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Kawasaki Vulcan 900 (2006-present) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 VN900 riding in Studio front right quarter

This is the maintenance schedule with associated service intervals for the Kawasaki Vulcan 900, including the Classic and Custom. They’re all part of the VN900 family.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 is an easy-going but classy cruiser motorcycle. The Vulcan range goes from tiny (125cc) all the way to massive (2000 — no longer available), so the 900 sits roughly right in the middle.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic is a mid-sized motorcycle cruiser, first introduced in 2006. It is powered by a liquid-cooled 903 cc V-Twin engine, with a five-speed transmission, putting power down through a belt drive.

Despite being a little old-tech (no ABS!), the Vulcan 900 is still being made today (as of 2021, anyway), with no mechanical changes since 2006 other than styling and fuelling tweaks.

For a while the Vulcan 900 had its own category, before the mid-size Yamaha Bolt came along.

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What you need to service the Vulcan 900

Here’s a shopping list of replaceable items you need to service the Kawasaki Vulcan 900.

PartKawasaki Vulcan 900 Spec
OilYou need 3.2L (3.4 US qt) (when the filter is removed) of SAE 10W-40 engine oil “with API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2 rating”, preferably Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine Oil.

Don’t over-torque the drain bolt (spec is 20 Nm/14.5 lb-ft per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
Oil filterOil filter is part 16097-1058, or you can use a HF303RC. Torque for oil filter is 18 Nm (13 ft-lb) (use a torque wrench, and it’s easier on the K&N one)
Brake padsEveryone on the Vulcan forums recommends double-sintered EBC brake pads. They’re cheaper and better. You need FA229HH for the front and FA231HH for the rear.
Spark plugsNGK CPR7EA-9, with a spark plug gap of 0.8-0.9mm (use a spark plug gapping tool), torqued to 18 Nm or 13 ft-lb (use a torque wrench).
Air filterGenuine part number is 11013-0015. You can also use the K&N equivalent KA-9006.
Cable lubricantRemember to lubricate your clutch cable (and brake cables if you have them) with a cable lubricant. Protect All Cable Life is a good general-purpose lubricant.
Belt tension toolUse this tool to check that the belt tension is within spec.
Brake fluidSpec is to use DOT-4 brake fluid.
CoolantUse nitrate-free, phosphate-free, ethylene glycol-based coolant with anti-corrosion inhibitors, e.g. Valvoline Zerex G05
GreaseUse a lithium soap-based grease and silicone grease for all the important greasing points.
Consumables for servicing the Kawasaki Kawasaki Vulcan 900 motorcycle

Maintenance Schedule for Kawasaki Vulcan 900

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Vulcan 900. It’s broken up into three sections.

Notes:

  • For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here.
  • Kawasaki recommends most items other than everyday service be done by “an authorised dealer”.
  • #: Service more frequently when operating in severe conditions: dusty, wet, muddy,
    high speed, or frequent starting/stopping.

Change/replacement items

mi x 10000.67.615.222.830.4
km x 1000112243648Every
Air cleaner element # – replace (e) (KA-9006)
Engine oil # – change (Kawasaki 10W-40 Engine Oil)year
Oil filter – replace (HF303RC)year
Fuel hoses – replace5 years
Coolant – change (Zerex G05)3 years
Radiator hoses and O-rings – replace3 years
Brake hoses – replace4 years
Brake fluid (front and rear) – change (Castrol DOT 4)2 years
Rubber parts of master cylinder and caliper – replace4 years
Spark plug – replace (NGK CPR7EA-9)
Replaceable parts on Vulcan 900

Engine related items

mi x 10000.67.615.222.830.4
km x 1000112243648
Valve clearance – inspect
Throttle control system – inspect (play, smooth return, no drag) – inspect year
Idle speed – inspect
Fuel leak (fuel hose and pipe) – inspect
Fuel hoses damage – inspectyear
Fuel hoses installation condition – inspectyear
Coolant level – inspectyear
Coolant leak – inspectyear
Radiator hose damage – inspectyear
Radiator hoses installation condition – inspectyear
Air suction system damage – inspect
Evaporative emission control system – function
Engine related maintenance for the Vulcan 900

Chassis/drivetrain-related items

mi x 10000.67.615.222.830.4
km x 1000112243648Every
Clutch and drive train:
Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement) – inspectyear
Drive belt deflection – inspect (Belt tension tool)3800 mi (6000 km)
Drive belt wear- inspect3800 mi (6000 km)
Wheels and tires:
Tire air pressure – inspectyear
Wheels/tires damage – inspectyear
Tire tread wear, abnormal wear – inspect
Wheel bearings damage – inspectyear
Spoke tightness and rim runout – inspect3800 mi (6000 km)
Brake system:
Brake fluid leak – inspectyear
Brake hoses damage – inspectyear
Brake pad wear – inspect # (to replace: EBC FA229HH, FA231HH)year
Brake hose installation condition – inspectyear
Brake fluid level – inspect (Castrol DOT 4 to top up)year
Brake operation (effectiveness, play, drag) – inspectyear
Brake light switch operation – inspectyear
Suspension:
Front forks/rear shock absorber operation (damping and smooth stroke) – inspectyear
Front forks/rear shock absorber oil leak – inspectyear
Swing arm pivot – lubricate (with lithium soap-based grease)
Uni-trak rocker arm operation – inspectyear
Uni-trak tie rods operation – inspectyear
Uni-trak rocker arm bearings – lubricate
Uni-trak tir rods bearings – lubricate
Steering System:
Steering play – inspectyear
Steering stem bearings – lubricate2 years
Electrical System:
Lights and switches operation – inspectyear
Headlight aiming – inspectyear
Side stand switch operation – inspectyear
Engine stop switch operation – inspectyear
Chassis:
Chassis parts – lubricateyear
Bolts and nuts tightness – inspect
Chassis maintenance for the Vulcan 900

Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki Vulcan 900

The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 has the following tyre sizes standard (tubeless type), and the following recommended tyre pressures.

TyreSizeTyre pressure
Front130/90-16 M/C 67H200 kPa / 28 psi
Rear180/70 – 15M/C 76H200 – 225 kPa (28-32 psi), depending on load.
Tyres and tyre pressures for the Kawasaki Vulcan 900

The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 ships with Dunlop D404 tyres, or Bridgestone G721/722 cruiser tyres.

General information about the Kawasaki Vulcan 900

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 VN900 riding in city 1

The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 is a middleweight, middle-sized cruiser with stylish looks and a punchy engine that’s quite beginner friendly.

The Vulcan 900 has a 903cc V-Twin SOHC liquid-cooled Engine tuned to deliver lots of torque from low rpm. It makes a peak of 37 kW (50 hp) at 5700 rpm, which would actually be within learner-legal limits in parts of the world where displacement isn’t a factor. Peak torque is 58 ft-lb (78 Nm) which gives it decent pull — and torque peaks at a low 3700 rpm.

Mind you, the Vulcan 900 doesn’t have a tachometer — so you won’t know when you’re hitting peak torque other than by the seat of your pants.

The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 comes in a few configurations. there’s the Classic, which is the bare cruiser, the LT, which has backrest, saddlebags, and touring screen, and the Custom, which is a more bare-bones cruiser. But they all share the same foundation.

The Vulcan 900 has a number of features that make it more modern than rattly cruisers of the past. These include

  • Rubber engine mounts to reduces excess engine vibration
  • Positive neutral finder to help find neutral at a stop (though only a five-speed transmission)
  • Fuel injection with dual throttle bodies. The sub throttles, located behind the main throttle valve, are controlled by the ECU so that the fuel injection system retains a more precise throttle response, similar to a constant velocity carburetor.
Kawasaki Vulcan 900 VN900 riding in city 2

The Vulcan 900 has a very low 26.5-inch seat height that lets even shorter riders easily plant both feet on the ground at stops.

Over the years, the Vulcan 900 has kept being produced with nary a change other than paint jobs — which look really good!

While the Vulcan 900 is affordable, remember that it doesn’t come with much. There’s no ABS, no power modes, no adjustable suspension, and definitely no LED lights. The Vulcan is a basic bike. Remaining unchanged is probably why it has slipped past tightening regulations that require ABS on new models.

Braking is via a single front disc brake with a 300mm rotor, and a dual-piston caliper. It’s adequate, but obviously this isn’t a sportbike.

Similarly low-spec is the suspension. At the front there are 41mm forks with 150 mm of travel, and a single Unitrack shock at the back with preload adjustability.

But both those components are totally fine for the Vulcan 900.

While 50 hp and a curb weight of 611 lbs (37 kW / 277 kg) sounds like a really slow bike, the Vulcan 900 performs better than it sounds. True, it doesn’t leap away from the lights like a sport bike, but it does keep accelerating well past speeds where you’d want to be riding without a fairing.

Manual for the Kawasaki Vulcan 900

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the users manual for the 2020 Kawasaki Vulcan 900, which is available here.

It’s the same as in other years, with just formatting of the users manual having changed over time.

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