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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chandler, Arizona
The ticking could be the hydraulic lifters. If there is steam being vented into the atmosphere, it is coming from somewhere. Shouldn't be hard to find.
The one problem I have with the Vulcan engine is how complicated it is. It is ridiculously complicated. It has twice the parts of most v-twins. It only needed 2 cams (not 4), 2 spark plugs (not 4), 4 valves (not 8), 2 cam chains (not 4, and the required 2 jackshafts), it did not need a balancer (either let it vibrate, or use offset crankpins), it only needed one carb (not 2, that are very difficult to remove/install. One carb would also have eliminated the "ears" that so many people seem to hate), it could have been designed with a cover that allowed replacing the stator without pulling the motor (but wasn't), it could have had properly designed cam chain tensioners that lasted forever (like so many other bikes have) Oh, and the shift shaft could have been designed with a positive stop, so that dropping the bike on the shifter wouldn't break it.
Despite all these design issues, I expect mine to pass 100,000 miles with no issues other than the cam chain tensioners and a carb removal and clean. But the more complicated something is, the more things there are to go wrong, so the more likely it becomes that something will go wrong. My next bike will be simpler. And probably chain or belt drive. I've done enough spline lubes to last 3 lifetimes.
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