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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, so not only is Kawasaki failing to tell me the vin series of the '04 models with the old alternator design, they can't even tell me how many total '04 models were even produced! It's so sketchy when a company seems this secretive. For christs sake, I can google how many Camaros were made in 1968 with no problems. What's different about a bike?

Anyway, I would like to know if I am riding a ticking time bomb or not. It is my understanding that when the alternator goes, the engine can suddenly lose power and die, resulting in a possible crash or injury. With my amount of interstate commuting, I am genuinely concerned this could be a safety related issue. I simply want to buy the new parts to fix it before it becomes an issue. I don't, however, want to tear the bike apart only to find out I have the new alternator design to begin with!

My research has only revealed that Kawasaki changed the design "somewhere in the middle" of the 04 production run, although I have never seen an official source for this info. I want to whittle down a possible VIN range based off of those '04 owners who have had failures and those who have not. Apparently there was a poll done similar to this way back in the day, which has mysteriously disappeared. Hmm.



So it's simple. If you have an 04:

Post the last 4 or 5 digits of your vin and whether or not your alternator has been replaced. The mileage on the bike when the alternator failed would also be beneficial if you have it.

Thanks

(FYI, my bike's vin ends in 8600. I have 2,000 miles and it has not failed as of yet)
 

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I'm at work so I don't have the vin on me right now but my bike is dated 03/04 so I'm sure mine falls in the category of they old style generator... I haven't replaced mine yet embed my nike had 7k miles on it. Be great if someone could post an exact part number for the 05/upgraded generator. I'm I'm the same boat as you as far as fearing it taking my motor out if it goes so I'm looking to replace it before it does
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks amann. Apparently no one is really concerned about this problem anymore judging by the lack of responses, but I'll direct owners in how they should proceed in order to hold Kawasaki's feet to the fire. All owners should:

#1. Post the info requested in this post

#2. Notify NHTSA via the online form in the following link.
https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml

I'm sure people feel powerless against a large manufacturer, but we as consumers really do have more power than we think. The key is banding together in numbers and EVERYONE taking the time to fill out the NHTSA form above. In the narrative section, be sure to stress how you believe it is a safety issue (I.e sudden loss of engine power without warning). Phrases like this WILL get NHTSA's attention if enough respond. I can assure you! I have first hand experience with this type of thing when i had issues with an LG refrigerator. It wasn't NHTSA, but another government safety agency known as the Consumer Product Safety commission. After being completely ignored by LG, I contacted CPSC and told them why I thought there was a safety issue. Within two weeks, I was contacted by LG apologizing and offering to buy back the unit.
 

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Words of wisdom from another forum: "Drive more, worry less."

My VIN ends in 0014xx, I have almost 68,000 km on it. The frame hasn't cracked, the alternator hasn't broken. I priced out the parts to replace the alternator with the 2005 design but for the price of those parts, I could probably just buy an entire engine at the wrecker's, and if that's the case, there's no purpose in doing so before the original one fails - which might not happen.

AFAICT the entire 2004 production run has the bad alternator design and the entire 2005 production run has an updated design. The parts fiche shows the differences in part numbers by model year and there is no further sub-distinction made by VIN. Generally if there is a running change, it should be given as one number up to a certain VIN and then another number after that, but that ain't how it is with this - it's simply by model year.
 

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Gofaster, is yours an 04? I'm just curious...I thought the generator was only like 300$... I ride mine everyday but again can't lie and say its not in the back of my mind about the issue. I love my 04 and plan to put at least 100k on it god willing....
 

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^ you should have no problem doing so. Mine dated 11/04 but, its an 05 (last 4) 6565 has 60,000 and still pulls, runs and goes to jennings with me.
Take care of it and change the oil and you shouldnt have many problems. I am more worried about the water pump going.
 

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Kawasaki was covering all the generator failures a few years ago. I'm sure with the bikes being 8 years old they are probably not covering them anymore. The ones that went out allot were replaced so there are lower chances to getting a bad one. It was a first year bike things happen. If your worried about it buy a 05 or newer. Every bike has problems its just part of ownership. When it starts making noise have it replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate all the input but all I want to know is what VIN series did Kawasaki begin using the updated part. I keep reading "very early 04 models" are the only ones with the problem, so apparently not all 04s are affected. I want to know when the part was updated during the production run.
 

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7974...and my generator failed. 27k miles I think. .net member Costas had his 04 fail as well. 10k miles, not sure of the last 4. If you are really worried, you would have taken it out already and checked it (assuming you are capable of doing the work yourself) You don't have to "tear apart your bike" as much as you think. I thought I read somewhere here that if you replace a shim in the 04 generators, it will correct the problem? I'm actually looking for that thread right now....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's my understanding the tank, air box, coolant lines, throttle bodies, etc have to be pulled.
 

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Alternator 04

If I Understand well the generator become loose and have tendancy of eating some metal.

THere was having a thread on this long time ago, it's probably somewhere here or in bikeland.org

Keep us inform Thanks.
 

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It's my understanding the tank, air box, coolant lines, throttle bodies, etc have to be pulled.
And starter motor. And clutch cover for when you pop generator back in.
 

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(FYI, my bike's vin ends in 8600. I have 2,000 miles and it has not failed as of yet)
Hmmmm......this guy's vin was 9352. It says it a few posts down from the one I linked


I just bought a '04 zx 10, the generator let go at about 9,600 miles in late 09 Kawi rebuilt the whole motor, including new cases. Must have been one hell of a bang ! I think the previous owner had the kawi extended warranty, so momma kawi paid for the whole thing. I purchased the bike after the motor was rebuilt, runs great.

Don't know if it helps you , just my .02
link to quote....

http://zx-10r.net/forum/showpost.php?p=1375414&postcount=23
 

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So then the 05 generator is a direct swap replacement? Is it true they are over 1k$?
I believe it is a direct swap but don't quote me on that. As far as the $1k+ price range, it is absolutely true if you are buying new. They do not sell them as a whole unit, they sell it by parts. And quite honestly, you'd be lucky to find a used 05 generator.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And starter motor. And clutch cover for when you pop generator back in.
Maybe your idea of "tearing down a bike" and mine are a little different. Removing those listed items is quite a bit of work.

Anyway, we have made progress here and established that up to VIN# 7974 has the faulty alternator design. Keep the VIN's coming.
 

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