Doesn't start, yet it does if jump-started - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Doesn't start all the times

Well, to provide a bit of context, I drained the battery twice, once with the heated grips left on about 2 months ago, and once by leaving the key on while working on wife's bike, about a week ago. I am not sure that this has any connection what so ever with the current issue, but it is the only thing that malfunctioned, well, not the bike

So, 3 days ago tried to start the bike, but it didn't. The engine was turning, lights on, but nothing. Tried 3 times, then I jump-started, thinking that the battery did not recharge enough just by running the bike around. It fired up right away like nothing happened. I did not think of it since, figured it must have been the battery. So I charged the battery on low for several hours, thinking that this is the end of this issue.

But, today, while doing a Saddle Sore run, it did not start again in the afternoon. Same engine turning, lights, etc. I had the heated jacket and gloves plugged in, but during the night. The accessories were turned off for several hours when that happened. So, I was lucky to find someone with cables and jump-started the thing again. It fired up right away, after which I turned it off and started on its own

Any ideas where to look and what for?
Thanks

Last edited by allriding; 06-04-2009 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Title change
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 07:58 PM
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Yes, It could be that your cables are not cleanly connected to your battery. Clean and tighten them and you should be good to go.

Have similar issue with a Buell and a KLR that reside in my garage.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 08:37 PM
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Something gone loose. Check your battery and fuses connections.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I did check the battery, fuses, etc, basically all I could get my hands on without taking the gas tank off before jum-starting the bike last time.

What bugs me is that I don't see how a loose connection can be bypassed by jump-starting the bike...
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 10:14 AM
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you may want to load test the batt, too. does it "catch" the second you let off the starter button? are the hot grips on a switched circuit? FI/electronic ign. bikes seem to be sensitive to the state of charge more so than old school bikes, or maybe they're just tighter and require more amperage....
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 02:01 PM
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Yep, I would have to say its the battery. It could be that the battery isn't charging back up to the point it needs to run the bike. I would say unplug everything that isn't standard on the bike and make sure those aren't causing the issue. Also, check to make sure your bike is actually recharging the battery. If all else fails, buy a new battery.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to have the battery tested, still a mistery to me why it didn't start just twice. Today it started just fine...
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 02:41 PM
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if its not charging your looking at a Generator, Im hoping for your sake its just a loose wire , get back on the road and ride ASAP!

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allriding View Post
What bugs me is that I don't see how a loose connection can be bypassed by jump-starting the bike...
Neither did I. I checked em by wigling them and all seemed ok.

I was in total denial when I had the HD dealer come with the trailer for the Buell because I was sure he was the dumbass.

Turns out I was the dumbass. Had I taken the time to actually disconnect the battery cables, wire brush them and reconnect them with decent tourque like he told me I would have saved a lot of grief.

My dealer believes that when you are dumb you should suffer and he charged accordingly.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 10:33 PM
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on SV's it was common practice to loctite the battery screws...and since the V is more vibey than the SV, it's probably not a bad thing to do on the V, either.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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To answer the previous posts, yes, the bike starts right away, when it does start. Yes, I took all connections, battery included apart and checked them all again. It made me realise that I need a fuse box...

Update: the battery is good, but that's not good news to me...

Which means that something else is not... It makes me wonder if something tricks the bike into not figuring that the start cycle is done and over...I had the no start again, and after couple tries it fired off unassisted. Don't get it, battery's good, generator charging, fuel pump priming or at least buzzing when key turned on, FI light on and off, yet bike will not start only to fire up after. And I didn't even go through my regular bike repair procedure, kick-the-tire-maybe-bike-starts thingy...

Is it possible to measure something when the bike doesn't start in order to eliminate possible culprits? Does it mean anything that the no starts are usually after I ride the bike for a while? Although I had the no start once, after the bike sat for a day.

Thanks for the feedback everyone
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 11:26 PM
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Just thinking out loud, maybe its the starter switch. I have come across this proble before....

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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 10:37 AM
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Your two deep discharges probably toasted the battery, especially if it sat discharged for any length of time the first time. Small batteries just will not tolerate that kind of treatment. The fact that it starts OK from another battery kind of confirms it.

You need a relay setup for the heated grips so they turn off when the ignition's turned off.

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 01:33 PM
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I'm thinking Starter switch is a remote possibility as at is turning over but couple of guys have had fuel pump solenoid and or pump problems which sound remarkably similar.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 01:41 PM
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A bad cell in the battery could pull the voltage down far enough that either the ignition or injectors wouldn't fire. Once it's jumped the voltage becomes high enough to function everything.

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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 02:57 PM
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Are you still under Warranty?
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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking Starter switch is a remote possibility as at is turning over but couple of guys have had fuel pump solenoid and or pump problems which sound remarkably similar.
First off, thanks everyone for their input Second, if I had warranty I would not bother you guys

Third, it is the fuel pump, somewhat... When it doesn't start the fuel pump is not priming, I didn't catch that before, well, it had to be pointed to me because I didn't know what to listen for. I still don't know how the jump-starting is connected to this.

Funny part is we don't know yet what is causing that. Is it a wire that has a short, is it that relay-box-thingy? Tried the wires and couldn't find a short, well, not yet anyhow. For now I have the white connector bypassed for the power wire, so we can eliminate that. If it will still do it, then it could be that relay box thingy, or the wires themselves. Problem is it's not fun getting in there and replacing those wires. But, if I gonna have to...

What's weird is that the bike runs perfectly, except that it won't start sometime, which means that the electrical is providing 12V after the bike starts, but in some cases it doesn't allow power to the fuel pump for priming. We couldn't provide a direct source of power to the fuel pump since the priming doesn't stop with a direct connection.

So, anyone knows the code for the relay, or an aftermarket option?

Last edited by allriding; 06-03-2009 at 08:57 PM.
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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 09:02 PM
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from http://www.cyclemaintenance.com/elec/electrical.htm

Trouble-Shooting

Your bike doesn't start at all

First - when you put the key in and turn it to the ON position, do the lights come on? If not, there definitely is a problem with either: the ignition switch or switch wiring, the battery, the battery connection (either end of the wires / terminals), your main fuse or fuse wiring. Trouble-shooting this problem is just a pain in the rear. Always start simple: unplug everything electrical, clean it all off, then plug it all back in. I would then put a known working battery in, and hook one end of a volt meter up to the ground of the bike and take the other end and trace the positive (+) line until I found a bad connection. This would be one of those "buy the manual" issues.

CHECKING THE STARTER "RELAY"
The starter relay's function is to take the small current switch of your starter button on the handlebar, and close another (larger) switch that lets a large amount current go the the starter motor. It (usually) has 4 terminals on it. Two of them are the smaller, low current (or low "tension"), and the other two are high current (high tension). Many motorcycles have other safety devices that may prevent the bike from starting. I can't address all of the variations here, so I will assume that they are working/you have tested them.

I'm assuming that when you turn the key to "ON" the lights come on quickly and nice and bright (that's a poor man's way

Assuming the kill switch is on RUN (you did check that, right?), when you press the START button, do you hear the relay "CLICK?" If you don't, the problem may either be with the wiring leading to and from the relay, or it may be a bad relay. Here's how you test the relay after you've determined you didn't hear any click (assuming your battery is charged): Disconnect the thick wire that goes from the relay to the starter motor (it's usually bolted to the relay). Hook up each of your multimeter probes to the two high current leads on the relay to test for continuity (Ohms) Turn the key to the "ON" position and the kill switch to the "RUN" position and be sure the bike is in NEUTRAL. Press the starter button. If the relay "clicks" and the meter reads 0 (zero) Ohms, the relay should be ok. If you heard no click or the meter doesn't read real close to 0 Ohms, let go of the start switch. Disconnect all wires from the relay (mark them so you know where they go back on). Measure the resistance between the two low current leads (where the small wires went) on the relay, if it's infinity, the relay is probably bad. If it's zero (literally) then the relay is probably bad. Check your service manual to find out what the resistance is supposed to be if you are still curious. Ok, so your relay is probably ok. Now what? GET THE SERVICE MANUAL! Due to the different ways relays can be designed, I would have a difficult time steering you from here.


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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 11:34 PM
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battery help

here are some really good articles about battery maitenance, charging, troubleshooting and especially how killing it dead a couple of times can effect performance, which I think is your problem
http://www.yuasabatteries.com/literature.php
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:06 AM
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I'm thinking it's the battery too... How many amps was it charged at 'low', for how long and how many times? 1 amp is enough for the small battery, and charging should be stopped as soon as it's fully charged. Acid turns to water when battery is fully discharged, accelerating corrosion and rendering it prone to freezing damage in cold enough temperatures.
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