This is the maintenance schedule with associated service intervals for the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI (for Fuel Injected), given the name Kawasaki Vulcan VN1500. It was sold alongside the carburettor-fed Vulcan 1500 for a few years, but 2005 models and later were all fuel-injected (and mostly, upgraded to the 1600cc capacity).
There were a few different motorcycles released as the with the fuel injected 1500 engine. These were the Vulcan
- Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500 FI: The touring bike, with luggage and a fairing. Replaced in 2006 with the Vulcan 1600 Nomad.
- Kawasaki Drifter 1500 FI: A more stripped down bike, a tribute to the 1948 Indian Chief, before Indian had its resurrection in the 2000s.
- Kawasaki Vulcan Classic FI: The base level cruiser. Made alongside the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic (non-FI) until 2005 — quite unusual.
- Kawasaki Vulcan Mean Streak A performance version with the same basic engine as the 1500 FI, but with new camshafts, larger valves, larger fuel injection throttle bodies, higher compression pistons, and a re-designed combustion chamber. Replaced in 2005 with the Vulcan 1600 Mean Streak.
Common to all these was the general motorcycle concept (a cruiser) and the engine capacity, plus the drivetrain.
The Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI has a 1470 cc (90 cu in) liquid-cooled single-cam 50 degree V-twin engine with a single-pin crankshaft and with a 5-speed transmission with fuel injection, replacing the 40mm Keihin carburettors with 36mm Mikuni throttle bodies.
Maintenance for the Mean Streak, Classic, and Nomad with fuel injection was the same, with some small differences (noted below).
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Maintenance Schedule for the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI
Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI.
We split it into two sections:
- The periodic service schedule (main things to do / change)
- The “Inspection checklist”
- Keep repeating the schedule in the pattern shown (every 3500 miles / 6000 km or 6 months)
- For items marked “check”, make adjustments/repairs/replacements as necessary
Periodic service schedule
Below is the periodic service schedule of important items.
|mi x 1000||4||7.5||12||15||20||24|
|km x 1000||6||12||18||24||30||36||Every|
|Maintenance checklist — Perform||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Engine oil – change||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||6 months|
|Engine oil filter – replace||✓||✓||✓|
|Spark plug – clean and gap. Replace as necessary||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Air cleaner element – clean / replace||✓||✓||✓|
|Final gear case oil level – check||✓||✓||✓|
|Final gear case oil level – change||✓|
|Propeller shaft joint – lubricate||✓||✓|
|Brake/clutch fluid – change||✓||2 years|
|Brake/clutch master cylinder cup and dust seal – replace||4 years|
|Caliper piston seal and dust seal – replace||4 years|
|Clutch slave cylinder piston seal – replace||4 years|
|Front fork oil – change||✓||2 years|
|Coolant – change||✓||2 years|
|Throttle – check free play||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Idle speed – check / adjust||✓||✓||✓|
|Swingarm pivot – lubricate||✓||✓|
|Steering stem bearing – lubricate||✓||2 years|
This is the standard inspection checklist to do on your Vulcan 1500 FI at every service.
|Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI Standard Inspection Checklist|
|Radiator hoses, connections – check|
|Brake/clutch hoses, connections – check|
|Brake light switch – check|
|Brake pad wear – check|
|Brake/clutch fluid level – check|
Check regularly, e.g. pre-ride
|Fuel hose, connections – check|
|Nut, bolt, fastener tightness – check|
|Tire wear – check|
|Front fork oil leak – check|
|Rear shock absorber oil leak – check|
|Evaporative emissions control (if fitted) – check|
Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI
The Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI has the following tyres and tyre sizes standard, and the following recommended tyre pressures.
There are a couple of small differences between models — the Mean Streak has a different front tyre.
|Front (Classic, Nomad)||130/90-16 M/C 67H||* BRIDGESTONE “EXEDRA G703G|
* DUNLOP “D404FN”
|200 kPa/28 psi|
|Front (Mean Streak)||130/70 R17 M/C 62H||* BRIDGESTONE “BATTLAX BT020F RADIAL|
* DUNLOP “D220F STG”
|250 kPa/36 psi|
|Rear (All — Classic, Nomad, Mean Streak)||170/60 R17 M/C 72H||* BRIDGESTONE “BATTLAX BT020R RADIAL|
* DUNLOP “D220 STG”
|250 kPa/36 psi|
About the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI
The Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI was a turning point for Kawasaki cruisers, which always had a fan following.
But the addition of fuel injection was a huge difference. Suddenly their premium cruiser line was quite advanced: liquid cooling, 4-valve cylinder heads, overhead cams, dual spark plugs per cylinder, and now fuel injection.
Kawasaki didn’t just stop at adding fuel injection. Some of the other improvements over the earlier carburettor versions of the Classic, Nomad, Drifter, and Mean Streak were:
- A new, more rigid frame — with larger-diameter main tubes and a stronger steering head. The frame between all four motorcycle types varies slightly
- A 16-bit ECU for the fuel injection system and dual throttle bodies (vs a single carburettor)
- Different programming of throttle and load sensors for the Classic (cruising) vs Nomad (touring)
- Revised cam timing, more aggressive, and boosted fuel injection
The Mean Streak was a level above in handling, with a wide-pitched inverted 43mm cartridge fork — specs straight off a sport bike. The aggressive rake of 32 degrees gave it much better handling, and the six piston dual front calipers gave it impressive stopping power.
Aside from that, the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI motorcycles were still everything that the carburettor-fuelled versions had been — reliable, fun, and very good looking cruisers that have stood the test of time. Sadly, Kawasaki hasn’t made any new big cruisers in a while.
Manual for the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 FI
The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 from various years (Mean Streak, Nomad), comparing it to the same schedule in other years as well as across models.
You can see manuals for Kawasaki motorcycles here.