starting issue and headlamp issue with Kawasaki ZL600 Eliminator

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by DiMMaX, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. DiMMaX

    DiMMaX Guest


    I'm a proud owner of a Kawasaki ZL600 Eliminator.
    I recently bought the bike from an uncle for a cheap price.
    The bike needs a lot of cleaning and repairing, but mostly on the looks

    However, I start to get 2 technical issues which are causing worries for the
    upcoming winter.
    The problem with my headlight is kind of dangerous since it's switching off
    all the time,....

    Before you read further, maybe some background information is needed to get
    a good idea of the state of the bike and to find possible root causes.

    First of all I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to technical terms,
    especially in English since it's not my native language. (It's Dutch btw :)

    Anyway, I do not know the age of the bike. All I know is that it's imported
    from U.S.A. and still is in his original state.
    When I ask my local Kawa-dealer he goes like 'hmm, a ZL, kind of old, uhm
    difficult,.. etc and all that kind of useless info... I tried my luck at 3
    different Kawa-dealers and none of them were helpfull in any way.

    Last year the complete electricity-string (or however you call it) has been
    replaced. The bike got a shortcut somewhere after my uncle tried to clean it
    using a high pressure cleaner.
    At least that's what they told me. (if I look at the electricity, it looks
    new, so I trust this is true)

    Now, when I drive the bike, the headlight just switches off without any
    reason. This doesn't happen all the time. All other lights, turningsignals
    and such are still working properly.
    I started to look for any possible cause by figuring out when exactly the
    headlight switches off but it seems to happen randomly.
    I use the bike for long distances (+100km) every single day and it even
    happens it doesn't switch off once,... Another time it just switches off
    within a few seconds, every single time...

    The weird part is, when I stop the engine by tunring the key, and then
    restart it, the headlight allways works again.
    This results in me driving the bike for a few miles, stopping, shutting
    down, restarting, driving again, etc,.... During daytime I can afford to
    drive without headlight (even though it's forbidden in Belgium) but I
    obviously can't do that during night fall or night,...

    Oh, and I also noticed the light switching on again by itself without
    restarting. I noticed this when I was slowing down and gearing down to
    restart the bike. All of a sudden the light goes back on when I'm in a lower
    gear. As soon as I gear up again, the light goes off and so on. How does
    that make sence?

    Being a technical newbie I started to think this must be related to a bad
    connection of some connector somewhere. However, when hitting bumps on the
    road or things like that doesn't nessesarelly mean that the light will
    switch off. And wouldn't that be a good indicator of a bad connection?
    And if I restart the bike wouldn't the light still be off if was related to
    a bad connector? Restarting the engine doesn't connect a connector, right?

    Still being a technical newbie, I started to look for any possible cause by
    following the electrical strings. I found one of them (and maybe even more)
    which wasn't connected and was just hanging there without any possibillity
    to fit it in nearby,...(it has a connector attached to it though) I wonder
    if this loose string might be related to the headlight-problem...
    I also heard having a 'bad mass connection' might result in such a behavior.
    Could this cable be a mass-cable which should be connected to the frame

    On top of this headlight problem, I also have an ignition issue.

    I first had this when I was driving in the rain. I did that before without
    any problem, but this was one of those times when you can hardly see a
    In such a pouring rain I surely need my headlight, so I left the highway i
    was on to restart the bike. Stopped the engine and got nothing but a
    clicking sound when I pushed the ignition-button.
    The result was me standing there, waiting for about half an hour, in the
    pouring rain for the engine to sparkle up,... the only sound I could hear
    was a clicking sound when I pushed the ignition-button (and it wasn't the
    button itself :p)

    Anyway, after half an hour the bike started again (the rain stopped a bit).
    So I figured this must have been because of some parts, strings or
    connectors that got wet.
    And now it comes: Ever since then I seems to have this problem once in
    while, even without rain.
    In dry weather the bike refuses to start for only a few times, it runs
    within a minute mostly. Then I sit there, pushing the button and nothing but
    a clicking sound only,...

    This also only happens once in while (not too often) without any pattern
    which could help identifying the root cause.

    I noticed that the headlight will switch off much faster after every single
    restart when I do have the ignition problem. This might be an indicator the
    two issues are related.
    When I'm having the ignition problem I can be damn sure the headlight will
    refuse to work after a few seconds,...

    Any help in this matter is very much appreciated.


    DiMMaX, Aug 31, 2004
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