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Old 12-01-2017, 07:24 PM   #1
ErikB   ErikB is offline
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2016 Vaquero in the shop for 2 weeks

Hey guys, just wanted to document here what is wrong with the bike. When searching the web, I only found one other report of the same thing from a 2009 Nomad. Therefore in the future, I figured maybe someone having the same issue will find this. I don't think it is common...

When I bought the bike earlier this year in March, it was built from the crate, and I picked it up a few days later. I noticed a weird "crust" on the rear cylinder head about half way down on the left side of the motor. It was on one of the fins. I just assumed it was "gunk" from the factory, didn't think much of it. I then proceeded to put about 600 miles on over the course of a few weeks, had the oil changed, and then took the bike on a 4000 mile road trip this summer.

I hadn't ridden it much in the past few months as I have 3 bikes, and last week noticed this gunk was still there, but there was more of it and some droplets had fallen onto the oil filler cap and the kickstand etc. Looked like coolant to me. This caused me to take a closer look. I saw no obvious cracks, and there are no joints or gaskets there... also no leaks from elsewhere. It was just.. emanating from the cylinder head inside of one fin.

It ended up being as I suspected, a porous casting of the cylinder head. In other words when the motor heats up, coolant weeps right through the metal. Over the course of 4800 miles it was not enough to even register a dip in the coolant tank, so I'd guess it was just spitting out a drop or two each ride.

Anyway, Kawasaki is replacing the rear cylinder head under warranty. I should have the bike back by the end of next week. Otherwise, I didn't notice any performance problems, run great, etc. Had they declined the warranty, I was just going to put a bead of JB Weld inside that fin and shrug it off for now.

I did make a 2 hour video of my summer trip from Colorado to California and back on the Vaquero if anyone is interested. I'll look for a photo/video forum on here, instead of this tech one...
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:32 PM   #2
ponch   ponch is online now
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I've never heard of that problem on any bike before. I have to wonder who casts their parts.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:52 PM   #3
ErikB   ErikB is offline
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It actually isn't that uncommon overall if you look around for "porous casting motorcycle forum" on the web. However, it IS uncommon for Kawasaki I think.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:56 AM   #4
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That's a new one for Kawasaki. I know Moto Guzzi was plagued by porous casting in some engines.

Glad they are getting it fixed fast. When they were hunting down my engine problem and rebuilt the engine at 50,000 miles it took 4 months or so.
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:30 PM   #5
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Interesting - Glad Kawasaki took care of it for you - this is a clear case of a defective part.
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:14 PM   #6
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Picked up the Vaquero today, its nice to have it back home. Runs fine, same as when I left it really. Based on the parts list, they replaced the entire rear cylinder, piston ring, and a slew of gaskets and whatnot. Kawasaki covered it, all I paid for was a set of new tires it was due for.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:21 AM   #7
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Glad i noticed your post. Bought a brand new 16 this spring. Last few times noticed a white material similar to Bird poop u see on your car. Wondered what it could be? Bike ran well, will check dealer. Riding over as we have cold and snow here now.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:31 PM   #8
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Yeah it mostly looked like a white crust on the cylinder head fin, and where it dripped down. Upon close inspection, it was green and gooey in some places which led me to believe it was coolant... turns out thats exactly what it was.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:47 AM   #9
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EricB btw did u say your bike has 4600 miles and needed new set of tires or did i read posts wrong? Gary
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:33 AM   #10
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4800 miles, yeah. The stock tires, particularly the rear one, were shot already. From what I've read on here, its common for those to wear fast.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:25 AM   #11
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Pretty quick service. Mine was in the shop for over a month for a simple ECU replacement.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:50 PM   #12
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Having worked on skoots for 41 1/2 years I have seen porous castings b4. It happens. I have also seen huge mis-matches in all types of machining, ports with horrible casting flaws, on and on.

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Old 01-24-2018, 03:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmer140 View Post
EricB btw did u say your bike has 4600 miles and needed new set of tires or did i read posts wrong? Gary
The stock tires are absolute garbage. My bike needed new tires as well at the same amount of mileage. I have the Michelin commander II’s on now. I will see how long those last, many have reported at least double, some have even gotten as much triple or more what the stock tires do.

Last edited by BonVoyager; 01-25-2018 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:44 AM   #14
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I have 20,000 kms on the rear Commander II on my bike and it looks like it will go another season, usually around 10,000 to 12,000 kms for me.
I found the front Commander II too harsh and replaced in with a Metzeler 888.
Softer ride but maybe less mileage. Too soon to tell. When the Commander II wears out it will be replaced with another Commander II.


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