This is not intended to be a tutorial or an instructional document.It's just my personal account about what I did to my VN800.
When I bought my 2005 VN 800 Classic in May of 2007 it had less than 900 miles on it.The guy I bought it from won it in a radio contest, and he didn't ride. It is now July of 2012, and I have 56,000 miles on it.
It had/has OEM windshield,luggage rack, and driver back rest.
A look at my Classic.
This winter I painted a lot of chrome with flat black.
One of the first things I did was to buy and install a set of Saddlaman saddle bags from Dennis Kirk,and a hard trunk from JC Whitney as you can see in the above picture.
I replaced the original windshield with a shorter National Cycle windshield.
Howard always goes with me.
Howard hitching a ride.
Somewhere along the way I installed a set of handlebar risers from Scootworks.
I bought and installed a set of Cobra crash bars.
My Cobra crash bars.
I finally figured out that a lot of the wind that irritates my eyes was coming from under the windshield. I looked at lowers on the internet, but thought that all of them were too expensive for what you got.
I stumbled across a thread on how to make your own lowers for about $ 8.00 to $ 10.00 in the Kawasaki Vulcan Yahoo Group.
I Took some cardboard, and outlined the design freehand, and used the cardboard cut out to make the lowers from some 1/8 inch acrylic I had lying around in my shop.I used some metal strapping to fabricate the brackets.You can get the acrylic at any hardware store.
Metal strap I used as mounting hardware.
Cardboard template for the lowers.
I give credit to "flarud" in the Delphi Kawasaki Vulcan Forum, and if you are interested in details check this out.
The lowers installed on my bike.
As you might have noticed in the last photo I have running lights installed on my crash bar.
My Cobra crash bars and Auto Zone lights.
I wanted a way to check the battery voltage or charge the battery without removing the seat and related hardware.So, I devised this.
Voltage check points.
Along with the test points I made this contraption to use for cell phone charger or what ever.
My handy dandy power contraption.
As you know the VN 800 does not have a center stand which makes checking the engine oil kind of an inconvenience, so I built these out of scraps of lumber I had lying around in my shop. The idea is not mine. I got it from Gadget's web site.
A word of warning though:This is not very stable, and you should not do any work on your bike while it is on these blocks.It is intended ONLY for checking oil.
When I started to install the Saddleman bags they were too big to fit without relocating the rear turn signals.I looked around for relocation kits, but I found they were too expensive, and I thought that I could make a relocation set up myself. So I did.
A very important safety device not part of the VN 800's equipment is a turn signal canceling device, or at least a reminder that is more attention getting that the little green light on the gas tank. So, I made this although it is not my idea.
The stock horn on this bike is a joke. It sounds like a mosquito farting through a straw.
Instead of buying a set of after market exhaust pipes I "gutted" the stock ones.
OK. Lets talk about valve adjustment. Having ridden a VN 750 for 11 years I didn't have to worry about it,but now I have a brand new concern.
The Kawasaki manual says the interval for valve adjustment is 6,000 miles. I got advice that it should be done every 4,000 miles, and others who say that 10,000 miles is OK.
I guess I am somewhat paraniod,so I made my first valve clearance check at 5,000 miles.Since then I have checked them 7 times,and had to do adjustments only twice, once at 9,000 and once at 30,000 miles.I now have 50,000 miles, and I'll check them during my annual winter maintenance.
During the winter if 2008-2009 along with other maintenance projects I cleaned and lubed the swing arm bearings.
Tires. My tire of choice is the Dunlop 404. I have changed tire sets at 14,000,26,000, 36,000,and47,000 miles. I bought the tires from Chaparral Motorsports.
Speaking about tires,let me tell you about my flat tire I had last summer. On the 2nd. of August I was on the first ride on my brand new 404s when I ran over a dry wall screw with my rear tire.Only 90 miles on the tires. 95 degrees and no shade.
I belong to the AMA, and I called MowTow, but it took more than 2 hours for a tow truck to show up.
A bit of advice if you don't mind regarding a situation like this. Always be aware of the road/street and side street you are on. This will speed up the process of finding your location by MowTow, or any other towing service.I didn't, and it cost me a lot of time waiting.The MowTow operator is in Ohio, and he knew nothing about Washington state, so he had problems finding my exact location.
Did I mention my fuse box relocation? I guess not, so here goes.
I replaced my chain and sprockets at 20,000 miles, and I have a set up on my work bench which I will install during my winter maintenance at 41,000 miles.
I put this in here at the last moment. I wasn't going to do it, but I thought it may save someone from causing damage to their bike like I almost did when I reinstalled the rear wheel without aligning the speedometer drive system.
I hope I didn't leave anything out, but if I do I'll put it in here.
Now that riding season is over and there is snow on the ground,I'll be doing my winter maintenance. At least it gives me something to do during the winter.
Every winter I put my bike in my shop for maintenance.I check/adjust the valve clearance,and do a visual inspection of everything.
This winter I am going to install a new chain/sprocket kit,lube the swing arm bearings, and inspect the front shocks and the steering head bearings, and do the necessary work to correct anything I find that needs it.
I will take photos of those projects and post them here.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my little web page.