steps in reviving my zombie vn750? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
VN750 General Discussion

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
robardin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 344
iTrader: (0)
 
steps in reviving my zombie vn750?

I need some suggestions as to what I should to to revive my neglected old vn750.

About 4 years ago, I got a 1994 VN750 with 24,000 miles on it for $2,200 to use as a learner bike - my first "real" motorcycle. I liked it so much I decided I'd want one long term, but by then the bike was out of production (2006 being the last year). So when I found a 2004 bike with only 555 miles on it, I grabbed it. Unfortunately I had to deal with some vibration and tank rust issues on the 2004 bike, which took some time and ultimately a big chunk of money to fix when I had to get the engine pulled and examined to ID a factory assembly error (a long story I've told before on this board), so I kept riding my '94 for a few months yet. By September of 2009 I was ready to sell it.

That's when a good friend of mine, newly licensed, told me he had just put a deposit down on a $15,000+ H-D Fat Boy for his first bike I told him that would be a really bad idea, and convinced him that he should borrow my '94 bike indefinitely to get used to riding first.

So off he rode with my '94 bike. Since then he's been busy skiing, traveling, etc., and only occasionally talked about riding to work. I tried to hook up with him this spring to go out for a Saturday road trip somewhere, and he finally 'fessed up: he'd decided motorcycling was not for him, in fact he'd only ridden it 5 times total in the past 30 months. Most of the time, it has just sat in his garage. Based on the odometer he's put less than 500 miles on it, maybe much much less (I remember rolling over 27,000 miles on the bike myself, and it now has a smidgen over 27,500).

I got it back from him yesterday and am preparing to sell it again. I noticed a few things about the bike after taking it for a short test ride last night.

1 - The transmission feels really stiff and heavy. Even rolling it around in neutral seems hard, and there's almost no feedback when shifting gears.

2 - The steering column seems off a bit... Like I have to pull the bars slightly to the left for the bike to track straight.

3 - The brake lever is very "tight". I only have to pull it a little bit and it fully engages the front brake, with the thicker Kuryakyn grips on my fingers are only just able to pull it in.

I'm inclined to attribute #1 to lack of maintenance. He has done NOTHING with the bike other than add fuel stabilizer while storing it. The bike starts up OK but with 3 year old oil in the bike, that's got to affect the wet clutch operation, right?

For #2, could being locked for a long time unused (with the front wheel turned to the left) affect the steering column? If so, how do I adjust it? I've never done that before.

For #3, I remember being an issue since putting new brake pads on it shortly before giving the bike to him, so I don't think it's brake fluid related. But of course it couldn't hurt to drain that too, or does brake fluid not degrade like engine oil would?

Is there anything else I should be alert for in reconditioning a bike that's been laid over for so long?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 03-02-2012 at 09:43 AM.
robardin is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 10:01 AM
Old Fart
 
Knifemaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Catawissa, MO
Posts: 11,626
iTrader: (4)
     
Garage
New battery, new oil, new filter,bleed brakes-new brake fluid.

If the bars seem off.....did your buddy drop the bike?

New final drive oil. How do the tires look?

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knifemaker1954/sets/
Knifemaker is online now  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
robardin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 344
iTrader: (0)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
New battery, new oil, new filter,bleed brakes-new brake fluid.

If the bars seem off.....did your buddy drop the bike?

New final drive oil. How do the tires look?
He says no drop, and that the left turn signal that I can see is dangling loose was like that when I gave it to him. *shrug* Let's say for charitable argument's sake that maybe he clipped the turn signal in the garage without noticing while squeezing past the bike to get around it (his garage is not large). I don't mind duct taping the turn signal (it works), but if the bars are a little off, how do I adjust that? This isn't like a bicycle where I can just brace the front wheel against the curb or something and jerk the bars the other way, ... or is it?

The battery seems fine since it's been charged. I'm definitely changing oil/filter and brake fluid. Tires seem OK (I had put new ones on so they're 4 year old garaged rubber - Metzelers).

Should I worry about the final drive oil? Would that affect the rolling in neutral feel of the bike?

Oh, and any ideas about the "tight" brake lever? Is that more something to do with the cable, perhaps?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
robardin is offline  
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 11:22 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 619
iTrader: (0)
 
There is no brake cable it is hydraulic are the brake pipes ok are the pistons stuck in the calipers you may have one seized caliper, try undoing the fork pinch bolts at the top and middle tree to re-align the forks.
Swagman is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 11:24 AM
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
flitecontrol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monroe, LA
Posts: 4,698
iTrader: (14)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
He says no drop, and that the left turn signal that I can see is dangling loose was like that when I gave it to him. *shrug* Let's say for charitable argument's sake that maybe he clipped the turn signal in the garage without noticing while squeezing past the bike to get around it (his garage is not large). I don't mind duct taping the turn signal (it works), but if the bars are a little off, how do I adjust that? This isn't like a bicycle where I can just brace the front wheel against the curb or something and jerk the bars the other way, ... or is it?
I've dropped mine a couple of times and never knocked the front end out of alignment. Your friend probably dropped it. That may be why he lost interest in riding. As to fixing it just like a bicycle, yes it can be done. But it will be easier if you loosen the clamps first.

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
flitecontrol is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
robardin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 344
iTrader: (0)
 
I don't really mind if he dropped it - it can't have been a bad drop if that's what it was, and the whole point of my lending him my "beater bike" was to let him experience the new rider stuff like, well, like dropping it, on it rather than something huge that he'd go deeply into debt over. Taping up a broken signal light and straightening the bars (if that's what it is) isn't such a huge deal to me. I told him as much and he still says he didn't drop it, so whatever.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
robardin is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
robardin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 344
iTrader: (0)
 
Thanks guys, she runs great now. The throttle is a little stiff, the throttle cable probably needs lubricating, but that's about it.

The forks were fine, the reason the steering felt funny was because the tire pressure was too low! The bike has the OEM tires and the manual says to run them at 28 / 32 PSI front and rear (with >215 lbs. load, which is just about what it is with me gear and luggage), and when I checked they were down to 15 PSI front and 18 PSI rear. I hadn't thought to check this because my buddy had just ridden for about 10 miles to get the bike back to me... It seems he'd not only never changed the fluids on the bike but also never checked the tire pressure or added air, either!

I guess I have to agree motorcycling is not for him! (When I called him to tell him what he'd [not] done, he said, "I always felt really unsafe turning corners, now I know why". Uh... Yeah?)

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 03-04-2012 at 07:00 PM.
robardin is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 08:56 PM
Old Fart
 
Knifemaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Catawissa, MO
Posts: 11,626
iTrader: (4)
     
Garage
That's OK..... Seems there's a whole bunch of folks riding bikes that have no idea how they work, what stuff is for on them or what to check before they ride the thing.

Guess I'm just a dinosaur now. Back when I starteed riding, EVERYONE that had a motorcycle knew not only what did what, but had he basic guts or skill to take the thing apart and put it back together. All bikers were semi skilled mechanically. The idea of taking the carb apart at the side of the road wouldn't faze them....as many had in fact done it before.

Today you have folks getting bikes that don't know where the oil goes.... Or that you need to check the tire pressure every now and then..

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knifemaker1954/sets/
Knifemaker is online now  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 03:31 AM
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Posts: 2,848
iTrader: (0)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
That's OK..... Seems there's a whole bunch of folks riding bikes that have no idea how they work, what stuff is for on them or what to check before they ride the thing.

Guess I'm just a dinosaur now. Back when I starteed riding, EVERYONE that had a motorcycle knew not only what did what, but had he basic guts or skill to take the thing apart and put it back together. All bikers were semi skilled mechanically. The idea of taking the carb apart at the side of the road wouldn't faze them....as many had in fact done it before.

Today you have folks getting bikes that don't know where the oil goes.... Or that you need to check the tire pressure every now and then..

Well well. You finally said something I have to agree with. When I started riding it was the same way (I'm 2 weeks away from being 53). If you rode it, you also fixed it. But that has changed big time, and I blame it on 2 things.

New bikes are simply too complicated for your average mechanically oriented rider to be able to work on, and the newer breed of rider seems to have no interest in doing anything but riding (or trailering) They will pay someone to adjust their chain or put air in their tires. To me that is not riding, just posing. It took a special breed to ride (and keep a motorcycle going) back in the old days, there are very few of that type left. I'm one of them, and would be just fine on a bike from back then, but I'm stuck with newer bikes that can't be repaired on the side of the road or in the front yard with common hand tools. Some older bikes are available, but you can't get parts for them.

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
VN750Rider/Jerry is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Once registered, your User Name"cannot be changed". We can make exceptions within 7 days, but after that, it is set in stone.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome