1997 Vulcan 1500 - good, bad, etc.? - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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1997 Vulcan 1500 - good, bad, etc.?

Saw a nice looking one on eBay for a decent price, and even though I won't get it, I figured I'd ask this for future reference.

How good are the late 90's Vulcan's? I've heard some unsatisfactory stuff from a few people on here I thought, but I haven't seen too many 97's on here. Just wondering if they're a solid bike, what the vibrations are like, performance, potential or known problems, etc.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 10:47 AM
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Change the POG. otherwise, I haven't seen anything bad on them.

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post #3 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 03:17 PM
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motor is rubber mounted tollerable vibration , peformance is surprisingly good for a 700lb bike , potential Thunder manufacturing makes 2 different big bore kits , dozens & dozens of aftermarket airboxes pipes seats saddlebags etc etc are available from all kinds of companies even the plastic oil gear isn't even really YOUR problem other than being bikeless for a while because when and if it goes bad Kawasaki picks up the tab , and if your just a nervous nelly Judge Oglesby makes a kit that doesn't require case splitting to install and it works awesome and your only out about $300 . Iown a 97 with a 1620cc kit that rips and my 96 has a Thunder manufacturing 98" kit and it rips both have the Judge kit in them motor work done to just chance it)


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post #4 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vn1500 View Post
motor is rubber mounted tollerable vibration , peformance is surprisingly good for a 700lb bike , potential Thunder manufacturing makes 2 different big bore kits , dozens & dozens of aftermarket airboxes pipes seats saddlebags etc etc are available from all kinds of companies even the plastic oil gear isn't even really YOUR problem other than being bikeless for a while because when and if it goes bad Kawasaki picks up the tab , and if your just a nervous nelly Judge Oglesby makes a kit that doesn't require case splitting to install and it works awesome and your only out about $300 . Iown a 97 with a 1620cc kit that rips and my 96 has a Thunder manufacturing 98" kit and it rips both have the Judge kit in them motor work done to just chance it)
How much power gain did you get from the kits? Some day I'm going to re-do my entire bike and I'd love to get some really good power out of the motor.

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post #5 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vn1500 View Post
motor is rubber mounted tollerable vibration , peformance is surprisingly good for a 700lb bike , potential Thunder manufacturing makes 2 different big bore kits , dozens & dozens of aftermarket airboxes pipes seats saddlebags etc etc are available from all kinds of companies even the plastic oil gear isn't even really YOUR problem other than being bikeless for a while because when and if it goes bad Kawasaki picks up the tab , and if your just a nervous nelly Judge Oglesby makes a kit that doesn't require case splitting to install and it works awesome and your only out about $300 . Iown a 97 with a 1620cc kit that rips and my 96 has a Thunder manufacturing 98" kit and it rips both have the Judge kit in them motor work done to just chance it)

Wow, thanks for all the info. Just what I needed.

Great bikes, by the way; especially the one on the left (I like the basic/old school look).

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post #6 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 03:56 PM
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A riding buddy of mine has a 97 Classic 1500 (green and cream color) and it's an awesome bike. He's up to about 40,000 miles with his and no hick ups at all. His only complaint is that his bike is only a 4 speed (as opposed to the 5 other 1500's have. His other complaint is gas mileage, again, probably due to being one gear short. He has his bike extremely blinged and it looks absolutely gorgeous. My bike is a 2003 Classic 1500 (Red and silver combo) and even though I love mine, I'd still prefer the green/cream combo. It just makes it look bigger for some reason. I know a couple of other riders who own the 97 and they have never complained to me about their bikes. To me the 97 is a solid work horse, with tons of torque. Hope this helps a bit.

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post #7 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 04:04 PM
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Older 1500's

They are 4-speed bikes and have clutch problems, a POG, transmission issues (2nd gear) and dated styling. Unless it is nearly free I would pass on these bikes. While they are enjoyable bikes to ride, their value has settled out at a level at which you can purchase a much newer bike with fewer deficiencies. Pass on these bikes and opt for a newer 5-speed model 1500 if you must have one.

Enjoy the ride!

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post #8 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 04:09 PM
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The only other bit that I would add would be getting FI instead of carb. My 01 is a carbed model. it was a great price and has done fine, but if you want to do power mods, it's easier to deal with changing settings with the FI and you can always re-map several times. With carbs, you have to keep track of needle and jet settings, etc.

I wonder if anyone makes an FI upgrade kit? Probably be easier to just go buy a new one!

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post #9 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 06:27 PM
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Very happy with my 97 Vulcan. Only problem was the oil pump gear and I put on one of Judges gears many years ago. When I pulled the plastic gear out for replacement it looked like new. Just changed it for my own piece of mind.
Have done all the motor mods on it .coasters,rejeted,gutted EPA,coyote kit, ect. About 30,000 mi. now. As far as the 4 speed. Top gear is the same as the 5 speed ,at least that is what I`ve told. Bought the bike in 98 sold it in 02 so I could buy a Voyager and do some serious traveling. Did my traveling all over this great country. Decided to sell the Voyager in 05 and the day I did .I bought the old Vulcan back from the guy I sold it to. Was really glad to get her back!!!!! She`s like an old bottle of wine that just keeps getting better with age!!

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post #10 of 73 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCDave View Post
The only other bit that I would add would be getting FI instead of carb. My 01 is a carbed model. it was a great price and has done fine, but if you want to do power mods, it's easier to deal with changing settings with the FI and you can always re-map several times. With carbs, you have to keep track of needle and jet settings, etc.

I wonder if anyone makes an FI upgrade kit? Probably be easier to just go buy a new one!
Not if your interested in having the MOST power. Then go with the carbed. If you'll be happy with lot's of power and not the MOST power the FI is the way to go. The bike itself is not horrible. There are a few quirks about them as some have mentioned, the clutch is a pretty easy fix, and if you are going to put a kit in it you need a special clutch anyway, there are some handling quirks with the old 1500's, but only if you corner real hard on some high speed sweepers. I have seen an old woman ride an old 1500 A model and keep up with an average rider on a GSXR 750 on the twisties.

Kev

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