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I picked myself up a project '03 ZR-7, and my first obstacle is trying to get it started. Turned the ignition to on and every time I try to start it I get a single click coming from the solenoid. All the lights come on, horn works, battery has juice, fuse appears to be okay, but nothing works. If I pull the clutch in and try to start it, I get nothing, not even the single click coming from the solenoid. I am unable to attempt to pop-start it because the tires are no good.

I've been told that the previous owner had to pop-start it to get it running, as it eventually wouldn't start by the ignition switch anymore. He also had the battery charged right before trying to start it without success.

Trying to rule out my options before I start ordering parts but would like to see if you guys have any suggestions.
 

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With the scant info you are providing. Battery should read at least 12.6 VDC. Have 'juice' is too vague. Turning lights does not mean it can crank.

I could also try jumpering from another battery or battery pack if in doubt (please, no jabs about cranking from car battery, I = V/R). If no joy, next, would try to see if solenoid is passing energy to the cranking motor. Not recommended, but you could also try bypassing starting solenoid with thick battery cable, directly to cranking motor. .....Just a bump see if it moves....careful, it may spark a bit......if not conformable, do not try. .Not knowing history, these are only generalities I'd check first.
 

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Trying to rule out my options before I start ordering parts but would like to see if you guys have any suggestions.
I believe that Hugo ^^ is on the money. A faulty battery can turn on lights and so forth, but not have the CCA to actually start the bike. So an easy test there is to swap batteries and see if it starts.

I would also be checking the starter solenoid with a multimeter. Check both input current leading to the solenoid, and output current leading to the starter with the start button engaged. Then test the current at the starter - to eliminate faulty cables to the solenoid/from the solenoid.

If all is well, then listen to the starter, if it is the starter which is making the clicking sound - then it's probably toast. An auto shop can probably rewind it for a reasonable price.

As Hugo stated - an easy test to make sure it might be the starter is to directly connect to the starter with a jumper cable.
 

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I'd agree, start with the battery to ensure you have the voltage.

If then you hear just a click, and from what the PO said about having to bump start it, it may just be a stuck starter - or a defective starter.

The starter can easily be removed and parts to rebuild it are available - or you could take it somewhere to be checked / rebuilt as well. It may just be a bad throw out bearing or spring. You can try giving it a gentle tap with a hammer too while still in the bike. Make sure the battery is charged first.

There are other things that can cause a no start scenario (kickstand switch, clutch switch, kill switch etc) but if you hear a click at the starter as if it's trying to engage (and not just hearing a starter relay click under the seat) - it's likely a voltage or a starter issue.

I'd also reccomend getting yourself a copy of the service manual. If you can't find a paper copy there are electronic copies out there via a Google search or here: ZR-7S Maintenance Manual
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With the scant info you are providing. Battery should read at least 12.6 VDC. Have 'juice' is too vague. Turning lights does not mean it can crank.

I could also try jumpering from another battery or battery pack if in doubt (please, no jabs about cranking from car battery, I = V/R).
I spoke to the PO and he said charging the battery as well as jumping it did not get it to start.

However, you make a valid point. I have been in scenarios where a vehicle would refuse to start even though all the electronics would work, and was simply a faulty battery.

If all is well, then listen to the starter, if it is the starter which is making the clicking sound - then it's probably toast.
There are other things that can cause a no start scenario (kickstand switch, clutch switch, kill switch etc) but if you hear a click at the starter as if it's trying to engage (and not just hearing a starter relay click under the seat) - it's likely a voltage or a starter issue.
The clicking sound that I described is coming from the starter relay. I don't hear anything from the starter motor itself.

Thank you guys for your inputs, sounds like I have some options to pick out now! I think I'm going to start with a new battery, since I have no idea how old this one is, and I'll have the peace of mind knowing it's a newer battery. Will update if I find different results!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update: A new battery has been installed, with no success in starting the bike. I grabbed a multimeter to check the voltage and it is reading at 12.67.

While I was at it I also checked the voltage to the solenoid, which is reading at 11.39. Unsure if that appears to be low or not.

At this point I will plan to keep a lookout for a solenoid and inspect the wires/starter motor in the mean time. Will edit this if I find anything
 

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Update: A new battery has been installed, with no success in starting the bike. I grabbed a multimeter to check the voltage and it is reading at 12.67.

While I was at it I also checked the voltage to the solenoid, which is reading at 11.39. Unsure if that appears to be low or not.

At this point I will plan to keep a lookout for a solenoid and inspect the wires/starter motor in the mean time. Will edit this if I find anything
If solenoid clicks, then it is pulling in, but question remains, is it passing power on the big contacts?, are you reading 12 VDC on solenoid big connector to battery?.

I would connect an aligator to negative lead of voltmeter and hook it to any bare metal on bike, then touch with positive lead other side of coil, or cranking motor positive connector, push the starting button and see if you get voltage there.. Check also that big connector on solenoid or cranking motor are tight.
 

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While I was at it I also checked the voltage to the solenoid, which is reading at 11.39. Unsure if that appears to be low or not.
That should be enough. BTW - pull your solenoid out and brass wire brush the terminals and cable ends and reattach firmly. Just recently my bike failed to start - the infamous solenoid click. I did what I just stated above. Started first hit. It's surprising how much voltage can be lost through a little corrosion and/or loose terminals.
 

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That should be enough. BTW - pull your solenoid out and brass wire brush the terminals and cable ends and reattach firmly. Just recently my bike failed to start - the infamous solenoid click. I did what I just stated above. Started first hit. It's surprising how much voltage can be lost through a little corrosion and/or loose terminals.
If cleaning the solenoid doesn’t work, it is likely your starter. I had the exact problem years ago with my 2001 ZR-7S.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If cleaning the solenoid doesn’t work, it is likely your starter. I had the exact problem years ago with my 2001 ZR-7S.
Alrighty, I shall give both a try! For possible future reference, would I be better off getting a starter rebuilt or just replacing it entirely? A simple Google search didn't quite help put me in the direction of a starter to buy, so don't know for sure.
 

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Alrighty, I shall give both a try! For possible future reference, would I be better off getting a starter rebuilt or just replacing it entirely? A simple Google search didn't quite help put me in the direction of a starter to buy, so don't know for sure.
Not sure, but it looks like you can buy a starter rebuild kit for less than $20 on eBay. I have bought rebuilt starters for cars but never needed one for a motorcycle. I traded my zr-7 in for a Versys when i learned that the starter was bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have tried cleaning off the solenoid and the connections, but was not successful in starting it.

I managed to figure out how to remove the starter and tested it with a 12V battery. And to my disappointment, the starter is no good. Looks like I will have to continue to hunt for a new one.
 

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At least you know now.
 

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This is true. At least I have all winter to be searching for a new starter before riding season comes along. Thank you all for the support!
This was exactly my problem a few years ago. Solenoid clicked but nothing happened half the time, the other half it started. Eventually got the starter motor out (once I'd worked out there are 4 bolts holding it on, not 3) and no wonder, the brushes end was a solid mass of black carbon sh*t, and virtually no brushes left. I bought a repair kit, but the replacement part that houses the brushes turned out not to align with the main body. I priced a new replacement at $AUD600+. Yikes. Then I found a wrecker over in Sth Australia, who miraculously had a ZR7 starter motor for sale, and was happy to ship it to me at a total price of $AUD80 approx. All good since then. :)
 
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