Inconsistent starting - 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 11 Old 07-01-2016, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Inconsistent starting

Hello and thanks for your help.
I have my KLR in storage in Ohio most of the year, because I live in Thailand now, and just got it out afew weeks ago. Bought a new battery and everything worked like gangbusters. Now however, every 19 out of 20 times it starts no problem, but the 20th can be troublesome. All I hear is a soft click which leads me to think it is the solenoid. But KLR's have 2 one on top of another, why is that? Any help is great, I could buy a new solenoid but I'm confused by what I see online. On the bike it appears tat both relays are mounted to a plate, which is then mounted to the frame, but online is seems most people are just selling the top component. Any one have a similar issue. Thanks in adavnce
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-01-2016, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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I would think either a solenoid is working or not, but inconsistent is odd. I just want to make sure I can properly diagnose and then fix the right problem
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-04-2016, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that is immensely helpful. I ordered a new solenoid, just waiting for it to arrive then I was gonna troubleshoot. So you labeled the lower relay as the "side stand relay"and that one is not needed? When i doesn't start, I can usually just attempt to jump start it and then the starter will work after a bit, it is strange.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-04-2016, 04:58 PM
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The short version of the starting system is that the start button energizes the small relay and then the small relay energizes the large solenoid which energizes the starter.

You can put a screwdriver or a rod to your ear and against each of the relays and push the start button to determine which of the relays are working.

My guess is the small one is working because if not, it wouldn't energize the large one to click.

If you are getting multiple clicks (buzzing) suspect a low/bad battery or bad battery connections.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-04-2016, 11:05 PM
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Here's Clymer's starting system wiring diagram:



The side stand switch is not shown; the starter circuit relay can pick up a ground from the neutral switch, or the "starter lockout switch" (aka clutch switch). With the clutch engaged and the transmission in gear, a down side stand prevents engine running or starter activation, I think; corrections welcomed.

Last edited by Damocles; 07-04-2016 at 11:07 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-07-2016, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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I bought a new starter relay and installed it and now I get only one click before total power loss. It was an aftermarket part so I had to clip the wires going into the starter relay plug and everything seems fine, but clearly there is a problem that I don't know what to do next. Any advice is needed as I'm a bit of a newbie especially when it comes to electrical. The battery is brand new and the connections seem to be ok
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-07-2016, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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New note, I just got it to start once and now not again, I think the problem might be a connection issue where I had to clip the relay plug. I'm gonna track down a soldering gun and secure the connections, but now I again have total power loss

Last edited by Adam Dierkers; 07-07-2016 at 06:11 PM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-07-2016, 08:11 PM
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Starter relay activation requires only low-amperage control voltage. The main relay contacts carry high starting current, however; the connection between battery positive terminal and cable, and between starter relay and starter motor remain critical.

Even though new, your battery must be charged sufficiently to deliver the amperage starting requires.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-07-2016, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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The battery is fully charged much I know. I wish I could give you more information. Someone said it sounds like bad earth, which seems to be a massive pain in the ass to determine where the issue is. What do you know about bypassing the lower relay, I heard that you can remove that one. Is that right?
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-07-2016, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Starter relay activation requires only low-amperage control voltage. The main relay contacts carry high starting current, however; the connection between battery positive terminal and cable, and between starter relay and starter motor remain critical.

Even though new, your battery must be charged sufficiently to deliver the amperage starting requires.
To add to Damocles' comments, if you are getting a click and then the headlight goes off and stays off when you release the start button, that indicates a weak connection in the main power wiring from the battery anyplace alone the two big battery wires, but usually at the battery terminals. I would remove and clean the wires at the battery and re-tighten them. It is possible but, unlikely for the connection problem to be internal to the battery.

If cleaning and tightening the terminals doesn't work, a good test is to jump to a car battery. If if works with the car battery, take your battery to an auto parts store and ask them to load test it.
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