frustrated/exhausted please help - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Angry frustrated/exhausted please help

Here's my problem, I got my Vulcan 500 from a dealership in Mississippi and had it shipped to me. The driver who shipped it said that the battery was dead. it wouldnt turn on when he picked it up. No problem easy fix. charged the battery, put it back in and it started right up. However, when i switched it into gear and took hand off clutch and tried to get it to go it would cut off. looked up some possible things of what it could have been. came to conclusion that the carbuerator needs to be cleaned. found someone with similar problem who drained the old gas from his bike, poured in some seafoam and heet and new premium gas and it worked out just fine. I tried this. Bike will turn on for a little bit and cut right off. rechecked battery, took it to advanced auto parts. battery is good but it needed to be charged. charged the battery once again. it turned on and i left it running for a bit and it cut off on its own. now it won't turn on at all. it sounds like it wants to but doesnt have enough power. i just got this bike and i would hate to have to take it to the shop for something i can fix on my own. Any suggestions please.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:32 PM
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When you say it shuts off. Is it spitting and sputtering or is it just killing out like you turned the key off or or hit the kill switch.

Does it do it while it is just sitting there or only when you let out the clutch.

Just fishing for details

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:35 PM
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When you say 'cut out', do you mean an instantaneous shut down, like what would happen when you shut it off with the key or kill switch, or that it begins to bog down and run rough and eventually shut down?

Either way, and especially if it's the former, hit all of your switches (kill, ignition, kickstand, clutch, lights, and anything else you can think of) with electrical cleaner. It could just be that a dirty switch somewhere is intermittently causing problems.

Others will get in here who are more knowledgeable than I and will help you better diagnose this problem, but if you only listen to one thing I say it's this- Do not diagnose problems by buying parts! I see soo many people burn through so much money replacing parts that didn't need replacing in situations just like yours. Do not replace a part until you have diagnosed it has failed. There are lots of knowledgeable people on this forum who will jump in and help you do just that.

EDIT: SWVA beat me to the first part. Great minds think alike eh?

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:39 PM
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That they do but do the bad one think a like too???

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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it just cuts off. turns right off as if i hit the kill switch. it did it when i let go of the clutch and now it just wont stay on long enough. it'll turn on but in like 2 minutes cut right out. its a bit cold here in North Carolina but figured if i let it run and get warm every day it should be fine. It doesn't even stay on long enough to get warm. don't hear no spitting or anything it just cuts out. i can tell when its about to cut off because the engine sounds get softer and then just cuts out. Thats when i try to leave it running. when i try to release clutch it just automatically cuts out.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 03:00 PM
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EVERY time you release the clutch it cuts out, WITHOUT fail right? Does it jerk forward before dying, or just die right away? (If it jerks forward it could be sticking clutch plates)

How about adding throttle. Can you 'rev it up' in neutral?

Get some good electronic cleaning spray and spray the clutch lever, the sidestand switch, kill switch, etc. etc. Then see what happens from there. I'm just a backyard fix-it, but it sounds to me like an electrical problem is more likely than a carb issue.

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 03:08 PM
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If it is just shutting down like that then I would say you got an electrical problem.

If you start the bike and it runs a long time is the battery dead after that. If so then you man have a stator/regulator problem. An easy thing to look for is when your battery is good and charged and you start the bike, How bright is the headlight? If you light is not bright enough then your are running off your battery and not getting any charge.

Do you have a multimeter? If so start the bike and see if you are getting 14v back to the batter with it running. You need to have it running at around 2500 RPM.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:28 PM
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What year is the bike and how many miles does it have? It doesn't seem like a carb issue, like the others also noted. If you can give it throttle slowly at idle and it rev's fairly smoothly then you can for the most part not worry about the carbs, at this point.

Do 500's have some sort of neutral safety switch?

Do you have the ability to post a video of the issue happening?

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:57 PM
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replace the positive battery cable and check it all the way down.

** sorry, not trying to insult your intelligence. had a similar issue and I tried everything ... and it ended up being the stupid battery cable.

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Last edited by coolmesser; 11-29-2012 at 05:11 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolmesser View Post
replace the positive battery cable and check it all the way down.

** sorry, not trying to insult your intelligence. had a similar issue and I tried everything ... and it ended up being the stupid battery cable.
I know this old man who has raced pretty much anything his entire life and I always used to hear him say: The first rule of any motorsports is check the battery's connections/cleanliness/ground and then you check your battery. Then you start from there and work your way out from ignition to firing system to charging system to engine to carb and then start all over again if you still can't figure it out.

Of course, anyone does what they want to do with their machines but you are all on point.

It ain't about where you live; it's about how you live. So, ride to live, Bruh.
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