2 loud pops, then DEAD - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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2 loud pops, then DEAD

So up until tonight, I have been loving my bike. But tonight, it died on me - like totally, and I'm not sure what's up. I was going down the freeway, running a little low on gas, and it started cutting out on me. So, I flipped it to reserve. No more than a mile down the road, it started cutting out again (WAY too soon to really be out of gas in my estimation). I exited off the freeway, and as I got to the the intersection on the offramp, there were 2 loud backfires, and then the bike died.

I was thinking it was out of gas, and some incredibly kind samaritan who passed me came back by with some gas. "I'm saved!" I'm thinking. So I put the gas in, turn the key, and hit the start button. The bike turned and turned, but never fired - not even once. I was thinking maybe it was flooded, so I waited, and tried again - nothing. So I'm thinking 'maybe I'm not getting any spark.' Took a plug wire off, turned it over - yep, there's spark.

So at this point, it's getting late, and I need to get home. My girlfriend came and took me home, and I had to leave the bike in a convenience store parking lot, after pushing it a half mile. My only thought at this time is that maybe something got clogged in the fuel system..?

On an interesting side note, I noticed that my headlight seems to have gone out too. My g/f mentioned that maybe it was the alternator (or moto equivalent) - is that the stator? Is there a chance it could be that?

Any advice, wisdom, or plain old opinions you can offer are greatly appreciated.


AZ Kev

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1989 VN750
7800 orig mi when purchased Jan 2011
Turned 11,000 mi Nov 2011
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Dunlop D404's

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"But it's a dry heat - like the inside of an oven"
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 03:48 AM
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What year is your bike? Mine's an 85 and I have a PRI on my petcock to get fuel to the carbs if it runs out of gas. If your's don't it will take a while to get gas to the carbs.
The loud backfires were most likely from the carbs leaning out from having little or no fuel. When you get back to your bike, try to start it, and if it don't start, you might try using the choke to see if that helps get fuel to them any faster.
I'm not sure if that will help or not. Someone on here will chime in shortly.
As for the headlight it generally won't come on till after the bike starts. Mine won't come on till after it's running.

Last edited by RakerBill; 04-27-2011 at 03:49 AM. Reason: speling
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 07:02 AM
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Was the gas already in the can when you got it? If it's old, it surely won't help things. Your reserve tank screen might be clogged or damaged, too. Do you have in-line filters? If not, it is possible that crud from the tank got past a damaged screen and clogged up a jet.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 10:14 AM
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions and ideas all.

FlacoLove, you described EXACTLY what I experienced, so I am hopeful that maybe that is what is wrong with mine. It would definitely be the easiest - and cheapest - fix of those I am thinking of! Just out of curiosity, how did you go about figuring out that's what it was? To be honest, I might have spent a lot of time on other things - fuel system, ignition switch, etc. - before I even thought of that

I am planning on stopping after work to see if I can get it running to get it home. I'll keep everyone posted.


AZ Kev

Arizona Kev

1989 VN750
7800 orig mi when purchased Jan 2011
Turned 11,000 mi Nov 2011
Saddlebags
Taillight relocation kit
Chad's highway peg mounts
Emgo Pegs
Aftermarket mirrors
Dunlop D404's

Otherwise, all stock


"But it's a dry heat - like the inside of an oven"
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 10:29 AM
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ok - so I ran over to where the bike is on my lunch hour and checked the battery connections and ground cable. Everything seems to be good as far as that all goes. Now I am wondering if I am getting gas to the carbs or not - if maybe something in the tank didn't get into the fuel lines and plug them up or something.

Is there an easy way to test whether or not I am getting gas to them? I am having the bike towed home this afternoon, so I will be able to get more into it tonight and this weekend. Just wondering where to look next. And given that it is getting spark to the plugs (checked that last night), thinking fuel now maybe...

Still up for any other suggestions of course : ) Thanks all!


AZ Kev

Arizona Kev

1989 VN750
7800 orig mi when purchased Jan 2011
Turned 11,000 mi Nov 2011
Saddlebags
Taillight relocation kit
Chad's highway peg mounts
Emgo Pegs
Aftermarket mirrors
Dunlop D404's

Otherwise, all stock


"But it's a dry heat - like the inside of an oven"
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 04:04 PM
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Believe it to not this happens to me routinely. And for the life of me I can’t figure out what the problem is. From what I can tell this is a problem that accurse when going from ON to RESURVE. I have been stranded three times with this exact problem and what I do is make sure the fuel valve is dead center on the ON position and it typically fires right up. See what happens and let me know if you find the problem. Thanks
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Wow - that's interesting Frank. I will be sure to give that a try and let you know. I thought it might be something like that last night, so I did mess around with the petcock/fuel valve a couple of times, turning it from reserve to on and back again. But I will take your advice and see to it that it is dead center, and maybe even try making some small adjustments.

That would make sense too, as it seems it might be a fuel issue now. I appreciate the suggestion. That's one of the things I love about this forum too - just finding out that I'm not the only one experiencing these "anomalies"! Lol : )


AZ Kev

Arizona Kev

1989 VN750
7800 orig mi when purchased Jan 2011
Turned 11,000 mi Nov 2011
Saddlebags
Taillight relocation kit
Chad's highway peg mounts
Emgo Pegs
Aftermarket mirrors
Dunlop D404's

Otherwise, all stock


"But it's a dry heat - like the inside of an oven"

Last edited by AZ Kev; 04-27-2011 at 04:12 PM. Reason: misspelling
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Kev View Post
Ok - so I ran over to where the bike is on my lunch hour and checked the battery connections and ground cable. Everything seems to be good as far as that all goes. Now I am wondering if I am getting gas to the carbs or not - if maybe something in the tank didn't get into the fuel lines and plug them up or something.

Is there an easy way to test whether or not I am getting gas to them?
I am having the bike towed home this afternoon, so I will be able to get more into it tonight and this weekend. Just wondering where to look next. And given that it is getting spark to the plugs (checked that last night), thinking fuel now maybe...

Still up for any other suggestions of course : ) Thanks all!


AZ Kev
Open the drain screw on the 5 sided jet cover on the bottom of the carbs to see if there is any gas in them.

With the problem occuring so quickly, perhaps the vacuum hose to the petcock has broken or developed a big leak.

Check the petcock to make sure it is flowing fuel to the two outside nipples when vacuum is applied to the center nipple.
Maybe the pick-up tubes or screens are blocked.
Also possible the petcock vacuum diaphram has developed a leak.

Gordon

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

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TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
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