Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Year/Make/Model: 2000 Kawasaki VN800 Classic
Chasing Gremlins (not the ones made by AMC)
I am glad to have found your forum. I am new here, but not to bikes, however, this is my first Vulcan. I picked up a 2000 VN800 Classic this last spring for a song. It had literally been sitting in a guyís barn for a little over a year. Itís bone stock except for a set of Vance and Hines pipes.
Did all the normal stuffÖ cleaned it up, aired up the tires, new battery, drained the fuel, removed and cleaned out the carb., etc.
Gremlin #1: Bike starts, runs fine. Let out the clutch it dies. Removed the starter lockout switch on the clutch handle and spliced the wires, now it works great. Solved! Who needs all those safety switches anyway?
Gremlin #2: Bike starts up runs on down the road just fine. About 5-10 minutes into the ride or a few miles, the engine dies momentarily then comes back to life. Backfires and pops for a few, then runs ok briefly then dies again. Almost like someone is switching the kill switch on and off. The guy I bought it from told me that he thought the ignition switch was going bad. So I took it off, took it apart, everything looked good and all the connections were ohming out ok. A little corrosion in the connector so I cleaned the terminals and reinstalled it. Went for a test ride, same problem. One thing I havenít checked yet is to see if Iím losing my lights when this happens. Frankly, when it occurs Iím too busy trying to avoid being rear-ended by a cell-phone wielding teenager to notice if my lights are flickering or not. Guess I need to find a less traveled road to do my test rides.
Theory 1, Electrical: When the bike heats up to a certain temperature, something is breaking down and losing connection. But what? Iím definitely losing both cylinders at the same time. Pick-up coil? IC igniter box? Is there a way to check for something like this? Maybe using my meter and a heat gun?
Theory 2, Fuel: Could it be time related? I start it up run down the road and in a short time when it empties the carb. bowl, it starts acting up? Maybe the float needle valve is sticking and canít fill the bowl quick enough to keep up with the motor? Or could it be the vacuum petcock not letting in enough fuel fast enough? If I ride it in the ďprimeĒ position and I still have the problem, that would tell me itís not the petcock, right? Simple enough to pull the carb. and check the float valve, but I donít want to go down that road if itís something electrical.
Anyone else run into something like this in the past?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Gerry (Big G)
Gerry Langwell (Big G)
2000 VN800 Classic