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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '94 VN750, everything stock. One thing I know I want (regardless of everyone referencing back problems blah blah blah) is a hardtail. Though I know I want it, I like the idea of being able to switch back to the standard swingarm if needed (plus the fact I dont have a real shop so welding and framework is out of my price range). I have found no bolt-on hardtail specific to my bike anywhere. Anybody know where I can find one? Or am I gonna have to do some modification to my frame no matter what?

-Dan
 

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First of all, with the Vulcan 750, your only option would be to replace the shocks with solid struts. This would allow you to lower the rear, since you would no longer need room between the tire and fender for suspension compression. I won't get into what a hardtail will do to your back, or the rest of your body, I'm sure you already know that, and are willing to accept the consequences.

But here is something else to think about. I don't know whether this applies to the Vulcan 750 or not, but it does apply to some bikes, and definitely to the Rebel 250 (yes I have one, and belong to a Rebel forum) The Rebel's shocks are mounted several inches from the rear end of the swing arm, and the swing arm is very weak. It was not designed to be used without suspension. So when you remove the suspension, all the shock loads go directly into the end of the swingarm. The weakest point on the swingarm is where the shocks mount, and after a few hundred to a few thousand miles (depending on rider weight and how bad the roads are) the swingarm will crack and break along the bottom edge, right behind the shock mounts. This MAY not apply to the Vulcan 750, because the shocks are attached much farther back on the swingarm, they have a lot less of an angle to them (more straight up and down), and the swing arm appears to be quite a bit stronger. Nevertheless, when you remove the rear suspension, you are going to drastically increase the stress on the swingarm. Not being an engineer, I have no idea whether the Vulcan swingarm can handle it or not.
 

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Daily Rider
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Hardtail

As far as I can tell from talking to people on here, putting struts on the rear won't be a problem. You need to be careful if you do that though and lower it. If you go to low the steering geometry goes to hell and could cause serious problems. They say you can also loosen the triple tree bolts and lower the front end some, but I don't know for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Gocha.
VN750Rider/Jerry: Yeah I wasn't aware of the stress on the swingarm, so that may be a problem but I'll definitely look into it.

RandyHillyard: Do you know how low (or where I can look to find out) is too low? The word Geometry is a red flag for me. I was terrible at Geo in school, and don't think I wanna mess with it now! Also, I will definitely wanna work on the front end but I'd eventually like to change to a springer so I may just wait for that.

Thanks for the input
-Dan
 

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Old Truck Junkie
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You can fix you some quick strut bars and ride the bike and see if it is to your likeing. If it is you can make some better looking ones.
 

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Lowering the rear only a little will probably not cause any serious issues with steering geometry, but lowering any bike will cause issues with ground clearance, which most cruisers, including the Vulcan 750, already don't have that much of. You can get away with a large variance in front end rake, though it will change handling. Trail is where you need to be careful. Not enough trail can cause a bike to become very unstable. Rather than try and explain the effects of rake and trail on handling, I'll just post a link to the online version of "The Chopper Builders Handbook" It explains everything you will ever need to know about frame and steering geometry, with lots of illustrations.

I am a big fan of old school choppers (think Peter Fonda's bike in "Easy Rider"), but absolutely hate the new crap, with stretched tanks, low bars, tiny little seats, no sissy bar, and worst of all, those horrible 300 series rear tires. Choppers were originally an American style of bike, it was the Japanese who started using huge rear tires. My '97 Road King has a narrower rear tire than the Vulcan 750. Stock Harleys have never had huge rear tires. I don't know where the idea came from to put them on Harley clone "choppers"


http://www.chopperhandbook.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's awesome I appreciate it. Yeah I'll prolly give it a shot with some quick fix struts and see if its worth it. The chopper handbook is gonna be my new best friend.

Thanks again
 
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