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?
2 Up Light
2 Up Heavy
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!
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.