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Discussion Starter #1
So tonight I took my 2012 Nomad Vulcan 1700 out for a little cruise. Rode about 55 miles before stopping at a gas station. Got gas, and when I started the bike it cranked over with no problem but sounded like it was struggling to stay started. I jumped on the bike and took off with no issues.

Rode around a little bit more and came home after 115 miles. Shut the bike down and waiting a minute before trying to start it again, just to make sure it would start. Before starting the red light and oil pressure light came on, as well as the fan kicking on. Started up the bike and both the red light and oil light went away, but again it sounded as if it was struggling to stay started. It was dark and I noticed that the headlight was dimming every time the engine sounded like it was getting ready to die. Engine never did quit, and the fan eventually turned off.

Anybody have any idea what could be going on? Its only been about 3k miles since the last oil change, and I put a new battery in it just two or three weeks ago. This was the first ride I've taken that was over 100 miles in quite a while, but I have some longer weekend trips planned this summer and would hate to end up getting stuck somewhere. Bike has just over 10,100 miles.

I searched the forum but didnt really find anything. I'm also not mechanically skilled whatsoever.

Thanks for any help, I hope its nothing major.
 

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Sounds like a stator or voltage regulator/rectifier issue to me.

Any loose connections anywhere?
 

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Had kinda a simular issue on mine 2012 Voyager. Took it in to have it checked out, they couldnt duplicate the issue, said possibly bad gas.Below is a thread I started on it, maybe it may help. Would start with the easy stuff. You said you have a new battery, check that connections are tight.
http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88402
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Battery connections are tight. I just went out to see how it started after it had been sitting for a few hours, and it started right up with no problems. The two times it struggled and the headlight dimmed was after it had been ridden 50+ miles, stopped for 5-10 minutes, and then started again.

Not sure if it's something to be worried about or not, I would hate to be a ways away from home and get stuck at a gas station or stranded somewhere.

Like I said I'm not mechanically skilled in any way, not sure if the stator or r/r goes out over time or if it will just die instantly while I'm driving down the highway.
 

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Oil pressure light on when the engine is off is normal, it's supposed to do that. When the engine is off, you don't have any oil pressure! If it's on when the engine is running you've got problems. Do not run the engine if the oil pressure light remains on, take it to a shop.

Can you define "hard to stay running"? Rough with vibrations? Does it ever actually stall? Is the idle set correctly?

Quick 'diagnostic inventory' to get out of the way, too;

1) How many miles
2) What year
3) Any mods
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oil pressure light on when the engine is off is normal, it's supposed to do that. When the engine is off, you don't have any oil pressure! If it's on when the engine is running you've got problems. Do not run the engine if the oil pressure light remains on, take it to a shop.

Can you define "hard to stay running"? Rough with vibrations? Does it ever actually stall? Is the idle set correctly?

Quick 'diagnostic inventory' to get out of the way, too;

1) How many miles
2) What year
3) Any mods

Its a 2012 with 10100 miles. Its got VH pipes, powerpro, and KN air filter.

"Hard to stay running", it started up no issues, sounded good, then after a second or two it sounds like the engine is about to turn off, then kicks back to life for a second or two, then repeats. Idle sounds normal, then it gets slower and quieter, then back to normal. It was still light out when I stopped the first time at the gas station, so I didnt notice if the headlight dimmed. The second time I started it was after I was home and the headlight dimmed for a second, then went back to normal, then dimmed for a second, etc.

Couple hours later I went out to start it and it started right up and sounded good, with no headlight dimming.

Like the link to another post above, maybe it could have been bad fuel? It was 91 octane but from a gas station I've never been to before, and kinda in the middle of nowhere.
 

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What was the idle rpm when it was acting up?
 

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As the engine speed drops, the charging system will put out less, that could be causing the dimming if rpms drop way down. Mine did this over 3-4 tanks of fuel and was inconsistant at doing it. Perhaps you may try some seafoam or other gas drying additive in the next couple tanks of fresh gas. Run tanks low before refuelling, or may drain gas and start off fresh.
 

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Fuel is an easy variable to eliminate. If it wasn't acting up beforehand and started after getting fuel, that's reasonable. Some fresh gas and some seafoam is a cheap way to check.

How is the idle set on the Nomad? I know there are some settings on the OSD on the Voyager/Vaquero. Maybe try bumping the idle up as well, at least until you get some fresh gas in it, to see if that smooths things out.

Does it accelerate okay? It runs just fine, with nothing seeming unusual or different, except for the idle issue? And it does this idle thing every time? Most of the time? Some of the time?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As the engine speed drops, the charging system will put out less, that could be causing the dimming if rpms drop way down. Mine did this over 3-4 tanks of fuel and was inconsistant at doing it. Perhaps you may try some seafoam or other gas drying additive in the next couple tanks of fresh gas. Run tanks low before refuelling, or may drain gas and start off fresh.
I called one of my friends who is a little more knowledgeable that I am, and he also said he thinks its bad fuel. I'm going to run some seafoam through the rest of this tank and add some to a fresh tank I get at a gas station I always go to. Hopefully this will solve the issue!

Thanks for all the help guys, I appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did you replace with the same battery that came in the bike?
I don't believe that it was the exact same battery, but I did get it from a Kawasaki dealer.

I took the bike out again today. I put some Seafoam in the tank and rode for 70 or so miles. I rode to my turn around point and filled up with gas. Let the bike sit for ten minutes and it started up no problem. When I got home I let it sit for a few minutes and then started it up again, and it started again with no problems.

Maybe it was just some bad fuel? I got it from a gas station I've never been to before and it really was in the middle of nowhere. I only put in 2 gallons so it could have been used up quickly. I'm hoping that's what the issue was and that it doesn't return!

Once again, thank you guys for all the help and suggestions, it is one of the reasons I hang around here. I ordered a Grasshopper backrest the other day and should have it sometime this week. I will hopefully get a ride shortly after that and put up a review for those interested!
 

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if gas dosnt cure it you may have the dreaded air leak at the throttle body.
The cure is the thunder throttle gasket a little thicker than standard ,should be a thread on hear about it as well
 

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Bad gas is very possible. Heck, some gas stations have been busted diluting fuel with water. If it doesn't repeat itself; I'd say you're good!
 

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Glad that you're up and running again. If it happens again you might want to try disconnecting the PowrPro for troubleshooting purposes. It may have gotten itself into some weird mode.
 
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