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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So....a 2004 Volusia came into my possession. It's a little damaged and been sitting for 10+ years. This thread is to document the restoration process and to solicit advice from the collective.

On a scale of 1-10, my mechanical ability is 7-8. I usually ride dirt or adventure style, so a middleweight cruiser is definitely new for me. Lately, my main bike has been a BMW R1200 GSA.

The bike has about 3,500 miles, so it's basically new. The primary damage looks like a head on collision of some sort. The front wheel points to about 1:30-2 o'clock.

First step is to change the oil, fill the tank with fresh gas, add a new battery and see if she'll start. If that's successful, we'll need to start talking about how to straighten that from wheel (never done that before!), and what style bike this should be!
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The forks are bent. Your only solution is to replace them and the triple tree. The fender is also in need of replacement, so if you want to match the paint, you're going to need to buy another and have it painted. The head tube may also be bent. If that's the case, the frame is totaled and you'll have to apply for a salvage title.

You're going to find quickly that there are virtually no aftermarket parts for this line of bike, so your choice is OEM (from a junk yard), OEM new (many are discontinued by Suzuki), aftermarket or fabricate on your own.

If the bike hasn't been run in a while, plan on a complete tear down and rebuild of the carb and vacuum petcock in the fuel tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had some progress yesterday.
  • First checked if the engine would turn....it's not seized!
  • Cut off the damaged front fender....I couldn't stand looking at that mess...going naked for the time being.
  • Flushed fuel tank, innards are in pristine shape
  • Changed the oil, old oil still looked in surprisingly good shape. No metal or visible water. My guess is that it was changed shortly before it was taken off the road.
  • Flushed and filled the cooling system. Old coolant was in good shape, no rust or debris.
  • Installed new battery
  • Inspected carb and exhaust, all good.
  • Inflated the tires to pressure, and they seem to be holding air well.

Full choke, few sprays of starting fluid, 3-4 seconds of cranking and she fires right up. Once the air and old gas was out of the lines, the engine runs smooth throughout the RPM range! Very smooth! No unusual noises. The exhaust has a nice sound too, I see some of the baffles were removed / drilled out.

I forgot to inspect the plugs, will add that to the to-do list. But apparently, they work...lol

Next step is giving the front end some attention. I don't think the forks are bent, they appear just to be torqued. I'll try to align the front end and see what happens...are there any special tips / tricks for aligning the forks of a Volusia?

If that goes well, I'll have to think about other mod's to the appearance of the bike....what are the common style mods?

The bike has been lowered, so that has to go back to stock. It's way to low, the handling would suck.
 

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Thanks for the detailed update. Sounds like it's going well.

The most common modification, IMHO, is the seat. Most people prefer either the Mustang or Ultimate. I personally have the Saddlemen Explorer. It's not as soft as the other options and sits lower. I think it gives the Volusia a more aggressive look.

The other mod I did was running lights. I really like the look of 3 headlights and really adds to the visibility. I used the OEM set but changed out the bulbs and reflectors to sealed beams. The stock bulbs don't last long.

I also added an LED tail light. Custom Dynamics is pricey, but worth it for the safety. The difference between a stock Volusia tail light and the Custom Dynamics is literally night and day.

There's other items you can add for comfort like floorboards if you don't already have them. Most any OEM part for a C50 will fit up to 2008 models. There's minor changes like seat attachment points after 2008.

If you plan on riding with a passenger and they're average height or taller, the peg swap is a free mod. You just swap the left and right passenger foot pegs to lower them. There's aftermarket solutions too, but can get pricey. I went with the Kuryakin floorboards for my wife's comfort.

That should get you started. Sorry I don't know about adjusting the forks.
 

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Just a warning about those tires. If those are the originals, they are 18 years old. It doesn't matter how "good" they look, they should be replaced immediately, if not sooner. You have exactly 4" of rubber connecting you to the road. A blow-out on a motorcycle almost always results in a catastrophic wreck, so unless you're looking to make your named beneficiaries rich, get new tires!
 
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