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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of buying...

Well my 1985 Honda Magna 700 just died, and I was thinking of replacing with a 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan with low miles. I like that it's 20 years newer and retains an almost identical size, shape, and features minus valve adjustments. The magna had too much maintenance with the valve adjustments and carb syncing for 4 cylinders, and sensitive diaphragms, etc.

I see the Vulcan had a couple issues of ungreased final drive splines and stator and R/R failure? Could anyone give me the year models and estimate of how many were affected by these issues and inform me of any other common issues. That'll most likely be the deciding factor whether or not I get one.

I ride motorcycles as my only mode of transportation, and I'm handy with a wrench but I honestly hate being stranded to push a 500lb bike 5 miles home and don't want to be constantly taking on huge repair projects.

Does anyone know of any other late model production bikes with a classic look? Not interested in the fat boy look or crotch rockets at all.

Last edited by DR.BADNEWS; 08-02-2015 at 02:53 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 03:28 PM
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I had very little problems with mine. But it does have a charging system that can give trouble. I know all bikes have their weaknesses, but I have had no trouble with the 1100 cc Honda. It is a little bigger, you get a little higher gear in 5th. And if it is a daily rider you are looking for I would go with a bigger bike. Just my opinion.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 03:34 PM
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all years have potential issues with the charging system (85-2006). the 'newer' ones (no real year on what to call newer) seems to have more issues with the driveshaft splines than older ones, but again, they ALL had it to some degree. a lot depends on how well it was maintained over the years.

the rear splines should be lubricated occasionally,, but few people knew about this or performed this maintainance.

2005 VN750

Sold 11-27-17
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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I just don't like a fat bike with low seat height. I like a tight turning radius. I was looking at the Yamaha Virago's, but I don't feel comfortable driving an air-cooled bike through Virginia Beach traffic. You can be stuck in short distance stop-go traffic for 30 minutes to hours sometimes.

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Originally Posted by michiganteddybear View Post
all years have potential issues with the charging system (85-2006). the 'newer' ones (no real year on what to call newer) seems to have more issues with the driveshaft splines than older ones, but again, they ALL had it to some degree. a lot depends on how well it was maintained over the years.

the rear splines should be lubricated occasionally,, but few people knew about this or performed this maintainance.
How could a popular manufacturer as Kawasaki get away with such huge flaws for so long? Huge being that they cost $1000's to repair.

Last edited by DR.BADNEWS; 08-02-2015 at 03:55 PM.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 05:04 PM
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How could a popular manufacturer as Kawasaki get away with such huge flaws for so long? Huge being that they cost $1000's to repair.
Not really a huge flaw, but bad design. Many bikes have their stator fail, but you don't have to pull the motor from the frame to fix it. Not every stator failed...the real problem was that Kawasaki kept making the bike ...year after year...and changed basically nothing.
There are fixes for the stator issue. The Tuxedo mod posted on this site and the TOC replacement stator cover...
The spline issue was really more of an owner failure than a manufacturing...all shaft drive bikes need the rear part of the driveshaft to be periodically lubricated...only a few seemed to have left the factory with this not done.

For your own piece of mind..when you go to check the bike out (and this is for any motorcycle really) take a multi tester and check the voltage with the bike running at the battery...if your not getting about 13.2 volts or more....walk away.

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 07:12 PM
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What is wrong with your Honda? You are correct, the carbs on your Honda are very delicate but if you get them cleaned properly and run Seafoam thru the fuel tank now and then,most problems are avoided. We have a Honda V 30 Magna and I will agree, the Vulcan will handle the same or may even better than the Honda. I think the Honda seat is more comfortable.
The Vulcan valve train has an automatic cam chain adjuster and has been known to be problematic. Many of the owners remove the automatic adjuster and install an aftermarket or home-made manual adjuster. Look up "Grambo Trick" for a quick check of the automatic feature.

'99 VN750, all stock
performed driveshaft maintenance
checked the ACCT using the Grambo Trick
Sycned carbs with flow meter
Yuasa YTX14AHL-BS AGM Battery
NGK DPR7EIX-9 Irridium Spark Plugs
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 09:18 PM
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You will have a lot of fun on the Vulcan. Certain issues aside, (I never had a stator issue and lubed the spines every tire change.) She's fast, very nimble, and there are tons of parts out there, and here. I would look for a newer one, 2003 to 2006, with low miles, some added extras. i.e. extended backrest, luggage rack, highway pegs and floor boards. Windshield optional.

2003 1600 Classic
Sold
900 Seat Mod
Iradiun Plugs
V and H Cruzers
Windshield with Lowers
LED Tail Lights
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Does the drive shaft not hold hypoid gear oil? Which part of the final drive would I need to be greasing? And how often in miles?

Not entire sure what's wrong with the magna, I'll have to take it to my dad's house where all my tools are to figure it out. It just started bogging down and never cut back on.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DR.BADNEWS View Post
Does the drive shaft not hold hypoid gear oil? Which part of the final drive would I need to be greasing? And how often in miles?

Not entire sure what's wrong with the magna, I'll have to take it to my dad's house where all my tools are to figure it out. It just started bogging down and never cut back on.
No, the shaft splines are separate and sealed from the ring/pinion lube. The splines use a moly paste lube, versus the 80-90w oil that's in the final drive.

You would lube the rear of the driveshaft where it splines onto the final drive gear assembly.

Not sure of the mileage interval, but after the first checkup, checking/lubing at each tire change should be good enough.

Checked my 2003 at 14,000 miles and it looked like it had never had any lube, but luckily wasn't showing bad wear.

Parts are plentiful on Ebay, no problem finding anything you'd ever need.

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Shaved w/UniPK92+Stock Jets-TPE/MOSFET-Shinko Tires-AGM batt-bags-chrome-LEDs...more
__________________________________________________ ____________
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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I went ahead and bought a 2006 with 8,600mi for $2,300. Shouldn't have paid so much but my dad ran his mouth with that price during the deal. It's been dropped possibly multiple times.

The exhaust pipes have been replaced with Vance and Hines straight pipes so it's obnoxiously loud. No sense in spending all the extra money to revert back to stock though.

The air boxes were removed and a K&N air filter mod and jet kit was installed. I don't mind the K&N air filters and jet kit, I actually prefer them, but I'm gonna have to replace the air boxes because I live by the beach and will most likely be riding in the rain from time to time.

The stator and r/r were replaced by the original owner. No clue how long that'll last. It run strong, though kinda rough. I suspect it also needs a carb sync job.

There's a small dent in the gas tank(navy and grey) that can probably be pulled, but it came with an extra gas tank(black and red) with a slightly larger dent that can also probably be pulled. Paint is perfect on both.

The gauge cluster, rear foot pegs and handle bars need to be replaced because of damage from being dropped.

No accessories except a rusty old windshield. Gonna need a crash bar and saddlebags.

Last edited by DR.BADNEWS; 08-19-2015 at 12:32 AM.
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