I would suggest getting the battery load tested
I can get with your methodology - I am an electrical engineer myself.
I mentioned above that it does not ever happen on cold start. The only time I have experienced it is right after a stall out. As soon as I hear it I let off the ignition button because it is a disturbing sound, and it is loud and distracting enough that I can't tell if the engine is actually turning over or if it would start if I stayed on it. I'm also often facing uphill with cars behind me so it's difficult to spend a lot of time in the moment in diagnostics mode. Usually after a try or two, I might pause a couple of seconds and then it will crank cleanly. But it's only a few times that this has happened, so it's tough to say what is causal and what is coincidental.
I'm thinking the starter as well, but was hoping to find others who might have experience with something similar. I'll go through the threads you referenced.
The only other item of note is that the battery is original from 2011. The prior owner conditioned it regularly (Battery Tender), but I'm sure it has to be nearing the end of it's life. That said, no problems on cold start and this happening after the stator has been doing its thing. Also, the original stator failed some time ago for the original owner and was replaced under warranty.
. At a certain point the battery becomes a continuous load, also at least 2 people have had similar experiences with a cell shorting after starting, only happened on a warmed up bike.I would need to dig to find that thread.
My 07 had gone 7 years on the OEM battery, but after stopping, the battery voltage would drop to 12.4 VDC after 10 minutes. Replaced with a Yausa AGM battery for $60 , same as original, I did a post on batteries, two versions exist by Yuasa, the more expensive one has more plates
and a higher cranking
amp, be aware the plates are thinner
and expect it to fail sooner, as you can cram only so much in the same case. Also there is no need for a higher cranking amp for the Versys.
My second guess would be the engine ground, as this is aluminum and is subject to expansion , I found my 07 had a corroded engine ground and many others the same, use scotch brite pads and then a good dielectric grease, you should also check your frame grounds, especially the ones on the foot brake side near the seat / gas tank mounting bracket, this is more for the ECU and some of the electrics depend on the frame for the minus connection ( yes the ECU does this, possibly to reduce electrical noise ).
One of the links had a starter clutch failure, this is extremely rare, in fact in over 10 years on this forum, it happened only 1 time. My money would be on the battery 1st and the engine ground 2nd.
Since you state it starts 10 out of 10 tries cold, or to that effect, it definitely isn't the start solenoid.
A post with a possible starter solenoid problem https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...w-battery.html