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Thread: vulcan 500 preload question

  1. #1

    vulcan 500 preload question

    I just bought a 2006 vulcan 500 ltd. I love it. I think I need to make the shocks a bit stiffer. Is it easier to change the preload setting if someone is sitting on the bike? I was using an allen wrench to try to change it and it didn't feel like it wanted to move. yes, I'm turning it the right way. I don't want to jack it up. Any tips? Yeah, an owner's manual would be nice but the guy didn't have it.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by wagdog View Post
    I just bought a 2006 vulcan 500 ltd. I love it. I think I need to make the shocks a bit stiffer. Is it easier to change the preload setting if someone is sitting on the bike? I was using an allen wrench to try to change it and it didn't feel like it wanted to move. yes, I'm turning it the right way. I don't want to jack it up. Any tips? Yeah, an owner's manual would be nice but the guy didn't have it.
    This is what my MOM says on the subject.

    "The spring adjuster on each rear shock absorber has 5 positions so that the spring can be adjusted for different road and loading conditions.

    "If the spring action feels too soft or too stiff, turn each adjuster to be aligned with the desired positions on the shock absorber by using the screw driver bit in the tool kit in accordance with the following table:

    "The stanard setting position for an average-build rider of 68 kg (150 lb) with no passenger and no accessories is No. 2.

    [1 is the softest, 5 is the stiffest]

    "WARNING: If both spring adjusters are not adjusted equally, handling may be impaired and a hazardous condition may result.

    "NOTE: Be sure to turn back the adjuster counterclockwise from position 5 when softening the spring action."

    Do you need me to scan the pictures?
    2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 -- Boudicca
    2002 Suzuki GZ250 -- Friday (sold)
    1987 Kawasaki KZ305
    I am Moto Crew at the Boston Avon Walk for Breast Cancer -- you wish you could have this much fun! Join us!

    SKnight is allowed to call me mean. All others... at your peril.

  3. #3
    If it's been on the road for a couple of years, there's probably just some grime built up in there that's making it not want to turn. I used a Phillips screwdriver to adjust mine. It'll turn, just get down on it a bit.

  4. #4
    Contributor 8000 Posts! Ash's Avatar
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    Hey Tash if you could that would be great. Never found mine nor fiddled w the orig settings.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post
    Hey Tash if you could that would be great. Never found mine nor fiddled w the orig settings.
    Okay -- going to bed now, but I'll try to remember to do it in the morning. If I don't get to it by 6pm Eastern tomorrow, bump the thread, okay?
    2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 -- Boudicca
    2002 Suzuki GZ250 -- Friday (sold)
    1987 Kawasaki KZ305
    I am Moto Crew at the Boston Avon Walk for Breast Cancer -- you wish you could have this much fun! Join us!

    SKnight is allowed to call me mean. All others... at your peril.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tashabear View Post
    This is what my MOM says on the subject.

    "The spring adjuster on each rear shock absorber has 5 positions so that the spring can be adjusted for different road and loading conditions.

    "If the spring action feels too soft or too stiff, turn each adjuster to be aligned with the desired positions on the shock absorber by using the screw driver bit in the tool kit in accordance with the following table:

    "The stanard setting position for an average-build rider of 68 kg (150 lb) with no passenger and no accessories is No. 2.

    Do you need me to scan the pictures?
    Has anyone run into the problem on the EN500 where the hole for the screwdriver is on the "down" side of the shock so that you can't turn it without the screwdriver running into the exhaust pipe? It's that way on the left side of my bike. I can only get it to position 4 (and even that was tough) without bumping into the exhaust. The hole is pointing almost straight down at that point.

  7. #7
    Senior Moderator We've stopped counting... subvetSSN606's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolverineInWI View Post
    Has anyone run into the problem on the EN500 where the hole for the screwdriver is on the "down" side of the shock so that you can't turn it without the screwdriver running into the exhaust pipe? It's that way on the left side of my bike. I can only get it to position 4 (and even that was tough) without bumping into the exhaust. The hole is pointing almost straight down at that point.
    Don't know on that bike... but is there another hole on the opposite side that just became accessible when you got to position 4?

    Tom
    In the end, regrets rarely come from things done, but from things not even tried.


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by subvetSSN606 View Post
    Don't know on that bike... but is there another hole on the opposite side that just became accessible when you got to position 4?

    Tom
    I'm afraid not. Guess I'll have to dream up a tool with a short post to do the turning.

  9. #9
    Senior Moderator We've stopped counting... subvetSSN606's Avatar
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    Maybe a "special" tool in the toolkit that comes with the bike?

    <edit to add> As I recall, my first bike (1980 KZ440) had a sorta "C"-shaped tool in the kit.

    Tom
    In the end, regrets rarely come from things done, but from things not even tried.


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