83 Kawi KZ1100ltd doesn't crank from button [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

83 Kawi KZ1100ltd doesn't crank from button

02-16-2012, 03:35 PM
Just bought the bike, and i can't get it to turn over with the thumb button. It will start when i jump it from the silenoid to the battery, and all the lights work. I don't believe the charging system is working though. Previous owner said that he replaced some wires because one rubbed off the insulation and burnt. Said it hasn't started from the thumb since then.

I haven't traced all the wires yet (bought it last night) but I will in coming days. Anything in particular to check? I am thinking silenoid, but could also be the thumb switch itself, although the switch works in the run/off positions, just not to turn it over.

Any advice would be appreciated! Looking at the wiring, it almost looks like a hack job...thinking of just replacing the whole harness, but have no idea where to purchase something like that.


02-16-2012, 05:00 PM
Try Redline Cycle Service, Inc. - Homepage (http://www.redlinecycle.com) or kawasaki vintage motorcycle part, kawasaki classic motorcycle, streetfighter part, motor bike part - AmericanClassix.com (http://www.americanclassix.com) for replacement wiring harness.

Starter Solenoid/Motor Checkout Procedure

Some simple steps to determine what is working and what's not:

1.Fully charge and test the battery(most bike shops can load test the battery, and then use a floating ball hydrometer to check specific gravity in the charged cells).

2.Clean all battery terminals of corrosion.

3.Tighten all starting related connections(Positive RED(+) battery terminal, Negative BLACK(-)terminal) and from the terminal to the engine case. All connections must be clean and tight. If the cables feel “Crunchy” when flexed, they may have corrosion inside the insulation, requiring replacement.

4.Clean the cable from the starter solenoid to the starter motor.

5.Clean and check the "bullet connectors" going to the coil side of the starter solenoid.

6.Try again to start the bike, keep in mind some Kawasaki’s have a clutch interlock to prevent cranking the engine while it’s in gear, so the clutch lever must be squeezed.

7.If no luck, go to step #8

8.Wearing eye protection, bridge with pliers or a screwdriver the two heavy duty(large)terminals on the solenoid. If the bike cranks, your solenoid may be bad.

9. If the starter won’t turn over, one of several things has happened; The starter motor has seized due to brushes binding up, lack of lubrication in the bushings of the motor, the battery is weak , the engine has seized or it could be a combination of any of the above. A website for starter motors is:

A. MITSUBA STARTER MOTORS PAGE 2 (http://www.psep.biz/store/mitsuba_starter_motors_page_2.htm)

B. Kawasaki Motorcycle Starters, Nations Starter & Alternator 1-888-334-2632 (http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/Kawasaki.html)

C. Kawasaki Starter Motors Relays and Solenoids - Buy at WhiteDogBikes (http://www.whitedogbikes.com/cat--Kawasaki-Starter-Motors-Relays-and-Solenoids--Kawasaki-Starter-Motors.html)

D. http://www.ricksmotorsportelectrics.com/starters.php

E. Starters, Alternators and more for Cars, Trucks, Tractors and ATVs (http://www.dbelectrical.com/)

10.The dealer may want $$$ for a new solenoid, but take your old one along and visit the nearest riding lawn mower shop. They have solenoids for about $15 that with a little work will fit. Be aware that the new solenoid from the lawn mower shop may require a ground wire for it to work.

11. I’d recommend upgrading from the existing battery cables to at least 6 gauge welding cables.
They are available in two colors(RED and BLACK) have more flexibility due to being constructed with finer conductors, and will fit in tighter areas.

12. The welding cable is sold by the foot, so take careful measurements or bring your old cables along. Most battery shops might be able to supply the cable too, so call to find out. The battery shop should be able to crimp/swage on the end of the welding cable the terminal ends or lugs using either a dedicated crimping machine or a tool that looks like a bolt cutter that has special dies to terminate the cable.

Open up the right handlebar switch pod, and look at the wiring going to the start and run/stop switches, check them for broken/bad soldered joints as some of the older kawasaki's have had these joints start to crumble.

02-16-2012, 07:13 PM
Thank you for the great information! Since it does start fine jumping the silenoid, I would have to conclude that it is not a starter issue. I haven't tried to jump across the leads of the silenoid yet, but i will jump more into it this weekend. going to be a busy weekend!
Thanks once again for this valuable information. Shop manual is on the way overnight, so hopefully will be here tomorrow so I can really tear into it.

02-16-2012, 10:25 PM
Manuals (Some of these websites sell used manuals, just ask)
Repair Manual | Owners Manual | Haynes Repair Manual | RepairManual.com (http://www.repairmanual.com) (Use # 99924-1026-03 for Kawasaki 1981-2005 Kz/Z1000 Factory Service Manual)
ManualsNMore.com: Factory Service Motorcycle & Auto Repair Manuals (http://www.manualsnmore.com)
Books4Cars.com - Every Repair Manual, Service Manual, Owners Manual and Book for your Car, Truck and Motorcycle (http://www.books4cars.com/)
RepairManualClub Download Area (http://www.repairmanualclub.com/motomanuals/)
moto-manuals-service (http://moto-manuals.com/)
Vintage and classic motorcycle manuals and literature (http://www.e-classicbike.com/)
Free File Sharing Made Simple - MediaFire (http://www.mediafire.com/)
Factory shop manual download now kz1000 kz1100 fours 81 85 service ... (http://www.slideshare.net/carmenitadinutzaa/factory-shop-manual-download-now-kz1000-kz1100-fours-81-85-service-repair-workshop-manual-instant-download)