Newbie Seeking Advice - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie Seeking Advice

Hello,

I have an opportunity to purchase a 1998 VN750 with 41,891 miles for $620. The bike doesn't run because the carbs need rebuilt and the timing needs fixed as well. I don't mind getting my hands greasy, but I've never wrenched on a vn750. Is the vn750 an interference engine? The reason I ask is because of the bike's timing issue. If the bike jumped time (which I believe is rare for motorcycles), then I'm thinking the valves might be damaged, etc. I did ask the seller, but he doesn't know---he isn't mechanically inclined. Any suggestions/advice on whether this bike is worth buying and fixing? I am looking for a winter project.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 11:12 AM
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I'm curious what he means by 'the timing needs fixed'. Ignition time is totally nonadjustable (as far as I know) and with a chain drive I'd be very surprised if it actually jumped or broke (though it does happen). Can you at least bump the starter button to see if the engine turns over?

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
1983 GL650i in pieces. Someday it will ride again.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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I'll ask him about that. Thanks for the reply.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 05:31 PM
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The Bike

I would cut the price by about half. It can be a great bike but you really don't have any idea of what it might need.

Mcneuby

New to me 2004 15k Last liscened in 2011. Stock as they come.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcneuby View Post
I would cut the price by about half. It can be a great bike but you really don't have any idea of what it might need.

Mcneuby
X2 on that

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lowered with progessive 412 10" shocks
rejetted for K/N Pods part#rc 2340
sportster seat

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbwired View Post
Hello,

I have an opportunity to purchase a 1998 VN750 with 41,891 miles for $620. The bike doesn't run because the carbs need rebuilt and the timing needs fixed as well. I don't mind getting my hands greasy, but I've never wrenched on a vn750. Is the vn750 an interference engine? The reason I ask is because of the bike's timing issue. If the bike jumped time (which I believe is rare for motorcycles), then I'm thinking the valves might be damaged, etc. I did ask the seller, but he doesn't know---he isn't mechanically inclined. Any suggestions/advice on whether this bike is worth buying and fixing? I am looking for a winter project.

Thanks!
Hack away at the price since you are totally unsure what you are getting. We will help you to figure out what is wrong once you have it. If it is too far gone you should be able to sell off enough of the parts to gain back your cost and a nice little profit to boot if it isn't totally destroyed.

If you do an introduction under the Newbie Check-In be sure to list your riding/wrenching experience so we can give you proper explanations to help you check on the bike's actual condition. Also let us know your location as there may be a member close to you that is willing to take a look and help. 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.

Tom
Vulcan 2000
New ride: 2009 Victory Vision Arlen Ness Signature Series
4507 miles

Last edited by Vulcan2000; 12-01-2015 at 06:01 PM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 04:08 PM
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Yeah, cut that price in half jsut to haul it away. If you can't get it started with new plugs, wires, battery, carb clean, fluid change, ignitions switch clean and other minor things then you can part it.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 09:45 PM
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First of all, what does the bike look like? If everything is in bad condition (rusted, corroded, bent, etc.) then I would stay away from it. If it does turn out to be not worth fixing, you will not likely make much of a profit even if you part it out. Good parts are worth money. As for fixing it, that is the one thing that, IMO, makes the Vulcan 750 not a good bike for someone who is not a pretty decent mechanic, and is willing to put a lot of work into it. Just replacing the stator requires the engine be pulled, then there is the spline issue, the cam chain tensioner issue, and the balancer damper damper issue. Even pulling the carbs can be a nightmare if you are not mechanically inclined. You usually don't get much of a bike for that price. Even if it were free, you might wind up investing more work and money into it than it will ever be worth (been there, done that) when you could have spent that money on a much better bike to begin with. Vulcan 750s have been out of production for 10 years now, and finding a good one is becoming harder and harder. When they work right, they are, again IMO, the best 750 cruiser ever made. But when things go wrong, especially inside the engine, that all changes. I bought my '02 new, and still had to replace the stator, cam chain tensioners, and went ahead and did the balancer dampers while I had the engine out.

Also, and I don't believe I'm saying this, but unless the bike is in pristine condition, if you have to tear it apart to do major work on it, you're probably better off going ahead and doing the earshave thing, just to make it easier to work on in the future. You may lose some engine life, but considering the normal life of a Vulcan 750 engine (I have almost 94,000 miles) and the actual mileage most people put on these bikes, you probably won't notice it. Very few ever make it to 40,000 miles.

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
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 01:47 AM
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Here we go again.How are you losing engine life again,there,Jerry by doing an earshave?please enlighten me.these bikes ARE NOT as hard to work on as you say.

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Support your local FREEBIRDS MC
1986/5 Vn700/750 Frankenfook cross eyed bitch "Mellisa Fayhe"
I am a BIKER and i'm proud.FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY

lowered with progessive 412 10" shocks
rejetted for K/N Pods part#rc 2340
sportster seat

'I didn't lose my mind.i gave it away

BRING BACK WOLFIE."Peace and Carrots"RIP
"And I'm free...as a bird"John Lennon Free as a Bird
"I only carry when I have my pants on"Joe Robinson RIP aka Old Dog

Last edited by OleDirtyDoc; 12-03-2015 at 01:57 AM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
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Here we go again.How are you losing engine life again,there,Jerry by doing an earshave?please enlighten me.these bikes ARE NOT as hard to work on as you say.
I said you "may" lose some engine life. I personally believe you will, simply from letting more dirt into your engine, IF you use the K&N filters. I think the oiled foam UNI filters would be a much better choice. You can see right through a K&N filter, you can't do that with a UNI filter or a stock type filter. That would seem to indicate the K&N has much larger gaps in it's filtering media, making it easier for dirt to get through. Anyone who had done any online research knows this is a hotly debated subject, and I am not going to speak in absolutes about it, even though K&N came in dead last in many tests to determine filtering ability. K&N's big claim is that their filters flow more air. That would seem to indicate that they flow more dirt as well. And I don't really even see how flowing more air is a good thing when it comes to an otherwise stock Vulcan 750. If you got any performance at all, it would be so minor you wouldn't notice it. There are to many other restrictions in the Vulcan engine. However, they might lean out the A/F mixture, requiring carb rejetting, which requires carb removal, and everybody knows what a hassle that is. I don't need absolute proof to make up my mind. The old cliche "if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...."comes to mind. I would love to see a completely unbiased test on K&N filters vs other filters to settle things once and for all.


As far as the earshave and other modifications go, there is a difference in the way I see things, as someone who bought my bike brand new off the showroom floor, quickly added nearly $1000 worth of genuine Kawasaki accessories, then over maintained it for 13 years (and it's never even been dropped) and the way someone who bought their bike used, probably cheap, and probably with a few things wrong with it. I have a substantial investment in my bike, in both money, time, and enjoyment. I want it to last as long as possible. If I had bought it as a sub $1000 beater, I wouldn't have any issues about modifying it, though if I were looking for such a bike as a project, I would look for something a lot simpler. A Yamaha Virago 750 or 1100 would be a LOT easier to work on than the Vulcan. The Vulcan is not difficult to work on at all, with the exception of the engine. All those cams, cam chains, adjusters, guides, liquid cooling, those nightmarish carbs, convoluted intake and exhaust systems, and the fact that you have to pull the engine for such simple things as replacing a stator, are not beginner friendly. Even dealer mechanics hate the 750. My local kawasaki dealer's service manager flat out told me that the "the 750 was not designed to be worked on" Just from replacing the stator, I noticed the cover gasket and mating surfaces were less than 1/8" wide in several places. Would be real easy for a beginner to mess up and have an oil leak. The base gaskets are the same way. Probably why so many owners have issues with them leaking coolant. A gasket that narrow is not going to seal well, especially under pressure. I consider that a design flaw.

If you really want a bike that is easy to work on, get a Royal Enfield. You can practically rebuild one with a screwdriver, pair of visegrips, and a pipe wrench. Might even be able to rebuild the top end beside the road, if you had the parts. Mine has just over 10,000 miles on it, and has been very reliable. But it's nice to know that I wouldn't have any problem working on any part of it. It's engine appears to be "designed to be worked on"

Yes I got carried away a bit. Can't sleep. Expecting an expensive new toy to arrive shortly.

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
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