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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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PSI for Shocks and tires Questions

Howdy,

I joined this forum last year around this time after purchasing my first bike a 1997 vn750 Vulcan with about 8,500 miles (previous owner told me about this site). I have not been riding this bike as often as I hoped, but it is a new season and getting back into it.

My friends/neighbors were amazed that my bike started after sitting all winter. First time fired right up no problem. My friends, who own bikes, seem to think I am golden with the battery/bike because it did not hesitate at all. I need to get a voltmeter to check it to see how good the battery really is because it was not hooked up to a battery tender at all for months.

I am getting a little off topic for this post, but I am hoping for some advise from you all. I have been trying to search the forum regarding PSI for shocks and tires. Discovered some things about larger tires and stock tires. I am pretty certain that I have stock tires that are a new set of:

150/90HB-15 (80H) Metzeler ME880 Marathon Rear
100/90H-19 (57H) Metzeler ME880 Marathon Front

which if I understood other posts means that my speedo registers 10% faster than I am actually traveling?

I weigh pretty much 200lbs and have not had any passengers or plan to for a while until I feel comfortable. Currently no saddle bags too.

What is the correct tire pressure for my tires and weight?

the http://www.us.metzelermoto.com/web/p...s/default.page

shows
ME880
Solo
Front 38-40
Rear 44-46

2 Up Light
Front 40-42
Rear 46-48

2 Up Heavy
Front 40-42
Rear 48-50

I think I read Passenger/luggage/rider total weight should not exceed 397 pounds according to the manual. I am not sure how much I weigh with gear on but I suspect over 200lbs, so does that make me 2 Up Light?

Is Front 40lbs and rear 46lbs the correct tire pressure for me?

If I ad a passenger later that is 130-140lbs with me and gear I am assuming that I would be 2 Up Heavy and need Front 42lbs and Rear 50lbs or am I wrong?

Also, regarding shocks and the verses knifemaker mentions 10% of the weight be the psi for the shocks. I was not aware you could check the pressure in the shocks and would love to find a post with pictures showing how to do this. Anyone have an example of the parts/tools needed to do this and where to get them?

This 10% if me around 200lbs means all shocks (both front and rear) be at 20lbs?

How does the rear shocks with the 4 click dial come into play with all of this? Am I too heavy to ever use the 1 position? The post in verses suggests solo riding be at 2. How do you know what is best? I don't have any other riding experience to compare and have to assume that is how it is supposed to be on my bike.

One last question: The Seafoam mentioned is bought where? Product number? Any thread links for application and how often to use? Is it just poured into the gas tank when filling up say once a month or more often/less?

Thanks in advance for the responses!

-Eric
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrnGnts View Post
Howdy,

I joined this forum last year around this time after purchasing my first bike a 1997 vn750 Vulcan with about 8,500 miles (previous owner told me about this site). I have not been riding this bike as often as I hoped, but it is a new season and getting back into it.

My friends/neighbors were amazed that my bike started after sitting all winter. First time fired right up no problem. My friends, who own bikes, seem to think I am golden with the battery/bike because it did not hesitate at all. I need to get a voltmeter to check it to see how good the battery really is because it was not hooked up to a battery tender at all for months.

I am getting a little off topic for this post, but I am hoping for some advise from you all. I have been trying to search the forum regarding PSI for shocks and tires. Discovered some things about larger tires and stock tires. I am pretty certain that I have stock tires that are a new set of:

150/90HB-15 (80H) Metzeler ME880 Marathon Rear
100/90H-19 (57H) Metzeler ME880 Marathon Front

which if I understood other posts means that my speedo registers 10% faster than I am actually traveling?

I weigh pretty much 200lbs and have not had any passengers or plan to for a while until I feel comfortable. Currently no saddle bags too.

What is the correct tire pressure for my tires and weight?

the http://www.us.metzelermoto.com/web/p...s/default.page

shows
ME880
Solo
Front 38-40
Rear 44-46

2 Up Light
Front 40-42
Rear 46-48

2 Up Heavy
Front 40-42
Rear 48-50

I think I read Passenger/luggage/rider total weight should not exceed 397 pounds according to the manual. I am not sure how much I weigh with gear on but I suspect over 200lbs, so does that make me 2 Up Light?

Is Front 40lbs and rear 46lbs the correct tire pressure for me?

If I ad a passenger later that is 130-140lbs with me and gear I am assuming that I would be 2 Up Heavy and need Front 42lbs and Rear 50lbs or am I wrong?

Also, regarding shocks and the verses knifemaker mentions 10% of the weight be the psi for the shocks. I was not aware you could check the pressure in the shocks and would love to find a post with pictures showing how to do this. Anyone have an example of the parts/tools needed to do this and where to get them?

This 10% if me around 200lbs means all shocks (both front and rear) be at 20lbs?

How does the rear shocks with the 4 click dial come into play with all of this? Am I too heavy to ever use the 1 position? The post in verses suggests solo riding be at 2. How do you know what is best? I don't have any other riding experience to compare and have to assume that is how it is supposed to be on my bike.

One last question: The Seafoam mentioned is bought where? Product number? Any thread links for application and how often to use? Is it just poured into the gas tank when filling up say once a month or more often/less?

Thanks in advance for the responses!

-Eric
Eric I can't answer any questions about the PSI or anything like that, but I'm interested to see what is said about those myself now that I've read your thread, and you got great questions.

The Seafoam though you can buy at any parts store, Wal-Mart, etc. It's a white bottle that says seafoam on it can't miss it. Just go to a auto parts store and ask them for some seafoam and they will point you to where it's located at. You HAVE to read the directions on how much of the bottle to add to a motorcycle though. The full bottle is to be mixed with the gas in your car with the larger fuel tank. Other than that it says you want to add 1 ounce Seafoam per 1 gallon of gas.

It can also be added to your oil as well to clean the crankcase out well which you will want to add 1.5 ounces per 1 quart of oil. With the VN750 you will want to add 6 ounces of seafoam to your oil.

With gas it is recommended to use the seafoam every 2000 miles. With the oil you will want to probably add maybe 1000 miles before you do your oil change. I've never added seafoam to the oil before so I'm not experienced with that part, but I got the directions above on how to add it to gas. It works wonders, and does an excellent job of cleaning the fuel system. Good luck.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 10:52 AM
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First...Marathons are not stock. I would not got more than 40 front and 46 rear....despite the info you show. 38/40 f/r is for a rider under 200, so 40/42 should work for you.

To check the air in the shocks, you need a zero loss gauge.... For your weight I would put 25 psi in each shock...use a small hand pump for this .... The shocks have a small volume and it is easy to put too much air in with a high pressure hose.

Nice to have another "Eric" here.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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KM, sorry I meant to ask the size of the tires I bought are stock, but the brand Marathons are not stock rubber for the Vulcan. And if that was true my speedo is showing 10% faster than actually riding?

I will try 40/42 front/rear for me solo, but what about when I am ready for a passenger go up to your suggested limit of 40/46?

Do you know of anyone with a picture demonstrating where you hook the zero loss gauge to the front and rear shocks?

Thoughts on the 1-2-3-4 dial rear shock settings for me?

Thanks,

Eric
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 11:28 AM
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Sorry, yes those are the stock sizes. The speedo will be off by 10%... meaning if it says you are going 100 mph... You are really doing about 90 .

The shock settings are for rebound dampening... I really never noticed any difference on mine.... so I would say put them on #4 and save your money for some better shocks.

Only the rear takes air if your bike is a 97. Make sure they are even side to side. You can see the schrader valve at the top of each shock. You can use a regular tire gauge to check the pressure... You just have to figure out how much air you lose each time you use the gauge and put that much more in the shock.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrnGnts View Post
Howdy,

I joined this forum last year around this time after purchasing my first bike a 1997 vn750 Vulcan with about 8,500 miles (previous owner told me about this site). I have not been riding this bike as often as I hoped, but it is a new season and getting back into it.

My friends/neighbors were amazed that my bike started after sitting all winter. First time fired right up no problem. My friends, who own bikes, seem to think I am golden with the battery/bike because it did not hesitate at all. I need to get a voltmeter to check it to see how good the battery really is because it was not hooked up to a battery tender at all for months.

I am getting a little off topic for this post, but I am hoping for some advise from you all. I have been trying to search the forum regarding PSI for shocks and tires. Discovered some things about larger tires and stock tires. I am pretty certain that I have stock tires that are a new set of:

150/90HB-15 (80H) Metzeler ME880 Marathon Rear
100/90H-19 (57H) Metzeler ME880 Marathon Front

which if I understood other posts means that my speedo registers 10% faster than I am actually traveling?

I weigh pretty much 200lbs and have not had any passengers or plan to for a while until I feel comfortable. Currently no saddle bags too.

What is the correct tire pressure for my tires and weight?

the http://www.us.metzelermoto.com/web/p...s/default.page

shows
ME880
Solo
Front 38-40
Rear 44-46

2 Up Light
Front 40-42
Rear 46-48

2 Up Heavy
Front 40-42
Rear 48-50

I think I read Passenger/luggage/rider total weight should not exceed 397 pounds according to the manual. I am not sure how much I weigh with gear on but I suspect over 200lbs, so does that make me 2 Up Light?

Is Front 40lbs and rear 46lbs the correct tire pressure for me?

If I ad a passenger later that is 130-140lbs with me and gear I am assuming that I would be 2 Up Heavy and need Front 42lbs and Rear 50lbs or am I wrong?

Also, regarding shocks and the verses knifemaker mentions 10% of the weight be the psi for the shocks. I was not aware you could check the pressure in the shocks and would love to find a post with pictures showing how to do this. Anyone have an example of the parts/tools needed to do this and where to get them?

This 10% if me around 200lbs means all shocks (both front and rear) be at 20lbs?

How does the rear shocks with the 4 click dial come into play with all of this? Am I too heavy to ever use the 1 position? The post in verses suggests solo riding be at 2. How do you know what is best? I don't have any other riding experience to compare and have to assume that is how it is supposed to be on my bike.

One last question: The Seafoam mentioned is bought where? Product number? Any thread links for application and how often to use? Is it just poured into the gas tank when filling up say once a month or more often/less?

Thanks in advance for the responses!

-Eric
Welcome to the Vulcan madness Eric.
You have posed some good questions regarding the operation and handling of your bike.

There are several different ways to use Seafoam. It`s primary function is to stabilize gas and prevent it from going "stale", losing the lighter molecules in the gas, oxidizing and creating gummy varnish like deposits.

If a bike is running poorly after sitting for a long time, it may need several ounces of Seafoam per tank for several tanks, until it disolves and flushes the gum/varnish from the entire fuel system. Some even backflush the carb through the drains, and let the carb soak for a day or two to disolve stubborn deposits.

Since your scoot seems to be running well, you only need to use Seafoam as a preventative measure. You can add an ounce or two to every tank if desired, or add 3-4 ounces every 3-4 tanks full. Using more won`t hurt anything, but is wasteful and unnecessary. Too much (like a full can in a tank of gas) will cause a smoky exhaust though.

IMHO adding Seafoam to the oil before an oil change is not necessary unless you are trying to clean/quiet noisy hydraulic valve lifters, or are experiencing poor shift quality or a sticky clutch, for example. I have no experience using it in this manner, but NetMatrix`s recommendation for adding 6 ounces to the crankcase seems reasonable. However I wouldn`t run it for a thousand miles. I think running the bike in the 4-7K rpm range for anywhere from an hour to an all day ride is usually sufficient time for the Seafoam to clean/dissolve whatever deposits it is able to.

If you have oil that is really dirty or contaminated, I suggest dropping the oil, doing a regular oil change, then doing another one after a long day trip or perhaps at 1,000 miles instead of 3,000 miles. You could add Seafoam prior to this second oil change if desired.

Be sure to drop the oil from the drain plug on the left side beside the side stand, not the one on the bottom of the engine case. There is a screen, spring and washer behind that side drain plug. Pull them out and examine the screen for any rubber chunks or metal shavings. Rubber CHUNKS indicate the crankshaft balancer dampers are disintegrating and need to be replaced ASAP. Aluminum shavings could indicate the balancer is already chewing into the engine case. Probably not a problem with your bike yet, but it is almost 15 years old, so watch the screen every oil change.

Small metal flakes are usually just normal wear from the clutch plates, and by themselves not a cause for concern.

I believe OEM tires were Bridgestones.
An oversize 110/90-19 front tire will almost correct the speedometer, but cause the odometer to register lower than true distance traveled.
(The odometer is quite accurate with the stock tire size of 100/90-19.)

Knifemakers suggested tire pressures, and rear shock pressure sound right to me.
I suppose it is possible to adjust the shock pressure with a regular tire gauge, but will mean a lot of fussing about.
The shock air volume is so small that you lose a large percentage of the air when removing the gauge.

A shock pump and zero loss gauge will make the process much easier.
My local Kaw dealer has a Nitrogen pump and filled my shocks for free, when I bought some other stuff there 3 years ago. Due to an accident I have not ridden since shortly after that, and don`t know if any pressure remains in the shocks now.

Sorry for the long reply.

Gordon

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Purchased May 16, 2008
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I was able to get a Progressive Suspension Gauge-Mounted Mirco Pump - 0-60psi GP3-60 for the bike yesterday and went to put the pump on the valve for the rear shocks, but there is a chrome circle cap on the top bolt for the rear shock that is preventing me from screwing the progressive suspension gauge onto the shock. There is an Allen screw holding the cap, on the bolt for the top shock I am assuming, that I can unscrew, but the cap is not coming off easily.

Is this normal to use the pump to remove this cap? I don't want to break anything and am not sure if this cap will come off by hand by pulling it or if I am supposed to twist it like unscrewing it.

I was thinking maybe get a flat screw driver to pry it off if I can get the leverage, but not sure if that will damage the cap or if I need to unscrew it using vise-grips.

Not seeing any other way to attach the pump without removing this cap does anyone have suggestions how I can remove the cap and re-attach it without damaging it?

Thanks,

-Eric
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 10:05 AM
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Screwdriver,hammer ,vice grips all sound good. You don't want the cap so no issues destroying it to get it off. Guessing it is just a cover for the stock nut....worst case here is you might have to replace the nut.

Can't you just unscrew it?

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 10:14 AM
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Can you post a pic? On my bike, there is a chrome acorn nut on the top shock mounting stud. No allen screw in the acorn nut.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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I will post a pic when I get home.

I tried to pull it off by hand, but it would not budge, so I wanted to check here before trying to pry it off with tools because I really was not sure if the cap is threaded and screwed onto the shock bolt requiring it to be unscrewed or if it is just held by the Allen screw to a post that can be pulled off with more leverage.

Sounds to me like I should just try to unscrew it with vice grips first to see if it will turn and maybe it will just come off after that.

-Eric
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