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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

I bought a 2007 Vulcan 500 this weekend and am excited. The bike looks good. I did have some rough/hiccups on the ride home and it would happen randomly like it was going to stall. Did not have the issue in the last few miles. The prior owner told me that it was garaged for a while so am attributing it to old gas in the tank. I will ride it again for a few miles in the next few days and see if the problem persists. I did put some new gas in it. Anything I should be worried about?

Is there any preliminary things I should check/do before I take it out for longer rides? Should I get it checked with the dealer and maybe change oils, check carb etc? The prior owner also had drilled holes in the exhaust so it sounds loud and a little like HD.

Thanks
 

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Buy a can of SeaFoam at a local autoparts store ($10 to $15) and follow the directions on the can. Run that in your gas tank and it'll clean off a lot of the yucky stuff that accumulates in the carb from old gas.

You "can" even run that in your oil BUT if you do, operate the bike for maybe 40 to 50 miles and CHANGE IT OUT thoroughly. Change the filter and clean the oil screen if it has one. SeaFoam will clean out any gunk in there too but you don't want it to stay in there for long.

Regardless of how good the tires look, research online as to how to read the codes on the side of the tires so you can determine how old they are. There are differing opinions on how long you can run a tire (time-wise not mileage-wise) before its safety comes into question. Once you determine their age, do what you think is best. It doesn't matter if they were garaged or not. Motorcycle tires are softer than car tires. Like I said, research it and act as you feel is appropriate.

The SeaFoam in the tank (for a few fill-ups) should do a decent job of cleaning the fuel system but, depending on how long that old gas was in there, it may not be enough. Just running it some may be enough to tell you that it worked ok or not. I just say this because you don't, necessarily, need to go to a dealer and run up some larger bucks just yet. I had left my 750 garaged for 3 years without starting it once (with no SeaFoam in the tank). Upon starting it, it would idle with the choke all the way out but crapped out as soon as you applied any wrist at all to it. After running it five minutes with SeaFoam it then ran better to what I call 75% normal. I did wind up having to pull the jets and let them soak in the stuff, too. But see what it does for you.

Is that chain driven or driveshaft?
 

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Above advice is good for now, until you determine if it was just bad gas or if you'll need to investigate further.

In the meantime, find yourself a copy of the service manual and the Haynes manual online. If you look, you'll find the PDF for free. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined, you should be able to perform most of the maintenance yourself.

Ducatiman is an excellent resource for carb knowledge and parts, he's one of the vendors on the site, and knows our carbs intimately.

Biker bill probably has more experience in and on these bikes than most of us combined.

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Yep, my advice was geared mostly as generic stuff along with being low-end cost actions before you went into deeper, more costly (in labor and cash) activities. Always start with the easiest things to do first and see the results.

More specific knowledge from those members owning or haven owned a 500 will do you better as the need arises.

I thought it was a chain but wanted to make sure. I could tell you specifics about a shaft drive but...

Let us know how things work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys for the feedback. The tires look good, but I would take your advise and check the year and replace if it is really old even if it has treads. I did not see the hiccup the last few miles, but would ride it again and see if I am able to reproduce. Even if it works fine, there should be no harm in putting in SeaForm right?

I will also get the manuals. I am mechanically inclined as a lot of years ago, I was able to do much of the maintenance. But those were smaller bikes (100cc) and a long time ago....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will use SeaFoam and will let you guys know. Also had a couple of other questions.

1. Will this ride comfortable at interstate speeds?
2. What is the best/right way to measure miles per gallon?
3. If I remove the bolt at the end of the seat, would I be able to remove the seat and access the battery? After reviewing the forums I saw lots of comments to check the battery connection as this seems to be a common problem and may also cause the hiccups.

Thanks for all the feedback so far.
 

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I will use SeaFoam and will let you guys know. Also had a couple of other questions.

1. Will this ride comfortable at interstate speeds?
2. What is the best/right way to measure miles per gallon?
3. If I remove the bolt at the end of the seat, would I be able to remove the seat and access the battery? After reviewing the forums I saw lots of comments to check the battery connection as this seems to be a common problem and may also cause the hiccups.

Thanks for all the feedback so far.
1. I ride between 65 to 85 mph because there are lots of highways and freeways all around me.
2. I use an app called autosist. Helps me keep up with fuel mileage as well as maintenance.
3. Yes.

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As I've had excellent results....if I may suggest Stabil 360 as a long term fuel additive/preventative. Not the traditional red Stabil we all know...its dark green...based on their old, very powerful Marine formula. Just 1/2 oz added per tankful. Keep those tiny carb idle passageways clean and clear.
 

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I had a KLR650 that sat for a while and it took 2-3 full tanks of gas with Seafoam before I was comfortable to go on any rides that took me too far away. It took a while to get the carb cleaned out.
Like everyone has said. New plugs, run a few tanks of Seafoam treated gas through the system. I used double the recommended amount of Seafoam btw and had no issues.

I still use Seafoam on my Vulcan 900 at least once per year to keep everything clean, and this bike doesn't sit for longer than a few weeks.
 

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Yes, check those battery connections. Symptoms can appear erratically, mimic bad carb/gas, and self correct temporarly. Check the connections and Loctite them if convenient. Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the feedback. I had my friend ride it and he said he did not have any issues. He mentioned that I might be riding slow on a higher gear and that might also cause the hiccups/symptoms. When I rode to get Sea Foam, I rode all the way on 45/50 MPH and did not go over 3rd gear. No hiccups/hesitation. On the way back, same thing. I did put SeaFoam in the gas tank later on. I was able to reach 70/75 on 5th gear, no hiccups/hesitation.

I would continue to use Sea Foam for a couple of more fuel refills, but the question is, was I going slow (45/50 MPH) on 5/6th gear causing the hiccups? Have you guys tried 45/50 MPH on 5/6th gear and does it have the same issue?

Is there a gear to MPH ratio for each gear for Vulcan 500? Any advise/feedback.

Maybe a tachometer would have helped...
 

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I don't know of a MPH to gear ratio, and honestly hadn't paid much attention to that, I just shift by instinct, and sound. These motors will really rev, up to about 11k. You'll know if you're revving too high. If you try to accelerate and it doesn't give you an instant response, or sounds like it is bogged down you're in too high of a gear.

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Don't be afraid to rev these engines. On my 900 i use 5th as my overdrive, don't even shift into 5th until I am 65 on the freeway.

I have alway been told it is better to over rev than under rev. Bogging down the engine is bad for all those moving parts.

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Check out the Ex500 wiki.
http://www.ex-500.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page
There is a TON of information on that site. Our bike has the same engine and carburetors as the Ninja 500. So, if you're feeling adventurous, you can clean the carbs, which is tedious, but not particularly hard. Carbs tend to suffer the most when a bike sits for a while, and also good cleaning can make it run significantly better. If you have any questions or anything, this forum great, so ask away!
 
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