Random observations after an afternoon ride.. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Random observations after an afternoon ride..

This week I pulled the old pipes off the beast and put some rather large HD mufflers on. Found the previous owner had gutted the mufflers and so they were straight pipes. Like the reduced noise level, reduced backfiring.

I find I lean on the throttle more now that its quieter. So...bigger mufflers make it faster???

Suspension ain't great. Yeah, I get some vibration from the engine but I feel every bump in the road. Next task I guess.

New LED turn signals are out. No turn signals at all now. Shocks will have to wait.

Mesh pants with pads are good but will have to find a jacket for the summer. OK now but when it gets hot?

Right heel likes to rest on the exhaust pipe. Yep, need new shoes.

Engine stayed in the middle of temp range for entire run. No hot start problems like I've read about. All in all, very happy with the performance.

How do you scratch your nose with a full face shield? I was thinking about open face and sunglasses but I got hit in the face three times. Pretty sure one was a rock and not a bug. All were very loud and hard. Might do open face around town but over 45mph no way. Do need either a tinted face shield or a way to get sunglasses on inside the helmet.

Face shield does keep the bugs from getting in my teeth when I grin as I go down the road! Bikers are a happy, welcoming lot along Rt. 64 here in Arkansas!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 09:04 PM
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Have you checked the damper setting on the shocks? Mine started on 5 and was pretty stiff, 2 was too bouncy, so I settled on 3. Could have too much air in them also, but read the manual.

I can get my fingers to my nose with the full face Bell visor closed. I usually have sunglasses and visor up unless I'm running fast, it's cold, or night when the bugs really get with it. But I'm kinda used to getting hit in the face with hot shards of manganese soaked in sulphuric acid and wax, so ... but a bee is gonna make stop in a hurry. Have to put the glasses on after the helmet. Is your helmet too tight? Should move slightly when you shake your head.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 09:29 PM
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Most if not all full face shields flip up and this features allows you to scratch your nose if necessary and also allows you to put on sunglasses or corrective vision glasses once you have the helmet on. I have been hit too many times in the past not to have the FF style. There is also less of a chance for insects getting inside once you flip the shield down than other styles so I like that small bit of protection also. The newer helmets have better cooling vents compared to some of the older versions and that makes it much more comfortable during the hot summer rides. Good luck.

and always remember, "Ride until you rot!"
**Really not sure if the Big "C" is back right now
but having to face the fact that this is a lifetime routine
going forward. Five operations done and it still continues.

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New ride: 2009 Victory Vision Arlen Ness Signature Series
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Need to check the manual on the shocks. Just been very low on the priority list until I took this longer ride on back roads.

I wear old RayBan sunglasses (40+ years old) that wrap around my ears. If I got something that had straight pieces it would probably work. But I like those glasses for a lot of reasons.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Did get a fly in the helmet at one point. Came up from under my chin I guess. Had to slow down and flip the face up. With gloves, I had a lot of trouble with my left hand at first. Was easier to reach over with the right and flip it up. Of course that lets the throttle go and takes my hand away from the brake--very bad form!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 09:48 PM
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The rear damping is easy enough, just grab the chrome sleeve on the top and set both shocks on the same number. Ride carefully until you get a feel for the new setting. I hit the new freeway when I tried number 2 and hit a wavy section in a turn, she held but it was unnerving when it bottomed out and was bouncing along. Of course if you add a passenger, you need to go up on the setting.

I always thought the front forks have kind of a dirt bike feel to them. Handle well and absorbs all but the worst of bumps.

I wear regular eyeglasses too, have always been able to get them in a helmet. I prefer contacts and the Smith and Wesson sunglasses I get from the power plant wrap to the sides of my eyes.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 02:33 AM
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Brother Arky.....I wear a 1/2 shell with WW1 RAF goggles....been doin that since 1975.....3/4 in winter though.....I keep a paper towel in my pocket to wipe when needed...I wear a 1/2 mostly because i like to hear all soujnd around me....especially engine and tranny....

Muffler internal volume will make the bike sound deeper, bassy....and sometimes CAN make the bike run better.....Ive run 3 different types of Harley muffs on mine since I got her....stock exhaust looks like a HS shop project.....

Its yin/yang with intake exhaust.....if you increase intake.....mehh..
Once ya mess with exhaust, ya need to balance....If ya like the sound ya have, I suggest an earshave and pods......



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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
Its yin/yang with intake exhaust.....if you increase intake.....mehh..
Once ya mess with exhaust, ya need to balance....If ya like the sound ya have, I suggest an earshave and pods......
Yeah, its already been shaved. Has foam filters now. Probably going to replace those with cotton filters.

Could be even quieter but I think I'll just improve the mountings--had to put a big pipe clamp around it to hold it on. Will fab something soon--after I fix my turn signals!

Gas mileage was good--somewhere around 50mpg. I could get use to that!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 01:09 PM
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Notes above on FF helmets I'll agree on too. But learn to use your left hand to open the visor...they are all designed for this. (Or are you talking about a "full face shield" on an open face helmet?

I always wear sunglasses. As much as I like my wrap around the ear aviators I picked up a a couple pair of inexpensive polarized glasses to where (with straight ear pieces) sometimes the polarized feature makes rainbow things looking through the helmets visor, but I don't find it distracting and kinda like it.

You can solve the burning heel issue with a set of floorboards. There's a page in my photo below that gives a layout to make your own.

Rear shocks suck. Seems only heavier riders here find them OK. I ended up buying a used set of Progressive 412s. How much do you weigh?


I wear a mesh jacket in summer. Mines a Firstgear and as long as you're moving its not hot to wear. I have Feildsheer mesh pants that are actuslly cooler than wearing jeans.

I left my exhaust stock. I hate loud bikes. Stock mufflers likely the quietest, perhaps someone here would trade you theirs for your HD units.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 01:26 AM
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I recently switched to a modular helmet. That solve the itching problem on most of the lower face issues.

Most of last season I wore a half shell, I hade very few issues with bugs and rocks getting in my face. Having a somewhat larger windshield helps a lot with that.

Not sure about the being able to hear more around me thing with a half shell helmet. Me personally, I can hear more with the full face/modular helmets as I have less wind noise directly in my ears. I guess that just another example of personal preference and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.

......I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere then in any city on earth.

*2014 VN900 Custom (16,200 miles and counting)
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