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I miss you, Deron
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm lucky enough to live one block from a really great motorcycle mechanic shop. These guys have been working on bikes for 40 years and have a great reputation in the area. They've worked on my several of our bikes. I stop in from time to time just to chat with them and ask their advice about various things.

On my last visit, we were talking about changing out the sprockets on my 800A, and I told the owner of the shop that I was probably going to be trading up to a bigger bike within the next year, anyway, and that I was thinking about getting a 1500 classic. This is what he told me about the 1500, in particular, and Vulcans in general.

He said that the 1500 engine tends to need rebuilding after about 20,000 miles. He said he's seen it many times, and that it's only the 1500, not the other size engines.

About Vulcans in general, he said that they're his least favorite cruiser to work on because things are less accessible than on other makes. He gave me an example of a repair he'd recently made on a Vulcan (I can't remember what the repair was now) :( that he said took a couple of hours' longer than the same repair would have taken on another make. He said this tends to be the case with Vulcans, so repair costs can be higher than with other makes, due to the additional labor.

I'd like to get your opinion about these statements. Has anyone on this board had to rebuild a 1500 engine after 20,000-some miles? For those of you who do your own mechanical work, have you found that his statement about repairs being more labor-intensive on Vulcans is true? Although I can do basic maintenance on my bikes. I'm no mechanic. I love my Vulcan, but I also want to keep my future costs down, so now I'm wondering about whether to look at getting a 1500.

Thanks, everyone.

Julie
 

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I too, as the owner of a 1500 with 5500 miles am very intersted in the life expectancy of my motor.
 

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But think about a couple things. One you spent alot less than most other cruiser owners did in the beginning. Two opinions are like you know what and everyone has them, and this may just be his limited experience with these bikes. With proper maintence these bikes will last a long long time. Plus the cost of services in relation to others is alot lower.

Let him have his opinion
 

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A local mechanic specifically steered me toward Kaw when I was looking for a bike, and away from Yam and Honda. Of course, maybe he was just banking on labor charges in the future.

Here's a though jukie... if the 1500 worries you, go for the 1600!
 

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I miss you, Deron
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PickYourPockets said:
A local mechanic specifically steered me toward Kaw when I was looking for a bike, and away from Yam and Honda. Of course, maybe he was just banking on labor charges in the future.

Here's a though jukie... if the 1500 worries you, go for the 1600!
Very good thinking! I could put that extra 100ccs to good use! :)

I agree that the price of a Kawa is a lot less than some other makes, and I do believe that with good maintenance I won't have to worry about major repairs--at least not for a long, long time. I would very much like to learn to do more than just basic maintenance, though, and if it's more difficult to work on a Kawa cruiser than other makes, maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew...
 

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my last bike was a 1500 and i put 27,000 on it and the guy i sold it to has already put another 6000+ with no sercice calls and thats why i buoght another 1500..keep the maintance on them and they will last you...i dont see many 1500's in shops but i see alot of em on the road :wink:
 

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Julie your mech. is full of it . Ther are plenty of 1500's out there with 60 to80,000 miles on them. The 800 is bullet proof. the 750 is the only one with some stator problems that can be a major tear down. I'm sure there are a few kaw's that have had problems, but so do alot of other bike brands. Go to www.vroc.org an ask them if they have alot of 20,000 mile break downs. If you don't get an answer there I've got a better place to get an answer but I don't know if the modurators like posting other forums on this site.
 

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Me I'd change mechanics.
I wouldn't let anyone work on my bike who wasn't "into" them
Cheers
 

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Julie I should try to clarify myself. What your wrench is thinking of is probably the pog (plastic oil gear) which is a problem that the 96 thru 99 1500 classic's have wear's out around 20,000 miles. Kawasaki picked up the tap on the replacement. Switch it to a sog ( steel oil gear ) haven't had a problem since. The newer 1500's have an sog since 99. Not sure about the yrs. just know any of the 1500's after 2000 all have sog's. If you want a pain in the butt, buy a yahama v-star 1100 you have to drop the exhaust every time you want to change the oil , since the exhaust cover's the filter. You can by a filter relocation kit for $200.00 but why should you? It's the design that's wrong, why should the buyer have to spend extra to fix what the manufactor designed wrong?
 

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I miss you, Deron
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Woodchucks, I think you're right. I think the plastic oil gear IS what he mentioned. I don't live in that big of a city, so maybe he hasn't worked on the newer 1500s. Who knows? I think I might just ask him!

Thanks, you guys. I feel much better. I really want to stay with the Vulcan, and I love the 1500.
 

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re

thats his opinion and experience but not the norm imo :wink:

the pog fix is well known and as woodchuck says-you can't hardly
tear these motors up in my view :wink:
 

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Your mechanic's opinion

I traded my 2001 Classic 1500 FI a couple of weeks ago for a Vulcan 2000. It had 36,000 miles and is was running stronger than ever. I never took it back to the dealer for any type of service during my 3 years of ownership. I performed routine maintenance (oil, filter, and plugs), parked it in my garage, and only washed it with soap and water a couple of times a season. Honda Spray Cleaner & Polish and a cotton baby diaper are wonderful things.

At 24,000 I lubed the drive shaft and swingarm axle. At 32,000 I replaced the clutch friction plates, diaphram springs, and disc brake pads. At 33,000 I replaced the steering stem bearings. I did all of the work myself and spent less than $500.00 in parts and tools.

When the mechanic at the dealership I traded with checked out my Classic he stated that the 1500s last forever.
 

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I miss you, Deron
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you, dacvulcan! That's exactly what I wanted to hear!
 

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Julie this is what's great about this forum. You came in hear earlier in the day , an by the time night rolls around your concerns about the 1500 have been put to rest. Just like everyone else around here someone post a problem or concern an it's solved or been adressed within 24 hr's. :D
 

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I miss you, Deron
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yep, I love this place!
 

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General Concensus

I believe you've got the best cross-section of honesty and real world opinions here Julie...
My 2¢ is after belonging to the "4 is more" club all of my life I VERY carefully traded a 650 Seca on my new Mean Streak. V-Twins, are as durable as other engines with one caveat...High RPM's. Twins are an inherently poor design for "high-rpm" applications ie: racing.
HD, for instance, has never been able to put durability and speed together.
Keep the R's low and performing regular maintenance are the keys to years of trouble free riding.
Enjoy!
 

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Vulcan 1500 engines..??

Hello Julie...

After four cross country trips east coast to westy coast out and back, New England to Fla and return, all of the Canadian Maritimes etc.. and as of today 85,000 mikes +.... I have never had an engine rebulid, and never lost a sog or a pog, but do watch the clutch springs carefully ! Keep the Amsoil and the filter changed regularly, all connections tight, cables clean and well lubricated, rear end always maintained, and every other year new fluids..etc.. wash/wax/polish/stroke/smile AND my 1995 1500 A9 treats me better than harem girl !!

I'd give your mechanic a sit-down before moving on !

best regards...

Ernie in NH
 

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Allow me to weigh in...my 2001 Vulcan Classic 1500 FI has 21,000 miles and sounds as solid today as it did when I bought it in October of 2002. I do my own maintenance and mods (except tire changes). Since new, maintenance has been:

- oil and filter changes every 2000 miles, use Kaw 10w-40 and Kaw oil filter
- new air filter at 20,000 miles
- new front and rear tires and tubes at 13,000 miles (had a flat at 18,000 miles on the rear, put in a new tube)
- replaced bulbs in both driving lights in light bar (burnt out)

That is it! I am thinking of changing the coolant this winter and I'll lube the driveshaft at my next rear tire change. I get 45-50 mpg on the road and would buy this bike again in a heartbeat. Go get yourself one, you won't be disappointed!

T-man
 

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I miss you, Deron
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks so much, guys!
 

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What your wrench is thinking of is probably the pog (plastic oil gear) which is a problem that the 96 thru 99 1500 classic's have wear's out around 20,000 miles. Kawasaki picked up the tap on the replacement.
I have a 98 VN1500E. Are you saying Kawasaki will replace the POG for free, before I have problems? Or do I have to wait till I have a problem?
 
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