Could it be the battery? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Could it be the battery?

On the way home tonight from dinner, the bike started acting like it was running out of gas. I was getting lowish, so I switched to reserve. Well, it proceeded to keep running rough and I pulled in the clutch to pull into the turning lane and it died. I tried to crank it and it backfired but didn't start up. Then it started having trouble trying to turn over even. So I stopped and called a friend with a trailer.

So I waited a while (and peed in the ditch if it matters ) and decided I would try it again. To my surprise it cranked. I put it in neutral and it even idled fine. The OL got back on and we rode it back home.

Now...could it be the battery that caused that? It is a wet cell battery that the dealer put in when I bought the bike over a year ago. Could it have gotten too hot and caused the bike to die and then when it cooled off, worked fine again?

It just worries me that it acted like it was out of gas, then backfired a few times trying to start, then acted like it was dead, only to end up starting again a short while later.

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Leave it to me to NOT be fond of something then end up banging it.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 12:02 AM
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Deviate, FWIW I went to buy mine. Battery was so far gone, no lights came on w/key. Jumped of the pickup for 15min B4 it would crank. Would not hit, so we used some starting fluid. Monster backfire. After more letting it charge it ran, but only w/jumpers connected.

Peace of mind is as easy as having the battery load tested.

Starts instantly, runs good since the new AGM battery 45 min after I bought the bike.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 12:15 AM
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Ahhh, I probably know your problem, delt with it twice myself when switching to reserve a little too late. Assuming that you've got the problem I had the little ball which allows fuel past when vacuum is applied (from the vacuum line from the front cylinder) is sticking. You can feel the little ball when sucking or blowing on the vacum line intake with the petcock removed.

When running the bike has enough vacuum to move the little sticky ball and diaphragm in the petcock but when the engine is turning slowly from the started there isn't enough vacuum to open the flow of gas. After a while of waiting a bit of fuel slips past the petcock, enough to start the engine creating more vacuum allowing even more fuel to flow.

Until I shot carb cleaner past the detached petcock cleaning the little gummy ball (cleaning gas film off it) I found that by detaching the vacuum line from the front carb and sucking on it to get fuel to flow got me running much faster than sitting around for 45 minutes to let the fuel seep by it).
With the petcock removed and sucking and blowing by mouth I could feel the little ball unstick and move inside the petcock. Even after some carb cleaner I never got the ball to move super freely but it now works much better with little problem after running out of fuel and needing reserve fuel.

Bottom line, first assure that there is no vacuum leak in the line going to the petcock. Then remove the petcock and blow carb cleaner through the vacuum inlet. Rebuilding the petcock doesn't hurt either. Like I had you probably have a “sticky” one way ball valve in the petcock and a petcock vacuum diaphragm that lets a little fuel leak trough.

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Last edited by Spencer1; 06-01-2013 at 12:40 AM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 12:16 AM
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Have you relocated the r&r? It's possible that got hot, and when it cooled it fired back up.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 03:50 AM
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That happened to me once about 2 months ago... I was thinking it was poogs... it hasn't happened since so I don't know.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys...good things for me to check today. I'm pretty sure it's not POOGS because just last weekend I removed and cleaned everything on the gas cap and vent tube. I also hope it's not the petcock because I just replaced that with a new one a couple of months ago when I had to pull the carbs to clean them and did the ear shave. I did relocate my R/R to over by the passenger peg.

The only change I have made recently is to remove the goat's belly and put the stock mufflers on with some flex pipe. It has been running fine since I did that though. This just kind of came out of nowhere on me.

I reckon I will pull the battery and get it tested for peace of mind and go from there.

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Originally Posted by LibertyPilot View Post
Leave it to me to NOT be fond of something then end up banging it.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 09:58 AM
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It could very easily be a loose or corroded ground or battery terminal connection too. The exact same symptoms show up with loose or corroded connections. Worth checking at least.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 10:57 AM
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My bike did the same thing and it was practically new. However I opened the gas cap and the bike started up. I would not totally rule out POOGS yet. If it starts happening again shut the bike off as soon as possible, the sooner better. Open the gas cap and see if the bike will start.
You've been on this site awhile and probably already know this. Good luck.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 11:27 AM
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Sounds like POOGS to me too.

But check all your hoses, and all your electrical connections.

Possible bad gas?

Trying to diagnose problems you can't get to repeat are a PITA.....

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 12:30 PM
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Had same problem with my bike, got agm battery 3 weeks ago, runs great ever since. Funny what a bad battery does on these bikes.

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