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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My significant other's father came to visit for the weekend and I got to see his bike in detail but I'm confused. He told me it's a '99 Vulcan 800 which I accepted at face value not knowing much about those bikes. I thought the Vulcan was a simple V-twin of various displacements which I confirmed on the bikez.com website. Well, when I was looking at his bike I asked him what's up with the two air cleaners...one on each side of the bike. He told me that his bike is a V-4. That it has two air cleaners and two carburetors for each side of the V. That's what threw me...I don't see that any Vulcans were ever a V-4. I have a feeling he doesn't know what he has but I'm having trouble figuring out what it is. What Kawasaki (v-twin or v-4) cruiser has intakes on both sides of the bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I've found the answer to my question. Here's a picture of a 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 that looks almost identical to his bike.



I also see that Kawasaki made a Vulcan 800 the same year? This bike...



Why would Kawasaki have made two bikes with such similar displacement (750 and 800) in the same year???
 

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Wow, what an answer. If you don't know the answer please don't respond with some cute answer.
To some, anything smaller than what they are riding, they consider a chick bike. There's one in every crowd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just seems like a cannibalistic sales strategy to me to have two bikes with such similar displacement and power offered in the same year with no other considerable differences or features to set them apart. Not to mention the fact that they have to support yet another platform unnecessarily. Perhaps there's some history behind these platforms that I don't know about that created loyalty to both bikes keeping them both on the market. I betcha they don't have a line-up like that today though (haven't even looked, sorry).
 

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I would be willing to bet that the 750 V-4 will eat an 800 V-twin.
 

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The 750 has totally different characteristics from the 800. It's the difference between a muscle bike and a cruiser. That v twin 750 will eat the larger 800 v twin and the handling is much different also.
 

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Look at the years around 2004 to present. Kawasaki had like 3 bikes with only 100cc oe so difference. 1500, 1600, and I think an 1800. All looked pretty close. I think they kind of held one over a year or 2 until the newer version took off. The 1700 came out in 09 and I think the 1500 went away then. I am with you on the muti-platform of bikes with simulararities. But Harley has done that for decades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would be willing to bet that the 750 V-4 will eat an 800 V-twin.
Well, it's not a V-4 at all, I looked further and the 750 and the 800 are both vertical twins. However, the 750 actually puts out more power. The reason is that the 800 is a 4-stroke, SOHC, 8-valve V-Twin and the 750 is a 4-stroke, DOHC, 8-valve V-Twin. Dual overhead cams in the 750 so it's a more advanced engine.

"Advantages to having a DOHC engine over a SOHC is that the engine has twice as many intake and exhaust valves as a SOHC motor. This makes the engine run cooler and more smoothly, quietly, and efficiently. But the downfall is that DOHC engines cost more for repairs. To ensure against expensive engine repairs, make sure you change your engine's timing belt about every 60,000 miles."


The 750 has totally different characteristics from the 800. It's the difference between a muscle bike and a cruiser. That v twin 750 will eat the larger 800 v twin and the handling is much different also.
Apparently it is the superior of the two.

Right on, well I can sort-of see what was going on between the two at the time. What's on the current models? Are they still using DOHC in any of their current "mainstream" cruisers or did they go back to the simpler SOHC engines?
 

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Well, it's not a V-4 at all, I looked further and the 750 and the 800 are both vertical twins. However, the 750 actually puts out more power. The reason is that the 800 is a 4-stroke, SOHC, 8-valve V-Twin and the 750 is a 4-stroke, DOHC, 8-valve V-Twin. Dual overhead cams in the 750 so it's a more advanced engine.

"Advantages to having a DOHC engine over a SOHC is that the engine has twice as many intake and exhaust valves as a SOHC motor. This makes the engine run cooler and more smoothly, quietly, and efficiently. But the downfall is that DOHC engines cost more for repairs. To ensure against expensive engine repairs, make sure you change your engine's timing belt about every 60,000 miles."




Apparently it is the superior of the two.

Right on, well I can sort-of see what was going on between the two at the time. What's on the current models? Are they still using DOHC in any of their current "mainstream" cruisers or did they go back to the simpler SOHC engines?
Let me clarify something here. The number of valves on a DOHC vs SOHC, in some cases, are the same. Take my 1500 Vulcan, it is a SOHC motor with 4 valves per cylinder. The single cam operates both intake and exhaust valves through rocker arms. In a DOHC motor, the intake valves and exhaust valves are operated directly off the cam, eliminating the rocker arms, hence the need for two cams. This is done to reduce valve train weight so the engine can rev higher. Since HP is equal to torque x rpm / 5252, if you tune the motor to produce max torque at a high rpm, you will make more power. There is a trade off, though. As you shift the torque higher, you will loose it on the bottom end. A heavy cruiser needs bottom end torque.
I will not argue that one format is more advanced than the other, but I think that it's more of what design is needed for the purpose of the bike. A high rpm crotch rocket needs a high rpm design in order to make the power out of a relatively small engine (ie. 600cc). A cruiser needs torque at a lower rpm to get a heavy bike moving. Since torque is produce at a lower rpm, power will suffer. So to make up for it, they increase the displacement.
Big cruisers do not need rpm, so why build and OHC motor. HD doesn't, and has no need to. I think that the only reason the Japanese bikes are OHC is that it is a design that they are comfortable with. The departure from this is the V2K. I think it was done to reduce overall engine height due to a big stroke.
As far as one design being superior to the other is a little misleading. Design is tied more to intended use than anything else.
As far as one running cooler and more efficient, this is a fallacy. Engines run at there max efficiency when they run at their designed temperature. Cooler does not equate to increased efficiency. BTW, I don't know of any bike that uses a timing belt, only chains.
The 750 and 800 are two different animals. One is not better than the other. Pick the one that suits your riding style.
 

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Your apology is duly noted and accepted. I'm sure that I speak for all.
 

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On my mean streak, the right side cover is for the intake, the air is drawn through the intake into a duct that sends it to the left side and through the filter. I suppose the smaller ones are set up the same way if it has a cover on each side.

It does have 2 carbs, but only one filter.
 

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On my mean streak, the right side cover is for the intake, the air is drawn through the intake into a duct that sends it to the left side and through the filter.
Not quite.. the air enters through the filter first on the LEFT side, then passes through the crossover tube over to the RIGHT side, and into the motor. (Left and right are from the perspective of sitting on the bike) That's the 'stock' design anyways..
 

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GreenDragon, Not on mine. I just had this discussion with 2 mechanics at the shop I go to. The bolt vibrated loose on the right cover (intake) and fell off while I was at a stop sign. Since I was on the way to the shop and only 4 blocks from home, I turned around and went home and called the shop to confirm my acessment of the situation; It would cause no harm to ride without the cover on because there is no filter on the right side. The unfiltered air goes to the lift side and then passes through the filter, then mixed with the fuel. Both mechanics agreed with this, therefore I took my bike to the shop and now have 2 new tires. Under the cover on the right there are 2 big cut outs that allow air to be drawn in (not sealed), with no filter. The filter is on the left side and it is sealed so the only air to go through the filter is the air from the right side. You are correct in that sitting on the bike, the hand and rear brake is on your right, clutch and shifter is on your left side. Why would you have filtered air come from the left and be mixed with unfiltered air on the right side? Does not make sense to me.

I will be taking the whole thing apart and installing a hypercharger this weekend, if I find that I am incorrect in any way, I will post what I got wrong.
 

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Ok......here my version. On a stock 97 1500 single carb it goes like this. The air enters an airbox under the tank. It then goes thru a short duct to the left elephant ear where the filter is housed. It leaves the filter and goes thru a duct between the cylinders to the right side elephant ear which is void of a filter. It then enters the carb inlet. It is basically pretty sealed once it leaves the filter on the left side.
On my 96, I have eliminated all but the right side elephant ear, which now houses the filter. I hope this reduces or adds to the confusion.
 

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I have an 04 1600 mean streak with fuel injection, aparently the fuel injected engines have a different intake system, I was just saying how mine was set up. I assumed that if the bike in question in the OP's looked to have 2 air cleaners, it probably had one intake, one air cleaner.
 

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The 750 is derived from the VN700 Vulcan of 1985. I rode one for a demo (lemon law, long story) waiting for Ma Kaw to pick it up. I beat it MERCILESSLY, it saw redline at least 100 times a day. It left shards of footpeg all over New England. It endured the punishment for 15,000 miles that summer. I BEGGED Kawasaki to let me buy it. (I HATE cruisers) They refused. To me it was a legitimate performance motorcycle in drag.

It was a slow seller. That motor appeared nowhere else. They ran that platform for YEARS to amortize the tooling. It's one of the FEW cruiser motorcycles (along with the Maxim X and 1100 Virago) that I actually respect.

The 800 is another Softail clone. Yawn.
 
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