Engine misfires/sputters and tach shows zero RPM - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Engine misfires/sputters and tach shows zero RPM

Hello,

I have a problem with a '94 VN750 that I have had just a year. At the end of last season it started exhibiting this problem, and it continues this year. I am relatively new to bikes so I could really use some advice in figuring out where to go with this:

The bike will start just fine. It can go 10 minutes, 10 miles, or 100 miles and run like a champ and out of the blue it will start to misfire and sputter, I can't get the revs up, and I pretty much have to pull over. The engine will sometimes backfire, and I catch a strong smell of unburnt or incompletely burnt fuel. It doesn't happen every time I take it out, but often enough that I stick close to home just in case.

In the past, when this has happened, the "remedy" would be to shut it down and wait a minute, when I start it back up it is fine again, until next time.

Today when it occurred I happened to notice that the tach read zero RPMs...the engine was obviously running, it had enough power to get me over onto a side road off the main highway, so the engine was revving but the tach didn't think so. After I started it back up (and it was running fine again) the tach operated normally.

Given these symptoms, does anyone have any guidance to provide?

Thanks in advance,

Matt

Matt
Passaic County, NJ
1994 VN 750
April 2011- 30K miles
TOC MCCT 4/2012
New-to-me extended backrest 5/2012
Tourmaster bags 5/2012
Replaced driveshaft coupler and final drive-- ignored the spline lube recommendation too long and got burned 8/2012
Back on the Road 9/2012
De-POOGSed 6/2013
NGK Iridium Plugs 7/2013
New AGM battery 4/2014
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 04:47 PM
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mine did the same hing when the ignition switch needed rebuilt. ignition switch rebuild
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 05:05 PM
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I have this problem on my '90 (ignition switch dead spot).

I wonder if this will cure it's weird ignition issue too, since fuel and ignition are checking out.

1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
NGK Iridium Plugs #7803/DPR7EIX-9
Duralast Gold ETX15 AGM Battery
Coastered & Shaved
TOC MCCTs
Metzeler ME880 [110/90-19, 170/80-15]
Balance Dampers Replaced
Tuxedo Mod
Rebuilt Forks w/ Progressive Springs
V&H Cruzers
VN750.com Grill Cover
Meanstreak Seat
Emgo 23-92411 Handlebars
MOSFET FH012AA R/R


1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

1998 Honda VFR800 FI

2014 Honda VFR800F

1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 05:46 PM
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I had the issue with the tach also. I just whacked the tach with the palm of my hand a cupla times, and aint been off since (I figure connection or ground). Fuel gauge issues are usually due to that pesky connector plug just rear of tank.
Hey Matt...you been riding thru Greenwood Lake lately ? Been seein a lotta Vulcans coming thru town this year. I live right in the villagenext to O'Hares.
You actually in the Park, or in the East Village ?



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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 07:42 PM
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i agree with you wolfie... until he says the engine starts acting funny too.. when the gauges go haywire at the same time the engine begins to miss, its usually the ignition switch.

tthanner, wouldn't hurt to rebuild the switch... all it takes is time, so you won't be out any cash.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone...and yes, I have been through GWL quite a bit lately

Thanks everyone, I hope it is something as simple as the ignition switch. I suppose next time it happens I can wiggle the key and see if the symptoms change?

Wolfie, yes, I have been heading though GWL somewhat regularly lately, either for some grub at Murphy's or to get some ice cream at Bellvale Creamery. I have a blue '94 with slant bags. Maybe we should meet up for a ride?

Thanks,

Matt


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
I had the issue with the tach also. I just whacked the tach with the palm of my hand a cupla times, and aint been off since (I figure connection or ground). Fuel gauge issues are usually due to that pesky connector plug just rear of tank.
Hey Matt...you been riding thru Greenwood Lake lately ? Been seein a lotta Vulcans coming thru town this year. I live right in the villagenext to O'Hares.
You actually in the Park, or in the East Village ?

Matt
Passaic County, NJ
1994 VN 750
April 2011- 30K miles
TOC MCCT 4/2012
New-to-me extended backrest 5/2012
Tourmaster bags 5/2012
Replaced driveshaft coupler and final drive-- ignored the spline lube recommendation too long and got burned 8/2012
Back on the Road 9/2012
De-POOGSed 6/2013
NGK Iridium Plugs 7/2013
New AGM battery 4/2014
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 08:57 PM
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sometimes wiggling the switch helps.. some times it doesn't. Mine didn't matter either way... also make sure all of your grounds are tight. a loose frame to battery box ground can cause similar symptoms.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
I have a blue '94 with slant bags. Maybe we should meet up for a ride?
Sure....I'll PM you my phone number. Im disabled now, so Im around basically 24/7....unless Im riding !

Ya know, after posting my "slap the tach" post, I remembered that I HAD some probs with the switch as well, but with the fork lock mech. I first sprayed a lil WD-40 in the keyhole, then worked the key around. I then sprayed in a lil CRC 3-36 (like 5-56, but for electrics) and it worked well after that too. So dunno if it was the slap or the lube. Mebbe a combo of both, lol.



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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
Sure....I'll PM you my phone number. Im disabled now, so Im around basically 24/7....unless Im riding !

Ya know, after posting my "slap the tach" post, I remembered that I HAD some probs with the switch as well, but with the fork lock mech. I first sprayed a lil WD-40 in the keyhole, then worked the key around. I then sprayed in a lil CRC 3-36 (like 5-56, but for electrics) and it worked well after that too. So dunno if it was the slap or the lube. Mebbe a combo of both, lol.
a slap and some lube usually does the trick....lol
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 06:01 PM
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...it used to work with the ol lady all the time years ago....lol



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