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Discussion Starter #1
So I stopped for gas this afternoon and when I went to start the bike ('08 Versys) there was nothing when I hit the starter button. Symptoms:

Engine does not turnover...the starter button has no effect.
Lights and clocks and driving lights all work, no sign of battery problem.
Lights do not dim when starter button is pushed.
No clicking as if the starter was not getting sufficient juice.
Starter has always worked great until today.
Moved the kill switch a few times, no effect.
Put the sidestand up and down a few times, no effect.

A helpful truck driver gave me a push and it pop started no problem. I rode 40 miles home without issue. In my garage, symptoms are the same.

I'm thinking either bad starter solenoid, bad starter switch or maybe a bad sidestand switch (although that wouldn't be an issue if the bike's in neutral, which it was). I don't have time to take a look for a couple days so I thought I'd see if anyone has experience with these symptoms or may have another idea.

What's the easiest way to access the starter solenoid?

(BTW, I just posted the other day that in 6 seasons with the Versys I have had zero problems. Make that one.)
 

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When the bike is running and you tap the starter it will make a sound and the lights dim. The same is true when not running and starting.

I would jump the switch just to make sure its not the switch! First!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did you try to start it in neutral without holding the clutch lever in?
I did. No start.

I alternated trying to start in neutral/in gear, clutch lever in/out, no change.
 

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Hey Bones,
Have you determined that the starter motor turns when it gets power? That is what I would first seek to determine. Do you have a stand that will get the back wheel off the ground?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got up early today to get this figured out. Started by checking the starter relay, there was 12v across so no issue there.

OK, Bones, where does the problem start to exhibit itself? When you push the starter switch nothing happens. I took apart the right switch pod, doused the starter switch contacts with electrical contact cleaner, and VROOM!

Problem solved!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Interesting note: the Kawasaki shop manual has the starter relay described as being under the RIGHT REAR FRAME COVER. Nope...LEFT side as Hoghead points out above. Yamadog and I were on the same page regarding diagnosis. Great minds think alike? Gracias.

My friend Gary, a long-since retired Honda technician and as skilled a wrench as I know, helped instill in me the notion of "start looking where the problem exhibits itself," so thanks to Gary, too.
 

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Got up early today to get this figured out. Started by checking the starter relay, there was 12v across so no issue there.

OK, Bones, where does the problem start to exhibit itself? When you push the starter switch nothing happens. I took apart the right switch pod, doused the starter switch contacts with electrical contact cleaner, and VROOM!

Problem solved!
So, the contacts were just dirty?
Man I am glad it was an easy fix, those electrical tracing problems can be a pisser. Good for you Bones.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What I should have done (that I will do this evening) is to put a dab of dielectric grease on those contacts.
 

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Good job Bones... I was riding my ST1100 at night a couple of years ago and switched from low beam to high beam and BOOM!!! No headlights at all...
Rode it home (thankfully through the city with plenty of street lights) and it too ended up being a switch pod.
A large dose of aerosol contact cleaner and some electric contact grease fixed things and saved me a hundred bucks.
It bears opening those things up every couple of years and doing a bit of preventative maintenance.
 

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This happened to me on a group ride several months ago. We stopped for a little rest, then the starter button just didn't do anything. It took about 10 minutes of fiddling, tapping, etc on various places, then the button started to make very weak contact. A try or two later and I was rolling! That night I bought a can of WD-40, blasted that in around the switch, and have had zero problems since then.
 
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