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Old 01-24-2013, 09:00 PM   #18
JerryH OP
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Oddometer: 5,069
There is indeed a story with this bike, but it's not the seat, it is stock. There are about 20 or so minor modifications to it. It was a CA model, and I removed ALL the emissions crap, the EVAP system, and the air injection system, and there was enough junk there to fill a 5 gallon bucket

But the big story is the brakes. The Vulcan 750 came with dual front discs. Notice mine only has one. The one thing I did not like about the Vulcan was the front brake. It was either on or off. Modulating it was very difficult, and required some thought, not good in a sticky situation. I put 80,000 miles on my '93 like that, and did quite a few unintentional stoppies. I finally got fed up with it on the '02, and decided to do something about it. I noticed that a lot of larger heavier bikes only had one front disc. I had owned a couple of them, and they stopped just fine. So, I removed the right front caliper, and ran a single line to the left one. I then took it out to a safe place and did a lot of testing. I started out slow, and it felt fine. More like what a brake should feel like. Since I had an empty road all to myself, I took it up to high speed, and practiced holding the front brake on the verge of lockup several times, a couple of times from an indicated 100 mph. It worked fine. I considered fade after repeated use, so I tested it over and over again. No fade, no degradation in performance, and stop distances were actually under what the manual stated.

So now that I knew it was safe, I started riding it in normal traffic like that, and it performed beautifully. Much better than before. I was still concerned that the rotor would overheat and warp, but it never did. I figured both the rotor and pads would have a much shorter life, but the pads lasted as long as usual (EBC ORGANIC pads). I rode the bike in the mountains with no problems. I could easily lock the front wheel at will, WITHOUT a death grip. But the real proof of this mod is the fact that I did it with under 20,000 miles on the bike. That's about 60,000 miles of riding with one front brake, and not a single problem. I consider it to be much safer than it was. And after 60,000 miles, the rotor still looks like new. It shows a tiny amount of wear when checked with a micrometer, but it is negligible. I can see the rotor will likely outlast the bike. But since the right and left rotors are exactly the same, I still have a spare.

So not only did this mod make the front brake work a lot better, it also save a bunch of unsprung weight in the front end. That rotor and caliper are heavy. Most riders complain that their bikes don't have enough brakes. The ONLY bike I can say that about was a '66 Triumph Bonneville. For some reason, Kawasaki put to much brakes on the front of the Vulcan 750. Maybe it was because back in '85 when the bike first came out, it was the complete opposite of today. Manufacturers were loading bikes down with as much as they could get on them. Features were where it was at back then, the more the better. And the Vulcan 750, all the way through 2006, was an '85 model. No mechanical changes were made during the entire production run. None were needed.

The Vulcan 750 is not your normal v-twin cruiser. Look at the engine. Obviously liquid cooled, and no fins to make it look like a Harley. It looks very much like an automotive V8 from the end. It is liquid cooled, has dual carbs, four overhead cams, eight valves, four cam chains, four spark plugs, fairly high compression, and a 10,000 rpm redline. It has shaft drive, tubeless tires,and a centerstand. It has a tach, fuel gauge, temp gauge, and even a gadget that will switch the headlight over to the other filament if one burns out. It is a 55 degree single crankpin design with a gear driven counterbalancer. It has a nice low speed rumble, and is dead smooth at highway speeds. It will easily cruise at 80 mph all day with plenty in reserve. It handles well and is extremely comfortable. I just cannot find anything not to like, other than the front brakes, which I fixed. Don't confuse the 750 with the 800 and 900, which ARE typical Japanese Harley copies.
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