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Discussion Starter #1
I wasn't happy to see the oil pressure light start to blink on the ride home tonight. Specificaly, the oil pressure light on my 900 Classic started to blink when I came to a stop and the bike was idling. The light would go dark once I started moving but at idle it would blink slowly at first and then rapidly.

Welcome any ideas or suggestions. I figure I would start with changing the oil, new filter and clean the oil screen change myself and replace the filter, clean the oil screen. I changed the oil, new filter, cleaned the screen at 7500 miles and put in Royal Purple synthetic. I have 10,700 miles now and was planning to change the oil at 11,500, a 4,000 mile interval. I didn't think I was pushing it with that schedule but perhaps I was wrong.

The manual talks about several possible problems if the light comes on. Could be simple or could be bad.


Oil Pressure Warning Light Goes On:


Engine oil pump damaged

Engine oil screen clogged

Engine oil filter clogged

Engine oil level too low

Engine oil viscosity too low

Camshaft bearing worn

Crankshaft bearing worn

Oil pressure switch damaged

Wiring faulty

Relief valve stuck open

O-ring at the oil passage in the crankcase damaged
 

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Check your oil level first. I do hope it is not a mechanical problem...I would rather think it is just an electrical issue or as simple as a low oil level.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The first thing I checked when I got home was the oil level. I called my wife over to look while I leveled the bike. Full of oil - oil is dark black but all full.
 

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Where's your idle speed? Should be 1000 +/- 50.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't have the equipment to check the idle precisely but someone else suggested that the idle might have worked itself lower. I can nudge it up and see if that takes care of the problem before I change the oil. What tool do you use to check idle setting?
 

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I have a Baron's tach, but you can use an automotive diagnostic tach set to 4 cylinder. The only problem with the 900 is it is not a double-fire ignition, so the reading will be half of actual (so you'd be shooting for about 500rpm with the engine fully warmed up).
 

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You didn't happen to wash it resently did you? Mine had the same problem right after washing it. It went away while riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You didn't happen to wash it resently did you? Mine had the same problem right after washing it. It went away while riding.
Wash it? I haven't washed it in a few months - too busy working and riding. All I've done is wipe the chrome with a towel so I guess I'll have to stay focused on the oil or idle issues for now. Can't hurt to have fresh oil and at least I have a 5 day Thanksgiving holiday - should be able to take a couple of hours to play in the garage with the bike.

I do agree that bikes can react badly to washing. I washed my wife's V-Strom and the bike's speedometer jumped all over the place for the rest of that day. Hasn't happened since and I haven't washed it again either.
 

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Hey Larry,
Whew! with that long list of possible problems the manuel lists, I would change the oil & filter/screen and it if the light still comes on I would stop riding and trailer it to the dealer to be checked out.
Good luck and keep us posted...still a new bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks I'll let you know how it turns out. You are right about it still being a new bike - less than 2 years old with only 10,700 miles so far. I think I take good care of it but after a bad stator I really don't want a lot of hassle with repairs right now. Hopefully an oil change, new filter and clean oil screen will do the job along with a check on the idle setting.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well it turns out that idle being too low was the problem, or at least so it would appear. I was able to do a ride today after adjusting the idle setting up a bit. I didn't have a tachometer to check it once the bike was warm but just went by sound. I rode for an hour (a bit nippy in the high forties) and stopped along the way a few times to let the bike idle. No red oil light so it would seem that it was a low idle setting and not an oil problem.

I really don't want to spend $200 for a Baron's tach right now but I guess I should get a timing light with tach or something similar to check the setting is close to the manuel specs. The specs for the Vulcan 900 call for 1000 RPM at idle once the bike is warm. I could be close but won't know without testing it somehow. Hopefully the oil light won't come on again while I am idling if I get it about right.
 

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Hopefully it's ok now...noticed it was not none of the manuel's possible problems but I do not trust that manuel (ex: tire pressures too low, 3.9 qts. of oil, not mentioning/showing oil screen near kuckstand etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hopefully it's ok now...noticed it was not none of the manuel's possible problems but I do not trust that manuel (ex: tire pressures too low, 3.9 qts. of oil, not mentioning/showing oil screen near kuckstand etc.)
Rained today in DC so I didn't ride to work but I'll let you know if the red light problem pops back up. It is funny that a low idle setting is not mentioned as a possibility in the trouble shooting section of the manual under oil pressure light but the idle was one of the first items that people on the forums suggested I check.

The service manual is nice to have but definitely doesn't hold all the answers. Fortunately I have access here to lots of people with more bike mechanic experience than I possess - although I suspect some people may have an opinion and others have opinion that is rooted in fact and experience. ;)
 

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The manual doesn't mention idle because it assumes that the basic operating parameters are correct, thus, it is going to assume that something is broken.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The manual doesn't mention idle because it assumes that the basic operating parameters are correct, thus, it is going to assume that something is broken.
Not sure the manual writers are quite so intuitive. The basic operating parameters assume you have sufficient oil in the bike but the trouble shooting section still lists "Engine oil level too low" as one of the possible problems to explain why the oil light might come on. No reference anywhere in the service manual linking the idle setting with oil pressure.

You were one of the first to suggest checking the idle setting which would not have occurred to me otherwise. Not something I would have considered so I appreciate the tip. As long as the idle adjustment appears to take care of the red light (which it has so far) I will hold off on my oil change until I hit at least 4000 miles on the Royal Purple synthetic that I'm using right now.
 

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I have a Baron's tach, but you can use an automotive diagnostic tach set to 4 cylinder. The only problem with the 900 is it is not a double-fire ignition, so the reading will be half of actual (so you'd be shooting for about 500rpm with the engine fully warmed up).
Rich: I just ordered a Barons tach and it should be in on Friday of this week. The kit is supposed to contain the adapter for the single fire ignition. Got a heck of a deal since they advertised a 25% discount over Thanksgiving weekend. What was your installation time? Are the instructions pretty clear and easy to follow?
 

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I didn't need the single fire adapter on the 1600. Installation was less than an hour. I made all 4 connections at the right coil... just lifted the front of the tank enough to loosen the coil hold-down nuts.

Connections are hot, ground, lighting, and tach signal.
The coil has +12 and tach signal, and I used the coil mounting lug for the ground... tied lighting in with the hot.
 

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Got the Barons tach installed over the weekend. Took about an hour partly because the rear allen screw on the handlebar mount just would not go in very easily and because the 900 is a single fire ignition, which means more wires. Had a small problem with the ground. Tried to use the coil mounting bolt but it did not work, so I had to lengthen the wire and run it to a better chassis ground. Have not run it yet because of the weather, but hopefully that will change between now and the weekend. Tach is heavy, and appears to be well machined and finished. Instructions are pretty clear as long as you take your time.
 
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