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Old 09-22-2007, 01:25 AM   #1
zampano
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Could use some help

Im not totally sure if this is the right place for this thread, but I am not sure I want a how to, and I dont want performance or modifications.... needs to be a general technical thread.

Anyway, I have a '97 kawi. zx7r and it suddenly started giving me what I am now thinking is an electrical issue.... but maybe its the carbs?

Anyway, deffinitly some kind of electrical problem because when I switch the key on and move the handle bars, the lights go off and I have to move things around to get them on (newly noticed tonight). The real problem is sometimes trying to start is either VERY difficult or starting from a stop causes it do die. Battery runs strong, and I would guess it not to be a starter problem more because sometimes it starts right up. It is almost like what happens when you try to go somewhere and forget to put the kickstand up.... not that Ive EVER done that.

If this happens to sound familiar at all to anyone I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:59 AM   #2
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Well, there is a forum for this, so your thread will probably get moved there.

Anyway, sounds like a loose connection somewhere for the lights. I would pull the bodywork and check all your connections. Regarding the switchpod and lights, I would pull those apart and re-connect them to make sure you're getting a good connection. Make sure they're clean and not corroded too.

Regarding starting issues, the first thing I would do is look for corrosion on the cables. Sometimes, a little bit of corrosion can run down the insulation and drain power from the battery to the starter relay.

Regarding the battery, don't forget that just because the headlights may burn brightly, it doesn't mean that there is enough power to start the bike.

Whey you say it's hard to start, you mean it cranks and cranks and cranks without starting? That would be consistent with dirty pilot jet circuit, and consistent with dying when you stop too.

You should consider that you may have to pull the carbs and remove the bowl to remove and clean the pilot jets. Might be a good idea to pull the main jets and do the same. That may be a quick fix, likely, you'll need to completely clean and rebuild the carbs.

I would call your local shop (like Motorcycles Unlimited) and let them diagnose the problem and repair it for you. Unless you are a pretty good mechanic, carburetors can be a to work on.

Whatever you do, check the easy stuff first. Don't just assume it's the carbs and take stuff apart. I have had something as easy as loose connections on my battery mimic the problems you are posting.
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:23 AM   #3
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It sounds like an intermittant electrical prob. Those can be difficult to find. The fact that when you move your bars things happen sounds like the problem could be there. Broken wire or loose connection could be the culprit.
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Old 09-24-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomLSTD View Post
Well, there is a forum for this, so your thread will probably get moved there.

Anyway, sounds like a loose connection somewhere for the lights. I would pull the bodywork and check all your connections. Regarding the switchpod and lights, I would pull those apart and re-connect them to make sure you're getting a good connection. Make sure they're clean and not corroded too.

Regarding starting issues, the first thing I would do is look for corrosion on the cables. Sometimes, a little bit of corrosion can run down the insulation and drain power from the battery to the starter relay.

Regarding the battery, don't forget that just because the headlights may burn brightly, it doesn't mean that there is enough power to start the bike.

Whey you say it's hard to start, you mean it cranks and cranks and cranks without starting? That would be consistent with dirty pilot jet circuit, and consistent with dying when you stop too.

You should consider that you may have to pull the carbs and remove the bowl to remove and clean the pilot jets. Might be a good idea to pull the main jets and do the same. That may be a quick fix, likely, you'll need to completely clean and rebuild the carbs.

I would call your local shop (like Motorcycles Unlimited) and let them diagnose the problem and repair it for you. Unless you are a pretty good mechanic, carburetors can be a to work on.

Whatever you do, check the easy stuff first. Don't just assume it's the carbs and take stuff apart. I have had something as easy as loose connections on my battery mimic the problems you are posting.



Well, since I was more curious about hearing other perspectives than a "how to" on fixing the problem its self, I figured I would post it here.

It is pretty clear I have a lose connection somewhere, although the carbs might need some work as well. Yes I mean it cranks and cranks and won't start, but I switch the key off and wait about 20 sec, turn it back on and it starts right up.... sometimes.... sometimes I have to do that several times and like I said, sometimes it dies when I first try to go somewhere (like the kickstand is still down). The battery is pretty much new and that is the only slight sign of it getting weak, but the crank doesnt start sounding weaker. Really it doesn't die every time I stop - runs fine when sitting at a red light, it dies when I park.

Anyway, I certainly plan on taking it to a place like Motorcycles Unlimited when I get a chance.... whenever I get my car back. I just wanted to hear some other opinions first, so thanks.
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:29 PM   #5
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try push starting it... and when you click it into gear.. go into 2nd(thats what i have been told, as its easier to turn over they said)
if push starting it gets it going then you can test the battery and see if it will hold a charge, check connections, corrosion.
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Old 09-24-2007, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zampano View Post
The battery is pretty much new and that is the only slight sign of it getting weak, but the crank doesnt start sounding weaker.
That means nothing really. Even a "new" battery can be faulty. Did you get a battery that has a warrantee? I would take it in and test it. As I mentioned though, I would check all connections first to make sure they're tight. You'd be surprised what a loose battery connection can do.

Quote:
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Really it doesn't die every time I stop - runs fine when sitting at a red light, it dies when I park.
Sounds kinda electrical, but I'd have to see it happen to know.

I'm sure Patrick will hook you up on what's wrong and help you on your way again.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomLSTD View Post
That means nothing really. Even a "new" battery can be faulty. Did you get a battery that has a warrantee? I would take it in and test it. As I mentioned though, I would check all connections first to make sure they're tight. You'd be surprised what a loose battery connection can do.
Yeah lol, I knew you would say that when I said its new... I of all people know how quickly "new" things can break - a certain $700 fuel pump on my car comes to mind ($700 is just the cost of the part).


oh well, I will get it over there when I can, but probably looking at having to wait untill after Oct 15th
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
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like I said, sometimes it dies when I first try to go somewhere (like the kickstand is still down). Really it doesn't die every time I stop - runs fine when sitting at a red light, it dies when I park.
I'm not sure about the other stuff but this sounds like the neutral safety switch.
Those things are cheaply made and being under the bike are exposed to water, dirt and oil, if they go bad it can cause trouble in unexpected ways.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zampano View Post
Yes I mean it cranks and cranks and won't start, but I switch the key off and wait about 20 sec, turn it back on and it starts right up.... sometimes.... sometimes I have to do that several times and like I said, sometimes it dies when I first try to go somewhere (like the kickstand is still down).
I have a 94ZX7 and occasionally my bike will crank, crank, crank and not turn over. turn the key to the off position and then back on and it fires right up. Sounds to me like you may have more than one problem that are not interrelated.

I have heard of several Kawi owners who have the same problem.

Last edited by dbuck; 09-24-2007 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
I'm not sure about the other stuff but this sounds like the neutral safety switch.
Those things are cheaply made and being under the bike are exposed to water, dirt and oil, if they go bad it can cause trouble in unexpected ways.

And if this is the case....it can be removed and wired to bypass such switch....just like mine. I smashed the sensor into kill switch mode when bottoming out on a driveway....I opted to remove it, but if your new to riding I wouldn't suggest taking it off. Rolling with the kickstand down can cause you to wreck.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuckzx7 View Post
And if this is the case....it can be removed and wired to bypass such switch....just like mine. I smashed the sensor into kill switch mode when bottoming out on a driveway....I opted to remove it, but if your new to riding I wouldn't suggest taking it off. Rolling with the kickstand down can cause you to wreck.
I was kinda hopin you would reply to this thread, there is a deffinate chance of bein more than one problem here, and thats an idea I was leanin towards. Thanks
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:42 PM   #12
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Do the older bikes have a clutch switch also? Meaning you have to hold the clutch to start?

But then again, that usually makes the bike not even crank. I would look more into the ignition switch area. Double check if you can even crank it in gear with the stand down?
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:07 PM   #13
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Do the older bikes have a clutch switch also? Meaning you have to hold the clutch to start?

But then again, that usually makes the bike not even crank. I would look more into the ignition switch area. Double check if you can even crank it in gear with the stand down?
For sure a loose wire into the ignition switch, but Im thinking the carbs could use some work based on the way it dies sometimes. No problems with cranking in its self, I think that wire just gets snaged up sometimes and kills it.
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:40 PM   #14
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Well I knew if I kept riding it I was risking being stranded somewhere.... oh well finnally happened. It went from an electrical problem that sometimes caused the ignition not to stay on, to an electrical problem causing the ignition to stay on even with the key out.... wtf? so I couldnt get it to start and probably drained the battery tryin
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