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I pulled the trigger on a winter project. Good price but after I got the bike running there is a tick on the back cylinder. I let the bike warm up a little and gave it some throttle and well didn't sound so good. I would not run it the way it is right now.

I also drained the oil and well the PO sure didn't do very good maintenance of the bike.

Story is that the PO had it stop on a ride between states. Bike didn't make it. The clutch is also not working at the moment but not too sure it if is just in need of cleaning and a bleed or clutch is out. Bike has 34K on her.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2o1Y5iU]2003 mean 1 by Tim Brown, on Flickr[/URL]
 

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Those are hydraulic lifters, they're known to not pump up for a while after sitting. Some say to go run it hard for a bit, should quiet down after 10 to 20 miles. Maybe some clutch safe additive like seafoam in the oil

Edit: assuming it IS a lifter,,, other problem could be the KACR (kaw automatic compression release.) on the end of the cam. those can do serious damage. people have been known to leave them out with no real starting issues.
 
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We had one come in this last summer, not a MS, just a regular 1500 Classic. Similar mileage as yours. The customer rode it in from his house about 25 miles away. Said it has had engine noise for a while. Got it in, sure enough, noise. We noticed the oil light did not come on with the key. Hmmm. Sending unit wire still attached. Grounded the wire, still no light. Pulled out the sending unit, screwed in a gauge, no oil pressure when running. Likely the plastic oil pump gear took a vay-kay. After going over the possible cost of rebuilding a 20 something year old Vulcan engine that has been ran with out any oil pressure for a length of time, it left in a truck.
Not that your bike has a serious problem like this. I would be sure to check it though.
Yes, hydraulic clearance adjusters that won't pump up will tick. Especially if they sit for a time. I've had brand new bikes out of the crate tick for 10 minutes or so before they would run quiet.
 

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Geez, they use a plastic gear, and for hydrualic lifters!! I'll stick to cam followers or shims Thank You! . Depending of the miles, how much you like the bike, I would check those oil pump gears. I've never liked the idea of plastic gears in any engine or transmission. The killed a whole model line of Plymouth Voyagers, and Congress enacted a bill that stated those Mini-vans had to be inspected, the gear changed, and the specific vehicle marked repaired. :)
 

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Kawasaki scrapped the nylon oil pump gears in 2000, and took care of a lot of the 99 and older ones that failed for something like the next ten years.

The oil pump means splitting the cases. The nylon gear was just behind the clutch basket, accessible by pulling the right side cover and clutch basket.. There was a "Judge's oil gear" that could be installed without splitting the cases, others got the later steel gear and welded it on, meaning it wasn't coming apart again easily.
 
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