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149 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Yall.

Im way over due to start this thing, and I have a backlog of images and updates, so Ill make a few posts
to get the ball rolling and get yall caught up with where I am at and what I have accomplished over the last
few months, and then will keep this thread updated going forward.

The story:

Good friend of mine buys and flips bikes. He got this one and at the time I really liked it but I had a nice shiny
new Harley I was paying off. I ended up crashing it in July 2014, was down and out for a few weeks, but with
the love and support of my friends, family, and coworkers, I got back on my feet pretty quickly.

The Harley was totalled, and I decided to take this Vulcan off of my buddy`s hands because I needed another
bike and really wanted a project. Picked her up in September 2014 and have been working on her ever since.

Life has been a little crazy, new job new house etc, but always finding time to keep the bike moving along nicely.
She needed some love, and I had my own ideas for her, but overall a pretty nice ride.

Here is how she sat when I got her:

Moved in at my place. Itty bitty garage space.

A lot of the wiring was a total mess, Previous owner (not my buddy, the guy he got it from) went to town on this
thing. Brake lights, Turn signals, Speedometer and tach, Stator (!!) were all disconnected, not connected properly
or missing. I started pulling things apart, sanding priming and tidying up ASAP.

Battery bucket needed some love:

Tidying, Sanding and priming:

Oh yea.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
The caps for the suspension were busted or missing and I had a heck of a time finding em.

Finally got ahold of em from VN750 forum user NDR. Thanks dude!

Much better

The previous owner sprayed the bike a flat primer black. I am a big fan of flat black.. when it is done right..
So I decided to get into it and start redoing it. I am going to go with a paint scheme similar to what I had on
my Harley. Gloss black frame, bars, etc with the Tank, Fenders, and Side Covers in a Satin Black. Not quite a
gloss, but not flat.

I started by pulling the tank and masking off a lot of areas and spraying the frame down.

Front view:

Side view:

Battery Box:


Primed the other bits:

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Brake pedal needed some love

All bad!

Sanded, Primed, Sprayed

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
New Spot!

Moved to a new place in December. New roommates are into wrenching on stuff like I am, and there is a HUGE Garage. I could have cried.

Here she is in the new pad:

Had to celebrate.. New bars!!

My dad is the man. Hooked me up with a workbench. My roommates allowed me to claim a corner of the garage as my own personal
work space. Im basically in heaven. Here you can see the bench, and the bike is sitting on a mini lift that I have been using for a lot
of my work.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The previous owner did some nifty work on the frame, and I like where he was going with it, but I think it
can be improved upon. I like to go on long rides, and the hardtail struts that he had installed and the tiny
springer seat were simply not going to work for me.

I have already ordered some shocks to put on, but in the meantime I need to address the seat and fender.

Here you can see the seat and fender gitup this bike came with:

I scored a seat from a 2012 Sportster in great condition for about $50.

It actually sits on the bike amazingly well, However I will need to do a few modifications.

1) I will need to replace the rear fender. It looks neat and all but its just begging to spray mud on my back.

2) After I replace the fender I will need to put a hole in it for mounting the seat. Quick shot with the drill, no big deal.

3) I will need to fabricate a new bracket for the front end of the seat. The seat has a metal tab underneath it..
I plan on fabbing up a metal bracket that has a forked end and slides under the tank mount bolt. I can simply drill
a hole in the existing seat bracket and bolt the fabbed up one to it.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Got the new fender in the mail.

I should be able to get an extra 2 or 3 inches on the tail end of the bike with this one.
I will be chopping the front end off so that it can mount to the modified frame properly,
however I will be leaving some extra material on the end to create an extra mounting
point to give the fender more stability. This will explain itself more as the pictures come along.

Mocked up some lines and started chopping

Got some progress made, but had to put it down for now. Its late and I dont
want to piss off the whole neighborhood. Will come back to this later.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Been working on the front end quite a bit as well.

As you saw already, I replaced the apes with drag bars. The apes the bike came with were bent,
and the master cylinder / brake lever was damaged. The rest of the bike didnt show any evidence
of damage.

I put the new bars on and also installed the new master cylinder / lever I got online. In doing so I
found that the choke lever was damaged, so I got another one of those.. also found that the throttle
lines were goofed. That may have happened while switching the bars, but the lines were old anyways
and are too long for the drag bars I am now using so I decided to order new ones.

I am rebuilding pretty much the whole front end.

Bars replaced: Check
Broken master cylinder / lever replaced: check
Busted choke lever replaced: Check
New turn signals: Arrived but not installed yet
New throttle lines and choke cable: Coming in the mail
New front brake pads: Coming in the mail
New headlight: need to order that. Have painted the bucket though!
New Tach and Speedo: Will be ordered when I get another paycheck.

Previous owner did a pretty bad job trying to paint the forks. I have already masked off and sprayed
the lower forks, and you can see in this picture how there is overspray and areas not covered near
the upper triple tree from the previous owner:

Side note: previous owner also sprayed the brake calipers flat black. Going to spray them gloss black
to match the forks before I install the new pads and flush the system with new fluid.

More masking. Pulled the bars back off to get the whole top nicely. Have the clamp for the top of the
bars and the headlight brackets in a box where I am spraying them as well. You can see the lower forks here too.

There is some overspray on the rim unfortunately, but when all is said and done Ill be going over this whole
bike and cleaning her with a toothbrush before her maiden voyage. Will use some steel wool or something
to clean up overspray. I also got a few drips when sprayin the upper forks, as the nozzle on the can I was
using gave out. Kinda bummed but they are not terribly noticeable, and I guess Ill live. My buddy says carb
cleaner will take it right off.. May use that to clean up some of the overspray on the chrome parts of the
forks from when the previous owner sprayed.

For anyone who is wondering, the tank, front and rear fenders, and side panels will be sprayed in a booth with a real gun.. No rattlecans for those!

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Lets take a minute to talk about how much I hate this shift lever.

This is just not okay. The peg is too small, and some idiot decided
they should be a single piece and the peg will be part of the lever..
I dont like it and I cant leave anything alone, So this happened:

Ordered a replacement shifter off ebay for $10, and an Arlen ness shift peg.
Took the angle grinder to it, chopped the stock peg off, ground the edges down,
drilled a hole thru it, then primed and sprayed it.

Here she is:

Side by side:

I havent installed it on the bike yet as I still need a nut to secure the shift peg
on the shifter. The peg has a weird thread pitch, M8x1.0 and I havent been able
to find a flange nut for it anywhere. Ended up ordering a regular nut that will fit
it properly from online (OSH and Home Depot didnt have any nuts with that size
and thread pitch...) and once the nuts arrive I will throw some loctite red on that
baby and crank it down, then install it on the bike.

Jack of all trades
2,863 Posts
Dude really nice build. I like the direction you are going as far as paint and color scheme. I've done a few of these mods to other bikes I've worked on. The shift lever, seat and rear fender being a few prime examples. Its nice to see someone have nice attention to detail as far as painting the small parts.

I'm watching this for progress.

16,193 Posts
I love this build as well.reminds me of my bike

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the positive feedback guys, I appreciate it.
Got some updates before I head to work.

When I sprayed the handlebar clamp it came out kinda
janky because I didnt clean it up after sanding it..
got a buncha paint clumps and uneven spots, so I used
the palm sander and the dremel to clean it up and
give it another go.

Looks way better now. Once the primer sets Ill hit it with the gloss.
Also spraying the headlight mounts at the same time.

The stems on my turn signals are too short. When I tried to install
them on the mounts (before I pulled em off to sand and spray)
I couldnt find a good way to rig em up. I looked into getting some
coupling nuts but its darn near impossible to find any with this thread
pitch, size, and in the length that I need.

I ended up using the threaded hollow rod from the original turn signals
along with some nuts and loctite to jury rig em together. I am not sure
if it will be sturdy enough to hold together when I install em, but worst
case scenario what I will do is put an extra nut on each side of the
connecting nut and use jb weld to hold em all together.. essentially
forming my own coupling nut. Once I start putting the front end back
together I will install these and provide pictures. I am using 3 wire turn
signals in the front to serve as running lights and turn signals.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Update on the rear fender.

I was originally going to leave extra material on the forward side of the fender
and use it to fashion an extra mount to the frame for the fender.

However, that sounded better in my head than it looked in person.

I tried for a little while to make this idea work then said to heck with it. It has two
solid mounting points already, and once I have the seat bolted down it will create
a third... Its not going to fly away or anything:doh:

My neighbor is going to do some spot welds on it to close up the holes that are all
over the darn thing that the stock bike uses to mount bits and parts to.
Once everything is all sealed up nice Im going to sand and primer it to get it ready
to hit the booth. At some point Im going to put the tank back on as well as the rear
fender to allow me to mock up the forward side seat bracket and drill a hole in the
fender for the seat mounting bolt.

Fender the bike came with:

Newly chopped fender:

The new fender gives me a little more room to protect against mud and dirt and will
look better with the new longer fatter seat. It is also in much better condition than
the old fender.. the one that came on the bike was rusted out pretty bad underneath
and this one is pretty darn clean.

16,193 Posts
That's about how my fender looks but I've got 10.5" shocks on mine.lookin good.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks man.

This one has 11 inch struts on it right now, and it leaves about a half inch between the tire and fender. I picked up some 13.5" shocks with 2.5" of travel so I think itll work out nicely. Waiting for them to come in the mail right now.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #17

What brand of jack is this under the bike? Do you know the lifting capacity of it? I would like to have one for my 1500.
The capacity is rated at 1100lbs. I got it for about $50 online and have been pretty impressed with it so far. Ive cranked the bike up with it and left it up for a week at a time with no issues. It hasnt come crashing down or given me any trouble. It came preassembled and greased and everything.

Here is a link to it on Ebay

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I see where you are going with that, and I like the idea. Unfortunately I have already chopped up the rear fender. I may in the future do it over, but we will see. I plan on getting hard bags and fabbing up brackets for them and may look into doing a diffferent fender then.

Update: Hope everyone had a great holiday and rode safe! I have pulled the tank and fenders and side covers. The fenders are with my neighbor at the moment, he is going to weld some sheet metal underneath them to reinforce them and he is going to weld the holes in the fender closed, so I wont have a bunch of open spots in it from where the stock hardware used to mount.

He is also stripping the front and rear fender. I did chop a bit at the front fender, but unfortunately Im not too happy with how the cuts came out. Going to need to clean up the edges a bit, but it should be okay with a little tinkering.

I put together some stencils for the tank and side covers but I am having trouble printing them out right, durn thing is being a pain. Will try reprinting them soon.

I will be on vacation for a week, so my agenda is as follows:

Clean inside of gas tank (lookin at this here Evaporust stuff)
Clean the engine (lots of grime and dirt. Needs love. Got some CLR and a toothbrush)
Strip the tank
Prime fenders, tank and side covers. Need to pick up Adhesion promoter for the plastic side covers and Self Etching Primer for the metals.
Going to my dads shop to spray everything properly in a booth. Gotta hit the local paint shop.

If I have time left over
Put the bars back on and replace the brake pads and flush the system with new fluid
I got new throttle and choke cables, gotta install them

I have some steel braided 1/4 fuel line coming in the mail, as well as a TW200 Petcock and some metal Y fittings. I need to order plates, filters, etc and I plan on replacing the fuel lines / petcock and doing an ear shave before I put the tank back on.

My new shocks came in the mail but I wont be putting them on until I get the fenders painted.

Lot of work to do. Gonna be a busy but exciting week. Brace yourselves.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Got the rear fender back from my buddy nextdoor.

He welded the open holes where the stock hardware used to mount
to it, then packed some bondo in there and hit it with a wire wheel.
Its still kinda rough, gonna take some more bondo and 320 grit to it.
I need to strip the front fender, and strip the tank as well..

Here you can see the fender im reworking next to the one that the
bike came with.

Finally got the darn shift lever on. The peg has a really weird thread pitch,
I couldnt find a nut for it anywhere.. had to order it online.

Way nicer.

Put the bars back on loosely to get them out of the way so I could finish
spraying and clear coating the lower forks, and started mounting the turn
signals as well. I just finished spraying and clear coating the bucket and
the arms that the bucket and turn signals mount to, put em on for a test fit.

The right side turn signal was giving me a lot of trouble. As I showed in an
earlier post, the stems were too short for them to be mounted properly so I
got some threaded rod and used a bolt and loctite to connect the threaded
rod I picked up with the stems for the turn signals. The left one went on with
no problems, but the right one was givin me hell. I ended up cutting a shim
out of the material leftover from the rear fender, but it was too thin.

After a few hours of cursing, epoxying, and jury rigging different shims out
of various things around the garage and trying different ways of mounting,
I finally got the right turn signal on. What a pain, but very excited theyre
finally on.

Next im going to need to wire up the turn signals into the wire harness.
Starting to get the rats nest of wires in there organized and tamed. I have a
bunch of split loom and zip ties and such that I am going to use to clean it all
up after I have finished wiring in the fog lights, speedo, tach, and voltmeter.

Tightened up the bars a bit so they will stay put until Im ready to dial em in
for good. I have new choke and throttle cables that I am going to put in, and
a new choke lever.

Ive been collecting my gauges too. Ive got a chrome speedometer with a black face, 2.5" diameter,
and I found a matching tach as well. Going to order the tach on my next paycheck. I have a digital
voltmeter gauge comin in the mail that Im going to mount in the middle.

Thats about it for tonight..
1 - 20 of 137 Posts