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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2011 650 is new to me, and I've stalled it a few times mostly while dealing with hills in SF at low speeds. One thing I've noticed is an awful grinding sound at times from the starter when I try to start again. I think most times the bike stalled because I was in 2nd gear instead of 1st so I imagine it is in 2nd still if that matters, but clutch lever is pulled fully. It sounds like bolts in a blender and it might do it a couple of times before finally starting up cleanly. This doesn't happen every time I start after a stall, but it's happened maybe 3 times in the last 3 weeks. It's never happened when starting cold. I've searched the forum and other Kawasaki forums for similar sounds but haven't found what I'm hearing. Bike is at 37,300 miles and had it's major service completed recently. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
 

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Sound like intermittent contacts somewhere in your starter system since you can crank start it. Check wiring for lose contact.
For the confusion on gear selection , why not install a gear indicator, that way you will be sure on which gear shift you are in and no more stalling.
 

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Details

I spent over 40 years trouble shooting electrical, so something like telling a doctor you have a pain, you need to supply as much info as possible.
This sound, does it ever happen from a cold start, first start of the day? Does it happen after cooling off for half a hour? Is the motor turning over with this sound ? The starter in these bikes is a one way clutch https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/192205-post12.html This is the thread
https://www.kawasakiversys.com/foru...nasty-noise-start.html?highlight=starter+type

Also addressed the start solenoid here;https://www.kawasakiversys.com/foru...te-new-battery.html?highlight=starter+problem

Starter is ;https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/74-how-forum/219395-starter-sprague-clutch.html
Where I would start, if it only happens after hot, have you cleaned your engine ground, this is a common problem. Second, the start solenoid has known to fail, as this carries the highest current on the bike, it is more likely to happen on a cold bike. More detail would help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I spent over 40 years trouble shooting electrical, so something like telling a doctor you have a pain, you need to supply as much info as possible.
This sound, does it ever happen from a cold start, first start of the day? Does it happen after cooling off for half a hour? Is the motor turning over with this sound ? The starter in these bikes is a one way clutch https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/192205-post12.html This is the thread
https://www.kawasakiversys.com/foru...nasty-noise-start.html?highlight=starter+type

Also addressed the start solenoid here;https://www.kawasakiversys.com/foru...te-new-battery.html?highlight=starter+problem

Starter is ;https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/74-how-forum/219395-starter-sprague-clutch.html
Where I would start, if it only happens after hot, have you cleaned your engine ground, this is a common problem. Second, the start solenoid has known to fail, as this carries the highest current on the bike, it is more likely to happen on a cold bike. More detail would help.
I can get with your methodology - I am an electrical engineer myself. :smile2:

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.
 

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I am the least mechanical here, but would it matter if the OP did not turn off the key, then key back on, then let system re-pressurize (as in let the speedo count thru it's sequence until it is clear) and then restart? I DO realize that this happens in the absolute worst places/times and feel your pain (like the time I fell over at a stop light). Hopefully the best mechanical moderators will say if this might have anything to do with your problem. Good Luck.
 

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I can get with your methodology - I am an electrical engineer myself. :smile2:

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.




I would suggest getting the battery load tested . 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/foru...eak-sounding-starter-despite-new-battery.html
 

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Your description sounds like the gears are not meshing. If that is so, either the gears are screwed up or the starter isn't properly extending the shaft out far enough to get the gears to engage.
 

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Your description sounds like the gears are not meshing. If that is so, either the gears are screwed up or the starter isn't properly extending the shaft out far enough to get the gears to engage.
Our bikes do not have a shaft to extend the starter gears see the above posts on a sprang clutch.
Try to duplicate it someplace where you are not in such a hurry. Like your driveway. Observe what is happening with the bike. Indicators , lights dimming, motor turning over, noise is the solenoid clicking, just the first push of the starter button after stall or several attempts?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Our bikes do not have a shaft to extend the starter gears see the above posts on a sprang clutch.
Try to duplicate it someplace where you are not in such a hurry. Like your driveway. Observe what is happening with the bike. Indicators , lights dimming, motor turning over, noise is the solenoid clicking, just the first push of the starter button after stall or several attempts?
As much as I hate to rush to judgment, the noise is almost certainly not the solenoid clicking. I know that buzzing/clicking sound well enough. (EDIT: I looked back and now realize that's not what you were suggesting anyway)

So far I notice nothing except the grinding. No light dimming, no "strain" to turn over. It sounds like I'm pushing a blender button with a handful of nuts and bolts inside the blender. It might happen just once but it might also do it 2 or 3 tried before it clears. I do think it is likely the starter gears grinding so perhaps something is off with the starter clutch. But I'm going to rule out the battery first and then look into the starter a bit when I have time.

Thanks for all the thoughtful replies so far, folks!
 

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I think you got my point. It is real tough to trouble shoot something with a SUV trying to push you through an uphill intersection in downtown San Francisco as soon as the light turns green.

Good luck and stay calm. Work your way through the problem and work on your technique to not stall in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think you got my point. It is real tough to trouble shoot something with a SUV trying to push you through an uphill intersection in downtown San Francisco as soon as the light turns green.
^ Just replace SUV with Prius, Tesla, or Maserati
 
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