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Old 10-08-2009   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 19
Vulcan 1500 backfire, popping, and cracking pipe problem...

In the past several weeks the motorcycle has started to backfire, pop, and crack from the top pipe on the motorcycle. The motorcycle is a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic (VN1500E7), carburetor, with Vance and Hines Classic II pipes. The V&H Classic pipes were added about two years with rejetting the carburetor and the motorcycle has been riding great from that time. Absolutely no backfire, popping, or cracking.

Over the last several weeks I have put in new spark plugs, checked all fuses, put in new exhaust header gaskets, which the gaskets were using OEM Kawasaki gaskets. Never had a problem until three weeks ago. I checked the bolts on the exhaust and they were tight (as never had any of these problems in the past). I installed the Harley-Davidson screaming eagle exhaust gaskets (PN: 174098-98) from the OEM Kawasaki exhaust gaskets, and and there is not much different unless it is my easing on the throttle to try to avoid the popping and cracking.

I checked and tighten up the bolts on the pipes, not sure if I can tighten them any tighter. Still the pipes pop, crack, and backfire. I found it is only the top pipe where it backfires, unsure if this helps or indicates a particular problem. Some friends that I ride with mentioned that when the motorcycle pipes pop, cracks, and backfires, it is from the top pipe. I also removed and put back in the marbles in the reed valve as mentioned on Gadget's web site. I had the marbles in there just as long as the pipes were changed on the motorcycle.

After more researching and talking to other riders that have worked or have knowledge of such problems, the problem may be the manifold intakes gaskets. The backfire, popping, and cracking is only on the top pipe, the rear cyclinder, and possibly the one or both gaskets are leaking air.

Hopefully over the day or two I have the time to check the manifold intakes gaskets to see if they need to get replaced.

I'm not mechanic, however, I have been taking the time to research this problem and trying to figure out how to remove the carb from the motorcycle. This is all new to me and seems interesting, just with I knew more about the carb in removing it from the motorcycle faster.

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