Electrical woes...it's dead, dead, dead... - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 13 Old 10-25-2006, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 18
Electrical woes...it's dead, dead, dead...

So the problem is: no power at all. Key is on, no lights, no turning over, nada. :sad:

The background: Started up as normal this AM, hopped on, rolled forward, dropped into 1st and stalled. No big deal, happens sometimes when the clutch is sticky. Hit the starter to get going again and got a buzzing sound like a short or something, did it again and on the 3rd time it started up. I checked my lights and such to make sure I hadn't blown any fuses and everything looked good. I thought "hmm, should I maybe leave the bike at home and take the cage to work? NAH!" Got rolling, rode 10 miles to work and as I was pulling in I notced that my voltmeter was going wonky, my turn signar indicator was not working and niether was my hi-beam indicator..ruh-roh. The bike was running fine, mind you. I pulled into work, turned it off, and tried to turn it back on and it was dead as dead can be. I checked all my fuses and none are blown...Battery connection is good and tight. Battery is a new Yuasa maint. free AGM...WTF? :???:

More background:
All safety switches are bypassed.
I have a feeling that a short was created by the stupid voltmeter, this POS here: http://www.casporttouring.com/store/...de=Electronics
It has potential (so to speak), and is a nice little unit, but the wires are soo freakin flimsy that they tear apart very easily. I was putting on a new braided steel rake line this weekend and tore the wires out of the voltmeter. Pute them back together but I tore them off very close to the cricuit board and did not solder them back. Anyway, that's the only thing that has changed recently, and I feel like that might be it. I haven't had a chance to tear everything apart, but I did disconnect the little wire from the battery, and it didn't help.

I'm wondering if the voltmeter shorting out is indeed what caused this, why didn't any fuses blow, and what could I have fried that would kill the bike?

Many questions, few answers and no time to tear into it until Sunday. I working 10+ hours a day 6 days a week right now, so not a good time for electrical problems. Oh well. Luckily a fellow worker had a pickup and we muscled it up in there and got 'er home.

I know it could be a lot of things, but if anybody has a bright idea, I'd be much obliged.


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post #2 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 09:31 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Franklinville, NC
Posts: 650
Take that volt meter and throw it in the river... if you got one clase by.

If !.. double check..if the fuses are good. Then the volt meter is drawing power off the battery. and causing it to go dead.
But why would it not charge the battery??.. well, it could be enough of a draw to keep volts from going to the battery and charging it while riding.

Double check the Fuses.

Throw the volt meter away.

clean up any wiring to said volt meter.

Check all the connection to and from the battery ( now's the time to dielectric grease everything)

Put the battery on charge.

Reinstall the battery. (double check the connections.)Check voltage with a GOOD volt meter, it should be 12v. or more.

Start motorcycle... and check the voltage to the battery with a GOOD volt meter. it should be above 13v. while running.

Let us know the outcome.

- Joe

HighSpeed Hiker- DV o5'
Originally Posted by larryboy
come awn... it's not far...it'll be fun..

sorry I can't....... I'm fishing today
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 10:10 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Mt. Gilead, OH
Posts: 114
I can't say the voltmeter is to blame without evaluating the wiring myself, but a possible reason no fuses blew IF the voltmeter is the culprit is because it is not draining power from a fused circuit. I would suspect it is wired right to battery, and likely does not have it's own fuse protection.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 18
Yup the voltmeter is going into the wash...no rivers here unfortunately! I'll have to wait for the next good rain for that turd of a device to be washed away. :evil:

The battery had been freshly charged not 48 hours before BTW. The bike had been sitting a lot and I wanted to keep the new battery happy, so I know it's not drained. And that voltmeter has been on there for about a year and never drained anything that I could tell. Probably takes about as much power as a wristwatch.

And you're right, Meefzah, it's not on a fused circuit, except for the fact that a third wire is connected to the city lights hot wire for some reason or another. Actually I know why. It's to activate the backlight that only works well enough to make you want to keep trying to read the voltmeter at night, causing a dangerous distraction...peace o' crap...

ANYhoo, yeah I gotta tear into it and remove all the wires. I did rip the voltmeter off and separate all the wires and tape them up, and also disconnected the main power wire from the battery, hoping it might do something to help, but no dice. I guess it'll be caging it to work until Sunday...sigh...such nice weather right now too. Oh well.

If you're thinking about that voltmeter..DON'T!! Thanks for the suggestions, guys...I'll post when I tear into it and hunt down the evil short circuit demons.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 595
Fried your CDI?
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tyler, Texas
Posts: 5
I know it is a fairly new battery, but, it would not be the first one that was bad out of the box. Suggest you try 'jump' starting the bike, if that works, you can pretty much point the blame at your existing battery (should still be under warranty). As far as seeing 12 volts with a voltmeter, you can see that on a dead battery.......the only way to really test it is under a load. Put your voltmeter on the battery and turn the ignition "on"......if there is a substantial drop in the voltage, you have a bad battery.

The bike will still run with a dead battery, as the ignition circuit is seperate from the charging circuit. With the bike running, you should see, at least, 12 volts across the battery and raising the rpm's it should increase to 14-15 volts.

Just from what you have described, I would put my money on the battery or loose/bad connections.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-26-2006, 06:38 PM
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Location: London, Ohio
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I'd check the wiring on the safety switch bypass. Could be a bad connection? Also check the grounding wire connection. Sometimes it;s the stupid stuff that goes wrong, believe me. I've been there! :lol:

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post #8 of 13 Old 10-28-2006, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Posts: 18
Well, all will hopefully be clear tomorrow, when I have some free daylight to dig into it. Don't think it's the battery, the problem coincided with the tearing of the wires of the crappy voltmeter, so that's where I'm starting...remove all traces of that evil device, make sure the battery terminals are n ice and snug and go from there. Don't think it could be the CDI because the bike ran for awhile after the "incident"...it can't run without the CDI can it? Nor would it keep running if any of the safety bypasses went bad, right? Nope, I'm thinking this is a simple short somewhere in the lines. Thanks for the input, I'll be back with results tomorrow. Cheers!
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-29-2006, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 18
Ahhh, sweet success! :mrgreen: I have exorcised the demons from my electrical system, and all is right with the world again. Turns out my problem was twofold, and the voltmeter probably was not to blame. I still tossed it, cause I'm tired of dealing with the wires ripping loose all the time.

First problem: bad battery connection. When I got my new battery this summer I accidentally threw out the mounting screws/nuts that came with it. D'OH! Tried to get somebody on the horn to send me new ones, but nobody was very excited about helping me, so I had to fab my own. It was a trial and error process, and I had a great character building experience pushing the KLR uphill in the dirt and mud trying to outrun rain and thunder on top of a 7000 foot mountain. That was some fun right there! :roll: I had to stop pushing out of sheer exhaustion and fear that my heart would explode, and I let the bike fall over :lol: Anyway, that's another story for another day. I finally got the screws right and tight (I thought), and then the kind folks sent me the new screws in the mail a few weeks later. :roll: I held onto them, figured I'd get around to it sometime, but hey it works now so why bother...So today i replaced my "custom" hardware with the bona fide manufacturer's goodies, and everything seemed back to normal.

However after starting and cutting it off several times to be sure, it hesitated and I heard a buzzing noise coming from the instrument cluster area. i had heard that noise the other morning when things went to sh*t, but I thought it was the voltmeter shorting out. As it turns out I had been a little to careless in my bypassing of the starter lockout wires under the instrument cluster, and there was some shenanigans going on in there. For those who don't know what i'm talking about, you can bypass all your "safety" switches all at once (if you want to do that, and I think you do, because when they stop working so does your motorcycle) by jumping two wires under the instrument cluster. If you're interested, reply here and I'll explain. It's easy and painless, but for feck's sake do it cleanly or you'll end up with a bike that won't start!!

So I cleaned that all up, and now I feel good. No more monkey business in my electricals! Time to go for a ride, yippeee!!!

Cheers fellers & ladies.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-29-2006, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 284
G-unit....congratulations!!! I know u are a happy camper. Been there with a similar situation... but too embarrassing to admit here in public.

So if I understand your situation.... the battery connections were not tight enough?

Also I would like the procedure on jumping out the safety switches.... Please and thanks!
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