Bike fails to start - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Carbs and Fuel System
From the gas tank to the carbs
All fuel system discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Skel3tor1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 26
iTrader: (2)
 
Send a message via AIM to Skel3tor1 Send a message via MSN to Skel3tor1 Send a message via Yahoo to Skel3tor1
Bike fails to start

I have a 1995 Kawasaki Vulcan that I've been riding for a number of years now. I'm the third or fourth owner of it. It's got about 34K miles on it now. I hadn't rode it in about 2-3 weeks because I've been sick and I've just been taking my truck to work.

So, I've been feeling better and went to take the bike out yesterday. It had trouble turning over. Eventually, it did turn over, choke was on, the bike reved up and I went inside to go wash my hands since they were dirty. I wasn't even done washing my hands when I hear the RPMs just die and the bike quits.

Alright, whatever, I go back outside and try to turn it over again, no dice.

-I have plenty of gas in the tank. (Verified by looking into it, no flame of course :P)
-I tried the petcock both on res or on, no go.
-Spark plug caps are all on the plugs. I pulled each one loose and put them back on. I'm using the NGK Iridium plugs.
-Made sure the choke lever was moving down at the carb. Yes.
-Took off vacuum hose from petcock to carb.
-Took off fuel line hoses attached to petcock, nothing in there either.
-Removed the entire gas tank.
-Removed petcock valve from gas tank.
-No visible clogs or damage to fuel filters.
-Took a tooth brush and cleaned fuel filters and then blew off with the air compressor since I was in here anyway.
-Took air compressor attachment and blew air into the petcock, set to off, res, and on. Was able to see that air could make it to the fuel filters.
-Reassembled petcock back into gas tank.
-Put a good bit of the gas back into the tank.
-The tiny air valve at the gas tank lid isn't clogged as I can hear it venting out the air while I had the lid on and gas moving was around inside.

-I didn't do this test prior, but I did read and search around on the forums for a bit prior to making my post. I reattached the vacuum hose and sucked it and gas did come out the left side of the T. I sucked more, and all it would come out was the left side. When would fuel come out of the other side or maybe I'm not sucking hard enough?

So, I think this is fuel related, but I'm not entirely sure at this point since I'm running out of ideas. I'm about to reassemble everything and see what happens, but I didn't notice any clog or any damage so I'm not sure why it appears to me that the bike is not getting the fuel from the tank.

What other items can I check assuming that I'm still in the same position after reassembly? Would I then be moving on to the carb?

Thanks for any future responses. I do enjoy the community here when I get stuck on a problem. You guys are great!

Mikey aka Skel3tor1
Skel3tor1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 03:02 PM
Old Truck Junkie
 
niterider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Roby Texas
Posts: 4,130
iTrader: (15)
 
Start with over a gallon of fuel in the tank. I have had trouble with mine even when I thought I had enough fuel. I just add fuel and would start up. Never really known why it would do that.

02 honda sabre 1100
niterider is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 06:11 PM
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
Bronson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Belvidere, IL
Posts: 267
iTrader: (0)
 
Probably not fuel related. These bikes are great running when they get enough electricity. Start with a fresh charge on the battery. If it will not accept charge, new battery, no more problem. Maybe.
If the battery were not getting much charge and then sat for 2 weeks, it may be a likely place to start.
Once running, check the voltage at the terminals of the battery, you should be showing over 14 volts if the engine speed is 3-4000 rpm. If not, begin to investigate the voltage regulator and stator.
Of course it could be a hundred other things.
My personal experience has been voltage issues if there is anything unusual about starting or running once started. At least on the vulcan!
If you can put a charger on it and start it that way, you probably have an electrical issue.
Stay with it, we all learn from these problems, and will stand by with more info as fixing the problem evolves.
Bronson

2005 VN 750
MF Battery
Plexistar windshield
.040 pilot jets.
Splines lubed 1955 mi.
Marbled
Iridium plugs
Reset pickup coil gaps.
Metzeler ME=880s
Shindengen MOSFET RR
V & H Cruzers
Degoated
Speed bleeders
MCCTs.
Bronson is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 06:21 PM
Linkmeister Supreme
 
OlHossCanada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 7,960
iTrader: (8)
   
Quote:
I didn't do this test prior, but I did read and search around on the forums for a bit prior to making my post. I reattached the vacuum hose and sucked it and gas did come out the left side of the T. I sucked more, and all it would come out was the left side. When would fuel come out of the other side or maybe I'm not sucking hard enough?
If the vacuum is activating fuel flow to one side of the petcock, it should be flowing to both.
I think someting is blocking the right side port on the petcock.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html
OlHossCanada is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 10:21 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 18
iTrader: (0)
 
starting problem

Charge the battery
pull the spark plugs
check the color, Black is bad, gray or silver is good
thats your starting point
Hegman
hegman is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Skel3tor1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 26
iTrader: (2)
 
Send a message via AIM to Skel3tor1 Send a message via MSN to Skel3tor1 Send a message via Yahoo to Skel3tor1
Thanks for all the responses so far. I removed the old gasoline that was in the bike and put in a fresh gallon of gas. My battery has not liked all these attempts to start. I didn't have a trickle charger available so I just bought one and it'll arrive either today or tomorrow from Amazon. Right now I have the battery hooked up to a solar panel that puts out about 17-18 V DC. I'm hoping wearing my battery down like this won't have any ill effects. It's a Yuasa, MF battery. This battery has been a champ since I put it in the bike a few years ago.

I'll pull out my plugs and take a look. My clymer's manual has a guide on how to read spark plugs so I'll compare the plugs to the pictures and see what's up.

As far as the petcock is concerned, after reinstalling the gas tank and trying to start, I did notice that I had fuel leaking slightly on the tube going to the carb just because I didn't put it on all the way. So that at least tells me fuel is coming out of the tank. Now as to whether it's on both sides or not, not sure.

I'll keep you guys posted. I'll probably wrench it up after the battery is all charged with checking the plugs.

Thanks!

Mikey aka Skel3tor1
Skel3tor1 is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 01:26 PM
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 386
iTrader: (5)
 
deleted

1988 VN750[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Last edited by FlacoLove; 03-25-2013 at 09:10 AM.
FlacoLove is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Skel3tor1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 26
iTrader: (2)
 
Send a message via AIM to Skel3tor1 Send a message via MSN to Skel3tor1 Send a message via Yahoo to Skel3tor1
Alright. I had a fun time tonight, lol.

I took out the spark plugs and took pictures. I'd like some opinions on them.

These are in a particular order. Going from left to right.

#1. Right side (As if you were sitting in the seat), closest to front wheel
#2. Right side, closest to seat
#3. Left side, closest to front wheel
#4. Left side, closest to seat.


Plugs 1 - Looking straight on
Plugs 2 - Looking straight on
Plugs 3 - Looking at a top down angle.

I'm thinking I need to replace at least 2 of them (Unless you think they are cleanable, and if so, how?)? Carbon or oiled fouled is what it looks like to me but I'm a newbie when it comes to reading spark plugs. Make sure to look at all 3 pictures. There some weird shadow thing going on even though I was trying to keep the camera from casting a shadow on the plugs.


I got the charger today and charged up the battery.

Took the bike and cranked it up and it worked!
I let it stayed choked for a while, then took the choke off.
Bike idled in the garage for about 5-6 minutes. I periodically twisted the throttle.

So at this point I'm feeling fairly confident. So I get my gear on and go take the bike for a test spin. It's 8 o'clock when I go for a spin.

I go out about 4-5 miles and start to come back, and boom. Bike is now acting like it's starved of gas but doesn't quite feel like it does when you need to swap to reserve, so there's something going on that I haven't experienced prior to describe. For most of the ride it was city speed 35mph, I went 40mph in some areas. Before this happened, I was on a country rode and gunned it up to about 60 mph for about 5 seconds and then dropped down to 0 because of a stop sign. I turned left and that's when I felt it. So I pulled off the side of the road.

Bike had trouble after that. I couldn't keep it idling unlesss I choked it, and then it would only hang in around 2K-2.5K on the tach instead of the normal 4K-4.5K when I normally have it warmed up with the choke on.

So, I had to wait for a tow truck to come get me. Word of advice to anyone with Progressive. Make sure they know to specify motorcycle whenever they call a tow company on your behalf. I waited an hour before I got a call from the tow company saying they weren't equipped to handle motorcycles and to call my roadside assistance again and get another company to come out. That was annoying. They won't pick up your bike unless you are there with it, so I had to sit on the side of the road until 10:25 when I got picked up by the real tow company who can handle motorcycles. Dude was real nice too!

So, I'm going to be taking things apart tomorrow night after work and dinner. This is getting to be annoying. I'm starting with the petcock and the fuel lines.

I figure you guys would appreciate an update.

Mikey aka Skel3tor1

Last edited by Skel3tor1; 08-18-2011 at 12:24 AM.
Skel3tor1 is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 12:49 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 18
iTrader: (0)
 
just a suggestion, it could be possible that in two weeks time, water that was in your gas formed puddles on the bottom. almost all gas you buy now has more water in it than it used to. I kinda helps balance out the drying out effect of the higher level of ethanol in it. once these puddles form, they dont come apart easy at all. I had this problem and verified it by taking a fuel sample through the petcock in a glass jar, set it in a spot where it wouldnt be so much as bumped for a couple of days, came back, held the jar up and you could see a perfect separation line, in two days. i swirled the jar around they held together, had to stir it to make them start to break apart, then just for fun dumped bg products ethanol treatment fuel drier in it to test it, wow, was neat to see how quickly the water puddles disolved.
jkmfab is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Skel3tor1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 26
iTrader: (2)
 
Send a message via AIM to Skel3tor1 Send a message via MSN to Skel3tor1 Send a message via Yahoo to Skel3tor1
Weird

Well, I'm at a loss. I put my idle screw so that it's not dead on 1000 rpms, but slightly above it since the clymer's manual states it should be at 1100. The bike runs ok in the driveway with it idling. I can even rev it clear up to where the redline starts, either 7-8K and back down. Can hold 3K RPM just dandy all in neutral of course.

Battery reads over 12V DC with bike running under load with the headlamp on and stuff so it's good there. Battery connections are all good to go.

I'm tempted to take it for a ride (uphill) on my street (very low traffic), and just do some circles and U-turns or something and see if I can reproduce it shutting down on me. It's been idling fine for 10+ minutes out in the driveway while I've looked it over. It's the weirdest thing. I couldn't get it to idle worth a damn when the bike shut down on me and got it towed, so I don't know what's up, maybe it's fixed itself.

I'll take it around for a spin around the nearby roads when the wife is back in town. She'll be back this weekend so if I get stuck needing to push uphill it won't be as bad with two people instead of just me.

Now, I noticed something and I don't know if this is normal because I didn't have reason to look this close prior. What happens if you go out to your vulcan, start it up, take the choke off, get it to normal idle speed, and then tilt the bike off the kickstand so it's perfectly level, and then lean it over more to the right. I noticed it runs good on the kickstand and when I level it out, I start to get more popping from the exhaust, and if I lean it over to the right (so I'm using my own weight to keep it in check), the RPMs on the tach actually speed up a bit more, like 100-200 more. What's up with that? I was able to reproduce it several times just to make sure I wasn't imagining things.

Mikey aka Skel3tor1
Skel3tor1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Once registered, your User Name"cannot be changed". We can make exceptions within 7 days, but after that, it is set in stone.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome