Vulcan shuts off

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  #1  
Old 01-29-05, 09:00 AM
Spiritrider
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Question Vulcan shuts off

I have a 1999 Kawasaki vulcan A 800 that I bought new. Only one problem with an otherwise great bike.... it shuts off spontaneously at a continuous high speed after about 20 minutes. I've gotten great at knowing when it will happen, but I should have taken the damn bike back when it was new. I've spent untold amounts of money trying to figure out what the problem is, but it still happens. Again, about 80 mph for 20 minutes or so, highway driving, it just shuts off. I can get it going by holding in the clutch and gunning the engine, but it slows down some. Very dangerous in the fast lane in the summer. Anyone else ever have this problem?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-30-05, 04:36 PM
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Hmmm, very interesting scenario… I don’t know this particular bike, but maybe I can assist in narrowing down and isolate some areas to look into. Yes, this is a very dangerous situation that should have been brought to Kawasaki’s attention when the machine was new. I assume since you bought the machine new, you purchased it in 1999 or 2000? When was the first time you did have it looked at? Was it by an authorized dealer? Can you document the problem with receipts etc back to when it was still under warranty? Reason for these questions is you may still be able to get a “good will” warranty, especially since the nature of the problem is dangerous.

Sounds like your situation is very predictable? Does it happen 100% of the time or just 75% (or less then 100%) of the time? Will it shut down if you cruise at 70? Let’s first determine if it is speed related or RPM related. I don’t know what your RPMs are at 80,
But what happens if you hold this RPM in one lower gear (so you would be cruising less then 80). What about outside temperature? Does it shut down under the same condition regardless of how warm or cold it is out side?

As I said, I am not sure if I can help you, but if you provide as much detail info as possible I (or somebody on this board) might be able to point you in some direction to look.

Nelson (Elso)
 
  #3  
Old 01-30-05, 04:43 PM
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No post. I forgot to set the e-mail notification to keep in touch.
Was unable to edit my post to change this setting... sorry

Nelson (Elso)
 
  #4  
Old 01-30-05, 06:07 PM
Spiritrider
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Vulcan

Thanks for your response. I bought it new in '99. Went to Maryland one month after and that's when it started. The dealer looked at it, and year before last he took the bike apart and cleaned all fuel lines, cleaned out the tank, spent more time on it than he charged me for. Originally I thought it only happened when it was warm out, but it's happened in the fall also. Sustained 80 mph for about 20 minutes. If i pull in the clutch and rev the engine, it catches again, but I've been in a few really hairy situations because of this problem. I don't know what it revs at, but it could use another gear, if that helps. There's 4, should be 5. I doubt that the dealer or even Kawasaki would do anything, but I want to sell it now and get a bigger bike, but I would feel horrid if someone got hurt, and who would buy it (except the dealer, who would take it on a trade in) if I told anyone about the problem. I just thought if I threw this out in the forum and others start to say they have the problem, maybe I could take it to Kawasaki and have them listen.
 
  #5  
Old 01-30-05, 06:33 PM
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My Brother, (who now ownes my 97 Classic, has a similar problem.) The local dealer has tried to fix the problem, but since he doesn't have a real wrench, he has no clue either. The general concensis is the coil has a bad connection. Hope this helps narrow it down for you.
 
  #6  
Old 01-30-05, 06:40 PM
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I worked for Honda for many years and can only assume that good will policies would be similar. Dealerships (including Honda) do not promote any good will service because of all the paper work and red tape, but if you have documentations backing your problem when the bike was still under warranty, you can bring it to the original dealer and insist that Kawasaki (not the dealer) meet with you to discuss the problem. Be sure to document everything. If the dealer does not comply with your request then you can contact Kawasaki directly yourself. I know that both Honda and Yamaha have a customer complaint line that customers can call. (I would assume the same for Kawasaki) You are right, you wouldn't want to sell it knowing of this problem and that someone could get hurt because of it. As far as recourse, laws will vary from state to state. From your writing, I assume that this machine does not have a tac?

I guess it all boils down to how much effort you want to put forth in resolving this before the trade or sale. One situation I have seen on a very rare occurrence would involve engine heat and RPMs. Not sure how the ignition is set up on your Kawasaki, but there would some induced voltage generated from charging and possibly ignition trigger coils which would involve the spinning of a rotor with a wire winding. I have seen centrifugal force putting pressure on a winding and if there is a break in the shellac coating on the wire coil, it can potential give an intermediate short causing a voltage drop. If this was part of the ignition system then it could potential cause problems at certain RPMs. As things heat up, resistance in these coils will change. This would be the sort of situation that would never be detected on any sort of bench test and it would need to be assumed a potential problem and then tested accordingly in action. A rather far fetched scenario, but one I have seen and something that would be difficult to pin point. Testing for something of this nature would fall out side of any service manual and would need to rely only on the intuition and creative testing of the mechanic looking into the problem.


Nelson (Elso)
 
  #7  
Old 01-31-05, 09:16 AM
Spiritrider
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Anyone Else Ever Hear of This?

Thanks!!! Glad to know someone else has the problem. Glad to hear about possible reasons! My dealer used to race, is a mechanic, and worked on the bike himself several times. I need to know of other people with the problem so I have backup to take it to Kawasaki. Please keep letting me know of other Kawasaki owners who have experienced this problem.
 
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