Afterburner removal…

This procedure removes the fresh air system that dumps outside air into the exhaust system just after the exhaust valves in the heads. It will lower your exhaust temps (control the blueing of your pipes!) and kill a lot of the backfiring during gear changes and decelleration.

Items needed:

  • two 1/2 inch rubber vacuum caps
  • one 3/16 inch rubber vacuum caps
  • one 5/8 inch rubber vacuum cap
    You should be able to get all the parts listed at an auto parts store, like Pep Boys, Autozone, Napa, etc.

Procedure (for non- Ca. models):

Remove seat (8mm). Remove speedometer housing (8mm), don’t forget the cable and wire bundles. Remove fuel and vacuum lines from petcock. Be sure to put a few rags under this, as some fuel will leak out. Now take the front and rear fuel tank bolts (12mm) out and remove the tank. If you have a tire laying around, it makes a nice place to set the tank, otherwise place it on a few old towels.

Locate the hoses between the valve covers… they looks like a T and go to a gold air valve. Take them off of the valve covers, and place the 1/2 inch vacuum caps over the ports on the heads. Now, remove the small hose from the gold air valve runs to the T fitting connected to the petcock vacuum line, and plug it with a 3/16 vacuum cap. Lastly, remove the large hose that goes from the gold air valve to the back of the air cleaner assembly. Put a 5/8 inch vacuum cap on the back of the air cleaner assembly.

Here’s a picture of one of the plugs that I used to block the air inlet on the head of the rear cylinder, as seen from the left side of the engine

That’s it…you’re done! Some people have mentioned that they could plug the large lines connecting to the front and rear cylinder heads without pulling the tank and seat, so take a flashlight and have a look at your bike and see if you’re one of the lucky ones. If so, shove a marble in each of the large hoses on the cylinder heads and leave the rest alone!

One last alternative, offered up by Scotty on VROC, is to install a piece of hose between the two ports, blocking the input of outside air. This works great, and is a good alternative to the rubber vacuum plugs I mentioned above.


VistaCruise Throttle Lock

The VistaCruise is an aftermarket throttle lock, allowing the driver to free up the right hand from time to time. It’s a big help on long hauls when your palm becomes compressed or pinched from squeezing the grip for so long, when your hand is sweaty, or you just want to rest your throttle hand for a minute. It also helps in the winter when you need to switch hand you’re sitting on from time to time to thaw it out 🙂 .

[bullet] Above is a good shot of the completed installation of the modified VistaCruise. You’ll see the black collar on the grip, the little chrome strap is the friction ring, the thumb latch that is used to lock the throttle, a black bar that reaches across the control head (where the kill switch is located), and the 1″ handlebar clamp located between the mirror bracket and control head. The VistaCruise is just above the starter button, so that’s no interference there.

[bullet]The VistaCruise is designed to work with stock grips, or those with a straight (non-contoured) grip body. I recently installed a set of Kuryakin IsoGrips and found that the VistaCruise wouldn’t work with them. The IsoGrips have rubber pads along their length, and they have a flared flange on the end where the VistaCruise collar would normally be installed.

[bullet]The basic installation instructions that come with the VistaCruise are usable, with the exception of modifications to these items:

  • The black collar that slips over the grips: Orient it so that the edge with the setscrews is facing the end of the handlebar (opposite from the usual installation direction, I think). Back the set screws out so that they are not exposed inside of the collar. Using a dremel tool with the little drum sander attachment, bevel the inner diameter of the collar on the side that will be next to the control head (opposite the edge where the setscrews are located). Remove enough material so that it will easily slip over the flared portion of the grip and up against the control head.
  • Using an exacto knife, cut the thin rubber insert to about half it’s thickness (not width!).This is inserted inside of the collar AFTER the collar is slipped over the grip in the next step below. The supplied rubber insert is too thick to be installed between the collar and the Kuryakin IsoGrips.
  • Slip the collar over the grip without the rubber insert in place, and insert the rubber after the ring is pressed all the way against the control head. Run the set screws in until they are flush with the outside surface of the collar.
  • Install the 1″ handlebar clamp between the mirror and control head (you’ll have to loosen the mirror mount and slip it up the bars a little). Cut 1/8″ of length from the end of the black bar that connects between the handlebar clamp and the chrome friction ring/thumb lever assembly.
  • Complete assembly and adjust the rest per the supplied instructions. It looks cool, doesn’t detract much from the looks of the grips, and works great.

[bullet] Here is a shot from in front of the scoot, looking at the black throttle grip collar and chrome friction ring. You’ll also notice the black 1″ handlebar clamp installed between the mirror and the control head. You can see this neat little accessory at the Scootworks website on their Miscellaneous Parts Page at http://www.scootworks.com/swcart/shop/partsmisc.htm .


Vulcan 800 Modifications!

Do you have Vulcan modifications on your website?? Please drop me a note at [email protected] so I can link to you!

Carb Info and Modifications!
This is info on how to fix the “sneezing” and “backfiring” some of the 800’s have, “out-of-the-box”

My experiences and experiments to eliminate the Vulcan Sneezes/Backfires

Here’s an exploded view of the CV carb used on our Vulcans.

This is a cut-away drawing of the CV style carb used by our Vulcans. I’ll give you a good visualization as to how the carb works.

Here’s a good CV Carb Adjustment tutorial on the BikeTech website.

Here’s a CV Carb Adjustment tutorial on the FactoryPro website.

Hypercharger notes…
How to Hypercharge a Vulcan 800 by Cap’n Kirk

How to Hypercharger Mods to stop surging. Modifications to pressurize the carb bowl and improve performance with a Hypercharger. I’d recommend doing this to any Hypercharged Vulcan. These mods are described for the 800 Vulcan, but I’ve also modified a 1500 Vulcan the same way with great results…no stuttering in heavy head winds, etc.

Here are Cap’n Kirk’s Hypercharger observations

Afterburner mods…
This is the poop on how to remove the “Afterburner” that can cause your pipes to “blue”, exhaust to backfire, and generate more heat to blow across your legs in the summer…

Exhaust pipe mods…
Convert the Stock pipes to Super Megaphones!

More Stock Pipe Mods and Sounds!

This is a picture of the stock pipes on my bike after I drilled the end plates with a 1/4″ drill. It relieved enough back pressure that the engine was somewhat more responsive, and the plug color still looked ok. Sounded MUCH better, too.

Seat/Backrest/Saddlebag mods…
How to make hard bags from soft bags! A beautiful job found down on “Chop’s Pad”

Convert your stock seat into a Solo Saddle! You must see this cool piece of work over at Chop’s Place.

Lighting mods…
How to mod your turn signals to work Double Duty as Brake Lights!

Cap’n Kirk, VROC #928, made some cool changes to improve the lighting on his bike by changing the lamps to High Intensity Lamps. This info outlines the lamps he found to work.

800 Drive Train mods…
How to mod your 800 to eliminate the chain and switch to Belt Drive! This beautiful piece of work is by scootworks.com . This is the one of the original versions of the Belt Drive that I built about mid-1998. Click the button in the menu on the left to see my early belt drive, or go straight to Scootworks for more info.

How to mod your 800 to eliminate the chain and switch to Belt Drive! This was the early drive on my bike. Click HERE to see LoRidr’s beautiful belt drive system with intergrated disc brakes, attached to her custom rear wheel.

New Brake Pedal for the 800!
Here’s a great solution to the rear brake pedal design problem that many of us suffered through for thousands of miles. This is another beautiful piece of work at Scootworks.com.


Lowering the Rear…

Below is a picture of the rear suspension, partially disassembled. Tweek lifted the rear of the bike up off of the shop floor with the Centerstand lift, then used an automobile-type floor jack to take a little pressure off of the swingarm. You can see the floor jack under his hand (blue paint). The rear shock absorber bolt was removed and the shock was allowed to dangle freely. The part Tweek is pointing at is the part he had modified. He removed the trailing link assembly, had the bars cut (one on each side), had them extended by 1/2″, and a reinforcement plate welded over the top of the splice (he’s pointing at the reinforcing plate in the pic).

Below is a drawing of the work that Tweek did to the trailing link (called a ‘tie rod’ by mamma Kaw).

The next picture is of the long bolt that passes through the frame to secure the trailing link Tweek had lengthened. Lengthening that part provided about 3″ of lowering to the rear. This is Tweeks left hand in the photo..his middle finger points to the bolt that secures the trailing link, his index finger points to the little splice that was added to lengthen it.

Finally, Tweek compressed the shock, loosened the lock nut behind the shock clevis, and screwed the clevis all the way down on the rod. This dropped the bike another inch. By the way, we didn’t have to buy that $30 shock compressor, as you’ll note by the use of a couple of $.50 hose clamps used to squeeze the turns of the spring together in the photo…

Below is another method of lowering the 800’s about 1 1/2″. It is similar to installing the replacement lowering kit from cobra, but is free and no special shock compressor is required…

Tweek adjusted my rear shock preload to position #5, and the ride is perfect. The bike ‘floats’ across bumps, and as I say : ‘It drives itself!’. You can learn more about the rear preload adjustments on Tweek’s site by clicking HERE.

The parts originally designed by Tweek have been enhanced considerably since this mod was done to my bike in 1999. Tweek designed a new assembly, that allowed for adjustability from 0″ to 3″, and later refined the snubber position in the shock to minimize the possibility for scrubbing and bottoming out. The entire lowering kit can be purchased online, ready to install and complete with an instruction manual, from Scootworks on their Lowering Kits/Suspension page.


The Vulcan Classic

Here are a few pictures of my Kawasaki Vulcan Classic. I’ve spent a lot of time on it, customizing it to my taste… I’m very proud of my bike, and ride it nearly every day. It has gone through many different looks since 1998, and the pic of it below was taken in the spring of 2005.

[bullet] Within this website, you’ll no doubt notice that I’ve added a lot of “non-Vulcan” stuff to my scooter. Contrary to a few notes I’ve received, I’m _not_ trying to make my Vulcan look like a Harley, but I have a lot of fun modifying or building parts to customize my bike as opposed to buying “bolt-on” goodies (it’s often cheaper, too!). It makes my scoot a little more personalized, and is just another part of the hobby. There are Zillions of neat sparkle parts (manufactured by Nempco, Custom Chrome, Drag Specialties, Chrome Specialties, etc) for Harley-Davidson motorcycles and their variants, so I’m often browsing the local bike shops and catalogs for another piece to hack on…

[bullet] Even though this bike is manufactured by Kawasaki, it’s built in Lincoln Nebraska. Yep, American made. Kawasaki is no ‘Johnny come lately’ in the motorcycle industry, having been in business since 1878 with motorcycle lineage dating back to 1924. I’m collecting info now, to try and build a little ‘Kawasaki History’ page here…

[bullet] If you live in or around NC, and are interested in a somewhat localized mailing list about NC riding weather, local runs, and Kawasaki Vulcans/Nomads/Drifter, subscribe to the ‘NC Vulcan Mailing List’ on the NCVulcan Website at http://www.ncvulcan.org.

[bullet] Here’s another view of my scoot, taken since I just added a few more goodies… I get much of my stuff from Scootworks in North Carolina. They have great prices on all sorts of stuff! You can visit the website above, email them at [email protected], or you can call them at: (919)269-0986.

[bullet] Below is a picture I snapped, while cruising through the Florida Keys on a ride in May of 2000. I held the camera down alongside the Hypercharger on my engine. You can just make out some of the scoots up ahead of me…

[bullet] The Vulcan was actually designed by John Hoover when he worked for Kawasaki, in a computer simulation that morphed a 1941 Indian Motorcycle image to see what it _might have_ looked like today, if Indian had stayed in business throughout the evolution of Cruisers as we know them. He plugged in the styling trends that most companies followed over the last several decades, and the result was my beloved Vulcan Classic. Cool!

[bullet] Anyway, this website is about my Vulcan Classic and modifications that I’ve done to it, modifications that other Vulcan Owners have done to their scoots, and other Vulcan related links and info. Enjoy!

[bullet] Email me with your input and ideas at [email protected]


Remote Carb adjustment mod…

While trying to eliminate the sneezing and backfiring problems I was having with my new 800 Classic, I found that a 1/16″ shim under my needle seemed to cure my problems. When I posted this to the internet, a few people emailed asking specifics on how to do this. They also mentioned not wanting to change pipes, etc. This got my curiousity up a bit.
Since I was waiting on a set of full length heat shields for my Cobra Classic Slashcuts, I was back on the stock pipes. I’d been reading about the CV carb tuning procedure on the biketech website at http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/carbadjust.htm. They mentioned that you should idle the bike as low as it would go, then “tweak” the low speed needle for peak rpm, and blip the throttle. Open the needle in 1/4 turn increments until the bike no longer “sneezes”, or some such. They cautioned that poor fuel economy could occur if this proceedure isn’t followed and the low speed circuit was unnecessarily opened too much.

Since I’d been cranking the screw out to 3 turns and letting it fly, and since I didn’t really know when I’d reached the peak RPM range because one has to take so much stuff off of the stock setup each time to make the adjustment, I decided to fabricate a remote method to adjust my low speed (pilot) needle.

Below is a picture of my remotely adjustable low speed needle assembly. This picture was taken from the left side of the bike, looking at the bottom of the carb bowl when it extends down below the “Y” intake manifold. In the picture, my finger is holding the fuel line to one side. Do you see the remote needle? It’s the black hose in the left center of the picture with the spring clamp around it. Fabrication was easy. I drilled the plug that covers the low speed needle, removed the needle, and soldered a piece of brass stock to the “head” of the needle where the screwdriver slot is. I then pushed a short section of flexible vacuum tubing on the brass stock and secured it with a spring clip I had left over from the EPA system removal. I reinstalled the needle in the carb, and routed the hose out below the air cleaner cannister and cut it off so only a short piece remained (but was long enough to grasp).

[vulcan pic]

I then removed the 1/16″ shim I’d stuck under the needle and re adjusted the carb’s low speed circuit according to CV’s recommendations. (By the way, my low speed needle was only backed out from “closed” 3/4 of a turn from the factory!!! Damn, I couldn’t beleive it!). Wow…no backfires or sneezing. It’s still a little cold natured, but once warmed up, she runs like a champ. With the 1/16″ shim back in, I only need the choke to start it, then shove it in and go.
My “gut” feeling, based on CV’s procedure and the results I got, the needle shim isn’t necessary with the stock intake, airbox, and pipes. With my low speed needle set at 3 turns out, it idles and runs great into the factory pipes. The fuel economy is barely changed, and it still gets over 50 mpg.

[bullet] I think, for those with the stock setup, I’d knock out the plug on the carb that covers the low speed needle and crank it out to three turns and ride. Maybe, the remote needle adjustment mod I made might allow you to tune it perfectly for your altitude, but I don’t know how much affect altitude has on the stock system.