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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I just purchased a used 2002 Vulcan 800 Classic with 56,385 kms (35,000 miles) that cosmetically looks great. The battery is fully charged and all the lights work as expected. The starter spins the engine, but she won't start.

I removed the carb and cleaned it thoroughly, drained the gas tank and then added 5 litres of 91 octane gas. I checked the main fuse and all the other fuses and they are all perfect. It's all buttoned up and cranks but refuses to start.

I did notice that the tab on the side stand that pushes safety switch in when the stand is extended was bent, so the side stand switch was always out so the safety switch was effectively disabled. I have bent that tab back so that it now fully engages the switch. Still no start with the side stand down or up.

I'm thinking that maybe the switch itself is defective. Thoughts?
Fuel tank Tire Automotive fuel system Wheel Automotive tire
 

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The side stand switch does not have any effect on starting.
That switch is so that if you put it in gear and attempt to take off with the stand down, the engine will die.
I dont have a 800 is the petcock vacuum operated? If so you will need to refill the carbs with fuel before trying to start.
Things to look into after refueling -
Is the kill switch off?
Does the choke work?
Are the plugs getting wet with fuel?
Are the plugs firing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will be making more checks today, thanks. The petcock is vacuum operated in the on and prime settings, but allows for the fuel to flow freely on prime. I drained the tank on prime setting. I also understand that there is a switch in the left grip that is activated by pulling in the clutch that might give issues.

No idea how to test to see if the choke works. The carb was removed and totally cleaned. The choke is a simple cable operated device and is a plunger style. Pull the choke out, the plunger pulls out, etc.

Kill switch is in the run position, the engine will not turn over if in the off position.

The plugs are a PITA to access and are buried under the tank and sit in a deep recess on the cylinders. The tank has to be removed to even see where they are located.
 

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The clutch switch is there to prevent a start if in gear. If in gear you need to pull clutch for starter to turn.
You have cranking power so that just leaves either no gas or no spark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Check for a vacuum leak, I had one at the carb and the bike would start but die almost immediately.
Make sure the carb clamp on the inside is tight.
I took it all apart again today, double checked, cleaned the carb again, etc. It is all back together and the seal at the carb to the intake manifold is tight. No leaks anywhere, carb gets fuel, etc., but still no start. Cranks over just fine, until the battery drains but not running.

A friend suggested removing both spark plugs, pouring in an ounce or so of fuel, putting the plugs back in and then trying to start. It's about the only thing I've not tried yet.

I've owned many Kawasaki bikes over the last 45 years and never had anything like this before.
 

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Fuel has to be a mist - small amount to fire - not pouring!
Did you take a plug out to see it spark?

If it will crank until the battery is drained, then at that point the plugs would be wet from all the gas entering - right? - a flooded engine.
So now its time to check if plugs are wet after a cranking session and IF they are sparking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fuel has to be a mist - small amount to fire - not pouring!
Did you take a plug out to see it spark?

If it will crank until the battery is drained, then at that point the plugs would be wet from all the gas entering - right? - a flooded engine.
So now it time to check if plugs are wet after a cranking session and IF they are sparking.
Access to the spark plugs on the Vulcan 800 is poor at best so I have not yet removed them to check for spark or wetness. This is my next step and trying to take things one step at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Success! I removed the old spark plugs, added about an ounce of fuel to each cylinder and installed new NGK CR7E spark plugs. Got it all buttoned back up and she fired right up. I've since topped the fuel tank with fresh gas and took her for a short ride around the neighbourhood to ensure everything works as expected. Bags were removed to gain access to the rear tire / brake adjuster. All good now, thanks.

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I heard from my local Kawasaki dealer yesterday who advised that the carb is missing the jet needle. Apparently, the previous owner removed that part at some point and forgot to re-install.
 
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