I've been finding oil drops under my bike for the last few weeks. I removed the plastic lower guards to have a look. Lower area up to about 3/4 of the height of the water-pump area was wet, and oil was present underneath the sump, etc. Wiped it off and got sockets to check for anything loose. Everything was tight, so I tightened the oil filter a bit, and re-wiped it all down.
Today I figured to revisit the issue as more oil drops were showing up after rides, so off came the lower guards and I wiped everything down. As I tried to figure where it could be leaking from (and planning on removing the water pump and associated STUFF....
), I guess I got an "electric light bulb" moment thinking how air-flows in that area while riding - MAYBE it IS the filter, and they're cheap, so off it came and on went a new one. (I use ST7317 filters from WalMart. They suggest to hand tighten till contact, then another 3/4 turn which is what I've always done, but I knew that Kawasaki mandates 13 ft. pounds of torque, so I got out my torque wrench, and set it.)
I hand tightened it till contact, then added the filter wrench and torque wrench - by the time I got the "click" at 13'/# I had turned the filter ANOTHER ONE AND THREE QUARTER TURNS, a total of 2 1/2 turns after contact! I ran it, topped up the oil, and we'll see what happens. Right now, an hour later, the area is still dry.
I'll add to this post once I see whether or not I've fixed the problem, and IF I have, this'll just be a "heads-up" for any others here.