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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. Well, I'm pretty excited. A client of mine in South Florida owns a sport bike parts manufacturing company and has been telling me for a while now about the Drifter 1500. His friend owns the local Kawasaki dealership and bought a bunch of new 2003 Drifters from Kawasaki. So, for a super sweet price I just bought a "brand new" 2003 Maroon/Black Drifter 1500. Zero miles. Warranty. The whole nine yards. I'm so stoked. He's gonna ship to Phoenix on Monday. Honestly, I can't wait for it to get here.

Anyway, what can I expect with this bike? It's coming with the solo seat, and I may eventually opt for the dual, but for now am happy with the solo. How does this bike perfom? Tell me anything and everything about this bike. Did I mention I can't wait for it to get here?

Thanks for this great forum. Been reading through a lot of stuff here tonite and already like this place a lot.

Cheers,
John Roskelley
 

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Hi jroskelley

I'm a Nomad rider,however, Just wanted to welcome you to the Forum. Just having
a bike to ride is half the battle. The Drifter is a great looking solo bike. You'll have a lot of fun & the bike will get a lot of looks.

You may want to ask the forum about Engine Breaking in Techniques. The factory is pretty lame about going above 60mph for the first 500 miles. I used the method of "Ride it like you stole it!!" :twisted: This doesn't mean Red Line all the Gears.

Here is a great web site for new Vulcan Owners:
http://www.gadgetjq.com/newbie.htm#basics

Good Luck with the New Ride!!!

Dfgpilot
 

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Congrats on the new ride, and welcome to the forum jroskelley. You're going to love your new bike. I can just imagine the anticipation you have as it gets shipped.

Gadget's site is a terrific resource, and you'll learn alot there. And this forum is fantastic. Lots of great people, and TONS of valuable information. Good luck, have fun, and hope to see you here often.
 

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re

welcome aboard :wink:

glad to have another drifter rider-fantastic bike
like many of us you'll have to have some surgery to remove the
permanant grin :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks

Yeah...I'm totally excited...had a sleepless night last night! Thanks for the link to Gadget. That was really beneficial. I think I've already read every word there :)

Cheers,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Differences

Can anyone tell me (or point me to) the differences between the model years of the Drifter? The dealer told me between the '04 and '05 there are no changes. How about the '03 (since this is what I'm getting)?

Not having a lot of luck in finding a comparison chart between model years. Any help would be cool.

Cheers,
John Roskelley
 

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Hey Jroskelley Congrat's on the new drifter. you'll have fun with it . As far as the difference between model years , the biggest change will be the paint. Most of the model lines 750/800/1500. have not changed to much if any over the years. The main reason they try not to change to much is because the after market parts companies, Don't or won't like to make parts an accessories that only fit a one year production run bike . By bringing out the 1600 nomad for 05 ' this will confirm to the after market guys that the 1600 will be around for awhile.
 

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welcome and great bike. I love the classic lines of the drifter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Shafts, backlash, and other questions

Makes sense about keeping the models relatively free from changes because of the aftermarket guys.

I have another question. I've read a bit here about shaft drives and "backlash". I'm pretty sure this will be the first shaft driven bike I've ever ridden, and definitely the only shaft I've owned. What can I expect with a shaft drive? What should I prepare myself for? And what is "backlash"?

This forum is excellent. Thanks for the welcome, everyone.

Cheers,
John
 

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John prepare yourself for more riding time as the driveshaft is oh so much better than a chain and since I'm probaly not going to have a sport bike I'll never have another chain. Some people have said there's torque with a shaft and it can make the bike hard to lean. I've never had that problem or a problem controling a burn out. I think it's the best thing since butter toast.
Welcome to the forum, this really is a great site
 

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The shaft drive definitely requires a more subtle throttle approach to decel, at least that's what I've found riding my buddy's Vstar. Probably just takes some getting used to.
 

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John:

Backlash is the gap that exists between two gears in mesh - the driveshaft is a splined shaft with a universal joint to allow the rear wheel to pivot on the swing arm without putting the shaft in a bind. The amount of backlash can be likened to the slack in a chain drive. But, let me say, my Vulcan 1500 has a driveshaft like yours and, after 21,000 miles, is as good as the day I bought it. The "gap" one gets rolling off the throttle is no different, in my opinion, than any other bike. Maybe mine is set up tight, and you will love it. NO MAINTENANCE to speak of, no gunk from chains, no belt noise due to vibration. Just change the gear oil at the first 500 miles and you are good for another 20,000 miles! I change mine more often than the manual because of the small amount of oil involved and the ease of doing it, besides, can't hurt. The oil is always clean.
One tip on the engine oil change, however, be sure you clean the oil screen, especially on the first change. If a dealer does it for you, be sure he does it. Some may not know about the screen. It strains the oil before it goes to the oil pump for relatively large junk like pieces of gasket material, metal shavings, etc. I had a couple of small items like that on my first oil change but nothing since.

Best of luck with that cool new Drifter,
T-man 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the info

This is worse than Christmas for a kid! All this waiting around (the bike should be here late in the week). However, this is giving me a chance to read everything I can get my hands on, and to ask questions here. I already feel like I'm way better prepared for this bike than I was a few days ago. Been about 10 years since I've had one, and this will be a different beast. Back then I was riding things like the smaller Shadow, V45, etc. Rode a couple of 1100 and 1200 Goldwings back then too, but most of my experience is on 750s and smaller. At 6' 220 pounds I really feel like this Drifter is going to be absolutely perfect for me. Gonna spend time going through the safety class, figure 8s in the parking lot, balancing at slow speeds, etc. Also, read all the discussion on "break-in" and I'm sold on the "ride it like I stole it" approach.

Again, thanks for all the great discussions here. I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions. At least I know where to come. I definitely plan on being a regular at this forum.

Cheers,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got my bike!

Well, after what seemed like an eternity (I had back to back out of town trips that took up the better part of two weeks) I picked up my new Drifter 1500 yesterday. What a totally sweet bike this is. Just getting used to the shaft drive. It's very sensitive in both directions, so I guess a little finnese on the throttle is the key to managing the backlash. Not a problem...that just means more time riding it to get it perfected.

Gonna ride with the solo saddle for a while. It's been a few years and I want to get some time and miles under me before I go two up.

Anyway, did I mention how stoked I am? This bike is great and powerful and will do me (at 6'0" and 220 pounds) just fine. Thanks for a great website. I've learned so much here since the day I found out I was getting this bike. It's been very helpful and I can tell I've learned things I hadn't even considered. To me, that's the real benefit here, so thanks for everything!

Cheers,
John Roskelley
 
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