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I had the same issue today. Installed a new battery a month ago and made sure to charge it every 2/3 days with a smart charger as I dont ride alot lately. Key set to on postion, netural, and no nothing, no spark, nothing spinning. A few times like that and it worked when I pulled the clutch in. Could it be something else than the battery? fuse?
 

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You said "it worked when I pulled the clutch in". Yes, the clutch lever mUST be pulled in to start the motorcycle when the bike is in gear./ MAYBE the clutch lever has to be pulled in even when the bike is in neutral?

I know I ALWAYS pull the clutch lever in, regardless of whether a bike is in gear or in neutral.

IF you have been able to start the engine BEFORE with the clutch lever NOT pulled in, perhaps:

1. The clutch lever sensor is failing intermitttently, OR

2. You have done the clutch lever sensor bypass discussed many times on this forum, and the jumper you installed has corroded now or otherwise failed or become intermittent?

Jim G
The bike was in netural, you can always start the bike when in neutral without the clutch pulled...

@Rich T yeah all tight and was in neutral, 100%
 

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What kind of battery was it? You gotta voltmeter to check battery at rest 'n under load? Unless you know the staus of the battery, everything else is just guess work.
Agreed.

And you want to measure the battery voltage at the clamps, not at the terminals, just to be sure.

And you want a reading while you're holding the starter button pressed (and "nothing" is happening)...

The gear position sensor (which it sounds like is possibly misbehaving?) is an analog component, so it is sensitive to a good battery charge for sure.

Unfortunately, it's also a mechanical component (like a rotary potentiometer, I believe), so it can fail or fall out of calibration -- but I'd expect your dash "N" light to be confused as well if that was the case...

One thing that might also be worth trying is reseating its connectors (and possibly putting some dielectric grease on them to keep moisture out?) which are inside a rubber boot near the ECU?

Okay I went on a short stop ride today, prior to exiting my house and starting the bike voltage dropped to 11.5v underload when starting which is fine, and second time short afterwards it started with no issues.
 

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Same issue. Today I had an appointment to have the 24 000 km maintenance and lo and behold, the bike does not start. The dashboard lights came on, but when pressing the start switch: nothing. I tried it all: first gear, neutral, clutch lever pulled, side stand up, side stand down, the works. Nothing. Even tried pushing it in 2nd and 3rd gear. Quickly gave up on that idea.

I got on the phone with the dealership's mechanic and he told me how to bypass the starter relay. I did that and the starter would whine a bit like it had no power. So I suspected the battery, checked the voltage and got 12.67 V reading. The shop manual says it needs a minimum of 12.6 V (though it was not clear that it for starting or just normal operation). Got on the phone again with the dealer and asked him about that and the service manager said that he thinks the battery needs about 14 V to start but he wasn't quite sure.

So, I hooked the battery to the battery tender and will leave it until tomorrow. So far, it has more than 13 V. Tomorrow morning I will take it to the dealer and have it checked out. I strongly suspect and hope that it is just the battery.
From what I see and tested the battery maxes out at about 13.2V after charging (while the engine is off).

I can also confirm that even if the battery shows 12.9V it could still be 'dead' and not start / give you problems, no matter how much you charge it. I read about it at other forums too.

If you dont ride for however many time, you should always keep it above 12.9V so it wont degrade. Also, it still hasn't happened to me again as I started putting some mileage back again, but I read in another thread here that if that happens you should try and move the bike whilist trying to start as it may be some sensor.
 

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Today I had an issue anothe time starting. You can hear the fuel priming but the bike doesn't respond. Took a video while doing so too. Only after when I pulled in the clutch (it was on netural, there was no need), it had difficuly turning but it started. Is is the battery? What are the odds of it being the fuel pump / fuel filter / fuse?

 

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So it started after you pulled in the clutch lever? But cranked slow like the battery was weak?
If yes, then I would think battery first and then starter second.

If you can take it somewhere and have them charge it, like O'Reilly's here in the USA(which is where I work my second job) can test the battery to make sure it is good or tell you it is near the end of it's life, and put it on a charger for you.
I have chargers at home myself.

Based on the video, right, it does nothing almost as if it did not recognize the bike was in neutral, or clutch was not engaged or kickstand safety. Or in the wiring or starter switch/kill switch, but if that was the case with kill switch or kickstand down while in gear, the fuel pump does not even prime/run I think.
If the pump primes and works we can probably rule out alot of those systems as well as pump and etc.

If bike is in gear and kick stand down, it does not prime the pump until kickstand is up or bike is shift into neutral. Clutch, at least on mine has no impact, but if I did not have the switch jumpered it would also act the same I believe.
If the kill switch is off, same thing pump does not prime but the gauges and everything light up and the RPM's go through the self-test.

This issue would be more in the charging and starting system if the fuel pump primes and turns on fine.

But the bike will start if in neutral with the kickstand down, it is just when you shift into first with the clutch pulled in it does not like, if the kickstand is still down.(without testing if I remember right)
Clutch not engaged, and not starting, if it thinks its not in neutral is a easy work around. Jumper the connector on the clutch switch mounted on the clutch perch. The same thing we do for the CEL and flashing blank gear indicator when we change the gearing. I did this because I changed my gearing.

Of course have to be careful starting bike with it in gear. :)

The only other thing I can think of that might be far fetched is something with that tip-over switch or relay that prevents the bike from running if it becomes damaged or takes a hit from dropping the bike.
But I also think that kills the fuel pump.
Or wiring or grounds for the starting system or any safety related to the starter not engaging at all, but other systems working.

At least this is my thoughts for what they are worth, I could be totally wrong and its something else.
When the previous OEM battery gave me trouble (Which I replaced 4 months ago) when I pressed to start it gave me a tick tick tick sound. Not on this occasion.

I installed the new battery myself according to all the instructions (I have a suitable charger), however, the battery production date was December 2016. Which put it to 5 years of shelf life. I activated it with the acid pack and all, but if you look at Yuasa website they say that the storage life for a non activated AGM battery is 5 years. Mine is not Yuasa but I think you could take that as reference.

According to all of that, what's your take on this? If you look at the troubleshooting guide at the service manual it could either be a bad battery or some switch. Bike has 15,300 km's.
 

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Will be easiest if anyone can drop a link to buy them online.

Anyhow after further research regarding the issue I believe it's either the battery or the starter relay.

I could not find it on the bike diagrams, but I belive the model is SMU6143 which sales for about 16$ besides shipping from various vendors. If I got this right Kawi's MPN is 27010-0099, which sales for like a 100$+ .

I don't think there's any major difference besides labeling in the end. Feel free to add your thoughts

PS when I activated the battery I did so according to all the instructions, gave it time to sit, charge, etc... I charged it yesterday as well with a smart charger, will see it how goes but I don't mind having an extra relay on me just in case
 

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Well since I don't belive it's a battery issue, i'll be going for the starter relay. OEM one costs over a 100$ and is on backorder. For now I ordered some chinese ('DB Electerical') aftermarket one for 1/4 the price that will arrive quicker. I kept having problems today as well but it started with the clutch. Going over the manual it seems like having an access to the relay requires to take off the tank which is some work and then some, so I can't really 'hot wire' it if I get stranded. Lets see how well I will hold up....
 

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So today I tried to fire the bike up after it has been sitting a few days.

Kickstand down and in neutral - fired right up with no issue.

This is very puzzling for me, if you followed my recent posts in this thread and the video I posted.

OEM and a chinese starter relay is on their way (Yes, I ordered 2 for the heck of it) and it will take some time to arrive. I really doubt that is the issue though. If it was it, wouldn't it be giving me problem all the time?

There are motorcycles that go twice and triple the amount of mileage i've put on this bike for alot more years without the relay going bad. What are the odds this is it?
 

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Okay so for those interested to know,

I've got the relays, chinese first and OEM after. I did not want to put the chinese relay eventually. At the same moment I thought it's more likely to be the battery than the relay, it's just a 4 year old bike.

Called the shop which I bought the battery from, they agreed to send me a new one free of charge as I still have it under warranty. At that time I got the OEM relay. Changed the battery and activated it myself, been back on riding the bike for a week now, 0 problems since.

I still have both the relays in box. Both cost me about 125~ USD together, no big deal, as they fit other Kawasakis too and not just the 400 so I guess keeping them would come in handy in the future.

TL;DR, If you are having problem starting but when you hold the clutch it starts, odds are it's the battery.


In the pictures, OEM relay in a closed plastic bag and chinese below it. Notice the difference.

Hood Rectangle Electronic device Automotive lighting Auto part
Gesture Finger Gadget Wrist Thumb
 

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So there we at it again,

Coming to the bike today off work and it wont start (netural, clutch open). No sound at all, just no response. You could hear the fuel priming, I tried a couple times and nothing.

Then proceeded to pull the clutch and try one time. Nothing too. Then I tried with the throttle pulled a bit and clutch pulled, and it worked.

I honestly doubt its the battery nor the relay.

I think it could either be -

1. Something related to the spark plugs

2. Something related to the fuel system (pump / filter?)

Please share your thoughts and knowledge. This is really draining me....
 

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If the starter motor is not trying to turn at all (as it sounds), and the rest of the system has good power, then it sounds like a starter interlock may be preventing you from starting...

So here is my take at how the starter interlocks are wired...

For the starter to run, the starter relay (9) coil needs 12V to engage, which it gets from the red wire below vs. chassis ground.

The red wire gets 12V from the output of the starter circuit relay (17) in the relay box.

The starter circuit relay (17) coil (in yellow) needs 12V to engage and its two ends are connected to:
  • (bottom) connects to purple wire which gets 12V from starter button (3) and engine stop/start switch (2), in series (so both must be closed), from fused power (15), and
  • (top) gets ground from eitherof:
    • blue wire which gets ground thru starter lockout switch (18) on clutch lever and side stand switch (6), in series (so both must be closed), or
    • green wire which gets ground (not 12V!) from "neutral light" output of ECU (i.e., an "active low signal").
I'm pretty sure if your starter is not trying to turn at all, the problem is not related to spark plugs or fuel.

The things you definitely want to notice are:
  • is the green neutral light on on the dash? that's half the battle of engaging your starter circuit relay (17)
  • cycle the engine stop/start switch and make sure it is in the run position (that plus the starter button is the other half of the battle)
  • alternate to the green neutral light, you can use both the clutch lever and side stand switches, but there is no visual indication for this like the neutral light on the dash!


View attachment 24988
Netural light on dash is on, stop switch was on the on postion as always and I also flicked it between the tries but there was no change. Also while I tried this all the bike was on a sidestand.

I appriciate your comment, but I really have no knowledge regarding electricity or wiring diagrams...


I didn't go back and check all the posts so I don't know if this has been mentioned yet. If the kill switch is shorting across/out then you will get a no start, actually a no response from the starter at all, situation. And moving the throttle just might move something in the kill switch assembly allowing the bike to start.
I understand. However being with the new battery for just a week or two it's the first time having trouble with it. So I doubt it has something to do with it as it was before the new battery (as if it was, it had to be presistent).

@Muchacho22

I will say one more time, i am sounding like a broken record!

I had the same problem, dealer recommended a battery tender 24/7, i got the battery tender, problem went away and NEVER came back. I recommend the brand "Optimate".

I have a battery tender. CTEK MXS 5 smart charger suitable for motorcycles.
I will charge it again during the night and see how it goes. However, with the previous battery, I had it one time charged the entire night and when I came at the morning it still gave me problems... This being a new battery too....I honestly doubt it has something to do with it. Could be, but....
 

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@Muchacho22

Try having the tender connected to the battery 24/7, whenever you are not riding, have it connected and On. That is what i do, having it on 24/7 also extends the battery lifetime.
Just a question

Have ya checked the battery......? 🤔🤔🤔


😝

After writing yesterday's post I went to the bike and checked voltage, it read 12.97 which is basically full.

Today morning I went for a short ride to the gas station to fill some air in the tires. During the night it was not charged, I didn't touch the battery yesterday.

Started with no issue. Bike on sidestand, netural, clutch open (enganged). Same after I turned it off & on at the gas station.

During the day when at work, the bike parks at a sun spot all day long. I put a cover on it but it's still hot when coming to it. (Depends when I take it off, shade only starts at about 1520, I get off by 1600. I usually take it down at about 1530. At Thursdays I finish at 1500 so it's still hot and blazed by the sun when coming to it. Even when taking off the cover before, I could feel the bike is really hot where my crotch at.

Could this be related to heat maybe making the bike difficult to start? I think of it as an option because of that one morning I took it off the tender and went to ride staright ahead, the battery was probably still hot from the charge itself. It's really hot this time of the year too.

As you can see it's not persistent... I don't know what to think. What are the odds is actually something depper than that. It's 4 year old bike for christ sake...
 

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Well after reading a bit on the subject, seems like the hotter it is the more likley your car/motorcycle battery to get damaged. I am guessing this is the issue as I said it's parked in the sun all day (even with a cover), as coming to it sometimes you can really feel the heat on the edge of the seat. You dont experience this kind of weather in the states or europe.
 

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Yes, heat is what causes long-term battery damage; whereas, cold just slows down the reactions (assuming you don't freeze due to undercharge and crack!)...
I am just suprised it's to this extent. I mean it's a new battery.... on the other side, what can you already expect from a battery that is made in china and retails for 100 usd. And that's in heavy taxed holyland. Where in other places you could find the same battery for 30/40% less. Shame. Need to find a solution if I am to keep this job. I wont be changing a battery every month....
 

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Just for the record, I park in an (uninsulated and unvented, if you can believe it) garage where it regularly gets to 110F in summer -- my stock battery is 3yo now and is still OK -- but when I am actually outside riding it is always below 90F.
I think there's a difference between the temperature itself versus the sun striking it all day long. 30-40 C is regular where I live. But now when the sun is striking it all day long even with a cover you could feel the edge of seat burning when riding it. My stock battery held 4 years and barley gave me trouble.

Seriously sounds like the battery every time, so the title makes me chuckle.
My stock battery has been flaking out for a while now. Discharges quickly and can barely start after a few days. Have to clutch in and side stand up for it to crank and start. A day on a trickle charge gets enough life into it that it'll be good for a few days of non-use.

Clicking is a sure sign it's the battery. No click and the battery might be really flat. Put it on a charge. If it fires up after a charge it's obvious it's the battery.
The urgency of the cranking should be easy to gage battery problems with. Slowing cranking vs fast cranking is fairly easy to notice.
It's not clicking, but it's not flat either - the reading is full even under load when starting, not droping below 10 volts. But I know batteries can 'fake' it regardless. Even after a charge it had trouble starting (and this is why it makes to believe it's making problems when it's hot... i.e after a charge, standing it the sun all day). I don't think it's something else other than the battery because if it was it would have given me consistent problems - which is not. One time could be good, easy start, the other it would not start, then with a clutch it will, then it will only start with a bit of throttle. Like I said before I am almost 100% it's the battery, not because they sold me a busted one, but because the sun cooks it all day at work damaging it.
 

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The heat won't make a difference. Batteries have been operating in hot climates for years. The bike itself generates more heat than anything while riding. The battery is more than likely faulty.
Yes but this is not 'regular' heat most of this forum know, Summer in Israel is 30-40c average + humidity + high levels of UV radiation. It's not the same feeling as in europe or wherever.
I can tell you that some truck manufacturers test their prototypes at the Dead Sea area... there is a reason for that :D

In the last week what I do is I take the cover off about an hour before I go off, making it 'cool'. It sounds silly I know, but unless I do so, riding the bike feels like you are sitting on top of an oven. It damages and overcharges the batteries. I read about it too. In the last week I take it off early like I said + clutch in and starts like a charm. The battery is maintatining proper voltage under load when starting, when the bike is off, and can start sometimes without the clutch being in with no issue. If it was really the case of a fault battery it would have given me trouble all the time constant, it's not.
 
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