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Linkmeister Supreme
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
tincanman sent me a pm about a post I made on the newbie check-in forum to welcome Jeff23 on Haloween night. It got me thinking about the advice almost all newbies get welcomed with. We already have the "Verses", but that is a lot of reading at the beginning of a new relationship, especially when you would rather be out riding instead of reading or wrenching. So I`m asking "What are the TOP TEN IMPORTANT ITEMS a new owner of a vn750 needs to check or do, to make his scoot as safe and reliable as possible?" I will start my list, but I don`t have ten yet. Will add more as they occur to me. What are YOUR TOP TEN?

MY TOP TEN
1. Get a Kawi or Clymer service and maintenance manual.
2. Read the first three chapters and learn the names for common tools and the parts of your bike, and what they do.
3. As you are reading chapter three (in Clymer anyway), get out your wrenches and check all the fasteners for adequate tightness, fluid levels topped up, and all electrical connections are clean and tight, tires properly inflated, etc., as you cover each section in the chapter.
4. Learn to do a daily pre-ride inspection as outlined in Chapter 3 until it is a habit and automatic each time you approach the bike.
5. Make an attitude adjustment each time you straddle the bike. You are not ten feet tall and bullet proof. If you are stressed or angry or upset, DO NOT move that bike until you are calmed down and can concentrate on riding and getting to your destination safely.

6. Check and lube rear splines on driveshaft and final drive unit.

Edit April 22, 2011. Added Fergy`s new link to spline lube to make it easier to find for those who need it.
It is also a stickey thread now, as well as found in fergys sigline on every post he makes.
http://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17274

7. Get a Maintenance Free- Absorbed Glass Mat battery. (AKA MF-AGM battery)
8.Do an electrical charging system test for voltage and amperage.(refers to stator and voltage regulator/rectifier condition).

EDIT: I am adding the next two that theauhawk suggests for me in post #3.

9. Install a voltmeter. Digital readout prefered, water resistant, and shock resistant.
10. Relocate voltage regulator/ rectifier from the oven where it lives,(and dies!), above the belly of the goat, attached to the bottom of the battery box. Ma Kaw calls the goats belly the "pre muffler chamber". It is a crossover chamber to even out exhaust pulses.



OK I know some of those first items are not strictly stuff done to the bike, but it does relate to safety and reliability. Do you agree or disagree? Expand on something I have said or dispute it. Criticize if you must, but lets keep it constructive.:smiley_th
 
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Drive less, ride more...
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I won't necessarily suggest you change anything in your "top ten" list thus far (this is all opinion, anyway), but you could finish out your list with:

9. Install a (water-resistant, shock-resistant) voltmeter to monitor your bike's charging system. This will alert you to a pending charging system failure (in most cases) before you are on foot, in the middle of nowhere. It's fantastic peace of mind when on long rides!

10. Relocate the bike's regulator/rectifier. Either to the passenger left footpeg area (the usual place)--or somewhere else on the bike, for much better ventilation and airflow.
 

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On His Lady Vulcan
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Tools and manuals are needed for some, but not the first things one needs. I had tools already and the list should not be just for newbies to motorcycles in general.

Here are the top ten suggestions for new VN 750 owners, not in any specific order:

1. MF AGM battery...really it is the first thing to buy.
2. Silcone the lock in the tool box and tape the hinge on the inside so if the plastic breaks the lid won't go MIA.
3. Silicone the swing arm covers
4. Clean all the electrical connections
5. Install a voltmeter
6. Go over the bike and check every bolt and nut for proper torque
7. Buy a GOOD tire pressure guage and use it.
8. Check the adjustment of all the controls (brakes, clutch)
9. Take the MSF rider course
10. Buy a GOOD full face helmet and proper riding gear.
11. Relocate the R/R

I may have left out something, but it is early....I made the R/R the 11th item because I still maintain that it is not neccesarily needed, one has to examine the riding they do...and having clean electrical connections are 5 times more important.
 

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How bout this for the layman.

1) Give it a good thorough once over; check bolts for tightness, check all fluid levels, brake lights and turn signals, headlight adjustment, tires for wear/damage/pressure, ect.

2) Check the triple tree! Tire pressure, front fork pressure/oil seals, and front brakes. Forks should be about 7.1 psi. Digital pressure gauges work best for this. This subject has a number all it's own because your front tire is your life!
(edit by OlHoss. The front forks are adjustable for air pressure ONLY for the model years 1985 to '88.)

3) Pull your spark plugs because you can. There's everything you need in the tool bag. Get to know what they look like under normal conditions so you'll have a better idea of what they shouldn't look like. This is a good site.
http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/techinfo/spark_plugs/faq/faqread2.asp

4) Lube the rear splines. This is a pain it the butt, but may save you a $1000 final drive or force you into putting on a $250 used final drive. Take it from me, I learned the hard way.

5) Check charging levels while bike is running at a range of rpms. Should read about 12.* at idle (Vulcans don't really charge the battery at idle), then rise to upper thirteen's as rpms climb. If, while running at approx. 4000 rpms, the battery becomes fully charged, the Regulator/Rectifier will shut down as to not overcharge the battery. The electrical system is one weak point the Vulcans have. Look into relocating the R/R if you're any good with wrenches, and there are plenty of good pics on this site.

6) Get a maintenance free battery. They have a longer life, and more cold cranking amps (which makes our Vulcans happy). The VN750 likes a really hot spark to start consistently, especially when hot (there's that electrical system again).

7) Get a manual. I have heard that Clymers are better, but the oem will do. Read it! At least leave it in the bathroom for those moments while you're getting ready for a long ride.

8) Learn about the automatic cam chain tensioners (ACCT). If your engine doesn't have a valve train tick, it'll most likely get one sooner or later. This is a heads up so as not to stress. There's potentially easy fixes (look up grambo trick).

9) "Don't lean on the horn 'til you're out of danger. Then blast it for all you're worth" Anon.

10) "Never ask your bike to scream before her throat is good and warm." Anon. This gives you a chance to cool down at the same time.
 

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Mechanically inclined, and enjoy farting around with your bike? Follow the above lists.

If not, buy a newer, different bike.

Flame on.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Here in the states we go all the way to the 10 for ten. lol.
I had that one coming niterider, but in my own defence I started this about midnight and then bumped a button and lost everything and had to start all over. So it was almost 1.30 this am when I posted, and I was not getting any more inspiration,so I called it quits, and went to bed. Reading over the suggestions that have been made, I think all are good ones. Most of them I have seen expressed before, in one forum or another. There are a few that I had forgotten or were new to me.

theauhawk mentions the next two I would probably put on my list. I have a voltmeter ready to install when I can get around better. I have been thinking about a r/r relocation, but have been debating with myself over the merits of the easy route of putting it beside the rear foot peg, vs. the unproven benefit of an increase in cooling available by mounting it at the front of the frame.

wkrizan makes a good point about saving money by downloading the free manual. I finally did download it on Thursday, and just finished looking through it, ALL 2395 pages. This is not as arduous as it sounds because every thing after page 547 is a repeat of the 50 plus line drawings and associated parts lists just viewed. The only exceptions I noticed was that the shape of the Master cylinder for the front brake changes from rectangular to round, some where in the 4th or 5th repitition of drawings, and the fuel tanks have a different part number, reflecting a different color paint job.
This manual is written more for the professional mechanic, and skips a lot of the introductory general material that the Clymer manual has in the first and second chapters. This may not be very important to the guys who have been wrenching on their autos since they were teens. But I think it is valuable for the guys and gals who are new to the idea of working on their own vehicle, a bike in this case.
You can also carry it with you on the bike when travelling, for reference in an emergency. Of course you could carry a laptop too, if you wanted, I guess. I see them as complementary tools, after examining the downloaded manual today. The photos in it leave a lot to be desired, but the line drawings and itemized parts lists are excellent.

KM, I think every point you make is valid. Regarding manuals, I worked on my own cars for 20 years before I bought my first Haynes manual. I had done a lot of unnecessy labor in the past I soon realized, after having the book for a short time. If you are an experienced amatuer mechanic , or have experience with other motorcycles, you probably have a pretty good idea of where you need to start on a new to you ride.

I admit that my list is aimed more at the new rider, who has little or no experience riding or wrenching on a bike. That is the beauty of this little thread, it was intended to draw ideas from those with long experience riding, as well as those relatively new to the activity.

tcm- well thought out ideas. I should have waited until this morning to start this thread-maybe I would have had 10 to start with, eh. :doh:

Come on Doug and Frank, we need at least one new idea from each of you. Am I starting to sound a little too much like a cheerleader here? Sorry about that, I`m going to check some other threads now.:rockon: TTFN
 
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Straight roads are evil
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All of the above are good things to do. Here's a list that takes a different direction.

1. Get full gear, including a full face helmet, even if your state doesn't require it. Cover every square inch of your body with protective gear. Too hot? So what? It's a lot easier to wipe off sweat then to wipe on skin.
2. Sign up at vn750.com, vroc.com, and the vn750 yahoo list.
3. Skim the Vulcan verses, so you know where to look later.
4. Hook up with local riders that are serious about the sport, and who ride safely.
5. DON'T be a SQUID! (Stupid, Quick, Underdressed, and Invariably Dead)
6. Find out if there are local web forums for riding in your area. If so, get an account on them; local forums are great resources.
7. Check google maps for squiggly lines you've never been on.
8. Never ride above your head. It's a lot better to say "I could have gone 10 faster through that turn" than "Oh $%^&* I should have gone 10 slower!".
9. Can't think of #9.
10. Back to the beginning: FULL GEAR!
 

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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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A bunch of good suggestions, but one I didn't see was to change the (fluids) oil & filter, rear end dope & coolant also, if it is a new bike do it very shortly to get rid of the breakin particles etc., and if it is a used bike to make sure it has been changed and to know what is in it...
Just something I would want to do...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
 

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Kawika
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wkrizan makes a good point about saving money by downloading the free manual. I finally did download it on Thursday, and just finished looking through it, ALL 2395 pages. This is not as arduous as it sounds because every thing after page 547 is a repeat of the 50 plus line drawings and associated parts lists just viewed. The only exceptions I noticed was that the shape of the Master cylinder for the front brake changes from rectangular to round, some where in the 4th or 5th repitition of drawings, and the fuel tanks have a different part number, reflecting a different color paint job.
This manual is written more for the professional mechanic, and skips a lot of the introductory general material that the Clymer manual has in the first and second chapters. This may not be very important to the guys who have been wrenching on their autos since they were teens. But I think it is valuable for the guys and gals who are new to the idea of working on their own vehicle, a bike in this case.
You can also carry it with you on the bike when travelling, for reference in an emergency. Of course you could carry a laptop too, if you wanted, I guess. I see them as complementary tools, after examining the downloaded manual today. The photos in it leave a lot to be desired, but the line drawings and itemized parts lists are excellent.
"every thing after page 547 is a repeat of the 50 plus line drawings and associated parts lists just viewed"
seems true for the most, but I have been going through the drawing details in the service manual lately and the drawings are all a little different, it just does not designate why in a summary...
different for different canadian models (there is a kawasaki reed valve block off plate with a part number...must only be available in Canada....anyone want to confirm the availability?):smiley_th
There are variances in the US models too, and due to another thread recently, I discovered that I have a California model bike....there are drawings of the additional and alternate emissions equipment. The problem is they are not referenced at all...not even a page number or heading.:(
I hope I don't jack your thread, but I was wondering if the extra emissions equip. is part of the reason I can't seem to lose the popping with me V&H pipes... (it's marbled, vac plugged and the exhaust is not leaking) :confused:
p.s. if anyone has a suggestion, please pm me! I have not been able to find any California model specific threads except for this one.
 

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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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davewex, the thread you link to is true, block off or plug the right one and the one on the left is your tank vent... My bike bought by me new in Tenn. was a Cal. bike also...:(... Mine would stumble and fall on its face if you stopped for a bit with a warm engine, got me in trouble a few times when pulling out on the road... Of course it would be illegal to alter if you are in Cal...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
 
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Come on Doug and Frank, we need at least one new idea from each of you. Am I starting to sound a little too much like a cheerleader here? Sorry about that, I`m going to check some other threads now.:rockon: TTFN
It's difficult to add to all the great items mentioned so far. I didn't think I saw this one:

10+. Develop a pre-ride inspection habit. It only take a few minutes to do and you can do it while it's warming up. I do.
If you're not familiar with T-CLOCS (tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis, stands) here's a link -->http://tiny.cc/lq2Cp
 

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Don't go to the DARK SIDE - GO to the LIGHT and wear visible riding gear. There are fashionable riding jackets with armor that include reflective stripes and or are HiVis.

Get a more comfy seat for those long hauls.

DT
 

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Mechanically inclined, and enjoy farting around with your bike? Follow the above lists.

If not, buy a newer, different bike.

Flame on.
You mean to tell me that being mechanically inclined is not a prerequisite for owning a motorcycle? I've been wrong all these years? I guess it is a hopeless cause; trying to keep as many Vulcans on the road as possible. Damn! I guess I'll just go back to looking at pictures of other peoples bikes.

Hey OlHoss, I had to throw a couple of BS items on at the end too. lol. I was thinking after reading through the lists that some do seem a bit long winded; especially mine. Well thought out as it was, I still forgot to mention a fluid change, duh (Good call OD). I wonder if making a short list that just points out the big issues of our bikes, and mentions some other little ones, would be easier? Just enough info to get the brain moving, know the serious weak points of the Vulcans, and give them a direction to search in depending on what they want to do?

I'm short for time now, as I have to go fart around in the garage on my bikes. Then go for a quick ride while the rain's not falling like Niagara.:motorcycl
 

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I think alot of this is more of the order of stuff every new rider should know as oppossed to the top ten things every new owner of a Vulcan 750 should know

So most are not really Vulcan specific, which I thought was the intent of the subject line.

Regardless, the one I missed was checking the splines for proper grease.
Which should be true for any shaft drive bike, not just the Vulcan 750.

As time goes on here, that list will change...as by then most Vulcans out there will have likely already lost their swing arm caps, tool box locks , so the owners of said bikes will have likely already covered this somehow.

I feel lucky having had the oppertunity to buy a Brand New Vulcan 750 off the show room floor. From here on in they are "used discontinued models" so I can only hope those buying one are getting it from someone that knew all the bikes little peculurarites and is honest enough to mention what he or she did to the bike. Hopefully they would also have been members of this or the Yahoo forum.

All the other non specific suggestions are of course good ones. Perhaps we should morph all of this into one list for all new members/riders to read...and only highlight the 750 specific suggestions for them to read also.

If so here are my three golden rules of riding a motorcycle:

1. Do not hit anything.
2. Assume at all times that every other vehicle on the road is out there with the expressed intent of killing you.
3. Always leave yourself an "out" so you will not break rule number 1.


KM
 

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I agree with you KM. I was thinking of even making a post with the name of all the little peculiarities of the Vulcan. Something that covers all of the common symptoms, like "engine ticking, hard start, problem bike" so it was easily searchable. I've been pondering this, but haven't come up with a good way to do it yet.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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Discussion Starter #19
Good ideas from all of you. After we have let this thread run for a week or 3, we could edit the responses into 2 or 3 categories, more or less specific to the VN750 along the lines suggested by KM and tcm. It`s after midnight and I`m going to bed before I start to ramble again. Thanks to all for your ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Nothing new in the past 24 hours? Have we got all the issues covered already? If you have thought of something else, speak up. We need your ideas too.
 
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