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A10 Pilot
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is my second year with my 94 Vulcan. Last summer I replaced the battery with a MF and had very few issues. I had a battery tender on it over the winter and when I went to retrieve it from storage it started right up and runs as strong as ever. I've been riding it for about 2 weeks now and I ran into some problems with it yesterday morning. It was cool out and I went through my normal startup procedure, except when I hit the start button nothing happened. So I turned the key back and forth, flipped the kill switch back and forth, put it in and out of N, etc... all to no avail. Just when I was about to give up she started up like nothing had happened and I went to work. Today she started fine first thing but I somehow stalled it at the end of the driveway (didn't let her warm up enough I think) and when I went to restart I went through the exact same crap. Again, at my wits end, she fired up like nothing was wrong and I'm now at work.

Any ideas what could be causing this? Loose connections somewhere? I would rather not go though this on a daily basis! Thanks.
 

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The Professor
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3,147 Posts
Check your battery connections and the frame ground under the seat. Also check solenoid, engine ground and starter lead. The start button contacts may need to be cleaned.
 

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A10 Pilot
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Does the start button come apart easily? I've ensured all the battery connections are secure.
 

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Premium Member
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146 Posts
This is my second year with my 94 Vulcan. Last summer I replaced the battery with a MF and had very few issues. I had a battery tender on it over the winter and when I went to retrieve it from storage it started right up and runs as strong as ever. I've been riding it for about 2 weeks now and I ran into some problems with it yesterday morning. It was cool out and I went through my normal startup procedure, except when I hit the start button nothing happened. So I turned the key back and forth, flipped the kill switch back and forth, put it in and out of N, etc... all to no avail. Just when I was about to give up she started up like nothing had happened and I went to work. Today she started fine first thing but I somehow stalled it at the end of the driveway (didn't let her warm up enough I think) and when I went to restart I went through the exact same crap. Again, at my wits end, she fired up like nothing was wrong and I'm now at work.

Any ideas what could be causing this? Loose connections somewhere? I would rather not go though this on a daily basis! Thanks.
Did it just not do anything or did it click like it was going to do something then stop. Then later it turned over with ease? I'm asking because mine does something similar and all my connections seem to be fine.
 

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A10 Pilot
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
No clicks, just nothing at all, as if i wasn't even touching the button. Lights, turn signals, and horn all work fine during this time. Leads me to believe the problem is in the button itself.
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
A tight connection doesn't necessarily mean a CLEAN connection.
If all other connections appear to be tight, and you still have problems, disconnect them and clean them (emery cloth or sand paper works well).
After cleaning, apply a bit of dielectric grease and see how things go.

But, if everything else is working, it may be the starter button.
Never had mine apart, so not sure what to tell you there.
 

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Benjammin'
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421 Posts
My bike did the same thing a couple of weeks ago. I went to start it (hot or cold- intermittantly) and it was like there was no battery in it at all. Nothing.

Here is what ended being my problem; I found that when I was pressing the start button, if I turned the key switch slightly, it would start. Turned out to be the key switch contacts. I had to take apart the switch and clean the contacts with very light sandpaper to clean it up. It was fairly easy to do.

I had to remove the headlamp to get to the base of the key switch. There are two small phillips screws that hold the contact base to the switch. Take them out and then you will probably have to cut a wire tie to get it loose. Now the tricky part. There is a plastic cover on the bottom part of the contact block that will get you access to the parts that need to be cleaned. REMOVE IT CAREFULLY!! I took mine apart and springs, clips and ball bearings flew everywhere. It took lots of concentration and prayer to get it all located and back together. If you take it apart slowly, everything will stay in place and you can lightly go over the contacts with emery cloth of fine grit sandpaper. The worst part is the contact block has wires that go to the bike attached to it so you can't take it apart on a table to retain flying parts. I had my bike parked on open concrete that helped the part hunting process.

Provided nothing 'exploded', put it back together like you took it apart, and don't forget to tie wrap the wires like they were first attached (I believe they help secure the block in place).

You should be good to go after that. I did mine in about an hour (including finding small parts) and haven't had any more problems with it since.

Good luck!
 

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A10 Pilot
Joined
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks a lot Ben! I'm going to give this a shot over the weekend, and will clean all the other contacts at the same time as well. The bike being 15 years old, I'm glad this is the only problem I'm having with the Vulcan.
 

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wicker san antonio
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92 Posts
This site is GREAT. Just installed mechanicl tensioners on my 02 with 12000 miles. About 2 days later stopped off to pick up something and came back out and the bike would not start. I thought perhaps I had flooded it. Waited about 10 minutes and it started with a loud backfire. Pulled across the street for my next stop of about 3 minutes and it would not start...backfired trying to though. My first thought was the timing chain had jumped time from the new CTs. Had it towed to the shop where they thought it was either in the battery or perhaps the igniter. That night I opened up this cite on the same problem...hot starts..backfiting etc. I called the shop next morning and told to move the R/R per this site.
QUESTION: Does the R/R weaken over time from the heat but still work for awhile once it is moved into the free air OR do I need to go ahead and order a new R/R now?
Thanks,
WWicker, San Antonio
 

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wicker san antonio
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92 Posts
Well per my instructions, the shop put in a new sealed battery and relocated the R/R as per instructions this site...took them pictures pulled off the site. Rode it home about 6 miles, got it up to temp. Shut it off, waited about 5 minutes and tried to start it up with a big backfire. Waited about 15 minutes and it started up, returned it to the shop. Their diagnosis,before I told them to just replace the battery and move the R/R, made them think the igniter might be the problem. They will begin working on the problem again tomorrow. Any suggestions?/??????.

I read Fergy's post on direct wiring to the coils. My bike is an 02 with 12500 miles on it. Any thoughts on this or other ideas?

Thanks, WWicker, San Antonio.
 

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Old Truck Junkie
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4,133 Posts
My bike back fires like that every once in a while. I feger it is just the way the beast acts time to time. Never had major problem with it.
Also I think the hotter the weather the worse it will be. mho
 

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The Professor
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3,147 Posts
Well per my instructions, the shop put in a new sealed battery and relocated the R/R as per instructions this site...took them pictures pulled off the site. Rode it home about 6 miles, got it up to temp. Shut it off, waited about 5 minutes and tried to start it up with a big backfire. Waited about 15 minutes and it started up, returned it to the shop. Their diagnosis,before I told them to just replace the battery and move the R/R, made them think the igniter might be the problem. They will begin working on the problem again tomorrow. Any suggestions?/??????.

I read Fergy's post on direct wiring to the coils. My bike is an 02 with 12500 miles on it. Any thoughts on this or other ideas?

Thanks, WWicker, San Antonio.
Have you replace your standard plugs with NGK DPR7EIX-9 Irridium Plugs? If not then do so It greatly improves hot and cold starts. :beerchug:
 

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Benjammin'
Joined
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421 Posts
My bike had major issues with backfiring. I installed a new MF battery and it help, but didn't eliminate it. What really solved the issue was when I installed the iridium plugs. They weren't cheap (about $7 a piece and there are 4 plugs), but once they were in, no backfiring at all when starting up- hot or cold. Even when my battery was going south, the bike still didn't backfire. I am totally sold on the plugs! The bike also feel more responsive with them (probably just my wallet trying to justify a seven dollar plugs!)

I recommend getting some. There are several threads on the plugs in here with links and part numbers for how to purchase them.

Good luck!
 

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Registered
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1 Posts
I have the same problem with the fast clicking when trying to start my 1990 vulcan 750.
I have tried several strong batteries and all I get is clicking. A compression start works with ease. Could this be a starter solenoid?
 

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D2u
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175 Posts
Where are you guy's buying Iridum plugs for only $7.00 ea. I paid $10.69 ea with a smile on my face!:doh:
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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4,054 Posts
I have the same problem with the fast clicking when trying to start my 1990 vulcan 750.
I have tried several strong batteries and all I get is clicking. A compression start works with ease. Could this be a starter solenoid?
Could be. Also could be your power to the starter (mounted under your oil filter on front of bike) needs to be cleaned or a bad starter motor. I'd start by pulling the power lead and cleaning it good and the post on the starter. Dielectric grease the connection before you put it back together. See if that solves the problem. Also remove right side cover and pull the connections off the solenoid and clean them up good, dielectric grease them too. Use a piece of sandpaper to clean the connectors up til you see clean copper or brass or what ever they are.
 

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The Professor
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3,147 Posts
Where are you guy's buying Iridum plugs for only $7.00 ea. I paid $10.69 ea with a smile on my face!:doh:
Advance Auto Parts. :beerchug:
 

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Registered
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881 Posts
you can try spraying the starter button with some wire dry before ripping it apart. sometimes it works. just take the negitive off the battery first & let it dry good before hitting the switch.
 
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