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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Welcome. First of all, do you know if you have a CA model or a regular one? I live in AZ, and bought my '02 from an AZ dealer, but it was still a CA model. They can be sold in any state. Virtually all CA models are going to have tank venting problems. The easiest way to tell if you have a CA model is to remove the seat, and look at the rear of the tank. If it has 2 fittings on it, and 2 hoses, it is a CA model. If it has only one fitting and one hose, it is a 49 state model. If it is a CA model, the quick fix id to remove both hoses, and leave them off. If that makes a big improvement, then you can proceed to completely remove the CA evap system and solve the problem permanently. If you have a 49 state model, look under the gas cap, and find the little rubber grommet. Alcohol gas makes these swell, and eventually they swell completely closed. Remove the grommet, and see if that makes a difference. My '02 just passed 71,000 miles, I removed both the CA evap system and the complete air injection shortly after buying the bike. I had previously owned a '93, and already knew the problems these systems would cause.
You could also have plugged up or malfunctioning carburetors, unfortunately removing and reinstalling the carbs on a Vulcan 750 is not a pleasant experience, but it's not THAT bad if you take your time and do it the right way.
As for the fuel gauge, it could either be an inaccurate fuel gauge, or it could be a problem with the petcock. When you fill it completely up, put it in the "on" position, and set the trip odometer to 0, then see how many miles you get out of it before it quits. I've noticed on mine the gauge will show full for about 50 miles, then start to drop like crazy. Once at the halfway point, it drops even faster. But it still won't go on reserve until it shows empty.
Oh, and since you just bought the bike, I strongly suggest reading through the Vulcan Verses, they can be a big help. The Vulcan 750 is a real oddball motorcycle, there is nothing else like it anywhere. It has it's good points and it's bad points, but it is different. I would suggest you do the spline lube first thing, and check the condition of the splines. The other problems you are having can be fixed, but if your splines are chewed up, you have big problems. Also listen for any unusual rattling noises coming from the engine. That usually indicates failed cam chain tensioners, and can destroy the engine if run that way too long.
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