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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, all

I had a new experience with my 7S yesterday - and not a pleasant one. I'm hoping some of you might have some advice/ insight into what the problem may be.

Here's what happened. I took "Lucille" out for a ride yesterday for the first time in about a month. It started up just fine, I rode for about 50 miles - some city streets, some freeway miles - and she ran fine. I stopped to fill the tank just before heading home, and when I tried to start it up - nothing. I checked to make sure everything that should be on was on - even tried lifting the sidestand in case it was the safety switch. Nothing.

I tried to roll it and compression start it - again without success. After pushing it about four blocks, I decided to try it again and after a HUGE backfire, it started up.

I rode about three blocks and it just died. And I mean died - so much so that the rear wheel even skidded a bit. It was like the was just no power to the beast at all - although the lights did continue to work.

I pulled over and let it sit for a couple of minutes and it again started after a mighty backfire and I got it home and back in the garage.

Any ideas? I remember one thread a while back where someone was having a similar problem, I think, but I don't recall what the problem turned out to be.

The bike has just over 9,000 miles and outside of having a problem with loose battery cables after a service once, I've had no other problems with it.

Any ideas? I'm going to end up getting it to the dealer one way or another since I'm not at all mechanical - but I'm hoping that some of you may have an idea what might be going on. (Not that I don't trust the dealer....)

Thanks, all!
Bren
 

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Wonky kill switch perhaps ?
 

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The Deer Slayer
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The back fire is probably from flooding while trying to start. But check fuel flow, then ignition parts , starting with plugs.
 

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West Coast Moderator
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Could be water (moisture) in the fuel tank from sitting so long. Water doesn't burn so well, and it will tend to back fire once fuel does get to the plugs.
 
Z

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check your sidestand safety switch....it wouldn't be the first time a switch failed....it happened to me once on my old Yammie....just find the connectors, and tape them together for a temporary fix....being that you live in a wet environment, the switch could have developed some corrosion....MAKE SURE YOUR SIDE STAND IS UP BEFORE DRIVING AWAY!....

Ride Safe!

Pete
:)
 

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Water in the fuel...?

Interesting that before you fill the tank the bike was working fine....Maybe water in the fuel...? Is the same Gas station you always go....?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jarel - it's totally dead, as in not turning over at all. Itzli - it's the same gas and station I usually go to - Chevron.

I'm inclined to think it's either the kill switch or maybe a loose connection in the safety switch in the kick stand. I'll be calling the dealer today to get an appointment for them to look at it.

Thanks for all the replies, everyone!
bren
 

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Gold Member/Community Dad
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Hey Bren,

Sorry to hear that mean ol' woman "Lucille" is giving you so much trouble. If you have the chance check your electrical connectors - make sure their snapped in place (tab locks), check to see that your battery connections are tightened down. Couple of important connectors under the seat too. Also might check over the spark plug connections.

Was doing some "first maintenance" a couple of weeks ago and found 2 spark plugs i could loosen by hand and a connector below the clutch lever was on but wasn't locked in position. And a screw missing on one of the cable guide brackets along side the front fork wasn't even there:eek: At least the wheels were snug:) It might save a trip to the dealer!
 

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The Commander
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bsmith307 said:
Jarel - it's totally dead, as in not turning over at all.
....
bren
That's what I thought Bren. There's a good chance it's the kickstand switch or battery terminal, since other people have had the exact same problem in the past with those two things being the most common reason. It's not the gas or the spark plug wires if it's totally dead as you described. If it's not the kickstand switch or a loose battery terminal, it's probably the engine kill switch. Have you taken the control housing off the throttle side of the bars at all to put on new grips or anything that could have damaged the switch?

Before taking it to the dealer, check the battery terminals and make sure they're secure. If it's a bad kickstand switch or engine cutoff switch, the dealer should replace it under warranty.

Let us know what the verdict is.
 

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A guy I work with in Fresno had a problem with the kick stand switch sticking on his 1500 Cruiser. He just sprayed it with some of that "electric motor" lube/cleaner. I'd imagine that a shot of WD-40 would do the trick....shouldn't hurt anything....worth a try
 
N

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It doesn't sound like a sidestand switch problem to me. This will usually only affect things if the bike is running, in gear, with the clutch out. Sounds more like a water problem to me. Water in the gas, in the switches, in the relays, corrosion, etc. Has the bike by any chance been stored outside in murky winter weather?
 

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I had a similiar problem a few months ago, but your problem sounds a little different than mine. My ZR would die when making turns or going around corners. Going straight was fine, it was only when I would turn the front wheel that this problem would occur and it took a couple of months before I found the problem(not very mechanically inclined I guess). It turned out to be a loose wire connection behind the headlight. If you remove the headlight there is a bunch of wires and there was one of them that had a male and female connector on each end covered by a piece of transparent tubing. As long as the front wheel was straight they made contact and the bike ran fine, but as soon as the front wheel was turned they would be pulled apart and break contact and the bike would go dead. I could turn it over with the starter, but it wouldn't start again until the front wheel was straight. This drove me nuts and I almost took it to a dealer for troubleshooting, luckily I found it myself. I just pushed the two wires back together and used pliers to crimp them together a little bit and the bike has ran great ever since. By the way, mine would backfire too but I think it was because the engine got flooded by trying to start it over and over again and using the choke out of panic and frustration and not realizing that it was the wire problem all along. Good luck.
 

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.....because the engine got flooded by trying to start it over and over again and using the choke out of panic and frustration.......
Best regards Team:

I know that feeling very well...Anyway..Just a quick question and pardon my ignorance.....

Why when the engine is cold, It's necesary to use the choke...?


Back in the late 60's, I remember my Dad using the "choke" in his car... He teached me how to turn the car on and warm the engine and I remember very well how he was reducing the amount of choke as the car was warming up....Never saw or use another car with "choke" until I got the ZR-7...I was never aware of this before..! I learn about the "choke" at the MSF class and bring me back old memories of my Dad and the "choke" in his car...Anyway....All motorbikes use the "choke" even the new sport bikes R1's, Busa's, ...?
 

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after the 60's cars got automatic chokes on thei carburetors that didn't require you to do anything. more recently most cars have switched to fuel injection which also handles this automatically.

until the engine is warm it requires a little more fuel to run. the choke usually restricts the air intake a little so that more gas gets sucked into the engine. once the engine warms up this isn't necessary and you can turn the choke off.

scott :)
 
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