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Discussion Starter #1
2003 1600 classic. Sometimes, on a cold start (and the mornings are getting cold around here! if the engine doesn't catch on the first try, when I release the button the display goes completely dead. Then it comes back, the speedo needle does its swing over and back, and I carry on. But it means the clock and the trip odometer are reset. Not a really big deal, but annoying.

This happens maybe 1 out of 4-5 mornings. Once the bike is warmed up I don't have a problem; probably because it fires right up anyway. I usually crank it 2-3 seconds then release if it doesn't fire up. It always catches on the second try.

I put in a new battery about a month ago. I'm getting a steady 14.3V across the battery at idle, so charging doesn't seem to be an issue.

Is there a relay about to give up maybe? After the first start attempt the headlight is on, whether or not it has started.
 

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2003 1600 classic. Sometimes, on a cold start (and the mornings are getting cold around here! if the engine doesn't catch on the first try, when I release the button the display goes completely dead. Then it comes back, the speedo needle does its swing over and back, and I carry on. But it means the clock and the trip odometer are reset. Not a really big deal, but annoying.

This happens maybe 1 out of 4-5 mornings. Once the bike is warmed up I don't have a problem; probably because it fires right up anyway. I usually crank it 2-3 seconds then release if it doesn't fire up. It always catches on the second try.

I put in a new battery about a month ago. I'm getting a steady 14.3V across the battery at idle, so charging doesn't seem to be an issue.

Is there a relay about to give up maybe? After the first start attempt the headlight is on, whether or not it has started.
That is normal. Once the ignition coils are energized, the headlight comes on and stays on until the key is turned off. I can't help with the other stuff, sorry.
 

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2003 1600 classic. Sometimes, on a cold start (and the mornings are getting cold around here! if the engine doesn't catch on the first try, when I release the button the display goes completely dead. Then it comes back, the speedo needle does its swing over and back, and I carry on. But it means the clock and the trip odometer are reset. Not a really big deal, but annoying.

This happens maybe 1 out of 4-5 mornings. Once the bike is warmed up I don't have a problem; probably because it fires right up anyway. I usually crank it 2-3 seconds then release if it doesn't fire up. It always catches on the second try.

I put in a new battery about a month ago. I'm getting a steady 14.3V across the battery at idle, so charging doesn't seem to be an issue.

Is there a relay about to give up maybe? After the first start attempt the headlight is on, whether or not it has started.
I have an 03' Vulcan Nomad 1500 and experience this once in a while. Used to experience this a lot and changed my battery out and it went away. I feel I have possibly a small dead spot on the starter that causes the hesitation once in a while, which resets everything.
 

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It is not normal for the display to go out. It means that the battery voltage is dropping to low.
Get the battery load tested.
Headlight is controlled by alternator, not ignition coils.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll get the battery tested, but as I said, it is not even a month old. I guess it could still be a dud! At least it's under warranty.

This was happening with the old battery, then it finally gave up completely, so I assumed that had been the reason. So I was surprised and concerned that the problem has continued with a new battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks sfair. I'm usually pretty careful to make sure the connections are solid, so I don't think that will be the cause. But in any case, the bike is now parked for the winter, and I will be pulling the battery this weekend for inside storage. To be continued in the spring.... :)
 

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2003 1600 classic. Sometimes, on a cold start (and the mornings are getting cold around here! if the engine doesn't catch on the first try, when I release the button the display goes completely dead. Then it comes back, the speedo needle does its swing over and back, and I carry on. But it means the clock and the trip odometer are reset. Not a really big deal, but annoying.

This happens maybe 1 out of 4-5 mornings. Once the bike is warmed up I don't have a problem; probably because it fires right up anyway. I usually crank it 2-3 seconds then release if it doesn't fire up. It always catches on the second try.

I put in a new battery about a month ago. I'm getting a steady 14.3V across the battery at idle, so charging doesn't seem to be an issue.

Is there a relay about to give up maybe? After the first start attempt the headlight is on, whether or not it has started.
G"day

I have a 2003 VN1600 Classic that I have owned since new and recently experienced the exact problem as you described. A new battery didn't fix the problem but here is what I found:

1. When the leads from the junction box were removed I found two of the connections were corroded. These were cleaned usiing a small file and some electrical contact cleaner.

2. The frame ground [earth] terminal was also corroded. In order to access the terminal the gas tank needs to be removed.
After cleaning ad replacing all the componects the bike fired up perfectly and has not missed a beat since.

I hope this helps.

VeeMax
 

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It is not normal for the display to go out. It means that the battery voltage is dropping to low.
Get the battery load tested.
Headlight is controlled by alternator, not ignition coils.
+1 You said it gets pretty cold. Low voltage and cold will do a battery in.
 

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2003 1600 classic. Sometimes, on a cold start (and the mornings are getting cold around here! if the engine doesn't catch on the first try, when I release the button the display goes completely dead. Then it comes back, the speedo needle does its swing over and back, and I carry on. But it means the clock and the trip odometer are reset. Not a really big deal, but annoying.
This is a classic sign you need a new battery. The starter draws a lot of current, drooping the output voltage of the battery to the point where there's not enough voltage to power your display and it resets.
 

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That's helpful, thanks! If it ever stops snowing here, I'll check those things out. Is it much work to remove the tank?
Gas tank removal is fairly straight forward. I am no mechanic but I simply followed the instructions in the Kawasaki Service Manual. It it easier to remove the gas tank if it has as little fuel in it as possible as it can be a bit heavy if full of gas.
I was most surprised to find the corrosioin that I mentioned previously. Australia is a hot, dry country but I do wash the bike after every trip. Although the corrosion wasn't significant to look at I believe it certainly was interferring with the electrical connections. However, if a new battery fixes your issue then that's great.
If you need a Service Manual try pasting this into your web browser

http://serwer.robert.webd.pl:30/manual/Kawasaki_VN_1600_A1_A2_Vulcan_'03_Service_Manual_ENG.pdf

Good luck with it and I hope the weather is kind to you in BC,

VeeMax
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A couple of people suggesting the battery is done. I'm not ruling that out, but the issue happened before and after I replaced the battery, last Sept. I'll get it tested anyway, but was just looking for other possibilities.
 

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If the battery checks out then it could be that the starter is on its way out and pulling/drawing so many amps that it is putting the system in reset/voltage drop below the required volts to maintain memory. Check the connections as well. Put a volt meter on the starter wire and have someone start it. Should give you your voltage under load at that point. Just my two cents worth.
 

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I experienced the exact same problem with a V2K, that I owned for a while. After having the battery load tested and you are sure of your terminal connections, check your wire plug connectors. It was just a matter of unplugging the correct suspect when I found corroded terminals and one that the pin broke off. I had to make a jumper wire connected to each side of the harness to fix the problem.
 
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