Any cross country trips on a VN750? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Any cross country trips on a VN750?

Just out of curiosity I am wondering how many here, if any, have ridden their VN750 cross country. Even post the longest trip you have taken. Also, what issues did you encounter during your ride? This bike is comfortable enough to a long ride, one up, but I am not so sure of the reliability for a long trip.

Thanks for opinions, good or bad.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:18 PM
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VN750Rider/Jerry owned two different vn750`s that he bought new and rode them for 17 years and a total of something like 130,000 miles. He is one of the very few who found the OEM Kouchasaki seat perfect and comfortable. He made several cross country trips (8 times IIRC?) on the Vulcan. Jerry sold his vn last fall and bought a 97 Road King with a carbed Evo engine. He is a mechanic, and figures he can rebuild it for as long as he can ride. Jerry found the vn750 engine unneccesarily complicated. I think he has owned a score or more of bikes over the years.

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Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
VN750Rider/Jerry owned two different vn750`s that he bought new and rode them for 17 years and a total of something like 130,000 miles. He is one of the very few who found the OEM Kouchasaki seat perfect and comfortable. He made several cross country trips (8 times IIRC?) on the Vulcan. Jerry sold his vn last fall and bought a 97 Road King with a carbed Evo engine. He is a mechanic, and figures he can rebuild it for as long as he can ride. Jerry found the vn750 engine unneccesarily complicated. I think he has owned a score or more of bikes over the years.
While I don't know Pick(Jim Foster?)personally ,yet,I hope to meet him at the Gathering in OH this year,from what I can tell, he is some what of an Iron but rider too, also on his second Vn,and travels everywhere on his.




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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:45 PM
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My longest trips were from northern California (Eureka) up near the Oregon to Denver. And a round-trip from Denver to north of Chicago. The bike ran flawlessly on both trips. The only issue was my tail bone getting kind of sore at times. Since I was otherwise enjoying the riding so much, I just flipped down the passenger pegs, sat on the passenger part of the seat, and laid on the tank. It was all good.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:46 PM
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Yeah... 721 miles one way to Table Rock Lake for Gathering '05, around 2100? miles for the whole trip, including the rides; no problems. ~2800 miles for the trip to Cherokee Lake in '06; starter galled up, causing electrical problems on the way up. Cleaned it up while there, no problems on return, except I left the radio on overnite, and had to jump it off the second day headed back. Kentucky Lake in '07, around 2500 miles, valve stem on rear tire broke 30 minutes after leaving to head back. Limped it to Murray, fixed it, no further problem.

Pick takes a long trip every year with his brother, and a couple years ago rode from Illinois to Houston and back; I don't think he's ever had a problem. Dianna's been crosscountry on hers a few times. One guy in Missouri went on a two week trip around the West a few years back. BEVA Mike rode his all over the place before he bought the FJR, and has continued with it.

Billy Greer from Austin, TX, bought his '95 new; he'd get it serviced every spring, and ride around the country until late fall. He had the odometer replaced at ~72K, and the final drive went at ~76K. He delivered it to his son-in-law a few years back in Washington state with ~107,000 miles on it, still going strong.

There's several others I'm sure I know about and am leaving out, but that's off the top of my head. As long as the bike is maintained properly, any problems are gonna be relatively minor. Set up right, it's a great one-up tour bike.

J.D.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:56 PM
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400 miles + round trip to Ocean city a few years ago. We hit rain on the way back, so make sure you have your gear.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 12:59 AM
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If you are concerned about real problems or a break down on a long trip, here are a few things to zero in on with this bike, b4 your departure:

1) I read earlier that, most of the time a biker has issues on the road, regardless of the make, it's due to a dead battery. Make sure your bike's battery is topped off (if wet cell), test its ability to hold a charge, and ensure it isn't too old. Make sure all battery terminals/connections are extra clean, and tight.

2) Most stories I've read of the VN750 putting someone on foot during a long trip involve the failure of the final drive splines. Before your departure on a trip of real length, make sure these final drive splines are properly lubed! A number of threads exist on this forum for details and specific info on this procedure.

3) Inspect your tires for proper air pressure, wear patterns and enough tread depth for at least the length of the trip. Consider installing "Ride On" tire sealant as a great hedge from having to repair a tire away from home--or civilization.

4) There are areas west of the Mississippi where the Vulcan's gas tank capacity will not get you to the next gas station. Be sure if you are touring out west that your intended trek has fuel available within your bike's fuel range--and when you'll be arriving at each fuel stop (hopefully, they won't unexpectedly close on you b4 you get there). Your other option is of course to carry extra fuel with you in these areas.

5) There are other threads on this forum that explain how to test the health of your bike's electrical system. This test is probably not a bad idea b4 a long trip, and also consider installing a voltmeter to monitor your bike's electrical system as you ride. Again, other threads exist here on the details for a voltmeter, too.

6) Use the search function above to look up the "phantom gas syndrome" and what to do to prevent it, and/or get rid of the problem before it happens.


7) As far as reliability issues specific to the bike, the above should keep you out of serious trouble most of the time...from what I have learned about this bike (assuming that you've done satisfactory preventive maintenance on the bike, otherwise). Past all that, you're most likely to have issues with seat comfort, if you are still riding on the factory, unmodified seat. I would suggest a trip of shorter length (less than 250 miles) in one day, to see if the seat comfort is satisfactory, or not (if of course you haven't already resolved this problem to your satisfaction). Several options exist to correct or minimize this, including adding new footpegs (via crashbar) or floorboards....but nonetheless the factory seat is easily the worst of this bike.

Keep us posted on your upcoming journey with a description, and pics....as those kind of threads are easily the most interesting....

'05 VN750



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Last edited by theauhawk; 04-29-2011 at 01:10 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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I doubt I will ever take my VN750 on any serious rides over 200 miles. I thought I had everything hunky dory, serviced to the max, new tires, fresh oil and running like a swiss watch. On the way home from a 120 mile ride I shifted down to stop at a stop sign. I then went to proceed from the stop and discovered my bike permanently in Neutral. No shifting to any gear at all. I have it set up here at the house ready to pull the side case off and see what has happened. So far the advice given here appears to reflect a fairly easy repair but one that would have been a crisis had I been further from home.
I'll probably keep the bike for local around town rides and buy something more reliable for any long rides. Sure wish I had my old KZ1000ST. I rode that bike an average of 22K miles a year and NEVER had a single problem of any kind.

My opinion is that the VN750 is so overengineered that there are just too many possible items that can fail at any given time. It's still a beautiful and absolutely fun bike to ride and weighing in at 225lbs myself, I actually find the seat pretty darn comfy which surprised me.

Just my humble opinion after 42 years of riding many different bikes.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 11:46 AM
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Keltec, you sound like you are already a bit permanently "jaded" about your VN750. Too bad. Big name bike mftrs typically don't build "lemons" for 20+ years....

I routinely ride mine 200+ miles from SW Ga to my old stomping grounds (Pensacola, FL) and back. No issues or problems.

You don't say (at least in this thread) what year model VN750 you have. You also don't give any info as to whether or not you're the first, 2nd (or whatever) owner. Do you know the bike's previous repair history?

Before you take the bike's side cover off, have you already checked the clutch cable to verify its condition?

'05 VN750



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I do sound that way don't I LOL. Well, it's because I'm spending so much time on R&R in comparison to ride time like that of an M1A1. 8 hours RR to every 1 hour run time. I'll get over it and probably take some longer rides. I am the second owner of the bike and the first didn't ride much but did appear to keep it serviced and running even though it sat most of the time.
Clutch cable is fine with no issues. Like some others have indicated it is most likely the Pawl Spring or link at most. I'll sit down one of these days soon and fix it. I'll probably trailer it up north so I can at least ride the Black Hills and Badlands through SD and on my old stomping grounds of the Sioux Reservation backroads. Just don't care to break down as I'm used to my bikes getting me there and back.

Oh, it's a '95 model. Almost forgot to add that. I am just getting old and grouchy about having to fix stuff but I still do it. Thanks for bearing with me. My kids bought a cute sign for my home that says "And old bear lives here with his honey" and that pretty much sums it up for me. LOL
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