96 Classic 1500 backfires thru carb & exhaust. Gasperitus? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
makippert
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Default 96 Classic 1500 backfires thru carb & exhaust. Gasperitus?

Just bought a 1996 Classic 1500 about a week ago. It was well cared for and at 13 years old it looks excellent with 49k on the odo. I got a good deal on it because the clutch was going out but this also meant that I couldn't take it for a spin. I got the clutch working (rebuilt the clutch master cylinder) and started riding. The bike is completely stock.

It's a good solid ride but I find it lacks power. The first symptom I noticed was it's very cold blooded. It starts easy but you can't give it any throttle for the first minute or it stalls. It takes a long time to warm up and backfires thru the carb. Even after warmup it hesitates and backfires (thru carb) at take-off and low RPM. It seems fine at higher RPM.

Another symptom is occasional backfiring thru the exhaust. Sounded like gunshots making me jump out of my seat.

One more symptom. While I'm riding along it sometimes feels like power is dropping off. Maybe I'm imagining that as I haven't ridden it enough.

I've been pouring over the forum and decided that I need to look at the carb. I'm going to tear it down and clean it. I'm also going to look for possible vacuum leaks as well. The exhaust backfiring may be related to exhaust gasket leaking.

Here's the big question. Could this be Gasperitus? I read about a FAR (factory authorized repair) related to these same symptoms. I'm wondering if my bike could suffer from this problem.

Has anybody else's bike suffered Gasperitus, and if so, did Kawasaki fix it? More importantly, would they fix it 13 years and 49k miles later?

Thanks for any and all input. Can't wait to really get down and ride!
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:44 PM   #2
Nomadicsailor
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Are you using the choke correctly? Run a can of Seafoam thru it before you do anything and see what happens. If that doesn't work, you might try a simple carb adjustment, balancing the idle mixture against the main jet. Check the Gadjet site.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
makippert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadicsailor View Post
Are you using the choke correctly? Run a can of Seafoam thru it before you do anything and see what happens. If that doesn't work, you might try a simple carb adjustment, balancing the idle mixture against the main jet. Check the Gadjet site.
Hi Nomadicsailor, thanks for the reply.

I assume I'm using the choke correctly. I've only found the need to use it for cold starts (first start of the day). Pull it out, fire it up, let it idle about a minute (or in my case several minutes) and push it in before I ride (all per MOM). I have noticed that the choke knob draws itself in as it idles up. Not sure if this is normal. I push it the rest of the way in before riding. I don't let it idle more than 5 minutes (again per MOM).

As for Seafoam, I use it on my cars and love it. I have already put some in my tank but I've only had time to go thru about a half tank of gas since Monday.

I have looked down the throat of the carb and it looks a bit dirty. Another reason it might be time to tear down the carb and clean it good.

I've been thru the Gadjet site and there's definitely a wealth of info there. One item related to electrical gremlins so I thought I'd go thru and make sure all my grounds and connections a clean and tight.

BTW, here's a couple pics of my bike if anyone is interested.


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Old 08-17-2009, 11:58 AM   #4
mghvdr
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Default 1996 Vulcan Classic 1500

Hi Mark,

I have a 1996 Vulcan Classic 1500, actually the same colors as yours. I bought it from the original owner, who, I later found out, had let the bike set for several years without riding it.

Long story short...I ended up replacing the heat sensor in the radiator, the radiator, and horns within days of buying the bike. I than found out that the clutch was on it's way out and had to replace it also, something I questioned the owner about, but he assured me it was just because it was a hydraulic clutch.

I have always experienced the popping, it's very annoying, and at times it sounds like a gun firing. I marbled the hoses on the intake air reed boxes and it stopped it completely, what a relief. Make sure you use real glass marbles and not plastic ones that may melt from the heat of the engine.

I changed the stock filter to a K&N and it seems like that has allowed more air flow as the bike doesn't warm up as quickly and wants to stall when starting off. Everything I read sounded like the bike is running too lean and I needed to re-jet the carb. The original owner had replaced the stock exhaust with DG Hard Krome 3" Slash Cut pipes....which were blue. I figured this was from not changing the jets.

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about whether or not you need to change the jets when you change to after market pipes, but it seems to make sense that you are changing the back pressure on the engine allowing less back pressure which would increase the air flow.

I am about to yank the carb and attempt to change the jets, I bought them on eBay from a guy in California who asked me about all of the after market changes I have made as well as where I live as the altitude directly affect the size of the jets you should have.

But now I'm thinking I will attempt to adjust the air/gas mixture first, I'm thinking this is the adjustment that has the factory installed plug covering it that needs to be drilled out to gain access to it. If I go to all of the trouble of removing the carb I might as well as change out the main jet.

I've put about 3,000 miles on the bike since I bought it last August, pretty good considering all of the down time for repairs. I really like the bike and it gets a lot of comments, even from the Harley owners.

Let me know how things turn out for you and I'll let you know how things worked out with my bike.

I added a picture of my bike.

Mike
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
wvill
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Hey Guys,

I'm a new owner of a 1997 Vulcan Classic that was suffering from the backfiring from the carb problem. Only had 1,900 miles when I bought it but I took it into my Kawasaki dealer last week and they're now fixing the problem due to the Factory Authorized Repair, no issues with the length of time or the transfer of ownership. Hope this helps.


Wes
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:42 PM   #6
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Wes, Thanks for the info, I'll be very interested in finding out what they did to fix the problem. I was told this was an emissions issue which was intended to burn up any excess gas fumes in the exhaust by adding oxygen through the air intake reed valves. This symptom was not noticeable with stock pipes as the popping noise was muffled, this was very noticeable when going to the after market pipes, especially with little or no baffles which exaggerated to popping sound. Just curious, where did you find a 12 year old bike with only 1,900 miles on it, it's not even been broken in yet. Let us know how this works out for you and what exactly the dealer did to solve this issue.
Mike
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:01 PM   #7
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Default Popping & jetting

Quote:
Originally Posted by mghvdr View Post
Hi Mark,

I have a 1996 Vulcan Classic 1500, actually the same colors as yours. I bought it from the original owner, who, I later found out, had let the bike set for several years without riding it.

Long story short...

Let me know how things turn out for you and I'll let you know how things worked out with my bike.

Mike
Hi Mike, thanks for the reply. I appreciate the input regarding the upgrades you've added. Over the weekend I was trying to track down a rattle from the exhaust. While doing so I discovered that the exhaust gasket on the front cylinder has a leak. I can feel a puffing coming from one edge. I've read that a leaky gasket will allow more air to come in during decel which can cause popping. I'm going to order some new gaskets and see if this helps.

I look forward to hearing how the rejetting does for you. Please let me know what size jets you use.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:06 PM   #8
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Default Far

Quote:
Originally Posted by wvill View Post
Hey Guys,

I'm a new owner of a 1997 Vulcan Classic that was suffering from the backfiring from the carb problem. Only had 1,900 miles when I bought it but I took it into my Kawasaki dealer last week and they're now fixing the problem due to the Factory Authorized Repair, no issues with the length of time or the transfer of ownership. Hope this helps.


Wes
Hi Wes, thanks much for the input. I'd love to hear back on which FAR (Factory Authorized Repair) they do to the bike (just the preheater for the carb or pulling the engine and replacing the valves as well). Did you have to point out that there is a FAR on the bike or did they tell you?

Also is your bike completely stock or have you (or the previous owner) modified the fuel/exhaust system?
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:02 PM   #9
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Hey Guys,

For those wondering about the bike, bought if from a good buddy who chose not to ride more than a 100 miles a year.....he was the original owner and shortly after buying the bike he and his wife had a couple of kids...after that, he installed a trickle charger, left the bike in the garage and decided to get a minivan...Even though he didn't ride much, luckily he kept up on maintenance.....worked out for me

I bought the bike under blue book and it had only 1,913 miles....I quickly added 300 more miles in my first week of ownership!

No mods on the bike besides the trickle charger (not really a mod) and the triple lightbar (I think that was a dealership-added item). Only things on the wishlist are whitewall tires (just like makippert's), a stock nomad dual exhaust setup (just got a complete mint set for $40 from craigslist) and some bigger saddlebags.....nothing else planned except to ride!

As for the FAR's, still waiting to get the final word from the dealership on which one(s) will be performed...Both FAR's told to me were the same ones listed in VROC's website.

I learned about the FAR's from the salesman who was originally helping me purchase a new Vulcan...after he saw that I made this purchase, he congratulated me on the deal and then ran the VIN in their computers as a courtesy; he told me about both FAR's (I didn't even know about them until he told me) handed me the printouts before I got to the Service Department's counter. Gotta love great customer service!

Such a great experience with my local dealership that I will most like buy my next bike (looking at a Versys or a KLR) through them.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:57 AM   #10
Jan Schonenburg
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Smile Backfireing

If youre bike suffers from backfire, you probably need to change out the distribution chaines and spanners.
I had the same with mine, now it rides like new after i've changed out most of the parts on my bike (1998 VN1500 classic).
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