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i have had this bike since it had 400 miles on it. now it reads 48k. for the first 47k miles it ran pretty quiet. about one thousand miles ago, it developed a ticking noise at highway(60-70mph) speeds. this was never present before. vn1500 vulcans have 4 valves per cylinder with an HLA (hydraulic lash adjuster) on each. anyone else ever deal with this?
 

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I'm not familiar with that model.

My best guess would be to check for an obstruction keeping the oil out of the lifter.

I suppose it's also possible that wear has caused more travel in the lifter than it can be raised hydraulically.

This is all assuming that it's the valves making the noise. A visual inspection may help track it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
vulcan 1500 valve noise

thanks for the input. i talked to someone who says there are filter screens for the oil that lubricates each HLA. i guess i'm going to take off the valve covers and investigate. valve cover removal can only be done with the engine out of the frame. so, it if lasts that long it will be winter before i can figure it out.
 

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Hello, Jim. I had a 2002 Mean Streak 1500. The engine is just plain noisy. In my opinion 48K is too soon to dive into the engine if you have no other problems. It is true each lifter has a filter, but these usually only need replacing at engine rebuild time. You also have two air/oil separator screens that are inside the engine case right close to the crankcase vent tube at base of front cylinder. These are not serviceable except after engine is disassembled and crankcase is split. Another problem this engine has is that cam chains will eventually stretch out further than the spring-loaded adjusters can reach. Some people put extenders on. I just pulled off stock adjusters and added manual adjusters that I got from APE Race Parts. They are the same adjusters that are used on the old Kawasaki Concours. The manual ones leaked slightly where the stock ones did not. If you want to improve sound of engine I found that using Lucas Upper Cylinder Lube in gas tank worked wonders for high mileage bike. I sold mine at 62K miles and only problems it had were some pinging and some oil weeping around cam chain adjusters and cam plugs.
 

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Also on my bike (not sure about 1995 model) the cold air valves under the fake air cleaner cover on right side of bike made loud clicking noises all the time that sounded like valve noise.
 

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Some model years of the 1500 Vulcan had a plastic oil gear (POG) that had to be replaced. I am not sure what kind of problems or symptoms are associated with that. Mine did not have a POG when manufactured.
 

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I had a 1500 owner pick up a set of tensioners from me. They run out of travel or the tensioners can fail. I've made a minor cottage industry out of making them for Kawasakis after making them for my two Kaws. No one made them or expressed interest in making them, so I did it myself and made more. To date - 300 world wide covering Kawasakis and now Honda VTR 1000s too. About 40% less than APE. Feel free to contact me. I had a 1500 Vulcan rider who bought a set that posted his results on the Kawasaki Motorcycles forum. I had a few communications with him dealing with his Vulcan.

There are several others at the Kaw forums for several other models.
 

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That is great. I will refer interested parties to you. I liked the APE parts but I could not get them anywhere close to oil tight. Did you solve that problem with yours?
 
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