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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, first off hi everyone. Dont usually post in forums, but ive got an issue that im not entirely sure whats going on. I'm decently mechanincally inclined, usually all i need to do is search for something, get the basics and i can fix it. I dont even really know how to search for this one

I have a 2003 Kawasaki Ninja 250. It was laid down by the po, but suffered only cosmetic damages. For the most part its in good shape minus some age related issues. The battery was replaced after the winter, carbs have been cleaned, and i dont have any idle/ throttle issues. Was actually about to sell it. Until...

Bike stalled out coming to a stop at an intersection. Took about 5 minutes of coaxing the throttle to get it going. 100 meters down the road it dies again. Pull off to the side and try starting it. This time its acting like the battery is dying (starter gets slower and slower until its just clicking). Now mind you, i was stranded, so I tried repeatedly to get this thing to turn over. Nada. So i leave it, get a ride to my truck. Couple days later when i had some free time and some help getting it into the truck, i come back. For ****s and giggles i try starting it up expecting the same dead battery reaction. This thing springs to life after about 5 seconds.

So, do i have some type of zombie bike? This thing went from being doa to fresh as a pumpkin with just a couple days rest. Unfortunately this actually frustrates me more, because if its a batter or a stator issue, at least i know the general direction of what to try to fix. This i have no idea. The battery is hidden under the locked seat, so i dont think a good semaritan/thief charged it. The bike had the wheel locked so i doubt someone tried to push start it. Im just utterly confused here.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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Biker
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Hello Redrock, what kind of battery? regular lead acid with caps to put distilled water in or those AGM no maintenance jobs? put on a trickle charger. If it is the old lead acid type make sure electrolyte is covering ALL cells. also if lead/acid check specific gravity with a hydrometer if possible. Then bring to a motorcycle shop and get it tested, I know you said the battery is fairly new BUT . . .well they go bad early sometimes. Hopefully the shop has a digital tester which is a lot more accurate. If meter type with resistance coil , they should check twice, paying attention to what part of the red/yellow/green bands of color the needle swings, If needle is in green but close to yellow, on 2nd try try and get credit towards
a new battery.

Also if Battery IS tested and found good, well, two other parts to be checked are the stator and Rectifier/regulator. The stator could go bad, shorted coils will give a lower voltage or an open connection, I'd say there is a 2wire line from stator to plug that connects with R/R, one wire from R/R goes to BAT+ other side is most likely grounded. Then check R/R with ohm-meter if you are able to meter should show continuity with leads to R/R one way and open circuit with leads reversed, If not sure, there are youtube sites that show how to check R/R's for bikes. I know for a fact though that the R/R CAN go bad either overcharging the battery or Not charging the battery. Usually only the larger bikes have a 3 phase stator like a car alternator. Hey Redrock, if ya want, call me, I'm at 727-204-2767. 77/7 is right, check for good connections at Battery posts and where - wire goes to frame, bright an tight.
 

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American Legion Rider Staff Administrator
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Actually need more info on how it died. Fuel starved or like you turned off the ignition switch. The fact you had a new battery is good. You may have a stator or voltage regulator problem. But the interesting thing is a new fully charged battery will in fact recover own it's own to some degree. At least enough to get a bike/car started if in otherwise good shape. So I'm not surprised it started. You can't do that very much though. You will finally kill that new battery completely. So the real question is what caused it do die? Could be fuel starved due to a fuel cap that isn't breathing right and you then cranked on it until you had a dead battery. Or you could have a stator not working a you were running on just the charged battery until it got too low to continue to operate. Or the same with voltage regulator. Or you could have a loose connection that stopped current and after things cooled down it made contact again and your self recharged battery got you running again but you still have that loose connection somewhere. I'd certainly not ride too far. You need to look closely at exactly how it died. Forget the battery right now. It could be an electrical issue or it could be fuel. I and others can't tell from your post. At any rate that's the best I can do no matter what.
 

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I Will take a stab at it. It sounds like you had a fairly new battery in the bike. The bike was at the point of not running well and finally stalled at an intersection. This is consistent with a battery not getting charged. If you leave a battery sit for a few days, a newer, strong battery will recover somewhat. Maybe that is why your bike started.

Some of my Hondas will have enough cranking power to start the bike, but the battery is low enough or the bike has enough voltage drop on the old wiring that it will not run well until it charges up somewhat. Motorcycles in general and Honda in particular could benefit having larger batteries with more reserve cranking amps.

Put the bike on a trickle charger and see how it does. If it runs very well, that may be a [sort of] confirmation that my guess was right. You need to throw on a meter and check the charging voltage. In any case, try to check just the charging issue first. People get into all kinds of problems going back and forth between electrical and fuel issues
 

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Biker
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Stators and r/r are not made to bring a battery up from the dead, nope gotta put a GOOD well charged battery into system. Check battery volts with bike not running AND running, there should be a few volts difference, 14 would be good. Put a well charged battery on the bike, and take note of battery voltage, when you thumb the starter, take ear note as to how it sounds, RRRiirrr. . .RRirr. . .RRrriirr. . .RRRiirr. . .RRRiirrr. . .RRRiirr. . .boomba booomba booomba OR
do you hear vavavavavavaBoobaboombaboomba? I don't know how much current coils take but batteries can go bad sooner than expected, best bet is to bring to a bike shop and pay a few $$ after battery sat charging for two days, have the wrencher use a good digital load meter, the older ones with a cage an heater coil are o.k., but do the test with those twice, if in green BUT near the yellow, well . . . if in middle of green and needle bounces back on 2nd try I'd say it is good. I guess only through experience can you tell if their is enough BAT in BATTERY. Check the electrolyte level if possible, cables to Start solenoid bright an tight? from solenoid to starter bright an tight, before this , did starter seem strong enough to whip her over?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry for the late response. I appreciate all the advice so far. Had a unexpectedly long work week and havent been able to mess around with the bike.

Update on the issue:
I tested the battery with a voltmeter(havent had time to take it in) and it was testing low (10.4v). I jumped it and let it run for about five minutes before attempting to take it around the block. Before riding i tested the throttle response and battery to ensure everything was normal as well as ensured i had enough nice clean fuel. However the first time i reved up the throttle in gear, it died. I tested the battery again and was once again low. Gonna check the stator next. Thanks again for the replies
 

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Since your battery is fairly new, first thing I would look at personally is the charging system (r/r and stator ). Second, since it's been down idk if you went over it but I would check everything over (wires, sensors,switches, etc). Sometimes it's the dumbest thing like a kickstand switch.
 

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Sorry for the late response. I appreciate all the advice so far. Had a unexpectedly long work week and havent been able to mess around with the bike.

Update on the issue:
I tested the battery with a voltmeter(haven't had time to take it in) and it was testing low (10.4v).

Hi RedRock,

No one is gonna write you up for saying you tested a battery when you simply checked its voltage, not trying to be unkind or anything, but a real test is done with a load tester, it will tell you what the real story is. This is what happened to someone else a day or two ago, the battery showed voltage but was so 'shot ta hell' that when the ignition sw. was turned on, the headlight and ignition ran the battery voltage into the ground. Good to know you want to bring it in and have it tested, then you know as Paul Harvey used to say, "The rest of the story."with the battery, that is.

If a battery, even after being on a charger for a day shows a voltage of a bit over ten, I am going to say it is 'BAD' due to a shorted cell, each cell puts out 2 volts, so 6 cells gives 12 volts.The charging system could be 'toasted' trying to bring up a battery that has a dead cell in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update:

So got the battery tested, its dead. Also my carbs are flooding. Turns out the reason the bike was acting that way was due to not only a bad battery, but somehow after rebuilding them a months ago, my carbs were gunked up, flooding and unable to hold an increase to the throttle. The bike would stall out, and then the battery (which was already on its last leg) burned out trying to restart the flooded bike. Letting it sit a couple days let the fuel settle and the battery (which was only on the border or being bad at the time) had enough power to start it up.

Anyway, i appreciate the help from everyone. Probably gonna just sell this thing and get what i can out of it. Trying to put the carbs back in on this bike is a pain.
 

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Hello Redrock,

Sorry about all the trouble, when you get the carbs back on, jump it to your car to start and keep hooked up, THEN put some SeaFoam in tank I'd say 2 -3 ounces and let run for a while as you sit on the veranda sucking down a cold beer, The Mighty Snorty ran fine, but suddenly idled like SH*(, so I did the same, after an hour or so ( or near a six pack ) she was idling nice an smooth. If you have a multi-meter check volts when running, write them down so they don't go anywhere, then when you measure volts with bike NOT running, the difference is charging volts,

Now Redrock, The stator is probably good BUT if the R/R (which means Rectifier/Regulator, Rectifier turns a.c. to d.c. to charge battery, regulator makes sure that battery gets proper charging voltage 14-14.5 volts.) goes bad, one of two things happens, not charging due to lower voltage than battery output OR overcharging an boiling off electrolyte, R/R's are all in one unit until you get into the much heavier bikes like the Honda's, they have the wound field like a regular car alternator.

Hey Redrock, is this exciting or what? When ya buy a bike, sometime or other you have to start knowing how to check things to keep the old gal running, If you want, give me a holler, will do what I can to help a fellow biker 727-204-2767
 
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