Author Topic: What have I got?!!  (Read 726 times)

Treecol

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What have I got?!!
« on: April 19, 2021, 14:26:23 PM »
Hello all. So great to find a forum for the bime I've just bought. Sadly our one here in the UK seems to be inactive - perhaps it shows the scarcity of these bikes in the UK.
I've just bought  1999 Kawasaki Drifter 1500 with 20k genuine miles on. I've had too many bikes to count over the years but this is really the best bike by far. And it's in such good condition as an old chap owned it from new and then parked it up, wrapped it up in his garage and left it for years when it became too heavy for him.
However I'm struggling to find out what the story is with my bike. I bought it from a dealer who just sells used bikes from all manufacturers.  It has very little paperwork save service history.  Did it roll off the production line at Kawasaki with Kawasaki Drifter stamped on the bike? Currently there is nothing to identify it as a Kawasaki but it has 26 Indian logos and names all over it in various places. It's quite something g trying to find them all and cou t them as some are very tiny and stamped into leather work or on the tips at the back of the fenders etc.
Also does anyone know how many were made.
Thanks so much if you can help. Really looking forward to spending time here.  :)  :)


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chief

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2021, 15:37:13 PM »
The VIN tells you what the bike is. Also if the fender floats with the rear tire, it's a Drifter. 

How many were made?  There were 9000 1500's made with most of those sold in North America.
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Sl? inte - Good Health - Cheers

'02 Vulcan Drifter 1500<BR>'02 Honda Gold Wing GL1800 ABS

Treecol

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2021, 16:16:22 PM »
Hi Chief, yes I'm buying it as a Drifter, but would it have had Kawasaki & Drifter stamped all over it from new rather than all the Indian badges everywhere? Am I correct guessing it's been rebadged by the previous owner?
Thanks for the fast reply BTW.
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Bucko

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2021, 18:57:11 PM »
The only place 'Drifter' is factory printed on a 1500 is on the two metal tank badges (1999/2000 drifters had all 'silver' badges while later models had chomre with color insert badges) which lots of folks removed.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 18:59:09 PM by Bucko »
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JagLite

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2021, 22:24:48 PM »
I can't recall anywhere it is marked as Kawasaki but I have a poor memory.
It is on the VIN sticker of course but I think the factory left the bike sort of stealth instead of stamping KAWASAKI in many places. Of course it did NOT come with INDIAN marked anywhere on it.

Lots of owners have added the INDIAN markings on their own.
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Bucko

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2021, 18:17:37 PM »
I can't recall anywhere it is marked as Kawasaki but I have a poor memory.
It is on the VIN sticker of course but I think the factory left the bike sort of stealth instead of stamping KAWASAKI in many places. Of course it did NOT come with INDIAN marked anywhere on it.

Lots of owners have added the INDIAN markings on their own.

"Kawasaki" is written right above "Drifter" on the tank badges.

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mittico68

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 01:39:19 AM »
I own a 1999 Drifter 800 and yes, that's what Bucko said about the "Kawasaki" script.
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I love my swingin' bike!

JagLite

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2021, 10:43:31 AM »
"Kawasaki" is written right above "Drifter" on the tank badges.



Interesting, my bike didn't have tank badges when I bought it ('99).
Were those badges on all years?
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Bucko

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2021, 18:39:17 PM »
Interesting, my bike didn't have tank badges when I bought it ('99).
Were those badges on all years?

Yes.  1999/2000 models had badges as shown above.  Later models had similar badges except they were chromed with colored enamel inserts.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 12:39:37 PM by Bucko »
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JagLite

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2021, 21:59:02 PM »
After reading your previous post I tried to find the history section of the forum where the articles about the Cobra bike built by Berg but I can't find it. Have we lost that information or am I looking in the wrong places?

Seems to me there used to be the original Kawasaki write up about the new Drifter, the information about how many were sold each year and more. The original Kawasaki advertisements, a video or two...
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Treecol

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2021, 02:29:12 AM »
Thanks guys, I've been taking a good look at things and understand finally!! So mine has been totally Indianised! Really love the look of it, which I why I test rode with a view to buy. Amazing ride. I can't find the tan coloured bags and Corbin dual seats anywhere ( I am in the UK) do you know if they are still available? All the leather goods on line are black and I'd like to change them if poss.
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circlej

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2021, 03:24:01 AM »
As for Corbin seat, they are still in operation and have an EU presence, I got a solo for 2k1R1 about 4 months ago.
https://www.corbin-europe.com/project/drifter/

Also FYI...
VIN breakdown
example - JKBVNT50JRA012345
J=Japan
K=Kawasaki
B=business model or commuter
VNT50=Vulcan 1500
J=check digit
R=2001 (year built)
A=Akashi (production factory)
last six digits are the serial number
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 09:53:01 AM by circlej »
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chief

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2021, 12:39:36 PM »
After reading your previous post I tried to find the history section of the forum where the articles about the Cobra bike built by Berg but I can't find it. Have we lost that information or am I looking in the wrong places?

Seems to me there used to be the original Kawasaki write up about the new Drifter, the information about how many were sold each year and more. The original Kawasaki advertisements, a video or two...
From the Home page (not forum)... 


https://www.vulcandrifterriders.com/history.html


Also from the forum... Mods and Accessories  then Drifter History. 

Cheers
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Sl? inte - Good Health - Cheers

'02 Vulcan Drifter 1500<BR>'02 Honda Gold Wing GL1800 ABS

JagLite

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Re: What have I got?!!
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2021, 22:07:58 PM »
Ah, that's why I was lost.
Thanks mate!
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