Bike dies suddenly while idling.......Has anyone seen this before? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Bike dies suddenly while idling.......Has anyone seen this before?

I took advantage of a snow day.......I decided replace my rear brake shoes and check the splines (it was greased). Anyway, after buttoning everything up I decided to fire the olé girl up. She fired right up! It scared the HELL out of my dog. I forgot she was out in the shed with me. While I was cleaning up my tools and puttering around in the shed.(the choke was on full the bike was tacking about 3k) The bike died right out.....no stumbling or bogging down just out cold. I hit the starter and she came to life just like the first time. I rev'd her up and adjusted the choke (down a little tacking about 2k). after a couple of minutes she did it again......And again she fired back up. I have not had any problems with it stalling or dying out on me while I've been riding.

P.S.

Now that I think of it.....it has done this a couple of times before but I was looking at the hand brake and just thought I hit the kill switch.

Thanks

'90 vn750 9/18/09 15,190 miles
slimstreamer spitfire windshield
AGM battery
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 03:14 PM
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Sounds electrical. . .

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred View Post
I took advantage of a snow day.......I decided replace my rear brake shoes and check the splines (it was greased). Anyway, after buttoning everything up I decided to fire the olé girl up. She fired right up! It scared the HELL out of my dog. I forgot she was out in the shed with me. While I was cleaning up my tools and puttering around in the shed.(the choke was on full the bike was tacking about 3k) The bike died right out.....no stumbling or bogging down just out cold. I hit the starter and she came to life just like the first time. I rev'd her up and adjusted the choke (down a little tacking about 2k). after a couple of minutes she did it again......And again she fired back up. I have not had any problems with it stalling or dying out on me while I've been riding.

P.S.

Now that I think of it.....it has done this a couple of times before but I was looking at the hand brake and just thought I hit the kill switch.

Thanks
You may need to clean your ignition switch and on/off switch.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 07:36 PM
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Well, it's either electrical or fuel related, and I'd bet on fuel, especially if you haven't had it started in a while. You could have build up in the carburetors (it happens faster than you might think, that's why I always drain the carbs if I am not going to ride the bike for more than a week, but that rarely happens here in SUNNY HOT AZ. I have also has issues getting my bike to stay running when it is really cold (here that means around 32 degrees, early in the morning before sunrise in the winter). If you leave the choke on to long (not a good idea) it will die. If you shut the choke off to soon, it will die. To find out if you really have a problem or not, start it up, make sure there is gas in the tank, and constantly fiddle with the choke to keep it running. If you can keep it running, let it warm up until the needle on the temperature gauge is at or past the second mark from the left. At that point, it should idle smoothly without the choke. If it won't, you have a problem.

Another thing I have had happen, during the whole time I owned them, with both my Vulcan 750s, a '93 and an '02, is having them start up and run on one cylinder for several seconds, after they had been setting for awhile. Blip the throttle a couple of times, and the other cylinder cuts in, and it then runs fine. Again, since this only happens after they had been sitting for a week or so without being started, I just chalk it up to a temporarily plugged jet or a low fuel level in the float bowl. The gas we have around here is terrible, it is 10% alcohol, which is mostly water, and it evaporates unbelievably fast. It seems to be more noticeable if the bike was left sitting on the sidestand instead of the centerstand. Once running right, it runs fine for as long as I am riding it. the carbs have never been off at 44,000 miles, though I do soak the float bowls in Seafoam every couple of months. I can't afford to mix it with the gas, If I were going to store the bike for some time, I would empty the gas out of both the tank and the carbs. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
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1979 Vespa P200E
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for your responses! I haven't had time to check anything out yet. We've had too much frigging snow!

Thanks again

'90 vn750 9/18/09 15,190 miles
slimstreamer spitfire windshield
AGM battery
Coastered
OEM crashbar
8mm spark plug wires
removed epa "BS"
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 10:35 PM
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First off I would have to ask why you started the bike and let it run when you were not going to ride it?

The choke on the bike is not a really a "choke" but a "fuel enrichment circuit"...which in you case kinda sounds like it might be possible that while the bike was running (at 3k? Jerry, he didn't let it warm up yet...lol) it may have been slowly fouling itself with an overly rich mixture that at somepoint built up enough to kill the motor.

I have only seen this happen when it is real cold out, but it is a possible cause.

You might also want to check that some little creature has not come into your shed and chewed on one or more of the bikes wires.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 04:45 PM
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If I am unable to ride my bike (all 5 of them) as often as they need to be ridden, I still start them up once a week, and warm them up. I usually put them in gear, and let the clutch out, and ride them at least a couple of feet. Sometimes I back them up, and do this 2 or 3 times. I also make sure they do not sit on the same spot on the tires for more than a week at the time. Good way to ruin the tires, causes flat spots.

Not only does this run fresh gas through the carburetors, but it keeps all the seals from deteriorating, the cylinders from rusting, and a number of other bad things. Mechanical things that were designed to move need to be moved. I don't do this very often though, most of the time I ride them enough to keep things from going bad. I have a couple of dirt bikes that I recently dragged out of storage, cleaned up, did all the service on, cleaned the carbs, and got them going, all for what turned out to be one ride. But I am not going to store them anymore, I've decided that I will start them up once a week, warm them up, and ride them around the back yard a few times. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VN750Rider/Jerry View Post
If I am unable to ride my bike (all 5 of them) as often as they need to be ridden, I still start them up once a week, and warm them up. ...

Once a week seems a bit excessive to me. How is it "fresh gas" if it is in fact the same gas that has been sitting in the gas tank all this time?

My thoughts are that you are just adding wear to the bike if you "just start if up and let it run awhile" without actually going for a ride on it.

If you have seals that will deterioate in a week, you got some real crappy seals.
It has been shown time and time again that the most wear an engine recieves at any time is the first few minutes durring start up.

So why subject your motor to extra wear if you are not going to ride the bike?

I would hazard a guess that after a bike has sat for several weeks..(like 4-6)
it likely would help to take the thing out for a short ride. You have to run the motor long enough to heat the oil up enough to disapate any water that has collected from condensation, and ensure that all the parts fed by the oil recieve a "new coat" of this clean oil....if conditions are still to bad out to ride the bike, it should as Jerry mentioned be moved a bit so the tires are not resting on the same spot.

You can flush the carbs quite easily without starting the bike, and many suggest emptying the float bowls completely if you know the bike will sit for more than a month.

But starting it up for no reason once a week just seems to me to be pointless unless you are actually going to ride the bike. It only uses fuel, adds unesseccary wear to the motor , and wastes your time.

KM

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 10:55 PM
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KM is definitely on to something about the critters making a condo (or something of a chew toy) out of your bike, depending on where you park the bike and how long it sits between uses.

I have found that the best prospects for varmint intrusion seem to be the exhaust pipes, and inside the air cleaner covers. If you aren't riding your Vulcan 750 much, these need to be plugged/covered as appropriate to keep vermin from invading your "baby".

If anyone else has any (other) suggestions as to where else the critter world likes to bed down in/on the VN750 (like maybe above the goat's belly), please chime in your experiences......???

Riding the bike at least once a week (even if it's just around the block) of course should help keep this problem at bay.........although I realize that in many parts of the country winter weather conditions keep this from being safe or possible.....

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 11:11 PM
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Some bugs will make nests in the hose that goes to the carb, the hose that goes to the right ear.

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