Questions to ask when buying first 750 - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Questions to ask when buying first 750

Hey guys and gals. I'm a new rider (I don't even have a license yet but am planning on attending an MSF course in the near-future). I've heard nothing but spectacular things about the Vulcan 750 and decided to get one as a first bike. Since this is my first bike, I'm not sure of what to look out for. I've found a '97 in my area for a good price that I'm going to check out soon but would like to go in with some questions to ask so that I don't end up getting a troublesome bike.

Basically, can any one give me a list of questions to ask and things to check out? Also, any other general first-time buyer advice would be wildly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 10:11 PM
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1. When was the last time the Splines were checked and lubed.
2. has the Stator ever been replaced and if so how long ago.
3. What type of Batt is in the bike(you want a Maint Free).
4. any Modifications done to the bike.
5. General maintinance log.
6. Age of tires.

That is a couple I would ask.

Chad Falstad "Hawk"
Vroc #17649
2011 HD Ultra Classic "angel"
2001 Nomad 1500 Sold March 2012
2001 VN 750 "Sold June with 2008 with 21,000""Serinity"
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 10:33 PM
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Ask about damage history. When I was searching the internet for a bike I found several with salvage titles. ??? Was this from a wreck or perhaps a hurricane? I would also ask, if not the original owner, if the bike has ever been owned by a young man. Nothing bad about young men, used to be one myself, but they tend to be harder on bikes then us old farts.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 10:36 PM
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I also would like to commend you on a very fine choice in motorcycles. I absolutely love my 750. All the power I need in a package that is light and extremely easy to maneuver. I could go on and on. Again congrats.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 10:40 PM
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and if the guy is clueless to what a stator is or a spline or sees no need for a maintance free battery, look elsewhere for another vn750. chances are he barely took care of it, if he has no clue to what those parts are.

ride safe, J
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 03:53 AM
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One small point I suggest you flush out in the conversation is whether the bike has been standing awhile un-ridden. It may be that the owner is old or doesn't ride any more, or has lost interest, or whatever. It isn't a bad thing, but you will have to be very wary of getting on it and riding it home any great distance. Things kind of congeal with lack of use - make sure it gets a full service first before you trust it.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 05:23 AM
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HERE is a post from the Vulcan Verses on things to look for when buying used.

AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC

"When life throws you curves,
Aim for the apex."

Author Unknown
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 10:46 AM
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No vomit on my bike, please.....!

Chad above recommended a maintenance-free (sealed) battery.

Here's (partly) why.

A regular battery (i.e., with several caps for adding water) will sometimes burp up its some of its liquid contents, spilling acidic fluids beneath.

So you want to do a visual inspection on the electricals and the frame below the seat, and look for signs of this kind of spill. You'll see a rust pattern in the shape/direction that fluid would normally run anyway, or maybe a white powdery/chalky residue under the battery somewhere.

Also, look for signs of corrosion/acid damage on the electricals/wiring under the battery (in the area of the regulator/rectifier).

A real spill like this can spell trouble for you later on.

Before learning about what a great find the VN750 is, I once walked away from an otherwise very nice used Honda Shadow for the above reason.

If you don't see signs of this sort, install a maintenance-free battery when you get a bike, if it doesn't already have one.

Last edited by theauhawk; 07-03-2007 at 10:49 AM.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks alot for all the words of wisdom. I'll be sure to go over all the points suggested here.

I can't wait to get riding one of these beasts.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 11:28 AM
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Obviously, we owners and members of expect our bikes to be taken care of and we are lucky enough to have found this forum, so we have knowledge that most non forum members won’t have. If you expect that a bike from a non forum member has been taken care of to any high degree, you will probably be disappointed. Most dealerships don’t even know about the spline lube issue, or that lubing the rear spline is part of the periodic maintenance schedule, or the need for an MF battery. Some even recommend a wet cell! So you’ll want to approach a used, non forum member owned bike with these things in mind.

I highly recommend taking off the seat and visually inspecting the battery compartment and surrounding area for corrosion. I’d also take a volt meter with me and test the battery and charging system. You should see around 12.5 volts on a battery with everything turned off. At idle, is should be at around 12 volts. Rev the engine to around 4000 rpms and it should jump to 13.5 volts or higher across the battery. If this all tests out, the charging system is probably in good shape.

It’s much harder to find out how the rear splines are doing. If the guy wants to sell the bike, he might not object to helping you pull the rear end to check them out. Suggest that you take photos so that if you didn’t buy it, the next guy can see that they are in good shape. Print out my procedure and take it with you. It takes about 2 hours but I wouldn’t buy one without knowing, unless it was an unbelievable deal for the money. (just my opinion) I know this is a stretch, but once you’ve been through a bad spline experience, your priorities get realigned.

Anyway, what everyone above mentioned for you to check is right on the money. I just wanted you to understand that a lot of this stuff will bring a “huh?” reaction from the seller, unless they happen to be in the “knowledgeable minority”.

Kyle, TX member #707 VROC#19556
2002 VN1500 Classic
Spline Lube Procedure, with photos, R/R Relocation and Coil Mod
Rusty Tank Cleaning!
Electrical Fault Finding Flowchart

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