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That must've been quite the scene for those watching. Right up there with stunt man stuff. I doubt impressing people was foremost on your mind at that moment but nevertheless - I'm impressed!
Thanks for the story.
A Harley friend of mine keeps urging me to upgrade my headlight to LED. I've seen mmart's bulb swap which looks simple enough but haven't seen yours yet. More importantly, let me ask you for what I trust will be your objective opinion. Does it really make a HUGE difference?
I realize it must make some difference and everyone who's ever talked about LEDs claims they make nothing less than a whole world of difference. And maybe they do. But I'm talking about the plug'n'play kind. I don't want to have to gut my bucket to install an LED. But if you can confirm that it's definitely worth the extra lumens and visibility - including spread angle (i.e., width for seeing deer at night for instance) - to replace the OEM bulb with an LED, then I will put that on my priority list.
I haven't installed this h4 LED on the Vulcan, but I have on my Rebel 250, and it was plug and play: BEAMTECH H4 9003 LED Headlight Bulbs High Low Beam Conversion Kit 10000LM 60W | eBay

And maybe somebody's asked this question before but as I was doing my first spline job last weekend, I couldn't help wondering just how sealed that whole shaft tube is from the elements anyway. When I pulled that boot back to expose the u-joint, I realized how loosely it fit. Seriously, if I or someone else took that bike through a fair amount of water, what's to keep any of that dry?
Thankfully, my rig was impeccable. It was clean and well-lubed with no sign of wear or rust at 29k. But even so, isn't it possible that some of your scoots had some rough (wet, muddy, etc.) rides in their pasts and that crap got inside those tubes? I could also be missing something.
IIRC, I've done three spline lubes, and I never saw evidence of water in the splines. I did replace the O-ring at every lube.
 
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I got my Vulcan with less than 8,000 miles on it. The PO had just spent $1,400 at the Kawasaki dealership having "everything checked and put in tip-top condition". When he got it back after four months, the throttle was sticky and hard to start and he sold it to me for cheap (turned out to be a frayed throttle cable). After joining this forum, I learned of the "dry splines from the factory" issue and checked the splines. Mine too were dry. You would think a Kawi dealership would know to check a shaft drive, but they didn't. Oh, and the tires were original and dry rotted. So much for putting things in top shape.
My thoughts here are at the end of the day they (dealerships) don’t want to take care of you older bike, I feel like they’ll do just enough but really want you to buy a shiny new one off the floor. My last (and only) experience with a Kawasaki dealership took over 3 weeks when I was told 2 weeks was enough, got the bike back with some of the wrong screws on the side panels, a leaky carb boot, a leaky outside stator cover and the kicker, a rear tire inflated to only 17lbs!! And yes they let me ride away like that.
 

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That must've been quite the scene for those watching. Right up there with stunt man stuff. I doubt impressing people was foremost on your mind at that moment but nevertheless - I'm impressed!
Thanks for the story.
A Harley friend of mine keeps urging me to upgrade my headlight to LED. I've seen mmart's bulb swap which looks simple enough but haven't seen yours yet. More importantly, let me ask you for what I trust will be your objective opinion. Does it really make a HUGE difference?
I realize it must make some difference and everyone who's ever talked about LEDs claims they make nothing less than a whole world of difference. And maybe they do. But I'm talking about the plug'n'play kind. I don't want to have to gut my bucket to install an LED. But if you can confirm that it's definitely worth the extra lumens and visibility - including spread angle (i.e., width for seeing deer at night for instance) - to replace the OEM bulb with an LED, then I will put that on my priority list.
I've never had LED lights on the front of anything, so I can't really say for certain. I do know it's hard to have too much light, so any light that's better is obviously a good upgrade. I always thought my stock light was acceptable, but could be better.

If nothing else I'd add a light bar to mine. There's some LEDs out there that are worth it, either as headlights or auxiliary lights.

The OEM light casts a yellowish light, most LEDs will be whiter, and I feel I could see best at night with the LEDs. We dodge a lot of deer here, I've already totaled a few cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
My thoughts here are at the end of the day they (dealerships) don’t want to take care of you older bike, I feel like they’ll do just enough but really want you to buy a shiny new one off the floor. My last (and only) experience with a Kawasaki dealership took over 3 weeks when I was told 2 weeks was enough, got the bike back with some of the wrong screws on the side panels, a leaky carb boot, a leaky outside stator cover and the kicker, a rear tire inflated to only 17lbs!! And yes they let me ride away like that.
That is actually true. Santa Clara Cycles is a small family-owned shop here for the last 40+yrs. The single mechanic they have is actually quite skilled and knowledgeable. He mounted my new tire in under 15min and rebalanced it and inflated it to 36psi which is smart because the load limit is 41psi but I only weigh 175lbs, so I was impressed by that. I do all my own work and only go to the dealer when I don't have the tools necessary to do the job. Tire mounting is something I never got the knack of, and I don't have the balancing jig.

But, per your story, while I was waiting for the tire, they casually mentioned that there was a nice used Ducati Multistrada 1200 waiting for me on the floor. I might have taken a look but it was white. If you are going to buy Italian, for me there is only one color: Red. :p
 

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I didn't mention it, above but the dealership also convinced the PO that the tank needed to be lined. A few months after I bought the bike, I discovered what I assumed was Kreem sealant bubbling up due to rust underneath it. I got all the Kreem out, which took a while, and treated the tank with The Works toilet bowl cleaner to get rid of rust. When finished, the tank was spotless and didn't leak. Other than sticking it to the customer for an unnecessary repair that was poorly done, why would you line a tank that doesn't leak when all it needed was cleaning?
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
I haven't installed this h4 LED on the Vulcan, but I have on my Rebel 250, and it was plug and play: BEAMTECH H4 9003 LED Headlight Bulbs High Low Beam Conversion Kit 10000LM 60W | eBay



IIRC, I've done three spline lubes, and I never saw evidence of water in the splines. I did replace the O-ring at every lube.
I had some concerns about the front drive (propeller) shaft lubrication also, because it was not easy to reach the splines in the Universal Joint there. Found this in the Service Manual:
Rectangle Font Parallel Diagram Number

In 2004 they called for high temperature grease. We agree that MDS is a modern-day improvement over that.

They call for packing the final drive sliding joint with 17ml of grease, which converts to about 3.4 teaspoons.

They call for removal of the propeller shaft to perform the lubrication. This is not done by many of us (me included) because the final drive sliding joint is easily accessible. When we pull the driveshaft forward, we can access the front gear case splines on the shaft which drives the Universal Joint by pulling back the boot.

I coated those splines with low-moly MDS and grease, but the Universal Joint splines were not packed with grease. Note in my top pictures that the splines were dry but in perfect condition.

Does the propeller (drive) shaft actually need to be fully removed to access other areas for lubrication?
 

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I greased the propeller shaft one time, many years ago, and my recollection is 1. It was a PITA, and 2. Those splines were lubed at the factory. Can't recall if I was able to pull the shaft out far enough to grease the splines without having to completely remove it or not.
 
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