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Discussion Starter #1
So I've had some slight trouble getting my bike started since I bought it, but a few weeks ago it finally bit me. Hard.

I was in Eastern Washington, about 60 miles from civilization, when I stopped to take a break. Now, this was on day 6 of an 11 day trip and we were 2400 miles from the SF Bay Area through Glacier Natl Park in Montana. I mention this because one of the theories as to why the bike wouldn't start was that the CDI had become overheated due to the 12+ hour days in the August heat and was not functioning properly.

The starter worked, and it would try to ignite, but never turn over. We inspected the plugs and found the spark was quite weak. After a few hours in the shade we managed to get it started again with a liberal application of throttle and cursing.

So there it is... it starts, but only when cold, or with some coaxing when warm, but not at all when hot. Suggestions were the CDI box is overheated and needs to be replaced, someone else suggested the regulator.. I'm hoping one of the gurus here with a lot more experience can help me nail it down, because I don't want to give up the ZR but I don't want to keep a bike I don't have confidence in.

Anyone have any ideas? Thanks for reading..

(PS after she wouldn't start we didn't have enough confidence in her to get home on our schedule so we had to uHaul it... a very unceremonious end to our grand adventure)
 

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I'm sure the engine was turning over. Before you get too far into the ignition troubleshooting, make sure your fuel tank is venting properly. After it died, did you try opening the fuel cap and attempting to start it? That may not be the problem, but it's the easiest and cheapest (likely free) fix. I always start with the easiest/simplest/cheapest solution and work towards the complicated and expensive.
 

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Ensure you have a fully charged battery

gg went to the Birdsville Races. (google Birdsville Race...Oz gg's ZR-7 is presently stranded in outback Queensland with a faulty charging circuit. A lot was learnt over a short period of time, how to run ZR-7 without alternator output, it was run 800kms + 100kms between stoppages on the back of a truck.


Keep it simple. You need to get yourself a voltage type multimeter and check static voltage and running voltage, this will quickly confirm your voltage regulator.

Whip off the RH side rotor cover and check visually if all is well in there. Then old check all plug/socket connections are firm and clean.

Check the spark plug spark in the dark, they are difficult to see in the light.

We are assuming it is electrical, in which most cases the engine dies.

gg at brisbane on public transport back to bb
 

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My start problems have always been cold start issues BUT since yours sounds electrical here is something I found on mine. When changing the plugs the end came off one of the plug wires. I looked and saw the end of the wire was black and the insulation was cracked. I trimmed all my wires about 3/8 of an inch, twisted the caps back on and things got much better. Kawasaki won't sell the wires by themselves so this is a cheaper fix. BTW I live in eastern WA and I hope your next trip through here goes better.
 

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How old is the battery? Might be time for a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The battery is fairly new, replaced maybe in the last two years..

The plugs looked fine, other than one side running hotter.

I may take it to a guy I know and have him diagnose the problem, I'm fairly helpless when it comes to electrical issues..

@drexpat: I was stranded in Tiger, and eventually made my way to Colville for the night. There was a motorsports place there but the mechanic on duty couldn't get to the root of the issue. He tried for a long time and didn't charge me anything though, really nice guy.
 

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I also have problems starting my 037S when it is hot. When it is cold, I have no issues. So, if you figure out your problem, please let us know what it is.
 

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I live in the bay area as well and mine never has a problem starting around here. I few times up in the mountains (8-9,000 feet) it has given me some problems starting and at times idling. I've always just turned up the idle speed and cracked the throttle a bit to get it started. Even then it didn't start as easy as it normally does.

From what I remember, the spark has always been weak while cranking on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well like most irritating problems, this one is intermittent... I have not been able to reproduce the problem since I've gotten back.

I will try the gas tank venting first if it happens again.
 
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