My Vulcan pops fuses and I can't find the cause

There are some electrical gremlins that seem to get occasional mention on the Vulcan forums and lists. Some cause fuses to blow, with others the engine just won't start. See if you can find your circumstance here:

I just did some work on the bike (washed, added risers, removed the windshield, adjusted the bars or grips) and now the engine won't start. The answer to this one is as near as your left hand (and has already been mentioned under the heading 'no start'). Look under the clutch reservoir and you'll see a switch and either a wire seemingly connected to it or the wire and connector are dangling free. Just plug the connector back in and try again. This particular connection is frequently the cause of a non starting bike. One of the fuses (sometimes even the main) keeps blowing. I know there's a short someplace but can't find it. If you have done wiring under your tank then there is a chance you've dislodged the main harness which runs from under the seat to the front of the bike. Some of those wires go into the headlight bucket, others to the ignition switch, horn, fan and so forth. If that harness is not properly zip tied to the frame it can drop down and rest atop the rear cylinder. Eventually engine vibration and heat can rub away insulation causing a short.

Another common location is under the rear fender. This happens a lot when owners have worked on turn signals and haven't gotten all the wiring secured under the clips. Part of the harness will rub against the tire, remove insulation and when a bump is hit the bare wire strikes the underside of the fender. Bam, another blown fuse. I was riding and suddenly the bike just stopped running. I have plenty of gas and oil. There are some documented cases of ignition switches failing. This is especially true with after market switches but has happened with the stock switch as well. When disassembled owners find one of the internal connections has a broken solder joint. The cause? Unknown for certain but it's thought the solder joint melts when too many high powered accessories are connected directly to an ignition driven circuit. This is why it's a very good idea to wire spotlights, air horns etc to their own circuit. I just installed a new headlight bulb or did some work inside the headlight bucket and now my headlight doesn't come on when I turn the key on. You really wouldn't believe how often this happens but the fix is simple.  Hit the starter button.  The Vulcan headlight circuit doesn't come alive until the starter button has been pressed and released (theoretically the engine has started and the battery is now being charged).
Last Updated: Thursday, August 09 2018 @ 10:42 AM PDT