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Discussion Starter #1
I have the 2009 vulcan 900 custom. I have been tinkering with the idle since I added the BAK & power commander 3. I took it to the dealer recently to have them set the idle. He started my bike and adjusted by ear. He said that should be fine.
After riding for a while I noticed it was set way to low. It almost sounded like it wanted to die on me. It was so low the bike sounded more like a sewing machine. So back to tinkering with it some more.
I connected my bike to my computer to adjust the idle with the power commander program for adjusting fuel. It shows the RPM's but I dont know if it is accurate or not. I found my bike was running in the 800 RPM range according to my computer. So I set it between 1000-1050 RPM range & completely lost my top end power. My bike usually cruises great at 85 mph but now it is screaming at 70 mph as if I was doing 90-95 mph. I guess I will be dropping the RPM's to get my top end power back.
How can I set my idle correctly without buying a gauge to add to my bike?
 

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Well for one thing there is a 'high idle' and a 'low idle' on these bikes. Usually when they are started cold they will be in the 'high idle' stage. You DO NOT want to adjust the idle then. Let it warm up and you'll hear the idle eventually slow down. It's at this point that you want to adjust the idle. The acceptable range is from 950 to 1050 per the owners and service manual. You can adjust using the little thumb screw on the right side of the engine towards the front.
I don't see however how this could mess with your top end unless your power commander did something.
 

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ditto ...

the idle is just that, it positions the throttle to allow gas into the injectors when you have your hand OFF the throttle... so i can't see how it would be affecting your top end. all it is is a screw pushing the throttle open, which is negated when you roll the throttle on and ride.

to set your idle... do you have access to a multimeter? you can set your idle to about 13.3-13.5 vdc on the battery... that is roughly a good spot for the factory idle settings. it also ensures you have a good charge to the battery and enough power to run any accessories you have while the bike is sitting at an idle.

good luck!

EDIT: If you are hearing the high RPMS at 70, higher than normal... make sure you are getting the bike into 5th gear! :)
 

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Idle adjust won't affect rpm at speed, if you're in 5th gear it will be the same rpm as before you adjusted throttle.

However, if you somehow screwed your clutch up or don't have enough slack in the clutch cable so that the clutch can't fully engage you could be slipping and revving to make up for it. With the lever released you should have a quarters (25 cent piece) thickness of gap/slack.

And plus on the throttle adjust. The shop always seems to set it when the bike isn't warm and so it's always too low. Sounds like you have it about right now. That's the nice thing about the Power Commander or a tach or a meter with an output. My Kury led gauge was a little rough to set, but actual voltage readings would be a way to set the idle.
 
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Thank you for the responses!!
I ONLY adjust the idle after riding for atleast 30 minutes. That way I know the bike is warmed up.
I did make a clutch lever adjustment after setting my idle so I may have it a little to tight. I did not think of that. Thank you Mr.Clean. So after work I plan on checking the clutch lever.
I talked to the Power Commander tech support & they said that I can adjust my idle using the Power Commander 3 software on my computer connected to my bike. They said it should be very close to accurate.
The main reason I have been adjusting the idle so much lately is due to so much popping on deceleration all of a sudden. I had it dynoed in the spring & everything was perfect until recently.
I did notice that when I adjusted the idle to the Power Commander software, all the popping was GONE, but with the bike screaming at 70 mph in fifth gear just cant be right. I always cruise on the freeway around 80-85 mph with no problem. So I am hoping that I just need to adjust the clutch lever.
 

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Check the torque on your muffler nuts. Also, with the change of seasons so changes the formulation of fuel AND some stinkin Corn Lobbyists in Congress got a bunch of sheep convinced that we HAVE to add white lightning to our fuel and that will pop, burp and fart too. I don't know why somebody thought we ought to turn a food crop into fuel when it takes more petroleum to create and distribute that fuel then it does to use the petroleum that has been created millions of years ago. Plus, petroleum is NASTY stuff. It's rotten, gooey black crap. We're only helpin Mother earth but sucking that everlasting puss out of her bowels and disposing it in a practical matter.

Oh, I know you're not supposed to pop a zit, but this is more like Liposuction. And you KNOW nothing fixes a fat ass like liposuction.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
After checking my bike out last night, I realized I could not fix the bike myself. It sounds like it constantly wants to die. Getting the idle set is something I just can do. Using the Power Commander software to set the RPM's just does not seem right. At 1000 RPM's according to the software, the bike seems to be idling really high. There seems to be some kind of "popping" sound that I am hearing about every 5 seconds at idle. It sounds like it is coming from under the gas tank. It sounds like a "spark" like pop that I am hearing.
I called the dealer this morning to let them know I am bringing in my bike this Saturday for them to check out. I just hope it is covered in the warranty.
 

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is it a "popping" or more like a clanging/clicking??

the reed valves (if i am not mistaken) does its job off/on/off/on ... and it sounds friggin' annoying at idle!!

my suggestion: disconnect the PC and run the bike and then set the idle. i don't understand why anyone would allow software to control the RPMs?!? it's a mechanical screw that holds the throttle open so what exactly is the PC trying to do?? ... feed it more fuel?

RESET THE PC ... start with a fresh map and then go from there.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
jagered
I know where the mechanical screw is located. I am constantly adjusting. The problem is that the bike either idles high or low. I got tired of trying to set the idle by ear. I was told by Power Commander that I could hook the computer to my bikes Power Commander to see where the RPM's are at on my bike. It was way under the 950-1050 RPM's where it should be. I adjusted it according to what the Power Commander software showed on the monitor. The popping stopped but lost about 20 mph on top end speed.
Anyways, I cannot describe how the bike is running & sounds very well. All I do know is the bike is running like s#!t!!! It is having trouble starting also.
I cant wait to give it back to the dealer to get my bike back to normal. I really miss riding. I have a feeling it has something to do with that damn Power Commander.
 

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Have you cleaned your butterflies? Carbon deposits build up around the butterflies in the throttle body and make em stick. Take the air cleaner off, use a toothbrush soaked in carb cleaner to brush out the area and clean it up. You have to do it ever so often. It's on Gadget's Fixit Page.
 

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That just doesn't make sense. I think there is something else going on here. Can you reset your system to stock (without the Power Commander) and get the RPM's correct on idle?
Idle engine speed and top end performance are really not related whatsoever as has been discussed. There must be something that has gotten botched up in the programming.
 
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