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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chandler, Arizona
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
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike