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Kawasaki Vulcan 800 VN800 (1995-2006) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

Kawasaki VN800 Vulcan 800 RHS studio

This is the maintenance schedule with associated service intervals for the Kawasaki Vulcan 800.

The Kawasaki Vulcan is a cruiser style motorcycle that Kawasaki made between 1995 and 2006. It didnt’ change fundamentally in that time, always being a 805cc water-cooled V-twin, with a single carburettor, five speed transmission, and (a bit unusually for a cruiser) a chain drive.

The first VN800 was a VN800A, and Kawasaki introduced a more “retro” VN800B in 1996 with full fenders and 16 inch front and rear wheels. In 1999 Kawasaki made the VN800C Vulcan 800 Drifter, another styling option.

Kawasaki Vulcan 800 RHS static
Vulcan 800 Drifter

All the Kawasaki Vulcan 800 models were discontinued in 2006 after the Vulcan 900 was introduced.

Maintenance Schedule for Kawasaki Vulcan 800

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Vulcan 800.

The following is the list of maintenance operations and to be done on this motorcycle with a time or distance interval — whichever comes earlier.

The maintenance for the Kawasaki Vulcan 800 is broken into two sections: Emission Related, and Non-Emission Related.

Notes on reading the maintenance chart:

  • For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here
  • Items marked “Check”: Replace, adjust, or torque if necessary.
  • #: Service more frequently when operation in severe conditions: dusty, wet, muddy, high speed, or frequent starting/stopping
mi x 1000369121518
km x 100051015202530Every
Idle speed – adjust
Throttle grip play – check
Spark plug – clean and gap (
Valve clearance – check
Air cleaner element – clean / replace (KA-8095)
Fuel system – check
Evaporative emission control system (if fitted) – check
Brake play – check
Brake light switch – check
Brake lining or pad wear- check
Brake fluid level – checkmonth
Brake fluid – change (Castrol DOT 4)2 years
Clutch – adjust
Steering – check
Drive chain wear – check
Nuts, bolts, and fasteners tightness – check
Spoke tightness and rim runout – check
Tire wear – check
Engine oil – change (Kawasaki 10W-40)year
Oil filter – replace (HF204RC)
General Lubrication – perform (Lithium soap-based grease)
Front fork oil – change
Swingarm pivot, uni-trak linkage – lubricate
Brake camshaft – lubricate2 years
Coolant-change2 years
Radiator hoses, connections – checkyear
Steering stem bearing – lubricateyear
Master cylinder cup and dust seal – replace2 years
Caliper piston seal and dust seal – replace2 years
Brake cable – replace2 years
Brake hose – replace4 years
Brake hose connections – check
Fuel hose connections – check
Fuel hose – replace4 years
Kawasaki Vulcan 800 (VN800) maintenance schedule

Maintaining Your Chain on the Kawasaki Vulcan 800 / VN800

Unlike many cruisers, the VN800 is chain-driven, so you need to maintain it.

Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste, or a Motul chain care kit which comes with a couple of handy tools to maintain the chain.

Kawasaki recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary (Motul chain paste)200 mi / 300 km
Check drive chain slack, adjusting if necessary500 mi / 800 km
Chain maintenance — Kawasaki Vulcan 800

Notes:

  • Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Vulcan in dusty or rainy conditions.
  • Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.

Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki Vulcan 800

Stock, the Kawasaki Vulcan 800 wears the following tire sizes, and has the following recommended tire pressures.

WheelTyre (Tire) sizeTyre (Tire) pressure (cold)
Front80/90-21 48H28 psi / 2 bar / 200 kPa
Rear140/90-16 71H32 psi / 2.25 bar / 225 kPa
Tyre sizes and pressures (Vulcan 800)

General information about the Kawasaki Vulcan 800

Kawasaki VN800 LHS action

The Kawasaki Vulcan 800 is an entry-level cruiser. These days, most people know of the Kawasaki Vulcan 900, which took over the mantle in 2006. The Vulcan 800 has a lot in common with it, but has an older-designed engine.

The engine in the Kawasaki Vulcan 800 / VN800 is a liquid-cooled 805cc V-twin engine. It’s a single overhead cam design with four valves per cylinder. With its modest 9.5:1 compression ratio, the Vulcan 800 doesn’t make a ton of power — it has been dynod around 40 kW or 50 hp at 7000 rpm — but top-end power isn’t just what cruisers are about!

The Vulcan 800 may be an “entry-level” cruiser, but it has ample torque to pull it up to highway speeds of 80-90 mph without any fuss. You will have to shift a couple of times before you get there, of course, but you’ll never feel like it’s lacking in torque.

The VN800 makes peak torque at 3300 rpm and it does make a generous 47 lb-ft / 64 Nm. That’s basically run of the mill for middleweight engines — quite a lot like an air/oil-cooled Triumph Bonneville, for example. You’ll never feel like it’s “slow” until you’re up next to a supersport bike… or unless you go for a sixth gear.

Final drive is via a five-speed transmission , unusually, a chain drive. And while the front brake is a 300mm disc, the rear brake is a drum! Old school.

To keep the accelerator response snappy, the single carburettor has a pump to keep it fuelled up.

The engine has quite a respectable roar with the throttle wide open. But it has a few drawbacks.

Firstly, Kawasaki opted for some reason to replace the Vulcan 750’s hydraulic valve adjusters with shims for the Vulcan 800. This takes no maintenance to maintenance! You have to inspect the valves ever 6000 miles (10000 km), which is as much as you’d expect from any motorcycle.

The second drawback is that cruising speed of the VN800 seems to be around 80 mph. If you plan on doing much more than that, you’ll probably miss having a sixth gear to go to. But windblast is likely to get to you before then.

Finally, the chain final drive means more maintenance than you might expect on a cruiser. Other middleweights have either a belt or a shaft, so a chain might seem a little odd. Keep it clean and lubed.

Manual for the Kawasaki Vulcan 800

Maintenance Schedule Screenshot From Manual 2003-2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800.
User manual screenshot for the 2003-2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the 2003-2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800, which is available here.

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