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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I'm having a problem with my bike and I'm hoping someone can give me some direction.

The bike is an 06. I hadn't started it in a couple of months so I hooked up the battery tender and it said the battery was already charged. I started the bike with no problem and ran it for a couple minutes.

Two days later I was going for a ride or so I thought - and the bike was sluggish to turn over and wouldn't start. My voltmeter is attached to the accessory lead in the headlight and showed 8 volts. I hooked up the battery tender and it said the battery was already charged.

Came back a couple days later and the bike is dead. When I turn the key on, I see the lamps (oil, neutral,...) start to glow and then they go out. The bike is silent when I try to start it. The voltmeter shows 0.

But, pulled the seat and checked the battery with a handheld voltmeter and it said 12.7 volts.

The bike is acting like the battery is dead - but the handheld voltmeter and the battery tender say it's charged. The voltmeter connected to the accessory lead shows 0 volts.

So, where do I go from here?

Thanks! Mark
 

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Premium Member
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4,748 Posts
I'd try jumping it from a car battery with the engine not running. If it cranks, it's probably time for a new battery!
 

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Sparky!!!
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8,697 Posts
several possible things could be going on... could be the ignition switch, bad grounds, bad connections, or the JB is heading south... first I would go through the connections, lean up the battery terminals, and all major ground cables... then I would check into the ignition switch (search the forum for repairing the ignition switch). Then if all that hasn't worked... check voltage at the Junction Box pins with the key on
1
3a
3b
6
7
8
11
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17

if you need some wiring diagrams, I have most of them in color. just click on link in my sig

The bike is acting like the battery is dead - but the handheld voltmeter and the battery tender say it's charged. The voltmeter connected to the accessory lead shows 0 volts.
i didn't see this part... if you have 0 volts at these leads...your main fuse is blown...Check for voltage at pin 1 on JB with key on or off...doesn't matter, it should always have voltage since this is your main battery power wire.
 

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Premium Member
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If the bike sat for 2 months with no attention, both the battery is bad, and the carbs are probably gummed up. I also have a Battery Tender, and a fairly new MF AGM battery, the Battery Tender will show charged (green light), but after starting it up, and letting it idle for a few minutes, and shutting it off, the Battery Tender will show red for over 1/2 hour, which indicates that starting it and letting it idle for a bit actually slightly drained the battery.

The whole purpose of a Battery Tender is to protect the battery when it is just sitting there. It is not a charger, just a charge maintainer. If I understand you correctly, you did not have the Battery Tender connected to it the whole 2 months it was sitting there. If that is the case, you definitely need a new battery. Make sure you get a MF AGM battery. I use WestCo, but there are several brands available. Then I would drain out the gas from the carbs, remove the fuel lines from the petcock, and fill the carbs full of Seafoam through the fuel lines. Let it soak 24 hours, drain it out, reconnect the fuel lines, and use 2 oz Seafoam per gallon for the next few tankfulls of gas to finish cleaning the carbs out. Sitting is not good for a bike, especially the battery and the carbs. Jerry.
 

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Sparky!!!
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If the bike sat for 2 months with no attention, both the battery is bad, and the carbs are probably gummed up.
i doubt that the carbs gummed up in that short of time... I am going on two years with my bike sitting, and no varnish in the carbs... But that is another story.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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i doubt that the carbs gummed up in that short of time... I am going on two years with my bike sitting, and no varnish in the carbs... But that is another story.
You give me hope slim, that I won`t have to pull my carbs for a cleaning this spring. How much Seafoam did you have in the tank of gas for the last run before sitting for the almost 2 years?
 

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Sparky!!!
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You give me hope slim, that I won`t have to pull my carbs for a cleaning this spring. How much Seafoam did you have in the tank of gas for the last run before sitting for the almost 2 years?
None... but I did run the floats bowls dry before I left... and I filled my tank up with keroseene... This was while i was home on R&R last march... before that, I let the bike sit for 3 months with fuel in the tank and carbs...still no gum.
 

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On His Lady Vulcan
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Try the simple things 1st. pull your battery and take it to a local auto parts store and have them load test it. If it proves good then start your trouble shooting. SIMPLE THINGS FIRST PEOPLE!!!:doh:
 

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Registered
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yep first test your battery, check the fluids to see if its full.
then if the battery is good, check the wires on your bike, are they corroded?
 

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It sounds like a ground issue to me, because you already checked the battery with a volt meter. Take your volt meter and set it to read resistance. place one of your lead to the neg terminal on the batery and the other to a bare metal surface on frame like a bolt or even the engine. if you have less than one ohm resistance your ground from the battery to chassis is good. I had the same issue with a Comaro I was working on. I don't know about the 06 but mine has the ground attaching to the frame behind right cover to the battery box mount and a bullet connector going to the junction box under the left cover. Check all your hot connections from the battery to the starter silenoid and the white red wire to bullet connector. If it is corroded use so 220 grit sand paper to clean them up a bit and be shure to apply dialetric grease to all the connections. Even put it in all you plugs through out the bike. I have some wiring diagrams too but the are not in color. i hope this was helpful.
 

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i doubt that the carbs gummed up in that short of time... I am going on two years with my bike sitting, and no varnish in the carbs... But that is another story.
My response is based on the fact that I have never seen a motorcycle battery survive 2 months of inattention. It would be completely dead, and while there might be enough left to hold a slight charge, it would not be enough to make the battery usable. If a battery could sit for 2 months without severe damage, Battery Tenders would not really be needed. Just jump start it, go for a ride, and all would be fine. I also believe that using a battery with high internal resistance would be bad for the stator, and a new battery is certainly a lot cheaper and easier than a new stator. Plus, the OP indicated he had a Battery Tender, I would suggest keeping it connected to the battery from now on, to avoid this problem in the future. I have had the life of a lot of batteries shortened by not using a Battery Tender, so I finally broke down and bought 4 of them, one for each of my bikes with a battery. They are all connected right now.

As far as the carbs, the Vulcan 750 does have one advantage there, and that is the vacuum petcock. In AZ, all of the gas would have evaporated out of the carbs in way less than 2 months, but no more could get in, so continuous evaporation wouldn't be possible. That's why I just suggested using Seafoam, rather than removing and cleaning the carbs. Jerry.
 

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Sparky!!!
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yes i agree with you jerry, I was just saying it doesn't sound like a carb issue. And by the sounds of it... its not a battery issue either.. He has plenty of volts, but none is getting from the battery to the headlight bucket... when the OP mentioned that he has 0 volts at the accessory leads in the headlight bucket there is only a couple things it can be.

First thing check the fuses (most common problem and simplest first) if the Fuses are good, check the white wire with red stripe that goes from the starter solenoid to the Junction Box to make sure it has a good connection, check for power coming out of the JB on Pins 3a and 3b. those are the accessory power leads to the headlight bucket and to the right side cover. If your fuse is good, and you don't have any power to the right side accessory lead, then your problem is the JB. If you have power at the right side accessory leads, you have a bad connection in the harness up at the frame neck.

But before doing all that, make sure the battery cables are tight, the ground wire is tight to the frame... eliminate all the simple possibilities first.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the great advice. Well hopefully I've learned my lesson because I do this every winter. I think I'm going to ride through the winter but get tired of the cold fingers and end up letting the bike sit too long without seafoam and without the battery tender.

I'm definitely going to hit the carbs with a dose of seafoam as soon as I get this problem sorted. This is what I've done so far.

I checked the jb according to the manual and it checked fine. The main fuse is good. I checked the voltage at pin 1 on the connector - which I think is straight from the battery. It showed 12+ volts.

I turned on the key at this point and watched the voltage on pin 1 drop quickly to 0. The bulbs in the oil and neutral lamps just begin to glow and then go out.

So it seems like maybe something is overloading the system? - but I don't understand why that wouldn't blow the fuse. I tried jiggling the key and it didn't have an effect. When I turned the key off the voltage would go right back to 12. And when I turned it back on it would drop back to 0.

I checked the connectivity and the resistance between the neg battery terminal and the engine and it looked good. I snugged up the battery terminal screws and the ground-to-frame bolt and they already seemed tight.

The battery is a 4 yo westco. I'll keep checking things tomorrow. The first thing I'm goinig to do is jumper the battery to a car battery with the car turned off. Then I'll turn the bike key on and see if the oil/neutral lamps light up. If the bike acts the same way I figure the problem isn't with the battery.

Thanks - Mark
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #15
I'm gonna replace the battery right away because I think the problem is the battery - and even if it isn't you're right that battery's got to be at the end of its life so it'll save me an inconvenience later.

I'll let you know when I get the battery in. Thanks again.
 

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Love My Baby
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1,165 Posts
I'm betting it's the battery, too. But I wouldn't rule out the ignition switch either. First, buy the maintenance free AGM battery, charge it first and then install it. You need a new battery by now even if that isn't the main source of this problem. If the new bat doesn't solve the problem, I'd check the ignition switch next.

Good luck...
 

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Love My Baby
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There is a bolt at the engine of the kick start lever.
Remove the bolt and slide the kick start lever off the shaft.
Check that the splines are in good order,
If they are not, you will need to replace the lever.
A trick I have see is to wrap a thin aluminum sheet around the shaft before putting the lever back on, to make sure it grips.
Kick Start? That takes me back to my dirt bike days! Our 750's don't have a kick start. Unless I've been missing out on something...
 

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Premium Member
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He's a spammer I believe. Reported.
 

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On His Lady Vulcan
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Try the simple things 1st. pull your battery and take it to a local auto parts store and have them load test it. If it proves good then start your trouble shooting. SIMPLE THINGS FIRST PEOPLE!!!:doh:
Hmmmmm...LMAO
 
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