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I have a 1995 Vulcan 500 w/ approx. 17,000 miles on it, the machine runs fine under throttle but I have a problem while idling. One cylinder (the right side) refuses to idle under no choke, idles okay under full and half choke, but will stall out unless you give it some throttle w/ no choke. So my situation is that the bike normally idles only on one cylinder. I've been careful not to warm it up under no choke idle since I realized this.
This is my first bike so I didn't notice right away and when I did, I assumed that cylinder was not firing at all. I replaced the spark plug and found no change. Having never riden a motorcycle firing on only one cylinder, my next logical troubleshooting step was to make sure this wasn't the case. So i disconnected the spark plug wire on the trouble cylinder and ran the bike down the street only on the good cylinder. Now I know why they say- "you'll know" the bike definatley fires on that cylinder normally. Also I can run only on the problem cylinder too (as long as I keep it from idling) with no apparent change in power. I immediatley suspected a carburetor problem on that side, so I put some seafoam in the gastank and ran through the whole tank before continuing, with no change.
I'm not a mechanic or anything, but I've learned enough about carburetors since I got the bike to know that pilot jet should be suspect. I took the carbs off this past weekend and removed the pilot jets (both sides to compare) and I don't see a difference. I sprayed the thing down with carb cleaner removed and checked the pilot jets and main jets, sprayed those down. Re-installed the carbs with cautious optimism, but still no chage.
I know this post is getting long-winded but I want to give as much history as I can. I looked into the evaporative fuel system, for some reason the parts diagram I have and the images in my Clymer's manual don't match up with what I see on the bike (maybe I'm looking in the wrong place). I have a line running from the fuel tank to nothing, which I was told is a "breather tube". If someone familiar with this bike could tell me this configuration is normal, I'd be relieved to know it. I can take some pictures if anyone is interested I have a feeling I'll be told this is normal.
I'm going to take the carburetor off again and switch the pilot jets from one side to the other and see if that makes a change, any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

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i had a 500 some time ago. You'll need to resync the carbs when you get them back on so that they feed gas to the cylinders in equal proportions.

Running on one cylinder.....got spark? Take the spark plug out of the head, keep it plugged in and move the spark end to a part of the bike like the frame or the block. With the bike in neutral, hit the starter. Got spark? If not, it's your coil for that plug and those parts are easy to find on ebay or your local dealer.

Was the plug to that cylinder dry or wet? If wet, then carbs not synch'd and/or no spark.

Hope this helps a little.
 

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Like I said before, the cylinder runs fine under throttle but does not idle. I even ran it down the street on only the problem cylinder and found no difference in power. The spark looks fine, the plug looks normal.
Does anyone else think I need to re-sync the carbs because I took them out? I don't understand why that would need to be done. I haven't made any changes to the mixture adjustment or anything, this bike has the adjustment locked out because of CA emissions requirements. My last resort will be to take the bike to a dealer and have them go over the carbs it would seem that might solve my problem, but unless the previous owner messed with it I don't think I've done anything to the carbs to make a difference.

OOPS- I don't know why I posted this to cruisers I meant to put it in mechanic's corner where it belongs... I've made a post there intending to replace this thread: http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/mechanics-corner/106390-vulcan-500-one-cylinder-idle-problem.html#post1566657
 

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I have a 1995 Vulcan 500 w/ approx. 17,000 miles on it, the machine runs fine under throttle but I have a problem while idling. One cylinder (the right side) refuses to idle under no choke, idles okay under full and half choke, but will stall out unless you give it some throttle w/ no choke. So my situation is that the bike normally idles only on one cylinder. I've been careful not to warm it up under no choke idle since I realized this.
This is my first bike so I didn't notice right away and when I did, I assumed that cylinder was not firing at all. I replaced the spark plug and found no change. Having never riden a motorcycle firing on only one cylinder, my next logical troubleshooting step was to make sure this wasn't the case. So i disconnected the spark plug wire on the trouble cylinder and ran the bike down the street only on the good cylinder. Now I know why they say- "you'll know" the bike definatley fires on that cylinder normally. Also I can run only on the problem cylinder too (as long as I keep it from idling) with no apparent change in power. I immediatley suspected a carburetor problem on that side, so I put some seafoam in the gastank and ran through the whole tank before continuing, with no change.
I'm not a mechanic or anything, but I've learned enough about carburetors since I got the bike to know that pilot jet should be suspect. I took the carbs off this past weekend and removed the pilot jets (both sides to compare) and I don't see a difference. I sprayed the thing down with carb cleaner removed and checked the pilot jets and main jets, sprayed those down. Re-installed the carbs with cautious optimism, but still no chage.
I know this post is getting long-winded but I want to give as much history as I can. I looked into the evaporative fuel system, for some reason the parts diagram I have and the images in my Clymer's manual don't match up with what I see on the bike (maybe I'm looking in the wrong place). I have a line running from the fuel tank to nothing, which I was told is a "breather tube". If someone familiar with this bike could tell me this configuration is normal, I'd be relieved to know it. I can take some pictures if anyone is interested I have a feeling I'll be told this is normal.
I'm going to take the carburetor off again and switch the pilot jets from one side to the other and see if that makes a change, any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Why don't you take it to a Kawasaki Dealer and for about a hours worth of labor they can fix it. I think you'll keep tinkering until you have it screwed up.
 
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