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Hi and help from Graeme in France,
Over a year ago or longer, the bike, a 2002 model, has struggled more and more to start, finally refusing to start from cold but will start easily when warmed up. It always sounds as if the battery isn't strong enough, but it has been replaced , twice .

I've replaced all items in starter circuit, from battery to one-way starter clutch.
But, it still makes a whinnying that grinds to a halt, like something is half-seizing, somewhere... somewhere else in the motor, but not I'm starting to believe, not in the starter system.

There are several bearings around the bottom end / cam and counter-vibration parts. But that's a hell of a lot of stripping down.
It feels like a needle in a haystack search.

Anyone had a similar problem ? I'm pretty desperate and isolated here in S. France. No motorcycle mechanic, even the main Kawasaki dealer in Montpellier has got any (accurate) idea, and are quoting more than the value of the bike to poke around looking for a solution.

Love this bike and all it can do, but might have to break it up for parts if I can't work out what's wrong..

Help !

Graeme in France
 

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Hi Graeme, and welcome to the forum.

Hard starting when cold is a symptom of tight valve clearances. Have you made certain that the valve clearances are at the maximum?

Tpom
 

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Hi and help from Graeme in France,

I've replaced all items in starter circuit, from battery to one-way starter clutch.
But, it still makes a whinnying that grinds to a halt, like something is half-seizing, somewhere... somewhere else in the motor, but not I'm starting to believe, not in the starter system.

Love this bike and all it can do, but might have to break it up for parts if I can't work out what's wrong..

Help !

Graeme in France
Graeme,
Did you yourself replace the one-way starter clutch or a shop? Can you provide all part numbers which were replaced?

There is a big difference between starter motor won't spin, electrical problem. Starter motor can't turn the engine over, mechanical connection. And "won't start", compression, fuel, spark issues.
 

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"Sounds like a dead battery, even though it's been replaced twice".

I vote for faulty battery cables or weak starter motor itself.

99% of the time I hear a struggling starter motor it's a bad battery cable, or a weak ground.

Make sure the starter motor itself is grounding well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks PD. Did the starter clutch replacement myself. Both parts were functioning just fine.
Ditto: starter motor; relay; battery. No part no's available at moment.

But no , I haven't adjusted the valve clearances for ages.. so, next job.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"Sounds like a dead battery, even though it's been replaced twice".

I vote for faulty battery cables or weak starter motor itself.

99% of the time I hear a struggling starter motor it's a bad battery cable, or a weak ground.

Make sure the starter motor itself is grounding well.
Thanks for tips, Captain,
Starter spins fine. cables not replaced yet. But if valve adjustment doesn't resolve starting issues, will try those ideas.
 

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Dumb question, but if the battery is good and you have spark, can you bump start the engine?

That would help rule out starter vs. other issues.
 

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You don't need a good battery, or even any battery at all, to bump-start a Generation 1 KLR650.

The ignition circuit of Generation 1 KLR650s remains entirely independent of the battery circuit.

The CDI module ("igniter") receives alternating current power from stator exciter coils alone; battery does not contribute in any way to producing ignition spark.
 

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Thanks for tips, Captain,
Starter spins fine. cables not replaced yet. But if valve adjustment doesn't resolve starting issues, will try those ideas.
Graeme,
I guess I am confused.

Does the starter motor reliably turn the engine over cold and hot, with-out ugly noises?

Or does the engine turn partially over, then the starter motor or gears or sprag clutch dis-engage and make gosh awful noises?

Could you perform a cold cranking compression test with the throttle wide open? Cranking at least 10 revolutions?
 

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I'm confused,too.

I thought the engine was straining to turn over. As in a dragging or slow turning starter.

So the engine turns over normally, you just have to crank for long periods of time?
 
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