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Bobber Lover
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to purchase a Kawasaki Vulcan or other to convert to a bobber. Mainly as a daily rider and bar hopper as I already own a Harley touring bike for 2 up and highway riding. My questions are.

1. Is 800 big enough motor or will I soon wish I had more power and speed?

2. Is there a significant difference in the power and speed between the 800 and 900?

3. I also looked at a Honda with shaft drive, what is the plus and minus of shaft vs chain drive bikes. The Honda was an 1100cc motor.

Thanks

DC
 

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Needs More Cowbell
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11,774 Posts
800's make excellent bobbers. If your willing to re-jet (easy, cheap), you'll be quite happy with the 800's power.
 

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Bobber Lover
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
800's make excellent bobbers. If your willing to re-jet (easy, cheap), you'll be quite happy with the 800's power.
Rusty

What is involved in re-jetting and about what is the cost if I have a dealer do this work. In addition does a bike need re-jetting if the exhaust is changed or if the original exhaust is modified? I would like the bike to be loud so I am thinking I will need different pipes or else have the baffles removed from the stock pipes. Thanks again for your help.

DC
 

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Needs More Cowbell
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11,774 Posts
Aftermarket exhaust is the best way to go, and should be done before any other mods to the carb/air intake. They don't sell a correct jet kit for the 800, but you'll need to buy either a DynoJet or Cobra kit for the needle, and get the pilot and mains from a HD dealer.
 

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Needs More Cowbell
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11,774 Posts
The aftermarket needle (Dynojet part# DNO106 or DNO313) is great to have because it's adjustable. The final jetting will vary depending what intake and exhaust you have. Basically, any free-flowing aftermarket exhaust will work fine.
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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3,317 Posts
I can only vouch for the 900...but it is an excellent bike for a newbie. I started on it, and from a versatility standpoint, its hard to beat. Its small, light, and not too powerful for a new rider, but big enough to not feel like you're riding a mini-bike...and powerful enough to keep up with interstate traffic.

You're definitely looking into the right class of bike...

Edit: I clearly mis-read the first post. Apologies :redface: I've seen more 800's as bobbers that look good than 900's.
 

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Bobber Lover
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Rusty
Here is a picture of the bike I plan to buy. It has what I think to be after market pipes as they are Vance and Hines. I would prefer to have straight pipes or pipes with no flare in them. Straight pipes meaning the same diameter for the full length. I am not sure if the larger part of the pipe is a seperate piece or not, if it is I would probably remove it and add an extension with the same diameter as the part coming off the engine. Not sure if that is possible or not or if I would have to buy a whole new set of pipes. In addition I may plan to wrap the pipes as well.

I wonder if these V&H pipes have a baffle in them? If so is it legal and easy to remove in order to get more noise from the pipes?

 

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Bobber Lover
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Does anyone know offhand what platform this Vulcan 800 is see above picture?

I know there are a few differnt versions i.e. 800A 800B etc.

Thanks

DC
 

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Needs More Cowbell
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11,774 Posts
It's an 800 'B' and those are Vance & Hines Cruzers. The baffles are easy to remove (if they're still in there), but removing them would kill your torque. You need some back-pressure for the bike to run correctly.
 

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Needs More Cowbell
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11,774 Posts
Looks like a nice bike, and it's likely been jetted already since it has an aftermarket intake,
 

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Needs More Cowbell
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Looks like that 800 has lots of goodies bolted on. The Mustang seat is a huge plus. Pipe's heat shields don't appear blue, so the jetting isn't way off. Only thing I'd have different is add a set of $25 ebay +2" risers to bring the bars up a bit (for comfort).
I know you don't care for the look of the 3" cans, but the V&H Cruzers are some of the best on the market for the 800.

I wouldn't bob THAT particular 800; it looks very good IMHO. How much are they asking?
 

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I'm NOT the boss
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929 Posts
In my opinion, if you don;t have the bike yet, look for an air cooled bike to bob. Much cleaner in my opinion.

+100
too much junk on this type of bike that you'll need for it to run correctly. Better to have an oil/air-cooled for the bobber. Look around for a used 883 or 1200 Sportster....they're a great base to start with. IMHO
 

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Bobber Lover
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Looks like that 800 has lots of goodies bolted on. The Mustang seat is a huge plus. Pipe's heat shields don't appear blue, so the jetting isn't way off. Only thing I'd have different is add a set of $25 ebay +2" risers to bring the bars up a bit (for comfort).
I know you don't care for the look of the 3" cans, but the V&H Cruzers are some of the best on the market for the 800.

I wouldn't bob THAT particular 800; it looks very good IMHO. How much are they asking?
The bike was priced so right that it sold tonight before I could test ride it tomorrow. I was waiting to test ride a Honda Shadow ACE prior to pulling the trigger on this 800 Kaw. Somebody beat me to the punch. I knew I shold have bought it last week. I will still tet ride the shaft drive Honda 1100 cc bike tomorrow and if the price is right I might buy it. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about a 99 Honda Shadow ACE?

Thanks
 

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Needs More Cowbell
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Don't know a lot about the Honda's, though I've ridden the 1100 some. Can't say for sure if I liked it or hated it.
That's too bad about the 800; it looked like a really nice bike. The 800 is near bulletproof so long as you keep up with the valve adjustments.
Personally, I like the Kawasaki V-twins since they have single-pin cranks (don't sound like lawnmowers).
 

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Registered
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I am looking to purchase a Kawasaki Vulcan or other to convert to a bobber. Mainly as a daily rider and bar hopper as I already own a Harley touring bike for 2 up and highway riding. My questions are.

1. Is 800 big enough motor or will I soon wish I had more power and speed?

2. Is there a significant difference in the power and speed between the 800 and 900?

3. I also looked at a Honda with shaft drive, what is the plus and minus of shaft vs chain drive bikes. The Honda was an 1100cc motor.

Thanks

DC
Hi there, thought I'd chime in as I just purchased a Vulcan 800 for the same purpose (a bobber project). I looked at a lot of different bikes, and I really think the Vulcan is the best choice for what I wanted to do.

I agree with some of the above posters that an air-cooled bike makes a better looking bobber overall. However, I wanted a newer bike for reliability, and for my budget I would only have been able to get a much older Harley. I just sold my '66 Beetle, not into tackling the vintage thing right now. With that in mind, the lines of the Vulcan (once you take all the unnecessary components off) are great.

Regarding the motor, I think the 800 has plenty of power. I'm about 220 and am more than happy with it. I do intend to put a better intake/exhaust on it eventually, but I debaffled the stock exhaust as a stop-gap solution.

Can't comment on the 900 as I haven't ridden one. I did sit on one at the dealership and they feel much more bulky than my 800. Not sure I like that for a bobber.

Regarding shaft versus chain drive, either one works fine as long as you do the maintenance on your chain. I think a bobber with shaft drive would look kinda funny, so I'd go with the chain.

Good luck, and post pics when you're done with your bobber! I'm off to do the same in the bobber thread...
 

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Carolina Panthers
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277 Posts
I had a Honda Shadow Spirit 1100. Great bike and the engines are bullit proof. It would burn the socks off my Nomad from a start. I really cant think of anything bad to say about it. Shaft drive is 10 times better then a chain.
 

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Alleyrat, your bike is an inspiration to us all. Looks incredible.

Out of curiosity, how many miles do you get out of that tank? Living in the middle of the desert with a long way between gas stations I always wrote off the tank mod as something that I'd regret.
 

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Carolina Panthers
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277 Posts
to answer the OPs question. It would help to know the year and mileage of each if you want the best answer.
 
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