Engine misses, tack wild, won't start - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-28-2011, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Calgary AB, Canada
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Engine misses, tack wild, won't start

have '08 blue KLR, about 6000 miles since new. Last week once, and again tonite, I noticed an irregular missing, and at same time tack was jumping all over the place while I held a pretty constant engine actual speed.
Pulled over into a lot, turned it off, then went to start and the green neutral light went out after a faint, singel click noise.
I didnt' want to go. I ended up bump starting it go get home. Original battery but it's been kept up OK (I think it has).
Checked plug wire to plug, it's fine(tight at least)

After bump starting it, I rode home, it intermittenly was missing firing but then smoothed out again. Had to stop at the store, did that, came out and it started fine. Same at home, after I'd shut it down. started right up.

Last week first time it happened it was parked on centrestand, wheel almost straight. Didn't start, then I noticed the wild tach fluctuations after I'd bumped started it. Been fine since, probably 8 times, some short, some long, until today. It started missing while I was riding, hence my pullover and shut down.
Any suggestions appreciated., thanks.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-28-2011, 08:09 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Chicago IL
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Recent gas fill up? Run a lower grade fuel than normal? Fuel tank relatively full? Sometimes with fuels these days weird stuff like this happens but sounds like yours might be deeper than that but it's a good place to start.

Bike been sitting for any reason? Did it seem to be sputtering from lack of fuel or was it just running rough?

How about the last time you changed your plug? Would be something I would look into. While changing it check the connections to the ignition system.

As far as the tack I'm unsure as to the klr specifics but they are usually driven by the crankshaft position sensor. Possibly a bad connection. Bad or dirty sensor. If the sensor is indeed dirty or bad it could cause the bike to go into a limp mode and cause the bike to not run at its peak. Unit will be sparking at the wrong time and it will just feel wrong. Maybe this will point you in the right direction. Hope you get it fixed so you can get back to ridin. Best of luck.


"If you don't ride in the rain, you don't ride."
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-28-2011, 09:11 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Virginia
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A bouncing tach usually indicates a ground problem. I can't visually insure good battery terminal connections. I remove and clean, re-install. If you aren't set up to test the battery, swing by an auto parts supply house that performs load testing on batteries. This can be done while the battery is in the bike. Any time you get out of the factory supplied battery from this point on is a gift. In my estimation, you've about exceeded the life expectancy of that battery. I'd be shopping for a replacement, unless bump starting is appealing...

I like simple and obvious first, and DO ONE THING AT A TIME. That way you know where to return to. If you do a whole bunch of stuff, the bike runs OK, then returns to problematic, you don't know what straightened it out last time....

The Gen II bike has an issue with chaffed wiring harnesses. If the problem isn't battery connection or battery related, The seat and tank need to come off, and some wiring harness inspection performed. The tach is driven off the ignition control box. A short between the ignition control box and the tach won't interfere with the starter engagement or cause the engine to cut out. Leading me back to a common ground issue at the battery.

My suggestion is to rule out a battery connection or battery issue first.

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post #4 of 4 Old 07-01-2011, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Calgary AB, Canada
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Engine missing

Loose wire (on -ve) it was, all is now good. It was an accessory wire done by PO, with a fork type end that came loose, then loosening the other main wire on -ve battery connection. Couldn't see it until I'd almost removed the battery, the the looseness showed up.
Thanks for the heads up
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