Stalling in First Gear [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

Stalling in First Gear

08-05-2015, 04:05 PM
Hi all!

I'm new to the forum and new to biking.

I've recently bought a 1981 Kawasaki KZ550 LTD and installed a new battery. I took it out to practice this morning. After warming up, the bike was at an idle speed of about 2000 RPM,...I shifted into first, tried to get going but the engine seemed to stop as soon as I fully released the clutch.

Can anyone help me troubleshoot?

08-06-2015, 09:15 AM
The idle speed is high. It should be in the 1100 rpm range. It may be set high to compensate for clogged pilot circuits. When starting a cold bike, you should have to use the choke, without touching the throttle. To start the bike after it's warm, you can open the throttle a little but you shouldn't have to use the choke. See the Starting the Engine section of the owner's manual.

Clutch adjustment. The clutch may need a basic adjustment. The owner's manual should have the procedure. Some service manuals are ambiguous as to which way you're supposed to turn the clutch release adjusting screw. On the KZ550 & other 80s models, it should be counterclockwise first until hard to turn, then clockwise 1/4 turn. It's sort of counter-intuitive.

08-06-2015, 09:33 AM
Sounds like a kick stand safety switch problem to me.

08-06-2015, 03:47 PM
I don't think an 81 550 is going to have a side stand switch.

08-07-2015, 09:31 AM
I don't think an 81 550 is going to have a side stand switch.

Hard for me to say, I don't remember much of the '80s. It's mostly just a fuzzy haze....

08-07-2015, 11:03 AM
:shock: :-o

I'm thinking 1981 is a bit early for a side stand switch. Assuming his bike doesn't have it, I don't have another guess at the moment of what's wrong. I'm thinking his carburetors need cleaning, and the clutch is incorrectly adjusted which is kinda common on the bikes that are done counterclockwise first. If he does those things, which are probably needed anyway, maybe he'll stumble upon the fix. ??? ... :)