Let's talk older japanese cruisers.

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by RustyStuff, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. telejojo

    telejojo Long timer

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    I bought an 09 Vulcan Nomad 4 years ago with 22k for 4500 and have been on two trips of over 4500 miles pulling my bunkhouse camper and never any trouble
    #21
  2. DirtyRoadie

    DirtyRoadie Long timer

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    Roadliner or Stratoliner gets my vote. I'd probably still have my Strat if it had a bigger tank and better saddle bags. I have a M8 Road King now that I really like but that 'Liner engine was even more satisfying than the Milwaukee 8.
    #22
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  3. DirtyRoadie

    DirtyRoadie Long timer

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    I also had an '82 V45 Magna. That was a super smooth fast engine but the ergos were very weird and the shaft drive wasn't well sorted. Although it was fun riding through towns in second gear rolling on and off the throttle as the bike bounced up and down!
    #23
  4. AZbiker

    AZbiker Say hi to the bad guy

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    Most of the Japanese cruisers seem to be built pretty well.

    V-Star 650s and 1100s with stock pipes need to have the exhaust removed in order to change the oil. If I was going to buy one of those, I would include the price of aftermarket pipes (if not already equipped) in the final cost of the bike to determine if it was worth buying.

    Also stay away from ANY carbed 1500 Vulcan. Evidently the same management team that hired pool fence welders to join the steel tubes in the frame thought it was perfectly okay to drive the oil pump with a plastic gear. If you want to do further research, search some Vulcan forums for POG failure. It was rectified in the FI models. If the Vulcan has a leak in the valve cover gasket, also be aware that repairing the leak involves dropping the motor.

    Of course, if the POG repair looks like a fun way to spend a weekend, you can pick up a Vulcan with a failed oil pump for a song. Put a new metal gear in it and ride!
    #24
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  5. RustyStuff

    RustyStuff Long timer Supporter

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    Good to know, so they fixed the gear on FI 1500's and 1600's? Like that 07 1600 in on the first page wouldn't have the problem? Is there any way to know if the gear has been replaced previously or is it a crap shoot?
    #25
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  6. 2000RSV

    2000RSV Go Fast, Go Long Supporter

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    Perhaps I should just call them contacts. It is an electric fuel pump that has a solenoid that makes and breaks the pump contacts. Think linear pump rather than rotary. Last I looked at mine >100k, they were still shiny and cross-hatched like new.
    #26
  7. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Virago's are notorious for starter issues. Mine went out around 9,000 miles. The good news is that AFAIK it's a one-time fix.

    One of the nice things about the Virago is that I'm pretty sure it's the only later (1990+) Japanese Cruiser that came from the factory with a center stand. Makes maintenance much easier.
    #27
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  8. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    Never had one but was always partial to the Suzukis
    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Wife had one and really liked it. For me the forward pegs were annoying but she enjoyed it.
    #29
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  10. RustyStuff

    RustyStuff Long timer Supporter

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    That one's on my list though I remember reading somewhere about the carbs on that bike, sounds like a real pain to have to work on.One's under the seat and the other is under the tank?
    Looking around I'm getting kinda partial to the Kawasaki vulcans. It helps that there seems to be a absolute ton of them for sale and you can get a rather recent one for my budget. I get that they are a older electraglide copy which I kinda like, always thought the old electra's were nice looking. There's some yamaha 1600's around that look decent too.
    #30
  11. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    Since you posted that:

    https://medford.craigslist.org/mpo/d/grants-pass-2005-kawasaki-vulcan/7223749292.html

    [​IMG]

    They're not great photos but, the bags sure look like primer. The trunk is obviously a Hardley Tour Pack copy and doesn't match either but, at least it has it. Being the Classic, you get spoke wheels and single front disk. That might be a positive in your eyes (looks) or a negative (lost the tubeless tires and better brakes of the Nomad). I'm not gonna' lie: even buying the materials and spraying the bags and trunk yourself could cost you $300 for good materials. It's 430 miles away but, the mileage and everything else looks promising.

    Disclaimer: I wasn't shopping for you. It came up in my nationwide search for Drifter parts this morning.

    (I personally like the red/silver Nomad posted earlier, even though it has more miles)
    #31
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  12. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    Heck, scrubbing your local CL and based on you saying you liked the Drifter but, not the prices:

    https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/mpo/d/gladstone-2003-kawasaki-vulcan-drifter/7207037838.html
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My personal preference for the blacked out front-end notwithstanding, this is still a very solid looking example. He didn't go over the top with the stupid faux Indian mods. Let's go down the list of what it does have:
    • It looks like the factory spotlight bar up front
    • Windshield and toolbag
    • The highway bar and pegs
    • Passenger floorboards
    • Bar risers (not a fan but, pointing out that they aren't stock)
    • The aftermarket bags and mounts probably probably cost a pretty penny (can be unbolted if you don't like them or want them for some of your riding)
    • Still has the stock fishtail exhaust which is unique to that bike and sooo many owners ditched them for louder aftermarket stuff.
    • Obviously that erector-set luggage rack that I guess works but, I'd ditch just because of the look.
    • The tank bib: also not my thing but, that's a personal preference.
    • The two-up seat is a tough read. The shape and location of the passenger backrest suggests it's mounted to the seat. That means it's an aftermarket Corbin and not the OEM Kawasaki part. Add that to the list of goodies.
    • It's even got the stock Vulcan tank emblems that everybody pulled trying to make theirs into a faux Chief
    You're $900 apart on what you want to spend and what you already said you kinda' wanted. The $900 will be quickly forgotten if that's the bike you really want.
    #32
  13. AZbiker

    AZbiker Say hi to the bad guy

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    2000 and up are fuel injected, as is the 1999 Drifter. The metal gear is not a common failure point.

    A cheap Nomad would make a great touring bike for very little money. They seem to be reliable.
    #33
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  14. SGrider

    SGrider I give up Supporter

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    I'd try to find a Yamaha Stratoliner, and a deluxe model if finances allow. The deluxe has a batwing style fairing and gps standard. Plus the engine has a great amount of torque and the chassis is stiffer than an average cruiser for better handling.
    #34
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  15. fecundity

    fecundity Been here awhile

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    The Stratoliner deluxe looks nice.

    CBE43DDA-C25B-4E66-9B0D-2CA12E980D1C.jpeg 25F13DCE-208B-47A4-BBE1-77EB87C426A1.jpeg
    #35
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  16. RustyStuff

    RustyStuff Long timer Supporter

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    #36
  17. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road Supporter

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    I have had 2 Nomads, a 2008 and a 2010. The 2010 was a much better bike. I recommend it. I also like the VTX1300R, but the suspension is pretty basic.
    #37
  18. CajunRider

    CajunRider Been here awhile

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    The 4 Japanese cruisers I've dealt with over the years...

    I had a Honda Valkyrie F6 for about 7 years...
    AWESOME engine... Torque EVERYWHERE. 80 mph in 3rd? No problem. 35 mph in 5th?? No Problem. SUPER smooth.
    I do wish it had a 6th gear... with that much torque, I see no need to turn 3500 rpm on the interstate.
    Gets a bit thirsty above 3000 rpm. Sounds intoxicating above 5000 rpm.
    Get an "Interstate" version for the larger gas tank if you want to tour on it (or add a "Belly Tank").

    Now I've been running a Yamaha Royal Venture V4 (3rd edition) for a little over a year... EDIT: 2nd edition... Apologies.
    This engine likes to turn a bit more. It doesn't pull hard until 3000 rpm. However, gearing fits the engine much better than the Valkyrie.
    This one still runs at 3500 on interstate, but that's where this engine LIKES to run. Also, a super smooth engine... Not as smooth as the Valkyrie, but close.
    It still gets a little thirsty at high speeds... but even running hard, I can get 160+ miles to a tank. (And it pulls HARD as you get close to red-line.)
    The tape deck (if you get the model with a fairing) probably won't last much longer.

    I've ridden a Yamaha V-Star 950 V-Twin (my sister's) for about 5000 miles...
    Fuel injected, so that's nice. Typical V-twin engine... not a lot of HP, but gobs of torque. It won't rip your arms off, but it'll run at speed (up to triple digits) ALL day without complaint.
    Gets a little vibe in the bars and floor boards above 75 mph. But does NOT get thirsty... EVER. Easily returns 170-180 miles to a tank before fuel light turns on.
    Will burn a little oil if you're running close to 90 for extended periods of time... so check your oil every 4 or 5 days if you're doing a lot of high speed runs.

    Fixed up Father-in-law's Yamaha V-Star 650 V-Twin so he could sell it... put about 1000 miles on it over a few months just to get it going right.
    Carb'ed again... increased jet size a notch to make it run better. DEFINITELY helped.
    Similar to the V-Star 950, but all at slower speeds. Gets a little vibe above 55, but will run 65-70 all day without complaint.
    Top speed of about 80-83, so interstate runs in some areas are not a good idea.

    If you get a carb'ed bike, I highly suggest an electric fuel shut-off valve. The vacuum operated shut-off like the Valkyrie has is starting to get up there in age, and often fails. This can cause hydro-lock if the carb float is also leaking. Thankfully, this never happened on my Valkyrie. But it DID happen to my Venture... the morning I was leaving for a cross country trip. :( Took a few days to drain & flush the oil then find & fix the leaky carb. I now have a fuel shut-off on it, just in case.
    #38
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  19. Ron In Buffalo

    Ron In Buffalo Been here awhile

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    I bought this because wife did not care for my BMWK1200RS So I got this and she loves it.

    Attached Files:

    #39
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  20. 2000RSV

    2000RSV Go Fast, Go Long Supporter

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    Just a quick FYI - The Venture V4 you are describing is the 2nd generation 1999-2013 (with tape deck up to 2010 or so :rolleyes). The 3rd generation is a V-twin and will be outside the OPs stated price range. I am able to get 210 miles to a tank from full to walk. Tested it before adding a 5 gallon auxiliary tank. However, running 90mph into a really strong headwind through the Dakotas allowed me only about 120 miles on the aux tank. :lol3 I relaxed the right wrist after that.

    Never heard of hydro-lock on a Venture but I'm sure it could happen. Glad it didn't grenade the engine.
    #40
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