much any automotive store, and which my local motorcycle dealership handed out for free from a big bucket:



I didn't find I needed it, but for another $10 you can also put in a "Mounting/Stiffener Plate" that fits exactly with the bolt holes for this box to attach to the mounts on the bike.


mikey likes... now i need to plead with my honey to let me get one...although i know what she's going to say... "You like it so much.... BUILD IT"
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 11:30 AM
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I doubt the wind or vibration is breaking plates. What broke mine is my cover catching the plate as I pull it off. It flexes at the corner and CRACK! I'm about to add a backing plate too.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 11:43 AM
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_____________________________________________
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1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 11:45 AM
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You can get a chrome license plate frame at a bike shop for around $5. I'm pretty sure that's what I paid for one last Summer. For a couple of years before that I just used a couple of large washers under the two bolt heads and that kept the plate from tearing.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki Mon View Post
I doubt the wind or vibration is breaking plates. .



And you would be wrong. This has been a documented problem with the Vulcan 750 for a long time. Mine began to crack before I even had a cover for it.

Licence plates are made from cheap recylced alumimum. Because the stock mounting only allows one to use the top mounting holes, and there is no rubber bumpers to support the bottom (like many cars have) the bottom is free to vibrate back and forth...even if it does this ever so slightly, over time it eventually fatigues the metal enough for it to start cracking.

It usually happens right at the lower edge of the stock mount , and if not taken care of the plate has been known to completely break off.

The fix...like I and others have suggested , is to reinforce the plate with a heavier back, and/or use a frame that allows you to bolt the licence plate to the bike using the upper and lower holes found on the plate.

But if you want to blame your plates cracking on your lack of care , go right ahead.


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 12:47 PM
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I have never seen aluminum plates.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterider View Post
I have never seen aluminum plates.
Well, that is what they are made out of here in Missouri. I guess it was wrong of me to assume all states make theirs the same way.

Both the car and motorcycle plates here are light weight aluminum. Long ago they were made from steel I believe, was not aware any state still used it.

What do they use in Texas?


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