Starting from Scratch - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
VN750 General Discussion

 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Starting from Scratch

I *really* want to know what I'm getting into here.

As suggested by Dianna and others at times, I really need to overhaul my bike. It's an '86 was an outside bike for at least one previous owner (and now myself) and shows definite signs of wear. It rides fine most of the time, but occasionally burps or threatens to not start. I've noticed definite signs of work to the electrical and screws that feel stripped. So with all that said, it needs a thorough going over and I intend to give it to her -- in two months.

I live in an apartment and don't have a location where I can let the bike sit around for hours or days in many many pieces. So I'm hoping I can talk my parents into lending me their garage in Jersey for long trips there to do some bike work. I imagine it'll be an easy sell, but I also imagine weekends from thanksgiving to christmas will be spent cleaning fixing and possibly painting the bike in my folks garage.

What am I getting myself into? What do i need to be prepared for? Am I going to need an extra body or equipment for a lot of this?

The general gist is dissamble, clean, possibly paint bits, reassemble. Advice would be awesome.

Again, this isn't a 'this week' thing. I'm trying to find out what I'm getting myself into for the longhaul and what sort of time I can expect to spend on it all.

http://www.scurvysvarog.com/vn750/
'86 vn750 since 7 May '07
Falls Church, VA
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 12:05 PM
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Here's one suggestion

When replacing nuts, bolts, machine screws, etc... don't buy them at a bike shop, get them from a hardware store that sells metric stainless hex head. It will save you a ton of money, is a better product, and dresses up your bike at the same time.

You can spend more $$$ and get chromed stainless too but that's big bucks.

How about renting a storage bay and doing the work closer to your home?
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 12:23 PM
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I like DirtTrack's rec for a storage bay - that's a brilliant idea. Might not be able to do your painting in there, but should work for other things.

What, oh what, are you getting yourself into? Well, I'd suggest picking up Zen and the Art of Moto Maintenance and finding the reference to "stuckness" (it's the only bit of that book I liked). You can plan for a smooth path as much as you want, but with electrical "issues," old bolts, etc., etc. you are going to be dished out a whole host of surprises.

Soooooo, first get yourself a good set of tools and supplies. At a minimum:

10mm, 12mm, 14mm, and 17 mm combo wrenches
Socket wrench set (6mm up) that includes an extension
Breaker bar
Taps and dies (6mm and 8mm I think will be all you really need for the 750)
A decent "bolt out" set - maybe someone here can recommend one that works
Power drill
Flat screwdriver - get one long, thin one; one medium-length thicker one
All three phillips head screwdrivers - mostly medium-length, I think.
Rubber mallet
Impact driver
Set of hex wrenches (3mm to 7mm, I think)
Big can of PB Blaster
Small can of dielectric grease
Can of lithium grease/spray
Moly 60
Red and blue threadlock
Electrical tape (and maybe a soldering iron, if it comes to that)
Fine (000) steel wool
Dremel (eventually we all need a dremel)
Lots and lots of rags or towels for cleaning up
Hand cleaner (I like the orange pumice stuff)
Safety goggles
Respirator or dust mask
Latex (or like) gloves
Coveralls of some sort so you don't keep ruining decent jeans or shirts
Motorcycle jack, if you can get one; if not, use Fergy's suggestion for the tie-downs on the front wheel, bike on the centerstand
Kaw Service Manual
Clymer's Manual (yes, both)
Extra bolts - either at a hardware store or you can get stuff for our bikes off of eBay - always good to have extras on hand; and best to replace anything that looks like a phillips head with a hex bolt

And a giant can of patience.

I'm probably forgetting other important things (like hotlinks to the Forum, key members' phone numbers, etc.), but that's off the top of my head while sitting here at work.

I have to say that while Orleans has been daunting and frustrating, she has been the best experience of my life in many ways.
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