WET bike problem - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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WET bike problem

Hello everyone, I hope I'm posting in the right section.

I had some problems with my V (stuttering etc), solved over a year ago by cutting air intake hoses and adjusting the TPS.
But about a month ago, I went to service and wash my bike after winter. I cleaned it well, changed oil, cleaned the dirt at the front sprocket, I checked the spark-plugs (they were about 12000km old), put new air filter....
After I put everything back together I took it for a quick shakedown ride, but it started to stutter and the FI light came up. Also the exhaust was smelling like old eggs. Ok, I found the error and fixed it quick, it was the vacuum hose that unhooked itself when I was messing with the airbox. When i re-hooked the hose, the engine started well and it rode like a charm.
After a while, when it cooled down, I went to wash it, and I washed it the same way I washed it over the passed 3 and a half years (no problems ever). When I was riding home the engine felt shaky and it couldn't work on it's own at idle speed. The exhaust was smelly again and the sound of the engine felt like something is wrong with the spark plugs, or with the fuel supply. I went home, and next morning I took it apart to change the spark plugs. The problem was gone, or so I thought. Everything was ok until the next visit to the washing service. Again after washing the bike, it rode well for about 10-15 minutes and it started to choke. I went home and checked the cable connections, every joint was ok except one cable that had a bit of water in it. I cleaned it well with the contact spray, connected it and the engine felt alive again.
The problem didn't occur anymore when the bike dried. It also didn't occur during rainy rides, until today. It is now giving me a headache even during rainy day, as it becomes un-rideable at low speed, because it chokes, stutters.... I am out of ideas where to look for a problem, and the solution. I was talking to the service center over phone, they think it might be something with the electrical system, but there is no authorised Kawasaki service near me with the correct diagnostic equipment to check my V. I was thinking that spark plug coils may be the problem (but they are never wet and I don't wash the area around the engine itself), but after checking them with the ohm-meter, I found them to be ok, and the mechanic I was talking to is sure it's not the problem.

Did anyone had a similar problem, or anyone has an idea what to look for and how to fix this "wet" issue.

Versys 08 - black + Kappa 49l topcase + H&B crashbar + Xenon HID kit
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 08:47 AM
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Fill a plant mister bottle with water and mist all the coils and spark plug wiring. Do this in the dark with the bike running and look for arcing.

Also use dielectric grease on the spark plug connectors to prevent corrosion.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Fill a plant mister bottle with water and mist all the coils and spark plug wiring. Do this in the dark with the bike running and look for arcing.

Also use dielectric grease on the spark plug connectors to prevent corrosion.

this could lead to finding a solution if the problem is within the coils, but i don't think i will see arching if the problem is somewhere in the earlier stage of the ignition, where there is only low voltage at the connectors.
i'll surely try it anyway. thanks!

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 09:39 AM
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I'd pull the bodywork and start checking the wiring harness for areas that appear to be chaffed. I'd also pull all the connectors apart and check for corrosion. Then apply liberal amounts of dielectric grease to the connections and reassemble.

Another thing you might look for, is rodent damage. Sometimes those pesky little critters will start chewing the heck out of things when a bike has been sitting for a bit undesturbed.

Last edited by ec90t; 05-07-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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i'll definitely check everything, although it's hard to be rodent damage, because my bike rides almost every day (all year).

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 10:28 AM
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If you ride a lot in the winter, then you definitely need to inspect all the connections. I don't know if they use any sort of snow melter on the roads over there, but that stuff is corrosive as heck. I don't ride much in the winter for this very reason. I don't have a heated garage so it makes washing the bike to get all the salt off a major pain in the arse.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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If you ride a lot in the winter, then you definitely need to inspect all the connections. I don't know if they use any sort of snow melter on the roads over there, but that stuff is corrosive as heck. I don't ride much in the winter for this very reason. I don't have a heated garage so it makes washing the bike to get all the salt off a major pain in the arse.
fortunately, I live in area where snow falls once in 5 to 10 years, so there is no snow melter on the streets, but all the connections are going to be well inspected and treated with contact spray or wd40 and dielectric grease. still, it is cold during the winter and yes, i ride my bike even if the temperature falls below -10 degrees C.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 07:15 PM
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Don't wash the bike :-)
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 07:36 PM
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spray everything electrical with this...http://www.corrosionx.com/ma_use.html

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 08:10 PM
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Easy things first, I would check my battery cable connections, make sure they are snug and no corrosion. Water can get inside the area cause there are small holes above the rear tire where you and passenger sit. I have considered plugging those up with silicone.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 09:47 PM
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Did you inspect your coils thoroughly when you had them in hand? They may be cracked.

http://homepages.slingshot.co.nz/~sh...ml#Question_13
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 03:23 AM
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When the stuttering occur again, spray some WD-40 onto the plug area and other suspected area (electrical wires, joints). It would help you find the faulty area.

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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right this morning I am about to try to find out what is causing the problem. First I'll remove the bodywork, and then I'll try to spray small amounts of water on some suspicious areas hoping to find what's causing the problem.

Thanks everyone for the ideas!

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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This morning I had some time to spend with my bike. It was still a bit wet, but it could run almost without problems.

As I was working on it, I took a few pictures and videos to show what was going on.

While the engine was still running fine, I sprayed water on the coils and the area around them...... It made no difference, it was running fine.

Then I sprayed the area around the fuel pump connectors (under the seat).... running fine, no problems there.

After I sprayed the TPS and it's cable and connector, it stared to feel jerky. I thought it was the problem, but still I took apart the bodywork, took down the fuel tank and was ready to check all the cable connections around the engine.

I took the airbox down, it was dry inside.... All other connectors were looking good, some of them were dirty from mud, but the inside was looking clean and well. Nevertheless, I cleaned everything with WD40, contact spray, and I dried it with compressed air. The only thing I didn't check was the box under the passenger seat, but it looked clean and dry. The box under my seat was maybe a bit wet, but I could not notice any moisture in the connectors.

After I cleaned everything I took the dielectric grease and applied it to all joining parts of the connectors, and while I was connecting them I felt resistance, so I think the grease sealed all the joints well. I was cautious not to grease the leads in the connectors.

I also found the TPS leads outer insulation cracked a bit, so I replaced the damaged part with new insulating tape.

When I put everything back together, the engine fired up nicely, and I took it for a test ride. It was good, but I had to check if the "wet" problem was gone. I took it to the washing service, and washed it like I usually do. Then I rode it for about 15-20 minutes (the time when the problem usually started to show up), but nothing strange happened - the bike drove easily and I got home with the smile on my face.

Here is a link to a little movie I made this morning, so you can see a little of what was going on.
The wet problem in the video was not so severe as yesterday, but was still noticable at the beginning of the movie. If there are many grammar errors, excuse me for making them, as this is not my native language.



Once again thanks to everyone, I hope the problem is solved permanently.

Versys 08 - black + Kappa 49l topcase + H&B crashbar + Xenon HID kit
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 09:58 AM
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I hope it stays fixed so you can enjoy the bike a bit more.

I'd say it was the TPS wire with the cracked insulation that was the main culpret. It was probably sending some weird signal to the computer, but not weird enough to trip the FI warning light.

Good on you for taking the time to diagnose what was going on and how to fix it
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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I hope it stays fixed so you can enjoy the bike a bit more.

I'd say it was the TPS wire with the cracked insulation that was the main culpret. It was probably sending some weird signal to the computer, but not weird enough to trip the FI warning light.

Good on you for taking the time to diagnose what was going on and how to fix it
FAIL! the problem is back, and so is my decision to sell the crappy bike right after I pay the repairs at the official Kawasaki in Croatia. I have had problems with it almost since day 1 and I have had enough of it. I'll try to find used Honda Transalp, as I don't believe in Kawasaki anymore.

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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 10:53 PM
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Don't blame it on Kawasaki. Your problems are most likely your own fault.

Did you buy it used? Did you install your crash bars (pinched crankshaft position sensor wires) and HID yourself, and was it done correctly? Does your FI lamp still go on when it happens? If so, have you checked for trouble codes set in memory?

Last edited by invader; 05-09-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Don't blame it on Kawasaki. Your problems are most likely your own fault.

Did you buy it used? Did you install your crash bars (pinched crankshaft position sensor wires) and HID yourself, and was it done correctly? Does your FI lamp still go on when it happens? If so, have you checked for trouble codes set in memory?
It bought it new. I installed crash bars together with the mechanic, nothing damaged, checked twice. It was making problems even before HID was on the bike. The FI lamp doesn't go on when the problem occurs.

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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Don't blame it on Kawasaki.
actually, I blame in on the TPS sensor. I found that it has changed its default value. After it was adjusted and the bike was working well during the first half of the day, I checked its value when the engine started to hickup - the output voltage was lower then the voltage I set it to according to the manual, and the sensor did not move from its position. After I adjusted it once again, it works fine, but still I'm not happy, because the mechanics here are so stupid and they cannot find the real cause to that.
I compare it to the scratching noise of the worn potentiometer in the hi-fi amplifier: it works, but sometimes it makes noise when you want to change the volume. I think it's from the water moist or something similar, but I could not prove it while the bike was still under warranty. Every time I was at the mechanics I was talking about it, but no one believed be, because they only believe what they see at the diagnostic PC.

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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 09:27 AM
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Could it be a faulty TPS sensor. I wonder if there is a way to check it.

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