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ZZR-250 hard to start

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by ali.allo, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Hello everyone,

    I bought a 2006 Kawazaki ZZR-250 with only 1000 kms on it, last month. The bike always started first time with no problem, without even needing the choke on (the bike has been stored for years then well maintained by the previous owner) .

    All the problems started to appear about 2 weeks from now after, I think, my first refuel (premium unleaded gas till the top).

    First thing I've noticed: when I come back from a ride (hot bike) and park it inside the garage, soon, the whole room start to smell "fuel", thing I never noticed before. The same fuel smell noticeable when the bike is cold and stored under its cover.

    Secondly and most importantly, from about that time, the bike would not start directly anymore. On the contrary, when I would push the start button I can hear clicks. The bike will eventually start after 10/20 tries of 2-3 seconds push and once started will not die only with the help of the choke (while it wasn't needed before in this Sydney mild weather).

    Once the bike is started and engine lukewarm, I have no more trouble to stop, start the bike and idling…

    I uploaded a video of my try and the clicking sound on Youtube

    Few facts :
    - The bike has now 1400 kms, the 1000 kms service has been done end of May 2013
    - The carb jets have been cleaned at the same time according to the paperwork
    - The battery is less than 18 months old according to the paperwork
    - Everything used to work very well before my first stop at the gas station
    - The more I let the bike stopped, the most it is difficult to start again
    - Since two weeks it is getting harder and harder to get the bike running (need more tries pushing on the starter button)
    - lights don't dim when pushing the start button, dashboard needles don't move
    - revs are stable and runs just fine when started
    - no fuel leak marks on the floor after parking but big fuel smell
    - I will try to definitely rule out the battery with a multi-meter later this week

    Any help, leads, similar experience would be very helpful :)

  2. Reads like you have two seperate problems going on there.

    The clicking could indicate a bad connection to the battery. disconnect the terminals clean with a wire brush. Make sure the terminal are tightened firmly.

    Even though the battery is 18 months old it still could be the problem. Older wet type batteries like to be cycled and this bike has done very few ks. I've had quiet periods in my riding life where I've only got 12 months out of a battery and I was doing more ks than that.

    The fuel smell could be a result of dirt int he carbie bowls, and this will make starting hard also. Make sure the fuel filter(s) is good and replace if suspicious. I've had new ones fall apart and actually put crap in the carbies.
  3. Hi ibast, thanks for your advice, I just bought a multimeter and will try the battery first thing by the end of the week!

    Concerning the smell, I can confirm there is a smell (is it normal to smell fuel a bit, I don't know?!), after a day under the bike cover.

    I'll keep you posted
  4. bah sounds like a rooted/low battery - that sound is all too familiar to me....but of course i could be wrong, regardless ...dunno why you got a multimeter should of just got a battery charger as it would've told you if it was rooted and charged it if it was low, you can pick up kmart jobs for like what...$25...not the best ones in the world but it did the job for me when needed

    in saying that atleast you've got a multimeter for when you come across electrical issues in the future
  5. Will be able to confirm it is trying to charge and therefore confirm the battery is phucked.
  6. << been corrected
  7. like battery chargers they are very cheap these day and handy to have. Even use them to confirm the kids batteries are out of juice.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Hi guys! thanks for the precisions, so I tested the battery with the multimeter before any charging and after sitting for one entire day outside. The multimeter shows a steady 12.9 V (which seems to be ok according to links on internet).

    I will clean the terminals and let you know if it works better... I begin to be scared of what it could be now...
  9. There could be something wrong with that fuel. I like to buy fuel at the same place if I can, and I usually do, on the theory that with high turnover at that pump, reduces the chance of it accumulating dirt or water.

    Generally Premium gives no benefit unless you have some high compression bad-arse machine that can benefit from it. You might as well stick with 91 Unleaded.

    Supposing you had bad fuel, you could siphon out most of it from the tank, and then fill it back with other petrol. This is a short cut to you pulling apart carbies and stuff.
  10. i've considered posting it but have thought it not worthwhile thinking it's just a busted battery....

    it's a 8 year old bike with only 1,000 kilometre's - what problems can be expected from a bike being left untouched for long periods of time?
  11. Otto Cycle, mmh that could be possible but I would have problems all the time, in case of bad fuel, no? The station where I went has huge turnover, basically all Sydney cabs refuel over there!

    87crisis actually that bike has been left untouched from 2006 to 2012 (parked inside under cover)
    Then the new owner in 2012 did a big service at a repair shop:
    - carbie overhaul
    - new battery (21/08/2012) - so less than one year old

    and the last service was the 1000 km service the 24/05/2013
    - carbie overhaul (the bike would not idle found blocked jets removed and cleaned, balanced)
    - oil replaced (15/50W) / oil filter replaced
    - sump plug washer replaced
    - check engine for leacks
    - clutch and throttle cables inspected
    - pivot point lubricated
    - coolant clamp hoses re tensioned
    - coolant system top up / check for leaks
    - tyre, wheels, brakes, brake fluids, electrical system, exhaust, engine idle, steering, suspension, drive chain lubricated and adjusted

    I bought the bike just a month after so basically just after the service and it was running really well until 2 weeks ago.

    Follow-up :
    - Cleaned terminals and put the battery back : no luck, same click click click sound
    - Measured voltage battery off the bike : 12.9V
    - Measured voltage battery on the bike, Key On : 12.4V

    I put the battery on the trickle charger for the night...

    BTW, I notice a big fuel smell in the airbox (which is clean), I assume it is normal since it is directly linked to the carb. Can you confirm?
  12. now you need to work your way down to the start solenoid. Make sure the terminals on that are clean and well connected. If that doesn't fix it, try jumping the solenoid on a good battery, to confirm the solenoid itself is not rooted.

    As to the smell in the airbox, I'd say no it's not normal. I'd expect some fuel smell with vents and vacuum line etc, but not a big fuel smell, so it's indicative of a leak. If the bike sat for that long you might have minute rust particle being flushed out of the tank into your carbies. You will probably have to pull the tap apart too and clean it, as it seams it isn't sealing either.

    have a good look at the tank next time it is empty. You might need to put a liner in it.
  13. I didn't realise it had been sitting unused for so long.

    The first response from ibast is a sound approach. "Reads like you have two separate problems going on there."

    On second thoughts, I'd focus on the weak electrics first to determine the reason why the starter motor has little or no voltage and just clicks.
    I think ibast is giving you better advice than me, so see if the starter motor is also getting 12 volts. If it is, maybe that component is ineffective and needs replacing.
  14. Hi guys,

    After charging the battery with the trickle charger for one night, I tried this evening bike naked, tank removed: it started (almost) beautifully.

    When I say almost, I mean, I still hear the clickclickclick, but now it manages to start after a 2/3 seconds push on the starter button not after like 20 or 30 tries...
    I understood it is because the starter motor does not start right away, lacking power (?) thus I can here the solenoid clicks.

    For the gas smell problem I will go ride till I finish this tank and will refuel to a new pump and will keep you posted.
  15. Update: just went riding... after about 40 mins the bike started to act a bit strange : like it was running out of petrol but it wasn't.

    I went directly to the gas station and top it with about 12.5L of BP Premium Octane 95 (the 91 had ethanol in it.). Came back home, Parked.

    Could smell the gas odor from the hot right exhaust right after I stopped but no big fuel smell spreading in all the garage... I guess the problem was really due to bad gasoline...

    to be continued!

    P.S. : the gears started to be stiff to pass as well but I will create a new post about that since the oil level in sightglass is black instead of transparent :wideyed: ...
  16. ok now having read this....if you have not done a oil change since buying the bike....then do one, unless you are mates with the previous owner or have receipts for work done never take someone's word for what has been done to your bike.

    apart from that i personally wouldn't worry about the oil in sight glass being black....it's oil...i'd personally be concerned if it was see thru like in that photo you posted from ninja wiki site - future reference make sure people know you post that photo from another site and it's not your bike - as like me they will presume so.
  17. Stop using Gasolene!!!!!!! That will kill your bike dead.
    You need PETROL in Australia
  18. Ahaha I'll use petrol from now on then ;)

    Ok, I want to add some details from yesterday night and this morning:

    - Actually the fuel smell came back when I put back the hot bike on its side stand (I initially parked it on the center stand and couldn't smell any fuel)

    - after 10 hours parked, the bike wouldn't start first go as before....

    I suspect some fuel getting in the carb when on the side stand, it would explain :
    - petrol smell after hot riding since it continues to leak in one carb and evaporates through the breather hoses
    - bike hard to start (battery and starter motor does not have enough power to get the engine going)

    Is it really likely only 2 months after a carb overhaul...?
  19. We're you given Receipts for this overhaul? Or just taking someone's word for it?
  20. nop I have the receipt