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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you may be aware of the ordeal I had over the last year getting the bike rebuilt after hitting a deer in April of 2015. The process was long and frustrating due to poor communication and Kawasaki's endless list of back ordered parts... Well a couple months ago, we finally got the last pieces of the bike changed and it finally came back home again, this time, it was done right.

In the mean time I hadn't spent any additional money on the bike because I wasn't sure it'd ever be right, so I waited. Once I got it back and I was comfortable I started doing some of the upgrades I had wanted to do and liked many of them...

All the while this debacle was going on my warranty was about to expire and I was sent the extended warranty offer but sadly didn't take advantage of it because I really had no confidence the bike would be done right and I would keep it. Well, on 5/20/16 my warranty expired and along with it went the extended warranty option.

The bike was finally done in July and I thought everything was great, better than new really. So I thought.

This past weekend was my annual ride weekend with a couple buddies. We were meeting at a cabin about 275 miles from here so I decided to ride there instead of trailering. Again, the bike rode great and had zero issues getting there...

Once we got to the cabin we chilled for an hour or so and started off on our first ride of the weekend. Less than 4 miles into the ride, not one but BOTH rear shocks blew out... Oil was everywhere and my bike was like a damned pogo stick. After examining the issue, I limped the bike back to the cabin and parked it.

Not long ago I put progressive 430's on the rear but wasn't too thrilled with them and put the stock air shocks back on but still had the 430's. So my buddies and I road tripped it back home to grab my progressives and my motorcycle lift and headed back to the cabin. Meanwhile we lost a great day to ride but I felt fortunate I had other shocks, was close enough to home to get them and had friends willing to go along.

Start Friday am with a quick replacement of the rear shocks and off we went riding. We only got about 300 miles in and 2 states due to the late start but the bike did great despite still not being in love with the progressives.

Most of Saturday was a bust due to rain but we did manage to get 80 miles or so in that evening and again the bike did great.

Sunday morning we were going to head out for a short ride before heading home but one buddies bike wouldn't start so we decided to pack up and head home.

Despite getting caught in a little rain here and there I made it to Nashville with no issues. I needed to stop for gas before home and when I went to leave again this is where the issues really began...

The shocks were ok and doing their job however when I turned the key and hit the starter I heard a few clicks and my whole bike went black. No electricity AT ALL!

Fortunately I saw a roadside incident assistant at the gas station and he got the bike jumped and off I went. Again the bike did great the rest of the way home. As I pulled into the drive and hit the kill switch, again my bike had no electricity, NONE!

Not once has my bike showed any issue with the charging system or the battery but all of the sudden something is dead and I'm fearful it's the stator...

Here I am, 3 months out of warranty, no extended warranty and really I only had 2 years of riding under warranty, due to the issues with Kawasaki and getting parts, and my bike has fallen apart in one weekend.

I'm so frustrated right now I want to shoot my bike. I should have let them total it in the first place.
 

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You did have the option of getting the extended warranty. How many things went wrong with the bike that cost you money while it was under warranty?
 

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Right after I bought my Voyager, literally 20 miles from where I bought in the hinterlands of Michigan, I needed to fill it up.
Pulled up to the pump and filled up. Went to start and nothing. Not even a light etc.... Bike was a couple of years old with 2200 miles on it.
I dug down to battery with a swiss army knife McGyver style and found the negative terminal had worked it's way loose.

Hopefully that's all you have. That or the harness under the tank that chafs.

Gary
 

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Allen, I hope this will be a simple and cheap fix. Were your shocks replaced after the accident? Seems strange that they'd both fail at the same time. Or least to me it's strange, but I'm not a mechanic. For the most part, I've always declined extended warranties. If I keep this bike, I may decide to get one. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You did have the option of getting the extended warranty. How many things went wrong with the bike that cost you money while it was under warranty?
I'm going to just forget your first post and address this one...

Sadly, not once was there ever any warranty work done on my bike. It's good and bad, good I didn't need it but bad that while I had it, it wasn't utilized and now it's gone.

Any work that's been done on my bike was mostly insurance work and one recall that didn't coincide with warranty issues.

I'm irritated at the whole situation and mostly at me for just t pulling the trigger on the extended warranty even with the circumstances. T shocks only had 16,300 miles on them an were all put on by me and I know the bike wasn't abused so it seems very premature for them to even wear out let alone just completely explode.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Right after I bought my Voyager, literally 20 miles from where I bought in the hinterlands of Michigan, I needed to fill it up.
Pulled up to the pump and filled up. Went to start and nothing. Not even a light etc.... Bike was a couple of years old with 2200 miles on it.
I dug down to battery with a swiss army knife McGyver style and found the negative terminal had worked it's way loose.

Hopefully that's all you have. That or the harness under the tank that chafs.

Gary
Gary, yeah I was hoping that too and looked everything over really closely and all was good. I put the charger on the bike all nigh and woke up to a still very dead battery. With the charger on the battery posts just right I could get electricity but barely however, when I went straight to the battery cables, full power.

I took the battery to Napa as well as the dealership to have tested and both confirmed the battery was putting out virtually nothing. It seems it was simply a battery that had given it's last breath.

I have never experienced a motorcycle battery die like that so I never even considered it was the issue. Car batteries give the tell tale signs of dying like slow starts, dim lights before the motor is running etc... This thing was A-OK to start the bike in the AM and 2 hours later flat dead...

New battery is down in the garage charging, here's to hoping that's all it was...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Allen, I hope this will be a simple and cheap fix. Were your shocks replaced after the accident? Seems strange that they'd both fail at the same time. Or least to me it's strange, but I'm not a mechanic. For the most part, I've always declined extended warranties. If I keep this bike, I may decide to get one. Good luck.
Thanks Glenn, yeah it's a bit odd to me too. The dealership mechanics had nothing to say, they'd never seen it before. From what I'm gathering there is no rebuild for them...

Nothing was replaced on the rear of the bike, all damage was contained to gas tank and in front.

I have the 430's on there still but would like air ride back. I'm going to call Kawasaki again tomorrow to see if they'll be of any help.

On to looking at other rear shock options.
 

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Sorry to hear about your problems. Maybe the impact caused a problem not seen by the mechanics. Also, 300 miles and two states? I would take me most of the day just to get out of Texas.:grin2:
 

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Have you checked the:

IGNITION SWITCH WIRING INSPECTION--Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. has determined that a problem which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in 2009-2015 Vulcan 1700 Voyager, Voyager ABS, Vaquero, Vaquero ABS.
 

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Actually, the bike running, then clicking completely dead; sounds more like a connection than charging system. First off, you should get a warning light if the charging system has failed.

Remove the battery cables, and scuff the cables and battery terminals with some sandpaper to clean them. Reinstall, and see if the issue persists. Get a multi-meter, and look at the charging system voltage. Kawasaki says 13.5-15v is "in range". So run it up to about 2,000 RPM's, and if it's within range, your charging system is just fine. It may also just be a bad battery; not unheard of if a battery sat, was allowed to get discharged, etc., while the bike was being rebuilt.
 

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Actually, the bike running, then clicking completely dead; sounds more like a connection than charging system. First off, you should get a warning light if the charging system has failed.

Remove the battery cables, and scuff the cables and battery terminals with some sandpaper to clean them. Reinstall, and see if the issue persists. Get a multi-meter, and look at the charging system voltage. Kawasaki says 13.5-15v is "in range". So run it up to about 2,000 RPM's, and if it's within range, your charging system is just fine. It may also just be a bad battery; not unheard of if a battery sat, was allowed to get discharged, etc., while the bike was being rebuilt.
Not to threadjack too bad, but I Googled it and came away with no info. on what RPMs are required to charge the battery. I would assume that since the break-in RPMs are 2500 and below, that the charging would start below 2500, am I right?

The sales guy didn't know, and said that it should start charging at 3k RPMs, but if that's right, then the bike's battery would die before you could finish breaking in the engine.

Thanks,

-John
 

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Not to threadjack too bad, but I Googled it and came away with no info. on what RPMs are required to charge the battery. I would assume that since the break-in RPMs are 2500 and below, that the charging would start below 2500, am I right?

The sales guy didn't know, and said that it should start charging at 3k RPMs, but if that's right, then the bike's battery would die before you could finish breaking in the engine.

Thanks,

-John
The VERY first thing the OP needs to do is check that the recall has been completed, if not, that needs to be done.

It should charge from idle. However, it's a good idea to check the charging voltage at cruising speed. For me that'd be around 2,000 RPM's, although I prefer to cruise a 'gear lower', around 2500 RPM's so I don't lug the engine and it runs slower.

I just ran out and put mine on a meter and I'm running at 14.2v, well within the 13.5-15v range, at 950 RPM's.

I don't have my 1700 service manual handy, but it will have an RPM range to be in for testing charging voltage. Meaning that at idle, it could be a little less than that range. If you drop the idle way down as some like to do; in addition to the oil-starved soon to be worn top end, charging voltage will suffer. On all Vulcans, the idle range is 950-1050 RPM. Though many like to be WELL below that 950 range. That's where you'll see charging voltage (and oil pressure) drop below range.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry to hear about your problems. Maybe the impact caused a problem not seen by the mechanics. Also, 300 miles and two states? I would take me most of the day just to get out of Texas.:grin2:
Thanks... It' unlikely but possible that there was some unseen damage to the rear shocks. Fortunately I still had my progressive 430's so the bike is still usable.

Ha Ha, that's true. We were in the southern part of Illinois just 20 minutes from Missouri so that helps, LOL. Technically the entire trip touched on 4 states, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Have you checked the:

IGNITION SWITCH WIRING INSPECTION--Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. has determined that a problem which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in 2009-2015 Vulcan 1700 Voyager, Voyager ABS, Vaquero, Vaquero ABS.
This has been checked 2x and the most recent time was when it was getting the new frame put under it a couple months ago. There was never any signs of wear but, as per the recall, they installed the protection kit Kawasaki made available.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The VERY first thing the OP needs to do is check that the recall has been completed, if not, that needs to be done.

It should charge from idle. However, it's a good idea to check the charging voltage at cruising speed. For me that'd be around 2,000 RPM's, although I prefer to cruise a 'gear lower', around 2500 RPM's so I don't lug the engine and it runs slower.

I just ran out and put mine on a meter and I'm running at 14.2v, well within the 13.5-15v range, at 950 RPM's.

I don't have my 1700 service manual handy, but it will have an RPM range to be in for testing charging voltage. Meaning that at idle, it could be a little less than that range. If you drop the idle way down as some like to do; in addition to the oil-starved soon to be worn top end, charging voltage will suffer. On all Vulcans, the idle range is 950-1050 RPM. Though many like to be WELL below that 950 range. That's where you'll see charging voltage (and oil pressure) drop below range.

So after having the battery on the charger for nearly a solid day, there was still no juice unless the charger was connected. If the charger leads were connected to the battery posts and not the battery leads, there was no power. Connect to the leads themselves and the bike would start right up.

I double checked the leads connection to the battery as well as the battery cable and all was good. I pulled the battery out and brought it to NAPA as well as the dealership to have it load tested. It should put out something like 330 cold cranking amps, mine was barely putting out 30 amps. It seems it was a battery taking it's last breath.

What threw me and caused me to not suspect the battery was it started the bike easily and right away all weekend as well as just a couple of hours before I stopped for gas. There were no tell tale signs of a battery going dead such as dim lights, hard to crank etc... It went from A-OK to dead in such a short time it was baffling.

Both NAPA and my mechanic said that's the norm for these batteries.

There is a new battery in the bike and it powers right up as of now. I haven't been able to ride it since installing the new battery but I'm going to trust they're right and it was just a dead 5 year old battery. It was about time for a new one anyway.

If it dies again in the near future, we will revisit the potential charging system issues and go from there.

In the mean time, I'm going to remain hopeful that I dodged a bullet with the battery.

Now I still need to determine the cause of the shocks exploding with only 16,000 miles on them...
 

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Put a voltmeter on the the bike to continually monitor the electrical. It saved me once telling me there was something wrong before it was too late. You can pick them up for <$10 on Ebay, wire it to a relay as well.

So after having the battery on the charger for nearly a solid day, there was still no juice unless the charger was connected. If the charger leads were connected to the battery posts and not the battery leads, there was no power. Connect to the leads themselves and the bike would start right up.

I double checked the leads connection to the battery as well as the battery cable and all was good. I pulled the battery out and brought it to NAPA as well as the dealership to have it load tested. It should put out something like 330 cold cranking amps, mine was barely putting out 30 amps. It seems it was a battery taking it's last breath.

What threw me and caused me to not suspect the battery was it started the bike easily and right away all weekend as well as just a couple of hours before I stopped for gas. There were no tell tale signs of a battery going dead such as dim lights, hard to crank etc... It went from A-OK to dead in such a short time it was baffling.

Both NAPA and my mechanic said that's the norm for these batteries.

There is a new battery in the bike and it powers right up as of now. I haven't been able to ride it since installing the new battery but I'm going to trust they're right and it was just a dead 5 year old battery. It was about time for a new one anyway.

If it dies again in the near future, we will revisit the potential charging system issues and go from there.

In the mean time, I'm going to remain hopeful that I dodged a bullet with the battery.

Now I still need to determine the cause of the shocks exploding with only 16,000 miles on them...
 

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I have more scoot batteries just "stop functioning" than I have had the privilege of getting any type of warning. I normally get an Odyssey battery to replace every scoot battery that dies. They cost more but they last forever. Ten years and going on my trade in for the Voyager. Tried to find one last April for My Voyager, which had a dead battery about 3 hours after I got home from a Patriot Guard ride. But I have not found one for the Voyager. Every other motorcycle in the world but mine..... Sounds like trying to get goodie parts for it.... not much out there...
 

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Electrical components just quit sometimes. How many of us have closed a door on a car and the dome light went out and never came on again for that door but works fine for the other doors in the vehicle. Same thing for a battery, hit the right bump and a peace of scale off of the lead bars brakes loose and falls between a +and-, dead as a hammer from now on no warning. Happens all the time, I wouldn't over think it.

The 1700 has a good tell for when the battery is getting tired. If the red charge light stays on for any length of time after start up replace it.

The shocks are a different story all together. I have never heard of both failing at the same time. Do you mind if I ask how you filled the air on the shocks and to what PSI?
 

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Electrical components just quit sometimes. How many of us have closed a door on a car and the dome light went out and never came on again for that door but works fine for the other doors in the vehicle. Same thing for a battery, hit the right bump and a peace of scale off of the lead bars brakes loose and falls between a +and-, dead as a hammer from now on no warning. Happens all the time, I wouldn't over think it.

The 1700 has a good tell for when the battery is getting tired. If the red charge light stays on for any length of time after start up replace it.

The shocks are a different story all together. I have never heard of both failing at the same time. Do you mind if I ask how you filled the air on the shocks and to what PSI?
I'm curious too. It's not very commonly reported that a shock fails, at least not around here.

I'm curious what sort of tool was used to fill them, too. Air compressors are notorious for wrecking air shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My shocks were typically filled with my air compressor dialed back to 40 PSI max, which would only pump them up to 35lbs and very slowly. To be honest I'm not sure what the actual pressure was when they went but I can guarantee they weren't at max. The bike was a bit softer than I prefer, probably around 20-25psi.

Yeah the battery was odd. No extended red light on startup, no tell tale sign at all, just done.... Only rode the bike 1 time since replacing the battery and it started up like a champ every time I shut her down. Time will tell...
 
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