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Discussion Starter #1
About a week after getting a tune up on my 2011 Vulcan 900 Classic LT I noticed that it would take from 3 to 9 attempts before it actually started. Although the weather has been cool to cold during the times that I started it, this has been the first time that I have experienced this problem. The colder it is (e.g 35 degrees) the longer it takes to start. However, a few days ago the temperature was about 48 degrees and it took about 9 attempts before it finally started. Once it does start I noticed that it smells like it’s burning rich. I also notice that it does not go to a fast idle. It starts idling slow and will eventually start its fast idle cycle. After it starts, I don’t have any other issues starting it again, meaning, if I go somewhere and stop for a break, it will start right up when I'm ready to go. I ride all year and I have not experienced this issue until the last 2-3 weeks. I purchased the bike last January with 0 miles. It currently has 5,444 miles. Any ideas what could be causing this problem?
 

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Okay. Going to take a shot here. Could the cold weather be affecting the secondary butterflies, which are ECU controlled? Thinking maybe the cold weather is binding the cable that controls the butterflies opening. Not closing during cold starts. Just my thoughts.
 

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Is it possible that something got knocked loose such as a wire during the tune up? Not sure what all is involved with the fuel injection. If is burnong rich after starting, sounds like getting fuel, make sure your plug wire are on all the way at the plugs. Should hear light snap, or click when connected.


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Weird....Do you charge your battery at all? I keep mine on a battery tender and it started right up this morning with an outdoor temp of 25F
 

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c58pino, can you let us know what you find? I started having the same hard starting issues. I didn't have any service done. I'm going to change the plugs when I take it out of storage but that wont be for a few months.

2006 VN900
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I haven't changed the battery and I don't have it on a battery tender even though I have one. I ride every weekend so the battery for the most part stays charged. The bike (2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250) I traded in for my Vulcan was fuel injected to. During very cold weather it cranked a little slow but always started after one attempt; rarely on two. My Vulcan is cranking much faster but is struggling to start. The bike is stock; with no mods to the fuel injection system, air or exhaust. The gas is not old although it could be bad. I use a mid grade fuel and ride frequently. There's no noticeable issues once it starts and I get on my way. It rides smooth and responds well when I twist the throttle to merge or pass and it will start right up if I let it sit for awhile. I had the same concern Rick mentioned. I thought that maybe something got knocked loose during the tune up but the Mechanic I spoke to didn't seem to think so. He didn't mention the spark plug wires (which I'll check) or mention anything else that could be causing the problem. He just said to bring it in. Hopefully I'll be able to take it to the dealer next weekend to find out what the problem is. This weekend we are expecting temps in the mid 20s with a chance of snow. I haven't tried Sea Foam yet but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt. I'll provide an update once the issue is resolved.
 

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I haven't changed the battery and I don't have it on a battery tender even though I have one. I ride every weekend so the battery for the most part stays charged. The bike (2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250) I traded in for my Vulcan was fuel injected to. During very cold weather it cranked a little slow but always started after one attempt; rarely on two. My Vulcan is cranking much faster but is struggling to start. The bike is stock; with no mods to the fuel injection system, air or exhaust. The gas is not old although it could be bad. I use a mid grade fuel and ride frequently. There's no noticeable issues once it starts and I get on my way. It rides smooth and responds well when I twist the throttle to merge or pass and it will start right up if I let it sit for awhile. I had the same concern Rick mentioned. I thought that maybe something got knocked loose during the tune up but the Mechanic I spoke to didn't seem to think so. He didn't mention the spark plug wires (which I'll check) or mention anything else that could be causing the problem. He just said to bring it in. Hopefully I'll be able to take it to the dealer next weekend to find out what the problem is. This weekend we are expecting temps in the mid 20s with a chance of snow. I haven't tried Sea Foam yet but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt. I'll provide an update once the issue is resolved.
Just to clarify a few things, are you touching the throttle at all when you start the bike? Does the bike try to catch but dies? If it does try to catch are you giving it a little goose to keep it running? During the summer months did the bike have a fast idle when you started it or did it just lead up to a period of a few seconds where it was at a fast idle? Sorry for all the questions but your answers will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Q1 - Yes just a little. I'm concerned about flooding it so I don't give it much throttle or I may not touch it at all.
Q2 - No for the most part it does not try trying to catch. Just cranks.
Q3 - If it does try to catch I will give it a little juice. Sometimes giving it a little throttle will help it to start and sometimes it doesn't make a difference.
Q4 - In the summer I always got a fast idle on the first start up of the day. It would fast idle for at least a few minutes before dropping down to a normal idle. After the first start of the day it would either fast idle for a few seconds if I let it sit for awhile or not fast idle at all after sitting for 5 - 15 minutes.

During the colder weather we've been having the last 3 weeks it can take several cranks before it starts but once it does start, it does not go to a fast idle for at least 2 - 5 minutes. It starts idling slow (like a normal idle) then goes through its fast idle cycle before dropping down to a normal idle. I didn’t experience this problem before the recent tune up. 99% of the time it would fire up on the first attempt regardless of how hot or cold it was. A few times during some cold weather it did stumbled a little but it wasn’t anything to write home about.
 

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Q1 - Yes just a little. I'm concerned about flooding it so I don't give it much throttle or I may not touch it at all.
Q2 - No for the most part it does not try trying to catch. Just cranks.
Q3 - If it does try to catch I will give it a little juice. Sometimes giving it a little throttle will help it to start and sometimes it doesn't make a difference.
Q4 - In the summer I always got a fast idle on the first start up of the day. It would fast idle for at least a few minutes before dropping down to a normal idle. After the first start of the day it would either fast idle for a few seconds if I let it sit for awhile or not fast idle at all after sitting for 5 - 15 minutes.

During the colder weather we've been having the last 3 weeks it can take several cranks before it starts but once it does start, it does not go to a fast idle for at least 2 - 5 minutes. It starts idling slow (like a normal idle) then goes through its fast idle cycle before dropping down to a normal idle. I didn’t experience this problem before the recent tune up. 99% of the time it would fire up on the first attempt regardless of how hot or cold it was. A few times during some cold weather it did stumbled a little but it wasn’t anything to write home about.
What did your tuneup consist of? You might ask your mechanic if he adjusted the cold start fast idle speed. It's not the same knob that you adjust for your warm idle. With an FI bike you won't flood the engine so I suggest you don't give the bike any throttle until the engine catches and that's only if it won't idle on it's own.
 

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I have been thinking he is just not using the fast idle knob (choke) and should be. Just not sure his bike has that.
 

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Not quite sure what the problem is but ive had no issues with my .9. got her new with 0 mi. in oct. now at about 4750, ive ridden in rain and the past few weeks morning commute started at 23-30° temps. ive only done my first service at around 700mi and plan on my next oil change for this weekend. Im curious as to why your bike is doing this
 

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Do you know what the tune up was like what was done to it, they need to back track and find out what has changed, My guess would be a spark plug. The 900 is almost bullet proof
 

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The gas is not old although it could be bad. I use a mid grade fuel and ride frequently.
What do you call "mid grade fuel"? Down here we have regular, premium and higher octane premium. My 900 doesn't like the higher octane fuel and would take 3 cranks or so to fire up although was ok once started. On regular there is no starting issue. Something to do with higher octane fuel needing more compression hence it is more suited to performance engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have been thinking he is just not using the fast idle knob (choke) and should be. Just not sure his bike has that.
It doesn't have a choke and I haven't messed with the fast idle, although they may have when they did the tune up back in December.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Do you know what the tune up was like what was done to it, they need to back track and find out what has changed, My guess would be a spark plug. The 900 is almost bullet proof
Tune Up consisted of an oil change, checking air filter, brake & clutch cables, spokes, tightening bolts, and a myriad of other things that were posted on thier wall which I can't recall and hope they did considering the small fortune I paid for it. I don't think it is spark plug related (although I can't rule that out) because it runs like a champ after it's warms up.
 
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