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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I have a chance, to purchase an extremely clean 1985 Kawasaki Vulcan VN700. It is a one owner, and apprears solid.
To motorcycle mechanics on another web site, said to avoid this bike like
the plague. The say they are known for self destructing, and they won't
touch them under any circumstances. Seems to me, the original owner, must
not of had many problems. What is the TRUTH? Bike has 17.000 miles on it.
Thank you
 

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The Professor
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3,147 Posts
As with any bike without proper maintenance the can self destruct. With our bikes there three items to address:

1) is the charging system working (stator)

2) is there a knocking noise in the bottom left front of the motor (balancer dampers)

3) ratteling or chain slapping noise in the engine? ( Automatic Cam Chain Tensioners)

With a voltmeter you can test the battery while running and it should be above 13.0 volts @ 4000 rpm

If dampers are bad you will hear it, but you can replace them yourself for about $60.00

The cam chain noise can be fixed by replacing the ACCT springs or by replacing the ACCT with a manual tensioner, $20.00-$100.00.

If the bike has been well maintained and sounds and runs good I would buy it. These are quick and a fun bike to ride and will keep up with most 1500's
 

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Vintage bike addict
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859 Posts
I took the chance and bought the same bike. I've been too busy to go through it all yet.
 

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I have a nice stock well kept one that has been and still is a great bike, follow the advice about checking spline lube, batteries, RR and you should have a good bike that'll last a long time if taken care of. I bought mine a few years ago and thought it was a lot of bike for the money ($1,500) and think it still is a lot of bike for the money. I put a voltage indicator on it and a maint. free battery and just ride and enjoy it.

Brad
 

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Addicted to Projects
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545 Posts
Hello,
I have a chance, to purchase an extremely clean 1985 Kawasaki Vulcan VN700. It is a one owner, and apprears solid.
To motorcycle mechanics on another web site, said to avoid this bike like
the plague. The say they are known for self destructing, and they won't
touch them under any circumstances. Seems to me, the original owner, must
not of had many problems. What is the TRUTH? Bike has 17.000 miles on it.
Thank you
My guess is the motorcycle mechanic on the other forum has his personal preferences, not that we aren't bias to the VN7XX. Biases are everywhere. I purchased an 85 VN 700 as a basket case, and if you check out several of my threads you will find that most of the problems mentioned were wrong with my bike and several that weren't mentioned. This group here helped me through the issues that came up and provided advise for several others that might have. Just my opinion if the price is right and the bike looks well cared for go for it.
 

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I see this post is old, but if you still get this message; how do you like your bike? I bought a Vulcan 700 in 1986 (1 year old, one owner) and have had it 27 years. I love my bike. It has had very few problems, always felt confident that it was reliable. Had a little trouble 3 years ago with holding the charge, and finally got the stater replaced last spring, runs great once again. :) That is the only major repair in 27 years. Maybe I just got lucky and didn't get a lemon, but I would highly recommend this bike!
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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16,274 Posts
I see this post is old, but if you still get this message; how do you like your bike? I bought a Vulcan 700 in 1986 (1 year old, one owner) and have had it 27 years. I love my bike. It has had very few problems, always felt confident that it was reliable. Had a little trouble 3 years ago with holding the charge, and finally got the stater replaced last spring, runs great once again. :) That is the only major repair in 27 years. Maybe I just got lucky and didn't get a lemon, but I would highly recommend this bike!
hell,i love my 85 also.don't think you got lucky.with maitenence,these bikes run a while.
 

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Banned
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10,354 Posts
I got mine with about 18k on it...was outside, leaning on a barn for 5 years....a carb cleaning, battery, MCCTs, oil change and plugs later, its now got 25k on it....I call that "dependable"...

Remember that Woody Allen movie where he was in the future, and found that old VW that started right up ?...well.....
 

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my 85 is pushing 36k and runs great, infact im gonna be taking it on a 7 day ride shortly
 

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1986 VN750
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3,255 Posts
The older VNs seem to be strong runners. My '86 is about to roll 27k soon. Definitely good build quality back in the day. I haven't had any experience with any VN over 1990 so I can't speak of the newer ones, but I can't imagine they're not as well assembled as the older ones.
 

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Ive always felt that the 700s were better because they had thicker cyllinder walls...besides, theyre more rare.....makes em worth more IMO...and next year, going by the mfg date, they will be 30 !!!!....that makes em officially "antiques" according to the NHRA and many vintage bike associations.
 
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