Should I keep it. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Should I keep it.

Hello,
I bought a 1986 vn750. I bought it to fix and resale. Now I am considering keeping it. I have a rebel 250 now. I like it because of the fuel economy and it's lightness. I have had plenty of bigger bikes. Can anyone tell me the average fuel economy? And is it a pretty good low maintenence bike? I had to tear apart the carbs and clean them...the machine runs great now. I like the ideal that there is not a valve adj. or chain replacement. But I have to admitt it was a total nightmare taking out and putting back in the carbs! I know next time it won't be so bad. But a very poor design on the repair side of the machine. If I have to do it again I think I would ditch the bike. Are you enjoying your machine and getting long miles out of it?Thanks now for the replies.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 12:35 PM
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I would keep it. It probably wouldn't bring much anyway.
They're great bikes.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crf450rman View Post
Hello,
I bought a 1986 vn750. I bought it to fix and resale. Now I am considering keeping it. I have a rebel 250 now. I like it because of the fuel economy and it's lightness. I have had plenty of bigger bikes. Can anyone tell me the average fuel economy? And is it a pretty good low maintenence bike? I had to tear apart the carbs and clean them...the machine runs great now. I like the ideal that there is not a valve adj. or chain replacement. But I have to admitt it was a total nightmare taking out and putting back in the carbs! I know next time it won't be so bad. But a very poor design on the repair side of the machine. If I have to do it again I think I would ditch the bike. Are you enjoying your machine and getting long miles out of it?Thanks now for the replies.
Welcome from another Rebel rider. My Vulcan gets 48-50 mpg at speeds under 55 mph. Above that, it goes down quickly (like 32 mpg at 80mph).

I've put over 7,000 trouble free miles on it. You've already done one of the most hated jobs; pulling and cleaning the carbs. A stator failure requires an engine pull. Given the age of your bike, the rubber balance dampers may begin to deteriorate, which requires an engine pull as well. Chunks of rubber or metal flakes on the oil screen (left side oil drain) are indicators of this problem. Seems to occur less often if the bike is ridden regularly.

Many folks have put 100,000 miles on their Vulcans with no problems, others have replaced the stator 2-3 times.

Hope this helps.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 04:42 PM
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I also own a Rebel 250. Very nice bike, but not comparable to the Vulcan. They are both nice in different ways. The Vulcan 750 was designed to be a low maintenance bike, but when you do need to work on it, it is anything but easy. I bought my '02 new, and currently have 44,000 miles on it. The carbs have never been off, but I had a '93 before that, and had the carbs off. It is a real PITA, but is not as hard if you take your time and remove a lot of things that get in the way. If your carbs are clean now, just soak them in Seafoam every 3-4 months, and they should stay that way. Since you had them off, double check everything, make sure you got it all back together right, and don't have any air leaks.

There are a few other issues with the Vulcan 750. First off is the rear spline lube. If you are going to keep the bike, do that now. It is critical. Plenty of information here on how to do it. Again it is easy, just take your time.

Second, are the automatic cam chain tensioners. They like to fail, and when they do, they let the chain run loose, which makes a lot of noise, and will damage the chain. I had that problem, and solved it with manual adjusters. They are a permanent fix.

Third is the engine balancer. With yours being an '86, it is old enough that the rubber dampers in the balancer might be deteriorated. Keep an ear out for noise coming from the left front of the engine. Also check the screen for metal and rubber particles when you change the oil, as they will show up if you have balancer problems. If you think you do, don't ride the bike, the balancer will wobble and seriously damage the case. You have to pull the engine to replace it.

Stators have been known to fail, but as far as I can tell, no more often than on most other bikes. The problem with the Vulcan 750, is that if it does fail, you have to pull the engine to replace it.

The good thing about it, is that removing the engine on the Vulcan 750 is very easy compared to a lot of bikes, due to the removable frame section on the right side. It's a lot of work, but again, nothing complicated, as long as you have the time and a place to work.

That is pretty much it. Parts are still readily available, both new and used, and should be for quite some time.

If the bike is in decent condition and not trashed, I would keep it. As has been said, in todays economy, you won't get much out of it. Really nice late model low mileage ones are going for cheap here on Craigslist. Ride the bike for awhile, and see what you think. I have owned 44 motorcycles in my life, and the Vulcan 750 is the most comfortable of them all. It will take you across town or across the country. It is not a sportbike, but it handles better than most cruisers, and is light enough to be almost effortless to control on curvy roads. You can also lean it way over. It is smooth as silk cruising on the interstate at 85 mph. And if properly maintained, the engine should last at least 100,000 miles. As for mileage, I have gotten as high as 50 mpg cruising at 60 on the freeway, but it will drop below 40 if you crank it up to 80-85 mph. I put over 80,000 on my '93, also bought new. IMO, it is well worth dealing with it's few problems. And if you do have problems, a lot of people here know how to fix them. This is one of the best bike specific forums I've ever seen.

BTW, go to hondarebelforum.com for your Rebel. Best Rebel forum on the net. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


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

Last edited by VN750Rider/Jerry; 03-01-2010 at 04:46 PM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info...helped me out a bunch. Yes over all the bike looks good for it's age. It has it's normal paint fade but seemed to have been up kept. The tires on it are good and was stored in the garage. I bought it for $600. Retail is about $1765. I did the carbs,battery and went ahead and bought some K&N air filters for it. It has only 12,000 miles on it. I am going to go ahead and keep it. My 03 rebel can't handle the highway...and on a windy day I feel like I am holding up traffic. I might just keep my rebel for around town and use the vulcan for the highway. My bud says I don't need 2 street machines and to sale the rebel. I don't know...just something about the rebel that keeps me going back and forth on not getting rid of it. Easy to work on,lightness and if I drove it calmly I got an average of 68 per gal. in the city. But I think on the highway I would actually get less. We know the gas prices will go up again. Thanks!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 06:36 PM
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I've put over 54K in the last four years. Biggest problem was the stator dying, which as others have said requires an engine pull.

The VN750 is an absolute screamer in the twisties. I often ride with sportsbikers, and usually stay at the tail end of the fast group. Plus, the bike loves to devour goat trails, those gnarley trashed-out backroads ribbons of ultratwist. With an aftermarket seat (mine's Mustang), it's comfortable for 12+ hour days.

Start riding it. You won't stop.

The journey is the destination.

2006 VN750 (SOLD)
63160 miles
Mustang seat
R/R Relocate
MCCT
MF Battery
Red spark plug wires
Stainless Steel brake lines
Stiffer fork springs
Windshield
Givi bags, Wingrack mount
Voltmeter
GPS Mount
Pashnit sticker!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 06:38 PM
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You will after a while really like the VN, you may need to find a new seat, unless it has one, or modify the one on the bike. There is a lot of help in the forum to help you with any problem. Also you can just ask any question here, and you will get answer.

2004 25,500 miles
Led tail light enhancement
Homemade floor boards
Headlight modulator
Extra heat sink on R+R
R+R relocation
Homemade driver's backrest
Fused Stator
Mcct conversion-cost 4.50
Ride-on in tires
crash bar with home made hyway pegs
iridium plugs
home made fork wind deflectors
coil pickups adjusted.
Kenda kruz tires 110/90 170/80
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 07:28 PM
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Both the Rebel and the VN750 are the kind of bikes you want to keep. I ride my Rebel on the freeway all the time, in the right lane at an indicated 65 mph. I am 6' 210, and the Rebel was just a bit too small for me. So I fabricated some brackets, and relocated the footpegs 4" farther forward. Now it is a perfect fit, but like I said, out of 44 motorcycles, including an '84 Goldwing, I have never found a more comfortable bike than the Vulcan 750. I have put over 125,000 miles on them, and that is with the stock seat. I can, and have, ridden 1000 miles in one day, with no real pain, just a little soreness. And if you keep doing it for 3-4 days, even that goes away.

If you are going to keep it, do the spline lube now, before riding it anymore. Kawasaki did not lube the final drive splines on most if any VN750s at the factory. Being an '86, the problem may not go that far back, but even if they did lube it, even with only 12,000 miles on it, that grease would be pretty dried out by now, and those are some VERY expensive parts.

You can get a near mint 2000 or newer model around here with low mileage for 2,000 or less, but there just isn't much of a market for bikes here. Everybody is trying to sell, and very few are buying. We got hit super hard by the recession. Unemployment is over 30% here. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


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 #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 08:12 PM
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Welcome to the Vulcan madness. The vn750 is my first bike at age 55, and I love it. However I have not had to do any serious maintenance or service on it yet.

Check out the Vulcan Verses forum and the link below for ideas about what you need to do for the bike.

Here is a link to a free down loadable Kawi vn750 service manual. http://www.tocmanufacturing.com/File...nd%20Parts.pdf

The ACCT springs weakening has been mentioned. Here is a link to the TOC Manual Cam Chain Tensioners (MCCT).
http://www.tocmanufacturing.com/Manu...nTensioner.htm

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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I'm looking at my OEM service manual now. When you mention splines. Is that the final drive splines where it connects to the universal joint or another name propeller shaft spline? Thanks, I didn't look at the drive forum since it was mentioned here.
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