Vulcan Cold Start Situation


Cold start only: The motorcycle will not re-start at running temperature. Starts fine cold, but after driving a few miles and I shut it down, it won't start. After waiting 2-5 minutes it will re-start. I have changed the gas cap, it has new plugs, etc. I believe it may be an electrical problem. Can you help? {Frank, FL, USA 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic VN1600A1}


I have a few things for you to check to narrow down the possible causes of your cold start trouble. It is either going to be an electrical or fuel delivery issue.

First, check for spark when the bike is hot. After it has been running for a few minutes, pull a spark plug boot and check for spark. If you have virtually none, or a very weak looking spark that points you towards an electrical component failure.

It could be your pulser generator (flywheel) or one of the two electrical pick ups or pulsing coils located under the left outer generator cover. If you are confident and know your way around an engine and a mulitmeter, these are things you can test and replace yourself.

The Kawasaki Service Manual for VN1600A/E, part number 99924-1309-06 will give you all the testing parameters and specific values you need. You can buy one online at Bike Bandit or eBay. Do not forget to order gaskets for any side covers you will need to remove.

If the spark looks good and strong, we will move on to the fuel system.

Next, try to re-start the bike when the engine is hot, with the choke on. If it starts or almost starts, you could be running lean. This means you are not getting a sufficient amount of fuel in relation to your flow of air. You can review our pages carb jetting, backfire, and carburetor jetting for more detailed information.

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