First weekend - stalling/idle issues - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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First weekend - stalling/idle issues

So I finally got my 99 Vulcan back from the shop and just in time for the weather to turn around. I've read the verses like a lot of you suggested in my intro post and did some cleaning when I got it back. I don't have iridium spark plugs or the amg battery yet but will be looking to upgrade soon (I bought a brand new battery before I knew the difference). At any rate, I decided to go out for a ride today and everything seemed fine. I came home and figured what the hell lets go fill her up.

So, here's a little backstory. The bike hasn't really been run or ridden in years. The shop did a full carb clean and replaced all the fluids and lubed everything up, new plugs and air filters. I swapped out the air filters for K&N high flow ones and added a little sea foam in the tank when I got it back on Friday. I rode it around a bit Sat with no issue, other than me not being smooth of shifts. Today after I filled it up with 93 (first time filling it at the station) I got maybe 3 miles down the road and came to a light. It stalled out as soon as I tried to go and I couldn't get it going for the life of me. I ended up having to push it into a parking lot, failing miserably trying to jump it by popping it into first. My GF ended up having to meet me and I jumped it (killed the battery trying to get it started). I got it going and it stalled again on the way home -- repeated the process and luckily coasted into my driveway after another stall.

I let it sit for a few hours and went to go get some food. When I came back I read the POOGS posts and cleaned the hell out of the vent and let it sit. When I tried to start it again it was really hard to start but I got it going. It backfired really loud 2x before it started and honestly, it scared me pretty good. I played with the idle and got it to sit around 1000 rmp but then it would rev up to 4-5k without me touching anything. It did this like 4 or 5 times before I said screw it and took it for a short ride. I went maybe 5 miles with no issues and was able to fire it right up when I got back after shutting her down. I was happy but I'm not exactly confident in her yet after what happened earlier today.

My question is kind of open ended. What do you think it could be/do you think I'm safe to ride to work tomorrow or is that too risky? Is it possible that the seafoam broke up some of the crud in the gas tank and it clogged up for a bit or maybe it was a vacuum issue? What would cause it to rev up at idle like that/should I be worried about it. This is my first bike and I don't really know much so pardon any stupid questions.

I really want to ride it tomorrow seeing as it's going to be almost 70 here in MA Monday and Tuesday, I just really don't want to get stranded. I've already got the don't call me again speech (she isn't a fan of the bike lol).

Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 08:18 PM
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It doesnt sound like the carbs are in tune.I recently cleaned mine and had to adjust the fuel screws and test the ride number of times until it was in correct form. also..the coaster process very helpful to do...

when i first got my bike few years back i had the same issue of the loud backfires and repeated attempts trying to start after she was warm.I always thought the carbs where dirty but after cleaned it was basically adjusting fuel screws. the rev of rpms sounds like the choke to me...but i also read here...the rev up and down could be the carbs looking for the equality for running correctly....if the battery is weak,,also the backfire will occur as i learned..

If it was mine...i would check a couple things around the carb first.,,also push the choke with your finger and see if it lets loose on its on or it gets stuck...move the choke lever on top and you see the plunger move on the carb to direct your finger for testing...also stated in the verses I saw to make sure the filters are secure no gaps in the air box as that can cause issue for starting....from what i learned about mechanics is just because they fixed it doesnt mean its hundred percent...look into the components familiarize yourself with the bike that was a suggest someone gave me..and its helped a great deal with learning...
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 10:34 PM
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93 octane is way to high for our bikes We use 87. and a dose of sea foam from time to time , You also may have a vacuum leak check the air switch behind the battery. There are hoses there that can be leaking.



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Originally Posted by scc1233 View Post
So I finally got my 99 Vulcan back from the shop and just in time for the weather to turn around. I've read the verses like a lot of you suggested in my intro post and did some cleaning when I got it back. I don't have iridium spark plugs or the amg battery yet but will be looking to upgrade soon (I bought a brand new battery before I knew the difference). At any rate, I decided to go out for a ride today and everything seemed fine. I came home and figured what the hell lets go fill her up.

So, here's a little backstory. The bike hasn't really been run or ridden in years. The shop did a full carb clean and replaced all the fluids and lubed everything up, new plugs and air filters. I swapped out the air filters for K&N high flow ones and added a little sea foam in the tank when I got it back on Friday. I rode it around a bit Sat with no issue, other than me not being smooth of shifts. Today after I filled it up with 93 (first time filling it at the station) I got maybe 3 miles down the road and came to a light. It stalled out as soon as I tried to go and I couldn't get it going for the life of me. I ended up having to push it into a parking lot, failing miserably trying to jump it by popping it into first. My GF ended up having to meet me and I jumped it (killed the battery trying to get it started). I got it going and it stalled again on the way home -- repeated the process and luckily coasted into my driveway after another stall.

I let it sit for a few hours and went to go get some food. When I came back I read the POOGS posts and cleaned the hell out of the vent and let it sit. When I tried to start it again it was really hard to start but I got it going. It backfired really loud 2x before it started and honestly, it scared me pretty good. I played with the idle and got it to sit around 1000 rmp but then it would rev up to 4-5k without me touching anything. It did this like 4 or 5 times before I said screw it and took it for a short ride. I went maybe 5 miles with no issues and was able to fire it right up when I got back after shutting her down. I was happy but I'm not exactly confident in her yet after what happened earlier today.

My question is kind of open ended. What do you think it could be/do you think I'm safe to ride to work tomorrow or is that too risky? Is it possible that the seafoam broke up some of the crud in the gas tank and it clogged up for a bit or maybe it was a vacuum issue? What would cause it to rev up at idle like that/should I be worried about it. This is my first bike and I don't really know much so pardon any stupid questions.

I really want to ride it tomorrow seeing as it's going to be almost 70 here in MA Monday and Tuesday, I just really don't want to get stranded. I've already got the don't call me again speech (she isn't a fan of the bike lol).

Thanks!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @Buddy that's good to know I'll give those a check and next time go with the 87.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 11:22 PM
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What exactly did the carb clean entail? a full disassembly, inspection etc., (I'm guessing not).
I had no syncing issues on my carbs even after multiple disassemblies (by me) including removal of linkages.

If it were me, I'd be wanting to pull those plugs to read them as a super easy step one to verify not ridiculously lean or rich. I'm curious if both cylinders will indicate the same condition or not. You could post a picture if you are not familiar or confident with color reading. best thing is to do a plug cut and read if you can. but pull even after running, idle and shut is better than nothing.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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gidaeon I'm not really sure what it entailed. I'm going to call them tomorrow because they're closed Sun - Mon. I was able to make it into work today w/ no stalling issue but I'm still getting a high rev at idle from time to time, my commute is only 5 miles so I figured I'd risk it.

Do you think I should try to fix it on my own if the shop guaranteed the work or will that void that? I don't want to try to be a backyard mechanic and have them say since I touched it they're not going to stand by the guarantee. I'm not sure how that works. Thanks for the replies guys!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 11:45 AM
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It's possible the Seafoam knocked some crap loose that got run into the carbs.

If you get it started, adjust the idle speed up a bit past 1000 rpms. (Idle should be 1100-1150) Make sure all your carb boots are TIGHT...a slight leak will cause the rpms to rise by themselves.

I'd put the battery on a good charger (like a Battery Tender Jr.) when not riding.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 12:14 PM
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Buddy mentioned an "air switch". This is the first mention that I remember reading about said air switch. Pray tell what is it? What does it do? I follow everything said in this thread except for that part as I have no clue about it.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:25 PM
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He wrote "air switch behind the battery..."

I have no idea what that is unless it's some California only thing.

There is an "air switch" that is part of the reed valve system, but it's up under the gas tank.

Loose carb boots will cause a rise in rpms ...
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank guys! I rode home and back on lunch and the RPM thing only happened once so maybe it is a loose boot or bolt. I'm going to take the gas cap off tonight and give it a full clean and check all the bolts and hoses. I'll update with pics if there is anything (most likely will be) that I don't understand.
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