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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I bought an '03 Vulcan a week ago that was sitting for a year. It was driven about 3 miles on the old fluids before I changed the oil (just a test drive, basically). After I changed the oil, the bike started fine and ran smoother, so I took it up and down the block a couple of times just for the hell of it.

Later in the day, I go to start it up and the starter just cranks and I get loud backfires. I figured that it was a hot starting issue (although I do have a MF battery), so I let it set overnight to cool off. I went to start it up 20 mins ago and the starter just cranks and I hear clicking coming from under the left-side engine cover (when sitting on the bike).

Any words of wisdom?
 

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HAWK
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Have you tried checking the batt, it is probabley original and low on water.
I would recomend replaceing it with a maint free one.
You could try fllint the stock one and charginr it to be sure that is your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a MF batt in there already and I tested the voltage last night and it was ~11.9 volts.

I should also mention that I relo'd my R/R the other day. I dunno if that has any significance, but you guys would know more than I would.
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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Congrats much on the bike purchase!!!!.....:pepper:

The '03 is easily one of the best-looking VN750s ever made--the mix of red (instead of black) really flatters the bike a lot--good call!.....:smiley_th

You might also try the Sea Foam trick, as described elsewhere in this forum.
 

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Well starting has to do with 1 of 2 things basically. Spark and Gas have to have both. Pull each of the plug wires and turn it over to make sure you see the arch of electricity. Then I would move to the petcock (located on the left hand side if you are sitting on the bike right underneath the fuel tank. Turn it to the off position. Pull the fuel line off. Put a rag under it. Turn the petcock to the on position. If you get fuel at that point you can put the fuel line back on and move to the carbs. On the bottom of each bowl there is a tiny screw this is how you drain the bowls. Loosen each screw to make sure there is fuel in the bowls. Doing the Seafoam you may have knocked some **** loose and it is starving the engine of gas. Last but not least drain the gas tank and replace with FRESH new gas. Not something laying around the garage, goto the gas station and get fresh gas so you know for sure it is good. If you are going to do more than the recommended 1 oz of seafoam to 1 gallon of gas I always do it in a separate container. While the bike can run on a seafoam mixture it is hard as hell to start it with a heavy mixture.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks alot for the info, pbuehlz. Looks like I'm getting dirty again today!

You don't think the R/R or Stator could be the issue, do you? The stator going is my biggest fear.
 

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Search Goddess
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A stator on an 03? How many miles does it have on it?

One thing you may check is since you relocated the R/R and I am assuming you put the maintenance free battery in.. Check your ground wire and the battery cable. The battery ground needs a good clean contact with the frame. and a loose battery cable won't make good contact. Also check for any wires that may have gotten pinched under the seat from taking the seat off and putting it back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Has about 5500 miles on it. I'm charging the battery at the moment, since it only had 11.75 volts when I tested it a little while ago and seemed to be struggling when I tried to start the bike.

I'll check around for any pinched wires or loose connections, too.

Hopefully I"ll have it running by tonight. :)
 

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Search Goddess
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Chances are the stator is good. If the battery continues to lose charge though you might want to take it in to a parts place that does battery testing. Make sure they do a load test. You could have a bad cell.
There have been a few batteries that have gone south before their time, even the maintenance free ones.
 

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You also may have a short somewhere that's draining the battery while the bike's sitting. Somebody here has a fuse-pull trick to discern in which circuit there's a leak. I'll see if I can find the thread and edit this post.
 

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HAWK
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That was me Cindy,
You put a meter on the system and use the Amp scale.
With the bike off take a reading should be in the low mA readings.
If it is higher pull 1 fuse at a time till the reading drops, when it does that is your system that the short is in.
I can show people at the gathering if you are there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good news! The battery finished charging, so I hooked it all up and it fired up with the push of the starter with no hesitation or anything.

Took it around the block for a little bit and it rode beautifully. :smiley_th

Thanks for the advice and help guys (and gal)! :notworthy
 

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That was me Cindy,
You put a meter on the system and use the Amp scale.
With the bike off take a reading should be in the low mA readings.
If it is higher pull 1 fuse at a time till the reading drops, when it does that is your system that the short is in.
I can show people at the gathering if you are there.
Thanks, Chad. I'm not planning to be at the Gathering, but I may give this a shot just to practice. When you say, "put a meter on the system," positive to...where? and negative to...?
 

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Now what
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Hey guys, I bought an '03 Vulcan a week ago that was sitting for a year. It was driven about 3 miles on the old fluids before I changed the oil (just a test drive, basically). After I changed the oil, the bike started fine and ran smoother, so I took it up and down the block a couple of times just for the hell of it.

Later in the day, I go to start it up and the starter just cranks and I get loud backfires. I figured that it was a hot starting issue (although I do have a MF battery), so I let it set overnight to cool off. I went to start it up 20 mins ago and the starter just cranks and I hear clicking coming from under the left-side engine cover (when sitting on the bike).

Any words of wisdom?
11.9 volts is too low for a battery under no load. Should be 12.6 or so. You'll have to get the battery load tested at a shop that knows what they're doing. In other words not at a dealer, go to a battery shop. It's back firing because the battery is managing to turn the starter, but not produce enough juice for a decent spark.

It's all about the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The other day, the battery was reading ~12.4v. What I think happened was that I kept starting and turning off the bike during the course of the day yesterday which killed the battery. According to the PO, the battery was replaced about a month ago with this MF one.
 

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First of All congratulations on the new (to you) bike...

You had mentioned earlier that you were ridding the bike around your house to just get a feel for it and had not ventured on to the streets.. so all of those low speed riding and idiling probably stressed out the battery.

Once you do some decent stretch of riding it will help keep the battery charged..
 

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HAWK
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Thanks, Chad. I'm not planning to be at the Gathering, but I may give this a shot just to practice. When you say, "put a meter on the system," positive to...where? and negative to...?
Sorry I keep thinking to far.
Unhook the neg lead to the batt, then hook the neg from the meter to the batt and the positive to the neg cable on the harness. you want the meter set on Amp setting, so all the power goes through the meter.
Set to the highest Amp setting to start with.
Do not turn on the ignition or you may blow the fuse in the meter depending on the meter and the fuse.
I hope that helps.
 

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Helps tons, thank you!

It's almost too hot to ride here today (high humidity, temps to be around 105), so I may just play around with the electrical stuff and learn a few things. Still need to practice the voltage drop, so maybe I'll do that, too (hoping, of course, that I don't find a problem!).
 
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