Fueling Issue - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Fueling Issue

I was hoping you guys might be able to help me with my odd fueling problem on my 2009 Versys. First, the story of how the problem came about.

I ride my Versys at least 50 miles per week, usually much more, and perform all of the maintenance on time or early. I was out on a ride last week with some friends through the twisties to grab some ice cream and the bike was running great. After having our desserts we started back along a state highway, leisurely cruising at 50mph. About 3 miles into the return trip my engine simply cut off and refused to restart, so I coasted to a stop in a parking area. We proceeded to tear the bike apart for over an hour but could not find anything wrong. There was plenty of electrical power and the motor kept cranking just fine the whole time. The fuel pump would activate and prime the system properly upon turning the key on, but would not pump additional fuel while cranking (tested with the fuel line spraying into a bottle, so maybe this was due to the pressure sensor?). All fuses are good and all electrical connections seemed solid. We then noticed that if the bike sat for a few minutes while taking parts off it would start up just fine and idle like normal. It would even rev without issue, but then after 20-30 seconds it would slowly die of fuel starvation (this is my gut feel of what was causing the engine to die based on sound and plenty of experience frantically reaching for the reserve fuel petcock on older bikes). It was getting late in the day so I just had the bike towed home and thanked to guys for helping me try to fix it. Once home I threw the battery tender on it because of all the attempted starting I did and went to bed. The next day I went out and started the bike to listen a little more closely while calm and rested, but it just kept idling and working fine until I got bored and turned it off. I then rode circles around town within easy pushing distance for 45 minutes without issue. I really am not sure where to look now and I don't trust the bike to not strand me out somewhere so I haven't been riding it.

My dad has about 40 years of experience with bikes so I talked to him on the phone. He suggested maybe the battery is going bad and dropping below a voltage threshold while the bike is starting or running that causes the fuel pump or ECU to stop working. His theory is that allowing the bike to sit for a few minutes was allowing the voltage to recover enough to hit the pump once for a priming charge and the bike would then run until that fuel ran out. This sounds reasonable so I have ordered a new battery (currently on original OEM battery). I have been meaning to load test the current battery for voltage sag with a high wattage lithium battery charger, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Has anybody else had similar issues or ideas of what other items I should check?

FYI, I replaced plugs, did oil change, coolant flush, filter cleaning about 1.5k miles ago in April and the fuel in the tank was fresh that day from a trusted gas station.

Thanks
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 07:35 PM
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A couple of years ago, I had a 90cc ATV with exactly the same symptons. Turned out to be a crimped vent hose for the fuel tank. That was a gravity-based fuel system. But it suggests fuel pump problem.

Did you get in FI error signals?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 07:40 PM
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I had a 1996 Chrysler Town and Country behave this way. It acted up for 7 months. I would have it towed to a shop where it would sit a day or so. When they got to it, they could not make it fail. Fuel pressure checked....... etc. After spending some time on a forum such as this one, I found I was not alone. I had the pump changed. No more trouble. I am not saying this is your problem but something to think about.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kswaid View Post

FYI... the fuel in the tank was fresh that day from a trusted gas station.
That does make it suspicious since your problems started only soon after. Do you use regular E10 with 10% ethanol?

It still might be the fuel pump... I guess it hasn't been parked in the rain or washed with the fuel tank overfill/water drain hose pinched or clogged?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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No FI errors were showing while I was working on the bike, but I will kick it into diagnostic mode and see if anything is reported.

The fuel was regular old E10 and I actually just topped it off with 3 gallons, not a whole tank. It has certainly been ridden as well as parked in the rain, but not within the past month. I will check the overfill line more closely, but a cursory look showed no plugs or pinches.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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It just occurred to me that I should use some jumpers to directly power the fuel pump and see if it can pump out a good half gallon or so. If that works I think the fuel pump and any fuel tank venting is then out of the equation.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:58 PM
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If you did encounter the same problem again, try opening up the fuel cap, close it and start up. If it runs, it's a fuel tank venting issue.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 04:23 AM
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If you did encounter the same problem again, try opening up the fuel cap, close it and start up. If it runs, it's a fuel tank venting issue.
I was kind of thinking fuel lock too.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:02 AM
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Same here I was thinking plugged vent....

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Already opened the tank lid on the side of the road without effect.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 12:23 PM
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Sounds more and more like a fuel-pump issue. Either bad pump or power-interruption to the pump,
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well guys, I figured it was time for an update. I installed a new battery and checked everything I could regarding the fuel pump and vent hoses. Nothing was working improperly or plugged up. I have since put about 1k miles on the bike without a hiccup, so I guess I'll just have to trust that it will keep working.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 05:03 PM
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Fuel Pump Replacement

Had the same issue on my 2010 at around 6K miles - just stopped running at 40mph, coasted to a stop, start sequence seemed okay, it just wouldn't start. Ended up replacing the fuel pump - bike was still under warranty so it didn't cost me anything. Dealer had no real explaination as to why this happened.

Now at 15K with no issues. I do add an enzyme fuel treatment every few fill-ups...

2010 Versys - Speedy Lowering Kit, Kawi Gel Seat, MRA Vario Touring Screen, Michelin Pilot Road 3, Powerbronze Hugger, R&G Radiator Guard, PIAA Slim Line Horn, Phillips Motovision Bulbs, Helmet Guardian
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 09:17 AM
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Waking up an old thread, I had the same issue as "lisa" above - riding 40-50mph, bike started surging and seemingly ran out of fuel, coasting to a stop. Had 1/2 tank of quality fuel, vented tank, all connections and hoses seemed normal. Fortunately I was *just* within cellphone coverage after returning from a remote canyons ride, and got a tow home. Got it to dealer yesterday and diagnosis is bad fuel pump. I stupidly purchased the Kawa Good Times Protection Plan, but maybe it wasn't so dumb after all - as I'm hoping it covers most of the fuel pump issues. Incidentally, dealer had done a 15K tune-up just three weeks prior. That certainly didn't cause the issue, but the bike has been properly fueled and maintained. So...fuel pump issues happen.

Someday is not a day of the week.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 01:13 PM
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Picking bike up today from dealer. Fuel pump failed, and Kawasaki is paying full cost to replace it under Good Times Protection Plan, which puts me about even with the cost of the GTPP. Shrug.

Someday is not a day of the week.
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