Burning ground when 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 10 Old 10-10-2018, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Burning ground when starting

Today I randomly had an issue starting my 2004 with 23k miles. I went to start it, and it felt like the battery was struggling to start the bike, but it sounded different. Then I had electrical smoke coming out under the front of the tank on the right side. I was able to push start it and get home.

When I pulled the tank off, I found a black wire with yellow stripe that was melted and missing a lot of insulation. It connected to the frame on the right side under the frame that holds the coolant overflow and horn. I have tried re-wrapping the wire with electrical tape to prevent it from touching anything else, and that had no effect. It is only hot from where it connects to other wires (it goes from a single wire to 3 wires).

Any idea what's going on here?

Thanks
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-10-2018, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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I just went and took some pictures, maybe these will be of use in diagnosing what's going on, or at least understanding what I'm talking about?

Alright, here we go, I have added arrows to help make it easier to spot what's going on.

First things first: This is from the left side. I have cut open the wiring loom to be able to trace the melted wire, and I traced it back as far as where it joins 2 other ground wires and is spliced into a single wire. From the battery direction, it goes 1 wire > 3 wires. The single wire it sources from isn't melted, nor are the other 2 wires. Bad connection here maybe? I have wrapped the melty wire in electrical tape.

Here's a broad image of what we're talking about.




And a little closer look at that splice, which I should add, is factory. Again, this is on the left side of the bike, this was wrapped in blue electrical tape underneath the wiring loom sheath.




And this is taken from the right side of the bike. This is where the melty wire connects to the frame. It is currently not connected, but it was under the bracket that holds a bunch of the (relays?) electrical components as well as the frame for the coolant overflow bottle. This is the only thing that this wire goes to, it doesn't splice in anywhere else to anything.






Thanks so much for your help!

Edit: Let me know if you want links to the larger, high res images without the arrows. Just resized them so they would post well on the forum.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-10-2018, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Solved! I also posted this on another KLR forum, where a user was able to help me diagnose the problem!

My ground wire on the starter itself had worked loose, and was causing an intermittent connection, so then it was looking for the next available ground. The ground up by the reservoir tank is the next shortest ground wire, and it is too thin to handle to current of the starter, but the wire it splices from is just barely thick enough, hence why it only melted after the splice!


Thanks y'all!
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-11-2018, 02:13 AM
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Happy ending!

Keeping all ground connections clean and tight remains sound maintenance.

The Generation 1 KLR650 wiring diagram is posted on this website, also available through Google ("KLR650 Wiring Diagram") on the 'Net; might come in handy.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-12-2018, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Happy ending!

Keeping all ground connections clean and tight remains sound maintenance.

The Generation 1 KLR650 wiring diagram is posted on this website, also available through Google ("KLR650 Wiring Diagram") on the 'Net; might come in handy.
I have it hanging on the garage wall! If I put it up it'll never be found again.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-12-2018, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidly View Post
I have it hanging on the garage wall! If I put it up it'll never be found again.
A Gen 1 wiring diagram doesn't help much with a Gen 2 bike tho, does it Squidly?

pdwestman
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-12-2018, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
A Gen 1 wiring diagram doesn't help much with a Gen 2 bike tho, does it Squidly?
LOL!

Generation 2 (2008) wiring diagrams are available from the same sources; Squidly may have exploited that availability!
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-12-2018, 08:36 PM
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Either that or Squidly needs an LED light bulb with an H4 base.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-12-2018, 08:47 PM
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Your guys are on top of it!
Oh i exploited big time. The info on this blog is invaluable!
So you bet I take advantage. Clearly nothing gets by PD!
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-12-2018, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Squidly View Post
Your guys are on top of it!
Oh i exploited big time. The info on this blog is invaluable!
So you bet I take advantage. Clearly nothing gets by PD!
So are you riding a Gen 1 or a Gen 2?

If riding a Gen 1 you probably ought to look at this,
KLR650 LED Headlight Kit - JNS Engineering

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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