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I have a 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 classic with fuel injection. Under hard acceleration the engine sputters and dies but immediately recovers if I let off the throttle and accelerate more gently. This occurs in all 5 gears but at freeway speeds the bike will only do 70 MPH; opening the throttle further causes the engine to sputter and die, and releasing the throttle causes the engine to immediately recover. In short, the engine is behaving as if it is starving for fuel under high load conditions. What could be wrong?

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Disassembling the tank and removing the fuel filter revealed it to be almost completely plugged with dead insect parts- so the engine was indeed starving for fuel when required to produce real power. Replacing the filter completely solved the problem.

Note that it is common to "bury" the fuel filter and pump inside the fuel tank in vehicles with fuel injection. This unfortunately makes it a major task to replace the filter when it gets plugged up!

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  • Great followup and reducing/eliminating second guessing. 23 years without filter replacement may have been overlooked as time passed.
    – F Dryer
    Aug 16, 2023 at 0:33
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    @F Dryer, indeed. Also it did not help that the previous owner had passed away several years before the bike came up for sale, and no one had ridden it in the meantime. Aug 16, 2023 at 7:07

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