Question about 1999 kawasaki VN 1500 Vulcan Classic

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  • nickels428 May 11, 2010

    Does the motor crank?  Is it cranking slow?  How did you test the spark?   What did it do/act like before this problem came up?

  • Rob Selvy
    Rob Selvy May 11, 2010

    Can you please give me the symptoms that brought the "no spark" issue on? I'd like to know a few things so we can successfully troubleshoot the problem and hopefully get you running again:

    • When did you first notice the bike had no spark?

    • Were you riding it and it quit or has it been sitting and now has no spark?

    • How have you tested the spark? These bikes emit a very weak looking spark at low rpm's so if you are in daylight and are simply grounding a spark plug against the head you may not see it.

    • Have you checked all the usual culprits? I.E. On / Off switch on the handlebars, the ignition switch, and have you made sure the small wires going to the coil were not unplugged?
    Please try to give me as many details as possible so I can further assist you. The more you tell me the more I can do to help you.


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  • 13 Answers

Without more information, my guess is I would clean your battery cables, most important one is the ground cable under the bike just in front of the rear tire.  Also how old is your battery.

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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You need to check for a spark. There are a few ways to do this. The easiest way is to remove the spark plug and put it back in the spark plug cap. Then ground it to the engine - you should be able to lay it against a non-painted portion of the engine. Make sure there is good metal-to-metal contact. In a semi darkened area, attempt to start the scooter. You should see a definite spark at the tip of the spark plug. It's hard to see in direct light. If the color of the spark is blue, that means it's a strong spark. A white color is less strong, and a yellow color is weak. Most scooter starting systems are a bit weak (compared to cars). Even a yellow spark should start your scooter just fine.
The spark must occur at the right time. Just about all scooters made since around 1980 have an electronic ignition. These systems can rarely be set. In general, the spark occurs just before the piston reaches the top of it's stroke. There is a slight delay between the spark plug fire and the fuel-air mixture ignition. That's why the spark occurs a little early. Most ignition systems have an advance unit build in. As the engine speeds up, the time of the spark retards a little bit. This helps the engine fire the mixture at the proper time.
Install a new spark plug (especially if the engine is a two stoke). Clean or replace the air filter as necessary. The carb, air cleaner, and exhaust pipe are all carefully tuned to work together. Most scooters absolutely WILL NOT run correctly if any of these parts are changed in a haphazard manner!
Double check all connections, then crank your scooter for 10-15 seconds. Did it start? Do you hear any popping? It should sound like the engine is trying to run. Most scooters will not start if you apply throttle while cranking. If the scooter catches, but doesn't start, let it rest 15 seconds before trying to start it again.

hope this helps


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I would recommend you first to examine the spark plugs , replace them if necessary and try to start it.
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