Suddenly Tough to Start - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Suddenly Tough to Start

2009 Versys, bought new in 2010.
39,300 kms (24,500 mi)

Last week I could not start the bike. Failed to catch on first push of the starter then the starter just clicked on the next trys. No power, dead battery. Jump start from car worked, got the bike home.

Original battery, 4 years old now, so I bought a new OEM Yuasa battery, charged overnight and installed.

Since then, nearly every time I start the bike, it takes 2, 3, or 4 pushes on the starter for the bike to start. Each push of the starter generates cranking power, the battery seems to have plenty of juice (as it should).

The bike runs fine once it starts. No stall, nothing unusual. Since the new battery went in I have:

-gone for a 5 hour 300km ride, stopping once for lunch
-commuted to work twice (13kms each way)
-went for a short test ride today.

That was 6 cold starts, all of which required multiple pushes on the starter. When the bike is warm, it starts first push easily and immediately.

Last thing:
Canadian specs say Valve Check at 42,000 kms, which I am now closing in on. I read a ton of Valve Check threads here today, but that did not help with this question: Is hard starting a symptom of valves being tight?

Any other ideas?

Always trust your cape.

Last edited by ATYC; 05-11-2014 at 05:43 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 02:09 PM
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Invader will know better but I was thinking about the spark plugs? Not sure about hard start because of tight valves?





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Last edited by MTS; 05-11-2014 at 02:11 PM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 03:04 PM
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Invader will ask if you have the idle adjustment set at 1300 RPM - a good question.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATYC View Post
2009 Versys, bought new in 2010.
39,300 kms (24,500 mi)

...Is hard starting a symptom of valves being tight?

Any other ideas?
I would think it COULD be. A 'tight' valve could be holding OPEN rather than being closed, giving very LOW compression.

FWIW - quite a few of us checked our valves early (did the GREEN HORNET's at 10,888 kms, and found SEVEN out of eight right at the TIGHT end of the range, the eighth just marginally looser), so MY suggestion is to DO THEM...! (And I set mine for the LOOSE-end of the range....)

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 05:38 PM
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My valves are up for a check, 15,000 miles I was told by the shop. I did my KLR at 5,000 mile at all four were on the tight side. Just a hint when you do the first check write down what thickness shims are where( What intake valve, exhaust valve) the manual has them laid out and KEEP this some where safe. In the future as you check the valve you can do the math and get the right shin before you pull the cams and all by knowing the values in the motor. Save a lot of work and I hate having my motor open to the world for a week.

That said I don't see it being a valve. Why would a dead battery cause a valve to suddenly tighten up like that? I an guessing that it started without a problem before the battery died? I'm not sure what's going on but someone will know and hopefully be along soon.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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Last edited by Time; 05-11-2014 at 05:42 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 05:51 PM
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ATYC-

Yes, it would start better with perfectly adjusted valves, as well as synched TB's which are due. How old are your spark plugs? Check also your coils for corrosion. Is your normal warmed up idle speed set to 1,300 rpm, as it should? Are you using regular gas with 10% ethanol, and how long did it sit in the tank for?

Last edited by invader; 05-11-2014 at 10:14 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the responses.

@ Invader:
- Spark plugs are 19 months old, with 15,000 kms on them.
- My start idle is 2,000. It drops to 1,100 when warmed up.
- I use regular gas. I don't know what the ethanol count is here in Ontario. The tank was full over the Winter with Sta-bil run through the system. Since I took the bike out of storage (March 30th) I have run about 700kms and filled up twice, so it's all fresh gas now.

I am able to adjust my idle up to 1,300. I'll do that if you think it's a good idea.
I don't know how to check coils for corrosion, any help?

And (as far as I know) the battery was only filled and charged when I took delivery on the bike, not while it sat on the showroom floor, that's why I figure it was 4 years old.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 07:07 PM
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I wonder if you bought a 2 year old new battery? Get it load tested.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATYC View Post
2009 Versys, bought new in 2010.
39,300 kms (24,500 mi)

Last week I could not start the bike. Failed to catch on first push of the starter then the starter just clicked on the next trys. No power, dead battery. Jump start from car worked, got the bike home.

Original battery, 4 years old now, so I bought a new OEM Yuasa battery, charged overnight and installed.

Since then, nearly every time I start the bike, it takes 2, 3, or 4 pushes on the starter for the bike to start. Each push of the starter generates cranking power, the battery seems to have plenty of juice (as it should).

The bike runs fine once it starts. No stall, nothing unusual. Since the new battery went in I have:

-gone for a 5 hour 300km ride, stopping once for lunch
-commuted to work twice (13kms each way)
-went for a short test ride today.

That was 6 cold starts, all of which required multiple pushes on the starter. When the bike is warm, it starts first push easily and immediately.

Last thing:
Canadian specs say Valve Check at 42,000 kms, which I am now closing in on. I read a ton of Valve Check threads here today, but that did not help with this question: Is hard starting a symptom of valves being tight?

Any other ideas?
Canadian spec bikes are identical to US bikes except for bilingual stickers on the frame. CA listings in the service manual are for California, which are slightly different specs due to extra pollution controls.

I would do a valve check with your mileage and a throttle body sync immediately afterward as this will affect the sync. Also clean/replace the air filter at the same time.

As for the hard starting I would replace the plugs and check the plug wires. I have almost the same mileage with no starting issues. Always fires on the first push of the button.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 09:44 PM
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I ran into something similar on my V after installing some LED lights. It sounds (and is) pretty dumb- I'd neglected to retighten the negative battery cable. It was on but a little loose. Starts took 2 or 3 goes to catch, but surprisingly ran normally after that. Took me two very short trips to realize and check it. Worth a look under the seat!


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATYC View Post
@ Invader:
- Spark plugs are 19 months old, with 15,000 kms on them.
- My start idle is 2,000. It drops to 1,100 when warmed up.
- I use regular gas. I don't know what the ethanol count is here in Ontario. The tank was full over the Winter with Sta-bil run through the system. Since I took the bike out of storage (March 30th) I have run about 700kms and filled up twice, so it's all fresh gas now.

I am able to adjust my idle up to 1,300. I'll do that if you think it's a good idea.
I don't know how to check coils for corrosion, any help?
New spark plugs would be good now, as well as a valve clearance adjustment, then a TB synch ASAP. Yes, idle should be set to 1,300.

You can inspect your stick coils (Coil-On-Plug) for cracking or obvious corrosion if you replace your spark plugs by yourself:

http://homepages.slingshot.co.nz/~sh...ml#Question_13

Last edited by invader; 05-11-2014 at 10:14 PM.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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So I set the idel up to 1300 rpms. I also noticed there seemed to be too much free play in the throttle, so I tightened that up to spec. This seems to have corrected the issue, bike starts well everytime.

It's in the shop now for valve check, spark plugs, and new chain.

Always trust your cape.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 06:31 PM
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Alternator or stator?

Check the voltage output on the alternator or stator. I had similar issues a couple of years back.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 09:52 PM
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FYI - "Regular" gasoline in Ontario routinely contains "Up To" 10% ethanol. Could be 0%, could be 10% - as long as the corporate annual sales average is 5% for all the gasoline that particular brand sells in Ontario. It is not possible for you to know the exact percentage in any particular batch delivered to a station.

Most refineries in your area (in London, your gasoline comes mostly from Sarnia or Nanticoke) add 5 to 10% to their Regular Gasoline blends at the refinery. Ethanol is NOT added at the station, no matter what you read on the internet!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATYC View Post
So I set the idel up to 1300 rpms. I also noticed there seemed to be too much free play in the throttle, so I tightened that up to spec. This seems to have corrected the issue, bike starts well everytime.

It's in the shop now for valve check, spark plugs, and new chain.
I wonder if the additional play in the throttle cable was affecting the throttle position sensor.

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