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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi although this is by far not the first kaw ive owned it is my most recent i still have my 95 800 custom but its tore down and havnt had time to do what i want to do to it so it sits in storage for another year. My 800 sounded so much better than this 1500 does it reminds me of a gold wing. But to point im doing full tune up and wanted to know what oil you recommend as well as this vtwin seems to utulize a 2 plug per cyl system like ford did for a few years in one of the smaller ranger engines. I dont know how picky these bikes are but i tried. A splitfire in my kaw dirtbike and it hated it ran so much better on a cheap ngk Also it says to use high octane due to high compression ratio there is a sunoco by me that sells 110 should i do a mix of say 4 parts 92 and 1 part 110. Any feedback is greatly Appreciated.
 

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What "also says to use high octane"?
 

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The manual does recommend premium, some say you need it, some don't. I thought my 04 Nomad did as it pinged even on 91,,, I discovered it pinged a lot less with 1 range colder NGK plugs. Got to checking and Kaw had changed the heat range in the newer (at the time) 1500's I went to the older, colder plugs and it pretty much eliminated the issue. Should have went 2 ranges colder I suspect. And I don't know why, but with NGK, the higher number is colder. A DPR6 is colder running than a DPR5 for example
92070A
SPK PLG DPR7EA-9 (OPTION)

PLUG-SPARK,DPR6EA9

SPARK PLUG DPR5EA-9 (OPTION)

I'm pretty sure mine had the DPR5 in it from the factory, now they show it as optional. hmmm, maybe they listened.


Trying to modify the air intake brought some of the pinging back, determined it was sucking in hot air from the radiator instead of the cooler air up where the stock intake is. I'd leave the intake alone except for an oiled foam element. The standard tall S&S Harley 6" one will fit in the stock position on the left. I did use a plastic coffee can lid over the stud to keep it in place while putting the dogbowl back on.

I made a pilot bushing jig for using a hole saw to remove the resonator tips, helped the sound a bit. The "pre-muffler" under the bike is a cat. People have been known to saw them open, gut them, weld up and replace. Note: the 99 actually was a pre-muffler chamber, but the headpipes are slightly smaller. you'd need the 99 headpipes also. The 99 sounded great with the resonater tips removed.

Search for Gadgets Fixit page or Vulcangadgets page, tons of Vulcan info. some links are dead now, but a lot of it was saved between the 2 sites.

Last, but not least. I thought the windshield was too turbulent on the highway, one reason I sold mine. I've since found ways to make it better. I added some home-made deflectors to the top of the engine guard, tilted the tops back and notched the upper inner corner to clear the tank. took out 90% of the turbulence on my current bike.
43379
 

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Forgot: Basic 10W40 motorcycle oil is fine. I personally use Amsoil motorcycle oil...

other common issues are the cam chains stretch with higher mileage, Then the auto adjusters run out of travel. There were extenders available for the adjusters that took up the excess and I've never heard of anyone running out again, I believe the cam chain only stretched so far. The cam chain has been known to saw a hole in the spark plug well tube and create an oil leak when out of adjustment, easily unscrewed and replaced. See the Gadget pages for more.

Good luck and have fun with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The manual does recommend premium, some say you need it, some don't. I thought my 04 Nomad did as it pinged even on 91,,, I discovered it pinged a lot less with 1 range colder NGK plugs. Got to checking and Kaw had changed the heat range in the newer (at the time) 1500's I went to the older, colder plugs and it pretty much eliminated the issue. Should have went 2 ranges colder I suspect. And I don't know why, but with NGK, the higher number is colder. A DPR6 is colder running than a DPR5 for example
92070A
SPK PLG DPR7EA-9 (OPTION)

PLUG-SPARK,DPR6EA9

SPARK PLUG DPR5EA-9 (OPTION)

I'm pretty sure mine had the DPR5 in it from the factory, now they show it as optional. hmmm, maybe they listened.


Trying to modify the air intake brought some of the pinging back, determined it was sucking in hot air from the radiator instead of the cooler air up where the stock intake is. I'd leave the intake alone except for an oiled foam element. The standard tall S&S Harley 6" one will fit in the stock position on the left. I did use a plastic coffee can lid over the stud to keep it in place while putting the dogbowl back on.

I made a pilot bushing jig for using a hole saw to remove the resonator tips, helped the sound a bit. The "pre-muffler" under the bike is a cat. People have been known to saw them open, gut them, weld up and replace. Note: the 99 actually was a pre-muffler chamber, but the headpipes are slightly smaller. you'd need the 99 headpipes also. The 99 sounded great with the resonater tips removed.

Search for Gadgets Fixit page or Vulcangadgets page, tons of Vulcan info. some links are dead now, but a lot of it was saved between the 2 sites.

Last, but not least. I thought the windshield was too turbulent on the highway, one reason I sold mine. I've since found ways to make it better. I added some home-made deflectors to the top of the engine guard, tilted the tops back and notched the upper inner corner to clear the tank. took out 90% of the turbulence on my current bike. View attachment 43379
Thank you for all your input and suggestions. Im sure they will definitely help
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Forgot: Basic 10W40 motorcycle oil is fine. I personally use Amsoil motorcycle oil...

other common issues are the cam chains stretch with higher mileage, Then the auto adjusters run out of travel. There were extenders available for the adjusters that took up the excess and I've never heard of anyone running out again, I believe the cam chain only stretched so far. The cam chain has been known to saw a hole in the spark plug well tube and create an oil leak when out of adjustment, easily unscrewed and replaced. See the Gadget pages for more.

Good luck and have fun with it.
Forgot: Basic 10W40 motorcycle oil is fine. I personally use Amsoil motorcycle oil...

other common issues are the cam chains stretch with higher mileage, Then the auto adjusters run out of travel. There were extenders available for the adjusters that took up the excess and I've never heard of anyone running out again, I believe the cam chain only stretched so far. The cam chain has been known to saw a hole in the spark plug well tube and create an oil leak when out of adjustment, easily unscrewed and replaced. See the Gadget pages for more.

Good luck and have fun with it.
i thought the 1500 had a gear drive system instead of the chain and tensioner system that can wear out. Or maybe that was a specific year or im just totally wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i thought the 1500 had a gear drive system instead of the chain and tensioner system that can wear out. Or maybe that was a specific year or im just totally wrong.
And about the regular 4 cycle engine being fine some guys have said i have to run. Vtwin specific engine oil which around me is even more expensive than the royal purple i run in my lexus and bmw 325ix. And the only oil filter i could find without having to order was a fram and ive heard alot of bad things about fram oil filters, not anything like then falling apart inside and causing catostrophic failure. But brand new out of the box the inside of filter is rusted sometimes to the point its rusted enough to have rust flakes inside of the brand new filter this test was done by about 6 mechanics on youtube to see who had the best filter and the fram always got worst they would cut the very top off of say 10 brands wix and napa gold series seemed towin almost everytime "wix makes napas oil filters"
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The manual does recommend premium, some say you need it, some don't. I thought my 04 Nomad did as it pinged even on 91,,, I discovered it pinged a lot less with 1 range colder NGK plugs. Got to checking and Kaw had changed the heat range in the newer (at the time) 1500's I went to the older, colder plugs and it pretty much eliminated the issue. Should have went 2 ranges colder I suspect. And I don't know why, but with NGK, the higher number is colder. A DPR6 is colder running than a DPR5 for example
92070A
SPK PLG DPR7EA-9 (OPTION)

PLUG-SPARK,DPR6EA9

SPARK PLUG DPR5EA-9 (OPTION)

I'm pretty sure mine had the DPR5 in it from the factory, now they show it as optional. hmmm, maybe they listened.


Trying to modify the air intake brought some of the pinging back, determined it was sucking in hot air from the radiator instead of the cooler air up where the stock intake is. I'd leave the intake alone except for an oiled foam element. The standard tall S&S Harley 6" one will fit in the stock position on the left. I did use a plastic coffee can lid over the stud to keep it in place while putting the dogbowl back on.

I made a pilot bushing jig for using a hole saw to remove the resonator tips, helped the sound a bit. The "pre-muffler" under the bike is a cat. People have been known to saw them open, gut them, weld up and replace. Note: the 99 actually was a pre-muffler chamber, but the headpipes are slightly smaller. you'd need the 99 headpipes also. The 99 sounded great with the resonater tips removed.

Search for Gadgets Fixit page or Vulcangadgets page, tons of Vulcan info. some links are dead now, but a lot of it was saved between the 2 sites.

Last, but not least. I thought the windshield was too turbulent on the highway, one reason I sold mine. I've since found ways to make it better. I added some home-made deflectors to the top of the engine guard, tilted the tops back and notched the upper inner corner to clear the tank. took out 90% of the turbulence on my current bike. View attachment 43379
I run highway pegs off the crash bar or highway bar whatever you want to call it about 6=8" up from the bottom bend did you run those and if so any leg interference.and i rode mine dor about 40 miles with winsheild assembly off cause when it got here from northeast ohio the shipper had to take it off cause it wouldnt clear the shelf of his enclosed trailor and i liked the look better same wigh my 800 custom. But with this nomad i had to put it back on i ride listening to pandora on my phone using earbuds but over 40 the wind was so loud i couldnt hear anything. I am going to make a custom stereo system for it with 2 speakers upfront 2 in back and a subwoofer in one of the saddlebags. I thought about making custom saddle bag doors taking off factory and just utulizing hinges and latches.they have some pretty powerfull amps out now that can fit in your hand and put out 100 watts rms to each of 2 channels and blaupunkt has a blue tooth 5 channel amp offering about 65 watts x4 and about 150 for sub channel for about 100 n lessi just wish it had a faring for a headunit like alot of the harleys have so ill prolly have to use cell for headunit i could put it in saddle bag but that would be such a hassle
 

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Oil filters: There are a lot that will fit, I usually buy the HiFlo black ones off amazon or wherever 6 at a time think they're the 303. here's a cross reference: https://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/FilterXRef.html

Tried highway pegs on the engine guard, found them too wide on the outsides of the guard. 1st trip with them I was not used to the extra width, hooked a traffic cone with one, flipped it up head-high and almost landed in my lap.

I run a Madstad shield for a RoadGlide on my cut-down shield. the 2 layers do away with most of the noise, those deflectors combined with the shield make it pretty quiet. Have a 2-layer shield setup on all 3 bikes currently, the actual shape doesn't seem to matter as much as simply having 2 layers, may look funny, works so well I don't care. Check out the newer Goldwings and RoadGlides, they both have rather large gaps at the bottom of the shield to essentially do what I did, they're using the fairing itself as the 2nd layer.

I started looking for a better shield around 2002 when I had my VN800A, one reason I got the Nomad, The Clearview +2 with vent barely helped. Tried larger lowers, changing angles etc. Around 2014 I found a setup that worked. Here's my current setup on my Shadow Ace Tourer. which incidentally the Nomad killed, Honda came out with this in 98, Kaw threw some bags, shield and alloy wheels on a Vulcan Classic and had the Nomad a year later, with a 1500 engine for the same price as an 1100 Honda: The Tourer lasted 3-1/2 years.

43385
 

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,,,assuming yours has the spin-on, my 04 did. There was something about oil filters on the 1500's can't remember exactly what now. Believe they could have a cartridge type or a spin0on filter. Or maybe the spin-on was a service bulletin,,, info should be in the Gadgets page
 

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Actually..... back in the day the 1500 had 2 engine oil filters. There was a regular spin-on type that we're all used to and a pre-pump screen. Search around, I'm curious as to whether it still has one. Back then (mine was a 2003 carb'd) there was a cap downlow to unscrew to pull the screen out and clean once in a while. I bought my bike new and quit doing it after 3 or 4 oil changes when nothing showed up in it any more.

The spin-on filters- SOME makers changed the design. We started calling them "innies" and "outies, just like people navels. For yrs and yrs the metal plate on the open end was always concave, i.e., sunken in. Some mfrs started making the convex, an outie, and the metal plate would bottom out before the o-ring sealed and it would leak. Bosch was the first and a couple others followed suit. So be careful with that. I quit ordering on line just so I could open the box to verify what I was getting.
 

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Found it, for a meanstreak, but applies to classic and nomads also. Another reason to use the 10w40 it calls for and/or a reason to also use synthetics which flow better cold. The 20w50 may be just that extra bit thicker, harder to pump. And a water-cooled engine shouldn't need 20W50 like an air-cooled motor:


edited earlier: Just talked with someone very familiar with these engines, Remembers it as actually being a large batch of bad kawasaki spin-on oil filters, and that most all had went back to the spin-ons and done away with the cartridge setup.
 

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Looks to me it shows both, perhaps the OP should show a pic of his bike. Plus bottom left is the suction strainer I'm talking about.
 

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Yep, I'd be interested to know the true story behind the issue, As I'd heard and remember, (which might not be correct,,,) There were some 1500's blowing out the gasket and/or the case seam on the filters. Their engineers or somebody (filter maker?) blamed it on excessive oil pressure, so they came up with the service bulletin or whatever they called it to install the cartridge filter setup with the much more robust casing, heard later that it was actually a batch of bad kawasaki labeled oil filters that either were poorly assembled or had the internal relief valves left out or possibly both Most people then went back to the spin-on filters, My 04 had a spin on filter when new so I kept using them. The cartridge filter baseplate just screwed on in place of the spin-on filter I believe. Whole thing could have been a CYA thing as there was also the issue with the earlier nylon oil pump gear failures. (which Kawasaki, to their credit, was still taking care of and covering the repairs on for something like10 years after).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yep, I'd be interested to know the true story behind the issue, As I'd heard and remember, (which might not be correct,,,) There were some 1500's blowing out the gasket and/or the case seam on the filters. Their engineers or somebody (filter maker?) blamed it on excessive oil pressure, so they came up with the service bulletin or whatever they called it to install the cartridge filter setup with the much more robust casing, heard later that it was actually a batch of bad kawasaki labeled oil filters that either were poorly assembled or had the internal relief valves left out or possibly both Most people then went back to the spin-on filters, My 04 had a spin on filter when new so I kept using them. The cartridge filter baseplate just screwed on in place of the spin-on filter I believe. Whole thing could have been a CYA thing as there was also the issue with the earlier nylon oil pump gear failures. (which Kawasaki, to their credit, was still taking care of and covering the repairs on for something like10 years after).
When
 

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All ancient history, they quit using the nylon gear after 1999, Sold my Nomad in 2009.

Edit: fwiw, met a guy riding a 99 Nomad in AR at a rally. It crossed 300,000 miles on the way up, from Texas iirc.
 

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Wow that's awesome high mileage. Do you happen to know what engine work it needed to keep it going that long?
 

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No, can't remember his name. There was a guy on the VROC forum though that has a million kilometers spread over his last 3 Vulcans. several others with over 100K miles...

from his sig line:
Garry

2016 Yamaha Super Tenere
2018 Honda Goldwing Tour dct airbag
2009 1700 Voyager KACT, sold at 679,465 kms
1999 800 Drifter, sold at 209,379 kms
2005 1600 Nomad, sold at 239,100 kms
 
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