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Discussion Starter #1
All: I have been having issues with my 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom, with 33,000 Miles on it. Recently when the bike has been sitting for quite awhile, ie...Overnight, in the morning the bike is hesitant to start. I will power on the bike, and hit the starter button, and the starter and engine will spin, but the bike will not start. The starter will spin as long as the button is held. I just replaced the plugs, the bike has fuel, and the air cleaner is clean. I will continue to hit the starter button, and you can eventually smell gas, and if you twist the throttle any, the speed that the starter is spinning increases. After anywhere between 3-10 times pressing the starter, the bike will fire. When it fires, it settles into a very slow idle, very "Harley Potato-Potato", then the fast idle will catch up or it can be coaxed by slight twist of the throttle, and it will idle normally. After the bike is started the first time, it can be turned off and re-started normally, the bike fires as soon as the starter button is pressed. I can let the bike sit for hours, longest 4 hours, and it will fire instantly. The battery is new, less than one month, and when placed on the charger will show full charge within a minute. Only occasionally will the bike backfire either through the intake, or the exhaust, but only when twisting the throttle when it is trying to start. I am stumped, and was wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar, or has any ideas. The service advisor at the local shop is stumped, because when I ride it in, it fires normally. I ride pretty much everyday and this is the first issue other than the stator that was replaced that I have had.
 

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I am assuming you have kept up with all the normal stuff, plugs, air cleaner, valve clearance adjustments, injector cleaner, blah blah blah
It may be in the elec/switch area. A little crust or not great contact can be rather hard to start when cold.
just my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep, new plugs as of 3 days ago, air cleaner about a month ago, Last two tanks had SeaFoam, and valves were done at around 25,---, as I bought it with 18K and didn't know if they had been done yet, and they were all within spec. I have a couple of days till I can take it into the shop, but I have the service manual, and a garage with tools. If there are any connections that I should take a look at, clean, and test with a voltmeter, let me know. I would prefer to fix this myself, instead of likely paying much more from the shop, even though they been really good to me, and not price gouged, quick turnaround, etc...I just hate that the bike is down and out right now:mad:
 

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Yea I hear that on the dealer thing. That is why I picked up the manual also.
You mite try the trouble shooting section. I know any time I open a connection I apply dielectric grease (very damp salt air) As far as were to start The easy one's to get at, coil primary/secondary, fuse connections, starter button and its relays.
If "Sfair" comes along listen up, great help.
I will follow this thread as I have about the same miles on mine, and like to keep an eye out for any possible issues. Good Luck
PS I hate elec. Gremlins
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have read through all of the starting issues threads I can find with Sfair in them...but nothing quite the same circumstances. I hate electrical gremlins too, such a pain the the backside to trace sometimes. I'll keep the thread updated with any information, weather that's me finding the issue, or the dealer...Definitely checking those connections tomorrow!
 

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Next cold start, twist and hold throttle open a tad. Take out the cable slack and then a little bit more.

Problem with going on a problem "hunt" is there is always the possibility of introducing a new fault, and then the REAL tail chasing begins. Best to leave the shotgun in its case for now.

Post back with results.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I bit the bullet and took it to the shop...Turned out to be water in the airbox. Had to completly pull the Airbox off, and a bunch of water poured out. Bike runs great. Fuel,spark and everything tested great...talk about feeling like a dunce

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I rode through an extremely heavy rainstorm awhile back is the only way it could have happened, havent washed the bike in quite awhile. Filter was changed today. I will pick up the bike tomorrow morning but the shop said as soon ass the water was out it started immediately, and runs smooth. Ill post an update after I pick up the bike tomorrow and talk with the mechanic. EDIT: come to think of it, it was raining at 5" per hour and got blown ov we a complete lane from right to left before I parked and waited out the rain...

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Boy that must have been a lot of water! Glad to hear the issue was solved, and a lesson learned for all of us.
Ride Safe and enjoy the summer
I have to head back up north :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
So it wasn't completely fixed, the bike was better by not 100%. It started but it took a couple hours of the starter button before firing. I then remembered when I had the stator replaced the oil was overfilled by the shop. Took it in to where the last oil change was done and they checked the levels, .5 q high. Drained it and filled it to the right level, and so far it is back to it's normal self. I think the combination of water and excesses oil were just enough to cause such a headache.

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Discussion Starter #17
So I have been riding the last couple of days, and when starting the bike, the bike will settle into a very slow idle, almost the potato-potato harley like idle, then it will speed up to the normal fast idle and run fine. Today I got gas, and it did the same thing with the idle speed. I was on my way to work for a 20 mile highway ride, and everything felt great. I exited the highway, and as soon as I entered the Garage at work the Temperature light came on, and the bike felt much hotter than normal. Are there any temperature sensors that I can check to see if that might be causing the issues. I am bringing it to the shop on Monday...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Due to weather and work changing my schedule, I didn't get the bike into the shop today, but it is still not starting correctly. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can test, I have a meter and know how to use it, along with the service manual, but I don't know where to start... any help is greatly appreciated. Over the last couple of days, I press the starter once, and hold it down, nothing it just spins but doesn't catch. I release the starter button and cycle the key, the starter spins, and the pistons move, and it tries to catch, you can hear it starting to fire, but nothing. Then on the third time, the bike will start, and settle into a very slow idle. Twisting the throttle, helps, and you can hear it start to speed up, almost like a hiccup, then settle into the normal fast idle, and slow to normal idle. AFter that it runs like a top until it is shut off. I did notice the temperature light come on a couple of times while riding, but then it went out...I am stuck
 

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I am thinking that your issue is the fast idle is not working correctly.
Look over the sticky titled "fast idle" and read the posts. Disregard any talk of battery voltages. Then have a look at yours for comparison.
Another thing you could do is clean the throttle body bores.

Post back with any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After reading the fast idle thread, my fast idle screw was nearly fully screwed in, lowest fast idle. I adjusted it out and she fired, now I see the screaming idle they were talking about. It ran high idle for a bit settled down and sounded great. I'll let y'all know if that was all tonight after it sits for awhile, and is cold. Sfair, thank you so much for the help so far.

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