Question about start up.. - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Question about start up..

So tonight I took my 2012 Nomad Vulcan 1700 out for a little cruise. Rode about 55 miles before stopping at a gas station. Got gas, and when I started the bike it cranked over with no problem but sounded like it was struggling to stay started. I jumped on the bike and took off with no issues.

Rode around a little bit more and came home after 115 miles. Shut the bike down and waiting a minute before trying to start it again, just to make sure it would start. Before starting the red light and oil pressure light came on, as well as the fan kicking on. Started up the bike and both the red light and oil light went away, but again it sounded as if it was struggling to stay started. It was dark and I noticed that the headlight was dimming every time the engine sounded like it was getting ready to die. Engine never did quit, and the fan eventually turned off.

Anybody have any idea what could be going on? Its only been about 3k miles since the last oil change, and I put a new battery in it just two or three weeks ago. This was the first ride I've taken that was over 100 miles in quite a while, but I have some longer weekend trips planned this summer and would hate to end up getting stuck somewhere. Bike has just over 10,100 miles.

I searched the forum but didnt really find anything. I'm also not mechanically skilled whatsoever.

Thanks for any help, I hope its nothing major.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 09:54 PM
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Sounds like a stator or voltage regulator/rectifier issue to me.

Any loose connections anywhere?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 11:29 PM
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Had kinda a simular issue on mine 2012 Voyager. Took it in to have it checked out, they couldnt duplicate the issue, said possibly bad gas.Below is a thread I started on it, maybe it may help. Would start with the easy stuff. You said you have a new battery, check that connections are tight.
https://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=88402

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Battery connections are tight. I just went out to see how it started after it had been sitting for a few hours, and it started right up with no problems. The two times it struggled and the headlight dimmed was after it had been ridden 50+ miles, stopped for 5-10 minutes, and then started again.

Not sure if it's something to be worried about or not, I would hate to be a ways away from home and get stuck at a gas station or stranded somewhere.

Like I said I'm not mechanically skilled in any way, not sure if the stator or r/r goes out over time or if it will just die instantly while I'm driving down the highway.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 11:53 PM
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Oil pressure light on when the engine is off is normal, it's supposed to do that. When the engine is off, you don't have any oil pressure! If it's on when the engine is running you've got problems. Do not run the engine if the oil pressure light remains on, take it to a shop.

Can you define "hard to stay running"? Rough with vibrations? Does it ever actually stall? Is the idle set correctly?

Quick 'diagnostic inventory' to get out of the way, too;

1) How many miles
2) What year
3) Any mods

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

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2015, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
Oil pressure light on when the engine is off is normal, it's supposed to do that. When the engine is off, you don't have any oil pressure! If it's on when the engine is running you've got problems. Do not run the engine if the oil pressure light remains on, take it to a shop.

Can you define "hard to stay running"? Rough with vibrations? Does it ever actually stall? Is the idle set correctly?

Quick 'diagnostic inventory' to get out of the way, too;

1) How many miles
2) What year
3) Any mods

Its a 2012 with 10100 miles. Its got VH pipes, powerpro, and KN air filter.

"Hard to stay running", it started up no issues, sounded good, then after a second or two it sounds like the engine is about to turn off, then kicks back to life for a second or two, then repeats. Idle sounds normal, then it gets slower and quieter, then back to normal. It was still light out when I stopped the first time at the gas station, so I didnt notice if the headlight dimmed. The second time I started it was after I was home and the headlight dimmed for a second, then went back to normal, then dimmed for a second, etc.

Couple hours later I went out to start it and it started right up and sounded good, with no headlight dimming.

Like the link to another post above, maybe it could have been bad fuel? It was 91 octane but from a gas station I've never been to before, and kinda in the middle of nowhere.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2015, 07:42 AM
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What was the idle rpm when it was acting up?

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2015, 09:20 AM
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As the engine speed drops, the charging system will put out less, that could be causing the dimming if rpms drop way down. Mine did this over 3-4 tanks of fuel and was inconsistant at doing it. Perhaps you may try some seafoam or other gas drying additive in the next couple tanks of fresh gas. Run tanks low before refuelling, or may drain gas and start off fresh.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2015, 09:32 AM
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Fuel is an easy variable to eliminate. If it wasn't acting up beforehand and started after getting fuel, that's reasonable. Some fresh gas and some seafoam is a cheap way to check.

How is the idle set on the Nomad? I know there are some settings on the OSD on the Voyager/Vaquero. Maybe try bumping the idle up as well, at least until you get some fresh gas in it, to see if that smooths things out.

Does it accelerate okay? It runs just fine, with nothing seeming unusual or different, except for the idle issue? And it does this idle thing every time? Most of the time? Some of the time?

"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 #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2015, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick View Post
As the engine speed drops, the charging system will put out less, that could be causing the dimming if rpms drop way down. Mine did this over 3-4 tanks of fuel and was inconsistant at doing it. Perhaps you may try some seafoam or other gas drying additive in the next couple tanks of fresh gas. Run tanks low before refuelling, or may drain gas and start off fresh.
I called one of my friends who is a little more knowledgeable that I am, and he also said he thinks its bad fuel. I'm going to run some seafoam through the rest of this tank and add some to a fresh tank I get at a gas station I always go to. Hopefully this will solve the issue!

Thanks for all the help guys, I appreciate it!
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