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  1. #1
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    2007 Kawasaki 500 Ltd
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
    Posts
    15

    Question 2007 Kawasaki Vulcan EN500 engine problem

    While cruising down the interstate my engine will die one cylinder at a time. Pulling off the road I put the petcock on prime then reserve. After much cranking - battery almost dies the engine fires up. Ride it home 25 miles and all is fine.
    This has happened to me 3 times so far. Any tips to what my problem is?

    Is there a recall on this petcock?

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  3. #2
    Ditch Magnet
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki S83, 1989 Goldwing
    Location
    Kokomo Indiana
    Posts
    173
    Do you ride this bike often? If it sits in the garage for a week or two between rides, try putting the petcock to PRI for about 30 seconds, then put it back to its normal position and start it up. My wife's 500 runs terrible if we don't do this.

  4. #3
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    '10 Kaw Vulcan 900 Custom
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    8,717
    Quote Originally Posted by 7seas View Post
    While cruising down the interstate my engine will die one cylinder at a time.
    Classic signs of restricted fuel flow.......or maybe contamination in the gas (water).

    Check fuel filter(s) and tank vent for restriction.

    Check vacuum hose to petcock for loose or cracked.

    Drain tank and get fresh fuel......or put in some multi-purpose gas additive.

    .......OR.......

    Are we pretty sure that you didn't just run out of gas....ie needed to switch to reserve ??
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  5. #4
    Ditch Magnet
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki S83, 1989 Goldwing
    Location
    Kokomo Indiana
    Posts
    173
    Any resolution to this yet? Let us know....

  6. #5
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    2007 Kawasaki 500 Ltd
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
    Posts
    15

    Kawasaki EN500 problem update

    My local Kawasaki Dealer picked up my bike today with a big van truck with a power lift today. He had just picked up another motorcycle for repairs.

    The bike he picked up was the exact same model as mine. The driver said that the owner was having the same problem as my bike!

    I checked the Kawasaki web site for recalls on the EN500 and none are listed. I ride my bike 2 or 3 times a week. It has about 3 gallons of fresh gas in the tank.

    The dealer will phone me when they figure out what the problem is and I will come back here and let you all know.
    Last edited by 7seas; 09-22-2008 at 02:54 PM.

  7. #6
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    2007 Kawasaki 500 Ltd
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
    Posts
    15

    Got bike back

    Picked up my bike yesterday at the dealer. The mechanic said that the ethanol 10% in the gas Sunoco 91 octane was messing up the vent seals or tubes on my gas cap.
    He ordered a new one from Kawasaki for me and he should have it in about one week. Then I can ride over and he will install it (2 screws) while I wait. Don't know how long the new one will last hopefully longer than the original but it is covered by the warrenty.

    He said if the bike engine stops in the mean time just open the gas cap and let it vent, then it should run OK for a while.

    Going for a ride tomorrow about 50 miles keeping my fingers crossed that I make it back home.

  8. #7
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    '10 Kaw Vulcan 900 Custom
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    8,717
    Quote Originally Posted by 7seas View Post
    Picked up my bike yesterday at the dealer. The mechanic said that the ethanol 10% in the gas Sunoco 91 octane was messing up the vent seals or tubes on my gas cap.
    That's almost the biggest load of crap I've ever heard.....almost.

    I'm sure that Suzuki would like to know that their gas cap vent is not compatible with gasohol
    AND
    You are wasting money putting 91 octane in your bike. It might actually run better on regular.
    Wonder why the "ace" mechanic didn't tell you THAT ??
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  9. #8
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    2007 Kawasaki VN500
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by 7seas View Post
    While cruising down the interstate my engine will die one cylinder at a time. Pulling off the road I put the petcock on prime then reserve. After much cranking - battery almost dies the engine fires up. Ride it home 25 miles and all is fine.
    This has happened to me 3 times so far. Any tips to what my problem is?

    Is there a recall on this petcock?
    I have a 2007 VN500. First time: After 64 miles constant running the engine quit running, after choking it started, ran 10-15 miles, stopped again. Started again with choking, 5 mles further, quit again. After 6 times I gave up.

    Dealer said bike ran fine. They said battery cable was loose causing bike to stop. Silly of me to expect the dealer to be able to fix it.

    Three days ago it did all of the above again, starting at 65 miles.

    Based on what I learned from the expensive service manual the prime petcock setting bypasses the fuel and vapor control system furnishing fuel direct to the carbs. There is no OFF or NONE setting on the petcock, just ON, RES and PRI. The vapor control system is defective and fuel stops flowing after all the components get nice and warm or hot.

    I'm going to remove the seat and tank and get to the bottom of this. Maybe permanently bypass the problem area, huh?

    I'll post findings.

    Bob Hutchinson
    Houston

  10. #9
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    2007 Kawasaki VN500
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by 2008@paq.net View Post
    I have a 2007 VN500. First time: After 64 miles constant running the engine quit running, after choking it started, ran 10-15 miles, stopped again. Started again with choking, 5 mles further, quit again. After 6 times I gave up.

    Dealer said bike ran fine. They said battery cable was loose causing bike to stop. Silly of me to expect the dealer to be able to fix it.

    Three days ago it did all of the above again, starting at 65 miles.

    Based on what I learned from the expensive service manual the prime petcock setting bypasses the fuel and vapor control system furnishing fuel direct to the carbs. There is no OFF or NONE setting on the petcock, just ON, RES and PRI. The vapor control system is defective and fuel stops flowing after all the components get nice and warm or hot.

    I'm going to remove the seat and tank and get to the bottom of this. Maybe permanently bypass the problem area, huh?

    I'll post findings.

    Bob Hutchinson
    Houston


    Kawasaki Vulcan 500 dying problems - 2007, 2008 and maybe earlier.

    After studying the owners manual and the service manual I removed the seat, speedometer console and removed bolts holding the tank to the frame. Without removing fuel and vacuum hoses I could get the tank out of the way for a serious inspection.

    Left carburetor vacuum hose is supposed to operate the vacuum fuel valve (petcock). This is a safety devise probably required by DOT or some other agency. Its a take-off on requirements for racing equipment today. If engine stops running fuel stops flowing from the tank. So, in ON or RES position this device is a vacuum controlled on-off valve. In PRI position it is a manually controlled valve just like motorcycles have had for 100 years. The Kawasaki manual nomenclature suggest Danger is lurking if valve is left in the PRI position and the bike were to lay over on its side. Fuel would leak from the carburetor. I wonder if motorcyclist knew about this during the past 100 years.

    I believe I now will consider that:
    ON really means mostly ON, fuel mostly flowing if motor running, means OFF if motor not running.
    RES really means mostly RES, fuel mostly flowing if motor running, means OFF if motor not running.
    PRI means any fuel in the tank will for really sure flow to the carburetors.
    If the bike attains its natural position, horizontal laying on its side, fuel may leak out of the float type carburetors and Im responsible for turning the valve to ON to stop the fuel flow. Remember, its kinda like clicking START to turn a computer OFF?

    Other:
    The hose you see attached to the right side of the fuel valve is the only fuel route to the carburetors.
    The vacuum hose attached to the right side carburetor provides vacuum for the fuel vapor control system.
    Tank is supposed to hold 4 gallons. Use the trip odometer and remember the old Harley Davidson rider expression - DPG dont pass gas.
    Will the VN500 go 200 miles on a tank? Maybe. 250?

    Bob Hutchinson
    Classic Motorcycle Association
    2008@paq.net

  11. #10
    Top Gear ! Full Throttle!
    My Bike(s)
    2010 Hayabusa... a black one... the fastest colour
    Location
    Perth WA
    Posts
    5,209
    Yet another of the Jap modifications that were not really needed a fuel tap that is automatically on...the worst problem I ever had with the crappy British fuel taps was mild leakage no matter what positon. Early jap taps were great then.....vacuum operated ones came along. Most work fine and if Kawasaki are having problems with theirs they should fess up and fix them.

    Right! (getting off box and going back to work)
    Smoke me a kipper I'll be home in time for breakfast

  12. #11
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    '04 Kawasaki Vulcan 500
    Posts
    1
    I have an '04 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. I have put over 2,000 miles on it since I bought it. I just started having the same thing, drivnig along and it died on me. I pulled over, made sure that there was gas in it. I had to choke it to get it to start. went on to where I was going and didin't have any problems.
    Then about a week and a half to two weeks later it happened again. Twice in a mile and a half. I was thinking maybe the fuel filter is dirty or the air filter is dirty. Is there a fuel filter on it and where is it located? Also how hard is it to change the air filter?
    Plus, and I know that this will sound stupid, (this bike didn't come with a manual when I bought it), on the fuel switch, how do you tell what position it is in? The switch has a short end and a long end on it.

  13. #12
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    2007 Kawasaki VN500
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by tabatha31okla View Post
    I have an '04 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. I have put over 2,000 miles on it since I bought it. I just started having the same thing, drivnig along and it died on me. I pulled over, made sure that there was gas in it. I had to choke it to get it to start. went on to where I was going and didin't have any problems.
    Then about a week and a half to two weeks later it happened again. Twice in a mile and a half. I was thinking maybe the fuel filter is dirty or the air filter is dirty. Is there a fuel filter on it and where is it located? Also how hard is it to change the air filter?
    Plus, and I know that this will sound stupid, (this bike didn't come with a manual when I bought it), on the fuel switch, how do you tell what position it is in? The switch has a short end and a long end on it.
    Long part of tap handle to rear of bike for prime position. Leave it there. No more trouble.
    2008@paq.net

  14. #13
    Newbie
    Posts
    1
    I don't know if this is the problem, but I have 2 of these bikes and my 08 was doing something similar. It ended up being the vent on the gas cap. I was over filling the tank and the vent was clogged and as I ran the bike it would create a vacuum lock in the tank. Discovered the problem when I took the fuel line off and nothing would come out then just on a whim opened the gas cap and whosh! I don't fill the 08 all the way up. About a half inch from the bottom of fill collar and hasn't done it since. Dealership had no clue.


 

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