Engine quit on the highway... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Engine quit on the highway...

Alright so I'm on the highway on the way to work this morning. I'm in the left lane passing an 18 wheeler on my right. I notice a visibly impatient SUV behind me so deside to shift up, clear the semi, and get over in front of him to let the pissy SUV go by. I admit when I upshifted I kind of half shifted. I usually give a good boot, just didn't this time, not sure why.

Suddenly I notice myself slowing down considerably. I downshift, clutch out throttle in, nothing. I put my right turn signal on and slide over closer to the semi who's now passing me. Before he's clear the SUV guns it past me on the left so for a second or 2 I'm stuck between the semi and the SUV. The semi finally clears, I bank hard right, and make it over to the shoulder. I shift all the way down, stop, and put the stand down. I notice I've got no engine noise. I kick it into neutral, hit the starter, and she fires right up. I pull back onto the highway and make it to work with no additional problems.

My question: why would the engine die with a short half-kick upshift and the clutch pulled in? What did I do? Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 09:10 AM
 
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I don't have an answer for you... but an instance like that is exactly why I've yet to ride on the highway... even 4 months into riding.

Its good you're OK and the bike still ran so you didn't get stuck on the side of the road.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Identitycrisis View Post
I don't have an answer for you... but an instance like that is exactly why I've yet to ride on the highway... even 4 months into riding.

Its good you're OK and the bike still ran so you didn't get stuck on the side of the road.
Thanks for the response, just wanted to let you know that I wasn't on the highway until riding for 7 months. Its not something you should rush but it sounds like you know that. Stay safe brother...

Last edited by LibertyPilot; 08-26-2009 at 10:07 AM.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 10:20 AM
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On the 750, a downshift doesn't take much of a kick, more like a tap, so I can't imagine how the shifting could have anything to do with the engine shutting down. Did you throttle back while you shifted? I don't know. It sounds more like a freak thing to me. If you were getting a big wind from the truck maybe it shook something loose and throttling down killed the engine??? Who knows. A weak connection could do this, but where???

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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I was upshifting to accelerate past the semi. I pulled the clutch all the way in, "half" kicked up, and the engine died. No idea how or why. It didn't stall because the clutch was in the whole time and the bike didn't jerk at all. It just smoothly and calmly started to slow down...
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 11:32 AM
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Is it at all possible you bumped the off switch?


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LibertyPilot View Post
I was upshifting to accelerate past the semi. I pulled the clutch all the way in, "half" kicked up, and the engine died. No idea how or why. It didn't stall because the clutch was in the whole time and the bike didn't jerk at all. It just smoothly and calmly started to slow down...
I know it's all about how you're saying it, but you mean you were "downshifting" right? From 5th to 4th? You're saying you "half" kicked up. There is no up unless you were upshifting from 4th to 5th... I'm sorry, but I'm all jacked up on coffee!

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperbuzzin View Post
Is it at all possible you bumped the off switch?
That's the first thing I checked after I pulled over. Good thinking though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fergy View Post
I know it's all about how you're saying it, but you mean you were "downshifting" right? From 5th to 4th? You're saying you "half" kicked up. There is no up unless you were upshifting from 4th to 5th... I'm sorry, but I'm all jacked up on coffee!
Coffee ROCKS! No I was in 4th just puttin' along and UPshifted to 5th get by the semi. When upshifted the engine quit. I guess I could have lost enough rpms to stall her out at some point, I don't know...
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 12:42 PM
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I'm with Fergy, thinking that the semi created some kind of vacuum that screwed up your carburetion (and the partial shift just happened at a bad moment). How much fuel did you have in your tank at the time?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 12:46 PM
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Something similar happened to me last weekend. I'd been riding high-80's into a strong headwind for about half an hour when the bike started to sputter, like it was running out of gas. Had a full tank though. Dropped speed to low 70's and the bike recovered.

My conjecture is, I'd drained the carb float bowls by the long high-speed run. They weren't filling fast enough, so the bike was starved for gas. Could something similar have happened to you? Highway in 4th gear is reving it, perhaps the float emptied just as you pulled in the clutch. No gas for an instant, clutch out, engine died.

If that was the case, then by the time you got to the shoulder, the float bowl would have refilled, so your engine started normally.

It's a theory, anyway.

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