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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I had a bit of a search and couldn't find anything about this in here, so apologies if the same issue is elsewhere.

I've recently picked up a 2011 ZX10R (ABS) and I'm having some kind of weird electrical issue. I had a few short/moderate rides on it, then despite not having any issues with starting, I turned the key in the ignition to "on" and nothing happened. No lights on the dash, no whirring sounds as things get power... nothing. I replaced the battery on Thursday and we were back in business. I rode it to work on Friday (about 20-30min each way) but when I tried to ride it again this afternoon, back to nothing. (It has Oxford heated grips which I have now disconnected, in case they're part of the problem.)

Are there any known issues that would be a good first place to look? Someone suggested that the alternator or the regulator could be the issue, but he also doesn't know anything about bikes (only cars) so he's just trying to throw out some ideas.

I've always been a bit of a spud when it comes to working on my own rides but I'm trying to learn more about it so I decided to ask about it in here rather than immediately running off to a shop to get it looked at. Thanks in advance!
 

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Have you been able to repeat the issue with the grips disconnected? There are no known issues I know of. I have one. ARe you sure you turned the key off? After riding the bike for 20-30 minutes without cutting the bike off, I would ride home, turn the bike off, let it sit for a couple minutes and try to restart it, if it starts normal great, park it disonnect battery for a day, reconnect the battery and see if it starts.

Esssentially, you're going to have to narrow down when the bike doesn't start.

When what you are describing has happened to me, it is usually because I killed the engine through the kill switch on the bar or the kickstand and left the key on.

If you have a volt meter check and see what battery terminal voltage is while the bike is running.
 

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The battery is used for starting the bike only. The alternator produces a variable alternating current. The regulator/rectifier changes the alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC) and caps it at about 14volts to run the electronics and keep the battery charged up. So it sounds as though the charging system is bad and the battery is running the bike the whole time. That will drain the battery quick and you'll only be able to ride for about 20-30mins before the battery drains and the bike shuts off. If you haven't popped a fuse, then the battery is completely dead if nothing turns on with the key. It sounds like that's your problem at the moment.

You'd have to troubleshoot it a little further to figure out if it's the alternator (stator and rotor) or the reg/rectifier. Could be either one of those, or both. You should be seeing 46 volts AC at 4,000rpm directly out of the alternator. You should be seeing about 14 volts DC at the battery terminals.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the help, guys! I'll give those things a go and hopefully have something positive to report back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I pulled the battery off to charge it and disconnected the heated grips before reconnecting a fully charged battery - nothing. So I'm thinking that the first time was a false positive. I did check the two fuse boxes that I know of (one under the seat and one inside the front left fairing) but I couldn't find any loose fuses.

I spoke to my local Kawasaki dealership and apparently the 2011s do actually have a known issue with the electrical junction boxes. I was thinking that rather than spending $125/hr for them to try and diagnose the problem, that I might try and rule a few things out first... especially since the bloke on the phone told me that they recently had a KTM in there for a full day trying to determine what the electrical issue was!

I'm also still not completely convinced that it's not the ignition barrel (as that it the part that would move the most frequently to open/close the circuit) so I'm thinking that I might watch a video about how to replace those to learn how to manually close the circuit and see if that does anything. I figure that I just will not have the technical skills/knowledge to check everything but I'm hoping that I can at least whittle down some of the cost of them diagnosing it by ruling a few things out.

If anyone has any diagrams showing where all the junction boxes are, I would be really grateful if you shared them. Thanks!
 

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Troubleshoot with the bike in neutral, kill switch on and the kickstand up. Turn ignition on and off with just the key.
 

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As mentioned before Get a voltmeter to diagnose all your problems. Put it to the terminals on the battery. Should read around 12 volts with nothing connected to it.
In the bike connect it and try to start it, see if the volts spike up while turning the key at all.
If it starts, while its running and idle, you should be getting 14 volts at the battery terminals, which means its charging from the stator.

If you cant start it, you can use a voltmeter to check the ohms on the stator and regulator and they should read a specific number. I dont remember off the top of my head, but I used to have electrical issues on my 07 and learned about all of this very quickly when I found all the shops by me charged the same amount just to find the problem and not fix it. I have had zero issues on my 14, but across all bikes, the concept is generally the same with starting, running, and charging.
 
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