Hard to Start... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Hard to Start...

Had a situation this morning. I turned the key on with the kill switch in the on position in preparation to warm up the bike for an oil change. A neighbor walked by so I talked with him for maybe 5 minutes, leaving the ignition on but the bike not started yet. Went to start it and it fired on the first two compression strokes, then no more. I tried a couple of short, maybe 5 seconds, attempts, still no firing. Hmmm...

I retreated into the house with coffee cup in hand, to think about all this. I had just installed new sprockets and chain and also replaced the Cameleon chain oiler so I went back out and inspected those areas for something amiss. No luck, fuel tank harness was good and nothing looked out of place. I then hit the starter again After it was engaged for about ten seconds I started to get some weak firing that eventually got strong enough to run. Left it idle for a few seconds, then did a couple of light jabs on the throttle, all seemed good.

So...what happened here? I'm thinking it flooded, but did not notice a raw gas smell, no smoke out the exhaust. I did not have my built in sniffer close to the exhaust, however. It acted like it was flooded and cleaned itself out after the longer cranking. Why would it flood just sitting there with the ignition on? Quirk? Defect? Part of it's "character"?

Mostly just curious as everything seems normal now.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 11:05 AM
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Being fuel injected there is pressurized fuel. I would guess this is the source of flooding. In the good ol' days of carburetors there would be zero fuel flow with zero air flow, but that is not necessarily true with fuel injection.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
Being fuel injected there is pressurized fuel. I would guess this is the source of flooding. In the good ol' days of carburetors there would be zero fuel flow with zero air flow, but that is not necessarily true with fuel injection.
Yeahbut. Should there be fuel leaking through the injectors? Or anywhere for that matter? It would seem odd, but it didn't start right away for some reason.

Further info, the evap canister was removed a couple of years ago.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 03:01 PM
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Steve - maybe a "transient" issue caused by your coils somehow 'overheating'?

Ed
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 03:33 PM
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Pay Attention

If it does it again, pay attention as to will it crank? any warning lights? For some reason the 2015 seems to have a high rate of vehicle down partial or total failure, especially for those parking outside.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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If it does it again, pay attention as to will it crank? any warning lights? For some reason the 2015 seems to have a high rate of vehicle down partial or total failure, especially for those parking outside.
It did crank just fine. I didn't notice anything weird on the lights as the bike was elevated on the lift, on the center stand. Spark plugs replaced and valves checked at 55k miles. Except when traveling the bike is parked inside. I did finally have a tip over on a forest road about 2k miles ago but the bike started immediately after picking it up.

Don't know how it happened for sure but I have to get back to a fuel problem as it fired lightly right away, then no firing until it started to weekly fire and then recover after about 10-15 seconds of steady cranking. Like it flooded and cleaned out or maybe wasn't sending any fuel and slowly recovered from that.

Total or partial failure, what's that about?

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 04:21 PM
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Sure sounds like it was flooded......doesn't make sense though.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 05:32 PM
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Timed Out ECU

Another possibility is the ECU timed out , although the only circuit I know that does that is the vehicle down sensor. Problem with that theory is it shuts off the fuel pump, stick coils and injectors. Since it fired then quit , that blows that theory.One other thing,the fuel pump runs for 3 seconds on keying on then stops , I assume there is a circuit within the ECU that looks at expired time, after say 2 minutes the fuel pump is locked out and a key off and on similar to the vehicle down sensor operation is needed
.Almost sounds like you lost the fuel pump and ran on the pressurized fuel rail , then eventually it came back. Just remember the fuel pump runs for 3 seconds with the key is on,then shuts off, once you get rotation / ignition the fuel pump is continuous , cooling of the fuel pump is through the fuel, if you ever run a pump dead head, you will notice heat build up from friction.My money goes to the fuel pump . You also stated you went into the house, came out later, keying on should have pressurized the fuel rail, keep a eye on the fuel pump.
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Last edited by onewizard; 08-02-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Another possibility is the ECU timed out , although the only circuit I know that does that is the vehicle down sensor. Problem with that theory is it shuts off the fuel pump, stick coils and injectors. Since it fired then quit , that blows that theory.One other thing,the fuel pump runs for 3 seconds on keying on then stops , I assume there is a circuit within the ECU that looks at expired time, after say 2 minutes the fuel pump is locked out and a key off and on similar to the vehicle down sensor operation is needed
.Almost sounds like you lost the fuel pump and ran on the pressurized fuel rail , then eventually it came back. Just remember the fuel pump runs for 3 seconds with the key is on,then shuts off, once you get rotation / ignition the fuel pump is continuous , cooling of the fuel pump is through the fuel, if you ever run a pump dead head, you will notice heat build up from friction.My money goes to the fuel pump . You also stated you went into the house, came out later, keying on should have pressurized the fuel rail, keep a eye on the fuel pump.

The time out thing makes sense, but it seems odd that it took quite a bit of time while cranking to get it to fire.

Interesting behavior.

It popped right off this morning.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 07:49 PM
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Test again

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
The time out thing makes sense, but it seems odd that it took quite a bit of time while cranking to get it to fire.

Interesting behavior.

It popped right off this morning.
You could repeat doing it again, however once it quits. Key off, wait one minute, key on and wait 5 seconds then try, this is the time to pressurize the fuel rail. Just remember the ECU needs several inputs to confirm engine firing to restore fuel pump running, crankshaft position sensor and engine temperature for fast idle, at some point it needs to time out as to fuel pump. A third test would be to key on and leave on for 5 minutes or more, key off without starting, then do the 5 second wait after keying on, all should be normal.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Follow up. After this episode I went to fuel it up. The fuel gauge showed one bar down on the way home. Started it up again and gauge read full. Hmmm...

Fast forward a few days, tried to start but only clicking. Got out the battery jumper and VOM. Did some investigating, the battery was shot. It's over four years old, so no surprise. I had "replace battery" on my preventative list before an upcoming 4k mile trip. I was on a trip so wound up buying a fresh AGM battery at Wally World.

I put on about 600 miles flogging the bike in WV and area, now all is good. It now also cranks over faster, imagine that.

Apparently this all came from a failing battery.
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Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 01:19 PM
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Regulator / Battery Life

Somewhat related as to the shunt regulator is battery life. Something many don't understand. I was recently buying a led brake light used on trailers as I have a gearbrake module and don't wish to change any of my other add ons. I was using our Toyota car, I had a Fluke 189 meter with me and wanted to test this at the store , naturally measuring the current is only useful if you also measure the voltage. I was surprised at the 13.2 VDC at idle and the 13.6 VDC above idle. I wasn't going to bring my scope into the picture but it is related, I have a 4 amp hour battery, so my fast charge puts out 1 amp, which means I need four hours for full charge, if I charge within the scope it takes 24 hours for full charge, using the same 1 amp output adapter, this may be too in depth but here I go, in the case of the scope , it is current limiting so that even with a dead battery it can function, however some use a reduced voltage for charging, which can lead to a reduced capacity / amp hour . Here is the problem, we have a 10 amp hour battery, say starting uses 20 amp for 1 minute = .333 amp hour, which means you need to charge a minimum of 0.3 amp for 1 hour minimum. If you charge below 13.2VDC , it could take several hours to charge the battery, repeating this over a week or more your 10 amp hour battery may be closer to 6 amp hour.
Now the other thing that can happen is over charging, which can be a common problem with the shunt regulator, I have tested several Kawasaki shunt regulator, 2007 , 2008 and 2015, all of them produced a minimum 14.5 VDC and all of them went as high as 15.1 VDC before starting to work /shunt excess voltage ( the shunt is a simple 3 phase rectifier with a shunt circuit to ground, activated by over voltage, a slow increase will produce 15.1 VDC before shunting, which means you could be at 14.9 volts all day, unless you momentarily hit the switch on VDC level, sort of a cut in VDC and a drop out VDC wihch would be 14.4 to 14.5 VDC).
What happens is between the heat of the motor and excess charge voltage , the electrolyte evaporates and your amp /HR capacity diminishes. Using a series regulator, it starts working the instant your stator produces power, and typical volts DC is 14.2 maximum, which explains why my Yuasa batteries last 5 to 6 years on the Kawasaki Versys ( my 07 lasted 6 years and my 2015 is still on the OEM battery)
This is a very basic explanation, many other factors but in reality the worst component of the Versys is the regulator, from what I am seeing it looks like the 2017 1000 ninja uses a series regulator, so Kawasaki is improving things.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Somewhat related as to the shunt regulator is battery life. Something many don't understand. I was recently buying a led brake light used on trailers as I have a gearbrake module and don't wish to change any of my other add ons. I was using our Toyota car, I had a Fluke 189 meter with me and wanted to test this at the store , naturally measuring the current is only useful if you also measure the voltage. I was surprised at the 13.2 VDC at idle and the 13.6 VDC above idle. I wasn't going to bring my scope into the picture but it is related, I have a 4 amp hour battery, so my fast charge puts out 1 amp, which means I need four hours for full charge, if I charge within the scope it takes 24 hours for full charge, using the same 1 amp output adapter, this may be too in depth but here I go, in the case of the scope , it is current limiting so that even with a dead battery it can function, however some use a reduced voltage for charging, which can lead to a reduced capacity / amp hour . Here is the problem, we have a 10 amp hour battery, say starting uses 20 amp for 1 minute = .333 amp hour, which means you need to charge a minimum of 0.3 amp for 1 hour minimum. If you charge below 13.2VDC , it could take several hours to charge the battery, repeating this over a week or more your 10 amp hour battery may be closer to 6 amp hour.
Now the other thing that can happen is over charging, which can be a common problem with the shunt regulator, I have tested several Kawasaki shunt regulator, 2007 , 2008 and 2015, all of them produced a minimum 14.5 VDC and all of them went as high as 15.1 VDC before starting to work /shunt excess voltage ( the shunt is a simple 3 phase rectifier with a shunt circuit to ground, activated by over voltage, a slow increase will produce 15.1 VDC before shunting, which means you could be at 14.9 volts all day, unless you momentarily hit the switch on VDC level, sort of a cut in VDC and a drop out VDC wihch would be 14.4 to 14.5 VDC).
What happens is between the heat of the motor and excess charge voltage , the electrolyte evaporates and your amp /HR capacity diminishes. Using a series regulator, it starts working the instant your stator produces power, and typical volts DC is 14.2 maximum, which explains why my Yuasa batteries last 5 to 6 years on the Kawasaki Versys ( my 07 lasted 6 years and my 2015 is still on the OEM battery)
This is a very basic explanation, many other factors but in reality the worst component of the Versys is the regulator, from what I am seeing it looks like the 2017 1000 ninja uses a series regulator, so Kawasaki is improving things.
Not sure I mentioned it but I do have a series regulator, installed at about 12 to 15k miles. The bike had just over 62k miles on it when the battery died.
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Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 05:56 PM
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Not sure I mentioned it but I do have a series regulator, installed at about 12 to 15k miles. The bike had just over 62k miles on it when the battery died.
This was more for other members as I posted this on another forum. Many factors, heat one of them. I checked my AGMbattery last week while doing other stuff, I know it says to leave the caps on. I found the electrolyte down about 4 oz. total, used a eye dropper to bring to the top of the plates. Made a noticeable difference .
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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This was more for other members as I posted this on another forum. Many factors, heat one of them. I checked my AGMbattery last week while doing other stuff, I know it says to leave the caps on. I found the electrolyte down about 4 oz. total, used a eye dropper to bring to the top of the plates. Made a noticeable difference .
I hadn't even thought of doing that to an AGM battery. I'll have to file that idea away somewhere.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

'15 KLE650LT
'99 Concours(with 234,xxx miles on it), sold
'98 KLR650


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