That's leakage with absolutely no pressure. The top end has to com apart. The valves inspected, as the seats, to make sure they don't have any cracks. If you lap the valves back by hand, very easy to do, and since you just pull the valves in and out to see how the lapping is going, you get all the answer about your valves issues. I would remove the spring keepers, and valve springs, get a piece of cardboard, amd place each valve where they are supposed to g in that cardboard sheet, which will look like your cylinder as you are looking at it from the valve sides. It's a great feeling when they are all lapped back in, and you get the bike on the road, and really feel the uptake of power. You're on your way, just continue to continue.
If the compression release is hanging up and not working it could have a burnt exhaust valve. If memory serves they work by centrifugal force and hold an exhaust valve open until above cranking speed. Sounds like one of yours is not working..., I'd think both should have the same wear.
FWIW: From the VROC forum posted a couple years ago:
I found a YouTube video recently (of course, I can't find it now) where the dude was replacing worn out 1500 kacr units with new ones which were apparently an updated version from Kawasaki. Does anyone happen to know which model year first had the updated kacr units, or even better: the updated part numbers?
I know some people just take them out and don't replace them and I may go that route but I'd like to have replacement set on hand just in case I decide to put them back in.
"Did some more research on this.
Partzilla shows: Description: Kawasaki 21118-1061 DECOMPRESSOR,FR for a 2001 Vulcan (and a bunch of other modes)
But in a Details box below the part number it shows: Ss Final: product/kawasaki/21118-0005
When I look up 21118-0005 it applies to a bunch of 1500 and 1600 models but doesn't specifically list the 2001's. "
This is the reply:
"The 1500 Classic engines pretty much went through there life from the factory unchanged after 2000, which is why the decompressors have't changed. That said, I wouldn't bother replacing them. I have seen the damage they do when they come apart, it's pretty ugly and expensive, as long as your battery is decent they are un-needed. You aren't going to want to go through all that to replace them after you've gone without them, you won't even notice they are gone. Don't waste your money.
I actually knew the 2nd poster and have ridden his Nomad running without them, To me it tended to maybe crank a bit slower than my Nomad, but fired right up and ran great, with 99,000 miles on it at the time.
PB is not good stuff to use for this kind of test. PB's job is to penetrate, so I am not sure this is a valid test.
The only reason I said to use Kerosene is because it is a heck of a lot safer than using gasoline, but lots of folks use gasoline. It should be done outside though. I think we used a 30 minute test. If no leaks in 30 minutes its good. You could use diesel or varsol. Both should work for you. There are lots of other ways to test as well. Google is your friend.
PB is a penetrating oil, and will find leaks, that's good. These motorcycles do not have much horsepower. I think you could get away without the decompression apparatus. The bike only has 72 H.P., I doubt that decompression was even necessary. If it's all tuned up and running good, that starter will start that bike right up without decompression. As a previous poster stated, make sure the battery is up to stuff, as when it gets hotter, the motor will be tighter, a good battery will turn it right over, a weak one may not. Those valves need to be relaped, the interior of the cylinder head polished, and the top of the pistons cleaned, shiny is what you want. That carbon build up is indicative of a combustion chamber not burning fully and leaving behind carbon build up. I'd stop the testing, take it apart ahd fix it already, the testing is taking away from your riding time. It has to come apart, all the way apart (the top end, that is). It's obvious you have valve problems.
I would take the extra half hour and do a proper liquid test first, but that's just me and my OCD nature.
I will agree that most likely the valves need work, but in my books its best to be certain.
But the next very important question is what about the rings? OP says it was burning a quart every 200 miles. If that's the case, I would think the rings and cylinder walls need a very close look. I highly doubt valve guide seals could leak so badly that the engine would consume a quart every 200 miles. Anyone have some real world data on this?
That whole engine has to come apart. The reality hasn't struck him, but it's a two cylinder, and they really don't last as long as 4 cylinder bikes. Maybe the water cooled ones, but even then. I would bet with all the carbon build up on the pistons, a lot of that went on the cylinder walls, rings are probably full of it, and it needs a 1st over bore and pistons and rings to match, Then you have to plasti-gauge the main bearings, or whatever other method people use, and make sure from all the pounding that he doesn't need plain bearings also. If he doesn't know how to do this stuff, he could just slap in a new set of .std rings and hope foor the best. Maybe he can tolerate it burning 1/4 as much oil, and the 50 to 60 H.P. it would now produce. Do it right or look for a low mileage engine. Either way, it's going to cost you 2/3'rd's of what one in pristine condition would cost. These bikes don't fetch to much money used. A low mileage used motor might be a better deal, but you don't really know what your getting. I only keep motorcycles that I am deeply attached to and know that when the time comes, I will rebuild the engine. I have two cars like that, and three bikes, but two of the bikes will outlive me. I have to replace the cylinder head gasket on my motor home but that's a Chevy 454 c.i. big block with only 40K miles on it.
Exactly what I expected to see. I would purchase new or in good condition, new valves, replace the valve stems, have the head professionally cleaned, and Zyglo tested for cracks. The whole head has to be rebuilt, and I can guarantee you the bottom end too. All that oil goes around the transmission, so you will need to look at that hard. If you could find a low mileage motor, that would probably be the best route to go. Personally, I would not put that much money into this bike, unless you find a drop in engine really cheap. They don't sell for much, you won't get your money back. It's a lost cause IMHO. I find these bikes low powered considering their displacement.
There's a 1500 engine on ebay for $1295, they have videos of the engine running in the bike. It's a 1500. Don't know that c.c.'s of yours, or if this one will drop in, but this would be cheaper than what you need to do to your engine on what you have found so far. There may be more.
Yeah when I bought it it had Vance and Hines long shots, but as I found out, the front exhaust port and exhaust wasn't lined up, like massive gap around it, surfaces weren't square or in alignment.
I fixed that as soon as I got it back to my house, but it definitely got hot, exhaust stud snapped off and I had to helicoil it.
Possible damage was done before I got it, but later on I also installed a hard krome sideburner.
Yesterday on the bike with the new motor I actually put the v&h longshots back on with their baffles.
I modified both exhaust with wideband bungs welded on, and I've used the auto tuner with my power commander basically as long as I've had it. A/F has always been monitored and safe. Rich if anything, but I usually set my cruising along targets at 13.8 ramping up to 13.0 depending on throttle input %
Burned exhaust valves are quite typical of bikes with very low exhaust flow restriction. Kawasaki OEM exhausts are tuned for a balance between power and long engine life. Third party exhausts are more about power and sound and less about engine life.
Putting the baffles back in will help for sure.
Why not get a quote on getting the valves and rings done by your dealer and then decide if you want to tackle it yourself? This assumes the crank is good and I think there is a good chance the crank is fine, but if in doubt check it out.
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