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After turning on the key and waited for the FI to prime up - at the press of the start button, a click was heard, lights dimmed but the engine isn't cranking. Been having this intermittently over the past 2 years or so, but easily resolved by turning the key to OFF and repeat the whole process. At first it only happens once in a long while so i ignored it.

However over the past 3 months, this has been happening much more frequently, and the last straw was over last weekend that i had to try a few rounds of the process to get the bike fired up, each and every time i stop the bike.

over my searches in local versys owners FB group, i was made to understand that it is due to the starter relay premature failure. While it is not happening in huge numbers that would warrant a recall, nonetheless it is common enough for owners to take note of this issue and reminded others to replace it if the need arise.

The cost of the said starter relay here, original kawasaki's part, costs us around 70USD, not inclusive of labour.

yet, thanks to the local group, i was made aware of an alternate option that only cost 1/10th and the replacement is pretty much easy and straightforward, that a mechanically and electrically/electronically retarded person like me could complete.

i will share in my next post on how i went about changing the starter relay. while this is child's play for most of you, but i believe this thread could benefit those who are not used to doing any works on their own bike. like me.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The alternative starter relay that was mentioned, is a unit meant for 2 models of 110cc Yamaha scooters, Ego and Nouvo. at RM25.00 (about 7USD) it is cheap enough for me to attempt it (already tried and tested by some other versys owners, but well, i wouldnt believe it untill i tried it myself)



The starter relay is located behind the left side frame cover. hidden behind another piece of plastic cover.



Take off the covers and this is what you'll see



Relay unit is being held by a rubber boot mounted under the seat tray. you may pull it off the cover for easier access to unplug the square wiring connector



Once the square connector is unplugged, pull off the rubber cover to the back to reveal the two main power lines with terminal ends held by allen bolts.



disconnect the lower line first, then preferably wrap the exposed end with tapes or anything that is non-conducting. you wont want the two lines to touch each other, which would result in the engine trying to crank up.

squirt some wd-40 or equivalent, if you find it hard to unscrew the allen bolt, as in my case.
 
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Once the stock relay is taken out, i proceeded to dismantle it and compared it side by side with the nouvo relay. old one on the right, new one on the left. the new one came with a rubber boot that you may remove and discard, and 10 amps fuse (red).

both relays looks identical to each other on the outside, one would've thought they're exactly the same relay unit! but look closely, and you will notice a slight difference on which side of the relay has the live fuse holder in (the other fuse is a spare)







comparing the two relay units from outside







However i have no way to say for sure whether the innards are the same or if the have the same resistance values etc etc. but hey someone else used it and has not been complaining, so it must be working!

However knowing that the sides of the live fuse are diffeent on both relays, i have decided to just swap out the metal connectors and use the stock configration.



Swap completed and reassembled! make sure you re-use (or you can also use a new fuse, your pick) the 30 amp (green) fuse on the new relay.



For reinstallation, just do the reverse of dismantling, starting by mounting the above powerline, followed by lower line, square connector and reinsert into the rubber boot.



bolt the covers back on and test fire your bike! mine fired up right away without the problem. it's alive!!! it's allliiiveeee!!!!

however it is still too early to tell. i will be riding this weekend and whether this relay change did solved the problem, we will get the answer. if the same thing repeats, then it could only be the battery, which was unchanged since the bike rolled off the shop.

Thanks for reading!
 
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Once the stock relay is taken out, i proceeded to dismantle it and compared it side by side with the nouvo relay. old one on the right, new one on the left. the new one came with a rubber boot that you may remove and discard, and 10 amps fuse (red).

both relays looks identical to each other on the outside, one would've thought they're exactly the same relay unit! but look closely, and you will notice a slight difference on which side of the relay has the live fuse holder in (the other fuse is a spare)







comparing the two relay units from outside







However i have no way to say for sure whether the innards are the same or if the have the same resistance values etc etc. but hey someone else used it and has not been complaining, so it must be working!

However knowing that the sides of the live fuse are diffeent on both relays, i have decided to just swap out the metal connectors and use the stock configration.



Swap completed and reassembled! make sure you re-use (or you can also use a new fuse, your pick) the 30 amp (green) fuse on the new relay.



For reinstallation, just do the reverse of dismantling, starting by mounting the above powerline, followed by lower line, square connector and reinsert into the rubber boot.



bolt the covers back on and test fire your bike! mine fired up right away without the problem. it's alive!!! it's allliiiveeee!!!!

however it is still too early to tell. i will be riding this weekend and whether this relay change did solved the problem, we will get the answer. if the same thing repeats, then it could only be the battery, which was unchanged since the bike rolled off the shop.

Thanks for reading!
I would suggest next time to disconnect the positive battery terminal.
The reason for the fuse holder switch is one side is line and common to the main fuse the other heavy wire is to your starter. You would have found out, the minute you made connections. Also I would suggest you check your engine ground.

The starter relay bypasses the main fuse on starting.So whatever the wiring can supply from the battery will go through those starter contacts.

Looks like lots on Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Starter-Solenoid-Relay-YAMAHA-KODIAK-400-YFM400-2000-01-02-03-04-05-2006-ATV-NEW-/270945277123

And yes, excellent WU:thanx:
 

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Thanks for the great write up. My bike will occasionally fail to start (usually when warm) but it's not been frequent enough to bug me yet. Good to know there is a simple and cheap fix.
 

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Nice write up. always good to know about alternative solutions.

Yep as OneWizard has said...
RULE 1 : DISCONNECT BATTERY

Although they look identical, you may find that internally they might not handle the same Current draw. OEM uses 20A fuses and the cheaper Relay comes supplied with 10A. That is a big difference is power draw. It would be nice to see the insides to compare if cheaper means cheaper solenoid, thinner tracks and wires inside.
 

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Nice write up. always good to know about alternative solutions.

Yep as OneWizard has said...
RULE 1 : DISCONNECT BATTERY

Although they look identical, you may find that internally they might not handle the same Current draw. OEM uses 20A fuses and the cheaper Relay comes supplied with 10A. That is a big difference is power draw. It would be nice to see the insides to compare if cheaper means cheaper solenoid, thinner tracks and wires inside.
Just so everyone understands, that main fuse IS NOT in the starter circuit, it is 30 AMP, item 10 in the starter drawing,and it is bypassed on start up. Also the link on ebay had 30 amp fuses supplied.

Check manual drawing , starter circuit page 542 drawing# 16-54

If I had just clicking when trying to start, I would check my connection on the starter relay, also at the starter, and also the engine ground, and make sure the starter bolts were all tight, as the starter depends on the metal frame of the starter for negative ground.
 

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I suggest checking your engine battery ground closely. My '12 suddenly developed unusual starting and running problems because of it failing.
I also added another ground wire from negative post to frame while I was at it.
 

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I would suggest next time to disconnect the positive battery terminal.
The reason for the fuse holder switch is one side is line and common to the main fuse the other heavy wire is to your starter. You would have found out, the minute you made connections. Also I would suggest you check your engine ground.

The starter relay bypasses the main fuse on starting.So whatever the wiring can supply from the battery will go through those starter contacts.

Looks like lots on Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Starter-Solenoid-Relay-YAMAHA-KODIAK-400-YFM400-2000-01-02-03-04-05-2006-ATV-NEW-/270945277123

And yes, excellent WU:thanx:
That Caltric starter relay is a very popular choice, as they do sell many at that low price... It has nice brass eyelets, and already has 30A green fuses. :thumb:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Starter-Solenoid-Relay-YAMAHA-KODIAK-400-YFM400-2000-01-02-03-04-05-2006-ATV-NEW-/270945277123?rmvSB=true
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would suggest next time to disconnect the positive battery terminal.
Thanks and yes, it is an honest mistake that didnt cross my mind that time. I should have disconnected the battery first if i am to work on anything electrical on the bike.

Had a ride out today where i have stopped at least 7 times. And each time i started again, the engine fired right up. Looking good so far.
 

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If I had just clicking when trying to start, I would check my connection on the starter relay, also at the starter, and also the engine ground, and make sure the starter bolts were all tight, as the starter depends on the metal frame of the starter for negative ground.
Thanks, will lookup this guide if my bike fails to start up again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ni
Although they look identical, you may find that internally they might not handle the same Current draw. OEM uses 20A fuses and the cheaper Relay comes supplied with 10A. That is a big difference is power draw. It would be nice to see the insides to compare if cheaper means cheaper solenoid, thinner tracks and wires inside.
If the solenoid housing isnt sealed, i would have open it up for a look. I am concerned that this cheaper relay may not be constructed the same as the stock relay. Nevertheless we wouldnt know how far it could get unless we try, no? A lil' bit of experimenting would yield surprising results, occasionally. Who would've thought an R1 shock could be a good replacement if that someone didnt try?:interesting:
 

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I had a failing starter relay issue too recently on my 09 V -55k- but the symtoms where quite differents.

First time it appenned on the road while riding at low speed. I had a sudden acceleration. Pulled the clutch and stopped the engine.

Restarted the engine and continued my way to the office. Then riding back home on the highway, I started to hear a strange noise from the engine.

Fortunutely I could made it home. Stopped the engine and set the key back to the 'on' position. The engine was trying to start even without hitting the start button.

It ended up being the starter relay freezed 'on'. I did order one from RM Stator which cost me 40$ door to door. It was not listed as a Kawasaki item but I could recognize it looking at the image. It took about 20 minutes to replace.

Definitely this is recall material and Kawasaki should take their responsability and start recalling their bikes, IMHO.
 

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I suggest checking your engine battery ground closely. My '12 suddenly developed unusual starting and running problems because of it failing.
I also added another ground wire from negative post to frame while I was at it.
I did this as well, however the engine ground is far more important, most of the ignition system relies on this, plus there is a frame ground and alternator ground tied together. In reality the wire from the battery to frame is for charging the battery, except when you have stator failure or regulator failure, EVERYTHING is powered by the stator, except at idle, during unusual heavy loads ( high beam and fan running), only during this time do you use the battery ground.
 

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Inspired by this thread, I also got a new ready-to-install Caltric relay for a friend's 2009 Ninja 250R. It operates but does not relay power to the starter. Starter runs fine when jumping B to M terminals with screwdriver as depicted in this thread, onewizard: :thumb:

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83881

Original solenoid would arc and power the starter inadvertently... It's strange that a new Caltric solenoid would click when powered, but be dead like andrewthf's original one was.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/270951690733?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

I might try this one instead: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Starter-Relay-Solenoid-For-KAWASAKI-VN800-VULCAN-800-ZX600-NINJA-ZX-6-EX250-250R-/151184251000?hash=item2333489878&vxp=mtr
 

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Inspired by this thread, I also got a new ready-to-install Caltric relay for a friend's 2009 Ninja 250R. It operates but does not relay power to the starter. Starter runs fine when jumping B to M terminals with screwdriver as depicted in this thread, onewizard: :thumb:

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83881

Original solenoid would arc and power the starter inadvertently... It's strange that a new Caltric solenoid would click when powered, but be dead like andrewthf's original one was.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/270951690733?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

I might try this one instead: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Starter-Relay-Solenoid-For-KAWASAKI-VN800-VULCAN-800-ZX600-NINJA-ZX-6-EX250-250R-/151184251000?hash=item2333489878&vxp=mtr
I can't believe the price of these things, well we know where it is made but-------------never thought I would see the day that shipping cost more than the part :eek:
 

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I can't believe the price of these things, well we know where it is made but-------------never thought I would see the day that shipping cost more than the part :eek:
well... i get that all the time when i buy stuffs from US or Europe. but oh what the hell, if i want it badly, i would just buy it.
 

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Once the stock relay is taken out, i proceeded to dismantle it and compared it side by side with the nouvo relay. old one on the right, new one on the left. the new one came with a rubber boot that you may remove and discard, and 10 amps fuse (red).

both relays looks identical to each other on the outside, one would've thought they're exactly the same relay unit! but look closely, and you will notice a slight difference on which side of the relay has the live fuse holder in (the other fuse is a spare)







comparing the two relay units from outside







However i have no way to say for sure whether the innards are the same or if the have the same resistance values etc etc. but hey someone else used it and has not been complaining, so it must be working!

However knowing that the sides of the live fuse are diffeent on both relays, i have decided to just swap out the metal connectors and use the stock configration.



Swap completed and reassembled! make sure you re-use (or you can also use a new fuse, your pick) the 30 amp (green) fuse on the new relay.



For reinstallation, just do the reverse of dismantling, starting by mounting the above powerline, followed by lower line, square connector and reinsert into the rubber boot.



bolt the covers back on and test fire your bike! mine fired up right away without the problem. it's alive!!! it's allliiiveeee!!!!

however it is still too early to tell. i will be riding this weekend and whether this relay change did solved the problem, we will get the answer. if the same thing repeats, then it could only be the battery, which was unchanged since the bike rolled off the shop.

Thanks for reading!

Hi Andrew, thanks for the nicely written down ..a lot of info...and I follow your suggestion + I ask my friends as well....just want to double confirm. I manage to do it + start up my bike. Original part cost MYR300++ but Yamaha Nuovo/Ego MYR80++ or MYR50 for compatible part for Yamaha...

Thanks again..thanks a lot
 
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