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Project My Vulcan 1600 classic

Discussion in 'Other Projects - Other Bikes (non 250's)' started by murdman87, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. murdman87

    murdman87 Well-Known Member

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    So last weekend I picked up and upgrade from my gsx250f.
    It's a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600.
    I was looking at bikes on gumtree in my local area and came across two that interested me. This bike and a vfr800.
    Both were in my budget and most importantly (to me) they are both fuel injected bikes. I'm so sick of fiddling with carbs!
    Long story short, the vfr owner wasn't able to let me see the bike for a while due to him being away, so I went and looked at the Kawasaki.
    First thought: it's massive.
    He started the bike and the sound through the aftermarket pipes made me tingle a little. It's got that classic vtwin grumble but not obnoxiously loud.
    I decided it was probably too big for me and walked away.

    But a few hours later the new bike bug had me and I sent him an offer on the bike which he accepted pretty swiftly (makes me wonder how low I could have got it for).
    I got the bike very cheap IMO. but there are reasons it was cheap.
    1: high k's
    2: the bike has been dropped.

    I knew before seeing it that it had been dropped, and expected the condition to be far worse than the gumtree pictures showed. But despite being crashed into a roundabout, the bike is in pretty good nic!

    A couple of busted blinkers: 20190324_130445.jpg 20190324_130502.jpg

    Missing board and peg the shifter side:
    20190324_130453.jpg
    20190324_130449.jpg

    A scuff on the tank: 20190324_130559.jpg

    And what caused it all; the rear calliper.
    According to the owner, the rear caliper bolts had worked themselves loose and fallen out, causing the caliper to move into the wheel and lock everything up.
    20190324_130550.jpg

    And that's all!
    For the price I thought this would be an easy fix and an enjoyable ride for the Mrs to sit on the back.
    So I showed up with the cash and a trailer, and brought the big bike home. The bloke also threw in a bunch of bits he had in the shed, including new blinkers.
    20190324_111906.jpg 20190324_172427.jpg

    Within a few hours of having the bike home, I set to work getting the blinkers swapped over.
    The rear was easy, new lens.
    The fronts were all smashed up, so I set to work installing the aftermarket CheapOair ones the bloke gave me. A little fiddly and required some modification to fit but they work nicely and will be replaced later on anyway. The important thing is they are working so the bike can be ridden.
    20190324_170731.jpg


    This thread will be updated as I fix things and start to mod the bike to suit me better. I already have a few plans in mind for how this bike will end up.
    I know it's not a 250, but I like the community on here so thought I'd share the build with you all.

    Stay tuned!
     
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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  2. murdman87

    murdman87 Well-Known Member

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  3. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    Nice, although crusiers are not my cup of tea. Put a sticker over the tank scrape, fix the caliper and your away. Enjoy.
     
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  4. GreyImport

    GreyImport Administrator Staff Member The Big Cheese Contributing Member

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    When u replace the caliper bolts put a bit of blue thread locker on them ... might be those rumbling pipes have vibrated them out ... :D
     
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  5. T M Fulcher

    T M Fulcher Member

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    Or Loctite 262 -263 but definitely some thread locking compound.
     
  6. murdman87

    murdman87 Well-Known Member

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    They will definitely be getting some Loctite on them when the new bolts arrive.
    New footboards arrived today so I'll put them on tomorrow.
     
  7. murdman87

    murdman87 Well-Known Member

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    My new (second hand) floorboards arrived yesterday and I didn't want to waste any time getting them on.

    Front was very straightforward. Undo old busted bracket, put on new.

    New board with my little helper: 20190329_130445.jpg

    The rears however were a nightmare.

    I bought a set of rear boards rather than pegs because I figured the more comfortable the other half is, the more time she'll spend on the bike with me.
    The new boards came mounted on nice brackets in much better shape than mine. So I tried to undo the brackets on the bike and start swapping bits over.
    First problem; stripped out an Allen head fastener. 20190329_135003.jpg

    Awesome.

    So I got out the drill and ezy-outs, no luck.
    Decided to leave it be while I collected my emotions, and moved on to the other side.

    Second problem; the nut welded inside the frame is no longer welded there, and the bolt just spins.

    Awesome.

    So on to plan B.
    Leave the old hangers on and just swap the pegs over.

    Third problem;
    Completely different hangers.

    You can see in this pic, the old peg on the right, and the new board still on its mount. Notice how nice and flush the board sits in that mount 20190329_182643.jpg

    The boards slipped into the old hangers just fine, but I am concerned about two things.
    1: the massive difference in diameter of the fasteners,
    And 2: the board does not sit firmly in there, its not the same tight fit.
    20190329_183040.jpg

    But they are on and tightened up. I put my full weight on them (north of 100kg) and they felt solid.

    At some stage I will try to get the old frames swapped over, but this will have to do for now.

    20190329_183046.jpg 20190329_183051.jpg
    Stay tuned for more.
     
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  8. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Get some heat onto the bolt's to help break and rust bond or Loctite, put some trans fluid on them as they cool off, that penetrate's thread's the best
     
  9. murdman87

    murdman87 Well-Known Member

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    Problem is the nuts are welded inside the frame, so I can't actually get to them to do anything without cutting the frame open.
    The only source of heat I have is a heat gun. Would that be enough? not sure how I'll fix it just yet.
     
  10. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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  11. murdman87

    murdman87 Well-Known Member

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    Bit of an update.

    Bike has been back together for a while. It rides great.
    I have bled all the hydraulic systems and swapped over the clutch master for a decent used one.
    20190714_130137.jpg
    20190714_140628.jpg

    I still need to sand and paint the bodywork, but other than that there are no more bits to replace from the crash.

    Things I need to do in the future:
    Rebuild forks (feels like a little play in the bushes)
    Bodywork
    New plugs
    Install led fog lights and turn signals I bought for it

    I think that's about it. Pretty happy with the bike but I do miss my little 250.
    Spotted a cheap gsf250 on gumtree that might be worth looking at for a side project.
     
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