New-to-me Nomad hard to start and stalling - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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New-to-me Nomad hard to start and stalling

I haven't had a bike for ~25 years, so I was excited to buy a 2007 Vulcan Nomad a few days ago. Since I haven't ridden in so long, I didn't have a motorcycle endorsement and didn't take it for a ride. I got it out on the road today and it was a little hard to start, even with the choke. Temps today were in the mid-40s. I had to tweak the throttle some to keep it from stalling right away. Riding, it stalled a few times when I was riding very slow, like for a turn in a parking lot or at a stop sign. I'm not sure were to go with it at this point. I think the idle speed might be a little low, but without a tach I'm not sure how to check that.

I also had a noticeable rattle in the front that seemed somewhat dependent on engine speed while I'm on city streets. It started to rain after just a couple of miles so I didn't have much opportunity to assess it. I just headed back to the garage, since I consider myself too out of practice to be out on wet streets quite yet. I've seen some thread here about headlight rattle, so I'll look into that next time I get the bike out of the garage, probably toward the end of the week.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 02:22 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Year/Make/Model: 2000 Nomad 1500 fi
Displacement/CC's: 1500
Color: Purplish Black Mica
Gender: Male
Posts: 444
Congrats on your new to you Nomad. They are great bikes. They are mostly problem free once you bring them back to proper maintenance level. There are several things that can cause the starting problems you are mentioning. My philosophy has always been to start out with the cheap minor fixes and work you way up from there. Even if it turns out not to be the fix, it never hurts the bike to have it done. So that being said; the choke knob isnt really a choke. You have fuel injection so starting procedure remains constant. I can't remember what that knob actually does but it's not much. On the right side of you engine (right,while sitting on the bike) you will find an extended cable with a knob on the end. That's for adjusting your idle speed. Buy a can of "SEA FOAM" at the store. Follow the directions on the back. It may take a few times but there is a chance that the SeaFoam can clean your system to the point you don't have to go any further. It really doesn't sound like you have much pf a major problem going on, more like a gummed up system from sitting too long. Now the rattling, patience and a keen ear is the only way to solve that one. Nomads will rattle from time to time, so soon you will become pretty good at finding those rattles. Buy yourself a manual. (It's a must ). You can find them on Ebay quite often. Start with sea foam and the idle adjustment and see where that leads to. On the idle 950-1000 rpm normal. With no tach just tune it by ear. If it sounds right ti probably is. Happy Riding.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks RB. The bike came with a few little extras in the saddlebags, including a service manual. I'll admit, I was wondering how a choke could work with FI, but I guess that isn't too important at the moment. With the Seafoam, I've used it in the past on a car. In that case I used a vacuum tube to suck it into the engine, but I presume that isn't what you're think of here. Should I put it in the gas tank? I'll give the idle adjustment a tweak to see if that does any good.

I'm actually, all of a sudden, a double Nomad owner. I had a modest windfall come my way and days before this 2007 I bought a 2000 VN1500D. Then I found this 2007 and bought it and decided to give the 2000 to a relative. He had to move in with us a few years ago and has pulled more than his weight with housework and paying bills, so that's the direction I decided to go. It seem to be running fine, it's just the 2007 I'm worried about at this stage. The 2007 only has 12k miles, so it has surely seen some long stretches without rolling anywhere.

ETA, I just noticed your bike under your handle. The 2000 model sounds like a twin, same color and everything.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 09:46 PM
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AFAIK, and I bow to those of greater knowledge than myself, the "choke" knob is simply an enricher valve that dumps more fuel into the injection system to up the RPM's. You definitely don't want to have the "choke" out for too long. Just enough time so she is running semi smoothly. I haven't ever used SeaFoam in any machine that I own so can't comment there. Personally, I would check your air filter and blow it clean and free from any accumulated dirt and dust. Take the right side dog dish off and spray the throttle body chambers and butterflies with throttle body cleaner. Make sure that you gently clean any ridge where the butterflies close in the throttle body. Also try to clean the backside of the butterfly valves (as best you can - not an easy job). The input about adjusting the idle screw is pretty solid. Just enough juice so that she idles around 950RPM after being thoroughly warmed up.

As Always, YMMV

Cheers and Happy New Year!


2008 VN1600 NOMAD. Only 2,400 miles when I bought it in June of 2015. Everything stock for now, mods to come including the Big Three.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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I took the bike out again yesterday. First order of business was to adjust the idle. I tweaked it just a touch, but it only bumped it a little bit and the adjustment knob wouldn't go any further. I guess now I need to figure out how to adjust it a little more, but it did make enough of a difference that it helped some, but not quite all, with the stalling problem. What's even more interesting is that the rattle in the front didn't make a reappearance yesterday, even with an hour of riding just around residential streets. I'm taking it easy with getting reacquainted with being in the saddle again since it's been so long. I'm not holding my breath that it won't show up again, of course.
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