Click-clack - Page 2 - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Engine / Exhaust / Cooling
\ From the radiator, through the case and out
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-21-2020, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ha! At the very least one
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-22-2020, 10:30 AM
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Hey, reading another post, I remembered .....

The balancer bushings can wear out and cause a racket. So also touch the left front corner, forward of the round stator cover, just in case.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-22-2020, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Hey, reading another post, I remembered .....

The balancer bushings can wear out and cause a racket. So also touch the left front corner, forward of the round stator cover, just in case.
But would that simply go away when it warmed up?
I’m all for being thorough so I’ll go ahead and check as much as I can.

I searched more info and judging by what I read and my current odometer reading (22K) it seams like I’m prime time for the tensioners to be replaced. OEM are freakin $97 each with shipping! No thanks, I ordered the TOC’s. I don’t mind paying up a little because it’s the kind of issue that’ll kill the bike if left too long but I wasn’t paying that much for the OEM if they’re known to be problematic.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-22-2020, 01:30 PM
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But would that simply go away when it warmed up?
Iím all for being thorough so Iíll go ahead and check as much as I can.

I searched more info and judging by what I read and my current odometer reading (22K) it seams like Iím prime time for the tensioners to be replaced. OEM are freakin $97 each with shipping! No thanks, I ordered the TOCís. I donít mind paying up a little because itís the kind of issue thatíll kill the bike if left too long but I wasnít paying that much for the OEM if theyíre known to be problematic.
No, you're right, wouldn't expect those to quiet down much.

Big bad sinus headache today, so I'm dumber than usual. Caught a bug a week ago, blaaargh.

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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-22-2020, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Don’t sweat it. It’s all good info. As long as I have the bike I’m take care of it best I can.
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-22-2020, 07:29 PM
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That sounds like REALLY BAD cam chain noise to me. My 2002 started making a noise similar to that at around 15,000 miles, but nowhere near that bad. I replaced the ACCTs with new ones from Kawasaki. The noise went away for about 10,000 miles, then started to come back. I switched to TOC manual cam chain tensioners. It never made that noise again, but the engine eventually did fail due to a broken cam chain. I suspect that some damage was done early in the engines life, when it was making that noise. I examined the oem ACCts very carefully, and found the internal threads in the aluminum casting were almost completely destroyed. One thing you can do to check that is to take a pocket screwdriver, remove the cap from one of the tensioners, and with the engine running, stick the screwdriver into the end of the tensioner. if the plunger knocks the screwdriver out of your hand, the tensioner is completely shot. The tensioner body has internal female threads cast into it (it's made of soft aluminum) and the plunger that is designed to press against the chain guide and keep the chain tensioned has external male threads on it. It is made of steel. There should be almost no play between the threads in the housing and on the plunger. But as the cam chain turns on it's sprockets, it does so with a whipping motion, constantly banging against the plunger, which quickly wears out the soft aluminum threads in the tensioner housing. The tensioner is now toast, and that is where the problems begin. The plunger binds in the housing and no longer moves in to take up cam chain slack. This could probably have been prevented had Kawasaki used steel for the tensioner body instead of aluminum. But they didn't. Normally I would suggest replacing the stock tensioners with TOC tensioners, but from that sound, I believe the cam chains and guides are probably to far gone to make it worthwhile. It would likely fail after a short time anyway, even if you got rid of the noise.

There is a way to convert the ACCTs to MCCts . I definitely don't recommend it on a good engine, but it costs almost nothing, so it might be worth a try. The instructions are on here somewhere. Just remember that if the engine does fail due to a broken cam chain, it can lock up, and lock up the rear wheel in the process. Mine locked up for maybe a second, then the broken chain shattered the aluminum engine casting, and it started turning again.

This is just how complicated the cam drive system is. https://www.cheapcycleparts.com/oemp...ft-s-tensioner

It's an absolute nightmare. Part #12048 are the tensioners. $100 apiece for junk.

These defective cam chain tensioners, having to pull the engine to replace the stator, and the fact that the factory never lubed the final drive splines on most Vulcan 750s are probably the reason there are so few of them still around, even though they were made from 1985-2006. These issues causes catastrophic failures, and a lot of the bikes probably got scrapped at fairly low mileage. IMO, Kawasaki really messed up on what was otherwise a wonderful bike, just with a couple of stupid, easily fixed mistakes. And they never fixed these mistakes during the entire 21 year production run.

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; 02-22-2020 at 07:59 PM.
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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-22-2020, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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I went ahead and ordered a pair of TOC MCCTs earlier today. I looked at the OEM units on Partzilla and they were about a 100 a piece shipped. So No go on those.
So trust me when I say Ive learned about the love and the pain of owning a VN750. I bought the bike in 2018, I already lived through a stator replacement last summer. I’ve replaced the fork seals, got new front brakes, new tires, two batteries, plus accessories and what not. I don’t have a place to do major work on this bike, so most of it was at a local shop and the stator job was done at a Kaw dealer (ouch)! needless to say I’d love to stop dumping cash into something that’s suppose to bring me joy.
Once it warms up the clack stops and the bike runs like a top. So if fixing this quiets it up I’ll be satisfied. If it buys me time I’ll take it. This is my first bike I hope not my last.
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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 11:27 PM
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I guess it's ok for as long as you want to keep dumping money and work into it. I did a stator replacement on my 2002 at around 80,000 miles. It took several months to get it apart and back together again with a ton of other stuff going on. Then at 118,000 miles the cam chain failed. No possibility of me fixing it. Lots of damage and the engine was full of metal pieces. So I bought a 2006 Sportster 1200, and while I love it, after about 3 1/2 years I found a nice low mileage unbutchered VN750 on Craigslist and just had to have it. I spent over 4 months going over it with a fine tooth comb, replacing everything that needed replacing and probably a lot of things that didn't. I transferred all my genuine Kawasaki accessories (almost $1000 worth in 2002) and TOC cam chain tensioners over to it. But I will not do any major work on it, like replacing a stator. If it goes, the bike goes. The Vulcan 750 is a wonderful bike when everything is right, but there is a lot to go wrong. As good as it is, there are a lot of other bikes out there that are also good, maybe not AS good, but good enough. As much as I love them, I have put all the money and work I'm going to into Vulcan 750s, other than maintenance and minor repairs.

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 #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-24-2020, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I guess it's ok for as long as you want to keep dumping money and work into it. I did a stator replacement on my 2002 at around 80,000 miles. It took several months to get it apart and back together again with a ton of other stuff going on. Then at 118,000 miles the cam chain failed. No possibility of me fixing it. Lots of damage and the engine was full of metal pieces. So I bought a 2006 Sportster 1200, and while I love it, after about 3 1/2 years I found a nice low mileage unbutchered VN750 on Craigslist and just had to have it. I spent over 4 months going over it with a fine tooth comb, replacing everything that needed replacing and probably a lot of things that didn't. I transferred all my genuine Kawasaki accessories (almost $1000 worth in 2002) and TOC cam chain tensioners over to it. But I will not do any major work on it, like replacing a stator. If it goes, the bike goes. The Vulcan 750 is a wonderful bike when everything is right, but there is a lot to go wrong. As good as it is, there are a lot of other bikes out there that are also good, maybe not AS good, but good enough. As much as I love them, I have put all the money and work I'm going to into Vulcan 750s, other than maintenance and minor repairs.
I think you’re misunderstanding what I’m saying. I DON’T want to keep dumping money into this bike. I want to catch a break and just enjoy the ride. I do love it, but I don’t expect to own this bike when or if it hits 80,000 miles, that would take me another 6-7 yrs with the amount of riding I do. Other than my truck I have now, I don’t think I ever kept any vehicle for 80k miles. I live and work in the city, just don’t need to drive that much.
Interesting enough the only guy I see outside wrenching and fiddling with his bike more than me is my neighbor who owns ....wait for it.... and HD Sportster! Lol But his is a 94 I believe.

Bottom line for it all is I just want to enjoy riding. I’ll repeat myself, I love this bike, but if I knew what I was getting into I’d probably had done a bit more research for a first bike. When I bought it, I only had my class M license for 3 days. Needless to say I was excited to get going. Lesson learned
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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-24-2020, 12:14 PM
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Well Iím with you. Be it a motorcycle or a car, if I find myself having to keep putting money in it, it gets sold ASAP.

I donít own a motorcycle to learn about fixing one, I buy it to ride. If it becomes unreliable, I get rid of it, and find another one.

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