Problems with new 2007 500 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Problems with new 2007 500

Just bought my first motorcycle a month ago, 2007 Vulcan 500 with 4,000 miles. For the first couple weeks it ran fine. Then it started stalling and/or hesitating badly the first time I gave it a decent amount of throttle from a stop after warming up. Usually I'd go to pull out of my driveway and it would stall or sputter for a couple seconds before it would accelerate. After it would run fine until it sat for a couple hours and cooled down. Did a search here and on other sites and found this is pretty common in cool weather (been 40-55 degrees the last few weeks), and followed some recommendations to leave the choke half on for the first mile or so. This got rid of the problem for a couple weeks, but now the last few days it's been stalling even with the choke half on. Then today it hit the gas reserve with only 65 miles since I filled it. Most of my driving has been short trips of maybe 5 miles, usually with it warming up for at least 2-3 minutes first, and I've been driving pretty aggressively, taking it to 30MPH in first, 50MPH in second, etc., could this be why the gas mileage is so low, or should I get it checked out?

I put some seafoam in the gas this afternoon then took it for a ride, now it was running rough, poor acceleration, hesitating from stops, etc., I'm hoping it's the seafoam working, guess I'll have to to see if it improves. The dealership I got it from said they cleaned the carbs when it was traded in, but who knows.

Also, there's now a buzzing noise coming from the speedometer. At first it was just when I was warming it up with the choke on, but now I can hear it when I let off the throttle while riding. I guess it could be the vibrations from the engine running rough, but I can wiggle the speedometer around a little bit in it's housing. Is this normal, or is there a way to tighten it?
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 09:12 PM
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Pretty simple to check that the air filter is clean and properly oiled. As you alluded, could still be sludge in the carbs. Maybe check plugs, too. Many on here much more knowledgeable will likely offer good suggestions.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 01:08 AM
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Not sure about 500s, but the 800s have a filter in the gas tank. Pull the petcock, after draining gas. Should be a sock type filter there. Make sure its clean. When draining tank, make sure you have a good flow threw the petcock, maybe partly plugged there.


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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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I'll check the air filter, I don't have much experience doing mechanical stuff so I'll probably try some new gas and the seafoam before I drain/remove the tank and check the spark plugs and petcock filter. I haven't been able to ride much due to the weather, I only filled the tank up once, and the tank was still half full of gas the dealer put in, don't know how long it was in there or if they put stabilizer in it. So some of the gas in the tank could have been sitting for a while. I forgot to mention, the last couple times I rode it I noticed a popping sound coming from the exhaust, I'm assuming it's the clean air system burning up unburned fuel. Should I try draining the carbs? If so, what type of hose fits the drain?
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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The air filter looks okay, but tried running it again to see if the seafoam is working, and it's gotten worse. It's now pretty much unrideable, if I open the throttle up to 1/4 of the way, it seems to run fine. Any farther than 1/4 open, and the engine slows way down for 2-4 seconds before suddenly speeding up to where it should be. I was thinking about just taking it to a shop and have them figure it out, but now I don't know how I'll even get it there.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 06:34 PM
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I would check your plugs. The condition they're in can help either eliminate them as a potential culprit or help you figure out what may be the problem. Aside from that it sounds like you're riding the bike pretty hard if you're going to 30mph in first. The product manual gives you recomendations for speeds in various gears. Those are pretty conservative, but give you an idea as to the speed/gear relations. The engines do like to rev high but if you dog it hard you'll have tons of issues later on.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 11:32 PM
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loose battery terminals will cause these symptoms..check the sticky at the top. the fuel mileage thing..my opinion is your reving too high, if I'm being agressive I might hit 50 in third, theres one bolt holding the instrument cluster on. pull it and check inside, you'll have to disconnect the speedo cable and 2 wire couplers to get it off. theres probably some sort of clamp loose that holds the speedo in the housing.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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I was shifting much earlier when I first got it, being a beginner I was afraid of running it too hard without a tach. However, when I was shifting to second under 23 or so, it was lugging quite a bit, and acceleration was pretty slow. I found this thread on here http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/a...p/t-30632.html and starting shifting at higher speeds, it seems to run a lot better. My manual says the maximum recommended speed in first gear for the 500-1,000 mile break-in period is 24MPH, if going up to 24 is okay during the break-in, I figured 25-30 afterwards shouldn't be too bad. Around here when you pull out onto a road you get up to speed or you get rear-ended, second just doesn't accelerate much under 25. Usually in town I take first gear to 25-30 from a stop, then put it in second till the next stop. If I'm just cruising around the country roads I shift around 25, then put it in third around 40-45.

I did think about the battery connection, but it seems odd that it would cause a problem only when opening the throttle more than 1/4 of the way, and it would do the same thing every time. From what I found about the battery issue it seems to mostly happen randomly. I'll make sure it's tight though.

A friend who's more mechanically inclined than me took a look at it last night, said it seems like all of the fuel isn't igniting properly. He increased the idle speed a little bit and said to try running premium gas in it. I added some premium, so the gas in the tank is now about half 87 and half 92. There's still some hesitation when flick the throttle open, but it's a lot better than it was, no more taking 3-4 seconds to accelerate or stalling when I open the throttle. Probably run this tank out and try running all 92 to see if that gets rid of it completely, and check the spark plugs once I run the tank low.

I discovered that the speedometer is rattling/buzzing when I'm warming it up with the choke on, but the buzzing when I'm riding seems to actually be coming from the lock on the gas cap, probably not much I can do about that.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 02:25 PM
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Have you tried running it with the fuel cap open to make sure you don't have a vacuum lock.??

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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCastle View Post
I added some premium, so the gas in the tank is now about half 87 and half 92.
Always run premium in it. 91 or higher. It will work with lower octanes but you'll be setting yourself up for an early rebuild.
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