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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am new here. I have a 1973 G4TR that is in pretty good shape. Lately I have been having an electrical issue. The bike runs fine until I turn the key to the headlight position. It will then run fine until the battery runs down and then it stops. If I disconnect the battery the same thing happens except it stops right away when you turn the key to the headlight position. I suppose I could have a short in the switch, but thought I would ask if anyone has had any experience with this and what their solution was. Thanks for any info.
 

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Howdy. I would check the battery to make sure it's good & do a load test. I guess your motorcycle has a 6V battery? Then I'd check the charging system, whatever the G4TR has. You might be able to find a good video on youtube. thejunkman there seems to know a lot about your type of motorcycle & he has posted here in the past.
 

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Somewhat strange problem. Though I have worked on many G series Kawasaki's, time and age have blurred some of the details. It would be rare, at least among Kawasaki and Suzuki motorcycles of that era for the on off road machine to have battery ignition. Street bikes did indeed have battery ignition but most on off road machines were set up so the lights and street gear could easily be stripped off. Please try the following and report back. With the key in the normal run position, lights off, battery unhooked, attempt to start motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It starts and runs fine with the lights off and the key in normal run position. Only quilts when you move the key to the position to turn on the lights.
 

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YES, but my question is, and this is important. With the key in the run position and the battery unhooked will it run.
 

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With the magneto system on your motorcycle ignition is independent of the lighting system. The ignition has its own separate generating coil. Strange problem. When it is in the lighting position and quits will it start immediately if you switch back to run?
 

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I would inspect and clean all grounds. I don't think that is the problem but it is a good place to start. It sounds like there is a cross feed or back feed. I suspect that when you go to the light position the ignition and lighting system are cross feeding. when the battery discharges ignition current is siphoned off by the lighting system. Turn the key back to normal run and the cross feed is eliminated. Unless there are pinched or damaged wires I can really only see this happening at the ignition switch. The switch should have a multi pin plastic plug within six or eight inches where you can use a DVM to test. The second question is why is the battery discharging? Is there excessive draw, bad connections, failed charging coil? When checking grounds any that use a ring under a bolt need to be removed for inspection. They can look fine externally but have corrosion under the ring.

A bit of trivia on G series Kawasaki ignition switches. Kawasaki shipped the G's three to a crate and they were all keyed the same. Never understood the reasoning behind sending three motorcycles to the same area with identical keys.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the info, especially the trivia. I bought a new 1970 G4TR back in the day. Never thought about the key issue. Due to the Covid I am not with the bike right now. Once I can get back to it I will give it a good going over and check all of the electrical connections. I have attached a couple of pictures of the 73 and my old 70, just for fun. The 70 didn't come with turn signals, and some switches were in different places compared to the 73. Different paint, of course. Needless to say the "lace" paint on the 70 was not stock. I let a friend talk me into that.
73 G4TR.jpeg
Old Kawasakis.jpeg
 
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