open shaft drive? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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open shaft drive?

Ok here's what I got.I'm working on my 94 vn750 turning it in to a hard tail and doing some pretty serious mods. I will be posting pictures soon. I am going to totally eliminate the swing arm and replacing the torque tube around the drive shaft with a simple welded on bracket and wanting to run an open drive shaft. I have thought the process out pretty throughly......I think. Please chime in and let me know the problems you all might be able to think of with this idea.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 08:20 PM
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For one, the shaft is gonna be subjected to a lot of road grit, and water if you ride in the rain.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 08:53 PM
If only it had 6th gear..
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That would look really cool actually. You'd have to make sure the ends of the shaft had cv joint type boots where they go into the front and rear drives though... and I'm sure you've already thought of that. If you pull it off I'd love to see some pics!


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 09:47 PM
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Look at the Yamaha V-Star setup. It uses an exposed shaft drive, and is a far superior design to the enclosed type. Unfortunately it is also cheaply made, and also requires a lot of maintenance. But the maintenance is several times easier than on the Vulcan. You have to remove the back wheel, but that does not even require removing the axle. Just loosen it, and pull it straight back. The swingarm has horizontal dropouts, much like a BMX bike (a real one, not wallymart) The wheel, final drive, and shaft all come off in one piece, and the shaft can be separated from the final drive just by pulling real hard on it. There is a spring clip that holds it in place. You have to push on it to snap it back in place. Unfortunately both the Vulcan and V-Star shaft drive parts seem to be made out of really soft metal, and chew up pretty easy. The Virago (before the V-Star) didn't seem to have that issue.

Look at this picture. For those who did not grow up on a farm, these are '70s style John Deere cotton picker spindles. They are what actually picks the cotton off the stalk. These things are made of a metal several times harder than the Vulcan's shaft drive. Notice the bevel gears on the end. They were designed to be run without any type of lubrication. When I was a kid, I replaced several thousand of these. I always had some laying around. They were so hard they could be used as a punch with a 5 lb. hammer to bust up concrete, and never mushroomed. They were almost impossible to cut or weld. A hacksaw wouldn't even scratch one. I don't know exactly what the metal was, but it is what motorcycle shaft drives should be made out of.

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

Last edited by VN750Rider/Jerry; 12-19-2011 at 09:55 PM.
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