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Discussion Starter #1
Recently noticed a minor oil leak in my 2002 1500 Classic FI. On the rear cylinder, at the top right side of the cylinder. Have 25000 miles on the bike and only major mod is Vance and Hinds Longshots. could this be head gasket problems :( or something else? Haven't pulled the tank yet. But am a bit concerned. Any one have an answer or the same problem?
 

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Interesting - I have 22K miles on my bike and notice a seepage in the same area, rear cylinder top right side. Pulling the tank won't help, unfortunately. the top of the motor is covered by the frame - if it gets bad, have to pull engine...ugh.
 

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the "fun" guy
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Darn....That doesn't sound good. :(

Maybe just a lose nut that needs tightening but as you said....how to get to it is the challange. This has my interest now.
 

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Looking further at the shop manual, I believe the rocker case cover (similar to the valve cover on the old car engines) is likely to be seeping. As with car engines, this is a common, minor issue. With cars its usually ignored until it starts wetting the garage floor but with bikes, the appearance of oil brings frowns to the proud owner. :sad:
The shop manual says the small bolts that hold the rockeer case cover are torqued at 78 in-lb (that's INCH-pounds), a small value. I think one can access near all of them if you raise the gas tank, at least its worth a try. The caution here is that without access to ALL the bolts, one may warp the cover slightly worsening the problem, so I will wait till the seepage becomes more problematic. I cleaned off the area today and rode 120 miles with no noticeable wetting of the area, so I will definitely hold off awhile. It's interesting that both Lyle and I see the same issue on an FI bike at this mileage, or it may just be coincidence. Fuel injection and V&H pipes really don't have anything to do with it. It may be more due to Kaw's selection of orifices in the oil delivery system and how much oil is flooding the rear cylinder rocker cases.

More later,
 

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the "fun" guy
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Interesting and odd at the same time since you both are experiencing the same thing. I agree with you about doing "ALL" of the bolts or it could become a bigger problem.

How about you lylemills? What approach are you going to take?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oil Leak on Classic 1500 Fi

Am going to let it go for the time being but keep a real close eye on it. Sound like the rocker cover may be the problem. And I agree with not just tightening a couple of the bolts. Would probably cause more of a problem than it would fix. If it gets worse will probably talk the to the tech at the shop where I purchased the bike. Would hate to have to pull the mill just to replace a gasket or tighten a couple of bolts. This sounds like it might be a factory problem if it shows up in other FI's at or about the same milage. Would be intrested to see if anyone else starts having the same problem. Would be intrested to see what a Kaw Tech would say.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have a question on this for you. What weight oil and mfg oil are you using. I live in Florida and with the heat down here I uses Castrol GTX 20W50. I have used this in all the bikes I have owned without problem. Kaw recomends 10W40 I wonder if the difference in oil may be part of the problem??
 

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the "fun" guy
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I just switched my oil to full synthetic this weekend....even though there is snow on the ground and I can't ride right now. :(

I was using Valvoline 10w40 synth blend and just switched to Mobil 1 Red Cap 15w50. I've read on other sites about many who use it and say it's great oil so thought I would give it a try.

I cant say if the oil difference would cause the problem for both of you? I'm just not sure about that.

How about you T-Man...what oil do you use?
 

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I use and have used Kaw 10W-40 here in Tennessee, summer and winter, from the first mile. The pressure in the rocker case is nil, assuming the drain is open back down to the crankcase. I don't think viscosity should affect this issue.
I am tempted to pull the gas tank to see if I can get to all the bolts. It's easy to do and I kind of want to recheck my coolant level at the cap since I just changed coolant a week ago.
 

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Maybe it's just a coincidence that both of your bikes are showing similar leakage. Hard to say.....but if any others start to see the same thing then maybe it could simply be a quality control issue/assembly issue from the start. Who knows?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
1500 Vulcan FI oil leak

T-Man

Let me know what you find out when you pull the tank. If the bolts are accessable or not.

Thanks
 

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re

that would my guess too - i've heard its common on the 15's
 

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I have a 2001 1500 Vulcan Classic FI. I have 16,000 miles. I noticed a leak in the same area, (rear cylinder, top right under rocker cover). I have removed the gas tank and have to lower the engine to gain access to all the bolts and remove the covers, going to replace both gaskets after all this work. HOW do I found out the procedure for dropping the engine without taking the whole bike apart.
 

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When you do decide to replace the gaskets, do the cam plugs too. Requires you to remove the rocker cradles which requires you to remove the cam gears. No way to drop the engine without disconnecting the drive line. Can't disconnect the drive line without removing the swing arm. Can't remove the swing arm with out removing the tire. Can't remove...................well, you know how it goes. The job looks uglier than it is. I've done it twice now on my '96 and a friends. I don't think the 2001 would be much easier, but I hope for your sake it is.
 

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OMG what have I gotten myself into!! AM I going to have trouble disconnecting the drive shaft? Thanks for the quick response, I hope I get it back together by next season. I was hoping I just had to remove the motor mount bolts.
 

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OMG what have I gotten myself into!! AM I going to have trouble disconnecting the drive shaft? Thanks for the quick response, I hope I get it back together by next season. I was hoping I just had to remove the motor mount bolts.

..................that's all we can do nowadays is hope.

In actuality, the job is fairly straight forward, just time consuming. It would help to have a friend during the actual removing and installing the engine to keep the bike upright. Other than that, you can do it all by yourself. I don't think I would want to do all that with the engine in the bike anyway. If you have help, you can do it in a day. If you piddle at it, you can do it in a week.
 

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I know this thread is dead, rather than start a new one with the same issues, I was curious how this was resolved. I recently purchased a 2002 Vulcan 1500 Classic FI and am having the same issue as well as the front left side doing the same thing.

If I have to remove the entire rear of the bike to get the motor out can someone point me in the direction of a good walk-through site. I know of Gadget's Fixit Page but I haven't found that on there. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also I use 20w-50 oil.
 

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Sounds like a cam plug to me. I had the rear cylinder plug leak on my '96 Classic, my '02 Meanie, and my '06 Anniversary Classic.
 
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