I have a 1992 Kawasaki EX500 with some sort of an electrical or starter problem... here's the description:
I got the bike about 5 weeks ago. When I bought it the battery was dead and the previous owner had replaced the battery trying to get the bike to start. They were unsuccessful. So then the previous owner replaced the solenoid. They still couldn't start the bike so they sold it to me.
I brought the bike home, ran the bike down the driveway, and let out the clutch to see that the engine would turn over. It did. So I hooked up jumper cables and jump started the bike. It started and ran but the battery was weak so I kept it on a trickle charger.
The next day the bike started and ran off the charger quite easily. I drove the bike to a dealer and left the bike at the dealer to get it inspected. Aside from replacing the front rotor and pads, the bike passed inspection without any other work.
I went and picked up the bike yesterday, thumbed the starter, and it turned right over. I drove the bike about 12 miles towards my house and then the engine started dying.... first it stayed at 7k rpm... then wouldn't hold 6k.. then would not hold 5k.... then I pulled over and the engine died as I was getting over to the side of the road.
I looked at the gauges and they were dim. I had a friend following me home with my toolbox. I took out a meter and confirmed that the battery was low. I replaced the dead battery with a new, fully charged battery. I hoped I maybe just had a failed charging system... but it got worse...
With the new battery in... I noticed that when I turned the ignition key the head light did not come on. (I think it used to come on before, even when the engine was not running). When I thumbed the starter the solenoid made a nice strong thunk... but the engine did not turn. I walked the bike forward and popped the clutch, trying a bump start. But no luck.
Once or twice I got the starter to turn the bike over some... but it was VERY VERY weak and slow.
I hooked up jumper cables thinking I might have a weak repalcement battery... but once again nothing but a solenoid thunk... and still no head light.
I have gone through the bike and checked the connections pretty well and can't seem to locate anything loose.
Can anyone give me any suggestions on running down this problem? Right now all I have is a thunk when I hit the starter button and also no headlight. I am at a loss as to whether they relate to each other but my gut tells me the headlight is a clue.
I think I have both a charging system failure and also a starter failure... The charging system slowly kills the battery and the starter just doesn't work....
Any suggestions welcome