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.