Question about 1998 kawasaki VN 1500 Vulcan Classic

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I have a 98 1500 Nomad and have lost drive power twice after a long ride. The gears seem to shift well in the beginning and continue for a couple hours. I will stop and take a break for 30 Min - 1 hr and then the transmission will not shift and the clutch seems to be partially engaged or not engaged at all. Any idea what the problem is? Richard J.

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Contaminated fluid in the hydraulic clutch actuation system. Instead of a cable, your bike has a hydraulically actuated clutch. This system is great because it offers low maintenance and a relatively light clutch lever pull.
You will need to flush the system, refill with the appropriate fluid (check the owner's manual, but it is probably DOT4 brake fluid), inspect for leaks, and bleed.

Posted on Dec 09, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad will not shift


Hi, Randy and the usual suspects are:
1. Improper clutch adjustment or not disengaging.
2. Bent shift shaft.
3. Shift fork bent or seized.
4. Gear seized on the shaft.
5. Gear positioning lever binding.
6. Shift return springs weak or broken.
7. Shift return spring pin loose
8. Shift mechanism arm spring is broken.
9. Shift mechanism arm is broken.
10. Shift drum is broken.
11. Shift lever loose on the shift shaft.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need for viewing or printing please click on the blue links below. Good luck and have a wonderful day.
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http://mybikemanuals.com/kawasaki

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Sep 05, 2014 | 2004 kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad

1 Answer

Losing power going up hills


sounds pretty normal. what speed do you try out the passing gear? anything above 35-45 mph and it will feel like neutral. Passing gear is actually only 1st gear. When you press down the pedal, it forces the transmisson to shift into low gear.

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2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad sticking clutch plates


Hi, Anonymous if your bike has been sitting for weeks or months and you get it started, put it in 1st gear, it lurches forward and stalls. Your clutch has bonded from surface rust on the steel plates due to condensation from running hot and shutting down in a cool environment. The easiest way to remedy this situation is to push start the bike in gear, shift and drive it normally until it reaches operating temperature and you will be fine. In severe cases, the clutch will have to be removed and disassembled, the clutch plates decontaminated and reassembled and installed.
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1 Answer

2011 Nomad 1700 lacks power in 6th gear especially in heavy wind or in mountains. Always shifting down to 5th to keep up. Only 33 mpg doing 70 mph. Improves to 39 MPG at 55. I had a 2003 1600 Classic...


nomads are heavy bikes mate and i feel all is as should be with yours, top gear is usually for on the straight and cruising, at a constant speed. my vtx 1800 does similar albeit only 5 speed i still have to pull down a cog and work the gears on hills. the mpg doesnt sound a miss for the nomad either. my vtx does similar.

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I have an 02 vulcan nomad 1500 fi w/ 28k miles and just recently changed the clutch spring due to gear slipping, worked great. After riding about a week and putting on at least 350 miles, on my way home...


Sure, cables always start stretching just before they snap, as one strand at time breaks and unravels.
But is could also be a lack of oil in the transmission, friction material coming loose from previous slippage and binding, etc.
You say the adjustment is ok, but how much freeplay does it have?

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On two seperate occassions, my 1988 HD FXRS seemed to lose power suddenly on the freeway - It went from 70 mph to 15 mph without shifting down from fifth. I attempted shifting through all gears but nothing...


The latter part sounds like insufficient play on the clutch lever--the clutch seems to be slipping. Sudden power loss is usually linked to the ignition system. Have you checked the lube level in the transmission? You could be having a bearing seizure if the lube is low.

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Transmission clunks when shifting, already had it replaced twice


Did you check the coupling between the drive shaft and the tranny for wear? (universal joint)

Have someone in the car and lay on ground nearby so you can see the universal joint when they put it in gear. DO NOT lay under car when they put it in gear!

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1999 Passat 1.8T


If you are mechanically inclined, recommend that you remove the shift handle and check the internal components first. Might want to also begin checking the transmission fluid level.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuCNZhwIne0
Hope this helps

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