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KLR 650 - wet and wont start

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by tiggers, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Hi All,

    Hoping you can help before a trip to to the mechanics.

    An extremely wet ride yesterday morning ended in a tow truck home.

    For those in Sydney, was heading up McCarss Creek road about 7am yesterday morning in the pouring rain, pulled over to let some cyclists get a head start and that’s when the problems started. I stopped with the engine off for about 10 mins, it started ok then about 10 mins down the road it died, I pulled the clutch in and hit the starter button, she fired again and ran for about 200 metres then completely died just at the Akuna Bay turn off.

    I checked the fuses and fuel, then hit the starter button and battery was completely dead. Called NMRA, he checked fuses and fuel then hooked up a booster, engine cranking but just wouldn’t fire; he gave up and called the tow truck.

    The KLR is currently sitting at home with a flat battery – will take it off tonight to charge but will try a jump start to see if it was just a wet connector issue.

    Anybody have any suggestions on what else I should check?

  2. Trial and error mate. I'd take the plugs out and check them before doing anything else, then move onto electrics with a multimeter, then onto carbs (or if it's EFI, give up and call the shop. ****en don't understand that stuff myself.)
  3. Thanks boy racer, I'm pretty dumb when it comes to anything electrical.
  4. Pull the plug, fit new one. If no new one, check gap, thoroughly clean insulator with WD40 and clean rag, re-fit plug. Spray coil, plug lead and inside plug cap with WD40, wipe excess out from inside cap with a clean rag. Re-fit plug lead and newly charged battery. All good.
    If all not good, insert entire bike in microwave, 5 min on 'high'. Don't forget to video it, we love a laugh.
  5. But seriously, if the bike is a few years old it would be worth replacing the plug lead, they get dodgy with old age and do this sh*t. The bike certainly shouldn't have stopped from a bit of rain.
  6. Mate, nobody likes electrics, but you'll have to get to know them eventually. Time to bite the bullet, but you might get lucky with a fresh set of plugs before you go fault finding with the multimeter.
  7. You didnt happen to leave it with park lights on while you were stopped?
  8. Wouldn't explain it not firing when the NRMA guy boosted it.
  9. Update

    Took the battery off and it was bone dry, have topped it up and it looks like its holding a charge, pretty sure it's ferked and I'll need a new one.

    Will chuck it on this afternoon and see if I can get her to start. Have checked the plug, seems ok, no water, checked the clutch safety switch and it was dripping wet so I'm hoping this stopped it from firing.

    Fingers crossed.
  10. It's never usually "one" thing that causes a disaster.
    If the battery was dry then my guess it will be knackered. Like how long was it even half full??? The plates will be screwed. I'd replace it for peace of mind.
    Not a great fan of the WD. Go easy with the Fi Fi's hair dryer and all should be good. Don't it too close or long.
  11. There is a very well known defect whereby the carb vent hose gets blocked with water. Rerouting the hose up and inside behind a fairing or the frame totally solves it. It only occurs in really bad rain or mud.
    So this could be well worth a look for you.
    The symptoms are it dies badly in the wet and is perfect any other time.
  12. Hi Guys,

    Managed to get some time this weekend to see what's wrong and why it won't start. Check the carb vent hose, all clear, did the t-mod and drained the carb bowl again all clear.

    Pulled the spark plug and did a spark test.........weak an yellow!

    Any ideas?

    Otherwise its off to the mechanics...cos I don't have a amp meter


  13. Dud plug

    Dud HT lead

    Dud coil

    Dud ignition black box

    Work by substitution from the least expensive/difficult upwards which is, pretty much, the order I've listed them in.
  14. Thanks Pat, the only issue I have is that the KLR coil is a sealed unit so I can't check the components individually


    DO you think its worth ordering a new one?

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  15. At Kawasaki spares prices I'd be cautious.

    Try replacing the plug first. If that doesn't work, it looks to me as if the plug cap can be unscrewed from the lead. If so, try a new cap as I'm pretty sure NGK units replacements are available in that shape.

    Finally, before writing off the coil, make sure you can't simply unscrew the HT lead from it by rotating it anticlockwise. If you can, a length of decent HT lead can be had from SuperCrap for not very much. You'll probably have to cut the factory ends off though.

    Beyond that, the health of the coil should be checkable with a multimeter to measure the resistance of the primary and secondary windings. Without a manual, though, I can't tell you what those resistances should be.
  16. You can happily run aftermarket coils on these bikes (providing it is pre "facelift"), I ran an NGK coil (I think marketed as a racing pitbike coil) for ages on my bike. KLR's don't put much demand on coils, the don't rev hard and are in a very cool spot. The coil came with a nice long lead already attached, all that was needed was a plug cap and cut lead to length. Beat hell out of that stupidly expensive Kawasaki coil.
    There are so many failure modes on the ignition systems on these bikes, I wouldn't know where to point you with accuracy. Weak spark indicates there is power going to the CDI box.
    On the pre "facelift" KLR's, the ignition system had it's own separate alternator and this is also known to cause issues. I doubt it's likely to be any sort of kill switch issue as you have spark.
    On my bike, I eventually ended up having to replace the alternator cover/alternator with a second hand one as the coil charging circuit was history.
    Of course, if it's a post "facelift" bike, the ignition system is a much more modern setup and it's much more likely to be the coil, especially if the ignition was left on for ages (coils tend to overheat if you do that).
  17. Done it!!!!

    Got if fixed!

    Whoooooo fricken hoooooooooooo

    New battery and it was the side stand switch stopping it from starting - cleaned and packed with grease and she's up and running.

    Just had a blast around the block......ahhh feels good to be back on two wheels.

    Thats my first ever bike fix!

    Thanks for the help guys!!
  18. If the side stand switch plays that game again, just pull the wires off the fricken thing, solder them together and tape the joint = fixed for ever. If you can't remember to put the stand up you shouldn't be riding!