Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
How many times have you guys seen electrical gremlins that are just brutal to chase down?
A few years ago I had one that turned out to be caused by the big IMS tank on a gen2. It was cooking the CDI. No vents on those, and on this bike it was trapping too much heat. When we pulled the black box up out of the faring where it could get some air, all was fine. Even when we swapped to another good box from a bike with no issues, it did the same thing.
There was a 1992 I bought a while back (known project), that came in with all kinds of stuff messed up, but we couldn't get it right until replacing the harness. I'm not sure if it was the original harness anyway, as we were told a mechanic had spent more than 40 hours trying to get it going. It had the wrong CDI, tight valves, really nasty air filter, plugged carb, dead battery, and the gremlin filled electrical harness. Leakdown showed 7-8 percent, and compression ran right up to 180 with the carb off (after valves were adjusted, of course.) Runs fine now.
Got a gen2 here right now that needs jumpers on the kickstand and clutch switch to be happy. Thumper Bob made a couple of beautiful jumpers for testing. He tested the switch and it meters good, but maybe vibration is doing something weird? The guy said the previous owner gave him a spare wiring harness with the bike "because they can wear out."
Of course we all know about the famous gen2 harness rubbing issues.......
What's your favorite gremlin story?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Your timing couldn't be better Mike! I'm tackling an electrical gremlin as we speak!

I've recently fitted my 04 Gen 1 with LED everything; headlight, indicators and tail/brake light. There I was thinking everything was running smoothly, that is until I started the bike after installing the new tail light assembly. I noticed the running light was awfully bright, so bright in fact, that when I engage the brakes you can't tell the difference :oops:. That's no good. So I think well maybe one of the brake switches is playing up and lighting up the brake light constantly, nope they're good as far as I can tell. Double check everything is wired correctly (even though its pretty much plug and play), yup everything is okay on that front. Now comes the interesting part, I turn the ignition on but don't start the bike, and whattaya know, the running light works as intended, and the brakes, both front and back, increase the brightness when engaged... Only when the engine is running does the issue occur.

I'm still pretty new to all this, especially electrics, but after thinking about it for a bit and asking around, it would appear the problem is related to there not being enough resistance in the LED array to prevent them from lighting up like Christmas when the engine is running and outputting more than 12V. If this is the case, then you'd think that the product wouldn't be advertised as plug and play for a 12V system?

Luckily, I happen to have a spare indicator resistor laying around so I jimmy it into the taillight and ground wire to see if the extra resistance fixes the problem at all, and it does, sort of... You see when the ignition is on and the bike is not running, the tail light no longer lights up much (at all really), and when the engine is running it still gets brighter than you'd expect. To top it off, if I run the bike at 3000+rpm then the tail light once again becomes too bright and remains bright until I cut the power!

Anyway, safe to say this gremlin is wearing me out and I'm pretty close to ordering a new tail/brake light in the hopes that this one has some faulty resistors. Thought it might be worth posting the issue here to see if anyone has experienced a similar problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Could be varying voltage. Check your voltage to be sure it stays within 13.5-14.5 volts at all RPMs. If that’s okay, then plug your voltmeter to the taillight socket and see if you have 12volts all the time at the parking light contact, then the brake light contact when the brake is on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Propitious timing. I am getting an electrical intermittent problem now too on my 2013. Over the past month or so, I’ve had the engine cut out while driving along at highway speed about 3 times. It did not sputter and die, which would make me look for a fuel or carb problem. It just suddenly cut off.

I was able to either pull off on the shoulder, or continue in my lane, while fiddling with the key and shutoff switch and clutch, and it came back on within 5 seconds or so and kept running for many miles thereafter.

Where is the spot that Gen2 wiring gets rubbed through?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Could be varying voltage. Check your voltage to be sure it stays within 13.5-14.5 volts at all RPMs. If that’s okay, then plug your voltmeter to the taillight socket and see if you have 12volts all the time at the parking light contact, then the brake light contact when the brake is on.
Solid. Good replies like this are so valuable.
(I quit KLR FB because of all the useless stuff people would post when someone had a problem.)
Thumper Bob had an issue with his GPS randomly restarting, and after he put a mosfet r/r on it, no more problems. I highly recommend doing that on all KLR's if one can afford it. Easier on the gen2's. We've done a couple of Gen1's. I have a list somewhere of the bikes that use the good r/r, they are much cheaper used than new. I've been thinking about making/selling a plate to mount it right behind the overflow bottle, moving the horn. Stock horn is useless anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Propitious timing. I am getting an electrical intermittent problem now too on my . Over the past month or so, I’ve had the engine cut out while driving along at highway speed about 3 times. It did not sputter and die, which would make me look for a fuel or carb problem. It just suddenly cut off.

I was able to either pull off on the shoulder, or continue in my lane, while fiddling with the key and shutoff switch and clutch, and it came back on within 5 seconds or so and kept running for many miles thereafter.

Where is the spot that Gen2 wiring gets rubbed through?
Worst spot I've seen is at the front of the tank, against the right side of the frame. Some years are worse than others, there is a bundle there, then curves off to the right into the area near the overflow bottle. It can be hard to see. You have to pull the harness away from the frame, clean it and use a good light. Also another part of the harness runs between the tank and the overflow bottle frame. Even though it's "armored" I've seen a couple rub through there. It's a bit of work, but one can re-route everything inside the coolant bottle frame and eliminate the issue. Then again by the overflow bottle they have bendable clamps, where the clamps pull the wires against the bolt heads. Not good. Those have been the worst, along with dirty connections in that area by the overflow bottle where everything connects. For a stock bike, that's what I've seen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Thanks. I need to pull off the tank tomorrow to continue my carb jetting experiments. I’ll check the wiring harness while I’m in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Starts with the old kinked fuel vac line, put new crash bars on, had to remove tank, kinked fuel vac line a little, after install, drove 42 miles with wind, then against wind wouldn't get enough fuel, had to stop 4 or more times, asked question on this sight and was directed to check for kink and found one. No more problem, as I deleted vac pet cock.
Installed paniers, added on to blinkers wires, put together.
Rode for a few days, and one day on gravel road, lost all electrical, nothing. Called friend for pickup. Wile waiting, started to check, took seat off, noticed black wire with white strip, broke in half, under seat, seems I didn't tuck it to the side enough, and seat wore and broke it, thinking it was a neutral, I used it to quick test batt, by touching it quick to positive. Check, batt is good. Got it home, unloaded and proceeded to diagnose, respliced black wire, with heat shrink connector. Got electricalish, back. horn, lights check, wont turn over. No neutral light. Did clutch and kickstand bypass, and it started, but no neutral light. had to order new neutral switch.
( Don't use the black wire with a white stripe to test batt )

Have to add this little gem. looking at bike one day, noticed orangeish oil dripping on rear area. Couldn't find anything.. Asked on the forum, and got a few check thises. Being a natural prepper. I carry HALTZ, its a dog spray, we used in the electric company, if it will stop a pitbull, it will stop joe bad. Seems the can, I put in with the tool pouch on the back rack, was squirting itself and leaking out the drain hole, dripping orange stuff.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,808 Posts
@PeteK, have a look here for starters. @pdwestman has a routing that he likes, which I'll try to find for you.

 
  • Like
Reactions: PeteK

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,808 Posts
Here it is:
 
  • Like
Reactions: PeteK

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
The side stand switch on my 2017 started acting up so it is no longer there.
Electrical gremlins are not always bad. I have made a good living fixing electrical
and electronic gremlins in heavy trucks and equipment for a lot of years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Tom, thanks for the links. I didn’t get to the bike today. Should do it tomorrow. I’ll post what I find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Could be varying voltage. Check your voltage to be sure it stays within 13.5-14.5 volts at all RPMs. If that’s okay, then plug your voltmeter to the taillight socket and see if you have 12volts all the time at the parking light contact, then the brake light contact when the brake is on.
Thanks for your help mate. Got a chance to take a look at the bike with a multimeter this arvo. Heres what I found regarding the voltage readings from the battery and tail light connection.
Ignition ON, Volts at Battery12V
Ignition ON, Volts at tail light connection10.6V
Engine Idle, Volts at Battery14.6V (fluctuating a bit)
Engine Idle, Volts at tail light connection13.6V (fluctuating a bit)
Engine @ 3500+rpm, Volts at Battery14.3V
Engine @ 3500+rpm, Volts at tail light connection13.3V

I’m not 100% to make of the voltage dropping when the RPMs are increased, seems like it should be the opposite if anything?

The voltages seemed to fluctuate slightly when idling, saw as high as 14.9V briefly from the battery but seemed to hover around 14.6V. The brake light connection showed pretty much the same reading as the tail light in all cases.

I took the readings for the tail/brake light at the bullet connector (socket) at the end of the rear light assembly harness as that was the latest point in the circuit I could access since the LED assembly itself is sealed.

Hopefully someone here can make more sense of this than me! Thanks again for your help!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,808 Posts
I am VERY close to joining you! .....as it is, the only way I can partially maintain my sanity is to copy and paste my past posts.


Dave
I'd rather put pins in my eyes than hang out on KLR FB groups. I belong to several sewing machine groups. the Triumph Tiger 900 groups, Garming Edge, Garmin XT, Science Fiction Readers, and a couple of others. They are all fine, informative, and devoid of rancor, snark, politics, and the folks are genuinely interested in the topics.

I shit you not, and I mean this in the kindest and most loving way possible, the people on the KLR groups are beyond stoopit.

This is a typical exchange:

Simone Saiz: Hi, my headlight doesn't work. Any thoughts?

Kay Eller Knowbie: It ur tar presser is ware out.

Jack Uvall Trads: Check your fuse

More Beer And Red Snapper: Its fuse.

Brindle Tabby: Lookat yor fuse tehy are uner the ssat and yo uwill find some of tehm blown my dad had teh same problem on his indian and ithat fisced it.

John B. Goode: Look at the fuse up under hte gas tank.

Simone Saiz: Thanks all, I got it fixed and sorted out. It was a bad bulb!

Harold N. Mod: check the fuses.

Chuck Norris: I fixed my fuses by staring at them.

DJ "Jazzy" Trump: Sad. It's the fuse. Those are very, very bad fuses. It's a terrific problem. Covfefe.

Philip Morris: PRetty sure that you've smoked a fuse.

Phil McGraw: It's important to understand how you feel about that. Check your fuse.

Phil Robertson: Those fuses really blow. I'm callin' it.

Phil Jackson: The wire is all balled up.

Phil Collen: I can't hear it

Clu Les Oneder: What is the torque for the KLR250 foot peg?

Tu Combs: The problem was solved three days ago. SMH.

"Red" Knecki: souperdoo has one of his inane articles dedicated to that issue.
 

·
Registered
klr 650 c
Joined
·
43 Posts
Your timing couldn't be better Mike! I'm tackling an electrical gremlin as we speak!

I've recently fitted my 04 Gen 1 with LED everything; headlight, indicators and tail/brake light. There I was thinking everything was running smoothly, that is until I started the bike after installing the new tail light assembly. I noticed the running light was awfully bright, so bright in fact, that when I engage the brakes you can't tell the difference :oops:. That's no good. So I think well maybe one of the brake switches is playing up and lighting up the brake light constantly, nope they're good as far as I can tell. Double check everything is wired correctly (even though its pretty much plug and play), yup everything is okay on that front. Now comes the interesting part, I turn the ignition on but don't start the bike, and whattaya know, the running light works as intended, and the brakes, both front and back, increase the brightness when engaged... Only when the engine is running does the issue occur.

I'm still pretty new to all this, especially electrics, but after thinking about it for a bit and asking around, it would appear the problem is related to there not being enough resistance in the LED array to prevent them from lighting up like Christmas when the engine is running and outputting more than 12V. If this is the case, then you'd think that the product wouldn't be advertised as plug and play for a 12V system?

Luckily, I happen to have a spare indicator resistor laying around so I jimmy it into the taillight and ground wire to see if the extra resistance fixes the problem at all, and it does, sort of... You see when the ignition is on and the bike is not running, the tail light no longer lights up much (at all really), and when the engine is running it still gets brighter than you'd expect. To top it off, if I run the bike at 3000+rpm then the tail light once again becomes too bright and remains bright until I cut the power!

Anyway, safe to say this gremlin is wearing me out and I'm pretty close to ordering a new tail/brake light in the hopes that this one has some faulty resistors. Thought it might be worth posting the issue here to see if anyone has experienced a similar problem?
It could be that You have a leds in taillight connected in series (without resistors to minimize the cost)so that voltage drop across them is 0v when You put them on 12v,(for eg. You have 4 leds end each led drops 3volts). If You add more voltage they start pulling all the amps they can get and get brighter, and voltage goes down as shown in the test. If this is the case You could try to put one 100 ohm resistor in series with running light in taillight to see if it will fix it, dont take me serious this is just a tought before You ditch that taillight. Maybe worth taking it to someone who likes to hack sealed led lights and checking the connections and led arrangement
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
They won’t be discussing spring rates and preload, cylinder/piston offsets, or Ohms Law there anytime soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Thanks for your help mate. Got a chance to take a look at the bike with a multimeter this arvo. Heres what I found regarding the voltage readings from the battery and tail light connection.
Ignition ON, Volts at Battery12V
Ignition ON, Volts at tail light connection10.6V
Engine Idle, Volts at Battery14.6V (fluctuating a bit)
Engine Idle, Volts at tail light connection13.6V (fluctuating a bit)
Engine @ 3500+rpm, Volts at Battery14.3V
Engine @ 3500+rpm, Volts at tail light connection13.3V

I’m not 100% to make of the voltage dropping when the RPMs are increased, seems like it should be the opposite if anything?

The voltages seemed to fluctuate slightly when idling, saw as high as 14.9V briefly from the battery but seemed to hover around 14.6V. The brake light connection showed pretty much the same reading as the tail light in all cases.

I took the readings for the tail/brake light at the bullet connector (socket) at the end of the rear light assembly harness as that was the latest point in the circuit I could access since the LED assembly itself is sealed.

Hopefully someone here can make more sense of this than me! Thanks again for your help!
Faheys: a drop of 1+ volts to your taillight indicates a poor connection. The volts at your running taillight should be the same as at the battery, especially when using a meter (which has very high internal resistance, so virtually no current is flowing). First, make sure the meter’s leads have good clean contact to the socket nub and to ground. If you still read a voltage drop, work your way back through the harness connections until you find which connector or section is responsible for the drop.

If you have a corroded connection, that will cause the LED light to misbehave.

As for the voltage at various engine speeds, some variation is normal. The faster the engine spins, the easier it is for the voltage regulator to maintain constant voltage. Usually, the voltage is lower at idle speed, but sometimes results in a somewhat lower voltage at higher rpm, but it should stay above 13.5v. I’ve noticed similar behavior on my KLR. I’ll show 14+ volts putting around town, then on the highway it drops to the mid-13V range. It could also be my digital Voltage readout not being accurate.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top