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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Long time Kaw owner

Hello to all. Right now, I am struggling with getting my 87 ZL1000 started. Plugs/petcock/fuel filter are new and carbs are cleaned and adjusted. Bike cranks hard but doesn't fire. I"ve gotten it started in the past (with extreme difficulty) but not anymore. Anyone deal with a similar problem?
Also, I am thinking of getting a mint 1994 Vulcan 88, but will use the bike to tour with a few times a year. It has only a 4 speed and I am wondering if I will find it suitable for that, given that the transmission was developed during the 55 mph era. Travelling at 55-60 mph on today's interstates seems to put you somewhat at risk. Thanks to any who can address these issues.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 02:45 PM
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Location: Sherkston, Ontario
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Had similar problem with a vintage bike of 80's, drove me crazy, one of two problems, coil or CDI if equiped. Remove one plug at a time , leave connected to plug wire, ground plug against engine, try to start, watch for spark or color of spark if any. No spark could be coil, way to check is find one to replace it with and test again. same for CDI, it can't be tested only replaced. Also check with local dealer to see if the model had a recall for a CDI in the past, it may not have been done.

75 Kawasaki KS 125 Enduro (Working on restoration)
81 Honda CB 400 T (restored)
82 Honda Goldwing Standard G 1100 ( restored)
83 Honda CM 450 E (restored)
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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OK.. Thanks. I'll check the coils next.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 05:10 PM
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You didn't say how many miles are on the bike but I would do a compression test to see if the engine is okay mechanically. how long has it been since a valve adjustment?

1985 Kawasaki ZN700 Shaft, 4cyl
1989 Yamaha Venture Royale
2007 Yamaha Royal Star Venture
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Hello. Bike has 16k on the clock, and that seems accurate, given the excellent cosmetic condition. I have heard that valves in need of adjustment can affect the starting of these bikes, but that is a last resort, given that I will have to take it to the shop for that, and then the whole sh** show probably begins. Thanks for replying to my post.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 09:46 PM
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If the compression is good, the valves are probably ok. Spray just a little starter fluid in the intake and see if it starts. If it does the problem may be fuel related. If it doesn't start, it may be ignition. On a old bike, it is a good idea to remove the seat and tank and disconnect and clean all of the electrical connections you can. Use some electrical contact cleaner.

1985 Kawasaki ZN700 Shaft, 4cyl
1989 Yamaha Venture Royale
2007 Yamaha Royal Star Venture
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