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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am a newbie here. And I am glad I have found this site. Already I have read several post that have been very helpful.

I enjoy riding and getting/keeping my 1983 Kz550 running smooth. Hence I haven't been very successful lately.

I've owned my bike for about 1 year. And it wasn't perfect when I got it. Wires hanging out, carb problems, and probably more problems that I am not aware of yet. I ran it last year with problems and now would like to correct those problems. I had the carbs rebuilt and it ran great.

Now there is electrical problems. I have been starting it up periodically and letting it run for 15 minutes, while storing it for winter. It has been starting great until the other day. I went to start the bike the lights turned on but nothing happens when I push the starter button. I tried jump starting first with another motorcycle but same thing. Nothing would happen when I pushed the start button. No cranking at all. When it didn't start I tried jump starting it with my conversion van. Still nothing happened. No cranking. There seems to be a broken connection somewhere. I just don't know where to start looking. I did check the fuses and they all were good.

I will try a multimeter and look for shorts. If you have a little time it sure would be nice to have a little assist.

11,328 Posts
Starter Solenoid Checkout

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.

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.

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. Some websites for starter motor rebuild kits are:

B.starter motor repair kits

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.

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.

11,328 Posts
Fuse And Fuse Holder Designations

1. The older Kawasaki’s use a glass tubed fuse with the designation of AGX 1” long. Most good auto parts stores can get them for you. They are ¼” in diameter.

2. The more common AGC is 1 ¼” long and may not fit the smaller fuse clips. Again, ¼” in diameter.

3. To clean and polish the fuse clips, I use a cotton swab(Q- Tip) and some Brasso metal cleaner or Turtle Wax Chrome Polish. I suppose any good metal polish would work.

4. These fuses can fail internally but look good, only by removing them from the clip and electrically continuity checking with either a self powered test light, or a multimeter set on OHMS can they be determined to be in good shape.

5. A physical inspection of the metal end caps for tightness will tell you if the fuse is serviceable.

6. Most modern motorcycles are now using the automobile “Blade” style fuse with the designation of ATC or ATO.

7. The reduced sized “Mini” Blade style fuse holder uses the ATM size of fuses.

8. If the fuse and fuse holder overheat, it could soften or anneal the grip of the clip, it might require squeezing the clip to restore the tightness.

9. A list of where to purchase “Blade” style fuses and holders:
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