Vulcan didn't start. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Vulcan didn't start.

Did my intro post this past weekend, and am the proud owner of a 2005 VN750! Got it on Monday, rode it for the first time on Tuesday. Feel in love with it right away. I was surprised at how nimble and maneuverable it was at low speeds while I was doing my best to recreate the MSF excersizes.

Well, yesterday it rained all day, so the bike sat for a whopping 48 hours.

Went to start it today and... nothing. "Ok, I'm a newbie, what am I doing wrong?" I thought to myself as I went through the FINE-C checklist at least 3 times. The bike did nothing.

I figure it's a dead battery that hasn't been changed since 2005, as there was no noise at all when the ignition button was pressed. The light for neutral also would not illuminate with the key turned, nor the headlight or turn signals.

Any suggestions for getting my bike started?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 02:06 PM
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Thirteen years is a long time for that battery.

Put a new AGM battery on it and go from there to the next problem... if there is one.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 02:07 PM
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I would start with a new battery. Even if that isn't the problem the battery is 13 years old and probably closer to the grave than not. Won't hurt to change it and its a good place to start.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 04:52 PM
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lol.... reminds me of the time I absolutely did not commit insurance fraud.... but I might know someone who put their bike in first gear before an insurance adjuster showed up. Told the insurance adjuster that the guy that knocked over his bike must have broken the battery cause it wouldn't start. His insurance bought a new battery. The old was was 12 years old and was fine. So make sure its in neutral/pull the clutch. If you aren't in neutral or the clutch isn't pulled the bike wont do anything. It just sits there like there isn't a battery in it at all. But get a new battery, either way.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 05:17 PM
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Ditto on the battery. If you were practicing slow maneuvers for a long time, it's possible that the engine wasn't at a high enough RPM to be charging the battery. Odd, though, that it's completely and totally dead.

The oil light should illuminate on the dash when the ignition is turned on if there's any juice in the battery (as well as the neutral light if you're in neutral, and the turn signals should work).

The ignition switch has a tendency to go bad, so try wiggling the key around a little to see if there's a bad contact there.

If the bike is stock, the headlight won't come on when the ignition is turned on, only after you've started the engine.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 05:18 PM
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Agree, battery.

If the battery is good, then maybe the ignition switch needs pucked. (see thread on cleaning the ign. switch puck)

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 05:42 PM
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If you have a car and jumpers you can hook up the battery to the bike and give it a shot. DO NOT START THE CAR. The car alternator could overload the motorcycle electrical system. The car battery alone will have plenty of juice after cranking the bike so long as you don't crank it for more than a few seconds. This will help you rule out or confirm the the battery being the problem. (But as others have said, 13 years is an eternity for a battery. It is almost certainly the issue)

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Update! Yes, it was the battery. With a quick blood sacrifice to the god of motorcycling and a swap in brand new AGM battery, she started right up. And I've got a voltage meter on the way to be able to test if it was just the old battery (which had straight up rust on it) or if the bike isnt charging it (do bikes have alternators?)

Thanks yall!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by NotHunterCooper View Post
Update! Yes, it was the battery. With a quick blood sacrifice to the god of motorcycling and a swap in brand new AGM battery, she started right up. And I've got a voltage meter on the way to be able to test if it was just the old battery (which had straight up rust on it) or if the bike isnt charging it (do bikes have alternators?)

Thanks yall!
My new friend, shoulda done your research on these bikes. The bike has an 'alternator', a rotor that spins around the stator that charges the bike. Problem is, our electrical on these bikes is garbage, and the stator tends to die. And when they die, you might find them failing repeatedly. If you find that the bike isn't charging when at riding RPMs, you're gonna have to start looking at the stator and R/R. Hopefully, you're good to go
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 11:53 PM
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I knew about the AGM battery recommendation, but I didn't realize WHY. I thought the reason to get a "maintenance free" battery was so you don't have to do maintenance on it. While that's true, there's a better reason to get an AGM battery if you have a VN750. It's because our charging system is -- well, some say it's bad. You could also say it's got character.

At any rate, it seems to be more successful at keeping an AGM in good shape than it does with a conventional battery. But since I didn't understand that, and my conventional battery seemed to be just fine (meaning it had the volts to start up the bike, at least the first time, and it had enough cranking volts also), then I didn't think I needed a battery yet. And I figured I would just replace it with an AGM whenever I needed to replace it.

But what I didn't realize was... whenever you don't have an AGM battery on a VN750, the time to replace it is "right now."

I put an AGM in my bike about a month ago, and it's been great ever since.

I know somebody will correct me if I've said anything wrong here.
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