electrical problem on KAWA :( - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2009, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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electrical problem on KAWA :(


today, i went out riding for a good while. I noticed that my brake light is not working. It does only when you press the brakes. Also, once the bike is turn off, i can't start it. It seems like there a short somewhere preventing Kawa to start, the engine will hardly turn and you can hear something clicking as you press the start button. A week ago, i posted something about "difference with
distilled water and acid battery, because i noticed that the liquid level in the battery was a lil bit low. anyway what i dont understand is that this starting issue is not constant, for a couple days it's totally working great and one day she won't start at all ( engine won't turn) and i have to use a jumper. I have also noticed that sometime i have to "jerk" the key just a tap so the engine will turn.
Man i am so confused here and i need some help

any advice wiil be much appreciated.



2005 Vulcan 750
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2009, 03:45 AM
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first off get a MF Battery...secondly it sounds like your ignition switch is going on the bender...try starting the bike and then turn the key back and forth with out going to the next position on the ignition switch at the same time you are squeezing the front brake and checking the brake light.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2009, 03:50 AM
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You might be confused because there may be more than one thing going wrong here.

First, (assuming you have a non-maintenance free battery), if the fluid level is low in one or more cells of your battery, fill them just below the upper level with distilled water, and reconnect everything tightly. Good idea to clean the battery terminals and connections first. You can get a cheap battery terminal cleaner at any auto parts store. Make sure the vent hose is connected and properly routed to the ground so battery acid doesn't corrode everything.

Second, check your battery voltage with the bike off, idling and at 3000 RPM, and post the results.

Third, check all the electrical connections you can find, assure that they're clean and tightly connected. Good idea to apply some di-electric grease on the connections, which you can also buy at any auto parts store. Loose or corroded electrical connections are often the culprit when it comes to inconsistent electrical problems.

Once this is all done, please consider buying a glass mat maintenance free battery if you don't already have one.

If the problem still persists, the folks on this forum will help you from there. Some of the best troubleshooters around can be found on this forum...


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2009, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Slim- when you say "ignition switch", are you refering to the ignition where you turn the key in? if so could that be easily replaced?
anyway, ill check the voltage tomorrow...if she will start


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2009, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by letitflight View Post
Slim- when you say "ignition switch", are you referring to the ignition where you turn the key in? yes if so could that be easily replaced? again yes
anyway, ill check the voltage tomorrow...if she will start
also here is a link to a document on fixing the ignition switch

I believe you have two problems going on...first your battery is week... it either has a bad ground, or is just plain old...getting a MF battery is your best bet if it is week... second problem is the ignition switch is a 2 part switch...the switch itself and the locking cylinder. the locking cylinder wears out the plastic electrical part of the switch...but no worries...just take and coat the outside of the locking cylinder with "Scotch" tape or super glue. this should help keep the locking cylinder from wobbling around as much. next I would bend the tabs copper tabs on the ignition switch itself to insure proper contact.

well I thought I had a link of fixing the ignition switch on this forum, but it is actually in the Yahoo group...

Here is the proceedure:


My 1991 Vn750 developed a "dead spot" in the ignition switch
which would cause the dash lights to flicker or go out completely.
For two years I lived with this problem and temporarily solved
it each time it would occur by slightly turning the key towards
the off position. It worsened to the point where the defective switch
would cause the bike to begin stalling - something had to be done. A
new switch is about 70 bucks, plus I didn't want to have to
deal with having to re-key my bike.


10mm socket/drive or nut driver
13mm wrench
12mm wrench
#2 phillips screwdriver
medium sized jewelers scredriver
6mm Hex driver/hex key/allen wrench
contact cleaner
small needle nosed pliers


1. Remove the windshield (if applicable).

2. Remove the headlight.

2a. Remove the 2 phillips head screws that hold the front portion
of the headlight to the bucket - the screws are located about 4 o'clock
and 8 o'clock (be sure not to mess with the adjusting screw located
around 8:30).

2b. Remove the headlight lens and trim ring from the bucket - pull
the bottom free which should allow you to "un-clip" the top portion.
Disconnect the three prong connector from the lightbulb and place
the lens assembly somewhere safe.

3b. Using the 12mm wrench on the nuts on the insides of the bucket,
remove the 10mm hex headed bots that secure the bucket to the ears.
Carefully allow the bucket to hang down from the wires.

3. Remove the instrument cluster/gages.

3a. Remove the 2 bolts (1 on either side) of the "lights cluster".

3b. carefully remove the gauges and cluster
(allow to dangle from the wires).

3c. Remove the black rubber boot from around the outside of the
ignition switch post.

4. Remove the switch assembly - there are two socket
head cap screws under the top fork clamp - after removing the
bolts you should be able to "fanagle" the switch out of the fork

4a. ***UPDATE***
It has been brought to my attention that if the handlebars are turned to the full left position, it is much easier to remove the switch without "fanagling".

5. Remove the two brass colored phillips screws from the plastic
body of the switch. Separate the electric switch portion from
the mechanical portion.

6. Carefully snap the plastic cover off the back of the switch -
check each of the solders carefully to make sure none have broken free.

7. While holding the switch "circuit board side up" carefully pry the
plasic body away from the circuit board where the little tang locks the

8. Take the switch portion (should now be free from the bike) to a
suitable location to work on it (ie. workbench).

9. One at a time, remove the contacts from the switch and slightly
stretch the compression spring open a little bit.

10. Use contact cleaner to clean each of the contact points as well
as the contact paths (on the circuit board).


1. Do everything you just did in the reverse order.

Hope this helps someone - kent4chaos

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