idles and revs fine but zero power, won't even move - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Question idles and revs fine but zero power, won't even move

My '03 Vulcan is a little hard to crank but idles and revs great but as soon as the clutch starts to engage the tack just drops while the bike doesn’t move or barely jerks when the clutch is released. The engine runs great but with no power. It even revs up fast. It started last week in cool weather and at first I thought I was out of gas even though the bike had only run 94 miles since the last filling. I switched to reserve while still rolling but never could get the engine to do more than sputter as I coasted to a stop. It would not restart. Got it started next day but zero power and a few terrific backfires while trying to restart the bike. Removed and drained tank and removed/disassembled petcock, all looks good. Vacuum while hard to read looks around 15 with wildly shaking needle from one cylinder. Other cylinder vacuum the same. Timing light flashing for three of the four wires seems erratic. Plugs look ok but maybe a little rich but after trying the start the engine so much their color probably isn't reliable indicator. Both exhaust pipes feel strong when running although one cylinder’s exhaust is a little cooler to the hand. Money is tight so I don’t want to just swap out the ignition module on a whim but that is my next thought.
Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by Spencer1; 01-23-2013 at 01:28 PM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by FoolAmI View Post
My '03 Vulcan is a little hard to crank but idles and revs great but as soon as the clutch starts to engage the tack just drops while the bike doesnít move or barely jerks when the clutch is released. The engine runs great but with no power. It even revs up fast. It started last week in cool weather and at first I thought I was out of gas even though the bike had only run 94 miles since the last filling. I switched to reserve while still rolling but never could get the engine to do more than sputter as I coasted to a stop. It would not restart. Got it started next day but zero power and a few terrific backfires while trying to restart the bike. Removed and drained tank and removed/disassembled petcock, all looks good. Vacuum while hard to read looks around 15 with wildly shaking needle from one cylinder. Other cylinder vacuum the same. Timing light flashing for three of the four wires seems erratic. Plugs look ok but maybe a little rich but after trying the start the engine so much their color probably isn't reliable indicator. Both exhaust pipes feel strong when running although one cylinderís exhaust is a little cooler to the hand. Money is tight so I donít want to just swap out the ignition module on a whim but that is my next thought.
Any help would be appreciated.
if its carb'd give the carbs a good cleaning too.

kenny
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 01:53 PM
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so as soon as the clutch is released it dies sounds like it could be a safety switch try bypassing the safety switches and see what happens

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
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if its carb'd give the carbs a good cleaning too.

kenny
just busting horns but have you ever seen a vn750 with fuel injection?

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i got my helmet but it sure makes licking the windows a chore

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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There is no clutch safety switch. I bought it last summer with 3000 miles on the clock. It now has 8900 miles on it and was running fine until kaput. I can rebuild the carbs but I really don't think the problem is in ths carbs. It started very suddenly and both exahaust pipes feel like both cylinders are running when it runs in neutral although as I mentioned before one of the exhaust pipes feels a bit cooler than the other.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 02:24 PM
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make sure your fuel tank venting system is open and clean....search for threads on POOGS.

Backfires and crappy running is sometimes the cause of a weak battery. What type of battery do you have? is it on a trickle charger?

If the safty switch...or switches are bypassed...check the connections to make sure they are good and also check your battery and frame grounds while you are at it.

Last edited by kc2dgq; 01-23-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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The battery is an AGM replaced last summer. I had heard about the vulcan's recharging system weakness so I got a good battery. The bike had been running about 50 miles before it died. How do you check the tank vent system. Is it the little metal tube on the back of the tank? I did hear a little whiseling sound from the fuel cap after running the bike for 20 minutes so I left the gas cap open before engauging the clutch. same result. the bike didn't die but only because I squeezed the clutch before it could.

Last edited by Spencer1; 01-23-2013 at 02:45 PM.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 02:48 PM
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are you saying that there are no wires plugged into the base of the clutch lever?

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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My bad. Yes there are wires plugged into the clutch lever. When the transmission is in neutral the bike runs the same whether the clutch is in or out. With the engine running @ 2500 rpm before letting the clutch out it barely bumps the bike forward if I release the clutch killing the engine. It revs great but no power.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 03:08 PM
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if you have a short peice of wire about 5 inches or so try jumping the safety switches to ground i will go out to my bike and get you the color and position of the wire just give me a quick sec

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Originally Posted by denny6006 View Post
Sucks getting old but it beats not getting old.

i got my helmet but it sure makes licking the windows a chore

cell phone number for anyone who needs it 214-516-1738

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