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Help! Bike dies mid-ride

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by shmee, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Im a newbie when it comes to bike repair and maintenance, and my kawasaki z200 is giving me the shits. It seems that it might be also called a kz200..

    It rarely starts, but does start when i roll it down the hill.

    When i try to start it, it really tries but doesnt catch, i checked the spark plug and it does spark.

    i took it for a ride and after about 20 minutes it started to run really rough and jerk me around a bit, before the revs slowly dropped regardless of what i tried to do, and then it cut out. Not fun when its 30 degrees and you need to push the bugger for a couple of kms.

    I took the carby apart and had a bit of a look, (without really knowing what i was looking for) but it looked ok to someone who has no clue. I checked the fuel lines for blocks but couldnt come up with anything.

    Im at the point where i throw my hands in the air and send it to the bike shop, but dont want to pay the big bucks if i can help it.

    Any ideas? suggestions?
  2. If it has a fuel tap (reserve/on/off) make sure it is on "reserve" try starting it then.

    Also take the tap off, and inspect what is usually a small gauze type filter that will commonly clog with s hit from the tank.
  3. Check the fuels lines, and especially fuel filter, to see if there is a blockage or a kink anywhere in the system. You might like to drain the old fuel and replace it with some nice new stuff to eliminate that, too (make sure you get everything out first.
    Then see if you can find the fuel tank breather tube and make sure it's not blocked.
    After that, your looking at the carb, I reckon.
  4. ok thanks for the help, the filter in the fuel tap had a dirty big hole in it, and the cone shaped filter in the fuel line had some gunk in it. So im off to replace those and will let you know how it all pans out!
  5. Looks like a previous owner may have had a blocked fuel tap before, common to just punch a hole in it, rather than replace it.
  6. Perzackly, just like the idiots who take out the thermostat on a car so the engine will run cooler in summer. Of course it does, but it then wears itself to a frazzle taking forever to warm up in winter :roll:.
  7. My money is on a tank vent issue. next time it does it, open teh filler cap and see if it runs a lot better.

    Regards, Andrew.
  8. Funnily enough, this could be a battery issue: the symptoms sound a lot like problems I once had with an XS400 Yamaha of the same era. Get a co-operative friend to hook up jumper leads to the battery from another bike or a car, then see if it starts easily. If the battery runs down, the spark is there but very weak and the incoming mix actually extinguishes the spark rather than lighting.

    If the bike is points ignition (I don't think it will be) that gives you a whole other area of potential problems.

    The best way to determine if fuel is present, aside from sniffing the muffler after many attempts to start the bastard, is to undo the drain screw in the carby: on the bottom of the carby you'll see the float bowl that holds the small amount of fuel, and this will have a small brass screw set in the side at the very bottom. Carefully, using a good-fitting screwdriver, crack it open and fuel should run out. If it's getting this far, it's getting into the engine.

    Good luck and let us know how you go.
  9. sounds like an electrical issue since your able to clutch start it.

    i have a feeling it's your battery. the battery isnt supply enough juice to the starter motor for it to 'fire up'. And if this is the case, my guess is that your alternator isnt working too.

    As the guy above mentioned, if you dont have enough power, you wont get a strong enough spark to detonate the fuel mixture.

    Doesnt hurt to check your fuel breather line, and filter too. When you go for decent ride, pull over and open up the fuel tank. If you hear a suction noise, you know your breather line is kinked/blocked.

    as for the fuel filter, if it looks brown, it means u'll have to replace it.
  10. In regards to battery make sure the battery leads are on tight.
    My little cd250 exhibited the same symptoms as your bike and I took it to a mechanic i trusted who tightened the battery leads.
    Instant success.
    Good luck.

    Nice nickname btw :p
  11. Yes!
    i fixed the bugger! feels good when u dont know squat about mechanics but u get it going again anyway.
    thanks for the tips guys, the inline fuel filter was brown so i got a new one, and checked the battery. one of the terminals was covered in crap so i sanded it clean. bike runs like a dream!
  12. great stuff!! It's all a learning experience.

    Because u've sanded down your battery terminals, it might be a good idea to put a little bit of grease around the terminals. I dont know the exact reasons behind this (prolly to prevent corrosion rust), but my service manual tells me to do this.

    And if you don't already know, you disconnect the negative terminal first followed by the red terminal. The reverse is true when you connect the battery (ie red first, then black).
  13. It needs to be copper grease, not the ordinary stuff.