Switching to reserve a PITA! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Switching to reserve a PITA!

Today I ran out of gas. I knew it was coming, so I wasn't surprised. It dropped to one cylinder so I immediately switched it over to reserve. It studdered and stumbled for over a mile, through two stops, before it died at about 40 mph. I left it in gear as it slowed down, in hopes it would pull in fuel. Nope. I nearly killed the battery trying to restart it. I started pushing it home and decided to give it one last try after 0.1 miles. It came to life and acted like it never had a problem.

Is this normal?


'89 Vulcan 750 Bought 4/12/18 @ 17805.9 miles $800
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 11:01 PM
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Mine always came back to life after hitting the reserve. Only took a few seconds. Are you using Seafoam in your gas? Maybe the float needles stuck when the bowls dried up. Or maybe it vacuum locked, did you open the gas cap when you stopped. Just a few ideas.......

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 03:16 AM
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Maybe the plastic inside the top is broken so the reserve might not be working

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 05:32 AM
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Sounds like to me the gas tank and carbs need to come off for a good clean your problem seems to be fuel starvation making sure it's all clean won't do it any harm
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 09:17 AM
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My first thought would be POOGS rather than switching to reserve based on your description.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try to reply to all the responses. Please understand I am not trying to counter your suggestions, so much as understand what's going on.

shark88
I fully cleaned the carbs and fully rebuilt them over the winter. I have rejetted a few times since then (I have a 6 page thread on it). I haven't had any fuel related issues, so I don't suspect any carb issues. The gauge was fully on empty and I filled it with 3.1 gallons. It COULD have been POOGS but it didn't behave quite like that. I've had POOGS twice on my bike, and both times I lost both cylinders right after each other. I didn't get a mile on one cylinder like this time. I didn't open the gas cap this time. I also have never used seafoam. I ride it daily (weather permitting) so it rarely sits more than a few days.

OleDirtyDoc
That's what I thought at first. The previous owner replaced the petcock shortly before I bought it. He was trying to solve the bogging at 50 mph issue and suspected fuel. (ended up being the carb vent hose issue). I thought perhaps he accidentally swapped the pick up tubes. (Is that possible? I don't know.) If that were the case, the "Reserve" would run out first, followed by the "On" setting. But when it fired up, I was able to ride 2 miles to home and another 0.5 miles to a gas station, and it ran just fine.

trev uk & calebj
See my response to shark88.

When I last rejetted, I started the bike with the fuel off and ran it dry, to limit gas spillage. When I went to start it, I turned on the fuel and cranked several times. It took many attempts and the battery got noticeably weaker in that time. It finally coughed for two or three attempts before coming to life. So dry carbs seem to take awhile to fill. But I always figured that was due to limited vacuum available during start up. In my case, I was still chugging along for quite awhile on one cylinder, and it still didn't pull in fuel.

My carb vent hose is attached to the bottom of the gas tank, rather than the right ear. Is it possible that the carb's are venting too slowly? In other words, under normal operation, the fuel level doesn't change very much. It goes down a bit and is instantly refilled by the float. The vent doesn't have to move much air. When refilling from a dry condition, a relatively large amount of fuel needs to enter, causing a lot of air to be displaced. Could it be that the nipple on the bottom of the gas tank restricts air flow too much, slowing the rate that the bowls refill?

Even when my bike had ears, the vent hose didn't reach to the ear, so it's only ever been open (bogging at 50+ mph) or attached to the tank. It's always been hard to start with dry carbs.


'89 Vulcan 750 Bought 4/12/18 @ 17805.9 miles $800
Purchased stock. Wrecked once
22490.0+ miles

Completed modifications:
Removed mufflers, straight pipes out of GB
110/90 Front Tire
Pick-up coil re-gapped to .020"
Compufire 55402 r/r series regulator
USB Outlet + Voltmeter
Repainted Metallic Blue w/ new tank bages
Ear Shave (wo/ coasters) 40/140 NO shims 45MPG
MCCT conversion

Planned modifications:
Custom LED turn signals
Windshield
Highway Pegs
(Possible) ignition advance
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 04:45 PM
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It happens. I think it's a combination of the float bowls emptying and POOGS.
Happened to me once, but the bike started after a few minutes.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
It happens. I think it's a combination of the float bowls emptying and POOGS.
Happened to me once, but the bike started after a few minutes.

Yes, I think everything going dry has something to do with it, had to open my cap once, after some long cranking.

If I let it catch me by surprise, it's a little hard to start. Now, I reset the trip odo at fillup, then at 120 miles I just go ahead and hit reserve, Sometimes if I want to let it go, I start listening, it will tell you when it's about to die. I never get more than 128mi before reserve.

Best to just switch around 120mi, I swooped a tractor-trailer once and as soon as I got in the left lane, it bogged out. I got into the breakdown lane to cut him some slack, ran over all sorts of debris. Even with reserve on and keeping the rpm up, it didn't start up. That was time I had to open the cap.

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